Theresa Salamun

April 9, 1927 - February 2, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI



Thursday, February 4, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and refreshments will be served. A Rosary will be recited at 7:30 PM

Driving Directions


Friday, February 5, 2016
11:00 AM EST
St. Joseph Catholic Church
936 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 343-6256
Web Site


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.

Rose Arbor Hospice
5473 Croyden Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
(269) 345-8910
Driving Directions
Web Site

American Cancer Society
1400 West Milham Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 349-8719
Driving Directions
Web Site


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

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

Life Story / Obituary


Enchanting, endearing, and gracious, Theresa Salamun was beautiful on the inside and out. She was known for her red hair and strong-willed side, but she was also known for being one of the sweetest ladies around. Theresa worked hard and was diligent in the things she did whether in or out of her home, and her devotion to her children was unmatched. She certainly took her roles as wife and mother to heart, but Theresa just may have argued that becoming a grandmother was her greatest reward. She spent 49 years living in the same house. Theresa will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in their lives.

It was great to be an American in the 1920s. Innovation transformed the way we lived our daily lives with washing machines and refrigerators becoming part of our homes. The Roaring Twenties also marked the end of the silent film era, and Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh brought the world of flight to new heights. It was also during this exciting time that Frank and Gladys (Wrisley) Reddy were eagerly anticipating some excitement in their own lives as they awaited the birth of their new baby in 1927. The big day finally arrived on April 9th when the baby girl they named Theresa Marie drew her first breath. She was the youngest of seven children in her family as she joined her older siblings, Vincent, Mary, Lucille, Helen, Jim and Rita in the family.

Raised on the East side of Kalamazoo in the Galesburg area, Theresa was a young girl of her generation. Her father was a farmer and a carpenter while her mother focused her attention on her home and family. Theresa attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from Galesburg High School. While attending the one-room schoolhouse, she also did some tutoring, and around home she enjoyed feeding the baby lambs on the farm. In general, Theresa was a more sensitive and shy girl. While in high school she worked as an elevator girl at Gilmore Department Store.

As a young woman, Theresa was eager for all that life had in store. She attended Parson Business School and eventually learned to be a stenographer. Following the lead of a woman in the elevator one day, Theresa applied at Upjohn and got a good paying job and thought “I’m rich.”

New and exciting changes were in store for Theresa when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Joseph Salamun, and they met in the choir at church. In fact, Theresa joined the choir to meet a good Catholic boy, which proved to be a great move on her part. Their first official date was on New Year’s Eve when they attended a dance at the local Knights of Columbus. Both Theresa and Joe were great dancers who hit it off right away. Within two years they were married on November 24, 1949, at St. Joseph Church where Joe worked as the choir director. Not only was it Thanksgiving Day, but they were also having a blizzard! They took a train to Chicago for their honeymoon and just happened to be on the same train as the Chicago Bears who sent over a bottle of champagne! The newlyweds went to the Palmer House and also took in some shows while they were there.

There was never anything of greater significance in Theresa’s life than her family. In 1954 they started their family with the birth of Michael. It was at that point that Theresa left the workforce as her husband was working as a teacher. She was an amazing seamstress and also a great cook who loved being a wife and mother. Among Theresa’s favorite dishes were her cabbage rolls, green salad, and Croation sweetbread. She loved everything about the holidays. She was an amazing hostess who loved having family and friends over, and there was always plenty of good food and drinks including fancy finger sandwiches. Theresa kept a neat and orderly home. Having grown up on farm, she was the one who taught her husband to drive.

Throughout her life Theresa was one to keep busy. In the mid-seventies, she began working as a receptionist at Upjohn Nursing Home. She loved her work there for 20 years and her career was cut short after Joe became ill. Since both Theresa and Joe enjoyed routine and habits, they loved going to Dunkin' Donuts on Portage Road, usually both in the morning and at night. Some of their best friendships were established there, and they had friends of all ages, too. They also took road trips to South Haven to see Mike and go to the Golden Brown Bakery, and of course spending time with grandchildren was always a highlight. Although she didn’t always admit it, Theresa loved shopping with Gilmore and Jacobson’s being among her favorite places. Later in life she enjoyed Dollar Tree and Meijer. She was an avid gardener who enjoyed having her grandchildren help her outside, and she regularly fed the cardinals and other birds. With faith as a cornerstone in her life, Theresa was a longtime member of St. Joseph. When relaxing, she liked reading lighthearted fictional works, and she also liked listening to Glenn Miller, big band music, and Lawrence Welk as well as watching various shows and the Hallmark Channel.

Later in life Theresa experienced both peaks and valleys in her life’s journey. In 2000, she was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved husband, which was rather sudden. Theresa enjoyed staying active with her family and hosting small parties. She lived in the same home, in the Milwood area, for 49 years, and the area was so special that Pat and his family moved in one block away. A dog lover from the time she was young, Theresa also enjoyed the companionship of her family dogs, Buffy and Kona.

A woman who was content in all things, Theresa Salamun was a woman who didn’t need material possessions as she only needed her faith, the love of her family, and her precious friendships. She was always very close with her sister, Helen, who was her best friend. She was funny and caring with a fun-loving spirit and that certain Irish spunk. Deeply loved, Theresa will be forever missed.

Theresa Marie Salamun, of Kalamazoo, died on February 2, 2016. Theresa’s family includes her 4 children: Mike Salamun, Pat (Susan) Salamun, Tom (Ann) Salamun and Mary (Mark) Outinen; 4 grandchildren: Joseph and Thomas Outinen and Sean and Greta Salamun; sister, Helen Barrett; and many nieces and nephews. Theresa was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Richard Salamun in 2000 and by 5 siblings: Vincent Reddy, Mary Booth, Lucille Leet, James Reddy, and Rita Oosting. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Thursday from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900 where a Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday 11 a.m. St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial at Mt. Olivet followed with a luncheon in the church hall. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice or American Cancer Society.