Maria (Goryl) Chowaniec, 87, of Burlington, died peacefully on January 5, 2021, at home and in the presence of her children. A woman of determined spirit and great faith, Maria was happiest spending time with family, especially her beloved husband of 70 years, five children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was particularly fond of babies and always captured their attention reciting Polish nursery rhymes in a sweet, singsong voice. Maria was the heart of her family, and a consummate hostess, her table was always set and her home always open to friends and relatives from Chicago and Poland, for countless special occasions. A devoted Catholic, she would often be found praying the rosary, singing hymns, listening to Mass, and encouraging those around her to practice their devotions.
Born in Białka Tatrzańska, Poland on February 22, 1933 to Aniela and Bartłomiej Goryl, she married her husband Walter (Władysław) in 1950. In 1964, the couple and their children immigrated to the U.S., settling first in Hartford and finally in a house their sons built for them in Burlington, CT. For nearly 30 years, Maria worked in a variety of different roles at The Institute of Living in Hartford— most notably as Head Seamstress at the medical facility. In retirement, she enjoyed gardening, travel, and regular visits and celebrations with extended family.
Maria is survived by her five children: Helen Pawlowski of Simsbury; Frank (and Magdalena) of Burlington; Josef (and Danuta) of West Palm Beach, FL; Stanley (and Susan) of Watertown; and Michael (and Karen) of Harwinton. She also leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Walter, who died last April.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:00 am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (Our Lady of Hope) in Harwinton. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, in Bristol. Calling Hours are Monday from 4 to 6 pm at Thurston Rowe Funeral Home, 283 Torrington Rd., Litchfield, CT. In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Kindly visit www.thurstonrowefuneralhome.com to send the family an online condolence.