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401 Hall St. SW, Suite 263
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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Life Story / Obituary
age 92, passed away peacefully at St. Ann’s Home on August 8, 2022. She was born in Grand Rapids Michigan on August 14, 1929.
She was preceded in death by her husband Gerald, son Daniel, mother and father Joanna (Groters) and Paul Syrek, her brothers and sisters Esther (Smith), Betty (Swift), Ray Syrek and Paul “Barney” Syrek.
She is survived by her daughter Mary (Rick) Szczepanski, son Tom (Deb) Poniatowski, daughter-in–law Julie Poniatowski, sister-in-law Delores Syrek, many nieces and nephews and her beloved step family to whom she was “Grandma Dodie.”
Dodie was an accomplished seamstress and made clothes for her family, many creative Halloween costumes and cage covers for her “grandbird,” Simon. She repaired and altered clothes for many of her friends and neighbors and also, when able, volunteered her time at St. Ann’s Home sewing for the residents, nuns and priests. She also enjoyed needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, embroidery and crocheting (her roller skate booties were always popular).
Dodie was a devout Catholic and spent many years in service to Holy Spirit Parish. She devoted much of her time working the weekly bingo games with Jerry, planning, purchasing supplies and cooking for funeral luncheons as well as cleaning and organizing the kitchen. Her true love was being a “Garden Angel,” which she, along with her best friend Maggie Wind founded. Dodie was a very independent woman, and after Jerry’s passing, maintained her home for many years including snow shoveling, snow blowing and lawn mowing. She was very proud of her own gardens, especially her roses.
Dodie loved spending time with friends playing Charades and poker. She was a ruthless set-back player even when she needed to use a battery powered card shuffler. Dodie was known for her love of puzzles: jigsaw, cryptograms, crossword, logic and Sudoku. She often swapped jigsaw puzzles with her brother Ray and they tried to outdo each other in level of difficulty.
One of the highlights of her year was the annual Syrek family reunion/picnic at Potter Park which she initiated 36 years ago. She was a phenomenal cook and will be long remembered for her Kapusta, and of course, her green cookies. Dodie will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Her funeral Mass and celebration of life will be held on Friday, September 9, 2022 at Holy Spirit Parish. 2230 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504. Visitation at 1:00 PM, Mass at 2:00 PM with luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to St. Ann’s Emmanuel Hospice.