Margaret Suchanek Nemecek of Swartz Creek, MI passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on June 25, 2020 in Petoskey MI, surrounded by her loving family. She will always occupy a large space in our hearts, for although she’s no longer with us memories of her will remain forever.
She was born in the North End of Flint to Frank and Leopolda Suchanek and grew up as the middle child of seven. Marge attended Flint Northern High School and was an active member of the Sokol International gymnastics organization in her early years, and the ZCBJ Lodge Nova Cechie throughout her life. With the Czech social groups she traveled all over lower Michigan, northern Ohio, and as far as Chicago for slets (gymnastics events), dances and festivals.
After meeting Frank Nemecek while dancing at a Czech festival, the rest was history. They married after his service in the Marines in WWII, built a home in Swartz Creek and later a cottage at Higgins Lake, and had a wonderful 62 years together, raising a family and dancing their way around the world from Sanov to the Florida Keys until his death in 2008.
She is survived by daughter Mary (Peg) Peterson (David) of Andes NY and son Frank Nemecek Jr. (Karen) of Petoskey MI, grandchildren Spencer and Madeleine Nemecek and Hannah Stewart Peterson.
Also celebrating her life are her sisters Pauline Weber (Robert), Joan McCloskey, and Adeline Ryznar (Edward), cousins Joan Kolder and Diane Studnicka Sturm, more than 22 loving nieces and nephews, many cousins, and dozens of great nieces and nephews who scatter her joy across the entire United States. Closer to home, Marge’s passing will leave a big hole for two very special young people, Charles and Zoe Springer, who made every day for her a little bit brighter with their visits.
She was predeceased by husband Frank M. Nemecek, sisters Stephie Barta and Anne Hall, brother Charles Suchanek, and in-laws John Barta Sr., Robert Hall, Michael J McCloskey, Georgine Storey Suchanek, Helen and Frank G. Nemecek, Mary and George Bokor, Henry and Darlene Nemecek, and Evelyn and Patrick J. Pavlica.
Marge had friends in every group and organization she participated in, and she cared about each of them as though they were family. Before marriage she worked at Bell Telephone in Flint as a Supervising Switchboard Operator during WWII. After moving to Swartz Creek she worked for several years at the local Post Office, getting to know everyone in town so well that years later many people would swear that she had graduated from Mary Crapo School in Swartz Creek and they wondered why they couldn’t find her name on their class rosters.
For years Marge held the coveted titles of “Favorite Aunt” and “Godmother” for many of her nieces and nephews, and she fulfilled that role wonderfully right up until the end. But she was thrilled to switch over to her starring role as “Mom” as soon as she was blessed with that gift. And while by today’s standard she might have been seen as a “Stay At Home Mom”, you would have been hard pressed to find her at home. From the days they were born Marge made sure that Peg and Frank were exposed to the arts, athletics, literature, other cultures.... If there was something worth seeing or doing, she would be first in line to sign them all up. She gave her children the world.
She acted as both a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop Leader while Peg was involved (including being district Cookie Chairman for several years), volunteered as a “walker” for the Red Cross, assisted in arranging flowers and organizing funeral dinners with the Altar Society at St. Mary’s, helped host events at the International Institute in Flint, and generally showed up any time extra hands were requested for a person or organization in need. She “cleaned up” really well, but if the task called for jeans and a work shirt she would be just as ready to pitch in.
Marge was an enthusiastic member of the Friendship Club in Swartz Creek for more than 70 years (including their Czech singing group for 20 years), The Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 294 (where she acted as Chaplain until 2019), and the Shawl Ministry at St. Mary Queen of Angels church. She was a committed supporter of the Swartz Creek Friends of the Perkins Library and the local Senior Center.
She taught us that Northern Spy apples make the best strudel, a good night on the dance floor should include at least one mazurka in between the polkas and waltzes, geniuses do not need to know how to spell, you should always bet on a lone ace in Pinochle, and red is a neutral color.
Our lives are so much better for having been loved by Marge.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Margaret S. Nemecek to:
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, in Flint https://www.fbem.org/,
Friends of Perkins Library, in Swartz Creek http://www.friendsoftheperkinslibrary.org/,
St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center, in Flint http://www.stlukenewlife.com/,
Harlem School of the Arts, in NYC https://hsanyc.org/,
or send a bouquet of garden flowers or a basket of homegrown zucchini to someone you love!
Mass at St Mary’s in Swartz Creek, interment at the National Cemetery in Holly, and a memorial service will be announced at a later date.