Ania was born December 9, 1943 in Walewice, Poland to Oskar and Krystyna Dowgiallo. Her family enjoys a long and distinguished history of statesmen, diplomats, artists, and musicians so it was no surprise that, after completing her baccalaureate and winning one of Poland’s top scholarships, Ania would pursue studies at the University of Fine Arts in Gdansk.
In 1966, Ania came to Bloomington, Indiana where she continued her studies with set designers Mario Christini and Andreas Nomikos of the renowned opera department of Indiana University. In fact, she became one of the school’s first Masters of Scenic Design. It was also in Bloomington that she met her future husband Thomas Beczkiewicz who was completing his doctoral studies in literature. After their studies, they both joined the faculties of the University of Louisville, he as an assistant professor of American Literature, She as a set designer for the Belknap Theatre and art instructor.
Ania and Tom were married in 1971, and the following year, their daughter Jona was born. The family moved to Indianapolis because of Tom’s appointment as senior legislative analyst for the state legislature while Ania pursued her career as set designer of the newly formed Indianapolis Opera. After the birth of son Paul, however, she decided to secure a second Master’s degree, this time in education, so she could balance the careers of art teacher in the public school system and that of mother.
Ani was also hostess in her home for many of the outstanding musicians and celebrities of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis of which Tom was the founding director. Her hospitality and cooking became legendary, but shortly after Tom’s retirement in 2002, Ania also retired from teaching so they could travel the world over, visiting North Africa, Asia, and Europe, especially her beloved Poland. Concerts, opera and theatre remained constants in her life when she wasn’t with her three grandsons, who brought her so much joy.
Ania died June 15 in her home after a short illness. She is survived by husband tom, daughter Joana and her two sons, Noah and Aidan; son Paul, his wife Shannon and their son Ethan, her brother Dominik and his wife Elzbieta Dowgiallo; sister Roza Grocholska, and brother Boleslaw Dowgiallo, as well as many dear cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of Ania’s life will take place at 11 AM Monday June 25, 2018, at St. Paul’s Church, 6050 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208, with a Mass of the Resurrection and with a reception to follow the service. In Lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Violin Competition of Indianapolis, or to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral and Cremation Services, 6202 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46268.