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Life Story / Obituary
Sophia Sieracki was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. A devout Catholic, she lived her life devoted to serving others. She had a wonderful sense of humor, and deeply cared for everyone she met. Despite her many hobbies and special talents, nothing brought her more joy than time spent with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren! Sophia leaves behind a legacy of being a kind and caring role model to so many. Her wonderful collections of memories will forever be remembered.
Looking back on the 1920’s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. By 1926, The Ford Motor Company announced the creation of the 40-hour work week! The Treaty of Berlin was also signed that year in the hopes that Germany and the Soviet Union would remain neutral with each other if either were attacked by a third party. The improvement in the relationship between the two countries did not last long as Hitler rose to power. With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie figures, Valentine and Eugenia (Pitz) Kukawski, welcomed home a star of their very own, a newborn baby girl, Sophia born on April 26, 1926 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joining her older brother Charles, Sophia brought great joy to the family home.
Her memorable childhood was spent on the west side of the growing city where she lived her entire lifetime. She and her siblings; Charles, Harry, Dorothy, Frances, Joyce and Stella all attended the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School. Typical of the times, Sophia successfully completed her education through the eighth grade. As an adult woman, she met Eugene Sieracki, the man of her dreams who later would become her loving husband of sixty eight years! They dated for a period of time before falling madly in love and ready for marriage. In 1942, they accepted the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. Soon after, the happy couple bought their first home at 917 Hovey where they would settle down to start a family of their very own. Eugene provided a stable home for their growing family by working at both Terryberry Jewelers and Ball Park Hardware. Sophia also worked at local furniture factories including Kindel Furniture Company. A leading furniture company of its time, Kindel still holds a standard for domestic work, and even to this day, handcrafts 100% of its furniture in Grand Rapids. Together, she and Eugene raised seven beautiful and faithful children; Dennis, Diane, David, Sharon, Timothy, Eugene Jr. and Pamela. Following family tradition and also an important value to she and Eugene, all of their children attended Sacred Heart school. She was a dedicated mother and cherished each and every one of them. Motherhood fit her like a glove.
Raising a family together brought them great joy. Sophia spent her time canning and freezing much of the produce she grew in her vegetable garden for the family to enjoy during the long Michigan winter months. She could easily spend from sun up until sun down working in both of her bountiful vegetable and flower gardens. True sweethearts, Eugene and Sophia shared many common interests. Over the years, they loved to bowl on leagues together. Another favorite pastime was carving out time to go fishing on area lakes with one another. Additionally, the two of them could be found at area Polish dance halls perfecting their Polka, which she loved! Their marriage was a wonderful partnership but did not come without heartache as the two of them shared in the loss of two of their own children and later two grandchildren.
Sadly, Eugene passed away in 2010 and Sophia went on to make the most of life. She relished in the times her children and grandchildren came to visit. She enjoyed playing word searches and completing jigsaw puzzles. When she wasn’t in the mood for cooking, she enjoyed a meal at her favorite restaurants, Lanning’s or Mr. Burger. Described as sensitive and strong-willed, Sophie sadly passed away and leaves behind a rich example of the life of a faithful servant. Her steadfast love and genuine personality will be deeply missed by her close family and many special friends.
Sophia M. Sieracki (Kukawski), aged 90, passed away on Saturday, July 30, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Sieracki Sr., her daughter, Sharon Brown, her son Eugene Sieracki Jr., her granddaughters, Nicole Sieracki and Denise Strabbing. She is survived by her children, Dennis (Sally) Sieracki, Diane (James) Geben, David (Laura) Sieracki, Timothy Sieracki, Pamela (Leon) Murphy; her daughter-in-law, Diane Sieracki; 13 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren, 5 great, great grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Evelyn Kukowski; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Cremation has taken place. A service to celebrate Sophia’s life will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 12:00 noon at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Visitation at the funeral home will be held on Saturday from 11:00 AM until the service begins at noon. To sign Sophie’s guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.