Frances Marie Aniela Potrepka Sledzik died peacefully in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on March 16, 2018, surrounded by her four children and family. She was 87.
The daughter of Julian and Aniela (Trybulski) Potrepka, Fran was born in Bristol, Connecticut, and graduated from Bristol Central High School. She worked at Lake Compounce, where she met the love of her life, Chester S. Sledzik. They were married at St. Stanislaw’s Church in Bristol in 1961. They resided in New Britain, Connecticut, for 56 years. Chet pre-deceased her in April 2017.
In the 1950s, Frances worked at Tomasso Brothers as an executive secretary. She was an active member of Holy Cross Church. Fran held Bible study with her neighbors in her home and knitted prayer shawls for cancer patients. As a mother, she proudly sang with the Holmes School Do-Re-Me Mommies Choir. For years, Frances volunteered at her children’s schools and the New Britain General Hospital thrift shop. Fran enjoyed playing golf as a member of the Shuttle Meadow Country Club.
Her cottage, “Finally,” at Point O’Woods Beach in Old Lyme, Connecticut, was her sanctuary. Fran’s favorite spread was lobsters off the dock, steamers and her homemade clam chowder, accompanied by a chilled glass of wine. The heart and soul of Frances was food. She foraged for mushrooms or grape leaves, canned pickles and made her own jam from wild rose hips that she picked near the shore. Fran was an amazing cook who tackled every recipe, but often improvised with her own creative touch. She had a spirited personality and a zest for life. Frances was an enthusiastic gardener, loved taking walks, had an appreciation for nature and animals, and always made sure the bird feeder in her back yard was full.
She was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and leaves behind Steven Sledzik, Esq. and his wife, Christine Zimbelmann, of Somers, New York; Mary Beth Sledzik-Diamond and Scott Diamond, of Moultonboro, New Hampshire; Sue Geisker and her husband, David, of Tarrytown, New York; and Peter Sledzik, Esq. and his wife, Kristen Van der Linde, Esq. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Fran is also survived by and will be deeply missed by her nine grandchildren, whom she spoiled with love. She is affectionately known to them as Nana, Babci or Grandma Fran.
The Sledzik family would like to express their deep gratitude to the wonderful and loving staff at The Palms in Ponte Vedra Beach and Northern Florida Community Hospice for their exceptional, compassionate care and kindness. Relatives and friends are invited to call Monday, March 26, 2018, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Burritt Hill Funeral Home, 332 Burritt St., New Britain, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Church in New Britain. She will be laid to rest with her husband at the Mater Dolorosa Cemetery in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Blvd., #4b, Southington, CT 06489, or online at https://act.alz.org/site/TRR/Events/Tributes-alzheimersChampions?fr_tm_opt=new&pg=tcfund&fr_id=1060. To share a memory with her family, please visit www.burritthill.com.