NORTH WALPOLE — On Thursday, May 2, 2019, Anthony “Auntie” Jurkoic, passed away unexpectedly at his home and has reached his ultimate goals of being with God and being reunited with his wife Theresa. Auntie was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont on Aug. 15, 1932, the son of Rafal and Bronislawa (Paligo) Jurkoic. He was a 1950 graduate of Bellows Falls High School and was very proud of being president of his class and carried on those responsibilities for over 65 years. An excellent athlete, he was inducted into the Bellows Falls Athletic Hall of Fame for his performance on the football, basketball, baseball, and track and field teams. Although he had scholarship offers to several colleges, his greatest joy was working. He delivered milk in the mornings before school as a fifth grader, worked in the woods cross-cut sawing trees at age 12 and continued cutting trees for people until his body wouldn’t let him. He entered the Army after graduation and upon his return got a job working for the New England Telephone Company for which he gave 39 years of service as an installer/repairman. Loving to work with his hands, Auntie was a skilled carpenter, built two houses, and did countless projects for others using wood, stone, and concrete. Even into his 80s, Auntie had been dedicatedly mowing and caring for Sacred Heart Cemetery.
In 1958 he married Theresa Jasienowski, who predeceased him in 1984. Without his wife for 34 years he remained a loyal and faithful husband and said, “She was the only one for me.” Auntie had an incredible work ethic, and whatever he did, it was for his family and done with love. He loved athletics as a participant and then as a spectator. Watching his children then grandchildren participate in sports brought him great joy along with watching Franklin Pierce baseball, Notre Dame football, and women’s basketball. His pride in his Polish heritage was evident in his love for polka dances and his talent in making galumpkis.
When people speak of Auntie the words most used to describe him are “kind,” “generous,” “devoted to God and family,” “ a friend to all and loved by everyone,” “always a wave and a smile,” “a gentleman.” What really hits his true essence are comments like “inspired many with his gentleness and acts of kindness,” “he taught us all how to look out for others,” “one of the most God-centered and wonderful individuals,” and “he radiated Christ, such an example of God’s love and gentleness for us all.”
His faith was unwavering and he lived every day in deeds and actions so that he would ascend to heaven and be with God. Auntie was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Church, St. Peter’s Parish and was currently an active communicant of St. Charles Church. As an adult he was an alter server for Fr. Felix at Sacred Heart. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion Post #37.
Surviving are his children, Toni McDougle and partner Kim of Walpole, Matthew Jurkoic and wife Deb of Lee, and Stanley Jurkoic and wife Melissa of Newmarket; his sister Helen Anderson of North Walpole; his grandchildren Sarah Washburn and husband Ryan, Jacob McDougle, Anastazja and Brygida Jurkoic, Cameron and Jacob Grzybowski, Anthony Jurkoic II, and great-grandson Miles Washburn and many nieces and nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by his parents and his siblings Walter and Amelia Jurkoic, Lottie Green, Stephena Zielinski, Lily Delouis, Joseph Jurkoic, and Stella Kissell.
There will be calling hours on Sunday, May 12 , 1-4 p.m. at Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, Vermont. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, May 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Church in Bellows Falls with burial to follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Kurn Hattin Homes, P.O. Box 127, Westminster, VT 05158.