All who knew Stephanie Dziedzic would agree that there was no one who met her and left unchanged. She was kind and generous, truly selfless when it came to others, and she loved making everyone laugh. A devoted wife and mother, Stephanie didn’t need anything more in life than to be surrounded by the love of her family. A friend of hers was a friend for life, and she was the sort of person who never met a stranger. Someone who could find joy in the simplest of things, Stephanie was content in whatever life brought. Her beauty, her strength, and her grace will never be forgotten.
The 1960s were a time unlike any other in American history. It was the decade when we elected the young John F. Kennedy as our 35th President of the United States only to mourn his death just a few moths later. This was also the decade when civil rights made headlines, and by the end of the decade we celebrated being the first to put a man on the moon. It was just as this decade dawned that Andrew Martin and Dorothy Camille (Kaminski) Suminski were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as spring unfolded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April of 1960. The big day finally arrived on April 12th when the baby girl they named Stephanie H. drew her first breath. She was the youngest of four children in her family as she was joined in the Suminski clan by her siblings, Ken, Barbara, and Andy. Stephanie’s father worked at a brewery while her mother was in food service at a local school. A very sweet and pretty baby, her family was smitten with her.
In many ways Stephanie was a young girl of her generation. She attended grade school at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic School, graduating in 1974. Stephanie had a contagious zest for life even as a young girl as she had plenty of good times while growing up. She was known to pull pranks like sneaking off school grounds during lunch, but she was forever living in fear of Sister Melissa. Stephanie loved it when she and classmates did “skits” in class. She bonded with Wendy and her four sisters who lived next door. In fact, Stephanie loved them so much she climbed out the window to spend time with them. She was also was close to cousins who were around her age as they were always finding things to do together. As a teen Stephanie attended Brown Deer High School, and she loved hanging out with her friends. In many ways her life revolved around her friends, and she also loved her dogs and the fashions during the eighties. Stephanie was so proud of “her” purple Jeep, although it really belonged to her older brother, Andy. She hung out with the CYO group and had a large circle of friends. Stephanie and a group of friends even went to Hawaii and then to Florida in an RV during spring break. She loved playing softball with all her girlfriends and went on to graduate in 1978.
New and exciting changes were in store for Stephanie when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Mike Dziedzic, and it comes as no surprise that they met through a group of friends. They began dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Stephanie and Mike were married. Together they welcomed two children including Andrew and Alyssa into their hearts and home. From the moment she became a mother, Stephanie made this her priority. It was her children who always came first as she took great care to create memorable family traditions, and going to parades was one of their favorites. Stephanie was there for all of their activities, and even just being at home together suited them all just fine. Their family home was a beautiful Lannon stone ranch that Stephanie enjoyed keeping picture perfect on the inside and out. She truly loved being home and took such pride in the family heirlooms. Their family later moved to Grafton, and she continued collecting various family heirlooms including her mother’s grandfather clock. Their dogs, Nikkia, Clyde, Baxter or “Bacaroni”, Tasha, Barron, Pongo, Cookie, Charlie were like additional members of their family, and she also had a special place in her heart for rescue dog, Bart.
There was never anything that was more important to Stephanie than her loved ones. She had very close bonds with all of her family members throughout her life. Stephanie’s older brother, Ken, was married when Stephanie was still in grade school, but he often had her visit him in Houston for a month during the summer. Her brother, Andy, made sure she made it to Frammersbach, Germany, for visits as well. Stephanie loved simple vacations and going to their lake cottage since she was happy as long as the family was together and her husband could fish. Stephanie looked forward to weddings, baptisms, first communions, confirmations, and even just family picnics. She also enjoyed visiting with her aunts.
Throughout her life Stephanie was always a bustle of activity. She had fantastic skills in typing and shorthand, and she found a job at Perlick in Milwaukee through the high school work/study program. Stephanie later worked at Frank Mayer and Associates in Grafton. The company was loyal to her and treated her like family. In return, Stephanie was loyal to them, worked hard, and created a pleasant working atmosphere. She always treated others with kindness and respect, which her coworkers appreciated. Stephanie was very creative and enjoyed things like ceramics, rug-hooking, counted cross stitching, and knitting. Stephanie was also a very gifted quilter and has made many beautiful pieces. She liked going to craft and holiday fairs like Cedarburg Strawberry Fest. Stephanie loved picking up special things for others as she always remembered everyone’s favorites. She loved her gardens and flowers, and they always looked amazing. Stephanie loved having their friends over to visit in the backyard where they had bonfires, sang, or just hung out. She loved decorating the house for holidays, especially Halloween. Stephanie liked old movies, going to concerts, and attending musicals and plays. The Three Stooges was a favorite show, and she loved using one of their lines, “Why I oughta,” complete with the gestures when someone made her mad. Dancing With the Stars was a favorite, and To Kill a Mockingbird was her favorite book.
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Stephanie Dziedzic was a blessing to everyone she met. She was easygoing, at least until someone crossed the line as she was true to her values and let everyone know it. Deeply religious and spiritual, Stephanie was compassionate and generous. She made a permanent imprint on everyone’s heart with her strength, beauty and kindness and will be forever missed.
Stephanie H. Dziedzic died on December 10, 2016. Stephanie’s family includes her husband, Michael Dziedzic; children, Andrew and Alyssa; siblings, Kenneth (the late Jeanne) Suminski, Barbara (Lee) Schaefer, and Andrew (Barbara) Weigand-Suminski; other relatives and friends.
Visitation at St. Joseph Parish, 1619 Washington St. Grafton, WI 53024 on Mon. Dec. 19, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass at 12:00 Noon. Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Suminski / Weiss, 1901 N. Farwell Ave (414) 276-5122, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.