Monday, July 18, 2016
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Rosary 6:30 PM
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Friendship Village Friends Fund
1400 North Drake Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
The kind, caring heart of her family, Allene Dueweke’s unbridled devotion and commitment to those she loved was unmatched. She created emotional bonds with family and friends that will sustain her memory in their hearts forever. Allene carried herself with a loving grace. She was always there with a helping hand or a word of encouragement, and through her diligence, intelligence, and organizational talent, Allene always accomplished what needed to be done. She personified the benevolent mother figure we all hold dear, and her memory will live on in the hearts of many.
Allene’s story began in 1933 as the U.S. struggled through the worst year of the Great Depression. These days were made brighter for Aloys and Marie (Crowley) Quante of St. Louis, Missouri with the birth of their little girl, Marie Allene on June 17, 1933.
The youngest of three, Allene was a cherished little sister to two older brothers, Francis and Richard. Her father was a skilled craftsman who worked for the Federal Trade Lines on the Mississippi. Her mother was a homemaker with wonderfully artistic sewing and monogramming skills that would later sustain her after the death of her husband Aloys when Allene was merely 12 years old. Allene’s mother never remarried and cared for their family through hard work and frugal habits like raising chickens and making clothes. Even so, Allene enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation, filled with the adventures of friendships and school.
Allene was a good student in high school, but she left before graduating in order to pursue work, eventually in a clerical role for Blue Cross Blue Shield in St. Louis. Allene’s heart was forever changed when she met a handsome young man in the military. It was the night before Thanksgiving, and Owen Dueweke went with a group of his comrades to the local Knights of Columbus hall for beer, since St. Louis was within a “dry” county. They were introduced to a group of young women, the Columbus Girls, who invited them to dance. The first time he laid eyes on Allene, Owen’s heart melted. The feeling was mutual, and after dancing the night away, the couple began dating. One year later they were engaged, and on February 8, 1958, Allene and Owen were married at Our Mother of Perpetual Help. They spent their honeymoon in Florida keeping warm together - it was so cold the oranges were falling off the trees!
Owen and Allene returned to St. Louis, loaded up their belongings and headed to St. Clair Shores, Michigan where Owen’s family lived. They bought their first home in Detroit, and in 1959 they began their family with the birth of their first son, Richard. Owen was an optometrist by profession, as was his grandfather and father, too. Before long, Allene and Owen were blessed with the births of four more sons, Thomas, David, Patrick, and Jerome. With a nurturing spirit all her own, Allene embraced the art of raising five young boys. Albeit a bustling household, Allene’s boys had great respect for her. A typical housewife of the times, Allene made a good home for Owen and their family. Their suburban life in Warren looked a lot like the old TV series “The Wonder Years.”
An organized and tireless taskmaster, Allene was a domestic artist when it came to running her home. With five boys in tow, she also played the roles of nurse and referee while raising her sons. Very devout to her Catholic faith, Allene saw to it that her sons were well-dressed and in front-row attendance at church, and the boys all left the local public schools in order to attend DeLaSalle High School in Detroit. She was very involved in the lives of her children, typically volunteering for all the supporting roles with school and scouts.
For 12 years, great times were shared at a summer cottage on Elk Lake. The boys all learned to fish, ski and sail there, but Allene preferred staying on shore with her toes in the sand. With less experience with water, she was just as happy enjoying happy hour with cheese, summer sausage, and a few drinks with the adults.
Allene was an excellent cook with her Irish and French heritage, and there were never leftovers from each bounteous meal. After a distinct dessert course, and the ritual petition to be excused, one of the boys would have the clean-up chore so Allene could at last enjoy a cup of coffee. Allene loved the holidays, and always hosted at her home. She would wake early to prepare a huge turkey or roast, coaxing the house awake with savory smells. She had a special way of making each celebration a time to remember.
Like her mother before her, Allene enjoyed sewing. She also liked knitting, needlepoint, and cross stitch. Allene liked Hummel figurines and received many as cherished gifts through the years. She was fond of easy listening music and she was an avid reader of romance novels. Allene enjoyed shopping and always stayed fashionable, dressing with simple elegance. She was good with plants and enjoyed tending to her flowers and garden. She developed a fine appreciation of the various sports that the family participated in, and became an avid hockey fan. She and Owen enjoyed Red Wings season tickets for many years at Olympia, where she could easily make herself heard from the front row of the overhanging balcony.
As the family got older, Allene took on administrative work at Macomb Community College Arts Center, and she loved tending to the needs of the actors and musicians there. As a couple, Allene and Owen frequently traveled for his work conventions, often in resort locations like Hawaii, but also to China via a medical exchange program in the early 1980s. They spent a lot of time together, especially when Owen retired in 1996. They traveled extensively in their motor home all over the U.S. and Canada. Allene was good at letter writing and kept friends and family informed of their traveling adventures. They bought a place in Zephyrhills, Florida to escape the cold Michigan winters. Eventually, Owen and Allene moved their winter home to Kalamazoo. They lived on Campbell Lake for about five years before buying one of the first Garden homes at Friendship Village in 2008.
As a grandma, Allene was in her element, enjoying her role as matriarch and actively loving her thirteen grandchildren. She always found the energy to serve up snacks and hugs, creating a kind, secure backdrop for the family frenzy of young parents and cousins celebrating together. Allene kept up with all the grandkids’ activities and accomplishments, and never missed a card or a call – all without any newfangled social media.
As Allene lost some physical vitality with a major stroke, her last two years unhappily confined her to the care facility at Friendship Village. She bristled at the lack of control and missed her preferred surroundings at the Garden house with Owen, but she enjoyed a steady stream of visits from her family. She would always brighten up and muster the energy to show her particular visitor love and genuine interest, sustaining conversation with inquiries about the latest details of a family happening. Through this difficult stretch, Owen never missed a meal, a visit, or a chance to show the constancy of his love for Allene.
Allene’s greatest joy was found in those she loved while making precious memories along the way. She always gave from the heart, and like a steady, reliable anchor, Allene tended to her family with the greatest gift of love. Through life’s ups and downs, she remained steadfast and always selfless and devoted, she gave completely and fully at every opportunity. Although deeply missed, Allene’s love and immeasurable dedication is the legacy she leaves behind.
Marie “Allene” (Quante) Dueweke, age 83 of Kalamazoo, died on Thursday, July 14, 2016. On February 8, 1958, in St. Louis, MO she was united in marriage to Owen Raymond Dueweke, who survives. Also surviving are five sons: Richard (Patricia), Thomas (Katharina), David (Suzanne), Patrick (Pamela), and Jerome (Jennifer) Dueweke; 13 grandchildren: Justin (Julie), Joshua (Emily), Samuel, Benjamin, Zachary, Aubrey, Hannah, Grace, Victor, Mary, Clare, Connor and Bella; a great-grandson, Lucas; her dear friend, Anne Buckley Dueweke; and a brother, Richard (Lois) Quante. Allene was preceded in death by a brother, Francis. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Monday from 5-7PM at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (269-375-2900) where the Rosary will be recited at 6:30PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 10:30AM at St. Ambrose Catholic Church followed by a luncheon at Michelle’s (4010 Gull Rd). Burial will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Allene’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Friendship Village Friends Fund or Kairos Dwelling.