Obit: Pazen, Maria (1921 - 2010) 

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Pazen, Lesiuk, Bajak, Witt, Cray, Young, Lightfoot, Arlan, Hitchens, Pace 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) June 9, 2010 

Pazen, Maria (4 May 1921 - 31 May 2010) 

Maria Pazen, 89, of Hatfield, formerly of Chicago, IL, died Monday, May 31, 2010, following a brief illness, in the Pine View Care Center in Black River Falls. 

Maria was born May 4, 1921, in Poland, the daughter of a humble, but secure farming family. She would often reminisce and share with others the stories of her eventful life.  Limited to a third-grade education, she would help with farm chores and milking the cows.  She recalled her benevolent parents sharing their produce of milk, cheese and other produce with the less fortunate and her father, the local barber, ‘bartering’ for haircuts. 

At the age of 20, she was kidnapped by the Nazis and forced to work in various details including a bakery, farms and camps.  During World War II, in December of 1944, her first husband was tragically killed in a bombing raid.  In 1950, she met and later married her second husband, employed by the local embassy.  They immigrated to the United States and arrived in New York in 1951. 

With the help of their sponsors, they eventually found work and settled in Chicago.  After a brief battle with cancer, her second husband passed away in 1953. 

Maria raised her two children, Paul and Eugenia, while employed as a housekeeper for several local doctors and the local Catholic Parish rectory. 

The children were adopted in kind by the same doctors, priest and nuns.  

Sixteen years later, she married her third husband, a widower and veteran. They raised his five children and enjoyed several years in Chicago.  In the late 1980s they moved to the Hatfield area of Wisconsin.  Her third spouse passed away in 1996, and Maria continued to live in her home until she succumbed to illness in mid-May of 2010. 

Maria was known as a great cook, and often entertained family and friends, with a bountiful buffet.  She was an avid gardener and knitter and often gave away tokens of her crafts to family and friends.  She loved animals and had several pets that she nurtured until their deaths.  She also liked to play solitaire, watch TV , and polka. She was a devout Catholic and would attend mass whenever possible, always kneeling with humble reverence. 

She was the beloved mother of her surviving son, Paul (Joan) Lesiuk, Chicago, IL; her three grandchildren, Sally (Rudy) Bajak, Paul Jr. (Annette) Lesiuk, and Cindy (Jeff) Witt; and her six great-grandchildren. She was the beloved mother and heroine of her surviving daughter, Eugenia (Cliff) Cray (formerly Young), and her three grandchildren, Eric (Megan) Young, Kurt (Carolyn) Young, Adam (Jamie Lightfoot) Young, and her six great-grandchildren. She was also the endeared step-mother to her late (third) husband and his five children, and is survived by Thea (Alan) Arlan, Melissa (Steve) Hitchens, Jim (Angela) Pazen, Jeff (Anne) Pazen, Tom (Joann) Pazen, and seven more great-grandchildren. 

Maria would often speak of her life as that of a dandelion seed blown here and there, taking and living the life  given to her, because "life is too short" as she would say.  You could never leave her home without a hug and a kiss and a bribe to "take a couple cookies".  As you would leave she would always say, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"  She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. 

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, June 11, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Black River Falls.  Rev. Woodrow H. Pace from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Neillsville will conduct services.  Burial will be at a later date in Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, IL. Relatives and friends may call at the church Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services. 

Torgerson’s Funeral Service, 715 - 284-4321, of Black River Falls is assisting the family with arrangements. 



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