N. Gladys Cirone Lewinski, 85, accounting clerk and mother

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N. Gladys Cirone Lewinski, 85, of Elverson, an accounting clerk and mother, died Sunday, Aug. 13, of congestive heart failure at the Tel Hai Retirement & Nursing Community in Honey Brook, where she was undergoing rehabilitation.

Camera icon Courtesy of the family

N. Gladys Cirone Lewinski

Mrs. Lewinski was born and raised in Germantown but lived at various times in Trappe and Roxborough.

The quintessential people person, she liked to talk and correspond with friends, her big Italian family, and strangers who soon became friends, writing them long letters in her “unmistakable handwriting,” the family said.

“If someone can’t get along with Gladys, it’s usually on them,” her family quoted a friend, the late Mary Moorehead, as saying.

While growing up across from St. Vincent’s Church in the 100 block of East Price Street in Germantown, Mrs. Lewinski and her childhood buddies were summoned by the parish nuns to help with chores, run errands, and sometimes fill the pews during under-attended Funeral Masses, her family said.

Mrs. Lewinski graduated from Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls in 1949. Although she excelled in mathematics, she also was a stellar speller. In her junior year, she won a high school spelling bee with the word tenacity, a fitting word for her, the family said.

In 1959, she married Joseph J. Lewinski Jr. and the couple settled in Roxborough to raise a family. She worked as an accounting clerk for Abbott’s Dairy in South Philadelphia, Connelly Containers in Bala Cynwyd, and Twin County Construction, then in Limerick. She retired at 78.

Mrs. Lewinski loved to sing and dance. She volunteered her time with Meals on Wheels, provided care for older family members, and coached girls Catholic Youth Organization volleyball and basketball teams.

Mrs. Lewinski was president of the Frankie Laine Fan Club in Philadelphia and kept in touch with the self-described “blue-eyed soul singer” for years. She played aggressive tennis, loved dogs, and enjoyed reading on the beach.

In her waning years, Mrs. Lewinski suffered the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. To help her with recall, son Joseph Lewinski III addressed her by an original family name – Nicoletta — and spoke to her in Italian. “She would respond,” he said. “Her mother and father came from Italy. She spoke Italian for the first 10 years of her life.”

In addition to her son Joseph and her husband of 58 years, whom she met at a bungalow party in Wildwood in the 1950s, she is survived by children Diana and Ann Marie Tuttle; four grandchildren; and a brother.

A 10 a.m. visitation Saturday, Sept. 2, will be followed by an 11 a.m. memorial Mass at St. Peter Catholic Church, 2835 Manor Rd., Coatesville. Burial is private.

Donations may be made to Tel Hai Retirement & Nursing Community, Box 190, Honey Brook, Pa. 19344; or the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, Box 30783, Tucson, Ariz. 85751.

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