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Johanna's Story

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WORCESTER - Johanna Alex Golja, 89, passed away at home Jan. 6, 2018, in the loving company of her family.
Born April 18, 1928, in New York City, she was the daughter of William and Anna (Senica) Alex.
She grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Grover Cleveland High School, then found employment with Harriman Brown Brothers on Wall Street.
City girl Jennie became a farmer's wife when she married Frederick Golja in 1950, at St. Brigid's Church in Brooklyn. The couple spent 62 of their 67 years of marriage tending their farm on Brighton Road in Worcester.
Jennie was an avid gardener. Her table was perennially graced by the food and flowers she cultivated so skillfully.
She was similarly talented as a seamstress. Her work enhanced many school plays and Halloween parades.
Jennie was proud of her Slovenian heritage especially the music and she and Fred were well-known for their graceful turns on the dance floor. Her taste for travel and adventure led her back to her beloved Slovenia three times.
Mrs. Golja, as she was known to the students there, worked in the Worcester Central School main office for 25 years always impeccably dressed and a master of detail.
Jennie is survived by her husband, Frederick Golja of Worcester; children, Karen Hermanowski of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Frederick and Mary Beth Golja of Madison, Connecticut, Gary and Barbara Golja of Worcester, and JoAnn and William Fredette of Worcester; grandchildren, Colleen Golja, William, Michael and Sebastian Fredette; Rachel Golja Elliott and her husband, Michael and her first great-grandchild, due in June. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Sophie LaPorte of Florida; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was predeceased by her son-in-law, Robert Hermanowski; and sister, Mary Pavlick.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12, at the Heller & Skinner Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Worcester.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 201 Main St., Worcester, where Jenny was a communicant. The Rev. Paul Mijas will celebrate the mass.
Interment will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery at a later date.
Jennie's family is grateful to Catskill Area Hospice and especially to her devoted caregivers, Terri White, Dorene Hosier, Donna Lange, Kathi Suydam, and Peggy Suydam.
Donations in Jennie's memory may be made to the Eye Tumor Research Foundation at www.etrf.org; or Smile Train Inc., at my.smiletrain.org.
Condolences may be made to the family online at www.hellerskinnerfh.com.
Published on January 7, 2018
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