Our Lord delivered Frances Niedzielski into the world on May 8, 1926 to 31-year-old Joseph Niedzielski (d.1962) and his 27-year-old bride Sophia (Szetela) Niedzielski (d 1971). She joined her older sisters, 5-year-old Emilia (d.1967) and 2-year-old Mary (d. 2013) who would later bring into the Niedlzielski family her husband Donald Ball (d.1972).
Frances would become a big sister to her 8 younger siblings: Joseph (d. 2020) in 1927 and wife Anna “Mary” (d. 2017), John (d. 2019) in 1928 and wife Louise (d. 2016), Irene (d. 2004) in 1930 and husband Frank Yeskay (d. 2015), Margaret (d. 2007) in 1932 and husband James Lyons (d. 2019), Charles (d. 2017) in 1933, Chester (d. 1997) in 1936 and wife Constance (d 2012) who have all gone home to their Father. Her baby brother and sister remain: Donald, 82, with his wife Claudette of Westfield and Claire, 80, with her husband William LaCroix of Chicopee.
Frances was fittingly named after St. Francis of Assisi who is known for his love of nature. Frances began working when she was 12 years old to bring home money to help support the family during the Great Depression. Frances started as a farm picker, work she loved and was accustomed to from working on the small family farm as a child. When she graduated from West Springfield High School (Massachusetts) at 17, she wanted to join the military to obtain the financing needed to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse. Her parents were terrified as the Second World War was at its height so she instead took a bookkeeping position with Farmer Brown’s, a commercial farmer. It is there she, the quiet and meticulous Frances met the not so quiet Stanley Agustynowicz.
Farmer Brown asked his star salesman, Stanley, to drive his star bookkeeper Frances from one farm office to another each day to do their bookkeeping. Those rides were the start of a friendship and then a romance that led to marriage and their starting their own farming business in the same town. They loved working the land. The two could talk about soil like one talks about fine wine. They raised a variety of vegetables at Stanley’s Farms for local supermarkets until the property was taken by the government to build interstate 91.
Frances and Stanley did not see setbacks, only opportunity. When their farmland disappeared in 1954, they ventured into the nursery business and together built the floral nursery Stanley’s Gardens. With time they expanded into regional nursery equipment sales. In 1962 they decided to add onto to their growing businesses and enter the rental market where they designed, oversaw the construction of and the management of Crestwood Apartments in West Springfield, at which they took great delight in knowing all their tenants.
In 1970, land beckoned to them once more. They purchased an open parcel of land with small cottages in Wells, ME. They loved what the land offered: an ocean view and the smell of the sea. Their labor of love with land and construction was nurtured once again with their refurbishment of once run down cottages and landscaping this peaceful land. They would manage all aspects of their businesses until they sold their last upon their retirement in 1987.
In 1978, they visited and were charmed by the tropical town of Boynton Beach, FL which coupled ocean breezes with cow pastures and farm lands. In 1982 they bought a plot in town on a natural spring lake and began construction of their future retirement home. They remained snowbirds (Maine and Florida) until Stanley was called home in 1999. Soon after God healed her from ovarian cancer in 2001, Frances made Florida her only residence.
Their children Irene, 69, Raymond, 63, and Rita, 59, joined Frances and Stanley for part of this adventurous ride. By their example, Frances and Stanley taught them perseverance, hard work, patience, and most of all, gratitude for the gifts God had given them. They valued family and so all their businesses were run as a family. While raising their children they stayed close by their own families where their children could enjoy the gift of a large extended family. Frances was blessed with a multitude of nieces and nephews and close friends who took the time to uncover the depths of her quiet wisdom.
For her remaining years Frances continued to take delight in family, friends, church, reading and gardening. In her last years, Frances accepted the ravages of dementia with humor and grace. She even discovered a talent for painting that may never have been explored had dementia not slowed her down. Our Lord took our Mom back to Himself on June 16th at 4 am. She passed without her family present due to the devastating restrictions imposed by the hospital during this coronavirus pandemic.
Our mother and family have greatly appreciated all the prayers that have been offered up for her (and us) over the years. We ask, in lieu of flowers, for your continued prayers for our mother through masses offered in her name.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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