Mary Kurkowski Waters of Middletown and formerly of Milford, beloved wife of the late Richard K. Waters passed on August 4, 2019.
She was the daughter and 10th child of the late Joseph and Valentina (Budnik) Kurkowski born on January 5, 1933 in Hempstead, NY. Leaving behind her beloved sister, Clara Karwowski of Port Jefferson, NY.
Mary is survived by her loving children, Susan MW Cox (Robert) of Middletown, Dawn Waters St James (Gerard) of The Villages, FL, and Richard W. Waters (Cheryl Johnson) of Watertown, and grandchildren, Lauren Mullins of Buffalo, NY, Kielene Mullins of Branford, Jenna Cox of Portland, Oregon, Evan and Warren Cox of Middletown, Richard, Joseph, and Julia Waters of Watertown, and her many nieces and nephews.
Mary leaves a tale of strength, endurance, and of perseverance having battled life with aphasia, hemiplegia, and eventual blindness, since suffering a catastrophic stroke in 1991, then recently diagnosed with (supposed) lung cancer in January, 2019.
Known for her calm, quiet demeanor, she was a strong woman that knew how to make the best, and the most, out of any situation. Her kind and loving spirit found a way to shine through, as she managed to express appreciation to all who assisted or cared for her with the only words that came easily and often, “Thank you, Hon”.
In her earlier years, her love and passion of family was strongly felt, beginning with the large enclave of her dear parents, sisters and brothers, their spouses, and her loving nieces and nephews when family gathered at 120 Courtenay Road in Hempstead, Long Island for get-togethers and holidays, where it all joyously began. This family happiness and celebration continued on in her mid and later years with her own children and grandchildren here in Connecticut.
During the Mom years, she was an amazing, gifted cook and anyone who ever dined with us experienced her culinary talent, which all three of her children and happily, many of her grandchildren, possess.
Those who knew her will famously remember her love of goodies in the form of candy, especially Allsorts licorice!
Though Mom had difficulty speaking and expressing herself, one thing that was easily conveyed was her great thrill when her grandchildren were visiting, goodies were nearby, kielbasa, or a McDonald’s burger were offered, “buzi, buzi, buzi” (buziak - kiss in Polish), or upon learning her weight was under 120 pounds.
Before the stroke, Mary was an avid reader, fostering the love of reading in her children, and was obsessed by word search puzzles for years. She immensely enjoyed the weekday 1:00 pm, ‘All My Children’ series to the point her kids thought Susan Lucci was family.
She was an easy going woman, however, don’t call her by her birth name - Mary Magdelene, or you would hear that infamous grunt of disgust and get ‘the look’!
To the many people who made Mary’s life beautiful through the daily care and attention for body, mind, well-being, and nutritional needs….all the caregivers (LaShonda, Sonya, Lorna, Dana, Christine, Rose, Sandy, Candy, Jill, LeeAnn, Mary, Quamy, Linda G., and many more!), nurses (Denise, Brooke, Christine, and all the others), nurse supervisors (Carol), physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, nutrition (Amanda), office staff (Gratia), and not to be forgotten, roommates and friends (Especially, dear, dear, guardian angel, Deb K and her bro, Jerry G!) at Middlesex Health Care Center which was Mary’s home for the last 6 years….and Golden Hill Health Center (Milford) for the 5 years prior, we offer much appreciation and gratitude. You were part of our family, too and will remain in our thoughts and hearts! Thank you!
May our Mom’s story allow all in her path to recognize the strength of the mind and body while understanding the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and fitness, also respecting the importance of self care, and connecting with love, to those around you, often.
Mary always found a way to help out and this gift continues here (A direct link to Livestrong at the Y - a cancer survivor’s program) http://weblink.donorperfect.com/LIVESTRONG
A private graveside service has been arranged through the Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford.
If you have a memory to share of Mary, please go to www.gregorydoylefuneralhome.com