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Theodore "Ted" Golisek

 

On June 16, 1916, Theodore "Ted" Golisek was born to Szymon (Simon) and Pelagia (Pearl Klowsowski) Golisek and named "Buleswaf," which name was later translated to "Theodore" in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt.

 

Ted's parents migrated to the United States of America in 1910. Ted's brother, Honore "Conrad" Golisek remained in Poland and his sister, Jenny, was born during the voyage. Ted's parents first settled in Detroit, but later moved to Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where they settled permanently near family and friends and where Simon worked for the railroad. When Ted was old enough, he joined Simon to work on the railroad. Later, he joined the CCC's.

 

On March 3, 1940, Ted married Cibble Mae. The newlyweds moved to Detroit where Ted worked as a foreman for Aeronautical Products during the war. Among many projects, he most savored his time spent on the first helicopter.

 

In 1945, Ted, Cibble and their first three children (Robert James, Robertta Lee, and Donna Jean) moved back to Munising, Michigan. Ted worked for the original Munising Woodenware as a foreman and also logged in the woods and drove heavy equipment. When the Munising Woodenware closed, Ted commercially fished on Lake Superior.

 

In 1952, Ted went to work for the Munising Paper Mill when Kimberly-Clark acquired the mill into its Technical Paper division. In 2004, Kimberly-Clark moved the Munising Technical Paper and fiber plant into the Neenah Paper division, by whom it is owned today along with the Terrace Bay operations, which happen to be located almost directly across from Munising on the north shore of Lake Superior.

 

On January 1, 1979, Ted retired from Kimberly-Clark. He and his wife began a seasonal migration to Florida for the next 20 years where they hosted family and friends from around the nation at their home in Bonita Springs, Florida. After 911, Ted and Cibble wintered in Munising.

 

On March 30, 2005, Ted joined his loved ones who had gone before him. With family holding his hands and surrounding him, he passed away at 7:01 p.m. at the Tendercare Long Term Care Facility in Munising.

 

Throughout his life, Ted's most precious priority was his family. In his younger years, he was a novice skier and jumper. He played tennis, golfed with a passion, and loved to dance and sing. He was an accomplished musician with a wonderful voice and wrote and sung many songs. One of my favorites was 'Mr. Conductor', which was sung in his honor at his wake by Granddaughter Melissa Lynn (Jodi's daughter), accompanied by Geralda Hickey Wilderspin. Ted could listen to a song and play it by tone, a natural ability he gave his granddaughter, Melissa. Ted played the guitar, banjo, accordion, harmonica, piano, and organ. (I even recall him doing a mean drum solo at a party).

 

Throughout the years, Ted was an avid hunter and fisherman. He hunted deer, bear, birds, and rabbits with his boys when they were young; in his later years, he road hunted birds. But fishing and Lake Superior held his greatest interest and he fished his entire life, even as recent as last summer (see Gitchee Gummee).

 

Ted was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Sunday was always a day for family and rest. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the Munising Community Credit Union, a strong advocate for his fellow employees, and helped build Munising Memorial Hospital. He was also a member of the Alger County Conservation Club and numerous snowmobile clubs formed locally over time.

 

At his passing, Ted was survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Cibble Mae Golisek of Munising and four of his five children: Robert, Robertta, Donna, and Jodi. His son, Leland Roy, preceded him in death on March 10, 1973.

 

Ted's eldest son, Robert James Golisek, and Bob's wife, Marilyn Hillier, reside in Paw Paw, Michigan. They brought three grandchildren into Ted's life: Robert Leland, Julie Ann, and Sharyl Ann. Grandson Robert Leland resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Granddaughter Julie Ann and her husband, Jeff Woodworth, reside in Decatur, Michigan; they brought three great-grandchildren into Ted's life: Courtney, Kendal, and Kyle. Sharyl Ann resides in Paw Paw with two of Ted's great-grandchildren, Ryan and Reese.

 

Ted's eldest daughter, Robertta Lee Giese, resides with Jack Witty in Munising, Michigan. Robertta's former husband, Daniel Giese, passed away two years ago. They brought two grandchildren into Ted's life: Daniel and Dale. Grandson Daniel and his wife, Wendy Sholtes, reside in Antigo, Wisconsin. They brought a great-grandchild into Ted's life, Kimberly Lee. Dale resides with his mother in Munising; he and his former wife, Venessa, brought a great-grandchild, Desirea.

 

Ted's next daughter, Donna Jean Debnar, and her husband, Robert Debnar, reside in Atlanta, Georgia. They brought a grandson into Ted's life, Michael Charles, who lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife Kristin and Ted's great-granddaughter, Miranda.

 

Ted's youngest son, Leland "Butchie" Roy, who passed away on March 10, 1973 in Hubbard, Texas, was married to Janet Celest Harger, currently of Cashion, Oklahoma. They brought granddaughter Michelle Lee into Ted's life, who brought great-grandson Patrick.

 

Ted's youngest child, Jodi-Lynn, and her husband, Francis "Frank" Nelc, reside in Neenah, Wisconsin. Jodi was brought into Ted's life by Donna Jean and Richard Ely; Ted and Cibble filed for Jodi's adoption in November 1962 and became her legal parents in January 1964. She was raised and regarded as their youngest child. Jodi and her former husband, Christopher Davis, brought three grandchildren into Ted's life: Nicholas, Melissa, and Victoria. Grandson Nicholas was born on April 9, 1981; he resides in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and brought Ted's great-grandson, Landon into his life on April 18, 2000. Melissa Lynn (Ted's Mitzi) joined Ted's family on December 4, 1983 and resides in Neenah, Wisconsin. Victoria Anntoinette joined Ted's family on November 1, 1986.

 

Ted is also survived by sisters, Genevieve Trombly of St. Claire Shores, Argene Golisek of Munising, Pearl "Tootsie" Gerwatowski of Canton, and Lois (Credlin) Golisek of Munising, Michigan, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

 

Family members whom Ted has joined include his brothers, Honore "Conrad" Golisek and Carl Golisek, his son, Leland Golisek, his sisters Rose Golisek, Jenny Percy and Lillian Gerwatowski.

 

A family vigil was held on Friday, April 1, 2005 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. A private showing was held on Saturday, April 2, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. Funeral services were held on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Bowerman's Funeral Home and officiated by Sacred Heart Catholic Church's Father Chris. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery, Munising, next to his son, Leland.

 

A memorial fund has been established with the UP Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Family and friends are invited to make their contributions directly to the association to help with one of the cruelest diseases on earth, Dementia or Alzheimer's.

 

If you wish to make your donation to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of Theodore Golisek, you may do so via mail, by calling the chapter and charging it to a credit card or debit card, or online. You may also designate how your funds will be utilized: Research, Support Services, or as needed.

 

Via Mail:

Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter
Theodore Golisek Memorial Fund
710 Chippewa Square, Suite 201
Marquette, MI 49855

Via Phone:

(906) 228-3910

Online:

Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter Online Donation Form

 

Please designate fund usage:

Research* (Funds will be transferred to the National Research Foundation in Theodore's name)
Chapter Services for Greater Michigan
Chapter Services for the Greater Upper Peninsula
Chapter Services for Alger County
Chapter Services for Munising**

Chapter Services may includes services for:
Caregiver Education
Respite Scholarships
Support Groups
Family Counseling
Safe Return Scholarships

 

 


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