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Wethersfield, CT 06109
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Mary Ann STECYK Obituary

STECYK, Mary Ann

Mary Ann Stecyk, 1921 to 2013 passed peacefully at Hartford Hospital on Thursday, (January 3, 2013) at the age of 91. Daughter of the late Nellie Kapshey and Michael Stecyk. Sister to Olga Stemmler and Anita Brown. Predeceased by her siblings Annie, Nellie, Johnny, Steve and Mike. Beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews in Canada and a wonderful friend to so many. Mary Ann was born in Kitchener, Ontario where she lived and worked as a nurse. She moved to Hartford Connecticut where she spent the majority of her professional career as an extremely dedicated employee of the City of Hartford. With the City of Hartford, she worked for the Parks and Recreation Aquatics Department as Head Life Guard for 38 years, from 1959 to 1997. It was here with the City of Hartford, and with her passion for the outdoors, movement and athletics, that she inspired, trained and touched the lives of countless numbers of youth and adults, aspiring swimmers and life guards, friends and athletes of all ages and abilities. Mary Ann cared very deeply for the City of Hartford's youth. She worked tirelessly as Head Life Guard to provide swimming training, invaluable life experiences and friendships amongst so many of us that will last a lifetime. Along with her swim instruction, Mary Ann found it of the upmost importance to create an environment where the pool was a place where her "children" could have fun and feel safe. She worked endlessly to create in each child a sense of belonging and self-worth. This was the child's place, a place for children to call 'home." Mary Ann was an extremely dedicated instructor for the American Red Cross in both Canada and Connecticut. With her expertise, she pioneered the teaching and certification of her vast student family. During her lifetime, Mary Ann provided countless swim lessons, Lifeguarding/Lifesaving trainings, Basic Water Safety Instruction, CPR and First Aide certification. Her credits also include great success as a synchronized swimming coach. She spent much time imparting her love for this "dance with the water" with so many of the Hartford based youth. Mary Ann's successful instruction and mentoring has led to the development of many of today's accomplished swimmers, coaches, police officers, firefighters, nurses, lawyers, teachers, business people and caring parents. For this we are forever grateful, thank you Mary Ann. Mary Ann's amazing accomplishments are not only limited to the City of Hartford but also to the Town of West Hartford at Cornerstone Aquatics Center and the many destinations she traveled during her lifetime. Wherever she went, Mary Ann could quickly be found by the pool or ocean side, bringing children together to teach them to swim, laugh, play and to be responsible for themselves and kind to one another. Mary Ann's affinity for athletics yielded her as a skillful golfer and faithful NY Yankee and UCONN fan. She'd never missed a game unless she was helping one of us. Her love for the outdoors and nature blossomed as she was an extremely beautiful artist, painting pictures on her palate of life's most beautiful scenes. She faithfully tended to her garden of roses, her beloved birds and nature's animals which brought her life's daily joy. Many thanks to her beloved family in Canada, her City of Hartford family and her dearly treasured and beloved friends from coast to coast. Mary Ann was a most kind and generous servant of the Lord. Her dedication to her life's mission as a teacher and beloved friend will be treasured by all of us as we forever hold her in our memory. She will be dearly missed by so many.
A celebration of her life will be held at Saint Augustine's Church, 10 Campfield Avenue in Hartford at 9 a.m. on Saturday January 26th. In lieu of flowers, donations to her memory can be made to Elizabeth Park Rose Garden Society, The Felician Sisters Society and the Connecticut Humane Society. The D'Esopo Funeral Chapel of Wethersfield is assisting with the funeral arrangements. For online expressions of sympathy please visit www.desopo.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Jan. 25, 2013
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