Thursday, June 18, 2015
9:00 AM to 9:30 AM EDT
St. Peter Catholic Church
95 Market Street
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043
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.
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Life Story / Obituary
Florence Koglin could light up a room with her beautiful smile and welcoming nature. She devoted her life to her family and was very pleased with her life choices. She was blessed to be able to look back on her life and see love, joy, and lessons learned, even through the hard times.
The Roaring ‘20s was a decade with a reputation for bootlegging, free-spirited excess, and happy-go-lucky flappers. World War I was over and in 1920 the suffragettes had successfully lobbied for the American woman’s right to vote. Patrick and Margaret Donnelly of Detroit were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first and only child, but it almost ended in tragedy. Margaret’s doctor made the unfortunate decision to induce labor due to his upcoming vacation plans. There were frightening complications and Margaret and her new baby Florence nearly died.
Born on June 27, 1923, little Florence was cared for by her Grandma Costello while her mother recovered. She grew up on Navarre in Detroit with her parents. Since she did not have any siblings, she played with the neighborhood kids, like Jean Cross, Rose Serdos, and Catherine O’Driscoll. Florence shared many happy hours playing jacks and hopscotch with Rose. When she got older, Florence and Catherine enjoyed playing tennis and always looked forward to summer when they could take one of the Bob-lo boats. Not all of her encounters with the neighborhood kids were pleasant. She often talked about how Vincent Shea threw snowballs at her and his two sisters as they walked home from school. Florence’s interest in saving souls started at an early age when she told on Robert Atwood for skipping Confirmation instruction. Besides the neighborhood kids, Florence eagerly anticipated the times when Uncle Johnny brought over his children, Leo, Agnes, Rita, May, and George, because it always meant a game of “let’s chase Leo” would ensue. Or when Uncle Tom dropped by with his daughter, Mary Louise, and gave Florence money to buy sweets for the two of them.
Florence was often sick as a youngster and remembered the doctor’s house calls. She passed the time by reading and coloring in the wallpaper of her bedroom. Mrs. McCue, a tenant who lived above Florence’s family, often gave her books to read. Her parents were loving and thoughtful. Her Dad bought her Christmas presents from the hardware store on Christmas Eve. One particularly memorable gift was a red table and two wooden chairs. She kept that set for years, and her oldest son, Ken, even played with it. Her mother and father made sure that Florence attended church every Sunday. She said her prayers every night and Florence’s faith remained important to her for the rest of her life.
Florence went to Annunciation grade school for a year and a half before transferring to Scripps. She went to Foch Middle School for 9th grade and then Southeastern High School, graduating with the class of 1940. She went on to Wayne State University with the intention of being a Business Education teacher. She made some good friends there, like Ann Mahoney and Shirley Conroy. From Florence’s perspective, college was fine, but her dreams were bigger. She wanted to be a mom with twelve children, so she left college after a couple of years because that just wasn’t her passion.
Florence went on to hold several different jobs. She did secretarial work for Sibley Lumber Company in Detroit, and worked in Records with the police department. Later, she was employed as a stenographer at the Detroit Historical Museum, and worked for Dr. Raymond C. Miller, the head of the History department at Wayne State University. Dr. Miller was very appreciative of her quality work. When she left to start a family, he wrote a glowing letter thanking Florence for her service and uncanny knack for catching his many blunders.
During those working years, Florence kept her dream of having a big family. She frequented the Campus Ballroom, a popular dance spot, in the hopes of meeting her future husband. Her hopes were not in vain. On May 12, 1946, 23-year-old Florence met a young man named William (Bill) Koglin. It was sweet foreshadowing that it was Mother’s Day, since William would become the father of her children. Their relationship started out with a minor bump in the road. Florence let Bill drive her home that night after the dance, but when he tried to pick her up for their second date, he couldn’t remember where he dropped her off. While Bill was not able to figure out where Florence lived, he knew where else he could find her—back at the Campus Ballroom. After a two-year courtship, Bill finally popped the question. Florence said, “yes,” but on one condition—Bill had to become a Catholic. He did and they were united in marriage on November 6, 1948. For their honeymoon, they visited Washington, D.C. and Niagara Falls. They spent nearly fifty-nine years building and supporting their family together until William’s death in 2007.
Florence said she changed her mind about having twelve kids after her first child, Ken, because he was such a handful. However, she didn’t let that stop her from having six more. She absolutely adored her children and lived for their safety, success, and happiness. She never forgot the panic she felt when Tom and Dennis, just two and three at the time, tried to follow their older siblings and ended up getting lost, or her relief upon their return. One regret she had was not celebrating with her daughter, Mary, when she received her GED and telling her how proud she was of her accomplishment. One of her greatest desires for her children was to have them get along with each other. She understood that life is short and unpredictable, and she didn’t want things like grudges or arguments to take away from the joy of family. She never had any siblings, so she wanted her children to appreciate each other.
Florence did not have a lot of hobbies, because she spent all her time attending to her family’s needs. She did however, love to square dance with Bill. Not only did square dancing bring Florence and Bill together, it continued to be a source of shared joy for the rest of their lives.
Florence lived through some difficult times, including the loss of one of her children. Watching Mary die from lung cancer was extremely painful. In 2007, she had to endure the loss of her husband after sharing so many years together. She relied on her children and her faith to help her get through her grief.
One thing Florence never regretted was her decision to devote her life to her family. Their hearts will ache from missing her, but she has left them with the assurance of her unconditional and enduring love as well as lessons about faith in God and looking out for one another. Her daughter’s words are perhaps the best epilogue for Florence’s story. “Florence is the best Mom anyone could ever have. Heaven is about to get the sweetest soul. Bye for now, Mom. See you and Dad on the other side. I hope it won't be too long.”
Florence died on Friday, June 13, 2015, in Charlotte, Michigan. Her husband William preceded her in death in 2007 and her daughter, Mary Bordas in 2000. She is survived by six children: Kenneth (Monna) Koglin, Theresa (Robert) Rosik, Eileen (James) Rudrik, Dr. James Koglin and his wife, Dr. Laura DiLuca, Thomas Koglin, and Dennis (Shelley) Koglin; ten grandchildren: Patty Bordas, Ray (Tiffany) Rosik, Nick (Lisa) Rosik, Kim Koglin, Ryan Koglin, Dana Koglin, Neil Koglin, Tyler Koglin, Tatiana Koglin, and Wesley Koglin; and three great-grandchildren: Nolan, Alex, and Henrik Rosik.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 am on Thursday, June 18, 2015, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 95 Market St., Mt. Clemens, Michigan. The family will receive friends thirty minutes prior to Mass.
Internment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township. Please visit Florence’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook.