Ethel Mae Strzelecki of Oxford passed away peacefully Monday, December 27, 2021, at the age of 89. She is preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Joseph Strzelecki, her mother and father Max and Mae LaValley (Brazeau) of Pontiac, her sister Doris LaValley, brothers Maxime LaValley and Thomas LaValley, grandson Joseph Armstrong of North Branch.
Ethel is survived by her children Annette M. Armstrong, Kenneth J. Strzelecki, Dennis P. Strzelecki (Monica), Bart V. Strzelecki, Edward J. Strzelecki (Carrie), Julie A. Packard, her brother, Paul J. LaValley, her sisters-in-law, Angie Schmidt and Patricia Patenaude (Dale), brother-in-law Thomas Strzelecki , grandchildren Paul Armstrong (Elizabeth), John Armstrong, Jennifer Armstrong, James Armstrong (Chelsie), Stephanie Green (Adam), Joshua Armstrong, Jason Armstrong, Jacob Armstrong, Jessica Bell (Bryon), Jeffery Armstrong, Jordan Armstrong, Jacqueline Armstrong, Elizabeth Strzelecki, Emily Plummer (Jaryd), Elaine Strzelecki, Matthew Strzelecki, Daniel Strzelecki, Joseph Strzelecki, Jacquelyn Strzelecki, Mick Packard, Olivia Packard, Stella Packard, 29 great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Ethel was born on April 7, 1932 and grew up in Pontiac. She worked as a secretary at Truck and Coach before getting married in 1958. She was a phenomenal homemaker and raised her six children in Lake Orion. She baked and cooked from scratch with her garden picked fruits and vegetables and was famous for her homemade bread. Although she was French, her Polish cooking was exceptional. The tradition of Fat Tuesday was held each year at her home where family and friends came to enjoy her homemade bread, soups, and a variety of homemade paczkis. Paczki day was so well-known, the local newspaper made a visit to write an article. Her kitchen was always open, and until her passing, that is where you would find her.
In addition to raising her family, she opened her house to her mother and aunt as they aged. She enjoyed knitting and quilting. She used her talents to make quilts and Christmas stockings for all her siblings, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends. Ethel was active at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, a leader for Girl Scouts, and after her kids were grown formed a quilting group to meet at her home. She was forever volunteering and helping others and giving her heart to everyone and everything.
The family will receive friends for a visitation on Monday, January 3, from 4-7 p.m. with a Rosary service at 6 p.m. at Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home, Lake Orion. A Funeral Mass is on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Lake Orion. Interment on Wednesday, January 5, at 11 a.m. at Christian Memorial Cemetery, Rochester Hills.
The last words she heard were:
I see the moon and moon sees me.
The moon sees somebody that I don’t see.
God bless the moon and God bless me.
God bless the somebody that I don’t see.
If I get to heaven before you do,
I’ll make a hole and pull you through.
I’ll write your name on every star.
And that way the world won’t seem so far.
– Children’s rhyme (from “No Matter the Wreckage” by Sarah Kay”)