Stella Gertrude Archacki Mikolajewski, age 89, of Erie, Pa., passed away peacefully, at home, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, surrounded by her loving family and her loyal dog. She was born in Erie on March 4, 1925, a daughter of the late Carl and Mary Lewkowicz Archacki.
When Stella was very young, her family moved to a farm in Venango, Pa., where she grew up. She attended Cambridge Springs High School, where she played basketball and graduated as class valedictorian. She then graduated from Erie Commercial College. In 1945, Stella moved to California for a brief time, and worked as a secretary at the Naval Supply Depot in Oakland. After returning to Erie, she married Harry Mikolajewski on July 14, 1951. She worked full time as a secretary all of her life, mostly at Industries Service & Equipment Co., and also at St. Mary's Home. Stella retired at age 82, only taking time off of work from the time her children were born until they started school.
Stella enjoyed cooking and baking, and there was always something delicious to eat in her kitchen. She liked to bowl, and through the years, she was a member of several bowling leagues. She loved to read, and owned a library of books. Stella was a wonderful, loving mother and grandmother. She and her husband took their kids, and later their granddaughter, on vacations every year, from the southern and western states to New England and Canada. Summer was the peninsula, boating, swimming, and drive-in movies. Also, her home was a refuge for countless stray and homeless animals that her kids would bring home, from dogs and cats, to guinea pigs and fish.
Stella was preceded in death by her husband Harry Mikolajewski in 2007; her parents Carl and Mary Archacki; six sisters, Lillian Styborski, Virginia Giewont, Anne Kashmer, Amelia Zemcik, an infant sister Jenny, and a baby sister Hedwig; and three brothers, Carl Archacki Jr., Theodore Archacki, and Henry Archacki.
She is survived by her daughters Teresa Conaway (Neil) of Erie, and Patricia Mikolajewski of Florida; her granddaughter Emily Maria Conaway of Erie, who resided with her; her brother Edward Archacki of Erie; and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, at 26th and Wallace Streets, in Erie, Pa., on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
Services are private and under the care of the Burton Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., 602 West 10th St., Erie, PA 16502. Send condolences to www.Burtonfuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the A.N.N.A. Shelter, the Humane Society of Northwestern PA, or St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Published in the Erie Times-News on July 11, 2014