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