Stella (Stephanie) Polonis, of Easthampton, Massachusetts passed away quietly at Elaine Nursing Home in Hadley on Monday May 11, 2020 at the age of 101. She survived her husband Stanley Polonis by 40 years. Stephanie was the eldest and last surviving child of Stephan Benedysiuk and Frances (Florczyk) Benedysiuk.
Stella spent a career in the Pleasant Street Easthampton garment trade as a seamstress. Her final employer was LesnowManufacturing. She received a small monthly stipend for life from the US government who knowingly moved that industry to Asia causing her unemployment and short-lived retirement.
Soon after, Stella found employment as a lunch matron for the Easthampton School Department. She served meals, lunch and then also breakfast, at the former Parsons Street Elementary School. Ironically, she attended Parsons as a child, growing up on Exeter Street and the former Czelushniak Apartments on Parson Street before moving to Clinton Street in the late 1940s.
Stella was a long-time member of many organizations in Easthampton. She received a Citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2004 for her years of service to the American Legion and its Dalton-Lavallee Post 224 signed by Speaker Tom Finneran and Representative John Scibak.
Stella valued her forty-year membership in the Easthampton Pulaski Club, enjoying their annual meetings until she was no longer ambulatory.
Stella was a member of Sacred Heart Church until it was closed by the Sprinfield Bishop. She was a member of the Rosary Sodality, saying the rosary daily until her death. While her sons attended Sacred Heart School she was an active member of the Sacred Heart PTA.
Stella is survived by her twin sons, Daniel of Northampton Care One and Donald of Easthampton. She is also survived by her granddaughter Missy (Melissa) Polonis of Sunderland. Stella is also survived by her grandson Timothy Polonis and his spouse Katie Engerman with their children (Stella’s great-grandchildren) Patrick, Madelynn, Ava, and Joseph. Stella was predeceased by her parents, husband, daughter in-law Patricia (Yarra) Polonis, and great grandson TJ. Pat and TJ are buried in the Donald Polonis burial plot at East Street Cemetery.
A graveside burial service was held at St Stanislaus Cemetery in Easthampton. Boucher – O’Brien Funeral Home in Eastampton was in charge of arrangements. A memorial Mass will be announced at a later date.