Anna Szmaj, 84, of New Milford, died Aug. 25, 2009, at New Milford Hospital.

She was born July 7, 1925, in Mairie de Bully, Rhone, France, daughter of the late Joseph and Elzbieta (Podema) Szmaj.

Mrs. Szmaj moved to the United States in 1957 and studied English in Boston, Mass., in preparation for her American citizenship. She became a United States citizen in Bridgeport in 1996.

Ms. Szmaj lived and worked in New York City. She had been a member of the American Center for Polish Culture.

Mrs. Szmaj and her dear friend, Lillian Zamczynska, spent many summers at Ocean Grove. She later moved to Washington and was employed by the Graves family. Upon her retirement, she moved to New Milford.

Ms. Szmaj could often be found in her garden growing her favorite flower, the sunflower. She had many pastimes, but enjoyed sewing and knitting the most.

Mrs. Szmaj was a frequent visitor of the New Milford Senior Center, where she was a member of the French Club. She met Celestine Denys at the center. Ms. Denys became a true friend; the two shared a special bond.

Ms. Szmaj is survived by her dear friend, Helen Cherney, and her children, Jason and John Hyde; and a cousin, Janus Leon, of France. She was predeceased by two brothers, John and Joseph Szmaj.

There are no calling hours.

The Colonial Funeral Home of New Milford was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Thrift Mart of New Milford, P.O. Box 1740, New Milford, CT 06776.