In Memory

Virginia M Stopczynski (Dworecki) - Class Of 1941

Virginia Dworecki Stopczynski

Sept. 1, 1923 - Mar. 27, 2018

SOUTH BEND - Virginia M. Dworecki, 94, residing in South Bend, Indiana passed away Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at Hospice House, South Bend.

Virginia was born on September 1, 1923 in South Bend to the late Ignatius Stopczynski and Josephine (Witkowska) Stopczynski, and has remained a lifelong resident of this area.

Virginia was raised on a dairy farm in Granger, Indiana, and was the fourth of six children. Virginia milked cows before and after school, as farm families can only experience. She was a part of a family who ate fresh eggs from their chicken coop and made buttermilk, cottage cheese, and had pierogis frequently. Her father, Ignatius, was the head dry wine maker in this region. He utilized many hands for picking in order to pick 35 rows of grapes at harvest time. The Stopczynski family hosted Sunday dinners and had many friends and family come over.

In early childhood, they only spoke Polish at home. The children learned English when they went to school and had interaction with other children. Virginia attended Harris Elementary School, and her teacher was Mary Frank, for whom the school was later named. Eventually, Virginia and her siblings were coaches for their parents to learn English in order for them to become U.S. Citizens.

Virginia learned how to drive in a Pierce Arrow, with a shift on the floor. She graduated from Washington Clay High School in 1942. Following that, Virginia was employed at Ball Band, Mishawaka. She worked on an assembly line in the Fuel Cell, making airplane parts for World War II.

After meeting at a dance, two weeks later, Joseph M. Dworecki asked Virginia to marry him. They were married April 27, 1946 at St. Hedwig Catholic Church and had 38 years together, before his passing on February 28, 1984. Joseph was a South Bend Firefighter and was stationed at Central Fire Station for half of his career. With this commitment, they made South Bend their home.

Virginia so enjoyed being with her family and seeing the grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. She was an excellent cook and she enjoyed sharing her kieflies and other baked products. Having lived through the Great Depresson, she was also thrifty and improvised ways to be conservative.

Virginia was always willing to help her children out. Whether it was babysitting for grandchildren, helping with food preparation, or preparing meals, she did all of these acts with great love and kindness. Her example of many selfless acts of love will remain in her family's hearts for years to come.

Virginia is survived by her three daughters and sons-in-law, Judy and John Lehner of South Bend, Anne and Jim Aitchison of Granger, and Mary Miller of South Bend. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Julie (Paul) Harwood, Amie Dworecki, John (Joanna) Lehner, Jr., Audrey (Aaron) West, Amy (Todd) Marsh, Emily (Tim) Jenkinson, Claire Miller, and Veronica Miller; and great-grandchildren, Erika Aitchison, Andrew Lehner, Rachel Lehner, Aiden West, Ashlyn West, Leah Marsh, Quinn Marie Jenkinson, and Tate Jenkinson. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ignatius and Josephine Stopczynski; her husband, Joseph M. Dworecki; son, Michael Dworecki; sisters, Eleanor Stopczynski and Theresa Walczewski; and three brothers, Ed Stopczynski, Bernard Stopczynski, and Alex Stopczynski.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, 2120 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend, IN 46617, with burial following at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger. Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Palmer Funeral Home River Park, 2528 Mishawaka Ave., South Bend, IN 46615, with a Rosary at 4:30 PM. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church. Online condolences may be express to the family at


04/03/2018 JFC