Sophie Mary (Brzyska) Minta

Born: Thu., Nov. 29, 1923
Died: Sat., Dec. 21, 2019


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Dec. 27, 2019
Location: Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Fri., Dec. 27, 2019
Location: Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Sophie Mary Minta, of Griswold passed away on Friday Saturday December 21, 2019
Sophie was quite the woman... wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great gramma, sister and friend.  She was truly the matriarch of our family and definitely the woman in charge. She loved her in-laws as her own children.  Her constant companion Tina Weina adored her as she did this little dog.  She made an impact on those who got to know her.  She was special to those she touched.
She grew up during hard times, being placed in foster care, she had to “grow up quick.  She took the road of hard work to better herself.  She worked since she was 14, beginning as a nanny, then at Backus Hospital in housekeeping.  She always wanted to be a nurse and if she had opportunity would have been excellent.  She worked in the fabric mills in Jewett City as a seamstress.
At age 21, she married John Minta and she worked the farm side by side with him and later her son.  Hard work was part of her identity.  She was a farmer, homemaker and mother of 2.  For well over 50 years, she equally contributed to the success of the farm maintaining the home and being a Mom.
Sophie was a great mother and grandmother. Strict...YES.... Fair... YES.  Loved....YES!  She was a huge part of her grandchildren’s lives.  They saw her nearly every day.  She lived through many of their milestones, triumphs and tragedy.  She had a loud bark without a bite.   They have stories to tell, always with fondness and often with laughter.  She is part of who they are today.
She is survived by her son John (Susan) Minta, Jr., her daughter Carol (Doug) Emmerthal , her sister Feliska Cholewa, grandchildren Stephen Emmerthal, Craig Emmerthal, Christine Walker, Denise (Keith) Taylor, and Kelly (Janine Youchniuk) Minta, and eight great grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her brother Henry Poleski, grandsons Kyle Emmerthal and Keith Minta.
She maintained a huge weed free garden until she was about 88.  Believe it or not Sophie was a competitive gardener often racing against her grandson Stephen to see who got the first and biggest tomato.  Of course, each would declare victory.  
Sophie was a fabulous cook known for her chicken and dumplings, blue berry pierogi, cabbage soup “Kapoosta”, galumpki, and pies.  She was up at the crack of dawn ready to start cooking for the holidays. We always laughed that you had to hold onto your plate if you wanted seconds or Sophie would take it away to be washed.   She was an expert with crocheting... not using a pattern.  She could look at someone else’s work and replicate it.  She made hundreds of afghans for family and friends that are still warming us.
Sophie was an active member of the Griswold Senior Center for over 20 years. She loved her senior center family and she and her lifelong friend Marie Dudek were known as Trouble 1 and Trouble 2.  
Sophie lived a simple life, not wanting much for herself. Her bond with her family, her sister and her friends was unique.  Mom accepted most people for who they were.  She was the salt of the earth.  A no nonsense kind of lady, yet there was a kindness, a caring, and pure goodness in Sophie.  She made friends easily. She could talk to anyone and we believe that her grandson Kyle learned this from her.  She knew people all along her walking paths, the senior center, McDonalds... she seemed to know folks everywhere.  People loved her and found her funny and endearing.  Even in her last year’s where she was plagued with dementia, she gained the love and respect of those who cared for her at Villa Maria. During her last days we witnessed staff from housekeeping, kitchen, nurses’ aides, and nurses all stop by to say goodbyes through tears and share their stories of endearment.  
Her key attributes were being humble, caring, frugal and using common sense. She loved knowing the gossip around town. She lived through so much and continued to make an impact until her last breath.  Sophie is now with all those who passed.  In the end, we believe that Kyle came to get her.  I am sure that he had the greatest party ready and they are having fun and getting into trouble together.  We are blessed to call Sophie, Ma, Gramma, GG, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.  Our lives are richer because of her.  We will miss you.  WE LOVE YOU.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Sophie’s memory to The Griswold Senior Center 22 Soule Street Jewett City, CT 06351 or The Kyle Douglas Emmerthal Scholarship Fund at Three Rivers Community College 574 New London Tpke Norwich, CT 06360.
Calling hours will be held 10:00-11:00AM Friday, December 27, 2019 at the Gagne Piechowski Funeral Home 490 Voluntown Road Jewett City, CT.  A memorial service will immediately follow at 11:00AM at the funeral home.  Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Griswold.  For online condolences please go to

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