Sophie Gelczis Pietrucha

Honored by:Martin Pietrucha
Brick location:F:11  map

Sophie Gelczis Pietrucha is a strong and caring woman. Born in Kearny, New Jersey, July 9, 1916, she was the oldest of three daughters of Vincent and Sophie Gelczis, both of whom were immigrants from Lithuania. She grew up and lived all of her life in her hometown. While still a young girl at the age of 14, her mother died as the result of a traffic accident. She spent much of her young life trying to hold together her family--her father and her two younger sisters, Dorothy and Grace--through the ravages of the Great Depression.

Acting as a surrogate head of the household, she sacrificed much of the carefree life associated with one's teenage years honoring her obligations to her family. After graduating from high school, she passed up an opportunity to further her education and began to work at a full-time job to help support her family. As a young woman, she met and later married Bernard Pietrucha of Newark, New Jersey. They were wed on November 5, 1939. Together they had three sons-- Bernard, Vincent and Martin.

She spent the next period of her life raising and caring for her "second family"--a job that she carries on with today, bringing great zeal, affection and enjoyment to the task of "looking after" her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. Her contribution to the status of women today is the quiet strength and dignity that she demonstrated in facing personal adversity at a young age and dealing with the trials of everyday life as a worker, helpmate, parent, and friend. She served to bridge the gap between the European world of her parents and the American world of her children. She helped to transition her family from a life that was old and hard to a life that was new and full of promise. The realization by the Gelczis-Pietrucha family of their part of the American dream is a recognition of the selfless contributions she made to her loved ones.

She will always be remembered by those who have known her as a woman of fortitude and propriety living a life that was hard yet full.