Genevieve E. Witkowski

Obituary
2 entries | 1 photo
  • "My dear aunt and godmother was so important to me in my..."
    - Paula Gilbert Gray
  • "A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman, my Godmother,..."
    - Jeannie Swartz O'Donnell
The Guest Book is expired.

Genevieve "Genie" Swartz Witkowski, 90, of Wilkes-Barre, went home to the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, at Celtic Hospice after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Beloved daughter, sister, wife and mother, she is survived by her constant companion, her daughter, Genevieve Theresa Witkowski, Wilkes-Barre; her baby sister, Mildred Reese Talley, Texas; and many nieces, nephews and godchildren.

She was born and raised in Plymouth, the daughter of Thomas and Caroline Walas Skwarzec (Swartz).

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband of 40 years, Bernard L. Witkowski; her brothers, Stanley, Anthony, Daniel, Edward, Chester, Joseph, Leo and infant John; and her sisters, Dolores Battle and infants Mary and Helen.

In her teens she joined the war effort by working in a defense plant in New Jersey and later as a nanny for a wonderful couple, Mr. and Mrs. Sauls, in Woodbridge, N.J. She married young to a handsome Marine, Sgt. Bernard Witkowski, serving in the Philippines. They returned to Plymouth after the war and Genie became a working girl and soon a mother. She was employed in the garment industry and helped establish the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union locally. Later she became the manger of Ann Will Garment in Kingston and Lori Charles in Luzerne, where she worked for more than 36 years.

She was baptized and married in the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Plymouth, now named All Saints Parish, of which she was a life member. Genie was one of a group of women who established the Christian Mothers in the parish and held several offices.

She was an active member of the Wilkes College Polish Room, as she was very proud of her Polish heritage, its history and its people. She supported several charities in Poland, including an orphanage and a home for single mothers.

Genie loved to travel, especially to Poland, where she spent several vacations, sightseeing and visiting family and friends, including her father's youngest brother, John and his family. She was thrilled to see all the beautiful places her father told her about and to find the well where her mother got water. She visited many religious sites while there, including Czestochowa and the grave of St. Sister Faustina of Divine Mercy. Though she was enthralled with the beauty and charm of Poland and her people, Genie also traveled widely in the United States, Canada and Europe, including a visit to the Holy Lands and Rome, where she was present at the canonization of the Rev. Kolbe. Theatre and opera were favorites of her and she and her daughter went to Broadway plays and the opera in New York City several times a year.

In the last part of her life, she and her daughter mover to St. John Apartments in Wilkes-Barre, where they made many friends among the residents and manager Debbie Kolinski, who were very patient and kind to her in her illness, It was while she was there she joined Young At Heart Red Hats. She was especially fortunate to get to know Eileen Spagnola, her neighbor, who visited her daily. They spent many precious moments together recalling memories of family, friends and travel. Eileen also aided Genie's daughter in caring for her comfort and needs. She also shared her cat, Lexi, with Genie.

Genie had a generous spirit, she loved holidays and traditions and delighted in having family celebrations and get togethers. She was never short of energy or purpose when it came to her family, friends and church. With her love and faith in God as her foundation in life, Genie was a gentle, loving soul, she will be missed.

A Memorial Mass will held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in All Saints Parish, Willow Street, Plymouth, with a repast at Cracker Barrel, Wilkes-Barre.
Religious Service Information
All Saints Parish
66 Willow St
Plymouth, PA 18651
(570) 779-5323
Send Flowers
Published in Citizens' Voice on May 15, 2018