Last Tuesday we attended a Mass of the Resurrection and memorial service for Jessie Chudzik (nee Olbert).
Jessie and her husband Walter, who was an ordained deacon, were very active in our parish. As Father Mike Koryluk said at Mass, "You looked at Walter, you saw Jessie. You looked at Jessie, you saw Walter."
We first met Jessie 22 years ago. She went out of her way to make newcomers to St. Peter's Parish feel welcome. Paul had volunteered to help at the parish's Bingo game. Jessie came over and said, "You must be Paul" and gave him a very firm handshake. We were grateful to her for welcoming us and impressed by her taking the time to notice newcomers.
Jessie's approach to life was expressed in her obituary
Jessie's lifelong fidelity to God and to her Church prompted her to share her time and gifts in so many ways.
That she did through her devotion to her daughters Josephine and Elizabeth and her extended family, and also her work with the Catholic Women's League. She and Jean Keating were founding members of St. Peter's C.W.L.
Jessie and Walter also volunteered at nursing homes, and were active in several capacities in Polish "Sokol" C.P.A.C. club. They also were host and hostess for the Folklorama pavilion for many years.
Jessie loved music and sang in the parish's choir. She also loved nurturing house plants and continued crocheting, knitting, sewing, reading and attending the opera until her vision failed.
Last week I mentioned that we've learned a lot over the past year. Some things we had thought were important, aren't. Some things we took for granted we now realize are very important. Things like God, family, our parish community, friends.
Jessie's life was very well lived. She always stayed focused on what was important.
Thank you, Jessie.