Veronica A. (Csizmazia) Dunay, 90, of Norton, formerly of Avon for 50 years, died peacefully Jan. 7, 2021. “Ronnie” was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and developed independence and self-reliance at an early age. Blessed with a positive spirit, it carried her throughout her life. She had part-time jobs in Avon while raising her family there and was employed at the office of Hill’s Department Stores in Canton for about 15 years prior to retirement. Devoted to her family and home for decades, after the passing of her husband Henry L. Dunay just after Christmas in 2014, she moved to Norton in 2015. While living at her senior apartment in Norton she enjoyed making new friendships. Playing bingo, participating in activities, and joining the knitting club gave her lifelong handcrafting skills including crocheting renewed purpose. Veronica will be fondly remembered by all. She was the beloved mother of Mark Dunay (and Lynda) of Norton, Cathy Ames (and Scott) of WY and Nancy Dunay of RI; loving grandmother of Stephanie (and George) and Matthew Dunay, and Steven (and Abby), Alexander and Michael Boyd (and Tiana); and the adoring great-grandmother of little Eliana whose visits gave her priceless joy. All are welcome to calling hours Thursday (1/14) from 4-7 p.m. in Waitt Funeral Home, 850 North Main St., Brockton, her funeral from Waitt Funeral Home Friday (1/15) at 9:30 a.m., funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Michael Church, Avon and committal at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne at 12:45 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to your local SPCA or animal shelter or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
April 21, 1930 - January 7th, 2021
I remember the thought I had when I learned the full birth name behind “Grandma”—the name she had even before she was a Dunay.
Veronica Csizmazia. A name fitting for a matriarch. I actually thought it was Csizmania for years which felt appropriate in its own right given how wild of a family we all were. Even at ten or eleven, the name had the kind of power fitting for the woman we saw growing up. She seemed to be the head of the family—albeit an often understated one.
Veronica Csizmazia was born in Bridgeport, CT and spent her teenage years, from twelve to eighteen, in an orphanage and in foster care with her sister. It wasn’t long before she became Veronica—or, more often, “Ronnie”—Dunay. By that point, she had become independent by necessity, and it seemed to be that self-assuredness that helped carry her well beyond the decades she was fortunate enough to have with her husband.
Of course, Henry wasn’t actually the Dunay she was supposed to be with initially. Just ten months before she got married she was set up on a date, with not Henry, but his brother Eddie. Fate would have it that Henry was there too though, and she saw him first. As the story goes, she was immediately hopeful that he was her date and, even after her friend routed her to Eddie, she found her way back to Henry and stuck by his side. A handful of in-person dates later, they were married in 1957 and were together for 57 years.
She became a mom of three and, in those years and well beyond, she was the keeper of the house, the one charged with keeping the kids—and Henry—in line. She was a dedicated mom, working at a Holiday Inn as a maid. She was a kind mom, always willing to make a second dish for Mark, Cathy, and Nancy when she and Henry enjoyed their liver and onions. And she was a mom who created, maintained, and passed on family tradition.
The holidays were where she fostered her family and her legacy most. She started off as the cake maker but, over time, passed that role on to Nancy along with her arts and crafts obsession. That obsession melded with her love for the holidays to give us the Christmas ornaments she made that will continue to hang on our trees every year. Her Christmas in the City village setup was an event each year, as were her hours baking cookies each holiday season. She would ration how many the kids could have each day in December so there would be some left for Christmas Day. And just as she passed these traditions on to her kids, it’s fitting to see Nancy pass them on to her own three kids.
One day, after she’d retired, she was in the kitchen and Henry yelled “Are we gonna have lunch?” Her response: “I didn’t retire to cook and wait on you.” Despite that, it was standard for her to go to the effort of cooking huge meals anytime the grandkids were over. There was a sense that every meal over Grandma and Grandpa’s was a Thanksgiving of sorts. Not all the food we had with Grandma was so grand of course. She would always have a box of ice cream sandwiches on hand (and she’d expect it to be empty by the time we left). Her bowl of jelly beans would never empty in the Spring. The most notable snack with her was maybe when we went to see a movie and we would pack sandwich bags with Smartfood popcorn and Starbursts to be snuck into the theater in her purse.
Though she created a sanctuary for us all at her home, she loved to travel. After she retired, she and Grandpa took a month-long road trip all across the country. Cathy and Scott took them both to London and Paris to see Notre Dame. She spent the Falls enjoying drives through the New England foliage or along the coast, and she would always take the opportunity to journey to Niagara Falls or the Finger Lakes for some wine tasting. Although, one winery in and she would often be asking for someone to take her arm. At one of the family weddings, she was stocked up with her vodka Collins and walked around hugging and saying goodbye to everyone as though she was the bride making her rounds.
Even after she lost her husband of almost six decades, she found her way in her senior housing complex in these last few years. She often talked about how she had so many friends and found a new home in bingo nights and potluck suppers. And, in her last year, she also found a new light in her first great-grandchild. While she lost access to some of her friends and her game nights, Stephanie brought Eliana over throughout the year, and she became GG.
For those of us who knew Veronica/Ronnie/Mom/Grandma/GG, we know she was a strong, determined soul and we know that we’ll be hearing that and echoing it to one another for years to come. She’ll also be remembered for the way she and Grandpa were together. For 57 years, we saw the little moments they had and the big ones. The kiss on the cheek and the trip around the country. The shouts across the kitchen and the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkid who will continue living out the Dunay traditions in their stead. And, in some way, it feels like they’re having one more moment together now as she joins him once again.
Rest in peace, Grandma.
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Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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