STELMACH - Suzanne M. (nee Pieczonka) Age 73 passed in the evening of January 21, 2021 following a three year journey attempting to overcome the effects of a gastro-intestinal tumor. Suzie was the daughter of Matthew J, and Marian H (nee Janicki) Pieczonka. And except for the fact that her adult life was directly affected by the vagaries of the post industrial economy, she would have spent her entire life in Western New York. A 1964 graduate of Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, she was initially employed by the Buffalo Evening News in the Circulation Department while her father worked as a Stereo-typer at the newly constructed print plant on Washington Street. In July 1968 she married Alfred Stelmach a graduate student at Clarkson University and relocated to Potsdam New York [that union produced two sons Scot (April 1969) and Hans (October 1972)]. When the young family returned to the Buffalo area Suzie found employment at the Harrison Radiator plant where she built radiators and heater cores for General Motors vehicles. As was the case for many western New Yorkers, the auto industry provided a path to middle class. That aspiration was fulfilled by both sons who have gone on to personal success and accomplishment having provided five grandchildren who have sustained Suzie's enthusiasm for life itself and to share the pride and generosity for family exemplified by her own parents. As she approached retirement age, Suzie chose to relocate from the Delphi plant in Lockport to the GM Distribution Center in Martinsburg, WV to fulfill terms under the United Autoworkers agreement at a General Motors facility. It was during this period in the early years of the New Millennium that she undertook her role as liaison-ambassador for Western New York to our small family's Diaspora throughout the eastern seaboard. Arriving with her vehicle loaded with Sabres caps, T-shirts and the occasional commemorative wine issue, jars of Weber's mustard, Sahlen's hot dogs, Wardynski's Polish sausage and cases of Labatt's Blue her visits were always viewed and anticipated as a holiday event no matter the time of year. Of course she always cheerfully collected the empty bottles from the hinterlands where returnable beverage containers are universally scorned as a violation of human freedom. In addition to the pride she derived from her sons successes and the love and generosity Scott and Hans have provided uncompromisingly she did admit (one) regret. That regret was that the effects of treatment and debilitating nature of disease itself restricted her travel to share special time with the five grandchildren Matthew, Priscilla, Bret, Isabel and Stella Stelmach. We all regret the loss of a mother, sister, aunt and grandmother whose passing has left a chasm in our own lives.
Suzanne M. STELMACH