Eugenia Mae (Basham) Dzielak was born in Rockport, Ind. She grew up with her two brothers and parents, in the house on the bluff overlooking the Ohio River and the farmlands of Kentucky.
She worked her way through college, earning a degree in chemistry from Purdue University. During World War II she worked as a chemist for Firestone.
In better times, she moved to San Angelo, Texas, where she was chief dietitian and head of the dietary department at Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital. She met her husband, Al Dzielak, who was in the Air Force and stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base. Eugenia and Al were married Aug. 12, 1950.
A few years later, with a toddler and baby in tow, she followed Al to Knutsford Cheshire, England, where they lived for four years. Upon returning to the United States, they settled in Albuquerque, N.M., where Eugenia worked in the dietary department at Lovelace Hospital, during the “astronaut — right stuff” years, until the birth of her third child.
The family of three moved permanently to Pagosa Springs in 1978, where Eugenia worked in the yard and garden, participated in school events for her daughter, and led and participated in the early morning water aerobics group.
Eugenia was a positive and happy influence on her three children, her two granddaughters and everyone she came into contact with — and she made really good butter cookies.
Eugenia was a dear friend and loved by many. She will be missed, but leaves behind years of wonderful memories.