Marilyn Jean Blaskowski(1956 - 2018)

Marilyn Jean Blaskowski, a long-time Riggsville resident, passed away Thursday, April 19, 2018 at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey following a brief illness. She was 61.
Though not a big talker, Marilyn had a big personality that could stand out in a room filled with family members.  She and her twin sister Carolyn were born at home in Riggsville to Jean (Valot) and Leonard Blaskowski on Nov. 19, 1956. Their arrival provided a surprise two ways: first, coming way ahead of schedule, and secondly, delivering one more child than expected. The girls' beginning left them with challenges, but also helped knit the family together with love and enduring ties.
The Blaskowski family moved to the farm on Dotski Road when Marilyn was about five, and she quickly settled into activities she would enjoy for her whole life: playing cards, looking at magazines and comic books and camping. Marilyn and Carolyn played countless games of Uno and Crazy Eights at the kitchen table, and when she wasn't playing cards, Marilyn would insist on keeping score for others who were. During the school year, Marilyn attended special education classes, and in summer she would go to at least one special needs camp in the Charlevoix/Traverse City area. She also was a regular participant in Special Olympics, competing both regionally and at state games in Mount Pleasant. Her favorite sport was bowling.
Jean and Lenny loved to hunt and fish, so the family went into the woods whenever possible. For several summers, the family spent time in a small house trailer on the shores of Douglas Lake. Later, a camper-trailer became a travelling home for the parents and their "girls," Marilyn and Carolyn, during deer hunting season and on fishing trips to the Upper Peninsula.  And, yes, the Upper Peninsula casinos were occasional destinations for the four of them. Marilyn knew how to feed a slot machine.
No matter the place, being around family and friends meant the most to Marilyn. She loved being in the mix, especially during holidays. Easter brought egg-dyeing; Christmas came with special movies and music; and any day with Rice Krispie treats was an occasion. Marilyn was secure in the love of her family, and just as secure in her surroundings. Marilyn had HER chair in the living room, and HER chair at the kitchen table, and woe to anyone who tried to sit in her place. Indeed, Marilyn possessed a stubbornness and uncanny ability to have others do what she wanted.
Marilyn will be widely missed. For more than 30 years, she spent weekdays at the Straits Area Services, where she had many friends among the staff and clients.  When their aging parents could no longer care for them at the farm, Marilyn and Carolyn moved to Silver Fox Adult Foster Care in Afton where they became members of a new family, with caregiver Lisa Wilson as their "second mom."
Marilyn is survived by her twin sister and best friend, Carolyn, with whom she always shared a bedroom and a special bond. She is also survived by her father, Leonard Blaskowski of Riggsville; two brothers, Robert Blaskowski of Riggsville, and Gary (Gail) Blaskowski of Grand Rapids; and a sister Julie (Don) Stacks of Riggsville. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and many, many aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her oldest brother, Richard, killed in service in Vietnam in 1970, and by her mother, Jean Blaskowski, in 2014.
Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the Nordman-Christian Funeral Home at 302 S. Huron Street in Cheboygan.  A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.  Rev. James Gardiner will officiate, burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Riggsville at a later date.
Donations in Marilyn's name may be made to Straits Area Services, 1320 W. State St., Cheboygan, Michigan.
Online condolences may be made at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com.

Funeral Home

Nordman-Christian Funeral Home - Cheboygan
302 S. Huron St.  Cheboygan, MI 49721
231-627-5696
Published in Cheboygan Daily Tribune on Apr. 23, 2018