Jackie L. Kurek, 72, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 25, 2020, at Spectrum Hospital – Lakeland, St. Joseph, MI.
She was born in Dearborn, MI on July 3, 1948, the daughter of Paul and Doris (Kirshman) Matthis. Her early childhood was spent in Dearborn and Allen Park, Michigan, where she attended the public schools. After graduating high school Jackie attended Western Michigan University and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree (1971) and Master of Arts degree (1976) and a Certificate in Early Childhood Endorsement (1976).
She eventually settled in Bridgman, MI, where she became a beloved and dedicated kindergarten teacher at Bridgman Elementary School. Jackie was famous for her Mother’s Day Teas and Father’s Day activities known as “Donuts with Dad.” She was kind and generous to many, but especially to her kindergartners and their families. She was also active in the Bridgman Education Association and on various curriculum committees. Jackie was also known for volunteering at the Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, MI, and the Sarett Nature Center in Benton Harbor, MI.
Above all, Jackie had great love for her family, friends and her cats. Some of the other things that Jackie loved were line dancing, snow shoeing, collecting antiques, shopping and travel.
Jackie was a devoted sister, friend and teacher. Whenever she was around you would always be laughing and having a lot of fun. Because of her vibrant personality, she never met a stranger.
Not only was she a talented teacher, and superb story teller, more importantly she was a good woman. Four words to describe Jackie are, “Beloved, Fun, Patient, and Kind.”
Jackie was predeceased by her father Paul Matthis and her mother Doris Matthis Mamchur. Jackie is survived by her sisters, Sharon Doucette of Bellingham, MA, Stephanie Mamchur of Kirkland, WA, Suzanne Boyette of Allen, TX, and Timothy Strefling, her fiancé.
Jackie’s family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to all those who were kind and caring throughout Jackie’s life.
Due to COVID-19 a “celebration of her life” will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence, 9964 Gast Rd, Bridgman, MI 49106, or Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake St. Bridgman, MI 49106, or Harbor Country Mission at 9600 Red Arrow Highway, Bridgman, MI 49106.Print Obituary & Condolences