Mary Paloske

Anna & Mary Paloske

Mary Paloske died or was interred on April 9, 1947.  She was 43 (or 49) years old.  Easter that year was celebrated on April 6.  It was her last holiday.  I believe that she died from a stroke, and that her death was unexpected. Her father, Frank Paloske (or Pavlosk) deeply grieved her passing, and spent extravagantly on her funeral.

Mary Paloske was born on November 27, 1904.  (The 1910 U.S. census indicates she was born in 1898.) Her older sister, Anna, was my grandmother. Anna was born in either 1896 or 1898. Mary had two brothers:  John (1902) and Bill (1905).  Their mother died suddenly on February 12, 1912.  The motherless children were raised by their father, Frank Pavlosk. His two sisters lived nearby, one in Elizabeth and the other in Bound Brook, New Jersey, but I don’t know the extent of their relationship. The family certainly spoke German at home.  Mom remembers that her mother and Aunt May would speak in German together.

Mary, or “May” as she was called, never married, and lived at home to cook and care for her father, and the stream of nieces and nephews who came to live with them. She worked in an office.

My mother was very fond of her “Aunt May.”  Mary Paloske was so upset when my mother married my father in 1943 that she kept giving her $20 bills during the reception. Why, I don’t know; probably to have some money of her own. Later, when my father was fighting in World War II and Mom lived with her mother-in-law (not a happy situation!), Aunt May begged her to come back and live in Roselle Park. Mary Paloske genuinely cared for members of her family. Her life was quiet, she stayed in the background taking care of the people around her.

I have two of her possessions:  a framed print of baby Jesus and a missal that she received at her First Communion in 1911.  The baby Jesus picture hung in her bedroom, and now is on the wall in mine.  I wonder if the print was a comforting presence for her. On an opening page in her missal she wrote: “Mary Paloske   In remembrance of my first Holy Communion from Dear Mother Made May 7th 1911.”  On the opposite fly leaf is a photo of her father, Frank Pavlosk.  The shape of the picture looks like it was taken from a brooch.  I wonder why she added the picture of her father in the missal?

Mary Paloske is buried a short distance from her parents in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey. Her grave is located at Block EA, Section 5, Grave 56.





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By Karen