Lena Kazak, 1919-2020

Lena Kazak
Lena Kazak, 1919-2020. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Lena Kazak passed away quietly in the early morning of March 11, 2020. A lifelong resident of Springfield, Lena was born Feb. 19, 1919 on Mineral Street. Slack Corporation was running strong and there were many residences on Mineral Street. Lena’s parents, Joseph Kazak and Antonina Rudkowska, both worked for Slack.

As a young child, Lena experienced poor health and her mother feared she would die young. Little did she know that Lena would become a petite but robust, self-sufficient woman who lived to the age of 101.

Lena was a member of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church. Her father was one of the founding officers of the Holy Trinity Parish in Springfield. When Lena was 3, her family moved to a farm on Will Dean Road and lived there until 1946. Lena graduated from Springfield High School in 1938. She went to work at Springfield Lunch on Main Street. Her work experience was written about in 2004 as part of a series of articles called “Mornings On Maple Street.”

After leaving Springfield Lunch, Lena worked for Bryant Grinder Corp. She was employed as a machinist and operated an internal grinding machine for three years. It was during World War II, and Lena was a true “Rosie the Riveter.” She worked the 3-11 p.m. shift and then walked home a mile-and-a-half out of town from the plant. In 1945, Lena worked for Springfield Photo Finishing, Dartmouth Woolen Mills in Claremont, N.H., and Springfield Telephone Co. She eventually returned to Bryant and worked as personnel secretary, retiring in 1983 with over 30 years of service. While retired, Lena traveled extensively. She also enjoyed tending her perennial garden at her residence in Springfield where she lived for 70 years.

Lena leaves one sister Nellie Millay of Springfield. She is predeceased by four brothers Anany, Joe, Mitrofan, and Mike. Never having married or raised children of her own, Lena dedicated her love and attention to her nine nieces and nephews. She will be fondly remembered and missed.

Burial will be in the family plot in Oakland Cemetery at a later date.

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