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Wanda (nee Chmielak), 92, of Bangor, ME, died February 18, 2013, following a lengthy illness. She was born December 29, 1920, in Passaic, NJ, the fourth child of Polish immigrants. She married John R. Szal on October 19, 1940, and raised four sons.
While her children were young Wanda was an active participant in school musical productions at St. Like's School in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, and at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, NJ. She cherished her singing experience and the camaraderie during her years as a member of the St. Luke's choir from the 1950s - 1970s. The Szals lived in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, and frequently entertained business associates from Australia and the Pacific Rim nations, where John was Manager for Overseas Operations for Standard Oil. Upon moving to Montvale, NJ, she volunteered as a school nurse at Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge during the early 1970s.
In 1970, Wanda began formal art lessons, and painting became her passion until failing eyesight made it impossible for her to continue her detailed, realistic paintings. Her subjects ranged from wildlife to still life, landscapes, and portraits, reflecting her own interests and those of her family. A retrospective of her work was presented at Boyd Place in Bangor, ME, during her residency there. She created over 100 pieces of art between 1970 and 2000, most of them given as gifts to members of her family.
Wanda and John enjoyed 25 years of retirement in Ormond Beach, FL, where church and service work were an important part of their life.
A member of St. Paul the Apostle in Bangor, ME, Wanda was predeceased by her husband John in 2004. She is fondly remembered by her four sons and their families: Gregory and his wife Regina of Long Beach, CA; Paul and his wife Christine of Bangor, ME; Gerald and his wife Catherine of Phillipston, MA; Mark and his wife Nathalie of Bow, NH. She also leaves nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family is grateful for the love and excellent care given by many compassionate caregivers.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be given to St. Paul the Apostle Parish, 207 York Street, Bangor, ME 04401, or New Hope Hospice, P.O. Box 70, Eddington, ME 04428.
Published in The Record on Mar. 3, 2013