Valentyna E. Bindas (“Val”) passed away peacefully in the loving arms of her daughter Lisa Bindas and her “daughter” Jacilyn Barnett on Wednesday morning, August 15, 2018.
Valentyna was born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1932 to Apolonia “Polly” Hodziewich (Wojtaszek) and Adolph Hodziewich.
Growing up in the South End of New Bedford Val was very involved in the Polish Community and enjoyed dancing the polka in her traditional Polish costume. She spent many happy times dancing at the Woodrow Wilson Hall.
Val loved her parents very much and grew up as a single child. Her only brother passed at a very young age. Her father, Adolph, taught her to drive and bought her first car – a Buick! He also instilled in her a strong work ethic. She learned how to “Do it yourself.” Val loved to shop for antiques with her “Pa” and later enjoyed furniture refinishing. Val was “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
Val’s mother, Polly, was a bit more traditional and protective of her daughter. As an avid gardener herself, Polly taught Val how to work in the garden – this became one of Val’s greatest passions!
Val graduated from Roosevelt Junior High School and New Bedford High School. Another of Val’s great accomplishments was attending and graduating from Framingham State College. Truly an accomplishment for women back then.
Upon graduation Val’s next accomplishment was getting married to John S. Bindas right after graduation! She even made her bridesmaids’ dresses as well as her own wedding dress.
Val began her professional career as the Home Economics teacher at New Bedford Vocational High School in the late 50’s. She then taught sewing and cooking at Dartmouth High School for MANY years before moving to the Dartmouth Middle School from which she retired in the mid 90’s to care for her first-born grandchild.
Val loved teaching and especially loved her students many of whom still share very fond memories of her. “Strain or Drain a Dishpan” and “Use some elbow grease” are sayings that her students still recall readily when they think of Val.
Val loved to sew and made many outfits including many for her daughter, Lisa. She also enjoyed needlepoint, furniture upholstery and floral design.
Starting a family found Val working alongside her husband John renovating their first home on Cottage Street in New Bedford. Val worked right beside her husband and her children painting the house up to the second floor on staging and ladders and painting ceilings and walls. She instilled in her own children a strong work ethic. She also had “eyes in the back of her head” so learning to be honest, well-behaved children was a must!
Val and John were able to take the children on many vacations and camping was a family favorite! Val and her husband looked forward to building a new home on land they had purchased in Dartmouth, but unfortunately the family lost their Dad in 1977.
Val continued to work hard and was the sole provider for her family. Due to her efforts she was able to pay for all three of her children to attend and graduate from college and begin successful careers for themselves
With coercing, Val eventually managed to have her “dream home” built on the land in Dartmouth. Her gardens were again her passion and keeping her home meticulously maintained was her “favorite job.”
Val was also able to enjoy her life and travel to places such as Hawaii, Spain, Africa, Poland, Bermuda, the Bahamas and more. She loved to shop! She loved to drive and especially loved going for rides with her daughters, Lisa and Jaci.
Val had a strong love of music. She took piano lessons as a child and would often sit and play alongside her daughter. Val would start tapping her feet and be up dancing every chance she got. Val was a great dancer and her secret dream was to become a “Ballerina.”
Val was a very strong and active woman. She would put many young people to shame. She even helped her daughter deliver furniture, in a pinch, at her business, Gotta Have It, while she was in her 80’s.
What eventually slowed Val down was her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. With the help of Lisa and Jaci, Val was able to enjoy many of her favorite things: Going dancing, working in the yard, visiting the animal shelter, shopping, hiking, going for rides, going on adventures and going out to eat.
Unfortunately Val succumbed to her illness, but she still tapped her feet and moved her hands to the sound of her daughter playing the piano for her in bed. The sound of music still meant the world to her.
Val was an intelligent, hard-working, talented, energetic, dedicated mother, friend, relative, co-worker and teacher who touched the lives of many. She will truly be missed.
Val was a member of the Polish Women’s Business and Professional Club, the Polish National Alliance, Massachusetts Retired Teachers Association and Delta Kappa Gamma ETA Chapter. She was predeceased by her husband John S. Bindas. Val had three children: Son Jan Bindas, Son Randy Bindas and his wife Kate, daughter Lisa Bindas and “daughter” Jacilyn Barnett (Jaci). Her grandchildren: Bradford Bindas, Mary Kate Bindas, Deirdre Bindas and Anya Bindas. Val will be missed by her cat “Sweetie” and her cat grandchildren “Pogo”, “Piper”, “Stella” and “Pepina.”
Val’s family is very grateful to the people at Fairhaven Social Day for providing Val with music, dancing and entertainment that kept her moving and happy for several years.
Although Lisa and Jaci were Val’s loving caretakers until the end, the Staff at Community Nurse made the last few days a loving, compassionate and memorable experience that meant the world to her family.
An extra big hug goes out to Val’s caretakers who helped allow Val to stay in her own home until the last day. Special thanks to Barbara and Linda – you will be “FAMILY” forever.
Visitation will be at the Saunders Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park Street, New Bedford on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from 4:00pm to 7:00 pm with a Memorial Service starting at 6:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Val’s Memory to Fairhaven Social Day, 229 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven, MA 02719. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.