Cecilia (Almeida) Leshyk, 97
Cecilia (Almeida) Leshyk, 97, of Mattapoisett passed away on Monday, November 23, 2020 at home surrounded by her loving family. She was the cherished wife and partner of the late Nicholas Leshyk.
Born in New Bedford, the daughter of the late Charles and Delphina (Fernandes Costa) Almeida, she lived in Fairhaven before moving to Port Saint Lucie to retire with her husband. She later returned to Massachusetts and made Acushnet her home to be close to her children and young grandchildren. She moved to Mattapoisett several years ago.
She was a devout Catholic and a beautiful reflection of God’s love.
Mrs. Leshyk had a remarkable career in the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU.) She began her long working career at sixteen in the ILGWU as a Shop Steward, discussing the grievances of the union members with the ILG business agents. She went on to become a business agent herself, negotiating contracts between employers and employees. She was both highly respected by the union members for her dedication in putting and keeping their best interests first, but also by employees because of her fairness. Her hard work continued her working career forward. She became Assistant Manager of the Fall River Local. She was the first woman to achieve the position of Manager of the New Bedford Local. She also became Vice President to the New England Labor Council.
She was consistently active in political campaigns, union activities and community affairs. She was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention endorsing various political candidates.
It goes without saying that Mrs. Leshyk was a strong, successful businesswoman. However, in her eyes, her career came second only to one thing — her family. Mrs. Leshyk was a strong and respected mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother and friend to many. If you ever met her, you knew her home was a second home and yes, your cousin and your friends are always invited. You knew there would always be extra food in the fridge but that her rice would be gone if you showed up late. If you were related to her, it’s likely her handmade window fixings or doll clothes are somewhere in your home. Holidays were elegant events she managed with ease. She was an animal lover and had many grand-puppies who filled her life with joy. She could get any stain out of any fabric. She was adamant that you wear a jacket and socks no matter the weather. She faced adversity and struggles with grace unlike any other. She was hilarious, insightful, warm, confident, empathetic and fierce.
She is survived by three children, Nancy Perron of Powder Springs, Georgia, Nicholas Leshyk and his wife, Janet, of Fairhaven, and Victoria Greco and her fiancé, Jeff Stickley, of Mattapoisett and her daughter-in-law Joanne Leshyk of California. She was the beloved “Baba” of eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and adopted family members. She was the mother of the late Wayne Leshyk and sister of the late Lawrence, Manuel, and Mary Almeida.
Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday Nov. 28th at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church, Fairhaven. Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Friday November 27th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Perkins School for the Blind. For online condolence book, please visit saundersdwyer.com.