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309 W. Parkdale Avenue
Manistee, MI 49660
Phone: (231) 723-1117
Fax: (231) 723-1029
Kathleen  Chmielewski

Kathleen Mae Chmielewski (Schimke)

Thursday, December 18th, 1952 - Saturday, April 11th, 2020
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Kathleen Mae Chmielewski, age 67, of Manistee, passed away on Saturday April 11, 2020 at home.
She was born on December 18, 1952, daughter of the late Frank A. and Vivian M. (Ives) Schimke. She attended Manistee High School, graduating with the class of 1971. She then attended Grand Valley State University. Kathleen worked as a 5th grade teacher at Mason County Central for many years until she retired.
Kathleen was a member of the VFW Auxiliary and enjoyed shooting pool for many years on various teams and leagues and was an avid animal lover, especially her dogs.
Kathleen is survived by her children, Tonya (Tim) Swanson of Gowen, MI, Milo (Kelly) Fortier of Caledonia, MI, and Joshua (Holly) Fortier of Manistee; grandchildren, Luke and Jack Swanson, Zander, Cade and Rowan Fortier and Jenna and Jordyn Fortier; sister, Jean Schwerin of Manistee and special friend, Raymond Manke.
No service is planned at this time. Memorial contributions in memory of Kathleen may be directed to Homeward Bound Animal Shelter in Manistee.
Feel free to share a memory or photo with Kathleen’s family at The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Manistee.
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Posted at 03:59pm
It's too bad her "partner" took advantage of Kathy. He took advantage of her to the point that he managed to remove all of Kathy's immediate family from any and all legal documents. My understanding is that he prevented her children from even collecting her ashes after her cremation. His son is still in possession of Kathy's ashes. A son who spoke to Kathy once or twice in his life. What does he gain from holding the ashes of a woman he never knew other than for legal purposes? Seems to be as sketchy as his dad.

It's also unfortunate that her house amazingly burned down immediately following Kathy's death. A fire deemed to be caused by an electrical fire. Electrical that was upgraded in the past five years. Almost seems like a Dateline episode. All her physical possessions were lost, which her family were really looking forward to collecting and keeping for memories.

Ray Manke should be ashamed of himself for what he has done. His greed will leave a lasting impression on his and Kathy's family. How unfortunate.


james Posted at 04:00pm

Wow! I've been thinking the same thing since Kathy's passing.

Bob Spangler

Posted at 10:02am
Kathy and I taught Fifth Grade at Mason County Central for many years. We often shared the same children for different subjects and I saw the impact she made with many of the students. I would like her family to know she made an impact on many lives during her years at MCC.

Tonya Swanson Posted at 02:35pm

Thank you Bob for sharing the impact my mom made. She always spoke highly of her colleagues and she loved teaching and her students.

Jim Gundersen

Posted at 08:57pm
My condolences to Kathy’s family and friends. I taught with Kathy in 5th grade at Mason County Central for many years. Fifth grade was composed of 4 to 5 teachers who taught closely as a team. Kathy was caring and sincere about doing the best for our students. Our team was in many ways like a family. We supported and cared about each other. I have many fond memories of her. The last memory was surprising her at her hang out, The Jailhouse. Again, my condolences.

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