portrait picture for Irene R. Sanislo

WAKE: Tuesday, July 7th from 5PM to 7PM. MASS: Wednesday, July 8th at 10 AM, St. Emery’s Church, 838 Kings  Highway, Fairfield, CT

Irene R. Sanislo

July 5, 1928 - July 4, 2015

Irene R. Sanislo, wife of the late James Sanislo of Stratford, passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2015, in St Vincent’s Medical Center, with her niece at her side. Born July 5, 1928, she was the youngest child of the late Joseph and Anna Oprendek, and was known as “Babe” throughout her life. She died one day before her 87th birthday.

Irene grew up in Fairfield, and attended Fairfield schools. She worked as a secretary at Dictaphone Corporation, until deciding she no longer wanted to work outside the home. She devoted her life to being a good partner to her husband, Jim, and to helping her family, friends, and parish. She and her parents and siblings were among the founders of Saint Emery’s Church in Fairfield, and she held a lifelong devotion to that parish.

She was a member and officer in their Seniors group, serving as President and directing a wide variety of social activities. She also was a member and officer of the St Emery’s Ladies Guild, and actively directed and participated in their events such as dinners, bake sales, special Masses, and parish celebrations. Before she became ill , she regularly attended the Hungarian Sunday morning liturgy at St Emery’s, and took great pride in her parents’ Hungarian heritage. In her later years, she developed kidney failure and other age related ailments, and was a patient at the DaVita hemodialysis center in Milford for more than two years.
Although Irene lost her husband when she herself was only 55 years old, she remained a strong and independent woman. Over the years, she helped and took care of many relatives and friends, including her mother, her siblings, and many friends She was a faithful, caring person who gave selflessly of her time to anybody who needed a visit, a ride, an errand done, or a happy greeting. She enjoyed baseball, the New York Yankees, reading, spending time with loved ones, going out to dinner, and laughter. She had a strong faith, a very personal relationship with her Lord, and relentless intent to pray for anybody who needed it. She loved people and enjoyed being friendly. She had a beautiful smile, a warm heart, and a good soul.

She will be remembered and missed by her niece Lisa Biagiarelli of Easton, niece Susan Oprendek of Trumbull, nephew Mark Oprendek of Southbury, and nephew Michael Oprendek of Trumbull, as well as a network of nieces, nephews and relatives from James’ family, close neighbors from Stratford who were very good to her, her care giver, Irena Nesterov, and many other friends whose lives she became a part of.
In addition to her husband and her parents, she was predeceased by her brother Kalman; her brother and sister in law Joseph and Jean Oprendek; her sister and brother in law Anna and Peter Biagiarelli; and many other relatives and dear friends.

Friends may call Tuesday , July 7th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate her life will be held on Wednesday, July 8th, at 10:00 AM at Saint Emery’s Church, 838 Kings Highway, Fairfield. Friends are asked to meet directly at the church on Wednesday morning. She will be buried alongside her husband at Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport.

Donations in Irene’s memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice. She held a special devotion to veterans groups, her church, and the Fidelco Guide Dog program.


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