Jennie A. Ugolnik, 90

Jennie A. Ugolnik, 90, born Janina Swidriski in Hamtramck, Michigan on April 21, 1921, departed this life on July 13, 2011 at Southeastern Veterans’ Center in Spring City, PA.   She died in the arms of her son after a brief illness.

Jennie Ugolnik was the mother of Rev. Anthony Ugolnik and mother-in-law of Elaine Ugolnik , both of Lancaster.  She was the grandmother of Adam Ugolnik, of West Hollywood, CA, Marya Ugolnik Ziegler of Sleepy Hollow, NY, and Zachary Ugolnik of Boston, MA.  She had two great-grandchildren, Samantha and Simon, children of Adam and Faye Ugolnik of California.

She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Anna Skoczyn of Detroit and Irene Ugolnik of Au Gres, Michigan.  She had many nieces and nephews, including Gail Schubot and Edward Swidriski of Houston, Texas.

For 67 years Jennie Ugolnik was married to Anthony Ugolnik, Sr., who preceded her in death.  Her family defined her: she was the link, the matriarch, the reconciler and nurturer of love for the entire clan to which she belonged.

Jennie grew into the years of the Great Depression.  Successful in school and valedictorian of her high school class, her father sold crates of chickens in order to buy her a dress for her valedictory speech.  She longed to go to college, but without money and without complaint she took up work to assist her family.  Over her life she worked as a grocery checkout clerk, a bank teller, a receptionist in a medical office, and a series of temp jobs.

She was a person of grace and compassion.  She was dedicated to education and did all she could to assist and encourage her son and grandchildren in obtaining the degrees she was never able to pursue.  A lifelong member of the Disabled American Veterans, she was an avid supporter of most causes of which the Republican Party would disapprove, but without any rancor toward the members of any party.  Her special skill was compromise, which she always served.

Not adverse to politics, Jennie nevertheless focused on domestic life in the fullest sense.  She was a marvelous cook, a skilled seamstress, an amateur dietician, and a keeper of family lore.   She loved others quietly, consistently, and with fierce dedication.  Her greatest joy in her last years was her 90th birthday party, which served as a reunion for the family she cherished. She was the lifeboat in any crisis, and she ended her life with a minimum of medical intervention, smiling brightly through her pain to the last when she heard the voices of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Panakhyda Funeral Service on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 10:30am at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church 392 Charles Ave. Coatesville, PA. A viewing will be held on Friday evening from 7-9pm with a Trisagion Service at 8pm at the Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory 3110 Lititz Pk. Lititz, PA 17543. A second viewing will take place on Saturday at the Church from 10-10:30am. Interment will be in Conestoga Memorial Park Saturday afternoon at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jennie’s memory may be made to her church, Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church. To send the family an online condolence, please visit Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory 717-560-5100

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Dear Ugolnik Family,

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Jennie. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Hollywood Family
New Jersey

Prof. Ugolnik,

I saw the obituary in this morning’s newspaper and when I saw the last name I read on. (There aren’t too many Ugolnik’s out there) It was beautifully written and brought me to tears. Your mother seemed like an inspiring and steadfast woman. My condolences to you and your family at this time.

– Jessika Mancino –
A former student, F&M

Dear Anton, and family,
Your mother must have been remarkable indeed, and you pay beautiful tribute to her in her obituary. My love and spirit are with you.
Patricia O’Hara

Jennie was such a sweet lady.  I enjoyed chatting with her in the dining room at Southeastern where she sat at a table next to my husband’s when he also was a resident there.  She always had a smile and seemed so interested in the lives and families of others.  I know she will be missed by her family and friends. I am glad that God allowed our paths to cross and wish I had known her longer and better. 
Colleen Fantini

Dear Father Tony, Presbytera Elaine and family,

We are very sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved mother. It sounds like she was an expectional and gifted lady.

May her memory be eternal!

Love, Tony, Soula, James and Patrick Phyrillas

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