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Reine Marie Iwinski Siwajek, 90 years of age, passed away peacefully at home on May 3, 2019 after a long illness. A devout Catholic, she was born on July 24, 1928, one of 6 children, to Stanislaus and Martha (Zowodny) Iwinski. She grew up in Kuschwantz Polish neighborhood and attended Nativity Grade School. Reine was a 1946 graduate of Central Catholic High School. She worked in the office at the former Auto-Lite company until her marriage on August 26, 1950 to the love of her life, Frank John Siwajek, II.
Reine’s joy in life was to be a full-time wife to Frank and full-time mother to her 8 children: Frank (Anita) Siwajek of Delaware, Jean Siwajek-Kanig of California, Ruth (Paul) Passalacqua of Maumee, LuAnn (Jim) Tafelski of Sylvania, Pamela (Paul) Bonfiglio of Toledo, Lawrence (Patricia) Siwajek of Switzerland, Gary (Kristi) Siwajek of Illinois, and Sharon (Michael) McKenna of Bay Village.
In 1971, Reine began working as the sole Sacristan at St. Adalbert Catholic Church under the supervision of Fr. Joseph Mrowca, her dear friend. As the sacristan she was the funeral and wedding coordinator, arranged the candles, flowers, and all things necessary in the sanctuary and 3 altars. She especially enjoyed decorating for the Holy Days. She often remarked she loved her work, because it allowed her “to be in God’s House everyday.” Her work was highlighted by a personal meeting with Lech Walesa, when he spoke at St. Adalbert Church in 1999. Reine was an active member of the St. Adalbert Rosary Society, the St. Adalbert & Hedwig Altar Society, and the St. Vincent de Paul 55 Club. She was crowned the 43rd Queen of the 2000 St. Adalbert’s Fest. Reine would often lead the St. Adalbert congregation in the Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. She attended the Gorzkie Zale and Benediction, and was strongly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She enjoyed 2 pilgrimages to Poland with St. Adalbert friends, led by Fr. Marek. She enjoyed visiting Rome and Switzerland with her son, Larry. Reine retired in 2008 after 37 years at St. Adalbert Church and had a lovely retirement party in the parish hall.
Reine cherished her 15 grandchildren: Steven (Beth) and Casey Siwajek; Ian (Maddie) and Emma Kanig; Carisa, Michael (Haley), and Cassandra Passalacqua; James and Katherine Tafelski; Paul, Evan, and Andrew Bonfiglio; Audrey Siwajek; Allison and Everest McKenna, as well as 3 great-grandchildren: Aidan, Jonathan, and Evelyn. Reine is also survived by her brother-in-law David Kaminski and sister-in-law, Mary Iwinski, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Frank, and her siblings Stanislaus (Delores) Iwinski, Eugene Iwinski, Robert Iwinski, Carol Kaminski, and Gloria (Eugene) Bushroe; also by her 2 favorite pups, Puppy and Maggie.
Visitation will be Tuesday, May 7 from 3-8 p.m. at Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114 E. Alexis Rd., with a Rosary/Scripture Service at 7 p.m. Funeral services will begin Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. in the funeral home and continue with the Funeral Mass in St. Adalbert Church at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
The family would like to thank all her caregivers, especially her daughter Ruth, and Lisa and Leonette for their care and compassion over the past several years. Memorial tributes may be given to St. Adalbert Church, 3233 Lagrange St., Toledo, OH 43608.
St. Adalbert Catholic Church
3233 Lagrange Street, Toledo OH 43608