Jane E. Stelmach, 76, a lifelong resident of the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning, Jan. 16, 2021, at her home.
Born on Sept. 15, 1944, at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, Jane was the daughter of the late Walter and Mary (Pirowski) Stelmach. She was also predeceased by her twin brother, John W. Stelmach, a member of the Fredonia Police Department.
Miss. Stelmach was a graduate of the Dunkirk High School, class of 1962. She later also graduated from Jamestown Business College.
Jane was a former employee of the Red Wing Co., Inc. She loved helping people, and found her calling in the home healthcare field. Her former employers included Brooks Memorial Home Care, Visiting Nurses Home Care, and Chautauqua Opportunities Home Care Services. She was honored several times as “Employee of the Month” by her employers, and was the recipient of “Employee of the Year” for Brooks Memorial Home Care and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. She also had several private clients in the local area. She truly loved this work, and found it fulfilling to help people get better, so they could return to their daily routines.
Jane was an avid reader. She would frequent the library to take out books. She had numerous favorite authors, including John Grisham. Crossword puzzles, adult coloring books, and word finds entertained her.
Jane’s Catholic faith was of special importance to her. For most of her life, she was a member of St. Hedwig’s Parish, now Blessed Mary Angela Parish. Because of her Fredonia residence, she also found St. Joseph’s Church her home for many years.
Jane loved watching animals in nature, especially the birds. She spent hours with her brother’s puppies: Phineas and Sophie, while sitting on the patio, watching what was happening in the backyard. The dogs loved the attention, the treats too.
She also shared her Polish heritage with her family. During the holidays she would make bobka, pierogies, and share the oplatek, Christmas wafer. She often delivered these Polish treats to her family and friends. If you were lucky, she shared recipes and even taught you how to make them.
Jane was a dear family member and friend to many. She enjoyed spending holidays, birthdays, and picnics with her family. She played cards and games with her great- nieces and great-nephews. She taught the great-nieces how to sew, and baked yummy cookies and desserts for the children. She was a great listener. Always thinking of others, she sent cards and packages to brighten one’s day. She was called “Aunt Janie” by many. Everybody loved her!
Survivors include her brothers: James A. Stelmach (companion, Freida Heckman) of Cleveland, N,Y, and William J. Stelmach (Kathleen), Fredonia, N,Y,; four nieces: Michelle Hughes of Pulaski, N.Y., Amy Palmatier (David) of Dunkirk, N.Y., Mary Benchley, Buffalo, N.Y., and Katie Stelmach, Arvada, Colo.; three great-nephews, P. Kyle Hughes, Lukas Benchley and Myles Benchley; two great- nieces: Quinn Benchley and Reese Benchley; and several cousins.
A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date at St. Joseph’s Church in Fredonia, and burial will take place at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jane’s memory, can be made to Lakeshore Humane Society, 431 E. Chestnut St., Dunkirk, NY 14048.
Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.