Stefania Bucierka (Zamojska), age 95 of Westfield, passed away on Sunday, June 27, 2021 in her home in Westfield surrounded by loved ones. She was born on April 26, 1926 in Zhnyborody, Poland to Anthony (Zamojski) and Anna (Zamojska). The oldest of seven brothers and sisters, her early years were spent working on her family‘s hemp farm until they were all forcibly moved to Germany to work as slave labor on German farms.
After surviving the Nazi occupation, Stefania met John (Iwan) Bucierka and they were married in Leutkirch, Germany. They were together for over seventy years. In 1951, Stefania and John moved their small family to America and were given a fifty dollar loan to get started. Neither of them spoke English, but they taught themselves and adapted quickly to their new lives in Chicago.
Stefania worked for a short time at Zenith Electronics before she took on a larger role in the community, volunteering at Saint Josephs, the Ukrainian Catholic church, cooking and baking traditional dishes with fellow Ukrainian women. Her volunteer portfolio also extended to the Salvation Army.
Stefania‘s passions included needlepointing Ukrainian embroidery, cooking, baking, canning, pickling, gardening, and loving her family and friends. She could spot desirable plants and mushrooms from a mile away and wouldn’t hesitate to pull the car over for an impromptu mushroom hunt. You would never leave her house with an empty belly or bare arms. Always ready to feed an army, and never being without a full stock of jellies and pickles, it seemed like her life mission was to ensure that all people who came through her door were cared for and happy.
While raising their family Stefania and John would routinely travel to Westfield to visit their close family friends and would help on their farms and enjoy each other‘s company. And so, in 2005, they made the decision to move to Westfield from Chicago to be closer to family. Stefania continued to provide delicious Polish and Ukrainian delicacies as well as a loving space and gripping conversation about her life experience for the remainder of her life.
Stefania was preceded in death by her parents, all of her siblings and her beloved husband John Bucierka. Survivors include her children, Michael, Mary (Reb) Meinke, and Steven (Cindy) Bucierka; nine grandchildren, Tina Bucierka, Angie (Paul) Rutledge, Lisa (John) Roub, Rodney (Bridget) Meinke, Ben Meinke, Lauren and Aly Bucierka, Tammy (Brian) Marshall, and Troy Meinke; many great grandchildren and great great grandchildren as well as numerous relatives and friends in both America in Poland.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:45 a.m. at Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home in Westfield.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Stefania will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2021 at 12:00 noon at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Westfield with Father Savio Yerasani officiating. Burial will be in Westfield East Cemetery.
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