Vivian L. “Cookie” Duranczyk, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, formerly of Chicago, Illinios, was born on January 13, 1931. She passed away peacefully on April 26 surrounded by her adoring family. Cookie is survived by her devoted husband of 69 years, Walter Duranczyk; adoring daughters, Sharon (Chris) Chiecuto and Susan Bocinsky; dearly loved grandchildren, Heather (Paul) Jurkowski, John (Joanna) Tautkus, Kendra (Jason Brann) Bocinsky, and Angela (Alec Garver) Chiecuto; treasured great-grandchildren, Madeline and Ryan Jurkowski and Walter and Archer Tautkus; dear siblings, Dorothy (Jimmy) Tomazic, Rita Lapka, Angie (Tony) Domico, and Leo Lapka. She is preceded in death by her parents, Anna and Leo Lapka; siblings, Sonny Lapka and Irene Lapka; and niece Debbie Broukal. From all the lives she has impacted during her time with us, Cookie also leaves behind countless extended family members, neighbors, and friends.
One day long ago, Wally asked Cookie if she would wear a ring. She answered with a yes and they were married on June 16, 1951. That ring has remained on her finger for almost 70 years. They started their family soon after while living in Chicago and were blessed with two beautiful daughters. Cookie spent a short amount of time working as a bank teller at Metropolitan Bank, but quickly realized that being home for Wally and raising their two girls was where she was meant to be. During their time in Chicago, she enjoyed visiting her siblings, crafting, crocheting, cooking, and baking. She was also in various clubs for crafts and ceramics, among others. Cookie used her kindness, love, steadfastness, and tenacity to raise her children to become wonderful mothers themselves. She doted on her grandchildren every moment they were together. Although she never drove a car a day in her life, she would make sure they got to school, sports, and clubs by either walking them there or taking public transportation.
After her daughters were grown and married with children of their own and Wally retired, they left the big city of Chicago and made their way to the mountainous beauty that is Colorado. Always a woman deeply bound to her faith, she quickly found a new home at St. Frances Cabrini Parish. Once there, Cookie soon became a recognizable face that loved to chat and be as active as could be within her newfound community. The number of friends and acquaintances she made during her time there is staggering. As much as she loved her family and making new friends, there was no question that she also put her heart, love, and faith into our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Cookie was a proud member of the Ladies Auxiliary, where she prepared her legendary coleslaw for various doings for decades! She was also proud of being named Lady Knight of the month one January. Cookie also used her time in her new environment to help care for her newest grandchild as she did for her previous three. Years later, she used her motherly instincts to pass along to her great grandchildren.
Cookie always remained proud of her Polish heritage and passed along recipes of Polish dishes to the next generations. Her homemade golumpki will never be matched! Her baking was always extraordinary as well, especially the chocolate chip cookies and the rest of her Christmas cookies. She also liked to can her own foods and taught others how to do it as well. As Cookie grew older, she remained active. She was never one who could sit still. Up until her last days, she was still racing along as much as she could. Cookie was patient, as was evident by the way she never got frustrated when teaching someone something new. She never got angry with her grandchildren, even when the new wallpaper in her bathroom got an unremovable stain on it. Cookie also had the uncanny ability to smooth down the rougher edges of members of the family that would listen to no one else. She spoiled her grandchildren whether it was getting them the newest Disney movies or finding the best fitting underwear. No one ever grew old of her stories of the old neighborhood. Her memory was astonishing, and it is with certainty that some stories were still left untold.
Cookie enjoyed watching the Young and the Restless, Columbo, Mollie B’s Polka Party, and the Sound of Music. She enjoyed all kinds of dancing, sports, and card and board games, especially war, dominoes, and swinia. Cookie was loving, kind, devoted to the Lord and her family, generous, happy, and beautiful. Words can not express how deeply she will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that all who knew her to smile when they see a pretty flower, do an altruistic act of kindness, hug someone close to them, or to say an extra Hail Mary in her memory.
Family and friends are invited to Cookie's Visitation on Tuesday, May 4th from 6:00-8:00pm at Horan & McConaty Funeral Home 3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, Colorado 80227.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 5th, 10:30am at St. Frances Cabrini Parish 6673 W Chatfield Ave, Littleton, Colorado 80128. Interment will follow at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado at 1:00pm. For those who cannot attend her service, they are invited to join virtually via livestream at the following link: https://youtu.be/gWVKuipnfnE For those who are unable to watch it live, a recording of the service will remain available.
Please leave memories and condolences for Cookie by signing the tribute wall.