By Janine and Carole
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of two of our former members and one more of our current members.
–Mary Matuzak: 10/29/1929 – 6/8/2020, age 90.
Mary joined International Neighbors in September of 2000. She immediately became interested in our Conversation Groups and asked to join my Intermediate Conversation Group as a co-leader. She remained active for about 9 years, leaving the group around her 80th birthday, when physical issues became a challenge for her participation.
She had been a teacher and had traveled extensively, including trips with family and friends to China, Italy, Thailand, Belize, Europe and Costa Rica.
Martha, one of my current co-leaders and a co-leader with Mary, too, remembers how Mary would talk about being a young widow with young children, and her experiences as a single working mother, when it wasn’t common. Martha says: “She was a very interesting person!”
Mary was always enthusiastic and energetic, bringing warmth and support to our international ladies in the group during the years she was active. She often invited the group to her condo for conversation, especially enjoying our potlucks or tea and snacks. The ladies were always fascinated with her stories and enjoyed “touring” her condo, listening to explanations about her souvenirs, which she displayed around her home.
She was a great asset to our group and I was fortunate to have her as a co-leader. I’ve missed her in our group these past 10 years. We appreciated all she contributed to the groups while she participated!
She is survived by 5 children, 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
–Nancy Major: _______ – 6/2/2020, age 93?
Nancy studied English and Botany at the University of Michigan, worked as a realtor in South Bend, Indiana, as well as started a neighborhood restaurant there at the same time. She moved back to Ann Arbor in 1981. She worked for American Title Company and after retirement, became a founding member of what is now known as OLLI. She joined International Neighbors and was active for over 10 years. She enjoyed international travel and took her daughters on many exciting trips. She enjoyed cooking as well as painting and gardening, among other things.
I remember seeing her often at International Days, offering help, support and warm friendship to all. She was always smiling! She was also able to join us at one of our more recent International Neighbors big celebrations, sitting at one of the tables especially set aside for our older members.
She is survived by 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren.
Marilyn Jeffs: 1/30/1930 – 7/16/2020, age 90.
Marilyn Jeffs, age 90, passed away peacefully on July 16, 2020.
She was a long time International Neighbors member with Wildwood Tea Group and Special Services. As a pediatric nurse and maternal/child advocate, she assisted our young mothers finding local pediatricians and child care options. She encouraged many others to join International Neighbors.
In her later years, wheelchair bound, she would still attend IN days whenever possible.
She was a thoughtful and caring person to the end. She will be missed.