Edward William Wojnarowski – devoted husband of the late Lillian Wojnarowski, father of three children, grandfather to five and great grandfather to one – died peacefully surrounded by his family at Bristol Hospital Hospice on Wednesday afternoon. He was 90 years old and declared himself fully prepared and at peace for his passing.
A lifelong resident of Bristol, Edward was born on January 25, 1931 and spent his childhood living with nine brothers and sisters and his parents – Bazyli and Stella – on the first-floor of a three-family house.
Edward married his childhood sweetheart, Lillian (Hamilton) Wojnarowski, in 1954 upon returning stateside from a three-year tour in the U.S. Army. Lillian passed away three weeks shy of their 60th wedding anniversary in April of 2014. They lived for parts of seven different decades in a house on Claremont Street, a relatively short distance from where he proposed and presented Lillian an engagement ring in a rowboat on Pine Lake.
A graduate of Park Street School in 1946, he attended Bristol High School and graduated from EC Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain. Edward enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and spent considerable time in Europe helping to rebuild bridges and roads as part of the Marshall Plan. He played football for his army unit and spoke fondly of donning his formal military uniform and spending Saturday nights in the music and opera houses of Salzburg, Austria. He signed his letters and photos back home to Lillian, “Always, Eddie.”
Edward spent 34 years as a cutter-grinder for New Departure-Hyatt in Bristol, formally retiring from the General Motors Corporation in 1988. In those and his later years, he worked several part-time jobs -- often spotted riding a moped around town to save on fuel consumption.
Edward was active in Democratic Party town politics for decades and relentless in his service to St. Stanislaus Parish in Bristol. For years, he lent his integrity to counting the Sunday Mass offertory gifts -- and his booming voice to calling bingo games in the church basement and spinning the roulette wheel at the annual fall festival.
To those who knew him best, Edward was renowned for his generosity to family, friends and strangers. He gave his money, services and (big) ears to untold individuals and groups. Older and isolated family and friends could count on regular calls to check in, or handwritten notes arriving with old photos. In his final years, Edward lost his eyesight, but never his vision to serve others.
Edward is survived by his three children – son Bryan and daughter-in-law Laurie of Bristol; daughter Brenda Bissonnette and son-in-law Daniel of Hilton Head, S.C., and son Adrian and daughter-in-law Amy of Northern New Jersey.
Edward’s heart was fully invested in his five grandchildren: Neal, Eric, Tyler, Anna, Benjamin and a newly born great grandson, Connor.
In his final days and hours in Bristol Hospital Hospice care, Edward professed deep pride in raising productive children who had built families of their own and a faith in God that he would soon be reunited with his beloved wife and extended family.
Family and friends are invited to go directly to St. Stanislaus Church, 510 West St, Bristol on Saturday, October 30th at 10:30 AM to attend a Mass of Christian burial and are also invited to attend the committal service with full military honors in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol. Please visit Edward’s memorial website at www.FunkFuneralHome.com
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