Ann Tolsdorf obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Ann Tolsdorf

April 8, 1950 - June 13, 2017

Obituary


Completing a rich and happy life full of smiles, laughter, family, friendship, and compassion for others, Ann T. Tolsdorf, age 67, died peacefully June 13, 2017 at home with her devoted husband Jerry at her side. They celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary last year and shared many wonderful joys together: the births of their three children, Shannon, Jason and Nicole; the delight of their seven grandchildren; rambunctious gatherings with loving siblings, in-laws and cousins; and a commitment to the community, particularly fellow former military families. After being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease at age...

Completing a rich and happy life full of smiles, laughter, family, friendship, and compassion for others, Ann T. Tolsdorf, age 67, died peacefully June 13, 2017 at home with her devoted husband Jerry at her side. They celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary last year and shared many wonderful joys together: the births of their three children, Shannon, Jason and Nicole; the delight of their seven grandchildren; rambunctious gatherings with loving siblings, in-laws and cousins; and a commitment to the community, particularly fellow former military families. After being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease at age 60, Ann gradually lost her ability to fully express herself and function independently; but she never lost her ability to show her love, light up at the sight of her children and grandchildren, delight in companionship of loved ones, and find the humor in any situation. Prior to that time, she was typically the life of the party. She loved to dance, enjoy a cocktail, share a story, and make a new friend. Ann grew up in Posen, a small northern Michigan town that was the heart and home of her Polish family and heritage. The one-traffic-light town and its surrounding villages housed many generations of family, including more than 20 aunts and uncles, nearly 80 first-cousins, plus countless second cousins and relatives. They were always surrounded by family who became chosen friends. She was the second of three children born to Gertie and Eddie Dembny in a warm and welcoming farm house. Her father, Eddie, from whom she inherited a spirited, fun-loving and humorous disposition, died too early in 1993, but left a legacy of joy. Her mother, Gertie, still lives in Rogers City. She is 95 years old. Ann lost her older brother, Norman, to muscular dystrophy when he was 21 years old. She and her family lovingly cared for him and focused on his wheelchair as a fun novelty, not a disability. Ann's younger sister, Rose, remained her dearest and most favored friend throughout her life. They were inseparable and could be found laughing together most anywhere at any time. Ann married Jerry Tolsdorf, the love of her life, in 1968 after graduating from Posen High School. They were overjoyed at the birth of their first daughter, Shannon in 1970, although Jerry was drafted in the Army and served in Vietnam for 14 months from 1969 to '70. Their son, Jason, was born in 1971, and Nicole (Niki) was born in 1976. Their active, loud and supportive family lived first in Flint and later moved to Mt. Morris, Lennon, Swartz Creek, Linden and most recently Sterling Heights. Through the years, they regularly hosted large dinners, summer barbecues and pool parties, and loved entertaining friends. Her extended family members and in-laws continuously shared many laughs and celebrations. Ann was everybody's favorite aunt, always willing to play with the kids, never forgetting a birthday or anniversary, sending cards by mail-not email, and making a party of absolutely any occasion. She has spent many wonderful times, including a vacation to Hawaii with her brother- and sister-in-law, Gene and Janice Meredith, whom she adored. Her greatest joys were her grandchildren: Lauren, Hannah, Noah, Luke, Madison, Jacob, and Evan. Her proudest title was that of "busia," which is Polish for grandma. She never tired of caring for them, hosting sleepovers, playing imaginative games, attending sporting events, and watching them grow into wonderful adults and young adults. Ann made everyone around her feel comfortable. She was particularly sensitive and open to military families, after having her husband serve in the Army and her son serve in the Marines. She remained a proud and patriotic American, but her compassionate heart and willingness to share her emotions made her a wonderful resource and counselor to others. Never one to hide her feelings, Ann's joy was contagious and infectious when she was happy; she cried regularly and openly when her heart was touched; and she found no reason to speak quietly or secretly. She happily shared her love and life experiences with others. She cared deeply about the relationships she built. She enjoyed simple pleasures like vacationing in northern Michigan, sharing a glass of wine, enjoying an occasional cigar, dancing, reminiscing about old times and polka parties, and surrounding herself with family-especially her grandchildren. In her final years, as she struggled with Alzheimer's and her abilities declined, her family showed the same tenderness and care that she showed throughout her life. She was surrounded entirely by love. Ann was a devoted wife to Jerry. Loving mother of Shannon (Scott) Heide, Jason (Shelly) Tolsdorf, and Nicole (Mark) Bajis. Awesome Busia of Lauren, Hannah, Noah, Luke, Madison, Jacob, and Evan. Daughter of Gertrude Dembny. Special friend and sister of Rose (Paul) Gryniewicz. Sister-in-law of Janice (Gene) Meredith and Judy (Larry) Ewing. Aunt of Amy (Joe) DiCresce, Kristy (Paul) Allison, Tara (Mike) Kautzer, Rachel (Scott) Dolsen, Kim Ewing, Sarah (Nick) Burt and Jessica Ewing. Also survived by many great-nieces and nephews and numerous friends. She was predeceased by her dad Eddie Dembny and her brother Norman Dembny. Visitation Friday, June 16, 2017 from 3-9 pm with sharing of memories at 7 pm at Resurrection Funeral Home, 40800 Hayes, Clinton Township. Instate Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 9 am until time of Mass at 9:30 am at St. Michael Catholic Church, 40501 Hayes, Sterling Heights. Interment Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly, Michigan. Memorial contributions to the Alzheimer's Association or Season's Hospice.