Jozefa ‘Josephine’ Soja

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NAUGATUCK — Jozefa “Josephine” Soja, loving wife, mother, Babcia and aunt, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2024, at age 83, with her loving family by her side. She leaves behind her husband of 60 years, Stanislaw “Stanley” Soja; six children, 11 grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jozefa was born in Poland on July 5, 1940, during World War II, to Bronislawa and Stanislaw Orszulak. She was the last surviving member of her family, predeceased by 12 siblings and her parents. She was also predeceased by her infant daughter.

Jozefa spent her first 34 years in Poland, where she was educated and became a highly skilled dressmaker and a wonderful cook.

She and her husband made the courageous decision to immigrate to the United States with their children in 1974. This year marks our 50th anniversary.

Jozefa was a longtime communicant of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. When she could no longer attend Mass in person, she watched the Mass daily and prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and rosary regularly. Her strong faith in God sustained her throughout life.

Jozefa found joy in cooking and entertaining. Her kindness and hospitality extended to family and friends for holidays and celebrations and even the unexpected visitor who stopped by. Guests could not get enough of her homemade Polish cuisine.

Her pierogi and golabki (stuffed cabbage) were like no other and were always in demand. Without recipes, they were prepared from memory, and she made hundreds for every holiday until the very end. Try as we might, Mom’s delicious dishes cannot be replicated. Perhaps it’s because she poured so much love and perfection into each and every one of them.

Jozefa was an excellent homemaker who enjoyed sitting at her Singer machine, sewing a First Communion dress or a beautiful prom gown she helped us design. She took great pride in her work, often redoing stitches and seams on clothing or drapes until they were perfect. The sound of Mom’s beautiful, melodic singing voice filled the house while she worked on various projects.

Jozefa’s 11 grandchildren adored their ‘Babcia,’ who nurtured each of them with her love, homemade Polish delicacies and the more than occasional sweet treat. They will never forget being smothered with warm hugs and kisses while exclaiming “Moje Kochane” (my loves) as she greeted them. Time spent at Babcia’s house was treasured and what happened at Babcia’s house, stayed at Babcia’s house!

Sleepovers and times making pierogi together will never be forgotten. Babcia’s legacy will forever be imprinted on the hearts and minds of her beloved grandchildren, Jakob, Kristina, Ethan, Adam, Alec, Evan, Izzy, Sofie, Max, Michael and Maggie. They were her pride and joy.

Family meant everything to our Mom and raising us was her most cherished role in life. She possessed a strong maternal instinct which nurtured us throughout our lives. We are forever grateful for her unconditional love and as adults we’ve grown to appreciate how much she sacrificed, always putting our needs above her own.

Mom’s loss will leave an eternal void in our hearts and lives.

In addition to her husband, Mom’s memory will be held dearest by Marta (Craig) Razza, Ella (Rich) Rioux, Ursula (Jim) Hempel, John Soja, Anna (Michael) Mulhall and Arthur Soja.

We love you “Mamu.”

A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, March 15, at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 74 W. Main St. in Waterbury. #<t$>Private burial will follow. naugatuckvalleymemorial.com