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Stella J. (Salagaj) Szczepanik

February 22, 2018

Stella J. Salagaj Szczepanik

Mrs. Stella. J. Salagaj Szczepanik, 88, died Thursday, February 22, 2018 in the Delaire Nursing & Convalescent Center in Linden, New Jersey.

Visitation will take place in the Kowalski Funeral Home, 515 Roselle St., Linden, on Tuesday, March 6th. from 9:30AM – 10:30AM.  At 10:30AM, a prayer service, offered by the Reverend Bryan Wolf, will take place in the funeral  home, followed by the burial in the family plot in Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, New Jersey.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Stella’s memory can be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.

Stella, the daughter of the late Sophie Ciebiera Salagaj and the late Walter Salagaj Sr., was born in Newark, New Jersey and was part of a family consisting of eight children, herself, five brothers and two sisters.

Stella worked for many years in a sequin factory close to home, but she also got married at an early age and became domesticated rather quickly.  Stella ventured into cooking, wound up loving it and turned out to be an excellent cook.  She always made the best meals!  Everyone use to look forward to going to her home to share a meal.  Later on, Stella even took up canning and making her own preserves.

Stella loved to entertain and she always had groups of people over for fantastic meals and parties, be it a special Holiday or any occasion.  She just derived such great joy in doing it and sharing it with others.

Stella always kept a neat, clean and orderly home, again showing her domestic expertise.  In her earlier days, Stella had taken up sewing, always busy making something or other for friends and family.  Then she progressed into knitting, crocheting, tatting, etc., whether it be doilies, scarves, dolls, pillowcases, anything….she was either making an object or embellishing them,

Afghans, well Stella was like an afghan factory, as she made them for everybody.  She had them all over her home.  Stella was also interested in arts and crafts.  She was very artistic and loved making novelties like snowmen, etc. for the holidays.  No matter which holiday it was, Stella was prepared and made different decorative items for each occasion.

Dress up, Stella loved to get dressed up and go out, whether it be dancing or celebrating something, She would get all dolled up and be ready to go.

When her husband, Henry J. Szczepanik, died in 1986, Stella had to learn how to become independent and take care of herself, a feat that she managed to do.

One incident comes to mind, from time to time, as this happened many decades ago when Stella and her sibling were MUCH younger.  Her brother, Walter E. Salagaj was still a kid when “it” happened, but everyone always smiles and laughs at the memory.  In the days before popcorn makers, making popcorn consisted of a metal pot and lid.  The kernels went into the pot, along with oil and then the pot would be shaken back and forth over the gas.  Well Stella decided to make some popcorn and boy, did she!  In the process of making the popcorn, Stella decided she wanted to see how it popped.  She was told not to lift the lid, but Stella being Stella, well….she did.  Just then it started to pop, scared the hell out of Stella and she dropped the lid.  Suddenly, it was like the 4th. of July in the kitchen with popcorn exploding all over.  You just had to be there to really enjoy it!  God bless our Stella!

In addition to her husband, Stella was also predeceased by her companion, Stasiu Bryczek in 1996; her brothers, Michael Salagaj in 1934, Joseph Salagaj in 1984, John Salagaj in 1989 and Frank Salagaj in 1994 and her sisters, Kazmira Groseclose in 2002 and Viola Timko in 2015.

Stella is survived by her brother, Walter Edward Salagaj and his wife, Marilyn of California and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

















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