May 2, 1925 – September 28, 2020
Stella Kodrzycki of Hyannis died peacefully on Monday, September 28 at the age of 95. She was the beloved wife of John (Janek) Kodrzycki who passed away in 2012, and with whom she shared 61 years of loving marriage. She was known as Stasia or Pani Stasia to her many Polish friends and as Babcia to her son-in-law and grandchildren. Born in Lohiszyn, Poland, she was the daughter of the late Maciej and Maria Suchenicki.
World War II left Stella with lasting scars. Following the invasion of Poland by the Soviet army, Stella and her family were deported in February 1940 to a labor camp in Siberia where they lived under extremely difficult conditions until being freed according to the terms of the July 1941 Sikorsky-Majski agreement. All told, it is estimated that over 1.2 million innocent Poles suffered a similar fate; many did not survive the War.
Stella was only 16 years old when she was separated from her family and had to make her way in the world all alone. By pretending to be 18, she was able to join the Women’s Auxiliary Service in the army of Polish General Wladyslaw Anders who served under Allied command for the duration of the War. Among her early responsibilities, Stella cared for a large number of Polish war orphans who were evacuated from present-day Turkmenistan, crossing the Caspian Sea and landing in Iran. Later, she was put in charge of a unit of Polish women soldiers who provided support for the Polish troops involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino and the liberation of Rome. Deprived of a proper education as a result of the War, Stella was able to complete her secondary school studies at a girls’ school established by General Anders in Porto San Giorgio, Italy.
Stella spent the rest of her life trying to put the tragedies of her teenage years behind her while staying true to her Polish heritage. She emigrated to Manchester, England, where she met and married her beloved husband, John. Following the birth of their daughter Yolanda (Jola), Stella and John emigrated in 1958 to Boston, where their son Robert was born. They moved to Cape Cod as they were approaching retirement.
Stella was a devoted mother and homemaker. She placed a great emphasis on the value of education; as a result, both Yolanda and Robert graduated from college and went on to earn PhDs. She was known for always having home-baked treats on hand for visitors and for her children to share with their friends. She took great pleasure in tastefully decorating her Cape Cod home with John’s artwork and mementos of their life and travels together. She delighted in observing nature in her garden. She enjoyed reading histories and memoirs in both Polish and English. She achieved her fervent wish to continue living independently in her beloved home while graciously welcoming friends and family, visitors, and all those who helped her in her later years.
She is survived by her children, Yolanda Kodrzycki of Cambridge, MA and Robert Kodrzycki of Summerville, SC; three grandchildren, Roger Kodrzycki and Allison Thies of South Carolina, and Eleanor Moriearty of Boston; and two great granddaughters. She also leaves behind her son-in-law Scott Moriearty; her daughter-in-law Elizabeth (Betty) Kodrzycki; Allison’s husband Luke; and her sister Jean Androschuk and her family of Alberta, Canada.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Church South Street Hyannis, followed by interment at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Centerville. Stella’s family respectfully requests that all attendees wear face masks and follow social distancing protocols in order to guard against the spread of COVID. Gifts in her memory may be made to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. For online condolences, please visit www.doanebealameshyannis.com.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
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October 9, 2020
Thank you, Babcia, for always offering a warm hug, a big smile, and loving hospitality for your South Carolina grandchildren. You will be missed!
October 1, 2020
This is very sad for us. Mrs. Kodrzycki was very special to us. I will always remember her recounting her family history during the war. I will forever be grateful that I knew Mrs. Kodrzycki.