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Sharing Julie Gorczynski With the World

The Gorczynski family remembers their much-loved daughter, sister and friend, who was killed in a car accident in Orland Park.

An infectious smile, a personality that lit up a room and the ability to bring people together.

Those were among the qualities of Julie Gorczynski, whose life was cut short Friday, June 10, . Gorczynski, from Frankfort, graduated from Lincoln-Way North with a B average just a week prior, at the age of 17. She would have been 18 on Thursday, June 16.

“Who would know that she'd graduate on one Friday and die on the next Friday?” Pamela Gorczynski, Julie's mother, said.

While Julie's life was short, it was one filled with friends, family and fun. Her five siblings, Brian, 26; Rich, 24; Amanda, 22; Nick, 21; and Matthew, 9, said Julie always had a smile on her face and was ready with a joke.

“I'll never forget that smile. There's really not words for it,” Nick said.

Julie's parents said that Julie was very fashion-conscious while growing up. Julie had 32 pairs of shoes when she was just 2 years old, and she would change up to four times a day as a child—something she never grew out of. Pamela added that Julie was always borrowing clothes from friends and enjoyed shopping.

Richard Gorczynski, Julie's father, said Julie was an easy child to raise, adding that he never had to reprimand her. Pamela said that although Julie was an easygoing child and a delight to raise, chores were something that Julie often begged out of with her smile.

“I'd tell her to clean her room or something and she'd just wave it off and say, 'Pish posh,'” Pamela said, laughing. "She was just like that—very easygoing."

The family often took summer vacations together to Florida and Disney World, and it was there that Julie found her "ride buddy," Nick. No matter the ride, Nick and Julie would sit together, enjoying not only their time together but the twists and turns of any amusement park ride.

“She loved roller coasters. She wasn't afraid of them—or anything—really,” Nick said.

Julie recently began working at Marcus Theatres in Orland Park, where Pamela said her daughter really blossomed. She said that once Julie got the job, there was a new world of socialization that opened to her.

"She loved that job, she loved all the people there, all her friends," Amanda Gorczynski added.

One look at Julie's Facebook page makes it easy to see all the lives she touched, Pamela said. A flood of updates, memories and well wishes have poured in from people who knew Julie. From her family members who knew her best, to those she met only once or twice, the outpouring is a glimpse into knowing and appreciating Julie.

Her family didn't realize how much they shared her with the world.

“We never really thought about it, because we always thought of her as 'our Julie,' ” Pamela said, “but really she was everyone's Julie.”

The Gorczynski family will hold a wake for those wishing to pay respects on Tuesday, June 14, at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort. A funeral will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 19515 S. 115th Ave., Mokena, on Wednesday, June 15, at 10 a.m. Julie will be interred at St. John's Cemetery in Mokena. 

colleentriana June 14, 2011 at 05:33 PM
I am so sorry for your loss.
maryeileen smith June 15, 2011 at 05:06 AM
What a wonderful tribute to "Your Julie"! I was there at the scene of the accident (I live at 135th and 88th Ave.) and I just thought that you might want to know that Julie was never alone, and I said many silent prayers (mostly Hail Mary's) the entire time. I have put an angel in my garden for Julie, and I think of her every day and night. Thank you for sharing Julie's life in this article...it puts a beautiful face on my angel and it gives life to someone my family and I have been mourning for. We will never forget the Julie we never knew! May her memories keep her alive in your hearts, and I know that God is holding her in the palm of his hand....
Maria June 17, 2011 at 06:16 PM
To The Gorczynski family, We are so deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved Julie. To be taken from you at such a young age makes our grief pale in comparison to the pain you are feeling, but I had to let you know that we are sharing your loss in our own way. No one knows why bad things happen to those so innocent. For now, it will have to remain the painful mystery that it is. Losses like this can make us challenge our faith; however, this is precisely the time when our faith needs to be its strongest. We are praying that your faith will help you through this very difficult time and help you to know that God's purpose, whatever it may be, is at work. We pray that you will find the strength to get you through your grief and sadness. In thinking about your loss, I would like to leave you with quoted words of an observer at Abraham Lincoln's deathbed who said upon ones passing, "Now She Belongs To The Angels." In Sincere Friendship, and Much Love Auntie Maria, Phillip, Vincent and Jimmy Ganta
Carrie Frillman June 18, 2011 at 02:27 AM
What a beautiful girl. I'm so sorry for all of your loss.

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