Chester "Chet" Bloniarz
On December 30, 2017, at the age of 102, Chester Bloniarz joined his beloved Helen, in heavenly peace.
Born September 24, 1915, to Sophia (Kobak) and Kazimierz (Charles) Bloniarz, Chester grew up in Rockville, second of thirteen children.
He lived in Ellington from 1946 to 1972.
A devout Roman Catholic, he graduated from St. Joseph School and attended daily mass until he was 97 years.
When he was young, Chet enjoyed playing baseball, football, basketball and watching the sulkey races at the old county fairgrounds.
A child of the Depression, he left school after the 9th grade, working in the tobacco fields, the grain mills, and earning enough to own Chet’s Package Store. During WW II, he also worked nights at Pratt & Whitney and raised cows. After the war, Chet sold the package store and opened Rockville Public Market, selling the store in 1955, due to illness.
Following his recovery, he owned a secondhand store, a small newspaper, had his stock broker’s license and, eventually, he became a realtor, doing business as Tolland County Realty. He retired when he was in his seventies.
It was in 1936 that Helen Niemiec moved to Rockville from Three Rivers, MA, to live with her sister, and work in the mills. It was through mutual friends that she met Chet. When she lost her job, she moved back home. Three years later, Chet couldn’t forget her, so he took a ride, to her hometown, to see her. She was at the 1939 World’s Fair that day; however, Helen’s mother was so impressed with Chet, that she encouraged her daughter to write to “that nice young fellow from Rockville”. A very surprised Helen listened to her mother and wrote to Chester. The rest is history.
On June 8, 1940, they married; a marriage that lasted 65 years. They shared a faith and family that endured through time. They raised 9 children.
Chet helped in building the Kosciusko Club, of which he was a life member.
As a life member of the BPOE #1599, Rockville Lodge of Elks, he ran the Elks bingo for many years. He was named Elk of the Year in 2002.
One of Chet’s greatest accomplishments was starting Our Lady of Fatima Council #4122 of the Knights of Columbus in 1955, having served as Grand Knight, Treasurer and Trustee until he could no longer attend meetings. He was also a member of the Bishop McMahon General Assembly 4th Degree. He served as faithful navigator and head of the honor guard. He loved marching in parades, especially the St. Patrick’s Day parades in Holyoke, MA.
As a parishioner of St. Joseph’s, Chet worked as a trustee for 50 years, head usher, on the parish council and chairman of many bazaars, raffles and Cadillac parties. He and Helen helped to make thousands of pierogi for parish events. He also ran St. Joseph’s bingo for many, many years.
Being active in St. Joseph’s Parish, Chet belonged to the St. Joseph’s Men’s Club, St. Michael’s and the Holy Name Societies. Chet enjoyed greeting people attending the 4:00 pm Saturday and the 9:30 am Sunday masses.
In the Diocese of Norwich, he served on the Pastoral Council and as Deanery Chairman of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.
In 1957, Chet served as Chairman of the campaign to build the new St. Joseph’s Church.
While Helen resided in Fox Hill Center, Chet joined the Friday morning rosary team and continued after Helen’s death, in 2005, until recently.
In private, Dad/Dziadziu loved music, playing his harmonica, playing pinochle, tending his garden, taking walks, and spending time with family at Mashapaug. He also loved to watch sports: the Dodgers, Orioles, the LA Lakers, the Green Bay Packers, and Notre Dame Football and, of course, UConn.
Chet always said that being active and doing things made him forget his own aches and pains.
Besides his wife Helen, Chet was predeceased by his parents, his brothers John (Stella), Edward, Frank, Walter, Stanley (Jeannette), Matthew and sisters, Anna (Steve) Popick, Lucy (Eugene) Roszczewski, Mary (Richard) Stachowiak, Sophie, brothers-in-law Thomas Fracewski and Chuck Bielski, sister-in law Theresa S. Bloniarz, son-in-law Howard H. Daly Jr., daughter-in-law Sharon Garnesky Bloniarz, great grandsons, Drake Ryan D’Amato and Nicholas Redkey and all of Helen’s siblings and their spouses.
In 2016, Chester lost his daughter Emily Bloniarz Rizner and her husband, Paul Rizner, of Union, CT.
Left to celebrate his life are daughter, Helen Daly of Ellington and her children, Jon and Judy Daly, Jerome, Miriam, Jason, Melanie and José Castilla , great grandson Holden , Justin and Martin, son Henry, of Vernon, and children, Stacey D’Amato, Curtis and Tina Redkey, great grandchildren Zachary and Sydney D’Amato, Camesha Roses, Jeremy, Chad and Faith Redkey, son Eugene, of Vernon, and children Lisa and Keith Brawley and Mark Bloniarz , greats Chelsea, Sharontina and Eric, great-greats Gabriel and Adriana (AJ), daughters, Rosemary Gregory, of Vernon, Angela Johnson, of South Windsor, Mary Bloniarz, of Vernon, Rita and Brian Pons of Canton, their children, Maureen (MD) and Roger Kuhrt, Dennis (JD)and Jin Pons and Monica and Bill Breuer of Cromwell , their sons Timothy(PhD) and Gregory and Emily’s daughters, Amanda Rizner DVM and husband Todd Chrisman of Maine, Rachel and Adam Huntley of CA and Jaimie Rizner of Boston, MA.
In addition, Chet leaves his brother Joseph of Enfield, sister Charlotte ”Kazia” Bielski, also of Enfield, and sister-in-law, Theresa Bloniarz of Vernon and many nieces, nephews and friends.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to all the faithful friends who visited him, especially Matt Stein for his kindness and caring and for bringing communion to Chet.
Most of all, thanks to the staff of Fox Hill Center and Dr. Orris, for their wonderful dedication and caring for our Dad.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Felician Sisters, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield, CT 06082, the Office of Radio and Television/ORTV, 15 Peach Orchard Road, Prospect, CT 06712-1052, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Relatives and friends may join the family Friday, January 5, 2018, from 3 to 7 pm, at Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect St, Rockville, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place, Saturday, January 6, 2018, at 10:00 am, at St. Joseph Church, 33 West St, Rockville, CT. Burial will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery. For online condolences please visit www.pietrasfuneralhome.com.