Obituary for Janina Skowronek (Wyrebska)
In Loving Memory
Janina Skowronek (nee Wyrebska)
Thursday, March 8th, 2018 at Extendicare York, Sudbury.
Beloved wife of Andrzy “Andre” Skowronek predeceased 1994 and Doro Righi predeceased 1957. Loving mother of Teresa Musico (Jack), and Richard Righi (Chantal). Cherished grandmother of Brent (Susan), Craig (Kelly-Lynn), Allysha and great grandchildren Dylan, Olivia, Max, Gabrielle, Liesanne and Jenieva. Dear daughter of Fronciszek and Felicjia (Giorska) Wyrebska both predeceased. Dear sister of Maria and Teresa and predeceased by two brothers. Sadly missed by nieces and nephews.
Our Memoriam…Janina Wyrebska/Righi/Skowronek, family Matriarch. What a Lady.
At an early age, Janina was forced to leave home and her Family behind in Poland, during World War II. As the oldest child, she felt it necessary to accompany her youngest brother to Germany. Both were destined to become workers in a forced Labour Camp. Her brother subsequently passed away, shortly after their arrival. She was alone.
It was here that she met a young attractive Italian, Doro Righi, who quickly became the love of her life. She spoke Polish, he spoke Italian.
In short order, she was speaking Italian and he was speaking Polish. The rest is history.
Post war migration took them both along with young daughter Teresa to Belgium. There was work available in the coal mines, and also a large circle of already established fellow compatriots. Funds were meticulously saved, as there was yet to be some additional travel in their future. Here she learned to speak French.
Eventually the promise of a new start had them move through England specifically to board an ocean liner for Canada. Sudbury was their new beginning in 1952, with the promise of steady work, and subsequent friendships that would in fact last a virtual lifetime.
Tragically, five years after their arrival, Doro was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Janina was determined that he would not die in a hospital, and in fact had him transported home. She diligently cared for him until his last breath. Alone again, with daughter Teresa and now two year old Richard.
She attempted to secure social assistance of any form, but was challenged in dealing with a bureaucracy that stipulated criteria and policies that she did not understand. Assistance was not forthcoming, yet she had medical, hospital and funeral costs to settle.
Daunted, but determined, Janina formulated a rational business plan (in her mind), subsequently employing a number of hard working ladies, and opened her own Boarding House in the Donovan.
She housed and prepared meals for numerous workers, tirelessly providing these services to her boarders over their daily three shift cycles. Still managing to raise her two children (did a wonderful job too).
Then came a point in Janina’s life, as friends will be (match-making) friends, that she was introduced to Andrzy Skowronek. In a simple ceremony, they married in 1963. ‘Big’ Andy was a man certainly set in his ways, but he did mellow over time and learned to truly appreciate the value and importance of Family. In time, daughter Teresa moved on and married Jack (Janina sewed all the bridesmaid dresses, and led the kitchen in the preparation of a fabulous Polish meal for the wedding). Teresa and Jack’s family became complete with sons, Brent and then Craig Musico.
Andy was playful and generous with his grandsons. At family gatherings Janina would conjure up a fabulous meal, literally a large (extended) table full. Andy would easily entertain us, exhibit his exceptional humour before, during and after the feast. He would then wander over to the kitchen to do the dishes. We all called him ‘Pops”. Newest granddaughter Allysha did manage to spend some time with him, as he passed away in 1994 as a result of a paralyzing stroke. Janina was again diligent in her care for him before he died. Virtually 24 hour care as he was bedridden, but living at home with her.
Up until a year ago, Janina was living on her own, totally independent, amazing for 95 years of age. Cooked her own meals, washed her own clothes, planted flowers around her apartment, (watered them too), walked to Doctor appointments, and did her own grocery shopping, amongst other things. She loved her friends and neighbours in that Polish Solidarity Apartment building.
It is uncompromisingly factual that Janina had an unbridled pride and love for each and every family member, all listed above, just below the picture of our pretty Lady. We were continually amazed at her stamina, perseverance, thoughtfulness and especially sense of fashion.
Always, always impeccably dressed. We are fortunate and thankful that she was self-aware right to her final moments. We are also thankful that she was not alone, in her final moments.
Unfortunately gone, but certainly not forgotten are some of her self-taught vocations, and priceless qualities that we have had the privilege to witness and experience, and now would like to share, in no certain order: Master Seamstress; Master Cook; Simple Labourer; Painter (house); Drywall Installer; Entrepreneur; Financial Advisor/Analyst; Gardner; Sausage Maker; Bargain Hunter; Fashion Aficionado; Linguist; Teacher; Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother extraordinaire.
A genuine survivor, in all senses, our Lady was, in no certain order: Generous; Self-Sacrificing; Independent; Tireless; Thoughtful; Polite; Respectful; Religious; Good Friend; Somewhat Opinionated (usually right).
Important values were instilled in all of us, through her lead by example.
We as a family, openly share this Memoriam with you because of our pride in her. Amazing how she managed to successfully handle adversity, and still always had a smile. Janina truly believed that positive attributes are within us all; it is the right combination that makes us good individuals.
So, from all the devoted souls listed above, a fond fare thee well, our love is deep, We are, because of You.
Our sincere thanks to all nurses, attendants, and also residents on the second floor of Extendicare York, that had contributed to her having just a bit of a better day during her residency.
What a Lady.
Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home
233 Larch St., Sudbury
(Friends may call from 6-8 P.M, Thursday, April 12th, 2018 with parish prayers at 7:30 P.M.)
St. Casimir’s Church
210 Paris St., Sudbury
Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 10 A.M.
Cremation with interment in the Civic Cemetery.