Mary Madeline Theresa Monna Byczynski, 89, died on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Born in New Britain, CT on May 20, 1930, she was the beloved daughter of the late Anthony and Nicolina “Lena” (Melito) Monna Hayden and stepdaughter to the late George Hayden. She had lived in Meriden for most of her life and was a graduate of St. Mary Parochial School, Washington Junior High School and New Britain Senior High School and attended St. Ann Church in New Britain.
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Before moving to Meriden, Mary was employed at the Stanley Works in New Britain, CT where she performed with the Stanley Stagers and was one of the singers in a group trio ensemble. She also performed with the Stanley Stager dancers the Tune Toppers.
Mary graduated from the New Britain Senior High School in New Britain, CT in 1948. She was a devout parishioner of Holy Angels Church in South Meriden, CT where she was the founder and coordinator of the Holy Angels Pro-Life Outreach Ministry’s annual Respect Life Conference, which was presented in the year 1999 and has since been successfully held each October in observance of pro-life month during the ongoing past years to the present time, as well as the Respect Life Novena and Benediction, Respect Life Banner, Respect Life Flag and the Pro-Life Memorial Stone to the Unborn on the grounds on Holy Angels Church. She also served on the Holy Angels Women’s Club, Parish Council, Adult Choir, Publicity Chairperson and the Holy Angels Community Action Committee. She was responsible for the Holy Angels Reverend Alfred Merusi scholarship fund awarded to two deserving Holy Angels Parish students and for procuring the Holy Angels Parish directional road sign leading to the Holy Angels Church.
Mrs. Byczynski was the recipient of the St. Joseph Metal Award for charitable service to the church and the St. Gianna Berreta Molla Award for her presentations of the Respect Life Conferences held in the month of October in observance of the pro-life month and her work with the Greater Meriden Council of Catholic Women. Both awards were presented to Mary by the Most Reverend Henry D. Mansell, Archbishop Emeritus of Hartford at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford, CT.
Appointed by Archbishop Daniel Cronin, Mary became President of the Connecticut Council of Catholic Women for the Archdiocese of Hartford for a term of two years followed by serving on the National Council of Catholic Women’s Province Board of Directors and the Archdiocesan Connecticut Council of Catholic Women Board of Directors.
She was the current President of the Greater Meriden Council of Catholic Women and Coordinator of the Respect Life Conference held each October at the Holy Angels Parish C enter. She was a past member of the Meriden Junior WOMEN’S Club, the Maryheart Crusaders, Inc. and the Meriden Grange. She was a past president of the Knights of Columbus, Silver City Columbiettes #2, Auxiliary to the KofC. She also served as District Deputy during that time, where Mary was instrumental in bringing in the KofC Pinta Council #5 Columbiettes where she later became a member of Pinta #5 and was made an Honorary Life Member by the Supreme Council Columbiettes for having served more than 50 years as a Columbiette.
Mary also served on the Board of Directors for Gallery 53, The Arts and Crafts Association of Meriden and was a Membership Chairperson for several years.
Mary, as a member of the Meriden Chapter of Parents Without Partners, Inc., held many positions including Vice President of the New England Regional Chapters, Through PWP, she made countless number of wonderful friends during her travels for the organizations, speaking a presenting workshops at PWP seminars and was awarded Single Parent of the Year by the New England Regional Council of Parents Without Partners, Inc.
Mary’s love for music and the arts led her to an active musical and actin g venue, studying voice with the late Fannie Garofano and with the Grace Baum Music Studio in New Britain, CT and later with the Juluis Hartt School of Music and as a member of the Hartt Opera Association appeared in the opera “Faust.” As a teenager, she sang with the weekly Brown Thompson Kiddie Review, sharing an appearance with guest star and singer Vaughn Monroe on Radio Station WTIC as well as Radio Station WONS in Hartford, CT. While employed at Stanley Works in New Britain, Mary was a performer with the Stanley Stagers, a musical group of performers that entertained throughout the greater New Britain, CT area which included the Tune Toppers, a dance team and a singing trio ensemble that included many shows and singing concerts.
Before coming to Meriden, Mary was a member of the Berlin Playhouse and the New Britain Reprietory Theatre.
She was also a member of the Meriden St. Joseph Theater Guild, appearing in the Desk Set as Meg and also as an Actor’s Playhouse of Meriden member, appearing in The Seven Year Itch in the role as Pat and played the role of Gloria Thorpe in Damm Yankees. Mary’s love for the theater came at an early age when she appeared in an original play, while in grammar school, where she took Elocution lessons titled Then and Now by Mary Hartney.
She was a member of the Meriden Community Chorus under the direction of Antonio Parisi where she sang the role of Mabel in Pirates of Penzance and the role of Jennie Parsons in Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley. Followed by participation in the Meriden Community Chorus under the direction of Robert Cyr, Mary sang with the chorus in the presentation of the Living Christmas Tree and brought in the filming of the musical event “Ringing in the Season” presented by PM Magazine that was aired by WFSB-TV3 on a Christmas Eve.
Mary has sung with the Greater New Britain Opera Association appearing in several operas and has also sung with The Southington Festival Chorale.
In 1995, she was a member of the 1000 voice choir at the International Special Olympics when President William Clinton opened the Olympics at the Yale Bowl.
In 1998, Mary received a Certificate of Achievement Award for Senior Aide Extraordinaire with Gratitude from the Board of Directors and Staff of the Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven.
Mary leaves behind an everlasting love for her beloved children, family and friends, her gift of song and music, and contributions to the works of her beloved church, Holy Angels.
She is survived by her son, Kevin G. Byczynski and his late wife Sherry (Kittredge) of Meriden; her daughter, Michele M. Byczynski and her partner Patty Frankz of Lakeland, FL; her five grandchildren, Adam G. Byzcynski,a Brian J. (Byczynski) Thompson, Jose Garcia, Adrian Hernandez and Caleb Ortiz all of Meriden; and her sister, Beatrice (Monna) Lapointe of Newington. She is also survived by nieces and nephews; Corrine Lapointe of Newington, Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Darlene (Lapointe) Letizio of Kensington and Robert Lapointe of Newington. She also leaves behind a great-niece and great-nephew, Mr. and Mrs. Corey and Stacey (Poglitsch) Richardson of Oxford and two great great nephews, Cole and Conner Richardson, numerous cousins, and six great grandchildren, David, Lori, Titus, Sally, Ruby and Erin.
Ms. Byczynski graduated 8th grade from St. Mary Parochial School in New Britain, graduated 9th grade from Washington Junior High School in New Britain and graduated 12th grade from New Britain Senior High School in New Britain.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, February 3, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels, Holy Angels Campus, 525 Main St., South Meriden, CT 06450. Everyone is asked to meet directly at church. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain. Family and friends may call at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St., Meriden on Friday, January 31st from 4 to 6 p.m. For online condolences please visit jferryfh.com.