Leona Maryann (Budzinski) Gorczynski, April 18, 1919 - May 9, 2015
It is with great sadness but only happy memories that we acknowledge the passing of Leona Gorczynski, age 96.
Leona began her life in New York City, met her husband Theodore "Teddy" Gorczynski and they married in November, 1940. Together they worked to support their family at their Bronx grocery store and then at Wonder Bread, where Leona became the nationally-recognized hostess for Wonder Bread and Hostess Cakes. She enjoyed visits to Radio City Music Hall, museums, and all else that NYC had to offer. She loved to take visitors to China Town, Fulton Fish Market, the Empire State Building, and the Statute of Liberty, along with so many other NYC landmarks.
She and Teddy were married for 59 years. They loved to travel the US and spend time with family and friends. Decades-long annual summer visits to Cape Cod with the Houghton family were particularly good times. With relocation to Rochester they welcomed grandchildren and countless more friends. Finally settling in Castleton with her daughter Diana and son-in-law Bill, Leona spent the last decade wintering in Quartzsite, AZ where she taught crocheting and enjoyed the company of many more new friends.
Leona enjoyed bird-watching, and she fed a variety of songbirds, hummingbirds, and anything else that came by. She loved Polish music, was an avid and excellent bowler, winning many trophies and appearing on TV. She enjoyed watching Judge Judy and the news, and read the daily newspaper. She was a prolific crocheter and was very proud of winning several blue and red ribbons for her afghans, being most proud of winning the Grand Master Champion ribbon in recent years. She was well-known for and won first prize with her "Leona's Polish Cheesecake." She was a letter-writer, and her handwriting was perfect script; she hoped that children, grand- and great-grandchildren would continue to practice quality handwriting and the art of letter-writing. Leona was a member of the Schodack Crafter's Home Bureau and donated many afghans to the South Schodack Fire Department for raffle. Her smile always made you feel that everything was right in the world. Those who knew her wanted to be near her as her laughter, kindness, and love healed anything that might be wrong. She was quickly and much beloved by all who met her.
Leona passed away April 9th at home in Castleton, NY. She is survived by her two daughters, Diana (husband Bill Houghton) and Jane (husband Dave Swank); her loving granddaughters, Barbara (husband Don Runkle) and Debbie (husband Andy Melendez); and three great-grandchildren, Jeremy and Tyler Runkle, and Natasha Melendez. Other loving family include her step- grandchildren, Kim (husband John Berry, children Maya and Sierra), Kelly Houghton, and Billy Houghton; Valerie Loveless, John Bogdal, Kurt Bogdal, and Michael Bogdal and their families; David Swank Jr., (wife Anissa, children Katie and Kelly). The Asikis family (Mike and Alexandria, daughters, Daphne, Patty, and Maria and their families) were very dear friends, "like family". Countless others mourn the loss of this beautiful soul.
Donations to South Schodack Fire Department, 1567 Bame Road, Castleton, NY 12033 in lieu of flowers is appreciated. A GoFundMe account in Leona's name has been established to support SSFD (www.gofundme.com/ub5d25d or search "In Memory of Leona Gorczynski" on GoFundMe.com).
Gardner Earl Crematorium