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Dorothy Joan Ampulski

February 8, 1925 - August 2, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Sacred Heaart of Jesus Catholic Church
156 Valley Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Service

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Sacred Heart Church
156 Valley Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Contributions


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.

Sacred Heart Building Fund
156 Valley Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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With a journey that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Dorothy Ampulski lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was a longtime resident of the community she called home, and over the years she was involved in so many things. Deeply devoted to her family, Dorothy was proud to watch her family tree blossom to include so many branches of loved ones. Nurturing and caring. She lived to serve others in ways both great and small. Deeply loved, Dorothy will be forever missed.

It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. There were dance marathons, jazz music, and with the invention of the radio, America had a new way to receive their news, entertainment, and even opportunities to see beyond their front door. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great joy in the lives of Adam and Antoinette (Potyraj) Golembiewski as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Dorothy Joan on February 8, 1925. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she was raised in the family home on Delony, SW, alongside her five older siblings, Anthony, Leo, Steven, Victoria, and Marion “Whitey.” Her father was a factory worker in a local furniture factory while her mother was a busy homemaker.

In many ways Dorothy was a young girl of her generation. As a lifelong WestSider, she was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. There, Dorothy was devout in her faith, attending Mass every day. She was also baptized, received her first holy communion and confirmation, and was married there. It seems only fitting that her funeral is being held in the same church as well. Dorothy attended Sacred Heart School through the eighth grade, then graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1943. She enjoyed doing typical things with her girlfriends such as polka dancing on the WestSide and skating in John Ball Park.

Not to be forgotten during her years as a young woman was Dorothy’s introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was Walter Ampulski, and they met at a dance on the WestSide. They began dating, and it didn’t take them long to fall in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Dorothy and Walter were married on February 19, 1946, while Walter was still in the United States Army. The newlyweds had a Polish reception at Kosciuszko Hall, which was near her home. The young bride followed her husband to Texas. Once his military duties were fulfilled, the couple returned to Grand Rapids and bought a home on Delony, SW. Together they welcomed three girls, Karen, Deboray, and Shirley into their hearts and home.

Throughout her life Dorothy was known for her strong work ethic. After high school she worked at her uncle Steve’s meat market, and she later took a job as an office worker. For many years, Dorothy was bartender and manager of the Elbow Room Lounge, and she also worked as a waitress at Frankie’s Restaurant on Fulton Street.

Dorothy was one to keep busy. She loved gardening and caring for her yard. She also froze and canned much of the produce she grew including pickles, tomatoes, and peaches among many others. Dorothy loved playing Bingo at local halls and churches, and most weeks she played all seven days. She loved visiting the casinos, and at times she tried her luck at the lottery. In fact, her grandson, Tommy, became her “ bookie” who fetched her lottery tickets for her. For years Dorothy kept busy with embroidery and made gifts for family and friends. She was a fantastic cook of Polish cuisine including kielbasa, kapusta, golumbki and kruschike. Every Saturday evening it was t was t-bone steaks. Dorothy’s favorite shows were Ed Sullivan, Lawrence Welk and all the game shows like Family Feud, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. She also watched the daily news and read the Grand Rapids Press every day.

There was never anything of greater importance to Dorothy than her family. After her mother died, she welcomed her father into her home. Dorothy was thrilled to become a grandmother, and she babysat her grandchildren for several years. She cherished every moment she spent with her grandchildren, and she never missed a birthday or other important event in their lives. When her beloved husband got sick, Dorothy tenderly cared for him until his death on October 14, 2004. Although she was deeply saddened by his death, the love of her family and her strong faith sustained her during the days that followed. As the years went by, Dorothy’s health declined. She suffered from COPD and other related issues. Her grandson Mike, recently moved in with her to help when needed. just recently, her granddaughter Rachel, brought her great grandson Harrison, to see her.

With unending love for others, Dorothy was such a blessing. She worked hard, but she also took the time to enjoy life along the way, often with her loved ones by her side. Dorothy cherished her roles as a wife and mother, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother later in life. She will never be forgotten.

Dorothy Joan Ampulski, age 93, of Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully Thursday, August 2, 2018 at Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Walter Joseph Ampulski, and her five siblings. She is survived by her children Karen (Thomas) Hosford, Deborah (Christopher) Danko, and Shirley Ampulski; grandchildren Michael Hosford, Thomas Hosford, and Rachel (Joshua) Krier; great-grandson, Harrison Krier; many nieces and nephews; and her much-loved feline companion, Julie. Dorothy enjoyed gardening, canning, and preserving the fruits of her labor, watching game shows, and trying her luck at casinos with family. Cremation has taken place. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 8, at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 156 Valley Ave. SW. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Friends and family may gather at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 am until the Mass begins at 11:00 am. Dorothy’s family would like to thank Dr. James Passinault, for his kindness and care over the years, as well as the staff of Mercy Health Lacks Center, third floor, for their compassionate treatment and loving concern. Contributions in Dorothy’s memory may be made to Sacred Heart of Jesus Building Fund. To read more about Dorothy’s life, to sign her guest book, and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com

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