Stephanie Smolinski1920 - 2012
Stephanie Nettie (Lewandowski) Smolinski, 92,
a long-time resident of Posen, died peacefully with
her children gathered around her on Tuesday,
the 23rd of October, at Woida’s Adult Foster Care Home
in Posen, Michigan.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Philip, and three
grandchildren: Robin Look, Nicholas Redd and Jeremy John Look.
“Stefifie” is survived by her six children: Janet Albosta of East Tawas,
Sally Buza of Alpena, Anthony (Tony) of Sparta, Judi (Eric) Redd of Tawas City,
Mary (Dennis) Look of East Tawas and Thomas (Tommy) of Highland, Mi.,
15 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.
Two sisters, Blanche (Robert) Polaski of Posen and
Edwina (Stanley) Switek of Pinconning survive her.
She is also survived by her “second family” at Orchard AFC who cared for her and
loved her for the last 8 years of her life, Leo and Pam Woida and
son-in-law, Randy Kroll along with health care assistants, Lori Valdez and
Stephanie was born on June 7, 1920 in Posen, Michigan
to Peter and Joanna (Rygwelski) Lewandowski on the family farm and grew up
with 4 brothers and 5 sisters. Bernice, Martha and Bernadine preceded her in death
along with brothers Leo, Stephen Theodore and Anthony. Three siblings died as
infants during the diphtheria outbreak. Her youth was spent working in the fields
and home with her parents and siblings. On the weekends, in the absence of
television and telephone, the family gathered around the family piano to sing.
While many of her brothers and sisters learned to play the piano, violin and horn,
Stephanie “heard” the harmonics and used her strong beautiful voice to harmonize
melodies, That ability stayed with her through the years and she always appreciated
the harmonies she heard and tried to sing along. She loved music.
She worked in a sewing factory in Ludington for a brief time as a young woman.
After World War II she married Phillip Casimir Smolinski and they began clearing
land and farming in Leer, Mi. Janet Ann, Salomea, Anthony and Judith were born
during these years. Several years later, they made their permanent home in Posen
and there Mary and Thomas were born. Stephanie was a “stay at home” mom for
many years, She sewed clothing for her growing children, cooked/baked, gardened,
canned and “tended her nest”. Visitors to their home could count on a warm
welcome and a hearty meal whenever they visited. When her youngest children
could manage independently, she secured a position as head cook and menu planner
for Posen Consolidated School. Students young and old enjoyed her home-cooked
meals along with homemade breads, rolls and desserts and still remember her for
her cooking. Stephanie worked for the school system for 17 years. She was active
in the St. Casimir Rosary Sodality for many years. She worked tirelessly for the
VFW Women’s Auxiliary #7804 and co-chaired the annual VFW Potato Festival
Dinner with Kay Lewandowski. She catered the annual Miss Posen Pageant for
Shortly after she retired, she took on the role of chauffeur and nurse to Philip who
suffered strokes that incapacitated him. She was his primary caretaker 24/7 during
the last 3 years of his life. She was an extraordinary woman who learned to manage
nursing equipment and procedures, After Phillip died, she lived alone for several
years and dedicated herself to her growing family who now included grandchildren
Stephanie loved her family and lived a life of service and love for others. She will be
remembered for her gentle sensitive nature that was occasionally interrupted by a
quict witty “zinger” which surprised and delighted children and grandchildren. She
was an avid Rummy and Pinochle player and a Tigers fan. Stephanie was loved by
all who knew her and will be dearly missed.
Friends may visit at the Beck Funeral Home on Thursday from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m.
where the Posen VFW Post 7804 Ladies Auxiliary and the St. Casimir Rosary
Sodality will recite the rosary at 6:30 followed by the parish wake service at
7:00 p.m. with Sr. Mary Hughes conducting.
Visitation resume on Friday at St. Casimir Catholic Church from 10:00 a.m. until
time of Mass at 11:00 a.m. Fr, James Fitzpatrick officiating.
Memorials may be given to Hospice of the Sunrise Shore
in memory of Stephanie Smolinski.