The winners have been selected! Fifteen of your neighbors in the community will be honored with a Beacon Award on Nov. 17 at WoodWinds. Join the celebration.
Florence J. Maciolek
Florence J. Maciolek passed away peacefully on May 18, with her daughter by her side. Florence was born in the South End of Stamford to Polish immigrants. Unfortunately, Florence’s mother died shortly after giving birth to her. Florence and her older brother, Ted, were raised by their father and stepmother during the Great Depression.
In her younger days, Florence spent countless summer days swimming and sunning at Dyke Park in Stamford. She enjoyed roller-skating and dancing. A special memory she had was seeing Frank Sinatra in concert at Radio City Music Hall. Florence, or as her friend’s called her “Flo,” attended Holy Name of Jesus School in Stamford, which was part of the Polish Catholic Parish where she met her future husband, Frank. Frank enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, and when he returned home at the end of World War II, he and Florence soon wed. They had three children, Bobby Maciolek, Linda Gerry of Lehighton, Pennsylvania, and Paula Marchese of Madison. Unfortunately, Bobby died tragically at the young age of 21 in a motorcycle accident. Florence leaves behind eight beautiful grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
While Florence raised her children, Frank worked as a professional photographer in his father’s studio and later joined the Stamford Fire Department where he worked until he retired after 27 years of service. As a hobby, Frank owned racehorses and he and Florence spent much of their free time watching their horses run at various tracks in the Northeast. They also enjoyed attending World War II Naval reunions, which took them to various states in the U.S. where they reconnected with old friends and made many new ones, too. Florence and Frank lived in Stamford until Frank passed away in August 2010 after a long illness. They were married 61 years.
Flo moved to Madison to be closer to her youngest daughter, Paula, her husband Steve, and their three boys. Nana, as we called her, will be remembered for her beautiful blue eyes, smile, authenticity, and ability to bring us to tears with her sense of humor and delivery, often with no effort at all.
In addition to her biological family, Flo had a second family at the VNA Strong House Adult Daycare. Upon her arrival to Madison in 2010, she became a welcomed member of Strong House until its closing in March 2020. The Strong House staff and clients became her extended family. It was a place she loved to be. She became close with Maureen Talarczyk, the Strong House’s art director and our dear friend. We are so appreciative to Lori Murphy and Kate Blais, The Strong House’s directors, as well as Diane, Danielle, Wendy and every one of the wonderful staff, entertainers and visitors who created and nurtured an environment where people in need of companionship and attention thrived and could not wait to share their day at the Strong House with their families when they returned home.
A private memorial service for Florence will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 11. A Mass and burial will be held at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice, 753 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, CT 06437.