Aug. 26, 1926 – June 17, 2017
Irene M. Slusarski, of Grand Island, a retired nurse and longtime supporter of the St. Jude Center, which provides pastoral care for the Buffalo Medical Campus, died Saturday in Buffalo General Medical Center. She was 90.
Born in Buffalo, the former Irene Ulaszewski grew up near the Central Terminal on the city’s East Side. She attended Corpus Christi Elementary School and East High School and commuted by bus to Trott Vocational High School in Niagara Falls to train as a licensed practical nurse.
A single mother, Mrs. Slusarski worked as an LPN for 10 years at Columbus Hospital, Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Doctors Hospital in the Town of Tonawanda.
After earning an associate degree in nursing from Trocaire College in 1967, she became a registered nurse at Buffalo General, primarily in obstetrics and in labor and delivery. She also served for a few years as head nurse before she retired in 1992.
She was a founding member of the St. Jude Center Guild, which supports the St. Jude Center, established in 1969 by her brother Monsignor Edward Ulaszeski. In retirement, she worked as a volunteer at the center.
“The St. Jude Center, that was her whole life,” her son Paul said.
A resident of Sloan for many years, Mrs. Slusarski and her brother purchased a home on Grand Island in 2001. They traveled in Europe together, visiting the Vatican, and she served as his caretaker prior to his death in 2010.
In addition to traveling, she enjoyed reading, gardening and birds, especially hummingbirds.
She became a gourmet cook after taking cooking classes at Emerson High School and was a consultant on interior design after taking design classes at Villa Maria College.
Deeply religious, she attended Mass at the St. Jude Center six days a week and enjoyed watching Catholic programming on EWTN.
In addition to her son, survivors include nieces and a nephew.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in the St. Jude Center, 760 Ellicott St.