Labenski Funeral Home

107 Boswell Avenue, Norwich, CT


Irene Birdsey

June 8, 1933February 5, 2020

Irene Birdsey 87 of Preston, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Feb. 5, 2020 at Backus Hospital. Irene was born on June 18, 1932 in Norwich and was the daughter of the late Zygmant and Mary Sajkowicz. She was retired from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) but her greatest passion was attending the sporting / musical events and activities of her grandchildren. Her trunk always contained a foldup chair and she was a common sight arriving early to all events in order to get a good seat location. Whether it was T-Ball, high school Varsity sports, or school music performances she could always be counted on to be there as the kids #1 fan. When not cheering on her own grandchildren, she could be found watching the New England Patriots, her beloved UConn Lady Huskies as well as visiting Mohegan Sun to enjoy an occasional Connecticut Sun basketball game. She hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and family Sunday dinners and was especially known for her Galumpkis and pasta dinners as well as her one of a kind clam chowder and special vanilla frosting. She was also fond of visiting the casinos to enjoy some people watching, bingo or playing the penny slots. The family always knew when she had won something as she always shared her winnings, which is why she said she was so lucky there. As the Matriarch of her family, she was always there to provide an encouraging word, a place to stay, or a few dollars when things weren’t going your way. A strong and fiercely proud woman, her greatest legacy is the strength and independence she demonstrated in her own life and imparted on all those who knew her. She is survived by her Son Harry (Tony) Tessier and wife Bonnie, Daughter Linda Greene and husband David, Daughter Debra Przylucki and husband Bill, Daughter Tina Cross and husband Scott, Daughter Joann Kraemer and husband Kirk. Grandchildren: Melissa Skulczyck, Alicia Rizzuto, Erica Tessier, Brian Tessier, Jessica Pryzlucki, Justin Rizzuto, Michele Demicco (husband Brent), Joshua Wallace (wife Sarah), Brandi Boissonneault (husband Mitch) and Brock Kraemer. Great Grandchildren: Tywan Jenkins, Jazmyn Jenkins, Jacob Skulczyck, Evan Bresnan, Taylor Skulczyck, Alexis Fisher, Gavin Demicco, Jaxon Demicco, Logan Demicco, William Dunn, Elodie Boissonneault, Lucienne Boissonneault, Margaux Boissonneault and Addison Demicco. Great Great Grandchildren Jaiden Anniballini-Winston and Jakai Anniballini-Winston. Brothers: Ed Sajkowicz, Chet Sajkowicz, and Richie Sajkowicz. She was predeceased by: Granddaughter Jamie Wallace. Brothers: Ziggy, Johnny, Joe, and Bobby. Sisters: Stella, Ida, Blanche, Albina and Mary. Visitation will be Sunday Feb. 16, 2020 from 2-4 p.m. at the Labenski Funeral Home 107 Boswell Avenue Norwich. Please visit www.labenskifuneralhome.com to leave an online tribute or condolence.


  • Visitation Sunday, February 16, 2020


Irene Birdsey

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amy blanchard

February 18, 2020

Thinking of your family. Irene was a dear friend to my grandmother, Trudy King. I have many fond memories of her visits to our family camp in Vermont and playing Bingo with the two of them <3

Gail Reinhagen

February 16, 2020

Tony, Linda, Debra, Tina and Joann. You are all in my thoughts today as I recall wonderful childhood memories. My mom always spoke fondly of Aunt Irene and I remember a sweet loving Aunt. Sending heartfelt sympathy to all. Gail

Connie Kraemer

February 12, 2020

Dear Irene,
Thanks for softening the path to heaven for our mother and grandmother, Regina Bushnell. We’re forever grateful for your loving care.
The Bushnells and Kraemers

alicia rizzuto

February 11, 2020

you will be forever missed gram bird...there are no words to even describe the loss I feel. Please watch over all of us as you have always done. Love you always