Theresa K. Antoniak, 90, passed away April 24, 2020. The former Hanover MD resident is survived by her sons Gary Rykiel (Ladan) and Scott Rykiel (Mary), her sister Helen Godlewski, and grandchildren Natalie, Graham, Matthew and Haley Rykiel. She was Mom, Buscia, Aunt Theresa, and Terry to those who knew and loved her, with a larger-than-life personality that won’t be soon forgotten.
Theresa was born in Baltimore, the youngest of five children born to Polish immigrants, Joseph and Mary Rostek. Two year old Theresa and her sister Helen lived with a foster family in Harford County after their mother contracted tuberculosis. The sisters lived with the foster family for 5 years until their mother recovered.
Theresa graduated from Patterson High Class in 1947, the first in her family to finish high school. She married Melvin Rykiel in 1945 and had two sons. The marriage ended in divorce in 1965. In 1969, she married Tony (Julian) Antoniak. Tony died in 1977.
As the primary provider to her two sons, Theresa managed the Self-Service Supply Center at Ft. Meade for 42 years, retiring in 1996. Theresa supplemented her income selling Sarah Coventry jewelry, and gained great enjoyment as a “collector” of costume jewelry.
Theresa was a devoted mother and grandmother. She loved to shop, and lived for Christmas when she showered her family with many uniquely “Buscia” gifts that will long be remembered. Making homemade Polish kielbasa was a required holiday tradition, which Theresa managed like a production line, where she would quip at anyone socializing, “Are you here to talk or to help?”
A fierce Colt and Raven fan, she never missed a game, including attending the “Greatest Game Ever Played”—the 1958 Colts vs Giants football game. She played Bingo with a passion and hated to lose. The family joke was when someone would yell ”Bingo“, Theresa would blurt an expletive.
She enjoyed trips to Europe, Poland, and Central America. In retirement, she loved sharing vacations with longtime friends in Tampa.
Graveside services will be private. A celebration of Theresa’s life will be held at a later date.
To plant a tree in memory of Theresa K Antoniak, please visit our tribute store.