Maria K. Kruelski

Maria Kalakura Kruelski of Danbury, CT, a musician and artist, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 11, 2012.  She was 91 years old and the widow of Edward A. Kruelski, who passed away in 2000. Mrs. Kruelski was born in New York City on May 29, 1920, a daughter of the late Nicholas and Lena (Pryslak) Kalakura. She studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

She and Mr. Kruelski, a horticulturist and metallurgist, were married in 1949 and lived in Queens and on Long Island. They met when Mr. Kruelski, a square dance caller, needed a fiddle player for his band. In 1960, the Kruelski’s made their home in Ridgefield and lived there for 37 years before moving to Danbury. While in Ridgefield, Mrs. Kruelski was active with the League of Women Voters and worked in the Town Planning and Zoning office for many years.

Maria was a woman of many talents. She started playing violin as a teen in a Ukrainian music trio; in her twenties she played violin for several orchestras on the radio in New York City.  She was one of the original members of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, which she played with for many years. Later in life, her musical interests turned to Old Time Fiddling and Cajun and Zydeco dance music. She was a long-time member of Connecticut’s Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers Club, the Danbury Senior Center Cellmates, and of the Cajun Band Bayou Midnight. She won numerous awards playing in fiddle contests all over New England, and was warmly received in pursuit of her passion as far away as Louisiana.

Another passion of Maria’s was teaching origami (the art of Japanese paper folding), and she was a founding member of The Friends of the Origami Center of America. The area she got most excited about was teaching the art of Ukrainian Egg Decorating, a tradition which has been passed down to her daughter and granddaughter.

Mrs. Kruelski is survived by a daughter, Elaine Dykman and her husband, Robert of New Fairfield; two sons, Edward A. Kruelski Jr. of New Milford and Donald A. Kruelski and his wife, Mary Foster of Herndon, VA; four grandchildren, Ted, Alex, Alyssa and Robert III; one great grand-child, Mason; and several nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by a sister, Anne Kozoriz.

Maria’s infectious smile and enthusiasm for whatever she did will be missed by all who knew her.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to NYU Langone Medical Center, Center of Excellence on Brain Aging, 145 East 32nd Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

Funeral services will take place on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home,
9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury with the Rev. David W. Franklin, Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph Parish, Danbury officiating. Interment will take place in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield on Friday, March 16, 2012 at a time to be announced. Friends will be received in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home on Thursday March 15, 2012 from 6 to 8 pm.

Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.
www.jowdykanefuneralhome.com

                                                        



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