In Loving Memory of Lucy Czechowski
May 30, 1927 – Septemeber 2, 2018
The butterfly emerges
from its silken shell-
Reborn, it arises,
no longer bound to earth.
Free at last, the butterfly glides
to heights unknown before.
So do our loved ones find
a beautiful release
as earthbound no more,
they leave our site and joyfully arise
to a garden of matchless beauty,
a place of light and peace.
– Evelyn Phillips
It is with sadness and a loving heart we bid farewell to our dear friend Lucy on the early morning of September second.
Lucy was a dear friend to many. Lynn Hoffman, Lucy’s friend for 24 years, remembers the very first day they met.
“My first day of work at Elm Street Residental, I met a tiny little woman who was quite unique! Lucy liked me immediately because at that time I was also a tiny woman with light blonde hair. She always told me I reminded her of her Mom. Every week she would wait for me in the driveway to arrive from work. Her greeting was always the same, ‘Where are we going and where is my money.’ 🙂 She loved me with all her heart and I soon loved Lucy with all of mine for she was determined that I would love her back.
At that time Lucy was already a senior citizen and received her fixed income monthly. She budgeted her money to include shopping on Tuesday because it was senior day and set her hair cutting schedule on a senior day as well. Lucy loved beautiful clothing and enjoyed dressing up. She dressed up for Sunday church and was a member of the United Ministry in Delhi where she asked to be baptized. She went to The Arc bible study classes and participated in Woman Open Circle Group.
Lucy volunteered her time folding church bulletins on Friday morning with her friend Doreen. Oh, how she loved Doreen too! She inspired everyone to start going to bingo at The American Legion on Wednesday evenings. All of her friends still go to this day.
Lucy started going to Senior meals Wednesday in Walton and in this way also inspired others to go. From this, a beloved outing to senior meals was born. Lucy loved senior movie day as well.
Travel was one of her most favorite things to do. Lucy went on many vacations and day trips through Eastern Travel. Once again, through inspiring her friends to go, Lucy started a trend. Soon the agency started using Tulip Travel to meet the desire of everyone to take trips and have exciting experiences.
Lucy touched the lives of many and had so many friends. Many years ago she volunteered at The Infirmary and visited with her friend, Daisy May. After Daisy May passed, Lucy continued her visits along with friends Doris and Corrine.
This special relationship we had soon made Lucy “part of the family”. She watched my children grow and then my grandchildren. My mother-in-law was Lucy’s advocate and a huge part of both Lucy’s life and her companion John’s life. She spent every Christmas at their home and with my family.
The other loves of Lucy’s life were Chuck and Vinny. If you had blonde hair and blue eyes you were an immediate favorite. To this day, it is hard for me to comprehend just how much Lucy loved me. Lucy’s desire to be active in the community meant we went on these outings together a lot. In the early years we both felt the pain of the common misunderstandings with the I/DD community but over time, people came to know us and acceptance grew. This was Lucy’s greatest accomplishment. She loved and taught others to love. I tell everyone that Lucy is an angel. It is what she was here to teach us that was so special. She accepted me for myself with all of my imperfections but in her eyes, I was more than enough. I was perfectly imperfect. To Lucy, none of it mattered. Just take me out and let’s go on vacation!”
Kaitlyn worked supporting Lucy in her home at Mt. Pleasant. She shares that she had the absolute pleasure of supporting Lucy on her outing to the Delaware County Fair. “Lucy was all smiles during each visit to the fair. They would go down for lunch and Lucy would always order her favorite things. She loved the commercial tent, regularly looking for a polo shirt and jewelry. This year, Lucy purchased several pieces that she wore as soon as she purchased them. Then she wanted to end the day with vanilla ice-cream, her favorite treat. Lucy loved to see the farm animals and watch the little kids riding rides. Lucy talked about the fair year round and always looked forward to it in August. Lucy will be greatly missed by so many!”
Chuck and Mary Cardillo were close friends of Lucy for almost 20 years. She was a part of the family, Chuck writes. “Lucy was very talented. She enjoyed doing arts and crafts and making greeting cards for people. She also loved sewing and
crocheting with her fingers without using needles as well as making her dolls and pillows. Lucy enjoyed going out to eat, especially at McDonald’s although her favorite food was spaghetti and meatballs.” When Chuck thinks of Lucy, her passion for looking nice also comes to mind, “She enjoyed getting her hair and nails done. Lucy was a part of our family for almost 20 years. She visited me almost every Wednesday to have tea and donuts. She looked forward to seeing our son, who she called, ‘The Boy’ and our cat, Shadow, as well as the kids my wife took care of.” Chuck adds, “Lucy had many hardships in her earlier days but they were erased when she became a part of The Arc family. Lucy was one of a kind with a heart of gold!!!!!!”
Margaret Condon shares many of the same things Lucy was affectionately known for, her favorite lunch choices from McDonalds, her love for their “yellow cookies”, her love of dinner out and spaghetti and meatballs from Gramma D’s or Danny’s, her passion for looking nice and having her hair and nails done and of course, some of Lucy’s dear friends, Vinny, Lynn, Chuck, Mary and “The Boy” and, “according to Lucy, you could never have too much Cool Whip on anything. 🙂 Margaret adds a few more details highlighting the special and dear person Lucy was to many. “She enjoyed playing Connect 4, helping around her home and watching old movies. She enjoyed parties, especially those for her. For Lucy, it was the number of gifts to open, not the gift itself because she so enjoyed the excitement of opening the item. If you told Lucy you liked something, she would offer it to you to make it your own. <3 ”
Margaret adds, “For several years now Lucy has attended the annual Condon Thanksgiving Eve Soup Supper at our home with friends and family. We all looked forward to her attending and around October of each year, she would remind me that it was coming up. Lucy would then remind me she liked apple pie and always had soup and pie when she arrived at our home. She will be missed by everyone this year!
Lucy had a soft spot for her friend Jacob and enjoyed giving him “grandma kisses” on the cheek and she loved being tucked into bed each night and kissed goodnight by the staff that cared for her.”
In our lives, we are blessed to meet a handful of people who truly are angels in disguise. Lucy was that for many, bringing and teaching love just by being her amazing self. It is with a sad heart we say goodbye.
God Speed, dear Lucy! You will always be near to us and in our hearts.