Nancy Patricia “Patsy” (Patryjak) Gasiorowski born February 4,1937, went to be with the Lord on August 5, 2021 surrounded by loving family at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital at 8:54 in the evening. She was a beloved Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend.
Prior to and following a recent fall at her longtime home she loved and proudly maintained herself, Nancy was never alone while in the care of her daughter, Beverlee, and medical professionals in and out of the hospital. In the end, her big heart for everyone she loved couldn’t keep up with her any longer. It was time for her to rest and be the one to receive the love of those closest to her. Her last day was nothing short of what a family get-together always entailed -- conversation, jokes, food, photos, stories new and old, affection and love. Something she has taught us all -- those you love will always matter most.
Nancy Patricia, a lifelong Detroiter, was born 84 and a half years ago to Polish immigrants, the late Joseph and Tillie Patryjak. The youngest of five, she was born in the family home on Ferry Street in the Poletown neighborhood of the city’s East Side. She went to St. Hyacinth Grade School, Felician Academy High School, Providence Hospital School of Nursing and Schoolcraft College. She also earned her Veterinary Assistant Degree through Michigan State. After high school, she married her high school sweetheart and first love, Robert, and had three children together.
Nancy Pat, as she loved being called, always worked throughout life. She started at the neighborhood bakery, McDougall Bakery. She then went to Providence Nursing School, where she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Her list continued from there, working at Memorial Hospital and then North Detroit General Hospital. She took a little time to act on her love for animals as a Vet Assistant at Centerline Veterinary Hospital and then at the Spay & Neuter Clinic at Detroit Animal Control. Nancy didn’t stay away from helping people long and went back to Harper Hospital Oncology while at the same time going to Schoolcraft College in the Accelerated Program to become an RN. She retired from the Radiation Oncology Center (ROC) at Harper Hospital in 2003. Of course, working to take care of those she loved in any way was always at the top of her list. She often took care of ailing family members and pets. As a divorced single mother, she suffered many losses including her newborn son, adult son, parents, all four siblings and significant others and most recently her son-in-law.
In addition, “Patsy” loved volunteering -- involved in Detroit Model Neighborhood; East Side Homeowners; Detroit Police Mini-Station ERACE CB Patrol; St. Hyacinth Jackowo Seniors where she religiously worked in the Rummage Room for the Banana Festival.
Nancy loved God, Mother Mary and her church, St. Hyacinth, which she faithfully supported -- her family being founding members of the parish. Loving to sing, she was part of the choir there. A favorite of hers was the Big Daddy Lackowski Polka masses, playing Blackjack in the “Vegas” Room at the Banana Festival, being sure to have her parish envelopes in (even if it meant dropping off many at one time) and donating to special events and dinners at the church. Brought up on her Catholic faith, she was sure to attend Pope John Paul II’s Hamtramck visit in 1987.
Nancy was a generous and giving woman. In addition to her church, she supported many other charities -- which was known to anyone who received a greeting card decorated in stickers from any one of said charities. (Many times she would even receive a nice gift for herself -- calendar or Dream Catcher, anyone?!) She made sure to never forget anyone’s birthday or anniversary...
Nancy Pat loved to have fun -- keeping active growing up. She played Basketball in school, played piano, loved to ice skate in the Winter time, fishing by the Cement Company on Atwater with her friend, Mr. Brown, visiting the Grand Prix Free Day with her brother Jerome and brother-in-law, Ken, Boblo Island, the State Fair. Nancy was an active member of the Polish National Alliance, where she loved to dance, being both a student and teacher. She continued to be the biggest fan of her grandchildren’s Polish Roman Catholic Union of America dance school, Polskie Maki -- never missing a recital (or raffle!) She loved to be surrounded by the music and dancing at the Polish Labor Day Parade & Festival among other places. She would often be found listening to Polish music in her kitchen after work, while also reading a book.
Nancy was a strong, tough Polish woman who loved fiercely. There was plenty through her years for which she had deep affection. She loved vacations with her family, most notably to her sister, Eleanor, and brother-in-law, Kenneth's cottage and “Big House” as well as going to Las Vegas with her sister Lil. Being hit by the gambling bug, she loved when the casinos came to town and she could reminisce about those trips while visiting in her own home town. A short trip in town included rides to Belle Isle, especially the flower house.
In more recent years, Nancy Pat enjoyed her shows, particularly ION TV, Law & Order, Tom Selleck and the local News. When she was able, people watching was also at the top of her list. She was helpful and generous. Curious and Inquisitive. A “fun” hobby for her was to have health professionals thoroughly explain to her then answer questions in her own medical terms.
If all this isn’t enough, there is plenty else to describe Patsy… She loved being a Historian, documenting with pictures and saving everything sentimental. She scrapbooked and kept many photo albums well dated and explained. She enjoyed old Country Music and the Downtown Hoedown. She loved food, when she could eat it, some of which included -- Polish Village Cafe, Legends Coney Island (#2 breakfast with grits!), hamburgers, Starlight mints. She loved to party and enjoyed herself a Bacardi Dark Rum (it has Caramel!) & Pepsi back in her day and Detroit’s own Vernors with juice for more recent times. She would often be found either on her living room couch or front porch swing (people watching) with a cigarette (Kent, back-when, or Monarch 100s, recently) in her hand. Two of her favorite spots. Many conversations and visits were had in those spots. She loved watching out her kitchen window at her backyard roses, flowers and bird feeder. Nancy loved making lists, being sure to keep up with everything. She loved education and books. She was sure to always have her hanky and purse nearby.
Nancy had lifelong friends, whom she continued to keep in contact even into her recent hospital stay. Her family meant the world to her and you could see the way she would light up when any were around. She often had a pet cat and/or dog. She kept up with all of us, making sure we were safe and cared for.
She took care of all of us. She was our Matriarch. And there will never be another like her…
“See you later, Alligator…” “After a while, Crocodile…” Love you More.
Nancy Pat is predeceased by her parents Joseph and Tillie Patryjak, brother Jerome (Frances), sisters Eleanor (Kenneth), Lillian (Casemere), Genevieve (Arthur), sons Patrick and Gary and son-in-law Gregory Porada.
She is survived by her daughter Beverlee Porada, Grandchildren Jessica (Jaramia), Nicholas (Trina), David (Jennifer), Sarah (Alexander), Samantha (DeAndre), 12 Great-Grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews and numerous family and friends.
Visitation Thursday, August 12, 3 - 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Rosary Service at David Wysocki Funeral Home, 29440 Ryan Rd, Warren, Michigan. Instate Friday, August 13, from 9:30 a.m. until the 10 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church, 3151 Farnsworth St, Detroit, Michigan. Interment to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. All services will be live-streamed and links are available in the services section of the online obituary.
Donations in Patsy's name may be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen (www.cskdetroit.org).
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