Not many can lay claim to outliving a century, but Adelaide Sofia Ciesielski Gramps bested that by more than a year, and she did so with a keen mind to the end. She was born to Anna and John Ciesielski on October 14, 1920, in Chicago, IL, not in a hospital, but at home. As a young girl, she moved with her family to Valparaiso, IN and graduated from their high school in 1938. Following high school, Adelaide attended Bryant and Stratton Business School. Her first job was working for Indiana Steel.
On August 24, 1946, at St. Paul’s Rectory, Adelaide married Hilton L. Gramps. They moved to South Bend, IN, where she worked for Associates. Adelaide and Hillie spent most of their lives together on Tuxedo Drive. It was there they raised their three daughters and cared for her then-widowed mother until she passed many, many years later. After Hilton’s death, Adelaide moved to the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s, where she affectionately became known as “Addie”. She spent many years enjoying the activities offered, and in turn, offered her ‘suggestions’ to the chef about his menus.
In 2019, Adelaide had to relinquish her independent living apartment and move to the assisted care wing. While she had many wonderful caregivers over the last few years, a very special thank you goes to Rachel, Cheryl, Guyla, Ali and Patty for their kind and compassionate care.
The year 2020 was challenging for everyone but was quite the mountain of travails for Addie. It was to be her centennial birthday celebration year, but it was eclipsed by surviving a Covid diagnosis and followed by many mandated restrictions and quarantine periods. Her health began to deteriorate over the year, and she was placed in hospice care only to rally many times, allowing time for her family to visit, commiserate, and share the gift of time. Many thanks to Brittany and Cathy for the exceptional hospice care provided and making her last months memorable.
Adelaide was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her daughter, Janice Alliss, son-in-law, Bennett Alliss; her brother, John Ciesielski; and her sister-in-law, Jean Ciesielski. She is survived by daughters, Marilyn (Ron) Portolese and Linda (Ron) Gunther; grandchildren, Todd (Carmen) Clement, Adam (Debbie) Clement, Gayla Deering, Matthew (Claire) Portolese and Jessica (Ryan) Quinn; and great grandchildren, Morgan Clement, Dane and Cade Clement, Joseph, Jack and Julia Portolese and Jackson and Annabelle Quinn, as well as the stepchildren of Janice, Ty (Kelly) Alliss and Kim Marvel.
Addie passed away Saturday, November 20, 2021, with her daughters at her side wishing her Godspeed on reuniting with her husband and daughter. Addie was always faithful to her daily prayers, the rosary, and Mass when she could get there and on her television when she could no longer make the journey. Please remember her in your prayers.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2021, in St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Parish, 2310 E. Jefferson Blvd, South Bend, IN 46615. Graveside services and entombment will follow in Highland Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family for one hour prior to mass on Tuesday in the church. Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Adelaide may be donated to Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545.
Online condolences may be left for the Gramps family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.