Nowak, S. Marlene, Sarasota, FL, Formerly of Saginaw, Michigan


Passed away Sunday, March 11, 2012 after a lengthy illness. She was 74 years old. Marlene is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, William Nowak, whom she married on September 30, 1961. Three years ago, after living in Saginaw their entire lives, Marlene and Bill wanted to be closer to their children and grandchildren, so they permanently moved from Saginaw to their home in Sarasota, Florida. Marlene is also survived by her devoted children and grandchildren, RuthAnn LaMore (Rick), Jake LaMore, Matthew Nowak (Dr. Melissa Paliani), and Leah Nowak, her sister-in-law Roselyn Wendzik, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Marlene was not only known for her unconditional love for her faith, family and friends, but also for her exemplary professionalism, educational advocacy, unwavering standards, astute business acumen, attention to detail, love of cooking and shopping, and her voracious reading hobby. Marlene grew up in Saginaw, the daughter of Walter and Leona Soltysiak, with her sister Ruth Ann, all deceased. She graduated high school from Holy Rosary Catholic School in 1955. In 1959 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. She began her professional career at Park Davis in Ann Arbor, and later at Dow Chemical in Midland. After earning her teaching certificate, she taught at St. Josaphat Catholic School in Carrollton Township and Holy Rosary Catholic School in Saginaw. She went on to get a Masters of Art in Reading from Central Michigan University, plus an additional thirty hours in Curriculum and Administration studies. As Director of Reading for Swan Valley School District in Thomas Township, she administrated the Title I/Chapter I Reading program. She worked tirelessly to develop the original technology program, and countless curriculum firsts for Swan Valley, while writing grants for many educational programs. She retired in 1999 as the Director of Curriculum and Assistant Administrator for Swan Valley Schools. For several years thereafter, Marlene co-developed award winning English Language Arts literature units for Swan Valley, and worked as a Literacy Consultant and Teacher for Saginaw Intermediate School District and Midland County Education Services Agency. Her professional accolades include: Board of Directors for St. Vincent Home (now Holy Cross Children’s Services), St. Vincent Home Summer School program administrator, Vice President of St. Stephen Catholic Church Parish Council, Member of St. Stephen Education Commission, Executive Board of Directors of Survivors of Suicide, March Into Reading Literacy program, 2004 Recipient of the Douglas E. Hanson Professional Development Program Excellence Award, and the Swan Valley School District Friend of Education Award. Her association memberships include: League of Catholic Women, Madonna University Alumnae Association, Saginaw Area Reading Council, Michigan Reading Association, International Reading Association, Michigan Coalition of Compensatory Education Members-Saginaw, Delta Kappa Gamma Iota Honorary Teacher Society, Business and Professional Women (BPW), and Maple Hills Country Club. Marlene and Bill were former members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church (Thomas Township, MI) and St. Stephen Catholic Church (Saginaw, MI). More recently they became members of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church (Lakewood Ranch, FL). Marlene’s selfless dedication to her family and friends, and her love of teaching will be remembered forever and missed by all who knew her. Funeral Liturgy will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 1310 Malzahn, Saginaw, Michigan. Rev. Fr. James Heller will officiate with entombment in St. Andrew Mausoleum. Friends may call at The Snow Funeral Home, 3775 N. Center Road, (between Shattuck and McCarty), where the family will be present on Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday at St. Stephen Catholic Church from 9:00 a.m. until time of Mass. A Vigil Service will take place at 7:00 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to St. Stephen Catholic Church or Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. www.snowfuneralhome.net