Cecelia "Sally" Tencza

April 25, 1920July 23, 2018
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Cecelia "Sally" Tencza, age 98, of Redford Township, Michigan passed away on Monday July 23, 2018. Cecelia was born April 25, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan. She was one of 4 children.

Sally was the beloved mother of Nancy (The late Ernest) Bock, and Lorraine (her husband Michael) Samarziya; Loving Granny of Ernie (his wife Nanci) Bock, Patrick (his wife Michelle) Bock, Jeannie Croket, and Lisa (her husband Aaron) Lehr. Proud great-granny of Jacob Croket, Charlize Lehr, Briana Bock, Zachary Bock, Andrew Bock, Alexander Bock, Isabella Bock, Crystal Bock and Liliana Halyckyj.

Sally was a long time member of St. John Bosco Catholic Church. Every Sunday she sat in the back pew by the candles. Sally retired after a 33 year career in the factory to start a second career that lasted another 20 years as a sandwich maker at Subway. She retired from Subway at age 90. Sally loved to keep busy up until her last days. She loved her car and was still driving herself to the store to grocery shop. She was very active and independent. She knew all of the neighbors because she walked every day and enjoyed talking with everyone on the way. Sally also enjoyed working in her garden pulling weeds and tending to her flowers. She loved to dance polkas and Sally was famous for her pierogis. She would make about 500 at a time to give out and they never went to waste. In her "relax time" she really enjoyed watching her soap operas, game shows and her cuckoo clock. Sally collected animated stuffed animals and used precious family photos to "wall paper" her walls with. Sally was a chocoholic and always had a jar of peanut M&M's by the door. Her family thinks she will be most remembered for her love of conversation. She spoke with tenacity and spoke often. There was no such thing as a quick chat when it came to talking with Sally. Of all her enjoyments in life, her passion was her family. Sally loved being a mom, granny, and great-granny. Her "wallpaper" proved that. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Sally's family will receive friends on Thursday, July 26, 2018 beginning at 10:00 AM for a final goodbye at St. John XXIII Catholic Church, 12170 Beech Daly, Redford Township, Michigan 48239. Her life will be celebrated with a funeral Mass led by Father Gregory Piatt to begin at 11:00am. She will be laid to rest with Committal Prayers in St. Hedwig Catholic Cemetery, Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

Contributions in Cecelia's memory may be made to St. John XXIII Catholic Church, 12170 Beech Daly, Redford Township, Michigan 48239,

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared in the guestbook for the Tencza family. Please click on "Share a Memory"

A message from Sally's granddaughter...

I'm Jeannie Croket, the 2nd youngest of Granny's 4 grand children. I'm going to read from a book by Kate Lum called “What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story.” When my son Jacob was little, he picked out this book from a Scholastic book sale because it said Granny on it. It soon became one of our favorites. Once upon a time there was a boy named Patrick who was having his first sleep over at his Granny's house. As the sun began to set, Granny said, “Patrick, dear boy! It will be dark soon. Time to get ready for bed.” “But Granny,” said Patrick....”I don't HAVE a bed here.” “WHAT?” cried Granny. She ran out to her yard where some tall trees were growing, and chopped one down. She carried it to her workroom, opened her toolbox, and made Patrick a fine bed. Then she painted it a restful shade of blue, put a comfy mattress on it, and took it to the bedroom. “There you are dear boy,” said Granny. “Now climb into bed, lay your head on the pillow, and sail off to dreamland!” “But Granny,” said Patrick... “I don't HAVE a pillow here.” “WHAT?!?” cried Granny. The book goes on because Patrick lacks a pillow, a blanket, and a teddy bear. It details how Granny gathers feathers from her henhouse to sew Patrick a pillow, shears her sheep and spins and dyes their wool to make Patrick a blanket, and tears down her curtains to craft Patrick a teddy. By the time she has made Patrick comfortable, Patrick informs her it's morning and not time to go to sleep anymore. Our Granny may not quite have had all the talents of the book Granny, but Jacob and I loved this book because first of all, it had a Granny in it. It's hard to find printings with “Granny.” And it also starred Patrick, our cousin. So what were the odds of finding a book with both a Patrick and a Granny? Probably one in a million. And that was Granny. Like the Granny in the book, our Granny was smart, active, strong, witty, clever, funny, and she didn't want the people she cared about to be burdened or inconvenienced so she worked hard to be independent and do what she could to help them out. I remember when I was little. My mom would tell my sister Lisa and I that Granny was coming over. It was probably just for a short visit or something. But that meant we had about 10-15 minutes to clean the house for Granny's arrival. While we were frantically tidying up, we'd realize that Granny should have already arrived. At some point, one of the 3 of us would happen to see Granny's car parked out front. We'd step outside looking for her, and we'd find Granny with a huge pile of weeds she'd been pulling. She was always keeping busy and working. In fact, she retired at 65 from making golf carts at a factory and took a part time job working at Subway making sandwiches. “Subway Sally” made her actual retirement at 88. Subway honored Granny with an award for being the oldest employee they'd ever had. Granny's parents came to the U.S. from Poland so she spoke some Polish. She taught us the important Polish words like pierogi, galumki, kruschiki, and of course dupa. And speaking of pierogi, she made pierogis by hand, hundreds at at time. She'd make all the little kids 'make kosi kosi' (clap hands, which she pronounced 'tushoo tushoo') She'd check our stomachs for 'holes' and always insisted she found one and made us eat even more. She was known for her deep, thought-provoking discussions, like 'If you were walking on a farm, which would you rather step in, chicken eh-eh or pig eh-eh?' There was NO topic Granny would not discuss. You'd think most grandparents would encourage their grandkids to look up to promote confidence and vision. But not Granny. We learned to look down. And under. And around . . . for dropped money. It paid off for me when I found $100 at Walgreens. She had so many interesting stories and beliefs and home remedies. One of which, she shared, was her dad telling her, when she was a kid, to put the pus of her boils on a quarter and toss it away to help rid herself of the boils. Which always made me wonder about the money I found as I was looking down... She collected solar dancing 'monkeys' as she called them. They filled a shelf Mike custom built for them and eventually continued onto her kitchen table. She liked to crochet – hankies, pillowcases – and became known for crocheting rugs out of plastic grocery bags. We'd collect colored bags so Granny could cut them up and make mats. She had an affinity for leopard print. Mrs. Miller and crème de banana back in the day. She loved her soap operas. Granny outlived all of her siblings and friends, and some of their children, so we always heard what her soap opera characters were doing whether you knew them or not! Granny almost never missed Saturday mass said a rosary every day. She lit candles for everyone and prayed often for us. She prayed to St. Anthony as well. At celebrations, Granny took it upon herself to clean up the gift wrappings. I have lots of photos of gift openers with some part of Granny next to them with a plastic bag in her hands. Sometimes you barely had the wrapping off and she had her hand on part of it ready to whisk it away to keep things tidy! When you came to Granny's place, you HAD to ring her doorbell incessantly. Even while she was unlocking her doors, it was customary to keep ringing her doorbell. And just when she thought you were done, you rang it one more time. It was also customary to use her bathroom every time you visited. These things made her smile and laugh. She always had a jar of peanut M&Ms for everyone. She couldn't eat them anymore but you always had to take some and she'd send you home with some in a bag if you didn't. She had most of her hallway covered in family photos, especially of the great-grand kids. She knew the ages and birthdays of all her grand- and great-grand children. It was amazing the things she could recall. It was very important to Granny to have a photo of each of our homes on display in her house, also. She took comfort in knowing we had safe homes – and cars – and good, close jobs to our homes. And she loved her mobile home and her car. Having her car in top running condition was important to Granny. She was still driving at 98 years old and cared for her car. Granny's wish was to win the lottery so everyone could get some money and pay off their homes and have a good life so she bought scratch-off tickets often. But Granny's most prized possession was her shadow box in her living room. Every family member is represented by some figurine on proud display. And her living room contained sentimental items from various events in her life. She could tell you all-about each and every one like it happened yesterday. A lot of us knew Granny well. There are people here today who maybe met Granny a couple of times or not at all but knew her through stories from her family and friends. They cheered for Granny in the background or said silent prayers for her or just thought about her once in a while. These people may or may not be here today celebrating the 98 years & 3 months that she was on this Earth – but thank you. Granny lived a full and active life. She liked to dance a good Polka. Polkas remind me of Granny because she introduced and kept the Polish heritage going in our family. But the one Polka that is so reminiscent of Granny is the Chicken Dance. If you're not familiar, it starts with the beak. Just looking at the hand movement, you can picture Granny chatting away! The next movement is to flap your wings. Granny could occasionally get frustrated and she'd 'flap her wings' when the news interrupted her soaps or the stray cat used her lawn as a litter box or you didn't hug her hello or good bye – you HAD to hug Granny... Then you shake your tail feathers, like when a chicken walks the yard. Granny walked her house, her neighborhood, and drove to the stores and walked there – at 98 years old. The final step is four hand claps. Granny was always cheering us on and encouraging, wanted the best for us, was so proud of us, loved us. I know she wouldn't want us sitting around being sad today. She'd tell us, with her new bionic hip, to get up and Polka. She'd want us CELEBRATING her 98 years and 3 months. So I am going to ask you all to stand up and “do the chicken” as Granny used to say – don't worry, it's a 60 second version. She's forever walking in her new life and dancing with the angels. It's our last time to do the Chicken Dance with Granny. If you missed it, on the day of Granny's funeral, I went with my mom to see Granny's casket burial. Literally as she was placed in the ground and the first bucket of dirt was unloaded onto her casket, it started to pour rain. It seemed to be a sign that Granny allowed us to see her safe in her new home, to give us comfort knowing she was in her permanent place with Jesus, but then to stop crying and dwelling on her death and celebrate her life. Because it poured hard the entire drive over and just as I parked and shut off my car, the rain stopped. Entirely. Just in time for the luncheon to start and the celebration of her life, both here on Earth, and in Heaven, to begin.


  • Nancy (The late Ernest) Bock, Daughter
  • Lorraine (her husband Michael) Samarziya, Daughter
  • Ernie (his wife Nanci) Bock, Grandson
  • Patrick (his wife Michelle) Bock, Grandson
  • Jeannie Croket, Granddaughter
  • Lisa (her husband Aaron) Lehr, Granddaughter
  • Briana Bock, Great Granddaughter
  • Andrew Bock, Great Grandson
  • Zachary Bock, Great Grandson
  • Alexander Bock, Great Grandson
  • Crystal Bock, Great Granddaughter
  • Isabella Bock, Great Granddaughter
  • Jacob Croket, Great Grandson
  • Liliana Halyckyj, Great Granddaughter
  • Charlize Lehr, Great Granddaughter


  • Final Viewing Thursday, July 26, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Thursday, July 26, 2018
  • Committal Service Thursday, July 26, 2018

Cecelia "Sally" Tencza

have a memory or condolence to add?

Michael and Lorraine Samarziya

August 20, 2018

My Mom believed in the power of lighting a Blessed Candle.She would always light one for anyone in the family or a friend that was sick or needed help with a situation. Mike and I lit candles for her while she was in the hospital. Now we are lighting one so God will keep her in His loving care. This candle will last forever.

Tracy Spiess

August 20, 2018

On behalf of Harry J. Will Funeral Home, I would like to offer my condolences to the entire Tencza family.

Jeannie Croket

July 24, 2018

98 years were just not enough.