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Apolonia "Pauline" Grabelski

February 14, 1925 ~ May 4, 2020 (age 95)


Apolonia “Pauline” (Wrobel) Grabelski died peacefully at home at the age of 95 on May 4, 2020. She was born on Saint Valentines Day, February 14, 1925 to Frank and Mary (Krawczuk) Wrobel in New Britain; and resided in Bristol for the past 64 years. Prior to her retirement in 1988, she worked at the Smith-Gates Company in Farmington.
Pauline was proud of her Polish heritage, and enjoyed polka dancing and Polish music. She enjoyed traveling, and a highlight was a visit to Poland in 1990. She also enjoyed gardening, her twice-weekly Bingo, pizza, ice cream, a good game of cards (particularly if she won), and watching the Red Sox. When they were little, her grandchildren were never seen in wrinkled clothing because she liked ironing. She also had a passion for knitting and crocheting, spreading new baby blankets and tea towels to family, friends and even perfect strangers.

She was extremely proud of her family, and was quick to show pictures to everyone she knew. Pauline would frequently say that even though she never graduated from High School, she was delighted that all her children graduated from college.
Pauline’s unswerving Catholic faith guided her life of kindness, humility and generosity. She was a devoted member of the Church of St. Matthew in Forestville.
She made all of us just a little better all the time. She was loved by everyone who knew her, and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her three children and their families: David and Kitty Grabelski of Vail, Arizona, Christine Grabelski and her husband Joseph Leary of Fairfield, and Nancy Merrow of Bristol. Her four grandchildren were the joy of her life: Scott and wife Kristen Merrow of Bristol, Rhode Island, Tyler and wife Dina of Burlington, Kim and husband Zach Korte of Peyton, Colorado, and Derek Grabelski of Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition, she leaves six great-grandchildren: Natalia, Gianna, Avery, Colin, Matthew and Patrick. To these must be added a very special person who became like another daughter to her: Darci (Merrow) Buchanan and her husband Brian of Newport, Rhode Island. She is also survived by sister-in-law Helen Wrobel, and myriad nieces and nephews. She has three special godchildren: James Wrobel of Newington, Janet Casey of New York City and Bonnie McCabe of Glastonbury. She also leaves many special friends who called or visited her daily at home.

She was predeceased by brothers Joseph A. and Chester S. Wrobel, her beloved sister Mary and husband Henry Paliwoda; and more recently by son-in-law Jeff Merrow of Bristol.

On behalf of our family, we want to thank Dr. Neil Wasserman for his compassionate care. Also in our hearts are Hartford Health Care Hospice and her nurses Kristen and Jennifer; and Companions and Homemakers Inc. of Farmington who provided her with independence right up to her final days. Her daily companion Arleta became a very special friend.

Due to current restrictions, a private burial will take place in Sacred Heart Cemetery, New Britain.
In lieu of flowers, Pauline asked that friends donate to St. Matthew School, 33 Welch Dr., Bristol, CT 06010.
Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, is honored to serve the family. Please visit Pauline’s memorial website at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Apolonia "Pauline" Grabelski, please visit our floral store.


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