Thursday, March 30, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
There will be a Rosary Service on Thursday at 6:30pm at the funeral home.
Friday, March 31, 2017
11:00 AM EDT
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
5855 East W Ave
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Life Story / Obituary
Helen Michnick was known for her ability to help others in need. In her lifetime, she offered care in ways of advice, motivation, and encouragement. She was a loving wife, a caring mother, an amazing nurse and a cherished grandmother and friend to many. Helen was a gentle soul, and it is so hard to say goodbye to her.
A year in which many firsts occurred - the helicopter took flight and an artificial heart was developed, 1936 was a year to remember. President Roosevelt was reelected to his second term in office, and "Gone With the Wind" was published. Internationally, it was a tumultuous time, with many conflicts abroad and a lingering Great Depression. In Indiantown, Michigan, a brighter day dawned on March 5th, as Thomas and Cleo (Heyden) Haley were given a wonderful gift of life when their precious baby girl was born. They proudly named their firstborn child, Helen, and she was the light of their lives.
Helen’s father worked to support the family at Gray Iron Foundry, and her mother worked at home. Before too long, Helen was the eldest amongst the seven siblings which put her into a care-taking role early on in life. Their home was full of mostly happy chaos aside from the normal squabbles a family this size is bound to endure. They lived on a farm, so there was much to keep Helen and all her brothers and sisters quite busy. She developed a very close relationship with her grandparents throughout childhood due to some health issues her parents faced. As time progressed, she was the first amongst them to graduate from St. Joseph High School with the class of 1954.
Upon graduating, she chose to enroll in nursing school at St. Mary’s Hospital. She became a registered nurse in 1957. Once she had her adult life on track, it was not before she found love. Out of all the beaches, Gregory “Mitch” Michnick just happened to be stationed in the Air Force nearby the Oscoda Beach on Lake Huron. Fortunately, Helen also happened to know some friends going to this same beach. And so, the two met and hit if off! It was certainly a sunny day on the beach that day even if the clouds were heavy with rain because love was in the air. The happy couple married on November 8, 1958, in Saginaw, Michigan.
The newlyweds settled into life together and began creating many memories in the early days of marriage. Together, they welcomed the births of seven children: Michele, Margaret, Mary, Maureen, Gregory, Monica, and Megan. At a family size of nine, the family was complete. Helen was a great mother and was very involved in her children’s lives. Her kids were very active in the 4-H and sports. Helen was a master of multi-tasking, juggling seven children, going from one event to another. She helped out in any way she could for the family. Their home was the “first aid” station on 29th street for the neighborhood kids. They also looked forward to mom’s cooking, as she never prepared the same meal twice in once month. Everything she made in her kitchen was savory and delicious.
In 1972, the family moved to Vicksburg, and their family continued to mature. Helen accepted a job as a nurse at Vicksburg’s local hospital. The job came naturally to her because she enjoyed taking care of others, so she made for an excellent nurse.
When Helen was not tending to her family or working at the hospital, she enjoyed many of life’s simple joys. One of her favorite places to visit was the beach - any beach would do in her love of traveling. She would walk the beach for long periods of time and look for sea glass and shells to add to her collection. She was also skilled in knitting and made many pillowcases which are now tokens of her love left behind. When all else failed to entertain, her avid love for reading helped pass many cold and blustery winter days spent in Michigan - she was capable of reading a couple of books in one weekend, and her interests varied to so many different authors. She was also sometimes known for her love of rescuing stray animals. Helen’s spiritual side was devoted to the Catholic Church, so cursing was not in her nature, but friends and family often overheard her exclaim, “Son of a Seabiscuit!”
As life progressed, Helen and Mitch watched as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren blessed their lives one by one. Helen was just as good at being a grandmother as she was at being a mother. Mitch and Helen celebrated 58 years of love and marriage together in this life.
In Helen’s 81 years of life, she lived to take care of others. She often exclaimed, “Thank God” for the many blessings she witnessed, and surely there were many! She was the loving matriarch of the family, as she was strong, wise, and fun-loving leaving behind an amazing legacy. The memories we shared with Helen will forever rest in our hearts, and she will never be forgotten.
Helen A. Michnick, of Vicksburg, passed away on Monday, March 27, 2017 at the age of 81.
Helen is survived by her husband, Gregory “Mitch”; children: Michele (Mark) Woodhams, of South Haven; Margaret (Jeffrey) Holt, of Falkville, AL; Mary Michnick, of Vicksburg; Maureen Michnick, of Leonidas; Gregory (Mary) Michnick, of Wyoming; Monica (Egbert) Kruimink, of Vicksburg; and Megan (Hakan Dogdu) Michnick, of Vicksburg; 10 grandchildren: Haley, Anna, Jason, Thomas, Tyler, Marissa, Douglas, Alexander; Katarina; and Cleo; three great-grandchildren: Roy, Rhonin, Nicholas. She is also survived by her siblings: Thomas Haley, of Saginaw; Jack (Mary Ann) Haley, of Shepard; Kathy (Gary) Samyn, of Essexville; Fred (Marlene) Haley, of Saginaw; Mary Ellen (Sherman) Whisman, of Freeland; and Karen Haley-Colston, of Chesaning; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, and special cats: James, Dolly, Miss Kitty and Tesa.
She is preceded in death by her parents, niece Melissa and sister-in-law: Elaine.
The family will receive friends on Thursday from 4-7pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697), with a Rosary at 6:30pm.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday at 11AM at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.
Please visit Helen's webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make a contribution to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.