1917 – 2016
Edwina Vaida passed from this life, after a short illness, on July 6, 2016 at the age of 99 years. She was surrounded by family, friends, and love.
Edwina was born on April 3, 1917 in East Lyme, CT to John Paul Jezierski and Antonia Wolowicz Jezierski. Mrs. Vaida is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Charles H. Vaida, her brothers, William, Edward and Wesley Jezierski, and her son Charles T. Vaida.
She is survived by her son Paul Kalman Vaida, his wife Cecelia Vaida and her daughter-in-law Patricia Vaida. Edwina was a grandmother to six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was the adored matriarch of the Vaida family.
Edwina graduated high school in East Lyme, CT. A woman before her time, with the support and encouragement of her father, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in Sociology. Edwina worked as a guard in a women’s correction facility. To support her country during World War II, she then took a position United States Navy Underwater Sound Lab, in New London, CT working to detect submarines. In 1956, Edwina met her beloved husband, Charlie and moved to Phoenixville, CT to work at the family-owned Vaida Dairy Farm. Edwina went back to school and earned her Master’s degree in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. She taught in the Eastford Elementary and Killingly Middle Schools. Edwina shared her passion for farm life and science with her students, many of whom still reside in the area and remember her fondly.
Edwina was an adventurous woman who enjoyed playing Scrabble, ice skating, swimming, canoeing, and sledding with her grandchildren when they were young. She and her husband enjoyed traveling together. Family and friends were first and foremost for Edwina. She and Charlie hosted gatherings and spent endless hours sharing meals and conversations at their home. Edwina was a dedicated UConn women’s basketball fan. She loved animals, singing, reading, caring for her gardens, watching hummingbirds, and eating chocolate. Edwina was a woman with great dignity who lived everyday appreciating the many gifts of nature and life.
There will be no calling hours and her memorial service will be private. Donations in her memory can be given to the Eastford Public Library or the Eastford Independent Fire Department. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman And Valade Funeral Homes and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.