On Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, our most cherished, Mary Voloski passed peacefully in her 92nd, year recently celebrating her birthday on August 7th.
The daughter of immigrants, Adam and Stella Withrow Bondzo, she was fourth of seven children. Mary was born in Scarbro in 1929. Her brothers would pass early in life, William as an infant in 1927, Adam would die in World War II at the age of 21 and Joseph would perish in a mining accident at the age of 29. In recent years, her sister, Margaret has passed. She leaves two sisters, Agnes and Dorothy.
Mary spent her early years in Fayette County, graduating from Collins High School where she was a flag girl. The family worshiped at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Scarbro. It would be the scenes of happy and sad events throughout the Bondzo family history. Nearby in the old church cemetery lies Mary’s paternal grandparents, Natyn and Ursula Shedor Bondzo as well as her little brother, William.
Following graduation from high school, Mary made her way to St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Philadelphia where she trained to be a nurse. Mary was of the old school nurses, starched white uniforms, nursing cap and impeccable white shoes. When she returned back to this area, her career would begin at Beckley Hospital, the old Raleigh General Hospital and then she went to work for well beloved phyiscian, Dr. John Hedrick where she would become a mainstay. She worked for Dr. Hedrick until his untimely passing in 1985. With his death, Mary decided to retire.
Mary was truly one of the greatest generation. She not only worked long hours as a nurse, she was a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
As a young woman growing up, and true to her European roots, she loved to dance the polka on Saturday nights. It was at the Spanish hall on Prince Street in Beckley that she would meet a young Slavic man, John Voloski. Tall and handsome, Johnny grew up in Skelton, a mainstay of the Slavish community here in Beckley. Mary Pachuta Wise a lifelong family friend, recalls when Johnny Voloski danced the polka the whole building shook.
On June 24th, 1950, John Mike Voloski and Mary Frances Bondzo exchanged the vows of marriage in her home parish, St’s. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. They would settle in Bradley becoming the parents of three sons and a daughter, John Edward, Joseph Michael, Thomas Patrick and Mary Kathryn. The family would worship at St. Francis de Sales Church where the children attended parochial school and much of their lives would be centered around the church and its activities.
On March 13th, 2003, John Mike Voloski passed away at his home with Mary caring for him faithfully after a long hard battle with cancer. It seemed in many ways …..a part of Mary went with him.
Fond memories of our mother as the children reflect, “She was a very hard worker, and yet an impeccable homemaker; an excellent cook, known for the “Red Cookbook” as her reference, she made impeccable pies, known for her cabbage rolls, potato salad, ham on holidays and Sunday gatherings. Our mother was not a demonstrative woman, and yet we know she loved us in her own unique way. As we look back, we realize life was not always easy for men and women of the greatest generation, as it was not for their immigrant parents who came before them. We are all a product of those who came before. No, she was not “June Cleaver” but she was our mother and as we became parents ourselves and have grown older, we have learned more about who she was.
She loved family vacations to Myrtle Beach, trips to see Johnny’s family in New Jersey, she enjoyed a little gambling jaunt to Atlantic City and later years, the dog track in Charleston.
An independent woman until the end, she called the shots and yet had a great sense of “Common Sense.” She knew when it was time to stop driving and announced it in her matter of fact way. She lived alone until her untimely fall, “the old peoples’ enemy.” Mercifully, 36 days later she passed peacefully. Feisty, she always spoke her mind, but she was our mother and we are going to miss her so. We her family, want to thank Dr. EJ Salon for his faithfulness to Mary all these years.
Her legacy now is her children and grandchildren. Mary Frances Bondzo Voloski leaves to cherish her memory her children and their families, John Voloski and his wife, Pam; Joe Voloski and his wife, Debra; Tom Voloski and his wife, Deborah and Mary Voloski –Webb. Daughter-in-law, Patricia Voloski and son-in-law, Rob Webb have preceded her in death.,
Mary was “Ma Ma Mary” to Brian and his wife, Jennifer; Julie, Joe Mike, Kasey, Adam, Amanda and Samantha; the great grandmother of Anya, Kieran, Dakota, Lauren and Mathew.
It was Mary’s wish to have no services, but many of her family feel we need to honor her as we did our Daddy when he passed. We hope she understands. The life has been lived, the candle spent, the flame flickers and on that Thursday…. it was extinguished. The last chapter has been written and we have closed the book.
This Sunday, September 12th ironically Grandparents Day, we will honor Mary Voloski with calling hours in the Melton Mortuary Chapel. She will lie in repose between the hours of 6 to 8pm in a closed casket as was her request. We welcome all our friends to come and visit. Please, during these troubling times, follow the Covid-19 restrictions. The Vigil Prayer service will be at 8pm with Rev. Mr. Harry Evans officiating. Our Mother who faithfully attended mass for 71 years at St. Francis de Sales returns one more time on Monday, September 13th. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 11:00 am. Fr. Leonard Smith will be the celebrant. The Rite of Committal will follow in the Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum where Mary will be entombed beside John. The honor of carrying Mary has been given to her grandsons, Brian Tayor, Joe Mike Voloski and Adam Voloski and her neighbors who always looked out for their mother, Steven Dorsey, Charles Lively and Jerry Lively. “Odpocivaj v pokoji” May they forever rest in peace.
We would like to take a moment to acknowledge Bruce Blankenship for being a dear friend to our mom and visiting with her throughout the years.
Words of comfort may be offered by visiting www.meltonmortuary.com
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral store.