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Obituary: Frederick Joseph Waryas Sr., 1938-2022

Proud Polish grandfather was a master pierogi maker who valued family above all else

Published March 7, 2022 at 6:18 a.m.
Updated March 8, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Frederick Waryas - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Frederick Waryas

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our father and everyone’s Jaju, Frederick J. Waryas Sr. Surrounded by the love of his family, Jaju took his final breath on February 24, 2022.

He was the first-born son of the late Antoinette and Edward Waryas on February 2,1938. He attended Bellows Falls schools and was a 1956 graduate of the Bellows Falls High School. Handsome and outgoing, our Jaju was a shining Terrier athlete, excelling at both football and track.

After graduation, Jaju enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp from 1956 ’til 1958. It was during this time, while stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, that he met a lovely young Southern woman, Peggy Sue Kendall. She was his “Rebel,” and he was her “Polish Yankee”! They were wed on September 2, 1961, and enjoyed 40 years of marriage until Peggy’s death in 2002.

Over his lifetime, Jaju worked tirelessly to provide for his family. Most of his life he spent working at New England Power Company. He also worked at Granite State Electric until his retirement.

Ever the community volunteer, Jaju held positions as president of the Alumni Association and was one of the organizers of the very first Toolshed dance. He was also the president of the Vermont Heart Association, PTA president and member of the Bellows Falls Union High School Board. He raised money for band uniforms for the middle school and ran the “Chuck Wagon” concession, raising money for Pee Wee Football, and he and Peggy were both active members of the Booster Club. A devout Catholic and member of the Sacred Heart Parish, he organized a number of Polish dinners, as well as Polish Polka dinner/dances, to raise money for the church. As an active member of the Knights of Columbus, he served as the grand exalted ruler. He was also a member of the Moose, Elks, Legion and Polish American clubs.

Jaju was proud of his Polish heritage. Every Sunday on Gove Street, polka music would play before church. He and our mother loved to dance the polka, winning a few competitions along the way. Kielbasa, golumpki, kapusta and pierogi were often featured on Christmas Eve menus. Annually, the post-Toolshed celebration on Gove Street meant pierogi made by “the master.” He loved hosting “kids” of all ages and would nap so he could stay up when everyone stopped by late at night. Memories were always made around the table when pierogi were in production. Though we’ve tried, no one can make them like Jaju. He did give a tutorial to family and friends last summer, though — a treasured memory.

Deer hunting was and remains an important tradition for Jaju and the Waryas family. Laugher echoes in our homes whenever hunting camp tales are shared, and often reshared, about the one that got away, or the big one scored! Jaju loved it all and was happiest when in the middle of the storytelling.

Family was everything to Jaju. He found great joy in his grandchildren and all their accomplishments, attending many graduations and as many sporting events as he could. Dancing with his granddaughter Alli at her wedding was especially poignant. We all knew the most recent holiday season would likely be his last. Being together on Gove Street for both Thanksgiving and Christmas meant everything to him.

Jane Westfall and Jaju, “the Js,” shared the last eight years together as partners in crime. Their love for one another was very special. We’re so thankful for all that Jane meant to our Jaju and will always consider her part of the Waryas family.

Jaju was predeceased by his parents, Edward and Antoinette Waryas; his infant brother, Frank; and his loving wife, Peggy Sue. His brother Ted (Peggy) Waryas died just hours before him on the same day in Indiana. He leaves his partner, Jane Westfall, and his four children and their families: Sueann Van Buren (Michael) and grandchildren Dr. Allison Greene and husband Jason Weischedel, Katie Greene and Rose Van Buren; Timothy Waryas Sr. and grandchildren Timothy Waryas Jr. and Holly Waryas; Paula Steele (Jeffrey) and grandchildren Avery Steele and William Steele; and Frederick Waryas Jr. (Heather) and grandchildren Griffin Waryas and Maya Waryas. He also leaves his brother Paul (Monique) Waryas. Jaju loved his Bellows Falls community. He will be missed by his many friends and extended family.

The Waryas family would like to thank the team at the Sterling House in Bellows Falls for the love and care given to our father. We would also like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Albany Medical, including his granddaughter Dr. Allison Greene, who cared for Jaju in his final days. He was treated with great respect and kindness, retaining his dignity to the end.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 25, at Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls from 5 ’til 7 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, March 26, at St. Charles Church at 11 a.m., with the burial following at Sacred Heart Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Frederick Waryas Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Paula Steele, 23 Ira Allen Ct., Colchester, VT 05446, or Venmo @Paula-Steele-11.

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