Obituary Listings

Julia Nicgorski Bartek

January 14, 1935 June 19, 2018
Julia Nicgorski Bartek
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Obituary for Julia Nicgorski Bartek

An open letter to Mom
(the way I remember it)


Julia (Drejerwska) Nicgorski Bartek
January 14th,1935 – June 19th,2018

Julia Drejerwska you were born of humble beginnings like King David. Yet, not from a line of royalty, but from a line of loyalty. The youngest of seven, you would rise above them all in beauty, stature and grace. You learned well from your mother the principles of life. No matter life’s misfortunes you always carry yourself with dignity, self-respect and goodness. There has always been a special ambience about you, that others knew upon a glance there was nothing ordinary about your presence.
I came to really appreciate this fact about you when I started elementary school. When the time came for the first day that all the students in my class were to have their mothers come to class for the afternoon. Well, all the mothers did come, but when you came through the door all the kids started to whisper, “whose mother is that?” You stunned an entire class of 6-year old’s, with your perfectly selected attire, matched by your beautiful blonde hair and make-up that rivaled the Hollywood A-list Actresses of the day…Yep, my Father was one lucky guy and I was the PROUDEST child in the classroom.
Your moral compass would serve you well as a loving wife and mother. Men can make a house with wood and bricks by hand. You though made a home with love from your heart. Your hands were very involved in homemaking, starting with a wonderful variety of cuisine. Your loving meals were some of the best food I would eat in my entire life, truly both the rich and famous desired a meal from your kitchen. Your skills as a homemaker were known throughout the neighborhood as the cleanest and best decorated house for miles. Everyone wanted to visit our home and vacation in California with Julie, you made everyone feel special and treated them like royalty because you were a Princess yourself.
Like every great ruler one needs to know the goings-on of their domain, and no one knew more about the events of the day than you. Nothing got by you. From the weather of the day to current news, you had it all covered. You could speak on any topic with ease. Well read like your mother before you, you were a study of fashion and trends and taught me how to match colors, garments and styles. You taught me it was hip to drink Perrier with a slice of lemon, so that when other guys were getting sloppy on beer I was sober and cool. When any of our family or friends got sick they would call you for medical answers.
As a Princess you need to be able to judge matters and discipline. Which you did with speed and ease. You could walk in the front door of our house (being gone for hours at dinner with dad) and somehow know in a moment that my brother and I were roughhousing, no matter how perfect we would try to clean up before you got home. All you needed was one glance and you could read us boys like a book, you knew exactly when we had gotten into some trouble or if we had something on our minds. I could walk in the same door on Leadwell Street at least 50 feet away from you sitting on the den couch and you would ask “What is in your hand?” Or “How did you get that mark on your pants?” I still don’t know how you did that. Your intuition is second to none. You just knew that something was wrong, and you could feel it and it was impossible to hide anything from you for any length of time. It did serve you well since we all respected you for your ability to discern. Being the boy, that I was, simply meaning there was foolishness tied up in my heart, your moral compass of goodness and godliness made me want to live up to a higher standard and be a good person like you. I never wanted to disappoint you or cause you grief. You were an example of faithfulness in the congregation and many knew that if you were praying on their behalf Jehovah God was listening to your voice, since he listens to his faithful ones. Your discipline was simple, I don’t remember you ever spanking me but the threat of pulling out all your own hair and running down the street screaming was enough to settle me down. But, if that did not work, all you would have to say is “wait till your father gets home.” Then there was your use of powerful reasoning, like the time I shot a bird with a BB gun. You told me that it was a mommy bird looking for food for her baby birds, and now the little baby birds are waiting and asking, “where is my mommy.” I don’t think I ever shot a BB gun again or killed a bird… I cried so hard.
As My Polish Princess Mother, you were the master storyteller. I loved your stories, you seemed to make them up on a whim. My favorite was one you made up using my little plastic horse collection. Which included a beautiful gray show horse, and from what I thought just some ordinary brown horses and a little colt. Then you told of a story where the colt was admiring the show horse and didn’t think his plain brown horse father was that special, then you showed how the colt’s father was very brave and saved his little colt son when the show horse was too scared to help. So, the little colt deeply impressed by the courage of his seemingly ordinary father now loved and respected his father. Some of my most treasured times is when you read to me books on summer days when I needed a nap as a little boy. I’ll never forget the Phantom Toll Booth reading, you made it come alive... thank you.
Great Rulers Plan ahead for the next generation. When it was time for me to find my mate, you were selfless, and you encouraged me to pursue the love of my life and you accepted my wife as your own daughter. You gave us everything. You allowed Valerie to become my Queen and supported her in every way possible. She will never forget you for that. She was always proud to have you as her Mother-In-Law.
Princess Julia, I don’t think my children could have ever had a better grandmother just read the heartfelt letters they wrote you as a testimony of everlasting love for their Bopchie (Polish for Grandmother). The Very Best Grandmother Ever & Great Grandmother. God’s blessing to you is that you were able to be a big part of the lives of Ashton and Grayson they will always cherish you and have the best memories of Princess Bopchie.
My Greatest Honor is you allowing me to serve MY POLISH PRINCESS MOTHER! There is nothing I would rather do in my life than to serve you, care for you on your life’s journey. You have been there for me since the beginning of life for me on March 8th, 1960, and I will be there for you when you are ready to take your rest, “for a little while”, from this weary old world. You taught me the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 the apostle Paul wrote “But when this which is corruptible puts on incorruption and this which is mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death is swallowed up forever.55 “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?”56 The sting producing death is sin, and the power for sin is the Law.57 But thanks to God, for he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Yes, you use to teach others the meaning of Acts 24:15 which reads “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”
And you believed that what Jesus did for his friend Lazarus he was going do for you being that you are a friend and believer in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We will share this the coming promised blessing together found at Revelation 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new
And I will be there when you wake anew to share life’s eternity together as a happy full family serving our God Jehovah and his King Jesus Christ.
I Love You for All Eternity My Beautiful Polish Princess Mother,
Your Son Mark
(The Above Portion was given to Julia to read 3 Weeks before she Finished her Wonderful Life for now).

A list of those who were in the court of our Polish Princess:
Those that long to see you again and hold you dear in their hearts and minds are as follows:
The Tree of your life started with Your Oldest son: Charles Nicgorski Jr.
From his line:
Your 1st Grandson: Charles Nicgorski III
From the Line of Charles III: 2nd Great Grand Child, 1St Great Granddaughter:
Olive Nicgorski
Your 2nd Grandson Clifford Nicgorski

Your 2nd Son Mark Nicgorski and His Wife Valerie Nicgorski from their Line:
3rd Grandson Marcus Anthony Nicgorski
4th Grand Child 1St Granddaughter Laurenne Juliet Paladino (your little Polish Ice Princess)
1st Grandson-In-Law Stephen James Paladino
From the line of the Paladino’s:
1st. Great Grandson: Ashton James Paladino
3rd Great Grand Child & 2nd Great Grandson: Grayson Jayce Paladino
Your early years
Julia Nicgorski Bartek (Drejerwska)
Was the youngest of on 6 girls and one brother.
Parents were Stanley Drejerwski and Hattie Rykowski
All 5 of her sisters proceed Julia in death and it is believed that her brother is still alive.
Names Siblings: Stella, Anna, Caroline, Wanda, Mary (being the one she talked to on a semi daily basis) and her brother Joe (AKA Whitesy). All the kids were natural blondes like Hattie their mother (so says their hairdressers). All the girls had high cheekbones like Hattie and were true beauties of their day. Caroline and Julie looked almost like twins it was fun to be around aunt Caroline because she looks like my mother but talked twice as fast. Mary and Julie were best of friends to the end. Mary’s Kids always made a point on not growing distance from us.
Mom was very close to my Father side of the family as well. She loved to be in the company of the Nicgorski’s. She loved her mother-in-law Ann and treated her in-laws as honored guest in her home and life. I never heard mom say a bad word about any of my Father’s 3 brothers and sister.
Names of the Nicgorski boys plus one: Charlie my father who could do anything and did (Die at 46) Wally was Smooth and a Crooner, Ronnie The Tough Guy that could scare you with just a look (best eye balls in PA), Eddie the coolest dude I ever knew to this day and an American James Bond and one special Aunt Anita who received the best characteristics of all the family members wrapped in to one great person.
Mom loved to laugh and the Nicgorski’s could all make you laugh until you had to change your pants--really! Their life stories got better and better as the years passed by. From this list of players came the most amazing list of Wives/Aunts/Uncle and cousins that anyone could ever dream of having the privilege to know and love.
To name a few:
The Charitable and Benevolent Aunt Pat (Made You Laugh)
The Beautiful & Wonderful Dancing Aunt Joannie (Pure Style) Who cloned herself with her beautiful daughter.
The Stunning Jaw dropping Aunt Cindy who somehow was known even in Woodbury Tennessee as a beauty (what? Yes really) who gave me two of the most wonderful Cousins.
The Lovely and Caring Aunt Debbie who has a special place in my heart, always. (The Newest Addition)
Geoff Latosh or is it Jeff? (Who cares) my uncle who had mastered the use of Self-Deprecating Humor and could have been a writer for Bob Newhart or could have been is double and man did he know how to make blue cheese salad dressing like no one-else’s business. (what a mess)- oh yeah thanks for the Peter Frampton live album in 1976! Love you.
The Bartek in your name.
The living gift of God. 10 years After the Death of Charlie your husband of 25 years. You were determined not to remarry for the sake of the memory of Dad in your grown children’s minds. You were always so unselfish. There were many would-be suitors, but you would not have it. Until a dear friend explained to me how selfish my brother and I were thinking that this beautiful Princess was to be relegated to a life of loneliness from the age of 44 on. That is when I told you please don’t live for the memories of your children, make new memories for us all to share. I regret not having the insight to tell you this nine years earlier after the loss of Dad. You were so principled that if your children would be hurt, you were not going to remarry. Wow, I was 29 and my brother 33 and you were still worried about grown men being upset. Then came along Leon Bartek the most unlikely candidate of all. A True-Blue Cowboy from Waco Texas. Let the good times roll again. Leon knew that he had lassoed a Polish Princess and treated you better than I could have ever hoped for. He became my kid’s Grandpa that they never had. He was a very smart, loving man. He was your real-life John Wayne in True Grit that saved the day and set you up to enjoy the rest of your life. Though we lost him, way too early (just 10 years of marriage), it was his loving planning that made it possible for you to have the resources to have a safe protected life and made it possible for you to join me in Tennessee. I loved that man for all he did for his family in Texas and all he gave to his new family with you. Your Cowboy was a Prince of a Man.
Yes, My Mother had a wonderful life and exposed me to some the greatest people of my life, my brother Charlie and I will always remember you as the strongest person in our lives. Julia was the very essence of strength, love and family. We are better people for having a Polish Princess as our Mother and a gift from God.
The Polish Princess’ Final Request:
My Mother was a very Modest Person, and somewhat private. So, she gave me clear instructions: No formal funeral service arrangements, no public talks, no viewings. “I came in to the world with no fan fair and I’m leaving that way.” My Dad Charlie loved the showmanship my Mom enjoyed watching it more, she was content not being the main attraction (but by default she commanded the attention). Though she did own a burial plot in the Hollywood Hills famous Forest Lawn located in California where the so-called Stars are buried, she did not want to be sent back to California. California wasn’t home anymore. She loved it here in Tennessee and this was home for her now, where 3 generations of her children are. So she issued me the command of finding her the final resting place here and did not want to discuss it beyond that one set of instructions. She trusted that I would do it right for her. I wanted her to be in a place that would be biblical, a place where Abraham would have chosen for his family Genesis 23:18-20.
So, I started searching 9 months ago and found what I was looking for. I didn’t want the cold concrete vault and steel casket stuff. I wanted nature and beauty, I wanted a natural green burial where she will actually become a part of her surroundings of Jehovah’s creation and I found it. I read an article of a group that was committed to creating a conservation site that would never look like a commercial cemetery with massive head stones and plastic flowers, they would not let the burial sites intrude on nature but add to the land beauty. With walking trails and natural landscaping and would be always protected against big commercial funeral corporations. Prayerfully I found this site . I contacted them in October and they were nowhere near ready to open. They just finished the purchase of the land and were working through all the legal stuff to make it a natural burial site. So, they said they wished they could help but they did not think they would be open in time for Mom. Well, my Mother had some slight improvements and seemed to be holding on for a time longer (actually she was willing herself to see her oldest Great Grandson finish his last round of Chemo and return home). During that same time, I contacted my old friend and client of mine John Smith. John was an expert in the funeral business and known for being a loving caring professional, to my surprise he started his own practice (Smith Family Funeral & Cremation Service). I told John about my wishes of a green natural burial site. He was not aware of one in Tennessee, so I gave him the website of the Larkspur Conservation Park he said he would call. Later that day he called me back overjoyed with news!
He said Mark you won’t believe this, but the director of the conservation is an old school friend and we went to funeral college together. I explained your wishes to him and he said he remembered me contacting him and that he would give you and your wife a private “four-wheel drive” tour of the grounds and they would make an exception for my Mother since there was only two others to be buried on the grounds to date. (one was connected to the board members of the conservation, the other was a friend of the ownership). Of Course, it’s a God / Nicgorski type of thing – Right!
So here are our plans. Mom is going to buried in a beautiful wicker and seaweed coffin and a tree sapling will be planted above her. Thus, she will actually become part of her surroundings to enjoy every time we visit. We are going to have this done immediately and then a rock that is indigenous to the mountain site will be selected as a natural marker stone and will be carved with her name. Once this is completed we will wait until my oldest Grandson Ashton is well enough to join us for an outside family day of love, respect and remembrance, with a smile for if you knew my Mom she would want us to laugh and enjoy our moments at this beautiful setting. When we have it all prepared and the date is firm we will have a day in the woods together for those who truly knew her well.
The Amazing Goodbye:
Tuesday June 19th was a day of extremely hard breathing for you, you had no control over your mouth any longer, it was stuck open bent to one side from morphine and Ativan treatments to the gum area of your mouth. Your eyes where just slits barely visible. The hospice nurse predicted 72 hours of life expectancy that morning and ordered oxygen for you to help will the heavy gasping for air. It was hard to see you, my strong independent Princess fighting for air. I would check on you that day every 20 minutes to witness the same painful scene. At about 9:15 pm I got off a phone call and thought to myself I am late to your room to check on you so I hurried to your bed.
What in the world is going on here Mom? I said to myself. To my Amazement there you were with your mouth and lips shut in their perfect shape and back in place. You had a confident look of peace and purpose all at the same time. Though the bed was tilted up your head was not thrown back or out of place but, your head was balanced perfectly sitting up in bed with your Blue Eyes Beaming Crystal Clear with a twinkle and piercing with depth. Your breathing was slow measured and calm, no heavy heaving no groaning. Those beautiful Blue Eyes followed my every step into your room and you did not take them off my eyes as I walked in a 180-degree path around your bed. I took your hand and asked you if I could say a prayer with you and you motioned ever so gently with your eyes and head yes. I prayed for the God of all tender mercies to remember the wonderful person you were and to now give you peace and rest from your labors and to remember your good works and the love you have had for God Jehovah’s name and purpose, I recounted the fact that you were a Wonderful Mother, Wonderful Grandmother, Wonderful Great Grandmother and asked our heavenly Father to make you anew in the resurrection when God’s Ruling King Jesus calls you by name into his Father’s paradise. I asked God to let you rest now and at the word Amen you let out a light exhale of air through your lips and your chest rested peacefully down, your lovely hand went limp and the those beaming eyes went dim and it was as if a light breeze gently blew your candle out. I was in total disbelief that you could time the end that perfectly. Surely that did not just happen like a scripted movie or a biblical passage I told myself, so I ran and turned off the bubbles from the oxygen machine and tried to find a pulse, then I wrapped your arm with a blood pressure machine to see if I could get a reading because things don’t just work like this in real life do they? Error was the reading on the blood pressure device. I put my hand on your heart and no beats, still in disbelief I reopened your eyelid and shined a light in your eye (so sorry for that) but the beam in your eye was gone. Yes, you really did wait calmly for me to come back in to see you one more time to say your Wonderful Polish Princess Goodbye with Style Dignity and Grace just as royalty would do. God allowed you to go to sleep when you wanted to. For this I am forever grateful to both you and Jehovah. Amen Mother, Amen!

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity or, a tree sapling be planted on behalf of mother to beautify our lovely earth.


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