Ilene Poquadeck

Ilene Poquadeck

Amherst, NY — Ilene Poquadeck, formerly of Gowanda, passed away Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at Buffalo General Hospital with her daughter by her side. She was 95 years old.

Ilene was born July 29, 1928 in Bukovo, a village located in the country formerly known as Macedonia, which was part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. There she lived with her mother and paternal grandparents while her father went to America seeking opportunity and safety for his young family as there were whispers of a coming war (WWII).

In 1936 when she was eight years old, and her father was established in America, she and her mother left Macedonia to join him. They traveled by train across Europe to the Port of Cherbourg in France where they boarded a ship called the RMS Majestic. On the way to France she described seeing the Alps, long tunnels through the mountains, and a stop in Germany. She recalled seeing the German soldiers and told of their close inspection of the train. Then once onboard the ship, it took a week to cross the Atlantic where it arrived in America via the Port of New York City. She remembered seeing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Grand Central Station. There she and her mother boarded a train which took them to Gowanda, New York where they reunited with her father.

Growing up in America was challenging as she did not speak a word of English. There were no translators at that time, so she had to stay after school to learn it. She made many friends and had happy memories of spending time with them, going to Sunset Bay, working at Sipple’s Store, the local soda fountain, and the pharmacy. During her high school years, while attending a dance at the American Legion, she met her future husband, Joe Poquadeck.

They were married in August of 1947, settled on Broadway Road, and went on to raise three children; Rodney Poquadeck of Canton, Michigan, Dana (Sandra) Poquadeck of White Lake, Michigan and JoMarie (Michael Sandmann) Poquadeck of Amherst, NY. She was a dedicated wife, mother, and homemaker. She was an excellent cook making everything from scratch, including cakes, cookies, and pies with the best flakiest crust ever.

Her goal was to ensure that her children got an education and a chance at an easier life than the one she had. When the youngest entered kindergarten in 1971, she went to work at Gowanda Electronics. This allowed her to earn the money needed to send all three children to college. She achieved her goal as all three completed college and are gainfully employed.

After her husband passed away in 1990, she continued to work at Gowanda Electronics until her retirement in 1997. She sold the family properties and moved into a small apartment in town. She reconnected with childhood friends and enjoyed time with them.

In 2006 she went to temporarily stay with her daughter in Amherst NY, which turned out to be for the rest of her life. While there she enjoyed spending time with her daughter attending area festivals, shopping, going to dinner at nice restaurants, and helping around the house. They would meet up with the Gowanda Senior Group at local casinos every month, allowing her to remain in touch with childhood friends. In her later years, when her mobility had diminished, they enjoyed dinners and movies at home. Watching Wheel of Fortune became a nightly ritual.

Besides her parents Michael and Ellen (Sobenovich Ognen Poquadeck , Ilene was preceded in death by her siblings and their spouses; Mary (Roger) Denea, Sophie (Eddie) Nellis, and Thomas (Clara) Ognen.

As per Ilene’s wishes, private services will be held at the SCHINDLER FUNERAL HOME 44 Center St. Gowanda, NY, Fr. David Noves of the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Gowanda officiating.

Memorials, if desired, may be made in her name to the following: Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Company, 45 S. Ellicott Creek Rd., Amherst, NY 14228.