Chicopee – Stella (Dascanio) Gajda, 93, passed away Saturday September 11, 2021 at Holyoke Medical Center. Born in Chicopee on January 28, 1928, she was a daughter of the late Santi and Emma (DiSanti) Dascanio. Stella attended schools in Chicopee and was a 1945 graduate of Chicopee High School. Stella was employed by Smith and Wesson for 22 years, working in the Print Shop. She was a longtime parishioner of the former St. Mary’s Parish in Chicopee, where she was a member of the Guild as well as the Willimansett Heights Improvement League. Most recently she was a parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Chicopee. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Thaddeus “Ted” K. Gajda in 2006, and by her brothers, Thomas, Joseph, George and Veto Dascanio; her sister’s, Palmina Dascanio, Pauline Camarotti, Mary Zawacki, and Viola Szetela and by her son-in-law, Jim Hamel. Stella is survived by her loving children, Paul W. Gajda and Donna M. Hamel, both of South Hadley; her sister, Nickoletta Dyka of Chicopee; her grandchildren, Justin and Gretchen Hamel, Michael Hamel and Lisa Hilt, Laurin and Harry Kofidis; her great grandchildren, Emma, Lucas, Eli, and Jacob; her lifelong friend Irene Jendrysik; Justin and Brandon Provost who were family to her; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Stella had the most generous heart and infectious smile. She loved dancing with her husband; Ted, the love of her life, who finally got his polka partner back, Sunday night cards and vacations with Fred and Irene, watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's sporting events, hosting family picnics and simply being in the company of family and friends. She will live in the hearts and minds of everyone she interacted with. Family and friends are invited to meet for calling hours on Wednesday September 15th from 4-7 p.m. at the Brunelle Funeral Home, 811 Chicopee St., Chicopee. Stella’s funeral will be held on Thursday September 16th beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 56 St. Anthony St. in Chicopee. Burial will follow in St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Chicopee. Memorial donations may be made in Stella’s memory to Holyoke Medical Center for their exceptional care or a charity of one’s choice. To leave an online expression of sympathy for the family, please visit www.brunellefuneralhome.com
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stella (Dascanio) Gajda, please visit our tribute store.