Constance L Olszowy, affectionately known as Mrs. O in her later years, passed peacefully in her home in Waterford, VT on Tuesday August 17, 2021, surrounded by her family and priest. She was six weeks away from her 103rd birthday.
Constance Louise Kulesza was born on September 29, 1918 in New Britain, CT to Jozef and Josefa Kulesza. She traveled to Poland as an infant with her family and spent several years there where she began school. They returned to America by way of Ellis Island, where she had her first ice cream. Mrs. O’s first job was shoeing horses with her father, who ran a blacksmith shop at their home. She attended New Britain High School and soon after began working at Fafnir Bearing Co. Her job was to test and clean the bearings working with cyanide for three cents extra. It was there that Mrs. O met her future husband, Walter Olszowy. The couple wed on April 4, 1940. In 1941 they welcomed their first son Dennis, followed by their second son Damon in 1946. The family lived in Kensington, CT.
Mrs. O and her extended family often went camping and fishing at Twin Lakes in Connecticut. She liked being in nature and foraging, as well as traveling and driving. In the early ‘90s, she moved to Vermont to live with her son Dennis who had built a home in East Haven, VT. The two had a dog named Annie. In 1998 Dennis married Laurie, and from this union Laurie’s daughter Megan became Mrs. O’s only grandchild. Megan gave her the nickname ‘Mrs. O’ upon meeting her because she couldn’t pronounce ‘Olszowy’. Together the family enjoyed Sunday dinners, outings to the Weathervane Theatre, and made many memories together. Mrs. O often read biographies, gardened, and played Solitaire.
In her later years, Mrs. O had fun visiting her favorite place, the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. She would frequently watch The Golden Girls and Naked & Afraid. Every day with her family she enjoyed playing Yahtzee, singing and laughing, having her favorite snacks – fig bars and mint Oreos, and listening to short stories being read to her. Mrs. O often reminisced and shared her memories, and loved looking at mementos from years past. In the summertime, Mrs. O loved being outdoors, especially for the band concerts in the park.
Mrs. O was often featured in the Caledonian Record. She was also featured in the Little Free Library Steward News, by the Fairbanks Museum, by the NEK Council on Aging, and was recently a Super Senior on WCAX.
Mrs. O was pre-deceased by her father Jozef in 1963, her mother Josefa in 1980, her husband Walter in 1985, and her son Dennis in 2014. She was also pre-deceased by her siblings John, Jean, Helen, Teddy, Mary, and Alex. She is survived by her daughter-in-law Laurie Olszowy, granddaughter Megan Durocher and partner Damon Cawley, sister Sophie Pappas of Connecticut, and son Damon Olszowy of New York.
Mrs. O lived during two pandemics, one as an infant in 1918 and the other as a centenarian in 2020/2021.
On Saturday, August 21, 2021, there will be a visiting hour in lieu of a wake from 11:00am-12:00pm prior to the funeral. The funeral Mass will be offered by Fr. Curtis Miller at 12:00pm. Both will take place at St John’s Catholic Church in St. Johnsbury, VT.
Mrs. O will be laid to rest beside her husband Walter and son Dennis at Maple Cemetery in Berlin, CT on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 2:00pm.
The family would especially like to thank Caledonia Home Health & Hospice and Dr. Mitchell Sullivan for their attentive care, and Fr. Curtis Miller for his unique friendship and spiritual connection with Mrs. O. The family appreciates flowers and would also request that contributions be made in Mrs. O’s memory to her favorite place, the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, VT.
Condolences and cards may be sent to P.O Box 4393, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. Arrangements are under the care of Sayles Funeral Home, 525 Summer Street, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. Memories and condolences may also be shared privately at www.saylesfh.com