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1925 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Matilda Zawrotny was born in London, England, to Ernest and Millie (Waterman) Mills on April 4, 1925. Milly grew up in the East End of London. Then, to escape The Blitz bombing during World War II, she moved to the small town of Letchworth, north of London. There she did war work at a local factory. Milly loved to jitterbug and one fateful night, went to a USO dance filled with American service men. There she met her future husband, Raymond Zawrotny, who shared her love of dancing. They married in England, and after the war, Milly moved to the West End of Pittsburgh to start their family. In 1955, Milly and Ray bought their first (and only) house in Irwin, PA, where they raised their three children. Milly is survived by her children, David (Kathy) Zawrotny (Canonsburg), Jeanine Smolarek (Pittsburgh), and Michele (Ron) Klingensmith (Trafford); as well as six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Milly was preceded in death by her sister and brother in England (Rose Taylor and Charles Mills). She was also preceded in death late last year by her beloved sister, Jeannette Canterna, who also moved here from England and lived nearby in Irwin with her husband, Bill Canterna. She is survived by her brother, Martin Mills, who lives with his wife, Julie in England. Milly loved to swing dance, sit on the beach at the Jersey Shore, read, watch movies, play the slots, and especially play cards and go shopping. She had a flair for art and creativity, which she passed on to several of her grandchildren. Milly was a happy-go-lucky, live-for- the-moment kind of person, which garnered her many friends, including many in the area branch of the British Brides and Parents Transatlantic Association, affectionately known as "The English Girls Club". Milly was a loving wife, who devoted several of her later years to taking care of her husband who suffered from dementia and passed away in 2009. Unfortunately, Milly herself later developed dementia and was living at the Arden Courts Memory Care home in Monroeville, where she received wonderful loving care, for which the family is extremely grateful. Milly enjoyed life even in her later years. As late as last year, her daughter Jeanine, also a swing dancer, took her many times to dance at Swing City on Saturday nights, where she danced every dance up until midnight. Even after she could no longer go to the dance, the dance came to her--a volunteer group of dancers from Swing City, called the Hep Kats, came to her home at Arden several times and put on swing dances for the residents. She loved to be the center of attention, dancing every song. Sadly, she recently broke her hip, and her dancing days were over. The injury proved too much for her, and she passed away on July 14, 2014, leaving her family and many friends with happy memories of her cheerful personality and wonderful sense of humor. Friends and family will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the WILLIAM SNYDER FUNERAL HOME, INC., 521 Main Street, Irwin, 724-863-1200, where everyone will gather at noon on Saturday for a Funeral Service. Interment to follow in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Irwin.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from July 16 to July 17, 2014
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