Dolores M Martinek

September 25th, 1923 to July 10th, 2017

Dolores Martinek, 93, loving mother of four and widow of Leonard R. Martinek, passed away on July 10, 2017. Born in Detroit to Frank and Mary (McLatcher) Chimielesky, Dolores lived her whole life in Michigan. She grew up in Royal Oak, where the family had moved from Detroit, when she was just an infant for her father to work in the auto industry as a carpenter. Money was tight growing up during the depression and Dolores remembered not having much, particularly during a three year period when her Dad was out of work and “on the dole”. Eventually they had to sell the family piano, yet were able to send Dolores to the hospital to have teeth pulled and tonsils removed. This experience was one of Dolores’ most lasting memories as a child. She recalled the hospital experience as kind of a production-line affair with a line of ther kids waiting to be wheeled in and then out of the operating room. She also remembered the effect of the anesthetic as “going through a long tunnel”, getting lots of ice cream, and going to school with teeth missing.

Dolores graduated from Madison High School in Royal Oak in 1941 and initially worked at Montgomery Wards helping check the credit of customers buying furniture. Eventually she got a job at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant as a secretary and remembered being worried that she would not be able to read her shorthand after taking dictation. The pay wasn’t much, only $25 a week, but she always thought she worked for very nice people. During this period Dolores lived with her parents. For several years, she and her brother Don would scrape up enough savings to go to the Jack and Jill Ranch in Montague, Michigan for summer vacations. This in turn led to one of her most memorable experiences, when girlfriends there convinced her to come with them to work a summer in Colorado, which is exactly what she did.

Dolores loved the adventure of travel, something that lasted her whole life. She traveled by train to Colorado and initially worked with her friends at Graystone Manor in Evergreen, Colorado, but moved to Troutdale in the Pines (also in Evergreen) with coworkers after learning the owner was withholding tips. Colorado was an easy place to enjoy and Dolores loved the mountains, outdoors and freedom. Yet her mother would often tell her, “Dolores, come home, come home”. On their days off, she and her girlfriends would venture through the towns in the mountains and go sunning.

Dolores used to say that the time in Colorado felt like “going to college except you didn’t have to study”. At the time Graystone and Troutdale were quite well known and popular resorts. Dolores met movie stars Louis Calhern and Faye Emerson. In one memorable and oft-repeated gaff, she spilled tomato juice on Les Brown (of the Band of Renown that played for Bob Hope). At the end of the season, the owners ot Troutdale had a party in Chicago that Dolores attended on the return to Michigan. Upon returning, Dolores worked for the Sheere Company that did advertising work.

Dolores met her husband Leonard, the love of her life, on an organized Detroit Newspaper hike which included dinner (at Beauchamp’s Supper Club at 6-Mile and Woodward Ave) and a dance. She recalled “he wanted to marry me the next day”. But not so fast. She informed Leonard that since she was a Catholic, he would have to take instruction from a priest, which he was more than happy to do. They were married February 6, 1954 at St. Dennis Church in Royal Oak. Shortly thereafter then moved to a rented house on Wildrose Lane in Burtchville, then to a home purchased on Lincoln Avenue in Port Huron where they started a family.

As a housewife and mother she worked lovingly and tirelessly to raise their three boys, Randy, Brian, and Scott and daughter, Lisa. In 1962 the family moved to the lake house on Lakeshore Road and remained there for the next 34 years. Tragically, Lisa was killed in an auto accident in 1966 on Lakeshore when she was 8 years old. While the hurt of that tragedy took years to heal, life went on, boys were raised, and Leonard and Dolores enjoyed a wonderful family life on the lake, hosting family reunions, and vacationing in northern Michigan and on Mackinac Island. Later with the kids out of the house, vacations sometimes included trips to Florida, an ocean cruise, trips to Maine, Wyoming and Colorado. In later years, Dolores lovingly cared for Leonard who became bedridden in is waning years. After Leonard passed in 2010, Dolores enjoyed family and friends in the community, visits to the lake at Randy and Cathy’s house, occasional train trips to visit Brian and his family in Colorado including revisiting her old workplaces at Graystone Manor and Troutdale in Evergreen, as well as trips to Mackinac Island with Scott.

Dolores was preceded in death by daughter, Lisa; husband, Leonard; brother, Don Melesky; and sister-in-law, Donna Melesky. Dolores is survived by Randy (Cathy) and their family, Brian (Patricia) and their sons, Ryan and Connor, and Scott; nephews, Leonard Martyniuk and Ray (Margaret) Martyniuk, nephews, Tom (Jan) Melesky, Mark Melesky (Charo Hulleza, Jill (Richard) Rossio and their families.

Visitation will take place from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday in the Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home, 1720 Elk Street, Port Huron, Michigan.

Mrs. Martinek will lie in state at St. Edward on-the-Lake Catholic Church, 6945 Lakeshore Road in Lakeport, Michigan, Thursday, July 13, 2017 from 10 a.m. until the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. The Reverend Lee Acervo will officiate.

Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Randy Martinek, Brian Martinek, Connor Martinek, Scott Martyniuk, Leonard Martyniuk, Ray Martyniuk and Mark Melesky.

Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice Foundation in appreciation for the excellent care and compassion that both Great Lakes Campus Care and Hospice Care provided to Dolores.

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