Award-winning housewife Stella Gill, 93, all the time places household first


Stella Julia Gill was an award successful housewife.

Folks got here for miles for his home made apple slices.

In 1979, she and her sisters have been featured within the Chicago Tribune to rejoice their conventional Polish delicacies – sausage and contemporary bread, pierogi and kruszcyzki, these fondant crullers her mom made each Christmas and Easter.

She gained ribbons for her ceramics and painted by hand pictures.

Neighbors usually stopped to admire her fastidiously chosen flower beds that surrounded the white nook home constructed by her late husband in East Hazel Crest the place she raised her three kids.

When somebody stopped for a go to, Stella fed them – even when they weren’t hungry.

Taking good care of individuals was finest for her.

Stella Gill died of issues from COVID-19 on March 11 on the group hospital in Munster, Indiana.

She was 93 years outdated.

“Oh, what pleasure. Oh, what love!”

Stella was the 14th baby of Polish immigrants, housewife and caterer Eva Urbanek Nawracaj and Stanley Nawracaj, who labored in a metal foundry.

She was born in Harvey on the day her father died, September 5, 1927.

Stella grew up within the one-story home her father constructed at 230 W. 147th St. on a big lot with a backyard surrounded by vines. There was a nicely water pump on the porch and an outhouse within the yard. Each Sunday that they had firm for contemporary bread and roast veal.

“Issues have been very troublesome for my mother and father,” Stella wrote in her diary.

She shared an attic room with two of her sisters, Kay Wszolek and the late Virginia Czajkowski. They slept three in a single mattress. At evening, her mom sang humorous Polish lullabies to them.

Stella graduated from eighth grade, skipped highschool, and went to work. Her first job was taking care of a 6 month outdated child lady for a younger working couple. She later acquired a shirt and trouser urgent and folding job at Hoekstra’s Uniform Laundry in South Holland.

And through World Warfare II, she ran printing presses at Perfection Gear Firm in Harvey. It was there that she rekindled a romance with Joseph Gill, a good-looking sailor. They first met at a celebration.

“Our eyes met and we knew we have been meant for one another. He touched my hand and I acquired goosebumps. Sam Martin wished to interrupt, and Joe informed him that I ‘was his – to go get his personal daughter, “Stella wrote in her diary. They dated for some time and broke up.

Once they acquired collectively at Perfection Gear Firm, Joe Gill took to his bowling alley. They stabilized and have been lastly married on November 8, 1947 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. She wore a white satin gown with an extended prepare. They’d a modest “honeymoon” – choosing corn within the discipline in entrance of the church.

“Oh, what pleasure. Oh, what love!” Stella wrote in her diary.

They lived in an condo of his in-laws on a stretch of Fisk Avenue in East Hazel Crest, populated solely by the Gill household. They known as him “Gill-ville”.

Joe Gill constructed a home on a nook lot, a marriage current from his mother and father. They moved in when just one bed room and the kitchen have been completed. They raised three kids there: Joanne “Bunny” Konkol, James Joseph Gill and Kathleen Rapsky.

Joe and Stella Gill with their daughter Joanne “Bunny” Konkol, born Easter Sunday, April 17, 1949. (Picture supplied by Mark Konkol)

Joe and Stella beloved to go dancing, watch soccer video games and play playing cards with buddies. They took street journeys to go to buddies in Wisconsin and their households in Pennsylvania. They vacationed in Las Vegas and California. After the youngsters have been born, they spent summer season weekends swimming, fishing and boating on the Wilmington Recreation Membership.

Joe Gill died of most cancers on June 9, 1975. He was 52 years outdated.

“I thank God for selecting Joe for my husband. Our marriage ceremony was made in Heaven,” Stella wrote. “After Joe died… I believed my world would finish. I missed him a lot. She prayed that God would ship her somebody who “wanted me as a lot as I wanted him.”

“I thank God for blessing me, twice.”

On June 26, 1976, Stella met Leonard Bylina at a avenue dance celebrating America’s Bicentennial. Bylina, a military veteran who survived the Normandy invasion labored for Jewel Meals for 50 years, was tall with broad shoulders and slicked again hair.

On October 1, 1977, they have been married at St. Anne’s Catholic Church.

“Len is variety and really beneficiant. He isn’t good however neither am I. He does loads for me. Greater than me for him. I really like him and I do know he loves me. He reveals me good issues. manners. He’s. good for me. He by no means says no to me. Typically I might have appreciated him to do it. He lets me do what I would like, “she wrote in her diary.” Thanks. God for sending me a person who revered me and who loves me. “

Stella and Leonard Bylina have been married on October 1, 1977 (photograph supplied by Mark Konkol)

When Stella wished to open a ceramics workshop within the basement, Bylina purchased her two kilns, lined the partitions with cabinets to retailer pottery and paint, and arrange lengthy tables the place Stella painted statues and a taught his household, buddies and neighbors to do the identical.

Considered one of Stella’s most treasured accomplishments was the restoration of iconic statues at St. John’s Catholic Church in Harvey.

Stella Gill restored statues for St. John’s Catholic Church in Harvey. (Picture supplied by Mark Konkol)

Stella sang within the choir of St. Anne’s and St. John’s Catholic church buildings. She was a member of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, was president of the East Hazel Crest Homemakers Extension Affiliation, and was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for over 30 years.

Stella beloved to journey and visited 48 states, together with Hawaii, on a particular journey with Joe Gill to rejoice their twenty fifth marriage ceremony anniversary. Stella sailed the Caribbean together with her second husband Leonard Bylina on their honeymoon.

After Bylina retired, they crisscrossed America in station wagons and conversion vans, generally accompanied by her grandchildren, Mark Konkol and Michelle Liguras. A number of occasions, Stella’s sister Kay, her late husband Joe Wszloek, and their sons Eddie and Jeff additionally traveled with them.

In 2000, Stella and Leonard launched into an epic street journey by Texas and California to Oregon, the place they visited her sister and husband, Helen and Ed Neimiec. On the best way house, Bylina fell unwell. He was recognized with liver most cancers and died on October 11, 2000.

Sisters Stella Gill, Kay Wszolek and Helen Neimic. (Picture supplied by Mark Konkol)

“God gave me two fantastic males to like, they usually beloved me. He gave me Joe for 27 years and Leonard 23,” Stella wrote in her diary. “” I gave them each again to the Lord. … I thank God for blessing me, twice. “

Stella married a 3rd time in 2005. It was no blessing. She divorced and altered her final identify to Gill.

Stella lived in the home Joe Gill constructed till 2018.

She moved to a small condo in Lansing reverse her daughter, Kathy Rapsky.

The transfer helped Stella keep away from the “outdated man’s home” and keep her independence. She even negotiated a $ 50 discount in her lease. When the age slowed down Stella, Kathy was cooking and caring for her.

Stella Gill is survived by two sisters, Kay Wszolek and Helen Neimiec, her kids, Joanne (Michael) Konkol, James (Carol) Gill and Kathleen (Mike) Rapsky, grandchildren Mark Konkol, Michelle (Nick) Liguras and Susan Rapsky , Lauren (Scott) Hutchinson, Jamie (Tom) Ard, Carly (Joe) Goerdt, Joe (Christina) Gill and 14 great-grandchildren.

The go to is scheduled for March 17 on the Hickey Memorial Chapel, 4201 W. 147th St. in Midlothian. A funeral mass might be celebrated at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, 4130 W. 147th Road in Midlothian. Interment might be personal.

In lieu of flowers, donations could be appreciated to one of many following charities: Ronald McDonald Home, Innermission Inc. and Restoration Ministries.



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