Our Dear Mom, Władysława Błonska (you see why she went by Wanda), passed away in an unfortunate accident when she hit her head in a fall on November 23, 2020. Born September 8, 1931 in Dylągówka, Poland which is near the Southeast city of Rzeszów, she was the youngest of 13 children born to Antoni and Zofia Pałac.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Wanda, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
She is survived by son Ben Blonski (wife Karen) of Billings, daughter Zofia Robak of Littleton, CO, granddaughter Angie Stokes (husband Chris and children Riley, Kendall, Tessa) of Billings, grandson John Blonski (wife Leila and children Addison, Lucas) of Olympia, WA and several relatives in Billings, MT, Chicago, IL, Castle Rock, CO, and literally hundreds in Poland.
She was preceded by her husband John Blonski in 2005 and all her brothers and sisters.
Though she only had the opportunity to finish three years of grade school, her wisdom came from the hard work on the family farm. In her late teens she took a cooking course which explains how she could prepare a delicious 12-course meal out of an empty refrigerator. She had a real gift in the art of cooking and always fed her guests well.
Mom was determined to ensure a better life than the poverty she grew up in and no change for the better was in sight in communist Poland. It was from mom’s courage to ask her sister Emilia Hadler, on her visit to see her dying mom, to sponsor our family to the USA. Three years later we arrived in April 1965. What bravery it took to move halfway around the world, sight unseen, not knowing the language, no money, and only what you could carry. It took all her will to survive the terrible seasickness for the two week voyage across the Atlantic, down the St Lawrence River to Chicago. Then we boarded a train to Montana which was delayed due to weather damaged tracks.
Mom learned English from talking to people working for a catering service and using the Polish-English dictionary to read the newspaper. She got the dishwashing job through a neighbor, Jimmy (Martha) Weed, when their daughters got them connected on the topic. To make ends meet on the $1.15/hr wage, mom would bring home meals from event leftovers. When the catering business closed, mom worked for several years alongside dad in his construction business (23 homes built in Billings). When dad retired she went to work for Billings Clinic (Deaconess back then) until she retired after over 20 years to take care of our ill dad. She worked in the dish room and she could be seen through the tray return window. When mom quit they hired 3 people to handle the work she did alone.
Her goal was to stay living as independent as possible despite the pain she was in from her arthritic knees and other ailments. She lived in Prairie Towers assisted living for seven years before coming to St Johns United where she lived just over four years. Mom had a great sense of humor and was always getting people around her to smile. She had a way of seeing what someone needed and found ways to be helpful. She made many friends from her work and where she lived. Residents and staff enjoyed being around mom. Like her sister and other Polish lady friends mom never drove a car which always seemed to us as counter intuitive to her independence.
Mom is and will always be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to St Johns United, 2429 Mission Way, Billings, MT 59102. Please make a designation note on the check: For Chapel Court staff that cared for Wanda Blonska.
Viewing will be in Smith’s Funeral Home, 925 S 27th St from 5:30 -7:00 pm on Sunday, November 29, 2020.
Service will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1601 Mullowney Lane at 1 pm on Monday, November 30, 2020.
If you plan to attend, please be prepared to wear a mask and keep social distanc