Betty Joyce wept when she listened to Maria Callas singing Caro Nome, and many other intensely beautiful operatic arias. Those hot-blooded Italians idealized love, love in its perfect state, something we desperately strive for but never quite achieve. It’s this failure to experience romantic love perfectly that brings on the tears. What a loss! And it’s always a loss, isn’t it? We are imperfect, and sometimes it seems we can never do it right, and thats the pity.
Of course looking back on how often Chester got drunk and so full of rage and hate and violence, it made her wonder what was wrong with her judgment and intuition. How on earth could she have misjudged him so badly? Maybe she was the one who wasn’t right in the head.
In the beginning she was drawn to his handsome face, and slim figure, and his almost feminine vulnerability. She understood his overwhelming fear of being hurt again, after a string of terrible traumas. The death of his father, the death of his mother, and his brothers, and then precious little Roberta. Also Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the ultimate father figure.
And there was the time when showing off, Chester clumsily fell into the road and got run over by a car. Well, it was only his left leg that got run over, and he almost lost it, but the doctors fixed him up and all he had was a big ugly scar between his knee and ankle.
Traumas. That’s exactly why he drank. He never got over those serial shocks, so booze perfectly numbed the pain.
Betty suspected his needing to be in almost a constant state of numbness was what kept him locked into what his mother made him—a spoiled brat. In her smothering maternal protectiveness she hoped to offset the violent whippings her husband Casimir always gave the boy. She knew Chester was the most fragile of her four sons, and so he desperately needed her protection.
It’s fully understandable that many years after Betty divorced him, Chester finally married a woman who was eager to assume the role of his caretaker. No surprise that he affectionately called her “mommie.”
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Decades later, when Betty’s mind was obliterated by dementia and she recognized and could speak to no one, Bully hung on, took care of her. He understood that dementia was involuntary, and he was the kind of man who would never abandon the woman he loved.
All traces of her personality had disappeared. Her eyes were vacant. Bully took care of her for two years. When she died, it was a blessing, a release. And Bully died a couple months later. For him there was no point to anything anymore. He’d helped her, loved her, never gave up on her. Ever.
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Chester Palcewski, 89
AUSTINTOWN. Chester Palcewski, 89, passed away unexpectedly Monday morning, August 22, 2005, at his home. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Chester was born Feb. 20, 1916 in Youngstown, a son of the late Casimir and Josephine Hoffman Palcewski, and was a lifelong area resident.
He attended The Rayen School and served in the U.S. Army during WWII.
A tailor by trade, Chester owned and operated Bouquet Tuxedo Rentals on Mahoning Avenue in Youngstown for many years and also worked at Masters Tuxedo Rentals. He was a member of the Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church and PLAV Post No. 87.
He leaves his wife, Anne Stefanoski Miladore Palcewski, whom he married Nov. 1, 1966; four stepchildren, Joann (the late John Jr.) Panko of Palentine, Ill., Sandra (Frank) Burkosky of Solon, Elaine (Richard) Luchansky of Pawleys Island, S.C. and Nicholas (Donna) Miladore of Boardman; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A brother, Alex and a sister, Jane Hubler are deceased.
Family and friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road in Youngstown, and from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Nativity of Christ Church.
A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.
Interment will take place at Lake Park Cemetery.