What makes a person special? Their parents? Spouse? Children? Faith? Work? Achievements? Service? All of these helped to make Mildred Kolodziej special, but it is her very soul that endures and made her shine so bright.
Concluding a long and fulfilling 81 years of life, sixty of which were spent with the love of her life, Mildred "Millie" (Thurn) Kolodziej passed away on June 22, 2013 at Brooks Memorial Hospital, with family surrounding her.
Millie was a lifelong resident of Fredonia, born May 13, 1932 on Norton Place, graduating from elementary, Fredonia High School Class of 1950, and SUNY Fredonia in music.
Mildred J. Kolodziej
It was also here that she met, married and, together with her beloved husband Robert, raised their eight children.
Millie and Bob traveled throughout the United States, creating unforgettable memories and experiences with their children, explored Alaska, parts of Europe and Island destinations, but her favorite views were of Lake Erie sunsets.
As a devout and spirit-filled Roman Catholic, Millie was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Church, an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, taught and was director of St. Joseph's religious education program, and for many years hosted an annual summer Bible Camp for local youth.
Millie filled many of her days actively playing a part in her children's activities, including Girl Scouts, horse shows, swim team, pageants, recitals, modeling classes, caring for a multitude of pets, hot chocolate at Cockaigne and camping trips. She also was a Meals on Wheels and Brooks Memorial Hospital volunteer for many years.
Surviving are her husband, Robert and all eight of her children, Mary Kolodziej Dolan of Fredonia and her children Kelly, Brian and Sean; Julia Kolodziej Grissom of Lake Conroe, Texas and her children, Austin, Aaron and Alexander; Kathy Pannicucci of Lakewood, Colorado and her husband Alan; Bob Kolodziej of Plano, Texas, and his wife Susan and daughter Stephanie Grace; Steve Kolodziej of Houston, Texas and his wife Debbie Nevinger; Terry Hannum of South Kortright, New York and her husband John and sons Will and Nick; Roger Kolodziej of Corvallis, Oregon and his wife Nell and children Lauren and Alexander; and David Koloziej of Arvada, Colorado and his wife Anna and daughter Alexandra. Also surviving Millie is her sister, Julia Keller of Fredonia.
Millie was predeceased by her parents, Henry and Margret Thurn; brothers John and Henry; and sisters Mary, Peggy Persch and Katherine Beck.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated Thursday morning at 11 o'clock in St. Joseph Church. Calling hours will be held Thursday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in St. Joseph Church. Memorials may be made to the Rosary and Altar Society of St. Joseph Church in Fredonia. Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.