Theresa M. Edel

April 25, 1929 - July 23, 2015
Portage, MI



Tuesday, July 28, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Portage Location
5975 Lovers Lane
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 344-5600

A Rosary will be said on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

Driving Directions

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 W. Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024


Wednesday, July 29, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 West Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024


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.

West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 382-2500
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

VanderSalm's Flipse
1120 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(800) 232-7134
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


All who knew Theresa Edel would agree that she was the heartbeat of wherever she went. She was a strong, organized, and hardworking woman who wasn’t afraid of whatever challenge came her way, but most important she always knew how to have fun. Theresa was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. A woman with an unwavering faith, she was selfless when it came to those around her. She was more than willing to do whatever she could to help another. There was always room for one more at her table, in her home, and in her heart. As her family and friends can attest, Theresa’s zest for life was contagious to all who were near. She will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

Theresa was born on April 25, 1929 to John and Mary (Zuchowsky) Ozdych in Manistee, Michigan at the start of the Great Depression. Manistee is a small northern town on Lake Michigan which was ethnically a mostly Polish community. The influence of her faith, the small town immigrant community, and the frugality of the times proved to be major influences throughout her life. She was one of eight children in her family where the Catholic faith was at the foundation. Polish was her first language. She attended Catholic schools and graduated from St. Joseph High School. She was proud to be a member of the first graduating class. She was a very good student and one of the first cheerleaders allowed in the school. After graduating, she attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids on an academic scholarship where she studied chemistry.

Life was forever changed for Theresa when she met the man of her dreams. Living in the small town of Manistee meant that everyone knew everyone. Sparks flew right from the time Theresa met David Edel, the star of the local high school football team, and the rest was history. The couple soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Theresa and David were married on September 9, 1950. They lived in Manistee, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids before eventually settling in Portage, where they raised their family that grew to include six children, David, Patricia, Michael, Beth, Thomas, and Susan. They raised their children to embrace the Catholic faith and instilled within them the importance of a quality education while training them by example to internalize a strong work ethic.

From the moment her first child was born, Theresa loved being a mother. She encouraged and took an active part in all of her kids activities from Little League and Cub Scouts, football, music and dance lessons, karate, bands, motocross, and even raising and showing Arabian horses. Theresa was also instrumental in getting the hot lunch program up and running at St. Monica’s school. Theresa tolerated the house being forever filled with the various animals and creatures the children brought home including dogs, cats, snakes, fish, frogs, mice, hamsters, horses, a canary, an ant farm, a woodchuck, an alligator, a chicken, and rabbits as well as a few white rats! People joked that Theresa raised an "only child" six times because she spoiled each one of them, but really because each of them was made to feel special and encouraged in their own talents and interests.

When Theresa was not running around with kids and their activities, she was busy selling real estate and building her business T.M. Edel Inc. This is a tax service company that she established in the early 1950s and continued to own and operate through the 2014 tax season. Her tax customers were totally loyal despite her numerous health problems because she made the experience of getting their taxes prepared seem like a pleasant get together with an old friend. Clients would fill her in on all that happened in their life during the past year, brought pictures of their newest children and then grandchildren along with their W2’s. As a woman of strong Catholic faith, Theresa was also a vital part of her community as an active member of St. Monica and later St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.

Theresa pursued her own interests when she had time. She enjoyed dancing, playing cards, golf, and betting on harness and thoroughbred horse races. Theresa loved going to the casino. Her favorite slot machines were the Sizzling 777s. Of course, her favorite casino was always the last place she came out a winner! She also loved to travel, and over the years she saw some of the most spectacular places. Most of the early family trips were to numerous locations in Michigan. Theresa had a long time tradition of an annual trip with her sisters and on her 75th birthday, added an annual girls’ trip with her daughters starting with a trip to Las Vegas. She also vacationed in Hawaii, the Bahamas, an Alaskan cruise, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Nashville, North and South Carolina, Colorado and even braved flying with her husband Dave in his Piper Colt to Oshkosh Wisconsin for the air show. She was there to witness the last space shuttle launch at Cape Kennedy in Florida on a journey made in a 35 foot RV. Theresa was always ready to go anywhere, whenever there was a trip to be had.

Theresa was filled with unspeakable joy when her family grew to include grandchildren and later in life, great-grandchildren. She was the party planner of the family and looked forward to celebrating every occasion and holiday. Theresa made every gathering special, and she expected attendance from her family for at least Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve. She loved to give people gifts and would hunt for just the right present for each person for Christmas or their birthday, and remembered those who touched her life with small gifts like Valentine’s Day and Halloween candy for the staff at the cancer clinic.

Spirited, passionate, and compassionate are just a few of the words that come to mind when reflecting on the life of Theresa Edel. She didn’t shy away from telling it like she saw it, and her family members knew that if they did something to upset her they would be in the doghouse until someone else replaced them. Theresa had energy that never ran dry, and her devotion to the people and community she loved were truly unmatched. Theresa's unmistakable zest for life made her "the life of every party". Theresa will be forever missed.

Theresa Marie Edel, age 86 of Portage, MI passed away at Bronson Methodist Hospital on July 23, 2015 after a long battle with blood cancer. She was born in Manistee, MI to John & Mary (Zuchowsky) Ozdych. Theresa was a beloved wife and dedicated mother. She was a business woman who founded the extremely successful accounting and tax business of T. M. Edel Inc. and simultaneously worked as a local real estate agent. She loved to travel, organize activities and parties, and exuded an unparalleled zest for life. She was a devout Catholic and active member of St. Catherine of Siena Church. Theresa was preceded in death by; her husband David Edel, Sr. in 1996, her parents John and Mary Ozdych, her sister Rosemary Payne, her brother John Ozdych, infant sisters Rita and Patricia, and grandson Alfred Newell III. She is survived by her six children David (Ann) Edel Jr, Patricia (Thomas) Lack, Michael (Kathleen) Edel, Beth (Jim) Reinholt, Thomas (Laurie) Edel and Susan (Alfred) Newell, her grandchildren Kristen Edel, Gregory Newell, Joshua Reinholt, Benjamin (Danielle) Lack, Nicholas Edel, Anthony Lack, Andrew Edel, and her great grandchildren, Seth Newsome, Colson and Caleb Reinholt, and Eva and William Lack, her sisters Lucille Bailey, Agnes Mackin, Katherine Nickelson and many nieces and nephews. Memorial donations may be made to the West Michigan Cancer Center.