Faye Popiel passed away at age 91 at the home of her daughter, Judy Siehnel, under the loving care of Hospice, on March 4, 2021.
She was born Faye Elizabeth Bailey on Sept. 4, 1929, to George and Edna (Dietrich) Bailey. She grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, and in Eckville, Pennsylvania, by what was called the Die Eck mountain range (near the Kitahtëne [Lenape] Ridge and Blue Mountain Ridge).
Her family spoke Pennsylvania Dutch (Bavarian German) well into the 20th century. Her childhood home became something of the center of the small town, as it was near both a church and the only schoolhouse.
Along with her parents and brothers, George, Mark, Wayne and Glenn, she helped the family run the Home Restaurant in town.
She went on to Albright College, graduating with a degree in education in 1951. She met her husband, Alvin Popiel, at a school picnic while he was completing his master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University in New York City. After Alvin was hired at the Buffalo Evening News, the couple married and moved to Buffalo, settling in what was a new community on the south end of Grand Island in 1952.
They then went on to have three daughters. In addition to full-time parenting, Mrs. Popiel worked at Neisner’s, which over the years became Ames, then she moved over in the plaza to work at Fay’s Drugs, which became Eckerd drug store, and, at the time of her retirement at age 82, Rite Aid.
Throughout her life, Mrs. Popiel remained connected to her community in Pennsylvania, visiting the Bailey farm on Hawk Mountain with her family. On Grand Island, she was an active community member, leading Girl Scouts when her children were young, as well as church events. She enjoyed singing in the church choir and did so well into her 80s.
She asked for a computer on her 80th birthday and took classes at the library to learn how to use it. She also enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and newspaper crossword puzzles, working on those almost until the end of her life. She also enjoyed the antics of her favorite cat, Sunshine, especially the time he was shut in the freezer and survived to tell the tale.
She is predeceased by her husband, Alvin, who passed away in 2014. She is sorely missed by her three daughters, Deborah Stack, Rebecca Popiel and Judith Siehnel, as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.