AUSTINTOWN – Maria Figas, 97, passed away peacefully after a long and wonderful life on February 15, 2021 lovingly cared for in recent weeks by her daughter Donna.
Maria was born on August 3, 1923 in David-Gorodek, a town in central Poland at that time, a daughter of the late Trofim & Catherine Szamrylo. After the war in Europe, she immigrated to the United States with her husband, Benedykt, four small children and one on the way, in 1951. She was proud to receive her American citizenship which earned her the privilege of being able to cast her vote, which she never failed to do. Maria cherished her freedoms and right to vote! She truly loved God, Family and Country.
Maria deeply loved all her children and spent countless hours laughing and playing card games like one of the kids. She thoroughly enjoyed the yearly family movie nights watching "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind". Her favorite movie was "The Sound of Music", a real life story of "Maria" and the Von Trapp Family and their escape from the Nazi's in Austria. A story similar to hers during the Nazi occupation of Poland when she was a young girl in the 1930's. Not surprising, her favorite song was "Maria" sung by the Nuns at the Abby. Both Maria's realized a "happy ending" in their lives! Maria enjoyed a little "nip" of her Polish brandy, Wisniowka on special occasions like birthdays or Sundays, and baking her "Babka" every Easter!
Maria was a devout Catholic and through her spirituality she fulfilled her Baptismal promise with constant prayer and action, with a smile! She was a member of St. Stanislaus Church, where she belonged to the Altar & Rosary Sodality. Maria supported the EWTN Catholic Network, where she loved watching Mother Angelica and praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the Marian priests of the Immaculate Conception. She prayed the rosary daily with Fr. Korda on CTNY channel of the DOY. She also belonged to the Polish National Alliance, a Polish fraternal organization.
Maria loved feeding her birds, and her many walks outdoors on sunny days. She had a kind, generous and thoughtful heart, extending words of kindness and friendship to everyone she encountered. Maria loved gardening and her green thumb produced an abundant vegetable garden each year that she shared with neighbors and family. Maria prided herself on growing beautiful rose plants from planted cuttings under a jar, which is an age-old method of rose propagation.
Maria was a Cleveland Indians & Cavaliers fan, but most of all, she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Maria lived to go to their basketball and baseball games, of which she was truly knowledgeable. She would often call one of her grandsons before a basket ball game and give him pointers on how to make a basket. "Shoot high and strong!" She would wish them luck before the game and afterwards call them to discuss their game and tell them how proud she was of their abilities. Maria's "Game Attendance Career" spanned nearly 50 years!
Maria loved to travel with her friends, and went to Hawaii, Fatima, and Portugal. Maria's dream to travel to the Holy Land and Rome with her daughter, Theresa, was realized in 1999. Maria also returned to her beloved homeland Poland, with her daughter, Harriet, to reunite with family.
Maria leaves behind to cherish her memory, her children, Harriet Figas, Casimir Figas, Christine (Jim) Dobos, Theresa (Miros) Maszczak, Donna Moore, Sabina (Andy) Pavlica, Barbara Figas- Wajda, grandchildren, David (Tina) Skripac, Michael (Sonia) Skripac, Marian Maszczak Hurd, Stephen (Anna) Maszczak, John-Paul (Miranda) Maszczak, Donnie (Leah) Moore, Diana Moore, Christina (Thomas) Davenport, Andrew Pavlica, Oksana Wajda, and Nicholas Wajda, and her great grandchildren, Evan, Nathan, Taylor, Jessica, Randy, Billy, Stephen, Michael, Joseph, Olivia, Charlotte, Grant, Annika, and Erik.
Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by infant daughter, Helen and infant son, John, who died shortly after birth, her husband, Benedykt Figas, who passed away September 16, 1972, and her siblings in Poland, Sophia Szamrylo, Anastasiya Szamrylo, Jacob Szamrylo, Lidiya Szamrylo, and Ivan Szamrylo.
A half hour of calling will start at 9:30 AM on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, followed immediately by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM, concelebrated by Fr. Simon Mino and Fr. Matthew Roehrig SSP. She will be laid to rest next to her husband at St. John’s Cemetery.
The family has entrusted Maria’s care to the Kubina Yuhasz Wasko Funeral Home.
Please visit www.waskofamily.com to send the family condolences.
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