Ursula Mary Tomaszewski (née Bonavich), a longtime resident of Jamesport, died peacefully at Long Island Community Hospital on April 11, 2021. Most people knew her by the nickname Bonnie. She was 99.
Ursula was born in Quakake, Pa., on Aug. 16, 1921, to Magdaline (Klink) and John Bonavich, both of Lithuanian ancestry. She was the youngest of four children.
Ursula was predeceased by her husband of 74 years, Lewis Tomaszewski. She was also predeceased by her sister, Margaret (Peter) Pappas and two brothers, John Bonavich and Alfonso Bonavich. She is survived by her son, Michael, and her daughter, Bonnie (Donald) Kisiel, both of Shoreham. Also surviving her are three grandchildren, Lara (Michael) Asirvadem, Stephen (Kristina) Kisiel and Bryan Kisiel; three great-grandchildren, Lucas, Noah and Juliana Kisiel; and two nephews, Peter Pappas and George (Caroline) Pappas of Pennsylvania.
Ursula grew up in the coal mining mountains of Pennsylvania. She attended the Quakake Elementary School and graduated from Delano High School in 1939. After working at the Five Point Diner, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps during World War II. Cpl. Ursula Bonavich was stationed at Kirtland Field in Albuquerque, N.M., where she met Staff Sgt. Lewis Tomaszewski. They were married in uniform in the Army base chapel. After the war, Ursula moved to Calverton with her husband and daughter to work on the family farm. The couple moved in 1951 to their own farm in Jamesport, where they resided for 67 years.
Ursula took great pleasure in her work as farmer’s wife and homemaker. She ran a U-pick strawberry field as well as raising vegetables and flowers for the small stand in front of their house. Her extensive flower gardens earned her the local nickname of “the flower lady.” She also loved to cook and preserve fruits, vegetables and jams. Eventually Ursula worked as a reading aide at Aquebogue Elementary School until her retirement in 1978. In her spare time, she loved to read.
Ursula was a devoted member of St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead and the Altar Rosary Society. She was also active in the Riverhead-Jamesport Homemakers, where she made numerous handcrafted items. Ursula’s most longstanding commitment was the Ladies Auxiliary of Jamesport Fire Department. She was a member for over 50 years. Known for her strong work ethic and her kind smile, Ursula enjoyed hosting large gatherings of friends and family. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Visiting hours will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 17, at St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead, followed by interment at St. John’s Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Jamesport Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.
This is a paid notice.