Bridgeport - On April 2, 2019, John Joseph Pjura, age 94, husband of the late and much cherished Jean Helen Pjura, journeyed on peacefully at his home surrounded by the family he adored. Born in West Hartford, CT on March 26, 1925, he was the son of the late Stephen and Anna Pjura, a lifelong resident of Bridgeport, and a dedicated communicant of St. Cyril's and Methodius Catholic Church.
On reflection of my dad's life I had looked deeply at his frail, yet beautiful, aging hands. What I saw in those hands were of days gone by, a young child holding himself up on a chair learning to take his first steps, and those same small hands putting on his coat on his first day of school. But his life was not an easy one, his hands matured quickly as he went to work full time in his very early teen years. Then the war called and his hands guided him as a medic, caring for the wounded on the battlefields of World War II. Returning home, he held tight the steering wheel of the Frisbie Pie truck, delivering goods throughout Connecticut, and as a bus driver for Barnum and State, warmly greeting his passengers with a smile and a joke to carry them on their way. The ADT Burglar Alarm Company was his final occupation, retiring after many years of service and dedication. Dad worked extremely hard to support his family and carried a second job for many years, his hands and his heart comforting families during their times of sadness working with Rohm and Luchansky Funeral Home, and later Galello and Luchansky Funeral Home.
For 68 years he happily held my Moms hand, this simple gesture telling her there was no one in the world more important or more loved than her. He held the seat of my bicycle as I learned to steer straight and never look back, and trembled as hand in hand we walked down the aisle on my wedding day. His hand held his cherished grandchildren as he guided them on their first steps and clapped loudly and with pride at their college graduations as they took their next steps into their future. These same hands helped Kevin, his son in law, whether to paint a wall, check the oil in the car, or to put a "shim" under just about anything that needed support. His hands have wiped sweat from his own brow after a long day of work, have wiped tears from our eyes on days of sadness and have sat on our shoulders to let us know everything would be alright.
We have been blessed for the many years his hands surrounded us, guiding us on our way. They have shaped us and molded us into the people he knew we could be. There is a quote that states: "It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it'. My Dad's hands now are still and at rest from a life well lived and lessons well taught. He truly made our world a better place, a happy place, where one always knew we were loved.
Left to carry on his legacy, beloved daughter Carol, and loving son in law Kevin Dake of Northfield, CT, his treasured grandchildren Justin Dake and his wife Jessica of San Diego, CA, and Erin Dake and her husband Jack Lamb of Thomaston, CT and his great grandsons John Keaton and Marlon Xavier Lamb. He is also survived by his beloved sister Mary Murach of Idaho, Frances Chase of Arizona and brother Stephen Pjura of Hamden, CT. He is also survived by a brother-in-law Ralph Meyers of Stratford, CT, along with his special nieces Mary Doughty of Maine, Joanne Meyers of Massachusetts, and Stephanie Rozanski of Newington, CT, along with many nieces and nephews throughout the United States and Japan.
Much gratitude to Dr. Richard Taikowski who cared for his heart and well being for so many years. His important presence in my dad's life turned him into an "infamous" mall walker, burning through Nike sneaks at an alarming rate. A special thanks to the doctors and nurses at Northeast Medical Group Geriatric Medicine for their kindness and dedication to the elderly especially Dr. Arslan, Linda, and Susan; to all the members of the hospice nursing team at Constellation Health Services whose love and support will forever be remembered, Barb, Bruce, Lorraine, Marie, Vic, all the nurses, especially Dina, who surrounded us with love and compassion as dad journeyed on. On the difficult days the love and inspiring words of wisdom from Dale, Ellen, Joanne, Kathy, Teona, and Toni, will never be forgotten. Most importantly "granddaughter" Lika for her total dedication, compassion, love and support not only to "grandpa", but to all of us as well. You will remain a part of our family forever.
Per his wishes, all services will be private and will take place in May at St. John's Cemetery, Stratford. Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, 258 Prospect Street, Torrington is in care of arrangements. Sincerest thanks to Chris Ryan, a friend for years, who will be with dad on his final trip to his resting place.
One of the things so important to my Dad was the care of his car. He would lovingly lecture all of us on the importance of the oil change, the rotation of tires, and the saying "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" always included the interior and exterior of his automobile. When visiting Northfield one of the first things on his agenda would be to wash his car since he didn't have the opportunity to do so on the streets of Bridgeport and he felt that car washes just didn't quite get it done. If we heard this phrase once we heard it a thousand times, that "maintenance is very important!" We will try our best to honor his words and get the car in the shop before the check engine light goes on.
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