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Life Story / Obituary
Kathleen Ann Pawlicki (nee Mrozek) passed away peacefully after a long battle with cancer with her family by her side on July 5, 2017 in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the age of 69. She leaves behind her daughters Kristie Vanderhoof (Martin), Jeannine Koeneke (Chris); Julie Jensen (Rick) and Eileen Pawlicki.
Kathy was born on June 3rd, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois, to father Frank Mrozek and mother Dorothy Mrozek, who predeceased her. She grew up in a large, loving family with two sisters and two brothers. Kathy went on to beauty school in Chicago and was a beautician for many years before taking on several different jobs including a Pizza Chef, Bus Driver and best job of all, Homemaker.
Kathy married Tim in 1968. Shortly after, they relocated to Lawrence, Michigan where the couple continued to raise their children. Their journey included a few other moves to the towns of Paw Paw, Mattawan and then settling in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Kathy was a very driven, strong and selfless woman who was constantly caring for others. Kathy continued her journey with her daughters’ support, taking on a 20-year career as Director of Assisted Living facilities in Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and South Haven where she was very well respected and known in the industry and community before she retired. South Haven was her favorite place to be. She spent many evenings after work enjoying her latte, reading the newspaper and watching the Lake Michigan sunset. Kathy was not done yet. She decided to become a House Mother at Alpha Phi Sorority, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. She continued to bring joy to everyone she met while making each house a home along the way. When diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015 she remained dedicated in her work and in her will to fight her illness. She was a brave, strong woman, even throughout her final months. She was always positive no matter what and approached each situation with a little extra sunshine. Her spirit lives on in the many lives she has touched.
Kathy is survived by her four daughters, nine granddaughters and one great grandson, as well as her sisters, Sue (Jim) Vancura and Debbie (Andy) Silis; her brothers, Frank (Chris) and Russ Mrozek; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents Frank and Dorothy Mrozek and her niece, Mandy Vancura.
Kathy requested to be cremated. A visitation will take place on Monday, July 10, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., followed by a funeral mass at St. Thomas Moore Student Parish in Kalamazoo, Michigan at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the church; all are welcome. At a future date, Kathy’s ashes will be interred at a family plot in Rockford, Illinois. The family would especially like to thank the staff at West Michigan Cancer Center for their excellent work and loving care; the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan team for their constant, attentive treatment; and Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, for making the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The West Michigan Cancer Center http://www.wmcc.org/donors-volunteers/make-a-gift/. Donations will go to support the special services patients receive while receiving treatment.