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Bridgeport- Jean Helen Pjura, 87, beloved wife of 67 years to John Joseph Pjura, passed peacefully at home, surrounded by the loving arms of her family on February 4, 2018.
Jean resided in Bridgeport her entire life and was the daughter of the late Louis and Anna (Malek) Zyla. Although she was employed by the City of Bridgeport as a payroll clerk, her true vocation in life was being a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend. She treasured dearly the times spent with family, especially her grandchildren, who she believed “are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation”. She happily attended their school plays, concerts, and sporting events in their early years, and beamed with pride at their college graduations. Our family will hold tight to the memories of gathering at her dining room table feasting on one of her traditional Sunday meals while reminiscing of her travels to Poland, Germany, and Medjugorje; or her tales of life in “old” Bridgeport, listening to her share her life’s memories of a city that once brought milk with fresh cream on top to her front porch, when neighbors truly watched out for each other, and doors were never locked. She would glow speaking of the sockhops, the Mosque Roller Skating Rink, eating ice off the ice trucks, shopping downtown at Howlands, and proudly admitting she really did walk to school in all kinds of weather!
During the last years of her life, her determination, strength, and courage was never more apparent as she battled cancer. Never one to complain, she dealt with her illness with such grace and dignity and considered herself blessed to be able to welcome her first great-grandchild into the world. Keaton could make her smile, even on her darkest days, and we will forever cherish the special bond she shared with him.
Left to continue her legacy besides her husband is her devoted daughter, Carol and loving son-in-law, Kevin Dake of Northfield, CT; her treasured grandchildren, Justin Dake and his wife Jessica of San Diego, CA, and Erin Dake and her husband John “Jack” Lamb and their son, John Keaton Lamb IV of Thomaston, CT. She is also survived by a brother-in-law, Ralph Meyers of Stratford, CT, along with her special nieces, Mary Doughty of Maine and JoAnne Meyers of Massachusetts, her sisters-in-law, Mary Murach of Idaho, Frances Chase of Arizona, and brother-in-law Stephen Pjura of Hamden, CT, along with many nieces and nephews throughout the United States and Japan. She was predeceased by her 4 siblings, Sally Washburn, Ted Zyla, Walter Zyla, and Wanda Zyla.
A special thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Smilow Cancer Center, Trumbull, for their dedication and kindness; to Barb, Vic, Lorraine, Susan, and all the members of the Hospice Nursing Team at Constellation Health Services, whose love and support will forever be remembered, and special nurse, Kelly, who so tenderly held our hands as Jean peacefully journeyed back home. To Kathy, JoAnne, Sunshine, Justine, Toni and “granddaughter” Lika, who helped these past months with us. We shall be always thankful for your undying support and love.
Per her wishes, all services will be private and will take place in April at St. John’s Cemetery, Stratford. Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, 258 Prospect St., Torrington, is in care of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you honor her legacy by taking care of “all creatures great and small” as she had for so many years. A stray cat could always find a place of cookies at her door step and you will never see a malnourished squirrel on Kennedy Drive due to her morning ritual of crackers and peanut butter.
We recently found a quote cut from the newspaper. It was taped in one of her kitchen cabinets, yellowed with age. We believe the words held a special meaning to her and feel it is her way of reminding us to cherish life and each other: “The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, on what day, - or what hour. Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will, don’t wait until tomorrow, the hands may then be still.”