Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared
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Marilyn Mizsak

July 13, 1942 - June 24, 2021
Portage, MI

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Visitation

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and beverages will be served during the visitation.

Driving Directions

Service

Wednesday, June 30, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Lunch will be served immediately following the service in the Life Story Center.

Driving Directions

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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When reflecting on the life of Marilyn Mizsak, it is easy to see both her unwavering faith and her unconditional love for her family. She truly understood the value of hard work and responsibility, and through these and so much more she was a true inspiration. Nothing brought Marilyn greater joy than spending time with her loved ones no matter whether the moments were simple or monumental. She was a continual source of strength and encouragement, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Deeply loved, Marilyn will be dearly missed.

During the first half of the 1940s the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods such as rubber, coffee, paper, and canned foods. It was also during this eventful time that Marilyn was born on July 13, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Growing up, Marilyn was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised by her single mother alongside her older brother, Larry. Marilyn and Larry worked with their mother in the small family flower shop in Cleveland, and everyone was expected to chip in. Marilyn began working there when she was 10, establishing her strong work ethic. She also made deliveries and did other odd jobs. Throughout her school years, Marilyn enjoyed playing clarinet in the band at Holy Name Catholic School. She graduated from high school in 1960, ready to move to bigger and better things.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Marilyn as she met the love of her life. His name was Stephen Mizsak, and the two originally connected at a band concert. Stephen was in band at St. Ignatius High School. They exchanged phone numbers and agreed to go on a date, even though he was 17 and Marilyn was only 14 at the time. Her mother forbade Marilyn to date at such a young age, however, the two remained close friends in the coming years. The friends even kept in contact as Stephen went on to attend the University of Dayton. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Marilyn and Stephen were finally married on June 17, 1961 at Holy Name Church in Cleveland.

The newlyweds spent their first four years together in Indianapolis, where their family grew to include two children, Stephen and Mark. The Mizsak family then moved to Pittsburgh and welcomed Stephanie. In 1969, they settled into a new home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Stephen began working for the Upjohn Company and welcomed Scott. Marilyn dedicated herself to caring for the house and her children, and she loved being involved in their lives.

Of all the things she loved in life, Marilyn treasured her family above all else. She was her children’s biggest supporter in school, sports, clubs, and all other activities. Marilyn was overjoyed to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother later in life. Holidays were always special, and she loved traveling to visit family.

Marilyn pursued many hobbies in her free time. She volunteered at Loaves and Fishes and served lunches at St. Augustine School. Marilyn was also on their school board. Marilyn liked playing Bridge with the ladies in her neighborhood, and she was the president of the neighborhood associations. She and Stephen enjoyed many memorable vacations over the years including trips to Russia in 1978 and Italy in 1983. Marilyn also loved reading biographies and Stephen King, but she really would read anything as long as it wasn’t a romance novel. In addition, she was a member of DAR. Marilyn was a huge Jeopardy fan and never missed an episode as she enjoyed challenging her own knowledge.

As family and friends can attest, Marilyn Mizsak truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She valued her loved ones above all else and was a shining example of hard work and kindness to those around her. Though she will be deeply missed, Marilyn leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Marilyn Mizsak, age 78, died at her home on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Marilyn was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Clark and a brother, Lawrence Clark. Surviving is her husband Stephen; 4 children: Stephen (Cindy), Mark (Diane), Dr. Stephanie (Carlos) Gonzalez, Scott (Tracy) Mizsak. Other members of her family include a sister-in-law Julie Clark; 9 grandchildren: Bradley Mizsak and Amanda (Dave) O’Keeffe, Dave Mizsak, Allison (Jeremy) Kirkman, Monica and Christina Gonzalez, Kallan, Carsyn and Alex Mizsak and 2 great grandchildren: Hailey O’Keeffe and Leo Kirkman. Visit with family and friends while sharing refreshments on Tuesday (June 29) from 5-7 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where funeral services will be held on Wednesday 11 a.m. A lunch will follow in the Life Story Center. Burial will be at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Please visit Marilyn’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of SW Michigan.

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