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Sunset Northwest Funeral Home

6321 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX

OBITUARY

Mary Michalec

January 10, 1920November 4, 2019

Mary Michalec was born on Jan 10, 1920 in rural Lavaca County Texas. She entered her next life in the hands of the Lord on Monday Nov 4, 2019. She was just two months shy of her 100th birthday.

She was the granddaughter of Czech and Slovac immigrants who settled in Texas in the latter half of the 1800s. Her mother passed away from complications of childbirth and she was cared for by her paternal grandparents and her aunt Mary. Her father traveled and worked on many building construction projects along theTexas coastal plain. He remarried and took her older brother and sister with him. Mary remained and was raised by her grandparents.

She grew up in a household considered poor by today's standards, as were many other families of that era. The Great Depression hit hard when she was 8 years old and there was no social safety net back then, families were on their own. She was loved and well taken care of by her grandparents within their meager means.

Despite a rocky start learning to read, she excelled in her studies. She saw no need for history lessons but had a talent for math and she loved geometry. She grew into young adulthood, trained as a student nurse, worked on airplanes at Duncan Field in San Antonio at the start of WW2 and married our father Otto in 1942.

She raised five boys Al, Ray, Dave, Pat and Joe. She and Otto were married 61 years when he passed away in 2003. Our brother Dave passed away in 2017. She has been blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Despite having no daughters of her own, she had daughters-in-law who respected, enjoyed and loved her dearly.

She was pleasant and interesting to be around and had many friends over the years. She and Dad enjoyed square dancing in their retirement years. She was involved in her church's activities until mobility slowed her down later on.

She was inventive and creative and took up painting in her later years. She was an excellent cook, especially with making traditional Czech desserts and pastries. She was blessed with a large extended family living here in San Antonio and she enjoyed teaching art and pastry cooking to her great grandchildren.

Her mind was very active to the end of her life and she had the wit, intellect and memory of someone half her age. One grandchild observed that had she been born in this current era rather than early in the last century, she probably would have been a successful engineer or scientist. She was doing her daily cryptoquip puzzles up to the very end. Her indomitable spirit wore out two pacemakers, but she just kept on going, fully living the life God gave her.

She always had a positive attitude, almost never complained. Her rather humble beginnings made her more appreciative of the lifelong gifts of love and life. She lived almost 100 years. She touched and was touched by the lives of her grandparents, aunts and uncles, a husband of 61 years, in laws, friends ,neighbors, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She lived a life with six generations of family and friends. For someone who wasn't interested in history in school she sure lived it, and lived it well.

She loved all of us dearly and we are sure that she still does. We love her now more than ever because we know what we have lost, but we move on, the generations move on.

What a wonderful human life.

Services

14 November

Visitation

9:30 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe

13715 Riggs Road
Helotes, Texas 78023

14 November

Rosary

10:30 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe

13715 Riggs Road
Helotes, Texas 78023

14 November

Funeral Mass

11:00 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe

13715 Riggs Road
Helotes, Texas 78023

Reception immediately following the Mass
15 November

Committal Service

9:30 am

Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery

1520 Harry Wurzbach Road
San Antonio, Texas 78209

Memories

Mary Michalec

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Bob and Kay Cage

November 10, 2019

Mary Michalec, the lady who we thought would live forever. Having been neighbors for thirty plus years, you just expect to see Mary outside, in her big sun hat, tending to her beautiful roses, giving Joe instructions on how to take care of the yard. We always laughed, lucky Joe! In her later years, we would watch her toddle down the driveway with her walker to pick up the morning paper. We would hold our breath, watching her all the way down and back.
We traded vegetables every year from our gardens. What fun!
Inevitably, the phone call from Joe, "Meet me at the fence, Mom made some apple strudel." Without a doubt, the best strudel ever.
The best memory of all, was visiting with Mary over the fence. We could always depend on her for a positive, happy thought.
She could always brighten up a cloudy day.
What a remarkable lady. Such a role model for living a good life. Kay and I always felt very fortunate, knowing that Otto, Mary, and Joe were across the fence, keeping an eye on our family.
We are very sorry we will not be able to attend the funeral mass due to previous plans. We will always have wonderful memories of such a special lady.
Bob and Kay Cage

Krystal Krischke

November 9, 2019

Miss Mary, Mr. Otto & their family of 5 energetic boys moved next door to my family when I was just 5 years old. I was the only little girl in the neighborhood at that time. I occasionally played with my brothers & her younger sons, when they would let me. Miss Mary was always so sweet & kind to me, she always welcomed me into their home. One of my favorite memories was Miss Mary's amazing apple streudels! I have always judged other streudels by Miss Mary's, I still do, to this day and her's were always the best! One day she invited me into her kitchen & showed me how she lovingly made this delicious desert. She floured, then rolled out the dough on their large round kitchen table. She chopped all the ingredients to what seemed a very uniform size & shape. I was intrigued at the amount of love & care she took making these mouth watering sweets; no wonder they were so delightful! When I got older Miss Mary honored me greatly one day & told me that she felt that I was her little girl also, she said it with such love & tenderness. I felt that great love of her's and I know that I will see her again one day, Love is eternal. May you always sing with the Angels & my Mom, Miss Mary.

Kathryn Michalec

November 9, 2019

One of my favorite memories is attending one of Mary's Apple Strudel classes. She would have apples peeled and sliced, all ingredients measured and everything set up before we arrived. She would roll the delicate dough, assemble the strudel and flip it onto the pan like a professional chef. The house would soon be filled with that tantalizing aroma as the strudel baked. The hardest part was allowing the strudel to cool before taking that first bite of her delicious fresh baked strudel. Over the years daughters-in-law, grand daughters and great grand daughters have been lucky to attend her classes. Now we will carry this tradition into the future.
I am grateful for the gift of having such a wonderful mother-in-law
for over fifty years. You will always live in my heart, sweet Mary.

Sally Guthrie

November 8, 2019

Sympathy and blessings to all the family. Aunt Mary was a sweet, gentle, warm, caring, loving person and I was lucky to share the same birth date with her. Even though we Capricorns can be head-strong and determined individuals, Aunt Mary needed that gutsy quality raising her and Uncle Otto's 5 sons. I can't EVEN imagine the day-to-day chaos of that because each time I would see my cousins, they were on their best behavior (for the most part). I am lucky to have one of Aunt Mary's paintings and will cherish that always. The quiet stream and majestic trees reflect the peacefulness and beauty she cherished and can now enjoy in her eternal life. God Bless.

Kristin Petrini (Michalec)

November 7, 2019

My Memaw was an incredibly strong woman. I’ll never forget spending nights at their house growing up. How patient she always was with me and how she handled our stubborn Pawpaw-haha! I loved hearing her stories of her early years as a nurse’s aid, as a mother of 5 boys and the ridiculous things they did growing up, and all the advice she gave me when I became a Mom.

I loved watching her square dance with Pawpaw on Saturday nights and going to mass with them on Sunday mornings. I loved sneaking into her painting room & seeing her next project (and getting caught touching the wet paint!). I loved holidays that were warm and joyful and so full of love that radiated from her as our matriarch. She was the truest meaning of FAMILY I’ve ever known.

Although I am sad she is gone, I know she missed pawpaw every single day since he passed....and now she is finally able to be with him. And that, well, that makes the tears disappear and a smile appear thinking of them together again.

Patrick Michalec

November 7, 2019

My Mom is truly a special person. I say she “is” because even though she has passed from this earth, Her spirit is still with me and always will be in my heart.
She was kind, gentle, and always had words of compassion and wisdom for everyone in our family during difficult times.
I will miss her very much, but I take solace knowing she is with our Maker and reunited with My Dad, Otto and my Brother David.

I love you Mom.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY