Martha Virginia Bielamowicz
Martha Virginia Bielamowicz, age 99, passed away on April 21 due to complications of pneumonia and heart failure. She formerly lived in Groesbeck and worshiped at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mexia.
Virginia was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Born in Grimes County, she attended rural schools in Navasota and graduated from Bryan High School in 1943. After the Second World War, Virginia relocated with her parents, Walter and Mary Ann Dingell, and her brothers Pat and Charles to the area east of downtown Houston. The family transitioned from a livelihood of tenant farming to employment in the city. Virginia met her future husband, Cleo, on New Year’s Eve 1948 at the Bill Mraz Dance Hall during a Paul Jones’ polka. When the whistle blew to change partners, Cleo did not let her dance away. They married at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on September 17, 1949, and moved to Resurrection Parish in Denver Harbor. There they welcomed their daughter Angela. In 1954 they moved to the parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church so that their children could attend parochial schools and Mount Carmel High School, which was scheduled to open in 1956. Soon after, they welcomed two more children, Barbara and Cary.
After all the children were school age, Virginia returned to office work at Weiner’s Department Store, Houston Child Guidance Center, and the Visiting Nurses’ Association. In addition to excelling at math and bookkeeping, Virginia was an accomplished seamstress and cook. She patiently typed papers for her high school children late nights if they got in a time crunch. Cleo and she drove the Cadettes, the girls’ marching band, to every Friday night football game at Mt. Carmel High School and cheered in the stands at Cary’s baseball games. Evenings, the couple tended a large vegetable garden in their backyard and drove most weekends to their farm in Bremond, Texas, to raise beef cattle, mend fences, and construct a “shed” that was, in fact, as large as a barn.
Virginia was a handy partner indoors and outdoors with Cleo and the “go-to” babysitter for their grandchildren, Brian Stanford (Kate), Erin Stanford (Will), David Stanford, Audrey Liter (Corey), Erica Lynn, and Michael Bielamowicz. After her retirement, Virginia began an earnest pastime of genealogy, actively participating in the Polish Genealogical Society of Texas. In the tradition of her own mother, she pieced together a quilt for each of her children and grandchildren.
In death, Virginia is reunited with her husband of 54 years, Cleo, her parents, her brothers Pat and Charles Dingell, and Charles’ wife, JoAnn. She is also preceded in death by Cleo’s brothers (Kie, Leonard, and Jerome), sister (Frances Lott), and their respective spouses. Left to cherish her memory are her three children, Angela Stanford, Barbara Lynn (John), and Cary Bielamowicz, DVM, her six grandchildren, great-granddaughter Cecily Liter, and her sister-in-law, Sister Elizabeth Bielamowicz.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Virginia’s goddaughter, Debbie Stapleton, for her generous support of Aunt Virginia’s incidental needs. They also wish to thank the Treemont Retirement Community staff, Senior Allegiance, and loyal caregivers (Veronica and JoAnn in Houston and Linda Bedford of Groesbeck) for their compassionate assistance. They gratefully acknowledge the physicians at Village Medical Group, Dr. Biswajit Kar and his staff, and the pharmacy team at Randall’s Westheimer for providing for Virginia’s health needs.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation in Virginia’s memory is encouraged to consider making their donation to a scholarship, school, college/university, or Catholic church.
Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home, Houston, handled the arrangements. Private services were held, due to COVID-19 restrictions, with everyone invited to join the live stream of the Rosary held Monday, April 27 at 2 p.m. Burial followed immediately thereafter. The family and friends will all gather at a future date to celebrate Virginia’s life at a Memorial Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church. “With God, nothing is impossible.”