Allowed to practice on her seven younger siblings, Pauline started early collecting the qualities of patience, humility, loyalty, and empathy. She received encouragement to enhance her collection by adding an impressive willingness to take responsibility and grow her collection further by adding on greater and greater responsibility. This allowed Pauline the chance to improve her skillset even more by contributing a readiness to sacrifice her own desires, dreams and goals for the benefit of others, a very special piece in her growing collection and one that she offered lovingly to all of those she called family. Her collection also included super-human strength of character and trustworthiness, other pieces she doled out with regular frequency. She possessed quite the knack for solving problems, and her wide assortment of attributes included enviable managerial skills that included talents for both project and financial management. Similarly, no one in her family can deny the crisis management skills that were also part of her collection. Any reference to snow in a weather forecast, and Pauline jumped into action alerting her family of pending weather crises. Each family member benefited from her warnings, as well as from her tried-and-true crisis preparation suggestions.
Yet, no collection of the best wife, unsurpassed mother and unrivaled grandmother could be considered complete without the qualities of love and support, qualities Pauline had in spades. Certainly, no one has ever been more supportive of or exuded more love for her family than Pauline. Not only did she collect a caring spirit, compassion and kindness, but she taught all of these qualities and more to the ones who knew her best. Her collection included far more than could ever be accurately conveyed here, but all who knew and loved her, knew beyond doubt that she lived her passion – loving her family – with every breath she breathed. Wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend – Pauline, you will be missed by all who knew you.
Pauline was predeceased by her parents John and Violet Thomas. She is survived by her husband John (AJ) Szakalski; her children, Joanna Scouten (Mark Romano) and John Szakalski (Bridget); grandchildren, Andrew Scouten, Jack Szakalski, and Abigail Szakalski; siblings, Janet Winslow, Charles Thomas, Alice Russell, Ruth Gabak, Corinne Hayes, Phillip Thomas, Raymond Thomas and Joseph Thomas; and many nieces, nephews, and other family too numerous to list but much loved by her and never forgotten.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 1st from 4 to 6pm with a service to follow at 6pm at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles. Contributions in her name can be made to the American Cancer Society. To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.