Aldona Irene Stanley (née Debsas), age 94, our beloved mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on May 29, 2019 with her family by her side at her home in Easthampton, Massachusetts. She is survived by a son, Dr. Gregory Stanley and his partner Sarah Wendell, of Bridgewater; a daughter Anne (Stanley) Grygorcewicz and her husband George, of Easthampton; a granddaughter, Catherine Grygorcewicz and her husband, Timothy Binkert, of Amherst; and a grandson, Michael Grygorcewicz and his wife, Rachel, of Waltham.
She was born on August 10, 1924, the only daughter of John and Anna (Samson) Debsas, in Brockton, Massachusetts, where she lived for much of her life. She identified strongly with her Lithuanian heritage and was fluent in both English and Lithuanian. She attended Brockton Public Schools and later was an alumna of the Boston University College of Practical Arts and Letters, graduating with the Class of 1946. She was proud of her degree in the “secretarial arts” and that she had the skills and knowledge to enter the work force at a time when most women remained at home. She worked as a secretary at the Brockton Academy of Beauty Culture for many years and as a clerk at the Social Security Office in Brockton.
She loved flowers, trees, gardens, and everything that grew. She belonged to the Boston Horticultural Society, volunteered at the Boston Flower Show, and was a member of the Boston Mycological Club. Throughout her life, she kept meticulous records, remembered birthdays, researched her family tree, and clipped interesting recipes and stories from her favorite newspaper, the Brockton Enterprise, which she shared with friends and family. She was a member of the St. Anne’s Society and the Lady’s Sodality of Saint Casimir’s Church in Brockton.
She married William Joseph Stanley in September 1946, and they made a beautiful home together at 46 Field Street in Brockton. She loved and supported her husband “Joe” at home while he worked as the Chief Engineer at the Boston Globe. In addition to raising Gregory and Anne, they enjoyed a variety of leisure activities together, including ice fishing in the winter and spending every summer at their cottage in Hideaway Village in Buzzard’s Bay. They went salt water fishing for flounder, clamming and quahogging, sunbathing and swimming. Her favorite place on earth was Old Silver Beach in Falmouth.
Widowed in 1987, Aldona moved to Western Massachusetts in 1995, where she lived with her daughter and her family. She embraced her new home with open arms, exploring its cities and towns, going tag-saling on Saturdays, attending antique auctions, and meeting a large network of new friends. She attended every one of Catherine’s basketball games and Michael’s football games, and enjoyed baking for them when they came home from school. She traveled to China with her daughter, and explored Europe with her dearest niece, Gerry Stanley.
She learned new crafts at the Hill Institute in Florence, and proudly displayed her hooked rugs at home. She was a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club and shared cookies and stories with her friends. Aldona gardened, cutivated native perennials, appreciated a strange mushroom, attended local garden tours, and was comforted at the end of her life by her two cats, Willie and Harry. All are welcome to a calling hour Saturday, June 8 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Waitt Funeral Home, 850 North Main St. Brockton followed by her funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Michael Church, 87 North Main St. Avon and burial at Calvary Cemetery in Brockton. Donations in Aldona Stanley’s name can be made to the Dakin Humane Society, 171 Union Street, Springfield, MA 01105.
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Dakin Humane Society
171 Union St., Springfield MA 01105