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BWH mourns the loss of Loretta "Lotty" Pietrzak, RN, a compassionate nurse and supportive colleague who passed away July 6. She was 73.
Mrs. Pietrzak was a nurse for more than 50 years and practiced at BWH from 1987 to 2010. Most recently, she worked on Tower 14AB, where her former colleagues remember her upbeat personality and caring nature.
"She was always happy and enjoyed life to its fullest," said Patricia Brita Rossi, MS, RN, Tower 14AB nursing director. "She was also the driving force behind many birthday celebrations on the unit."
Beth Baldwin, BSN, RN, nurse educator for Patient and Family Education, worked with Mrs. Pietrazak on Tower 14 for years. "It was wonderful to walk into the unit at the beginning of my shift and see that Lotty was on because that meant it would be a good day," she said.
Others remember her willingness to mentor the unit's new nurses.
"She witnessed my growth from a patient care assistant to a registered nurse," said Rhonda Furlonge, RN, of Tower 14AB. "I am very honored that I was able to work alongside her. She taught me so much-both in nursing and in life."
It was important for Mrs. Pietrzak to bond with people of all cultures and generations, and she did that well, according to colleague Marian Fitzgerald, RN, of Tower 14AB. "She was loved by all for her wit, straightforwardness and her class," Fitzgerald said.
"She had great pride in all aspects of her life-she was proud of her children and grand-children, her nursing education, her network of friends and being an active U.S. citizen," Fitzgerald said. "The culmination of all of this was her pride in being a member of the Brigham community."
Outside of the hospital, Mrs. Pietrzak enjoyed traveling and spending time at the ocean, especially near her home in Hingham.
She is survived by three daughters, Sheila Pietrzak, Karen Pietrzak Clay and Elizabeth Adams; sisters Judy Pradell and Jane Neri; six grandchildren, a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law and a large community of loving and supportive friends.
A memorial service was held on July 16 at the Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel in Hingham.