470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


Jennie Violia (Distefano) Rawski

Jennie Violia (Distefano) Rawski

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
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Jennie Violia Rawski passed away on July 22, 2020 at age 95.

Jennie was born and grew up in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. She was the second child of Agatino and Josephine DiStefano, born on September 16, 1924. She had two brothers, Phillip and Michael, and a sister Lena.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s she worked as a teletype operator for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Pittsburgh, where she met her future husband, another railroad employee, Anthony Francis Rawski. They married in 1948 and had three children: Anthony, John and Jennie. She is survived by her three children and two grandchildren.

She was a business woman in a time when few existed. For 15 years, she owned and operated a health food store in the Pittsburgh area. A few years after her husband’s death in 1986, she and her six cats that she adopted as strays, moved to Boxborough, where she lived with her daughter. She loved cats and would always sneak treats to her daughter’s cats, when she thought her daughter wasn’t looking.

With a life that spanned almost a century and possessing a vivid memory, she was a time machine. Her detailed stories of her immigrant family and its experiences during prohibition, the depression and WW II were many, colorful and inspiring.

But she always looked into the future. In the early 1990’s, when a younger relative showed her his personal computer she knew that she wanted one for herself, even though she was asked, “what would you do with a computer?” For the longest time, she enjoyed surfing the internet, playing computer games and sending e-mails, which she said “was just like a teletype machine.”

In her later years, she enjoyed traveling with her family and cousins. The places she visited included Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Russia. In Sicily, she was able to visit the village where her parents lived before they came to America.

She enjoyed reading, sewing, board games, puzzles and searching for interesting treasures at consignment stores and the Boxborough transfer station. She also enjoyed the senior citizen activities that were available in Boxborough: a book club and mahjong – especially mahjong.

She will be loved, missed and always remain an inspiration to all of us.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Boxborough Library, Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Ave., Boxborough, MA 01719.

Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com
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Private Condolence

Anna Kularski

Posted at 04:35pm
Sending all our love; from the Boxborough Spanish class to Jennie.
Here's to a lady with boundless animation and vitality, a kind spirit and a capacity for making the world close around her the right place to be.
Such captivating stories, such a good example of what it is to be a truly good human being, strong, honest and kind.
We will all miss her terribly and wish her family well with all our hearts; together.
Que en paz descanses, querida amiga. (RIP, dear friend)

Joni Witter

Posted at 10:38am
Mrs. Rawski was like a mother to me. She was always welcoming, loving and kind to all. I have never met a more positive person. She was a great listener and lifter of spirit. Her love for her husband and children was an inspiration. I feel very blessed to have childhood memories of being in the Rawski household. Mrs. Rawski will be missed by many.


Posted at 01:17pm
I will always have Happy memories of Aunt Jennie. I am so blessed that we got to travel to the Sicily, Baltic Sea. Before we went on are trip I asked her where would you like to go, she said I never been to Russia, so Russia it was . I loved all the stories, I would tell my sons and nieces we need to listen to Aunt Jennie she is doing something right. She would tell me that when she went her husband would say “what took you so long” and we would laugh about it. We would talk and laugh for hours, she would say laughing is the best medicine. She won’t be forgotten and she will not be alone, she is finally with the love of her life and the rest of her family. Thank you for all your wisdom and advice I will always remember it I will pass it on to my sons and grandchildren. You will always be in my heart ❤️ Michelle

Chris Roeder

Posted at 08:18pm
I was lucky to be Jennie's daughter-in-law for the last forty years. She was such a generous person and full of energy. I enjoyed her stories of growing up in Canonsburg in the 1920s and 1930s. She had so many cousins around her age also named Jennie that the family had nicknames to distinguish them, such as Baby Doll and Jennie 4th Street, and the teachers had to add middle names when they called out "Jennie" in class or several little girls would answer.
When Jennie visited my home she and my sons would stay up half the night talking and we have always joked that they picked up the night owl trait from her. I will miss talking with her about the books she was reading, and the trips she went on, and the family stories. Many lovely memories. Chris


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