Update: Candy maker dies at age 91

Wanda Hornack, who died July 14 at the age of 91, has left behind a legacy of sweets.

“One of the best things in my childhood,” one resident posted when Wanda announced she was closing her downtown candy store, Wanda’s Sugar Shack, at the end of 2012.

“You gave your life to everyone in Milford,” another resident posted. “You are an icon and a celebrity. Thank you for all your years of making every child’s and adult’s life so much sweeter. You are Milford’s Willie Wonka.”

Finally, this post, “Thank you Wanda. You are part of the joy of growing up in Milford.”

Wanda owned and operated Wanda’s Sugar Shack, Milford’s “penny candy” store, for 41 years, and in that capacity, was a hero to any number of children and adults in the community.

The older generation can remember stopping in and buying bags of Swedish fish and Bazooka gum 30 or 40 years ago; the newest generation clung to her homemade chocolates.

Wanda opened her candy shop on New Haven Avenue after working in sales at a department store downtown.

She later moved her shop downtown, where she occupied several locations. Her candy shop was not spared trials and tribulations. She closed once due to a flood and twice due to fires that wrecked her store. In the midst, there was a fire at her house that did considerable damage. Yet, she kept coming back and making candy.

At first she sold penny candy that she purchased from a distributor. But as time went on, she began making her own, and eventually her peanut butter cups and fudge nearly became famous in their own right and complemented the distributor-bought penny candies she sold.

Wanda, wife of the late Steve Hornack, died at home surrounded by her family on July 14. She was born on Aug. 6, 1921 in Shenendoah, Pa., to the late Sophie and Anthony Gursky.

Wanda migrated to Milford in 1952 and took up residence in the Milford Lawns area of town and was employed by W.T. Grant. Then on June 22, 1972 she embarked on her childhood dream and opened Wanda’s Sugar Shack, which allowed her to leave her legacy of bringing sweet smiles to Milford.

Wanda is survived by her children, Carole Ann Beers and her husband Mark and Michael Hornack and his wife Cindy; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Wanda was predeceased by her daughter, Nancy Borzenski, her sister and brother-in-law Theresa and Joseph Wynowski. as well as her bothers Anthony and Joseph Gurksy.

Friends and family may call on Wednesday, July 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7 at the Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Wanda’s name to the United Way of Milford, 20 Evergreen Avenue, Milford CT 06460 or to fund raising for Dylan Fortunato, 740 Orange Avenue, Milford CT 06460.