Leona Stillings

Obituary of Leona M. Stillings

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Leona Jankowski Stillings, 84, of the Town of Lee, passed away suddenly after a brief illness at SUNY Upstate Hospital on August 21, 2023, with her loving husband, Al, at her side. Leona was raised a devout Catholic and was a long-time member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lee Center, for 43 years.

Leona, the daughter of Stanley and Julia Brutkowski Jankowski, was born on June 27, 1939 in West Rutland, VT.  After Leona graduated from West Rutland High School in 1957, she started her first job at National Grange Insurance.  Later Leona went on to work for several years at Moore Business Forms in Rutland, VT, while in her free time enjoying her bowling league and square dancing with friends.  Leona also enjoyed babysitting her nephew and Godson, Jimmy Panarello, with whom she always had a special bond.

It was while working at Moore that Leona met and married her husband of 57 years, Al Stillings, who also worked at Moore Business Forms.  They were marred on April 23, 1966, at St. Stanislaus Church in West Rutland.  After their five children were born, Al was transferred to Youngstown, NY in 1972. While living in Youngstown, Leona and her family enjoyed many day trips to Niagara Falls, and being actively involved in the community through the activities of her children.  She coached youth girls’ softball through the local park’s department, and coached youth co-ed soccer at Ft. Niagara State Park. Leona never missed a baseball, softball, or soccer game in which her children played, and attended many band and orchestra concerts.

After the family moved to the Town of Lee in Rome, NY in 1980, Leona was score keeper for her husband’s girls’ softball team for several years.  She and her husband attended many local church dinners and outdoor polka concerts.  They enjoyed attending Friday night Rome Free Academy football games, long after her youngest son graduated and no longer played for the team.  Leona especially enjoyed following the team on trips to the Dome in Syracuse, and was an avid and loyal Boston Red Sox fan practically all her life.  She was also a huge fan of the Syracuse University basketball team, as well as the Buffalo Sabres, and enjoyed attending local hockey games at Kennedy Arena.  Her favorite RFDTV program was Daniel O’Donnell, a polka show that is broadcast on Saturday nights, which gave her many hours of enjoyment.  Leona enjoyed reading books, playing board games with her family, knitting, puzzle books, and jigsaw puzzles.

Leona was predeceased by her parents, Stanley and Julia Jankowski, whom she fiercely missed; her mother-in-law, Leona Croft Stillings; her sister, Lucy Panarello; her brothers-in-law, Joe Callahan, Jack Fox, Fred Langevin, Rocky Stillings, Ken Stillings, Leonard Stillings, and Carleton Stillings; as well as her sisters-in law, Lee Stillings, Carmen Stillings and Carolyn Stillings.

Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband of 57 years, Al Stillings; her brothers, John Jankowski (Theresa) and Stanley (Margaret) Jankowski, all of Vermont; her sisters, Helen Callahan, Sandra Fox, Theresa Jankowski, and Marcia Jankowski; also all of Vermont; her brother-in-law, Frank Panarello of Vermont; and her sisters-in-law, Meredith Langevin of Concord, NH, and Barbara Stillings of Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Leona is also survived by her five children, Edward (Nancy) Stillings of Mesa, AZ; Karen Stillings of Marcy, NY; Christine (Scott) Sams of Lanesville, IN; Susan Stillings of Raleigh, NC; and Michael (Lynette) Stillings of Shorewood, IL; her four granddaughters, Calie Sams, Michelle Stillings, Melissa Stillings, and Maddie Sams; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Leona will be especially missed by her faithful and beloved cat, Boots.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and supporting staff at SUNY Upstate Hospital, Syracuse, for their compassionate care of Leona during her brief illness.  We are grateful that Leona is no longer suffering and appreciate the kind words of her caregivers during our time of loss.

Services will be private.

Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

The family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in Leona’s memory.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street.

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Leona Stillings

In Loving Memory

Leona Stillings

1939 - 2023

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