HADLEY - Joan (Kowal) Forman, 82, of Hadley, died peacefully Monday, June 24, 2013, after a long illness.
She was born Nov. 22, 1930, in Hadley, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Prosciak) Kowal.
Joan graduated from Hopkins Academy. Her employment included working with her father on the farm and at the Polish American Club in Hadley. Subsequently she secured a position in the human resources office at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from which she retired in 1985.
Post retirement, she and her husband were the proprietors of the Polish American Café in Hadley where she delighted the customers, who were very dear to her heart, with her culinary skills making and serving golabki and pierogi by the hundreds. Joan was very dedicated to her beloved St. Valentine's Polish National Catholic Church in Northampton where she could be found along with her husband and daughter, cleaning, gardening, painting and cooking – whatever needed to be done, she was the first to volunteer.
In addition, she served on the Parish Committee as vice chair, director and auditor. She was also a member of the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament Society and a former member of the Frederick Chopin Choir and was the head cook for the many dinner events at the church. Joan loved to crochet, she made hundreds of afghans, scarves, shawls for the church raffles and made sweaters and coats for family members. Joan was very proud of her Polish heritage, she loved everything Polish including music and dancing.
In years past, you could find Joan with her sisters at the former Quonset Club in Hadley teaching the polka and dancing to the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Joan always had gardens, she loved tending to her flowers, creating a spectacular iris garden as well as perennial garden. One could see her trimming shrubs, shoveling dirt and doing anything related to yard work. Joan even found time to pick asparagus that she and Wallace grew and later in life she helped her daughter and son-in-law picking their asparagus.
She was a whirlwind who never stopped until she became ill and could do no more. She was a hardworking and amazing woman with a quick wit (a trait handed down from her father), a smart and compassionate woman always willing to help others.
Joan is survived by her husband of 65 years Wallace, daughter Christine [Eugene] Newman and son Edward [Carol] Forman. She also leaves a niece Dianne Kubasek and a nephew Richard Baranowski. Joan leaves her dog Janusz.
Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her two sisters, Bertha Baranowski and Mildred Kusekoski.
Joan's funeral services will be Friday, June 28. Calling hours are 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton followed by a Requiem Mass at 11 a.m. in St. Valentine's Polish National Catholic Church, Northampton; burial will be in the family plot at Holy Trinity Cemetery of St. Valentine's Church located in Hatfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Valentine's Parish, 127 King St., Northampton, MA 01060.
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