Jeanette H. Rybicki

November 20, 1932 ~ November 18, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Jeanette H. Rybicki Obituary

Jeanette H. Rybicki, 90 of South Bend, passed away peacefully at her home, on Saturday, November 18, 2023… three days shy of her 91st birthday; with her two daughters Sandy and Michelle and her beloved dog Bella… by her side. She fiercely fought the battle of Alzheimer’s Dementia, but lost her life, due to Arteriosclerosis.

Jeanette was born on November 20th, 1932 in South Bend to the late Fred and Harriet (Bogacki) Gorczyca. She graduated from Washington High School, and in her senior year, began modeling for Robertson Department Store downtown and had a weekly (for several months) article in the Society Section of the South Bend Tribune- “Fashion Tips by Jeanette Gonczyca”.

On April 23, 1955 in St. Casimir Catholic Church, she married Ervin S. Rybicki, who preceded her in death in 2007. She was also preceded in death by her parents mentioned above, and her sister, Dorothy J. Mirocha, and brother-in-law, Daniel Mirocha. Jeanette is survived by her daughters: Sandy L. Rybicki of Melbourne, Florida and daughter Michelle A. Rybicki of South Bend, Indiana; nephews- Keith A. Mirocha, and Father Daryl Rybicki; nieces- Debbie J. (Mirocha) Wlodarski, Diana Fozo, Shirley Budd, Carol Megyesi, Mary Anne Peters, and other great nieces and nephews.

Jeanette was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church since it was built in 1955 and sang on the choir for years, and helped other parishioners repaint the church and school after it burned in 1969.

Jeanette retired from Carleton Financial Computations in April 1997. Since then, Jeanette found joy in her dogs- Mittens who passed in 2003, and her dog Bella who now, her daughter Michelle has; working in her yard “daily,” watching her soaps… “The Young and the Restless; The Bold and the Beautiful; working crossword puzzles, reading and spending lots of time with her daughter Michelle. Jeanette and Michelle shared so many interests... both having modeled, and done interior decorating, enjoyed taking car rides together, going to the musical productions at The Morris Performing Arts Center, including seeing Wayne Newton and than joining Wayne Newton for dinner after the concert!

Jeanette was always there for Michelle with her previous health challenges and now since 2015. Michelle was there for her mom Jeanette and then within the last two years became her caregiver, due to advancing dementia.

Jeanette was NOT one to sit idle! Neighbors would MARVEL at what Jeanette was doing to for her age… including this winter of 2023- all her own snow shoveling! Michelle would get there to help do it... only to find it already done! Up to three years ago, she was cutting her own grass and painting the exterior & interior of her house!

Jeanette was a proud and fiercely independent woman, who liked to do things herself, right up till the last two months of her life. That’s what kept her young! She was always a positive woman, who hadn’t seen a doctor for twenty years (except in 2019 when she needed surgery for a broken arm) and took no medication of any kind up until moving her to Brookdale South Bend, in May of this year, due to worsening dementia.

When Jeanette’s decline, of the hardening of the arteries, became apparent, last month in October, things progressed quickly… she could no longer walk or feed herself.  This classy, feisty, strong-willed woman, for the first time…now “accepted” help.  Her daughter, Michelle would visit nearly daily to Brookdale South Bend to help feed her mom, lunch or most often dinner, and treasured those last three weeks with Jeanette… her beloved mother.  It was Jeanette’s wish to go back home… and her daughter Michelle “fought fiercely,” to make that happen, along with the help of Hospice & ABC Nursing Care.  Jeanette was transported “home” to Sussex Drive, the home she lived in since 1956, (other than 6 months @ Brookdale over this past summer) … Jeanette arrived back home at 1:00 pm Friday, November 17th, just before her other daughter Sandy got in from Florida at 1:30 pm and her dog Bella – all there, to welcome her back home!  This was the final birthday wish, that Michelle gave her mother!  Jeanette was back home for 15 hours before taking her final breath and being taken in God’s arms.

A rosary will be prayed at 2:00 pm, Friday, November 24, 2023, by her nephew Fr. Daryl Rybicki, followed by visitation until 7:00 pm at the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, November 25, 2023 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 3526 St. Johns Way, South Bend, IN.  Entombment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery.

We’d like to thank the nurses, aides, chef and staff of Brookdale South Bend; along with Heartland (Promedica) Hospice and Always Best Care Home Nursing, for all the help and care given to our mother; especially in these last three weeks.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland (Promedica) Hospice, 230 W. Catalpa Dr., Mishawaka, IN 46545 or St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 3526 St. Johns Way, South Bend, IN.

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