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152 Worcester Street
PO Box 75
North Grafton, MA 01536
Phone: (508) 839-4491
Fax:
About An Amazing Life|Help

Theresa F.
Pogorzelski

January 4, 1931 – August 22, 2020

Theresa Pogorzelski
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Memorial Candles Lit for Theresa | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Roney Funeral Home

Obituary for Theresa F. Pogorzelski

GRAFON: Theresa F. (Bowento) Pogorzelski, 89, a longtime Grafton resident, died peacefully on Saturday, August 22, 2020 in UMASS Memorial Medical Center, after a long illness.


She is survived by a son, Daniel J Pogorzelsi and his wife Robin, a daughter, Paula F. Pogorzelski, a grandson, Eric J. Pogorzelski, all of Grafton, granddaughters Vicki wife of Jake McGovern of Sutton and Jennifer, wife of Anthony Rienzo of Uxbridge and great grandchildren Bradley and Dustin McGovern of Sutton and Bella Rienzo of Uxbridge. She also leaves her beloved cat, Delilah.


She leaves two sisters-in-law, Genevieve (Pogorzelski) Starr of Dartmouth and Ann Pogorzelski of Millbury as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.


Theresa was predeceased by her husband, Francis M. Pogorzelski (1998) and three daughters, Karen (1953), Joyce (1956) and Judith (1995).


She was born and raised in Worcester, the daughter of the late Barbara J. (Stelmach) and Frank A. Bowento (Benvenuto). Paternal grandparents were Natale and Annunziata (Viteritti) Benvenuto, also of Worcester. Maternal grandparents were Joseph and Barbara (Pyra) Stelmach of Dudley. Because her parents worked, Theresa spent a lot of time with both grandmothers and often credited them along with her mother with teaching her the delicious Polish and Italian ethnic cooking that the rest of us benefited from – though she and her Bowento cousins often lamented that “Big Nanny” took the secret of her beloved meatballs to her grave.


After graduating from Classical High School in 1948, she went on to attend nursing school at Memorial Hospital. But once she and Frank decided to marry, she left school and began work at State Mutual Insurance . After raising a family and working several other jobs (Keith Hill Nursing Home, Chase Paper and Tile International) she continued along that insurance career path at Paul Revere Insurance from where she, like her husband, retired.


Theresa met her husband Frank while both were still in high school. He asked her to dance on a dare following a St John’s vs St Mary’s basketball game. Post dance he asked her what she thought of the game to which she remarked that the best team won (St John’s) – a response she later regretted because as he turned to walk away she caught sight of his St Mary’s Varsity jacket. She doubted that she’d see him again. But about a month later their paths crossed. When she went to Vernon Drug to pick up a Rx for her mom, a voice on the other side of the counter greeted her with ”Still rooting for St John’s?” And the rest, as they say, is history.


They were married on Patriot’s Day 1949 and moved their family from Worcester to Grafton about 60 years ago. Although she was a full time homemaker when her children were younger, she still found time to give back to her community as a Cub Scout Den Mother and through her church, St Phillips. She served as an officer of the parish Women’s Club for several years. While president Theresa organized monthly Bingo games for patients at the former Grafton State Hospital. Even though the prizes were only simple items like HBA goods and candy, the patients loved the games, home baked treats and the good company that the parish ladies brought them.


Theresa was an avid reader and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles and Soduko. She also excelled at sewing and knitting. As she became more housebound, she knit many baby hats and blankets for preemies at St Vincent Hospital’s neonatal area and was recognized by their Volunteer Services for her hundreds of hours of contributions.


With her family surname being Benvenuto which translates to welcome it seemed like Theresa was destined to be a great hostess – which was a good thing given the many contacts Frank made in his sport of racing homing pigeons. Fanciers from every walk of life and from near and far (throughout US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia) were warmly welcomed to her kitchen table with her great hot coffee and homemade treats.


Once their kids were grown, Theresa and Frank were able to spend time together deep sea fishing on their boat the ‘Gone Fishin’ and taking short trips with their friends the Sowas from Fairhaven. While her daughter, Paula was living in the Pacific Northwest, Theresa was able to visit there and include a side trip to Vancouver, B.C. She also visited Las Vegas, Orlando and several other areas of Canada.


Those who knew Theresa know that she would want us all to take every precaution to stay safe during the pandemic. So funeral and burial were limited to immediate family. But her family hopes that by this time next year things will have improved enough that they can honor her passing with a first anniversary mass followed by a social gathering for friends and relatives. Please let us know if you would like to be included in those plans by so posting here.


Meanwhile something you can do to honor Theresa is to exercise your right to vote. As she began to have mobility issues which made it difficult for her to vote in person at the polls, she faithfully voted by absentee ballot. The importance of voting is a legacy which she, her husband and parents entrusted to her children and grandchildren. As her dad Frank would always say “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.”
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