Cloutier, Bozena (2)

Bozena M. Cloutier

January 3, 1933 - April 14, 2020

Bozena M. Cloutier of McKinney, Texas died on April 14, 2020 of complications from myelofibrosis.  She was 87 years old at her death and leaves behind a large, loving family and many dear friends.

Bozena was born to Vincent and Irene Lacki in Torun, Poland on January 3, 1933.  Her idyllic childhood was irrevocably altered on September 1, 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded.  With a Nazi price on his head, her father loaded his wife, four children and such valuables as they could carry into his car and began a journey to safety that took them south across Poland, to Romania, Greece, Palestine and Egypt.  Bozena’s beloved youngest brother, Christopher, was born in Palestine.  A few months later, her father boarded an airplane in Egypt to take him to join the Free Polish Government in London.  Irene was left with her five children to travel by various ships around Africa to get to London, a trip that left Bozena with many poignant stories about the kindness of strangers and the fundamental decency of most of humankind.  After many months and a few close calls, the family arrived in England and joyfully reunited.

Bozena’s family was not welcome back in Poland after the Communist Poles took over in 1945, so Vincent settled the family on a farm near Woodchurch in County Kent.  Most of her extended family in Poland was largely gone having perished in various brutal ways at the hands of the Nazis and Soviets.  Not ready to settle in England, after completing university Bozena took jobs all over the world.  She finally decided that she had to go to Germany to meet the people who had caused so much disruption and pain in her family’s life (characteristically, she no longer carried a grudge after living among Germans).  She took a job as reporter for Radio Free Europe in 1959 and was based in Berlin where she also did courier work for Western intelligence agencies.  In the choir of the English-speaking Catholic Church in Berlin, she met the love of her life--a dashing American army officer named Harold Cloutier. 

Bozena and Harold married and joyfully welcomed four children into the world.  Their family moved about the country and world from one adventure to the next.   Harold retired from the Army in 1978 and they settled in Duncanville, Texas.  After an itinerant life, Bozena called the Dallas area home for the rest of her life.

With her children growing and going, Bozena entered the University of Dallas where she earned a master’s degree in pastoral studies.  She embarked on a career of hospital chaplaincy and, after recovering from the death of her husband in 1995, counselling those experiencing grief.  She was a woman of great faith and was devoted to her Catholic Church (though she was not shy about her disagreements with its magisterium, most especially that women should be eligible for the priesthood).  Until a few weeks before her death, she remained active in ministries her community at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in McKinney.   Bozena loved to travel and was able to visit Poland a few times after the fall of the Iron Curtain. 

Bozena was an immensely caring and compassionate person.  Emulating the kind people that she encountered during the War, she always looked for ways to help others.  She loved to tell her captivating stories of being a refugee child to students, Church groups, and immigrants being naturalized.  However, what most people remember about Bozena is her ability to listen intently with empathy to a person’s problems and offer both words of immense comfort and acts of service. 

Bozena was adored by every dog that she encountered in no small part because she gave great belly rubs, spoke to them lovingly, and regularly slipped them food under the table.  Her first dogs were long-haired dachshunds in Poland, but in recent decades her and her entire family loved and rescued boxers.

Bozena’s soul is rejoicing that she can enjoy the company of many loved ones in Heaven including her husband Harold; her parents; her brother Andrew; her sisters Yolanta and Yvonne; her childhood nanny; and her great friend and companion, Bernard (Tut) Bartzen.

Bozena is survived by an extended, loving family including:  her brother Chris and wife Lynda of Woodchurch, England; her daughter Marie Cloutier of Austin; her son Chris and his wife Lisa Engebretson of St. Paul, Minnesota; her son Patrick and his wife Vonda of McKinney, Texas; son Andrew and his wife Carrie-Leigh of Roswell, New Mexico; her eight treasured grandchildren Joseph Cloutier, Caroline Glazier (and husband, Michael), Samuel Cloutier, Madeleine Underwood (and husband Tyler), Benjamin Cloutier, Calvin Cloutier, Meredith Cloutier, and Simon Cloutier; her adored great-granddaughter, Eleanor Glazier; much loved nieces and nephews in England and the U.S.; and her last rescued dog, Shrimpy.  Each sorely misses her loving, gentle presence and her frequent words of endearment, usually expressed in Polish.  Bozena also leaves behind many great friends all over the world.  She was an active correspondent and stayed in touch with friends made in every place she ever lived.

On October 12, 2020 at 7 p.m., the Rosary will be said in memory of Bozena at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community in McKinney, Texas.  A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on October 13, 2020 at St. Gabriel followed by a party in Bozena’s honor.  Private interment will be on October 14, 2020.  Details and directions can be found at www.stgabriel.org.   In lieu of flowers, Bozena’s children request donations in her memory and suggest that those interested consider gifts to some of the organizations that brought her joy and meaning:  Austin Boxer Rescue (www.austinboxerrescue.com),  Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org), the School Sisters of Notre Dame (www.ssnd.org), or the courthouse dog project of the Chaves County CASA Program (www.casakids.org).

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Did not know Bozana had passed until today, but her smile will last a lifetime. She walked a difficult path with me after my father passed. Her faith and kindness helped me accept God’s decisions.... Bozana rest knowing you did God’s work every day!
T. Horne, August 30, 2020 We lives on the next street over from her in Mckinney. I always enjoyed stopping to talk with her when she walked by with her dog shrimpy every day and her previous boxer she got from a rescue. Blas Uribe, June 27, 2020 My deepest condolences to the entire Cloutier family on you recent loss. Bozena was a beautiful soul, inside and out! As a good friend of my parents after meeting in Germany, we always referred to her and Hal as our Aunt and Uncle. Living in New England however, did not allow me to know her as well as I would have liked. I was blessed to receive lovely birthday cards, and visit them once on a trip to Florida. Even her handwriting was beautiful! She was a blessing to so many during her long life, which is so apparent in all of the comments. I appreciated the wonderfully written obituary, and wish the family peace, love and countless happy Bozena memories! Elaine (Manning) Richards, May 11, 2020 My sister in Christ, Bozena is gone but will not be forgotten. She had such a presence in church and a very distinguish voice. Whenever Bozena was reading it was always a pleasure to listen to attentively. making the readings very pleasant to listen to. I had the pleasure to assist Bozena in 2003 with Grief Support and over those weeks she shared her background in Poland and her migration to the US. May God welcome her into his kingdom and may she rest in God eternal peace. Julia Elias, May 9, 2020 What a beautiful, soothing voice she had. I loved when she read the readings at mass. It was always so deliberate and understandable when she read. What a wonderful life she had and what a faith. I know she will be advocating for us all from Heaven. Rest well good and faithful servant. Peace and comfort to all who loved her. Theresa Mendenhall, April 29, 2020 Bozena was my neighbor, and it’s sad to realize I’ll never see her walking her beloved companion, Shrimpy, again. I looked for anytime I stepped outside. Bozena had a radiant smile, the warmest personality and the most gracious nature. May the angels surround Bozena and the saints welcome her in peace. Libby Zink, April 27, 2020 My deepest condolences to Bozena's family and loved ones. Bozena was very special to me. I met her at St. Gabriel's in McKinney, TX in 2009. Bozena lovingly helped me heal from the loss of my brother when I enrolled in grief support sessions she lead that year. Her compassion, gentleness, respect, wisdom and loving heart made a huge impact in my life and I am forever grateful. I loved listening to her soothing voice, especially when she read at the Easter Vigil mass. She held the audience captive listening to every word, submerging us all into her passion. Last December, my mother was remembered at mass after having passed to heaven the year prior. It was a difficult mass for me as grief overwhelmed me but I saw Bozena sitting a few pews in front of me. After communion, I stopped to sit beside her. She turned to me, held my face with both hands and kissed the top on my head. That was all I needed to help me get through that difficult time. She had special gift that went beyond compassion. May God greatly reward you, dearest Bozena! Karla Sanchez, April 24, 2020 I often saw your mother at the 5pm mass at St. Gabriel's on Saturdays. Will miss her as one of the lectors. She was a beautiful woman. So sorry for your loss. Will keep you in thought and prayer. Gerene Gramlich, April 24, 2020 Our moms were really good friends. When we were little and lived in Texas, I remember we went to your house for dinner around the year 1975! I remember your mom distinctively! She was so beautiful and made us feel comfortable. I think we kids finally started talking and doing kid things. I am so sorry for your loss, know that my family is holding your family close in our prayers! Godspeed.
Janine Vogt, April 22, 2020 I met Bozena as a member of the SSND associates. She was such an intelligent and faith-filled woman. I did not know that she had lead such an interesting life, living and traveling all over the world. She will be missed. Theresa Francis, April 22, 2020 Bozana and Harold were special parishioners to/for me at Holy Spirit in Duncanville, TX. We were there from 1980 - 1984. There were so many occasions that we were together in joy, peace and laughter through Cursillo, Little Rock Scripture Studay and parish planning. I can remember times when we sat in their yard while Harold was receiving Eucharist as he battled with Cancer. We shared so much of our lives together. Even after I left Holy Spirit we stayed connected via mail on holidays and Holy Days. I recalll her return to her native land and the great joy she had to share upon her return. She became an SSND Associate and was so proud to have the opportunity to share her life with the many associates along the way. She LOVED each of her children and often shared their lives with me. The pride she had in the little and great things will always remain in my heart and life. When I learned of her latest hospitalization, I was able to get her phone # and talk with her. We both shared so much in so little a time that 3 days before her joining Harold and other family members. Grace upon grace be upon you, her family and friends. Never forget her deep love and pride. You will always be in my heart. Sister Nancy "Mag" McNemar, SSND, April 21, 2020 Bozena participated in classes offered by the City of Allen, and I remember her distinctly from the Tai Chi class I taught at the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium. What a lovely smile she had! She radiated joy in learning new ways to do things. She was a positive, upbeat lady, whom I found inspiring to know. Carole Booth, Lu Tai Chi Players, Allen, Texas.
Carole Booth, April 21, 2020
I am deeply saddened at hearing of the loss of my Aunt Bozena. She called me a couple of weeks ago on the day she returned home from the hospital. Although the call was short and not for good news, I'm glad I got to hear her voice. I am very fortunate that she and Uncle Hal were my godparents. Because we never lived near each other, she would send me letters, photos, and special presents. I had a colorful mobile from Hawaii which hung over my bed, a beautiful silver and turquoise bracelet, and once she even sent me a coconut - my address written on it in Sharpie! - which I kept in the basement for years. My parents have a circle of friends from those Berlin days, and I have always enjoyed hearing the stories after their gatherings over the years. She was a wonderful example of a Catholic, a Christian, a godmother, and a compassionate human being. Heaven is rejoicing that a good and faithful servant has come home. God bless her, Uncle Hal, and their family who was everything to her. xo Karen Karen Manning Brancato, April 21, 2020 Wonderful next door neighbor and friend for the last 13 years. Will miss the occassional dishes of food and desserts. Always upbeat and witnessed her love of animals and people. Condolences to the family. What an amazing life in reading the obituary. God bless you Bozena and may you rest in peace and know that you lived the life to the fullest. Bill Taylor and son Chris Bill Taylor, April 21, 2020 I think of you and Shrimpy daily! I miss you dear friend! I will be forever grateful to our loving God that He saw fit for us to become friends! Judi Seibold , April 20, 2020 We are so sad to hear of Mrs. Clouitier's passing. She was a kind, classy, elegant woman who always had a smile and happy word for us. Most recently, we remember her excitement and happiness in the birth of her great grandchild. Such a lovely soul, and she will be missed. Brittany, Carol, and Ginger at Tom Thumb Pharmacy, April 20, 2020 We are sad as we learn of Bozena Cloutier death. We were together to sail to Madeline Island for lunch, she had wanted to go there, so the winds were perfect and the whole bunch climbed aboard and we were off. What a great time it was. Her son Chris and Lisa, my sister Myrna Engebretson, our brother Bob Paquin from Las Vagus, what a bunch off to lunch. All my love and prayers to the family. Jani & Charles Seeger
Jani Seeger, April 20, 2020 Bozena was a wonderful and cherished friend, possessing so much depth and great faith. I loved her "smutty" jokes and what delight she experienced when she shared them. What a truly classy lady! I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to her dear family and friends. I know she flew into the welcoming arms of her God! S. Dana Marie Heffner, SSND, April 20, 2020 While we did not know Bozena personally but she was the voice in Church that brought peace to us as she shared scripture, from the ambo, during Sunday mass. Her legacy will carry forward. She was such a classy women. As they say in Polish, "spoczywaj w pokoju", Rest in Peace. Robert & Dawn Smolen, April 20, 2020 My family was watching mass yesterday morning and it was being televised from St. Gabriel's in McKinney. I had mentioned to my husband that I used to have several volunteers mentor my school's children from the St. Gabriel's parish. Not long after that, they mentioned of Mrs. Cloutier's passing. I remember your mom being one of my wonderful volunteers. I remember her always being so helpful and kind. I left Caldwell Elementary in 1995, but your mom is a sweet memory for me. Prayers to you and your family. Jacqueline O'Shea Signall, April 20, 2020 I am a fellow parishioner at St.Gabriel. I did not know Bozena personally, but I knew who she was. She was so active at our parish. I was so saddened to hear of her passing while watching mass this morning. She had such a kind and gentle voice and she touched all who heard her speak. Peace be with you. Mindy Brown, April 19, 2020 Patrick and Vonda and all of Bozena's family, I am sorry for your loss. I had the privilege of knowing Bozena for a brief period of time as my patient. She was an incredible storyteller and all around wonderful person. We bonded over our mutual love of dachshunds. She had tremendous love for her family and friends which she expressed constantly. She will be missed.
Dr. Vivian Abrams, April 19, 2020 I am so glad I knew her and we considered each other friends. Randolph Matt, April 19, 2020 I have a heavy heart today as I heard of Bozena’s passing on St. Gabriel’s Sunday Mass. I feel blessed to have heard her talk of her childhood, and her immense propensity for compassion and forgiveness is something we should all emulate. I looked forward to her beautiful voice as she would say the readings at church. I thank God on this day for sending Bozena into our lives. Tricia Neporadny , April 19, 2020 I have a heavy heart this morning after learning of your loss of a very special friend of mine. Bozena was delightful to be with and she cared about everyone she touched. She will be missed. I am sending lots of prayers for comfort. I know she is in Heaven with all those that went before her.
Connie Hollstein-Drexel, April 19, 2020 Dear family of the wonderful Bozena, Bozena worked with my husband, Rev. Gene Browder, in ministry to those in Methodist Charlton Hospital in Duncanville, both patients and staff, for a good number of years. I know of many folks that Bozena touched when they were in crisis. We became friends with her and Harold, and I will always be so thankful for the times we shared, both joyous and sad, especially when Harold died. She was an inspiration and encouragement to me. I will always be thankful for the times we spent together and for her compassion and care. Bless you in the days ahead. Barbara Browder, Duncanville, April 19, 2020 What a wonderful tribute to such a loving person. I never met Bozena personally but spoke to her many times on the phone. I will never forget the help and support she provided as we were started a grief support group at First United Methodist Church of McKinney. She will be missed and my condolences are extended to her family during this challenging time. JoAnn Scofield, April 19, 2020 Dear family of Bozena, she touched the hearts of so many. What an extraordinary life she had. I am so thankful she was there for me after the passing of my mother. Her time, empathy, and guidance during that time was invaluable. She was a true blessing. Eileen Tredinnick, April 19, 2020 Bozena always gave me a sense of peace, hope, and admiration for the woman she was, and I looked forward to seeing her and hearing her voice at mass. Some friends and I have fond memories of her accompanying us on one of our annual hiking trip to Arkansas in 2005. She will be greatly missed.
Marie LaPlante, April 19, 2020
We were water aerobics buddies. She was gracious and kind, ready with a warm smile. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Randy Stephenson, April 19, 2020 Goodbye from an old friend and admirer at Holy Spirit.
Bob Survil, April 18, 2020 What an amazing and awesome life she had! So loving and caring, a wonderful example for all of us to follow. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Patrick, God bless her! Dave Clarke, April 18, 2020 My sincerest sympathies to the Cloutier family. Bozena was truly a breath of fresh air anytime she entered the room. Her lilting voice was so comforting when she provide readings at the weekend mass. Her upbeat attitude and positivity made everyone around her feel better about themselves. She was a great comforter to those that were grieving for the loss of a family member and if she were here today she’d tell us all that she’s with the Lord and we should all celebrate the beautiful life that she lived. I’ll miss you very much and feel blessed to have known you. Mark Namey, April 18, 2020 Rest in peace Bozena. I wish I could have met you. Debra Holdstock, April 18, 2020 What a gift she was to the world. She was instrumental in my faith as I entered the Catholic Church at St. Gabriel's in McKinney, TX. I will never forget her readings at our church, she brought the words to life. Whenever she read the creation of the world in Genesis at Easter, I clung to her every word. I didn't know her entire life story and reading it now makes me understand why she was such a strong faithful woman, she always put her trust in God. To all of her family, she touched so many and we will miss her as part of our church family. I send my deepest condolences to all of you. I know she is looking into the face of Jesus and he is welcoming his daughter in his loving arms. Dawn Smolen, April 18, 2020 Your mother was a special person...how fortunate you were to be her offspring. I wish that I could be there for you as Vonda was for me when NJ died. There is nothing like holding and witnessing another's grief and pain, I am so sorry. My heart is heavy for you. Peace be with you, and be assured I have whispered your name many times since learning of the news.
sherry tucker cox, April 17, 2020 Bozena was such an amazing friend. I met her in Duncanville at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She came to all of my children’s baptisms and first communions. When I moved to McKinney she welcomed me into her home and her church St Gabriel. She was always graceful and kind and I will miss her readings at church and her beautiful accent. Prayers for her entire family and her son Patrick who has also become an amazing friend.
Celeste Haiduk Cox, April 17, 2020 We are so sorry for your loss. She was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. God must be rejoicing to have her in heaven. John Norris, April 17, 2020 Sorry to hear of your loss. You are such a loving family, she was blessed to have you. Nancy Cowlishaw , April 17, 2020 Drew, when I read your mother’s obituary, I was amazed about her extraordinary life. Her “adventures” took my breath away. You were SO blessed to have a mother whose hands and heart were always open to the needy, the lost, those who needed God, and of course her wonderful family! God bless all of you...your mother is certainly in Paradise!
Marianne Pollack, April 17, 2020 God's garden must be beautiful; God always takes the best. Our sincerest wishes of sympathy, thoughts, prayers, peace and love to the Cloutier family. Bob and Ann Dacko Family Bohdan and Ann Dacko, April 17, 2020 Our paths crossed briefly on several occasions at spiritual conferences. Though these interactions consisted of just a few comments, I was very impressed with Bozena. How fortunate those who could call her family or friend!
S. Dorothy Eggering, SSND, April 17, 2020 No words can describe the Love and Respect I had for this amazing person that you called Mom and I called Aunt Bozena. Not many have had such a profound impact on my life like she did. I will never forget her, likewise I will always be a little saddened that we never got to say goodbye, but she knows this. Love and respect with condolences to all family members whether we have met or not. Dave Carlin, April 17, 2020 My loving condolences to the entire Cloutier family. I met Bozena through my sister, Gabriella Bondy and I enjoyed knowing her very much. She was a delightful lady, who always welcomed me with a warm smile. The last time we saw each other is when I was volunteering as an Airport Ambassador and Bozena was on her way to another great adventure. I teased her that even her name was international: Polish Bozena with a French last name. Rest in God's heavenly peace, dear lady! Trudy Smith, April 17, 2020 Patrick and family, thank you for sharing such a lovely biography of your beloved mother. What an amazing life, and so full of love and compassion, after all that occurred in her life. My thoughts and love for you and your familyhave not been far from me the last few days. How I long to come and see you, to hug you, look in your eyes and tell you that I grieve alongside you. Peace be with you. Sherry Tucker Cox, April 17, 2020 I met Bozena and Harold on the University of Dallas Campus in May 1988, when we attended a Conference on the Resurrection by Father Gerald O'Collins, SJ. One of their sons had just married the daughter of one of my UD schoolmates, David Baumann, so we had something in common. We became good friends when I also became a student at the Institute of Religious and Pastoral studies. Bozena completed the Master of Religious Studies program 1990 and I in 1991.. She later became my spiritual director, when she lived in Duncanville. After Bozena moved to McKinney, I came to know and love McKinney so much that my late husband Bob and I bought a house there, not far from Bozena. Bozena's wisdom, common sense and kindness became powerful sources of comfort and strength for me and many others during good times and bad. This Slovak-born adoptive Texan will be forever grateful to my Polish-born adoptive Texan friend: Do videnia, mila priatelka (slovak for: Good bye, dear Friend) Gabriella Veleba Bondy, April 17, 2020 Patrick - to you and your family I send condolences for the loss of your mother. I enjoyed learning about her personal history and the storied life she led. What a wonderful woman who captured the most out of life and dedicated her life to her family, her community and her faith. Beautiful. Jan Furtick, April 17, 2020 I met Bozena through Anne-Marie Bannister on several of her visits to England in the past 10 years. I was deeply touched even on short aquaintance by her warmth and kindness, her great sense of fun and above all by her absolute faith in God's goodness. I will forever cherish her sensitivity and kindness to me, and the great fun we had together with Anne-Marie - so much laughter! My thoughts and prayers are with her many family and friends.
Veronica Grant, April 17, 2020 We are so sorry for the loss of your wonderful Mother. Our prayers are with you and your Family.
Annette &Fred Boggs, April 17, 2020 I knew little of the fascinating life your mother and grandmother led. It sounds like she was truly amazing, an incredibly loving person who lived by grace and contributed much to the world and to her family. It must be difficult missing her. You all are on my mind as you grieve through troubling circumstances. Much love to you. Laurie Jay, April 17, 2020 I had the privilege of calling Bozena my friend. For 12 years we worked together at St. Gabriels as co facilitators for their Grief Groups. I constantly saw her love and compassion. Bozena was the most spiritual person I have ever known. I will miss working with her but most of all I will miss her friendship and love. Rest in Peace my dear dear friend. I will miss you forever.
Kathy Molski Mullis, April 17, 2020 While I did not know the content of her life, I knew the content of her loving Heart. What a gal! Van Warren, April 17, 2020