Life Story / Obituary
Teles Cloud's life of 94 years bore witness to times of tremendous trial and profound peace and prosperity.
Teles was known for her very caring and loving spirit. She devoted herself to the care of her loved ones, never hesitating to do all that she could to ensure others had all they needed. With great wisdom and kindness, Teles always found a way to make people feel unique and supported. A loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Teles inspired all who were blessed to know her. She will long be remembered and so very missed.
The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change. Post-war peace, a booming economy, rising wages for most Americans, and falling consumer prices gave rise to a higher standard of living for most. The world quickly changed with the inventions of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, the band-aid, and the first automobile with a combustion engine. This roaring decade marked tremendous confidence, prosperity, and previously unknown comforts. A person's success was significantly determined by their ability to identify their desires and then work to make them a reality. Locally, this vibrant decade grew even brighter as Teles Wilczewski was welcomed to the world by her parents on December 25, 1927.
Born at home on Christmas day, Teles' mother ensured that Christmas never overshadowed her birthday; the family always celebrated both. Teles attended St. Adalbert School until fourth grade when she moved to Mount Mercy. While growing up, Teles enjoyed roller skating, going to the movie theater, and drawing. She often helped around the family's home next to the West Side Tavern, which her uncle owned and where her father worked.
Teles was a gifted artist, and she participated in a large number of art clubs in high school. She enjoyed art and growing her talents. During her senior year, she traveled to a design school in New York that she dreamed of attending one day. After graduating from Mount Mercy in 1945, she was offered admission to the art school in New York. Unfortunately, her mother did not allow her to go that far away from home even though Teles’ Uncle Pete offered to pay her tuition and room and board. So instead, she attended Junior College to remain closer to home.
While working at her uncle's tavern, Teles had the good fortune of meeting the love of her life, William "Bill" Cloud, whose brother brought him to the tavern specifically to meet Teles. Bill worked up his courage to ask Teles out, and the two began dating. After courting for a year and a half, they fell in love. On August 2, 1947, they married in a traditional Polish wedding at St. Adalbert's Church. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with family and friends at a reception at a downtown restaurant in Grand Rapids before setting off on a romantic honeymoon at a cottage on Little Pine Island Lake.
The happy couple settled into a house on Bridge Street NW, which they rented from Teles' uncle. In 1949, after a complicated labor, Bill and Teles welcomed their daughter, Shirley, to their family. The family moved to an apartment at 845 Cherry St. SE, where Teles, Bill, and Shirley lived in one unit, and Teles' parents lived in another. In 1955, the family was complete when their second daughter, Melissa, was born. Faithful members at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Teles and Bill were active in many church activities, including Bingo. While Bill served as an Usher and former Ushers' President, Teles was involved with the Ladies Guild. In 1965, the family moved to a home at 237 Luray on the west side but continued to be members at St. Andrew's for the next several years.
Eventually, they transferred to Holy Spirit Catholic Church near their home.
An excellent and selfless mother, Teles took great pride in her children. She did a lot to help them and encouraged all of their endeavors. Never one to need the limelight, Teles' joy was witnessing her daughters’ happiness. The girls fondly remember their mother taking them to Herpolsheimer's to see Santa and ride Santa’s Rocket Express. They especially enjoyed family vacations, including traveling route 66 from Michigan to Arizona to visit Teles' Uncle Pete, and spending summertime at Grand Haven. Teles shared her passion for ice cream, especially Dilly Bars, root beer floats, and chocolate Frosties, with her daughters too.
Teles' first job was at Straight Street Headstart. She then moved to Michigan Bell Telephone. Motivated by not having the chance to attend college, Teles was deeply committed to working to afford her daughters' educations. In addition, Teles would visit her mother after work every day for over ten years at a nursing home in Marne, where her mother stayed.
Sadly, in the late 80s, Teles was diagnosed with MS. As the disease made work impossible, she retired from the phone company after many years of dedicated, loyal service. When Bill suffered a stroke, Teles poured herself into caring for him in their home for a time. When he required more specialized support, Bill moved to live at Brookcrest Manor in Grandville, where Teles visited him every day. In 2007, Bill peacefully passed away in his sleep.
Leaning into her family and her strong, independent spirit, Teles found peace and happiness in sharing her children's, grandchildren's, and great-grandchildren's lives. She and Shirley traveled together and enjoyed many adventures, including Disney World, Hawaii, and visiting family in Poland. In addition, she loved visiting her grandchildren, Kjol and Kelci, in Washington State. However, a wilder side of Teles showed through while in her 80s: She took her first motorcycle ride with her son-in-law. In addition, Teles rode a ski lift for the first time to the top of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to attend a grandson’s wedding on June Mountain. She felt very blessed to share in the happiness of being at the birth of her great-granddaughter, Brooklyn, in 2011. She delighted in watching Brookie grow as she and her mother visited in the summertime. In addition, Teles was overjoyed with the news of the births of her two great-grandsons, Callum and Case. There is no doubt that life's joys were greater when shared with Teles.
Teles renewed her love of reading in her retirement, especially mysteries and historical fiction. In addition, Teles enjoyed the company of her cats, Buddy and Maxy. They took care of her and she of them.
The world will never be the same in Teles’ absence. Of course, we will find much comfort in our many treasured memories. However, may we also find comfort in honor of carrying her loving legacy forward. Every time we meet a challenge with confidence, cheer on our loved ones or indulge in a Frosty, we celebrate the many ways Teles gifted our lives. Furthermore, in this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspire others as she so inspired us.
Teles Cloud, of Grand Rapids MI, passed away April 14, 2022 at the age of 94. Teles was born in the winter of 1927 in Grand Rapids, where she spent her entire life.
Teles was introduced to her husband of 60 years while she worked at the Westside Tavern. Together they raised two daughters, Shirley Cloud, of Grand Rapids, MI and Melissa (Nicholas) Turner of Woodland, California. Teles loved her grandchildren Kjol (Heather) Turner and Kelci (Richard Self) Turner and great grandchildren Brooklyn, Callum and Case. Teles is preceded in death by her husband William (Bill) Cloud. Teles has a very caring and loving spirit, who cared deeply for her family and friends. Teles had a passion for artistic design. In addition, Teles retired from Michigan Bell Telephone after many years of dedicated, loyal service. Teles also had a passion for ice cream especially Dilly-Bars, root beer floats, and chocolate Frosty.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be held on Thursday April, 21 2022 at 11:00 am, at Holy Spirit Parish, with an hour visitation prior, officiated by Father Mark Peacock. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be directed to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. To view Teles’ memorial page, sign her guest book, and leave a comment please visit www.heritagelifestory.com