Photography

       


Dorothy "Dot" Anne (Hogan) Szczesniak

August 31, 1930 ~ March 4, 2019 (age 88)

Dorothy “Dot” Anne Szczesniak (nee Hogan), 88, passed away serenely Monday, March 4, 2019, at her home in Harwinton, CT. She was in the arms of her eldest daughter with her cat Maeve on her lap and Michele, her hospice aid, at her side.

She was born in Torrington, CT on August 31, 1930, the daughter of Thomas and Olive Hogan. Dot was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Martin Paul Szczesniak and her brothers Bill and Dave Hogan. She is survived by her beloved sisters Marj Grelo of Thomaston and Pat Harrison of Litchfield. Dot was the loving mother of three children: Tom Szczesniak and his wife Marlene of IN and his children Heath, Tara, Ashley, and Kari; Tamara Christensen of Harwinton and her daughters Kendra, Jade, and Brenna; and Elizabeth Johnson and her husband Erik of VT and their son Reece. She was also the proud great-grandmother of 13 and she leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters-in-law, and friends.

There was nothing she loved more than being at Hogan’s Farm. She enjoyed everything about it, her uncles, her friends, and especially picking strawberries. It was there that Dot met Martin. She spent her teenage summers living, working, and getting into mischief. If anything came close to this love, it was visiting her relatives in Nashua, NH.           

Dot and Martin started to build their much-loved home together in the early 1950s on the Szczesniak family property. They lived in this home until the mid-90s when they decided to remove all the custom woodworking and demolish the building and start from scratch on the same property.

Dot started every morning with her cup of Maxwell House instant coffee and two Hostess white powdered donuts. Dot loved to sing, read, share helpful articles, and tell stories. She was often described as sassy and a force of nature. She loved getting the last word and almost lived long enough to write her own obituary.

Before raising her children, Dot worked at The Torrington Company where she made lifelong friends. After children, she enjoyed working part-time. During her Studio Girl make-up years, she would tote her son along to people’s homes and made them look their best while using him as a prop. An amazing people person she excelled at her job as a product demonstrator where she was often known as Dottie. Part explorer, part saleswoman, she drove all over the region. She worked through her mid-eighties and really missed this dramatic outlet.

Dot was a volunteer extraordinaire. She worked tirelessly for many organizations usually devoting most of her time to their fundraising committees. One of her favorite organizations was the Girls Scouts. She loved being Elizabeth’s leader, making everything an adventure, from a simple meeting creating birdhouses in her home, to a trip to D.C. when the girls were in sixth grade.

A commonality in her volunteer activities was her love of the outdoors. This is her legacy to her family, she shared this love by spending time in the woods or taking them on nature walks. A long-time member of the Litchfield Hills Audubon Society, she was a faithful feeder of her feathered friends. She spent many years birding with Audubon and sometimes even communicated with her family via bird calls.

An avid gardener, she preferred to spend her free days visiting nurseries and planting new plots of flowers with daylilies, irises, hostas, and ferns around her home. Every Tuesday morning, she would share her time working at the church with the IHOM Garden Ministry and was a member of the Harwinton Garden Club.

A devout Catholic, she tried to live by the Golden Rule. She exemplified this by helping people in need. Whether it was by driving for them, providing a place to live, or simply helping them through difficult times, she was a dependable and faithful friend. Dot taught CCD and was a member of the church’s Mothers Club.  Dot and Martin were lucky to be able to travel with the church to Ireland, Poland, Russia, and France among other countries.

Strong, witty, opinionated, and intelligent she was filled to the brim with loving kindness. She was known for being a fast strawberry picker, driver, and accumulator of things. Most of all she was quick to win over the hearts of the people she met.

The family thanks the VNA Northwest Hospice, her doctors, her prayer group, and Father Michael for his visit in her final days. Thank you also to Sue and Ken Alender, Jean Young, and Sandy Thibault for the dedication and love they showed for her particularly over the past year.

The wake will be at Cook Funeral Home, 82 Litchfield St, Torrington, CT from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 11, 2019, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, (Our Lady of Hope Parish) 78 Litchfield Rd, Harwinton, CT starting at 11 a.m. followed by a celebration of Dot’s life at Fairview Farm, 300 Hill Rd, Harwinton, CT.  Relatives and friends are asked to meet directly at Church.  Burial will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Litchfield Hills Audubon Society; Immaculate Heart of Mary, and/or VNA Northwest, Inc. Hospice. Dot loved donating money to a vast number of organizations, so we don’t want to limit your options to just one.

 

 


Donations may be made to:

Litchfield Hills Audubon Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 861, Litchfield CT 06759
Web: http://www.lhasct.org

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (Our Lady of Hope Parish)
P. O. Box 127; 78 Litchfield Road, Harwinton CT 06791


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