RAPID RIVER, Mich. – Dorothy Girard Banchak, 93, of Rapid River, died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba, Mich.|
She was born May 9, 1919, at Mrs. Bloom's Maternity House in Escanaba to Charles and Mabel (Armstrong) Girard. She graduated in 1937 from Escanaba High School, where she was a cheerleader, thespian, singer, dancer, writer and bobsledder.
Dorothy moved to Chicago in 1938 to attend nursing school and worked at Garfield Park Hospital. In 1940, she married Richard V. Hyland and began her family of five children. She sewed at F.W. Woolworths, modeled hosiery, topped candy bars at Mars Candy Co., soldered circuit boards at Zenith Radio and was a precinct captain in Cook County.
In 1957, she moved to Carpentersville and became a single parent. She was secretary for the Democratic Party in Kane County, chairman of the March of Dimes and manager of Mary Lester Fabric Store at Meadowdale Shopping Center. On weekends she played the organ at Black Angus Restaurant in Algonquin. She worked in sales for Holub Food Company, was a state field supervisor with the Illinois Department of Public Instruction and then became director of the school lunch program for School District 300 for several years.
In 1965, she married Otto Banchak in Algonquin. They enjoyed gardening, fishing and getaways to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
In 1971, she was hired from the unemployment line to work and train as a claims adjudicator for the Illinois Department of Labor in Elgin. She soon was promoted to manager of the Elgin office and then was given additional offices in Woodstock and Waukegan. Dorothy conducted annual business seminars to educate employers on how to cut their unemployment contribution costs. She retired in 1984.
After retirement, Dorothy opened "Glasso'leen Alley" and made stained-glass originals. She was recognized at the Invitational International Stained Glass Show in Chicago and completed several commissioned works for area businesses. In 1991, she and Otto moved to Rapid River, Mich., to fish and make new friends.
Dorothy always looked for a new venture. She began making hand-painted porcelain dolls and in 1995 received two blue ribbons at the Upper Peninsula Area Doll Show. She loved fabric and sewing dresses for her granddaughter. Quilting became her passion and she made more than 30 quilts for her family. As a voracious reader of biographies, history and politics, she excelled in debate over controversial issues. Dorothy was a member of Toastmasters International, Delta County Historical Society and the African Violet Society of America. She started a local chapter of the Red Hat Society and was a member of the Rapid River Quilt Guild. She was featured at Bay College and named Quilter of the Year in 2009. Her love of music, art and history were cornerstones to building many, long friendships that strengthened her spirit and kept her mind sharp.
Survivors include her children, Kristine (David) Beach of Harvard, Kevin (Karen) Hyland of Penn Valley, Calif., Carolyn Hyland of Mishawaka, Ind., and Patricia Hyland of Berkeley, Calif.; grandchildren, Todd Hyland of Rapid River, Heather (Mike) Maisen of Seattle, Piper Hyland of Berkeley, Joseph L. (Staci) Rybacek of Woodstock, Cynthia Beach of Harvard, Ryan Hyland of Chico, Calif., Jonathan Hyland of Reston, Va., and Nicholas Hyland of Santa Rosa, Calif.; two nephews, Larry (Kitty) Girard of South Haven, Mich., and Ken (Bonnie) Girard of Tucson, Ariz.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Otto Banchak, in May 2011; sons, Richard C. Hyland in January 2004, Dennis Hyland in infancy in 1943 and Timothy G. Hyland in June 2010; and brothers, Lawrence and Walter Girard.
Her family will receive friends 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 3, at Skradski Funeral Home, 706 Wisconsin Ave., Gladstone, Mich. The memorial service will be at noon, with the Rev. Fr. Emmett Norden officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sandpoint Lighthouse in care of Delta County Historical Society, 16 Water Plant Road, Escanaba, MI 49829. Envelopes will be available at the Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County.
Messages of condolence to Dorothy's family may be made online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Jan. 3, 2013