Ann M. (Gawlak) Gibas, affectionately known to her family and friends as “Dolly”, of Meriden, Connecticut, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 in Boca Raton, Florida at the age of 87. She recently moved to Florida with the intention of living with her son, Wayne, and his wife, Jane, but it was not meant to be. Ann had been struggling with congestive heart failure since February of this year.
Ann was born on July 26th, 1929 in Meriden. She was the tenth of twelve children, five girls and six boys. Her parents, Katherine (Sczepanik) and George Gawlak, immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1900s. She was an Armed Service Veteran, as were four of her siblings, having served during the Korean War era. After an honorable discharge, she returned home and worked as a telephone operator at Southern New England Telephone, a job she would keep for just shy of 15 years. She married Anthony Gibas of Newington, Connecticut on October 3rd, 1953. They were together until his death on June 1, 1985. During their years together, they exercised the entrepreneurial spirit, undertaking the business of ‘bronzing’ baby shoes in the late ‘50’s, partnering in a small landscaping firm in the early ‘60’s and establishing and operating Dolly’s Antiques during the ‘70’s. She was an active, lifelong parishioner of Saint Stanislaus Church in Meriden. Ann will be remembered as a thoughtful and caring person who always placed the welfare of others ahead of her own.
Ann is survived by her brother, Edward Gawlak of Florida and three sons, Russell and his wife Tara of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Wayne and his wife Jane of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Anthony and his wife Michelle of Meriden, Connecticut. Six grandchildren will also miss her guidance and warm friendship: Meghan Gibas Moore and her husband Nathaniel of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Andrew Gibas and Jeffery Gibas, both of Aspen, Colorado, Yvonne Gibas of Kentucky, Evan Gibas of California and Abbey Gibas of Meriden, Connecticut. Yvonne’s daughter, Zoey, is Ann’s only great grandchild. Ann is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 10 a.m. at St. Stanislaus Church, 82 Akron St., Meriden, CT 06450. Everyone is asked to meet directly at church. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Friends and relatives may call at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St., Meriden, CT 06450 on Friday, August 25, 2017 between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 5 Brookside Dr., Wallingford, CT 06492. For online condolences please visit jferryfh.com.