Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Madeleine A. “Queenie” O’Connell Mraz of Watertown Connecticut, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 23 at Masonicare in Newtown. She was 92.
She was born Sept. 2, 1924 in Bridgeport to Dr. John G. O’Connell and Madeleine A. Barwin O’Connell. She was a 1941 graduate of Bassick High School and received an Associate’s Degree from Weylister Secretarial Junior College, both in Bridgeport.
During World War II, she worked for Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, helping to make the famous Corsair airplanes. She was proud that due to her petite stature she was one of the few small enough to fit in the nosecone to work on the aircraft.
On Dec. 4, 1948, she married William W. Mraz, who predeceased her in 2004. They moved to Westport in 1956 and lived and raised their family here until 1981 when they moved to Woodbury and later to Watertown where they resided since 1985.
In the early years, she was a homemaker and worked together with her husband in his typewriter business, W.W. Mraz Co., Inc. of Westport. (He was often called “the typewriter man.”) She was assistant field director of Trendex, Inc. Market Research, also of Westport, for 16 years.
In Woodbury, she worked for Straus-Edwards Associates, Architects and both Madeleine and her husband were active members of the Main Street Players. Madeleine served as secretary and wardrobe mistress. She was also treasurer and a feature writer for The Woodlaker newsletter at Woodlake Condominiums.
She spent a great part of her life volunteering in her community. From 1991 to 1998 she volunteered in the local office of the American Cancer Society and was named Volunteer of the Year in 1993.
She was the 1996 recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award, representing the Greater Waterbury Unit. The award was presented to her by then Gov. John Rowland at a ceremony in Hartford for her courage in her personal battle with breast cancer and her work as a breast cancer advocate.
She turned a hobby into an at-home business called, The Queen’s Kids, making custom-made dolls and doll clothes. She served the Litchfield Doll Club as president and newsletter editor and was a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry of the First Congregational Church, Watertown.
She was an avid reader and loved words. Along with raising her children and the work she did for the Cancer Society, she felt one of her greatest accomplishments was her work with the Friends’ Book Nook at the Watertown Library for 26 years.
She was predeceased by her parents and her sister, M. Patricia O’Connell, and brother, John G. “Jack” O’Connell, Jr. She is survived by her six beloved children, Jill A. Mraz Graham; Nancy Mraz Chase and her husband, John; William W. Mraz, Jr. and his wife, Shane; Patricia A. Graves and her husband, Allan; Susan Mraz Mungavin and Jessi A. Mraz. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and reception will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 40 DeForest St. (Rt. 6), Watertown.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Queenie’s memory to The Watertown Library Association, 470 Main Street, Watertown CT 06795.
Posted 12/28/16 at 11:22 AM Permalink