Janina “Babcia” (Skiba) Stopyra, 97, longtime resident of Lowell, Massachusetts; the matriarch of her family, died peacefully on Wednesday evening, May 10, 2023 at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, New Hampshire. She was surrounded by the love of her family in her final hours. She was the beloved wife of the late Julian Stopyra with whom she shared 60 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2005.
Janina was born in Poland on March 17, 1926 and was the daughter of the late Andrzej and Francesca (Bajek) Skiba. She attended schools while living in Poland however, during WWII, when Janina was just thirteen, her home was taken over by Russia. Her family was brought to Siberia where they were split up and placed in work camps where she spent the next five years. After the war, she returned to Poland where she met Julian and began their epic love story, starting with the births of their four children while running a farm.
In 1966, Janina, along with her husband and sons, immigrated to the United States, settling in Lowell, Massachusetts where she has resided for the past 55 years. She was employed as a seamstress for Robert Leonard within the Mill Buildings of Lowell for a portion of those years.
Janina loved entertaining both friends and family; her home serving as the hub of every family get together and holiday celebration. She had an extreme love for gardening and kept a maintained yard full of flowers, taking special pride in her rose bushes lining her walkway. She was also passionate about cooking Polish cuisine (her family never let a single pierogi go to waste) and gambling (scratches were her preference).
Janina was a devout Roman Catholic and has been a faithful parishioner at the Holy Trinity Polish Church on High Street in Lowell for many decades. She was a lifetime member of the Dom Polski in Lowell and a member of the Lady of Czestochowa. In her younger years, she frequently went dancing with her husband and attended many Polish Picnics at St. Casimir Cemetery. Above all, her most cherished time was spent with her family, who she deeply loved and who deeply loved her.
Babcia is survived by her five grandchildren, Julie Trepanier and her husband Jason of Nashua, NH, Peter Stopyra and his wife Natalie of Merrimack, NH, Marsha Paquette and her husband Eric of Dracut, MA, Richard Stopyra and his wife Devon of Amherst, NH, and Samantha Luppold and her husband Bill of Townsend, MA; her two daughters-in-law, Doreen Stopyra of Dracut, MA and Karen Stopyra of Lowell, MA. She is also survived by her twelve great-grandchildren, Kallandra Nyhagen and her husband Philip of Nashua, NH, Raymond Kapala III and his wife Dr. Julia Kapala of Londonderry, NH, Kyle Paquette of Dracut, MA, Colleen Luppold of Concord, NH, Pheonyx Stopyra of Merrimack, NH, Joshua Luppold of Tyngsboro, MA, Julian Stopyra of Leominster, MA, Dominic Trepanier of Nashua, NH Tucker Faneuf of Amherst, NH, Ayvrie Trepanier of Nashua, NH and Eddison Luppold and Neri Luppold of Townsend, MA. She is also survived by her great-great grandson Henry Kapala; several nieces and nephews, as well as extended family residing in Poland.
In addition to her husband, Julian, she was predeceased by her four sons, Emil Stopyra and his wife Teresa, Theodore Stopyra, Edward Stopyra, and Andrew Stopyra; as well as her three brothers, Stanley Skiba, William Skiba, and Emil Skiba.
Janina’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of the 4th floor at Lowell General Hospital, Saint Campus as well as the staff at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack for the care and compassion shown to Janina and her family during her time with them.
Relatives and friends are invited to Janina’s visitation on TUESDAY, May 16th from 4 until 7 PM at DRACUT FUNERAL HOME, 2159 Lakeview Avenue, Dracut, MA. Her Funeral Mass will be held on WEDNESDAY, May 17th at 10 AM in Holy Trinity Polish Church, 340 High Street, Lowell, MA. KINDLY MEET AT CHURCH. Her interment will follow in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Lowell. Donations may be made in Janina’s name to the Holy Trinity Polish Church, or to the Community Hospice House, 7 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, NH 03054. Arrangements under the care of Rochette Funeral Home. Nashua.
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