Josephine Marie Witek DiFazio, 96, known to most of her family and friends as “Jo” and to her grandchildren as “Babci,” passed away peacefully on January 21, 2014, in the city of her birth – Derby,CT.
She was the daughter of the late John A. and Mary Biesiadecka Witek and a graduate of the Derby High School Class of 1935.
Jo lived a long and productive life as a caring nurse, loving wife, nurturing mother, and doting grandmother.
She is survived by her brothers Theodore (Teddy) Witek and Leonard (Lindy) Witek, her son John (Jr.), her grandchildren Stefan and Alina, and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband of 59 years John (Sr.) and her sister Helen Witek Szczesiul.
Jo was very active in her church, St. Michael’s in Derby, and in various organizations such as the Ladies Auxiliary of the Catholic War Veterans, the St. Michael’s Church Choir and the Ladies Guild, of which she was a founding member and past president. She served as a board member of Catholic Family Services for 22 years and also was past president there.
A very proud and grateful two-time cancer survivor, she volunteered for many years at the American Cancer Society.
Jo spoke fluent Polish and, especially while visiting Poland, was very proud to be mistaken as a native of that country, though she was a first-generation American. Her proficiency in Polish was most useful during the adoption of both of her grandchildren from Tarnow, Poland – by coincidence the birthplace of her father.
Jo’s nursing career began with a RN from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hartford and spanned 40 years, covering doctors’ offices, Griffin Hospital, US Motors (later Emerson Electric), St. Michael’s School, and the Town of Orange.
The family extends sincere gratitude to the wonderful caretakers who attended to Jo during her final years: her close friend Arlene Jachyra, Teddy and Irene Witek, Lindy Witek, Steffie Poslusny, and the Visiting Nurse Service of CT nurses and home health aides.
Friends may greet the family at the Edward F. Adzima Funeral Home, 253 Elizabeth Street, Derby, on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
On Friday her funeral procession will leave the funeral home at 8:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial ay 9 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church, Derby.
Burial will follow at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Derby.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations for Masses be made to St. Michael’s Church, 75 Derby Ave, Derby, CT 06418.
Offer condolences online at www.adzimafh.com.