Loretta Judith Bielski, 93, of Salem, Ohio, passed away peacefully in April surrounded by family. She married the late Robert Bielski in 1949 in Buffalo, New York before moving to Salem to raise their family. Loretta is survived by her sister Marcy, and four children: Gary, Larry and his wife Cathy, Bonnie and Diane. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Nathan and Leah and four great-grandchildren: Amelia, Silas, Maven, and Brennan. Loretta was predeceased by her loving husband in 1990, and her sisters Christina and Bernadine.
Loretta loved to travel around the country, and she enjoyed many memorable trips with her family to Hawaii, California, the Northwest, Florida and countless other locales. She was the best travelling companion, and she loved the adventure of a road trip, always eager to see a scenic wonder or stop at an obscure roadside attraction.
Loretta was very creative and had a real talent for decorating. For many years she adorned the sanctuary of St. Paul Church in Salem with her elegant displays of fabric and seasonal flowers. Her work illuminated the church and enhanced the celebration of the Christmas and Easter holidays for everyone.
Loretta loved music, either live or listening to her collection of 45s and vinyl albums. She was uplifted by the sound of vocal harmonies and was an accomplished member of the St. Paul Church and the Kent State University Choirs where she sang alto. Her favorite vocal artists were Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond, and her children fondly remember accompanying her to see numerous Elvis movies at the drive-in and cinema. Her children took her to see pop concerts featuring Elvis Presley, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. At family celebrations, Loretta was the first person on the dance floor to exhibit her polka skills, merrily circling the floor with her lively and lovely legs. Loretta’s children have a fond memory of their parents gliding across their grandmother’s television screen during a live broadcast of Buffalo’s “Pic-A-Polka” that aired in the early 60’s.
Loretta was an enthusiastic fan of aviation shows and had the good fortune to see the Concorde supersonic airliner flyby at the Cleveland National Air Show. But her favorite, by far, was to see the naval flight exhibition team The Blue Angels, forever in awe of their skillful aerial acrobatics. She followed them for decades, and two years ago, after watching the team practice at their home base in Pensacola, she beamed in a photograph taken while surrounded by Blue Angel pilots as she sat in her wheelchair. We remember Loretta in the words of John G. Magee’s spiritual sonnet High Flight, and we know that she “has slipped the surly bonds of earth and now dances the skies on laughter-silvered wings.”
Loretta made a lasting impression on so many of us. She was an amazing mother and homemaker and was immensely proud of her family. She left us with so many beautiful memories. Her intelligence and creativity, her love of gardening, books, travel, dance, and music were passed on to every one of her children. The most important lesson that she lived and taught was to remain young at heart.
A private memorial service will be held in Buffalo.