Samples and Reviews
Good Morning, my name is Richard Szewczyk, I am Carol Jean’s cousin, and honored to have been asked to eulogize her today. I would first like to extend my heartfelt and deepest condolences to Kevin, Kyle, Jordan, Charlotte, Brian, Vangie, Lindsey, Brett, and all that had the honor and privilege of knowing Carol Jean. I pray that God continues to console and comfort all of us, during this most difficult time.
Author Ella Wheeler Wilcox states, “There are two kinds of people on earth today. Just two kinds of people, no more, I say. The two kinds of people on earth I mean, are the people who lift, and the people who lean.”
Carol Jean Wolski was born June 4, 1935, on the Southside of Chicago. On that day God sent all of us a very heavy lifter. Carol Jean was never a leaner.
She graduated from St. Michaels’ High School in 1953 and began working for Illinois Bell soon after graduation. She married Eugene Connors in 1956 and moved to Winfield, where they raised their two sons, Kevin and Brian. Shortly after the couple started their family, Gene was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, and Carol Jean began some of her heavy lifting.
But she always kept that Carol Jean optimistic attitude. Talking with me about the roadblocks created by my MS, her advice was, “So what darling, just go around them”. So, she went around her roadblocks, worked full time, and together with the help of her mother Frieda, she was able to raise the boys, and care for Gene each step of the way.
Carol Jean loved being around people. She loved being active and talking about all of the clubs and organizations she was a part of. She was a member of the Polish National Alliance, the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, and an active member of Widow and Widowers (WOW). She was a past President of the Council of Catholic Women here at St. John the Baptist Parish for many years, and even honored as Woman of the Year. She was very proud of that. She even found time for a little needle point work. I have the beautiful pillowcases she made Manda and I for our wedding shower.
I think Carol Jean lived her life how God asked her to. She lived with a passion for Christ, for family, for working hard, and for others, not herself. I think that’s exactly how we should remember her. We should learn how to live our own lives the way she showed us. Carol Jean walked the walk.
She’s up there right now buzzing around with God, organizing heaven. She’s sharing a waltz with Gene. Walking arm in arm with her Cullen, introducing him to relatives and friends. She lived God’s way. The right way. And we’re all better people for having known her.
Thank you, Carol Jean, for walking that walk, for working so hard, and for teaching all of us how to lift that load. I know you won’t have time to sit down and kick your feet up, so just promise us all one thing – that you’ll find a spare second, and for the first time, just lean. You’ve earned it. Spoczywaj w pokoju. Rest in peace.
Good morning, my name is Marlin Thomas, and I am honored to have been asked to eulogize Lessie Thomas today. On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to all who had the privilege of knowing Lessie. I pray that God continues to bless and comfort the entire Thomas family during this most difficult time.
Lessie Thomas was born on September 19, 1919 to Joe and Linda Thomas in Aberdeen, Mississippi. She was raised there alongside her five siblings. Lessie made her way up to Chicago, where she would later meet her husband of 65 years. She married the late William Thomas, and they resided on the south side of Chicago at 9842 S. Forest Avenue, where they raised their two sons, William and Bobby.
Lessie was my grandma, and I was incredibly proud to be her grandson. I am Bill’s middle son, and my two brothers and I were very fortunate to have had grandma Lessie in our lives. I was looking back on our life together trying to find a memory to share with you today, and I didn’t know which memory to choose. There are so many memories because she was so much to all of us. So, I’m going to skip ahead to dessert, and talk about a part of her life that has had a positive impact on all of us. Her baking!
Every good memory is made even better when it comes with a slice of her famous sweet potato pie. Grandma Lessie could flat out bake, and everybody knew it! People couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into one of her deserts at the bake sales she would organize. The anticipation in the room grew thick right before a cake-walk if one of her cakes were up for grabs. You can bet that everyone knew which cake was going to be snatched up right after that music stopped, and the very first number was called. It was definitely going to be one of her moist, delicious, and legendary cakes.
Everybody wanted one of grandma Lessie’s deserts, including herself. I sure hope she was able to enjoy a slice of one of her delicious cakes or pies when she would show up to a bridge game with one in hand. I’m sure she even baked a few for her friends and teammates at the bowling alley. Maybe she even baked one for her co-workers at the factory. As a matter of fact, I just found out she had a job! She never talked about her job. That doesn’t surprise me though. She would never make the time we spent together about herself. It was always about others for grandma Lessie.
At Christmas time she would take us to Toys’R’Us and make us a deal as sweet as her legendary deserts. My brothers and I would have the pick of the litter. She told us that we could pick out only one toy, but it could be any toy in the store. Yes, any toy in the store! I loved her desserts but being able to pick out any toy in the store when you’re a kid is mind blowing! It was insane!
And who could forget the many other things about grandma Lessie that made her grandma Lessie. Like her cleaning the bathroom twice a day, those orange lava purses, and I just know I will always think of her whenever I see someone wearing a pair of Jordans. However, unless I put on a dress when I’m wearing a pair, I don’t think I’ll ever see that combination again. Nor do I think I’ll ever have another ice cream cone that, no matter how hot it is outside, just won’t melt! Man, she packed that ice cream so tightly! Right before she threw it in her freezer for who knows how long!
However, I think some of the more valuable things we should remember about her are the things that could help all of us live our own lives a little bit better. Staying calm, being happy, and always giving to others because they might need it more than you do. It was never about her; it was always about everyone else. We should all live our lives a little bit more like grandma Lessie showed us.
Thank you, grandma Lessie, for the life you led and the example you set along the way. For the love you gave us, the happiness you always showed us, and the sweet potato pies you baked for us. Thank you for showing us that the walk is a bit more comfortable when you’re wearing a good pair of Jordans. We thank you God for sharing Lessie with us. We are all better people because she was in our lives.
Rest in peace Lessie Thomas, and may perpetual light shine upon you. Sit down and kick off your shoes. Your walk here on earth is complete. Rejoice with the Lord in heaven for eternity. May God bless you and keep you.