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A funeral mass was offered Aug. 3 at the Parish of St. John Paul II at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church for Stella Rakowski, 97, of Bayonne. She passed away July 29 in Virginia Beach, Va. Born in Somerville, she resided most of her life in Bayonne. She worked in retail at Lew’s Children’s store and then as a food service purchaser for Western Electric for 22 years before her retirement. Stella was a shining example of someone who lived life to the fullest and encouraged everyone to do the same. She will be remembered for her selfless nature and unbreakable spirit with a vivacious personality to match. Over the years she had received several honors, including 2012 Bayonne’s Outstanding Senior and was awarded MVP (Most Valuable Participant) by the National Fraternal Congress of America which recognized her volunteer efforts that strengthened her community through charitable endeavors. She dedicated many years volunteering five days a week at the Bayonne 4th Street Nutrition Site. At the age of 90, she was what many considered “an amazing exercise instructor”, teaching aerobic classes to seniors three days a week. A devout parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, her faith in God was deep and unyielding, and carried her through some of the most difficult times in her life. She was an active member of the Mt. Carmel Seniors, the Mt. Carmel Guild, the Rosary Society, the Young at Heart, the Pulaski Parade Memorial Committee, the Royal Arcanum, and the Friends of Saint Francis Organization of Bayonne. Stella adored her family and embraced every moment with them. She especially loved her role as “Babci” where she and joyfully shared pictures and stories of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s milestones with her friends. Stella was predeceased by her   husband Joseph Rakowski, her son Kenneth and daughter-in-law Sherry, two brothers, Walter and John, and her sister Helen Pearce. Left to cherish her legacy are her son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Julie; three grandchildren, Susan Thornhill, Jeffrey Rakowski and his wife Jennifer, and Robert Rakowski, and four great-grandchildren, Makayla, Alexander, Aiden, and Jacob. Services arranged by the Dworzanski and Son Funeral Home, Bayonne.

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