Elizabeth “Pete” Z. Superage | Sibekan
Bette was born in Utica, New York, the daughter of the late Stanley and Eugenia Ziemba and a graduate of Utica Catholic Academy.
For more than a month, Beth suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Her desire to live was strong throughout her battle. When the decision to ventilate had to be made, she proudly announced, “Just do it!” Beth fought for life on a ventilator for 27 days. Beth wanted to live, but in the end the disease won out. She has always been a fighter.
Beth lived for family and friends. Nothing gave her greater joy than to be surrounded by chattering voices, crying babies, the clucking of toddlers, or the salivating faces of dogs. She considered every friend a member of the family, and that was evident in the calendars she kept that recorded every event in each person’s life. No occasion was too small to remember. Not only did she keep people’s dates on the calendar, but she acknowledged each event with a greeting card that always included a personal, handwritten note. Even while in the ICU on the Bi-Pap, one of Pete’s biggest concerns was getting birthday cards written for her daughter Karen, son-in-law Ken, and grandchildren Dominic and Vincent. She spent hours scribbling notes in Christmas cards to express her love during the holiday season. She needed others to know that she cared for them and loved them. The greeting cards conveyed love, care and attention – her precious gift.
Giving gifts was another of Pete’s passions. She would walk the aisles of stores for hours examining every detail to find the perfect gift for that loved one. Beth was not wealthy, but because of her unspoken motto “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” her ability to find the perfect gift at the perfect price left Christmases full of presents and Christmas mornings with so many presents that the tree was barely visible. !
Beth also got a knack for gardening. Her children remember planting tiny zinnia seeds next to her every summer. On the first day of school, these flowers are cut and gathered into small bouquets, then wrapped in a wet paper towel and aluminum foil to present to the new teacher. Sobieraj’s children became famous for their bouquets because of her. They can grow sunflowers over 8 feet tall, lilies of the valley that fill the yard with the sweetest scents, and hostas that attract hummingbirds by the dozens. Thanks to Beth, her children have a beautiful yard to play in.
Beth’s beautiful yard and giving heart were not only experienced by her six children. Beth has worked in childcare most of her life. I’ve helped raise dozens of children of working parents, providing each child with a safe, loving, snack-filled, and activity-filled place before and after school and during school vacations. And while these children were born to another woman, I have a strong feeling that because of Beth’s giving heart, many, if not all, consider her a surrogate mother.
But perhaps the trait that stands out is her dedication to everyone and everything in her life. Beth never gave up on anyone. Despite the financial difficulties of raising 6 children, Beth was committed to her children never having to live without them. She worked day and night to provide every child with a life they never wanted. Every daughter’s hair was completely curly because of her. Every child was clean, fed, and dressed in the latest fashions because of her. Every child has received a special university education because of her. Every child was offered the wedding of their dreams because of her. Every child was offered a holiday home because of her. Every child had an advocate, a supporter, a fighter in their corner, because of her. She cared for her late husband of 56.5 years, Bill, with every fiber of her being. She sacrificed her health to care for him, to love him, to give him life. She gave everything of herself in every breath, until the last.
Elizabeth Z. Subhiraj is still alive. She is survived by each of her six children: Doreen Murphy, Karen Gutta, William “Billy” Sobieraj, Cheryl Sobieraj Wadhwa, Christine “Chrissy” Legault, and Elizabeth “Lisa” Goode. She lives under the laws of her children: Joseph Murphy, Charles “Chuck” Gutta, Sunil Wadhwa, Kevin Legault, and Ken Goode. She lives with her sixteen grandchildren. 13 grandchildren, nieces/nephews and dozens of surrogate children from her days as a daycare provider.
She lives with her living siblings: Martha Dusek of Texas, Mary Sobieraj of New York and her siblings: Joseph of New York and Eugene of Wisconsin and her deceased siblings: Stanley, Alice (Zimba), Edward, and Clara (Wilson).
We will all remember her smile, her long hugs, her never-empty refrigerator, her love of dancing, and her love of love.
There are 3 Elizabeth/Beth/Mom life tips that everyone should live by: Remember to take care of each other – Remember to eat – Remember to call when you arrive.
If you want to say “so long” to this amazing woman, you can do so at her funeral scheduled for Friday, September 22, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 82 High Street Wareham, MA 02571. She would like to attend, because as she puts it, “The more the merrier!”
(tags for translation) Elizabeth "house" Z. Sobieraj