Halina B. Szymanski, nee Plucinska, 93, of Darien, IL passed away Saturday evening, November 16, 2019.
Halina was born on November 20, 1925 in Aleksandrów Lódzki, Poland. In 1941, At the age of 16, at the height of WWII, Halina was taken from her home, separated from her family and was forced to endure over four years of hard labor and numerous forced labor jobs throughout Poland and Germany at the behest of the Nazis. She worked under deplorable conditions for four years, working over 12 hours a day and seven days a week. She remained in Germany after the war ended as the communists took hold in Poland and prevented her return home. Halina met her husband, Jan Szymanski, shortly after the war, at a church in Germany, They married in Künsebeck Germany on April 18, 1949.
Halina and Jan immigrated to the United States by way of the USNS General S.D. Sturgis leaving from Bremerhaven Germany arriving at the Port of New York, NY, with their fourteen month old daughter, Myra on May 23, 1951. Their arrival at the port was documented by a photo that has been published several times over the years on the front page of a local Polish newspaper, the Dziennik Zwiazkowy. Their ultimate destination was the south side of Chicago in the Back of the Yards neighborhood . The family had become long time parishioners of St. John of God Church. After leaving the south side of Chicago, Halina and the family settled to Darien, Il in 1976.
Halina was the ultimate life partner and teammate to her husband, and devoted mother to her three children providing a pristine home, incredible meals and a very loving home. She loved her family, loved her vegetable garden, perfectly manicured lawn, fruit trees and the visits of all the birds and squirrels including the occasional kitten(s).
The soft spot in her heart she maintained for animals of all kinds was evidenced by the wide array of pets she had. She loved her pets and grieved after every pet's loss because to her and the family, they were also part of our family.
Her affection for dolls were on display throughout the home and displayed her tender love for children.
Halina also enjoyed decorating the home for the holidays. Christmas was especially joyous and festive as illustrated by all the decorations both inside and out. Most memorable are the times when one might begin to think the decorating task had been completed after many hours of work only to see her "Counting the Santas" and realizing they were not all accounted for! That always led to a seemingy never ending supply of totes being brought up from storage.
Halina had a wicked sense of humor, sarcasm and quick wit which was always on display even up until a couple of hours before her passing. She always had the ability to put anyone.... we mean anyone... in their place....
and quickly. Mostly in fun, always with love and sometimes simply with just "that look".
Halina was the type of mom and host that whenever the kids brought a friend over, she insisted on them eating something, even if it was just an apple. "No, Thank You" was never, ever an option. Many can attest to that.
She also enjoyed going to flea markets and garage sales to find those "Deals!". Every trip ultimately ended with the paraded display of items found and the dreaded question, "Guess how much I paid?". Unless you answered a buck (or less), you KNEW you were going to be incorrect as it was always verified with "that look" and the statement, "you think I would pay that much?"
Halina was quite proud of becoming a US Citizen in 1991. She loved her country and was quite the patriot, while never forgetting her roots. She always kept abreast of the happenings in Poland.
Halina, (nee Plucinska) was the loving mother of Myra (Michael) Muellner of Darien, IL, Christopher (Malia) Szymanski of Zion, IL and Gregory (Tracy) Szymanski of Romeoville, IL.
Devoted to her beloved grandchildren Michael II (Joanne) Muellner, Mark (Kara) Muellner, Christopher Szymanski-Aldridge (Liz), John (Samantha) Szymanski, Alexander Szymanski (Danielle), Ashley Szymanski (Fiancee - T.J.) and Tiffany Szymanski (Mark).
Dearest great-grandmother of Ava and Eleanor Muellner, Nolan, Natalie and Nathaniel Muellner and Sydney Paige Szymanski.
Halina is also survived my many nieces and nephews throught Poland.
Halina was preceded in death by her father, Aleksander Plucinska; mother Helena Plucinska (nee Krajewska); brother, Tadeusz Plucinski, Dr. Boleslaw Plucinski, Jedrzej Plucinski; and sister Zofia Wozniak, her father in law, Antoni, her mother-in-law Maria; and her brother-in-laws Florian and Marian; her sister-in-laws, Lucja, Anna, Regina, Jadwiga, and Maria.
Funeral Wednesday 9:15am from Modell Funeral Home, 7710 S. Cass Ave., Darien to Our Lady of Peace Church, Mass 10:00 am. Entombment All Saints Cemetery. Visitation Tuesday 3 to 9 pm. For information (630) 852-3595 or www.modelldarien.com.
03:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Darien, IL 60561
09:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Darien, IL 60561
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Darien, IL 60561
Des Plaines,, IL 60016