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Joan Zukowski


1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Joan Zukowski Obituary
Joan W. Zukowski

1932 - 2016 Joan W. Zukowski, beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, died on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, at the age of 84. She was born in Greenfield, MA on February 19th, 1932. She was the cherished daughter of Donald and Esther Morgan Williams and step-daughter of George M. Leonard. She attended elementary school in Northfield, MA, graduated from the Northfield School for Girls in 1949, and received her Bachelor's degree from Framingham State Teachers College in 1953. Mrs. Zukowski loved to cook and sew, and she shared these talents with youngsters across Western Massachusetts. She first came to Lee, MA in September 1953, when she was appointed to a position at Lee High School teaching Household Arts. She taught there for three years. She then worked as a 4-H Club Agent in Hampden County MA for three years supporting 4-H clubs and county fairs and cooking and sewing demonstrations across the county. She returned to teaching in 1960 serving first in the Springfield School system and then returning to the Lee School system in 1962. She selflessly taught home economics to junior high students for 28 years, until her retirement in 1990. Some students will remember Mrs. Zukowski's "mimeograph textbook" a book she developed and printed herself as there were no "formal" home economics curricula available for teachers to use in those days. Other students will remember the theater style fashion shows she wrote and directed enabling students to demonstrate their acting talents as well as their sewing skills at the end of the year. Still other students will remember the wonderful smells wafting through the basement of the old Lee Central School during cookie baking week. Upon retirement from teaching, Mrs. Zukowski was busier than ever. She often traveled to visit her daughter and her family, and she routinely baby-sat for her son and his family - lovingly watching her precious grand-daughters grow and change. She discovered the joy of counted cross-stitch and spent countless hours creating beautiful pieces for her family and friends. She enjoyed attending all types of shows - especially the many different shows presented by the students from St. Mary's School and from the Lee Schools. Mrs. Zukowski was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Lee. Following her retirement, she devoted countless volunteer hours to support the church and its ministries. Until recently, she rarely missed a Sunday church service. She loved music ministry she sang in the church choir, served on the church's music committee, and supported the restoration of the church's beautiful old Hook & Hastings pipe organ. She was an integral member of the church's Save Our Steeple committee, which restored the church's 195 foot wooden pegged post-and-beam steeple to its former glory. She was a "Loaves and Fishes" team leader for several years, serving the county's hungry. She participated in the church's Prayer Shawl ministry knitting warm, soft shawls for those experiencing difficult times. She assisted with the annual Holiday Bazaar - cross-stitching beautiful Christmas themed pictures to be raffled off at the event to raise more funds for her beloved church. Mrs. Zukowski was an avid fan of whatever sports her husband or her children or her grandchildren were active in. She graced many football, soccer, basketball, baseball, soccer, and cross-country stands through the years cheering her family's teams on. She opened her home every Friday evening of football season in the 1960s so that her husband, Coach Henry "Hank" Zukowski, and the Lee High School football team could watch film reels of previous games and plan strategy for the next day's gridiron contest. She served as the official scorer for the Lee Babe Ruth League during the years her husband and son were involved in the league. She often met her husband while he played rounds of golf at Greenock Country Club checking on his progress to figure out when to serve dinner. In April 1992, Mrs. Zukowski waited at the finish line with pride as "Mr. Z," at the young age of 66, successfully completed the Boston Marathon. She was a particularly devoted Boston Red Sox fan never a fair weather fan, she remained a staunch supporter through the many ups and many downs of the team over the years. Above all, Mrs. Zukowski loved her family. She is survived by her daughter Colonel (retired) Laura and her husband Jeff Martin, her son Donald and his wife Kristina Curtis Zukowski, and six granddaughters: Sarah, Rebecca and Cara Martin; and Morgan, Emelia, and Sophie Zukowski. She leaves behind two loving sisters Gail Leonard Taylor of Roscoe IL and Susan Leonard Miller of Hollis NH. FUNERAL NOTICE: Visiting hours will be held at Kelly's Funeral Home in Lee on Friday, July 15th from 4-7 PM. A funeral will be held at the First Congregational Church in Lee on Saturday, July 16th at 10 AM. A reception will immediately follow the service at Greenock Country Club - all are welcome. Internment at St Mary's cemetery will be conducted at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Henry T. Zukowski scholarship fund, in care of Kelly's Funeral Home. If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures please visit our web site at www.kellyfuneralhome.net
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on July 6, 2016
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