Wanda (Rojek) Kinney

Died: Sat., Jul. 15, 2017


Visitation

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Tue., Jul. 18, 2017
Location: Machnowski Funeral Home 472 Ashley Blvd., New Bedford


Funeral Mass

10:00 AM Wed., Jul. 19, 2017
Location: St. Lawrence Martyr Church, 565 County St., New Bedford, MA 02740


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Wanda Kinney passed away on July 15, 2017, at the age of 98 at the Royal Taber Nursing Home, where she resided for the last six months as her health declined. She was the widow of Colonel John R. Kinney, with whom she shared 68 years of marriage. Wanda was the daughter of Aniela (Ostrowski) and Alec Rojek, both immigrants from Czarist Poland, who met one another on Beetle Street in New Bedford's North End in the midst of the City's vibrant Polish enclave.  Wanda was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on October 19, 1918, after her father moved the family there to find work as a coal miner. When Wanda was two years old, she and her family returned to the North End of New Bedford where she resided for the rest of her life.
    Wanda is survived by her two children, Jacqueline Mitchell and her husband, Frederick Mitchell of Dartmouth, and John W. Kinney and his wife, Laurie ( Powell) Kinney of Dartmouth.  She is also survived by four grandchildren, Jon Mitchell, the Mayor of New Bedford and his wife, Dr. Ann Partridge, Sarah Mitchell of Chatham, NJ and her husband, Chris Hefferon, John P. Kinney of Louisville, KY, and Audra J. Kinney of Washington, DC.  She also leaves five great -grand children: Grace, Natalie and Lauren Mitchell, and Nathan and Owen Hefferon, and a nephew, Stanley Dabrowski, to whom she was very close.
    Wanda graduated from New Bedford Vocational School in 1936.  Between periods of caring for her children and her husband's military deployments, Wanda spent many years utilizing her talent and passion for fabrics.  She worked at the Berkshire Hathaway Mills, and later owned, along with her late sister, Genevieve, a fabric store on Acushnet Avenue called Mae's Sewing Center. The store drew a considerable following for its trendy fabric lines and fashion designs created by the two sisters.  Wanda also taught advanced sewing and tailoring at New Bedford Voke's evening school, and later taught home economics at Keith Junior High School.  She also worked as a library assistant at Southeastern Massachusetts University for ten years before retiring.  
    Wanda approached life with intensity and seriousness. She was a frugal homemaker and insisted on spending wisely and learning new skills that would allow her to make, rather than buy household items and clothing.  She was a dedicated and loving daughter to her parents.  Quietly religious, she kneeled nightly at her bedside to pray, and seldom missed Mass even when she was ill. She was proud of her Polish heritage and fluency in the language.  For many years she maintained her membership in the Polish Women's  Business and Professional Club of New Bedford and delighted in making Polish food for her family.  Wanda was committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; she ate the right foods and exercised daily.  
    In her 90's, Wanda vigorously campaigned in the North End in support of her grandson's mayoral run, and occasionally called WBSM to voice her opinion, sometimes when he was on the air.  At the age of 95, she starred in a public service commercial with the mayor to promote the city's recycling program, which received wide acclaim.
    The family wishes to thank the staffs of Community Nurses and the Royal Taber Nursing Home who cared for her in a loving manner as her health declined, and especially her aid, Sharon who was at her side each day.  
   Calling hours are Tuesday, July 18, 2017 from 4 - 7 P.M.  Her funeral Mass is Wednesday at 10 A.M. in St. Lawrence Martyr Church, County St., New Bedford, followed by burial in Pine Grove Cemetery.                
    Flowers are acceptable, as are donations in Wanda’s name to the Fort Rodman-Ft. Tabor Military Museum, 1000 S. Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744.
    Funeral arrangements are by Machnowski Funeral Home, 472 Ashley Blvd., New Bedford.  For condolences, please visit www.machnowskifuneral.com.




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