Final farewell to dance teacher Pauline Dejewski
HUNDREDS of mourners packed out a church to say their last goodbyes to a popular dance teacher.
It was standing room only at St Augustine's Catholic Church in Meir where grieving friends and relatives gathered for the funeral service of Pauline Dejewski.
The mother-of-two, who was known by many as Pauline Steel, died on September 23 after a short battle with breast cancer.
The 60-year-old's coffin was draped with the Scottish and Polish flags as it was carried into the service, which was led by Fathers David Hartley, Anton Guziel and Craig Davies.
Grandmother-of-four Pauline, who founded the Steelworks Dance Academy in Masterson Street, Fenton, was born in Scotland.
Her mother Margaret was a proud Scot and her father Max was a Polish soldier.
She moved to Stoke-on-Trent with her family in 1959 and attended St Mary's Primary School, in Tunstall, and later St George's High School in Longton.
This is where Pauline showed the first signs of an outstanding talent for dancing.
At the age of 15 she left school and soon qualified as a professional dance teacher.
She then got a job working for BMW as a secretary, but later gave it up to enable her to concentrate on her passion for dancing.
Father Guziel said: "Pauline was always proud of her roots and thought of herself as a Polish Scot.
"The breadth of Pauline's vision and her infectious enthusiasm and charm swept people along. Anyone who visited her studio would realise her ability to inspire people and lead them forward.
"Pauline was able to take something very small and touch and nurture it to make it grow.
"The range of lives Pauline touched was amazing."
Pauline, of Madeley, opened Steelworks almost 30 years ago and dedicated her career to expanding the school. She also regularly enjoyed trips to Poland.
Father Guziel added: "Pauline led many promising students onwards to their glittering dance careers. Her skills were legendary.
"She had an eye for detail and could bring together events and parties in the most elegant way.
"And Pauline's success didn't allow her to forget the less fortunate. She regularly put on shows for charitable causes, and I myself can testify to her generosity in this field.
"Her determination allowed her to achieve whatever she wanted to. She was a family woman and her faith was strong."
The congregation sang hymns including I Watch the Sunrise, Then Sings My Soul and Ave Maria.
Some members also chose to take communion, which was performed by Father Hartley.
Bagpipes were played as Pauline's coffin was carried out of the church before family and close friends made their way to Keele Cemetery for a private interment.
They later went on to the Mainwaring Arms in Whitmore.
Donations were collected at the service for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's charity breast care fund.