Lily Paula Godek died on April 24, 2019. She was 88.
She was born Lily Paula Kryla on Jan. 5, 1931, to Lillian S. and Stanley F. Kryla in Central Falls, R.I. She graduated from Central Falls High School, and then worked with her parents and brother at their family restaurant, Stanley’s, as a counter girl serving their “famous burgers.”
As a young girl, she would spend summers with her beloved grandmother in Harmony, R.I., at her travelers’ lodge. Lily kept busy swimming, sketching the summer scenery, and helping out with the guests, the cottages, the rowboats, and helping to serve dinners her grandmother prepared nightly.
As a member of both the R.I. Speed Skating and Cycling Clubs, her awards included medals and trophies in cycling and skating in short-track competitions. She would train from Providence to Boston and back on her racing bicycle, drafting with the gang behind tractor-trailer trucks on Route 1. Lily was a force to be reckoned with. When Harmony Lake froze, she would train and listen to the crackling ice behind her where it was too thin to support the weight. No fear, she flew past, defying the limits! She won in the Nationals at cycling.
Miss Magee was Lily’s mentor, who taught her etiquette and how to be a lady. She excelled at being classy, yet she was definitely a fiery woman too!
Lily met Walter Godek, the grill man at her parent’s restaurant. They married May 4, 1956, and moved to Cumberland, R.I. Melanie, Gretschen, and Kurt were born, and Lily was full of life. She enjoyed writing, painting, sculpting, sewing, and knitting everything under the sun. She started a bicycle club with all the kids in the neighborhood during the summertime. The winter months brought night skiing after supper with anyone brave enough to stay out in the cold until she was ready to come home. Lily even took up flying at North Central Airport, where she would head into the skies with Sabe, her instructor, and you could ride with her if you dared.
Her traveling experiences brought her to ancestral Poland, and she eventually visited 18 European countries by plane, train, and ship. She also loved going to Christiaans on the East Side of Providence to have her hair done, then over to Federal Hill for Italian food at Angelo’s. And shopping — Lily loved clothes and accessories, and couldn’t resist buying for herself and everyone else!
At one of her visits to the Kentucky Derby, she bet on Winning Colors and won.
The family moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1974. Later on she continued to be a snowbird, but New England was always home.
Her oldest daughter Melanie came to the Vineyard in 1978, and Lily followed, sensing adventure. It was 1982 when Lily and Walter decided to open a hamburger joint like her parents’ place, and found a spot on Circuit Avenue at the Arcade building, with good food, a great breakfast, Walter and Kurt on the line in the kitchen, and the girls out front. Lily established the first nonsmoking restaurant, 10 years before the Massachusetts laws changed. In the meantime, she became a grandmother to Jasmine (great-grandmother to Makenna) and Zenon, who were running in and out of the restaurant with friends, gobbling up Stanley Burgers after playing in the Campground. Her favorite times at Stanley’s were when famous celebs and politicians would walk through the door and she could come out of the kitchen and talk up a storm and snap a pic with them. For 21 summers the ship stayed afloat, and everyone in check. Lily was a proud restaurateur with family at her side.
Her favorite team was the Red Sox. She watched from season opener to the last game, hoping to see her guys make it to the World Series again.
Lily often said, “I want to live to be 100,” and, “Every day is a gift, life is beautiful!” She was always looking forward to the next party, happy, smiling, and anticipating visitors. She loved her family dearly, and gave all she had. Lily will be gone from our world and so very sorely missed, but never forgotten. She is now “one with the Universe” … To all the wonderful people who helped shape Lily’s rich life, a heartfelt thank-you.
Mom, with all the great memories you generously sprinkled throughout our lives, we are forever grateful. Bye for now. We can see you cycling into the heavens to meet Dad up above … We LOVE you always, Melanie, Gretschen, Kurt, Jasmine, Zenon, and M.J.
And your favorite furry friends, Marley and Lucy, “give Grandma kisses!”
A celebration of life for Lily will be held in the summertime, and announced at a later date.