Angeline Frances Raklovits (Dyrek)
|Death:||Died in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States|
|Place of Burial:||Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States|
Daughter of Joseph Dyrek and Mary Dyrek
|Managed by:||Private User|
About Angeline Frances Raklovits
Angeline “Ang” Raklovits was a kind and loving mother and grandmother. With an endless supply of energy, she lived independently, nurtured her two sons and spoiled her grandchildren with love. Family was always first in her heart though she loved to give of her time and talents to others. Ang was one of those very special people you hope to have the good fortune to meet one day.
Joseph and Mary (Majkrzak) Dyrek, where first generation immigrants from Poland, who settled in Chicago, Illinois. On Christmas Day in 1918, the birth of Angeline was especially significant recognizing that her parents were named Joseph and Mary. She was the fourth of their five children: John, Joseph, Helen, Angeline and Edward.
Angeline, called Ang by family and friends, spent her growing up years on the south side of Chicago in Roseland, where her father was a factory worker and her mother stayed home raising the children. Ang’s childhood was typical of the times. The economics of the day were tough, but the Dyrek family was close-knit and held fast with the things money couldn’t buy. She received her formal education in the area Catholic schools, though she left after the 8th grade. Ang was quite an athlete during her school days and played on a minor league team as an in-fielder for the “Bloomer Girls.” Her athletic ability stayed with her, as later in life she became a great bowler.
As fate would have it, Ang met her future husband, Julius Raklovits, at the baseball diamonds where he played with another team. The young couple quickly fell in love. Many of their dates were spent dancing, whether at a Polish event or ballroom dancing; they were perfect partners. On November 9, 1940, Julius and Ang exchanged wedding vows in Chicago, but did not get a honeymoon so that Julius could return to his factory job making war parts. Eventually, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, but was lucky in the fact that he never had to fight because the war ended.
For a short time, the newlyweds lived with Ang’s parents, before inheriting a 4 flat with a vacant lot. This was quite a rarity in Chicago to have this much land, but the happy couple made the best of it by entertaining neighbors and friends in the yard. Ang and Julius were eventually blessed with two sons, Joe born in 1945, and Don born in 1951. After their arrival, Ang stayed at home to care for her new family.
Ang was a devoted mother right up until the end. Her sons were blessed with an active and fun-loving mother, who made every day interesting. She loved to take her sons and the neighborhood kids to the amusement park and ride the roller coasters and parachute ride. She was a big kid at heart and had as much fun as they did. Ang also sparked an interest in Don for the game of softball, coaching and cheering from the stands at his games. Don’s teammates knew they better be at their best or they would hear about it from her. Her loving and generous nature reached beyond just her kids as the neighborhood children liked to come over to the Raklovits’ house; many of them have commented over the years that she was like a second mother to them. Time together as a family was always important and every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. for over 40 years, the family gathered for their usual chicken dinner. The family had a time-honored tradition for the holidays, which was always celebrated at their parents’ home with lots of food and the entire extended families. Ang would not have it any other way.
Though Julius was a homebody, Ang was a true social butterfly, relishing the opportunities to go to parties, play cards, volunteering for just about anything and vacationing with her sons and family. Even when out shopping, Ang had no problem turning to someone in the store and asking, “Hey you – how does this look?” In later years, when she was blessed with grandchildren, Ang wanted to help care for them and moved to Cleveland, Ohio to help Joe then in 1993, moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to help Don and has lived there ever since.
Ang was known as the luckiest gambler ever. The many that lost money to her would attest to that. Bingo was her favorite game to play, but she also enjoyed any kind of cards. In fact, her family and friends from Chicago would drive up just to play poker with her and even as of recently, they stayed up all night playing. Two or three times a year Ang would visit her son in Florida and they would drop her off at the nearest bingo hall where everyone treated this little old sweet lady kindly. That was until she started taking in all the winnings and by the end of the night, she was sitting pretty much alone. When she couldn’t get out and about, Ang liked to watch the Game Show Network with all the old shows like Family Feud and Pyramid while also keeping up on her favorite soap operas. An avid Chicago Cubs fan, Ang never missed a game. If the Cubs weren’t on the television, she had her ear to the radio. Ang got her whole family hooked on the Cubs and if by chance she called you during the game, you had better have the game on and know what’s going on.
Ang was a very frugal minded person, though she would give her last dime to anyone of friends or family. She spent the last 8 years of her life at Evergreen North, a senior complex in Kalamazoo. There she made many great friends and enjoyed many great memories. Ang will be lovingly remembered for her quirky sayings like “you talk like a fish” or “it ain’t easy” and “get out.” Just the thought of her saying these things brings a smile to one’s face.
Angeline Raklovits of Kalamazoo died on Saturday, October 2, 2004. She was preceded in death by her husband, Julius Raklovits, in 1999, and three siblings: John, Joseph and Helen. Ang’s family includes her two sons: Don (Kathie) Raklovits of Kalamazoo and Joe Raklovits of Venice, FL; four grandchildren: Amanda Raklovits, Andrew Raklovits, Dawn (Jeff) Wagner and Jamie (Dana) Raklovits; two great granddaughters, Sydney and Katilyn; a brother, Edward (Shirley) Dyrek of Gurnee, IL; a brother-in-law, Richard (Nancy) Raklovits, of Kalamazoo; three sisters-in-law: Dorothy Raklovits, Lillian Raklovits and Irene Hoeller all of Chicago, IL; and many nieces and nephews.
To learn more about Ang’s life, friends may visit with her family on Saturday, October 9, from 12-2:00 p.m. at the BETZLER LIFE STORY FUNERAL HOMES - Kalamazoo, Stadium Drive (West of US-131) 375-2900. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Private interment will take place in Genessee Prairie Cemetery. Please visit Ang’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you may share a memory, order flowers or make a memorial contribution to the American Heart Association.
All who knew Angeline Raklovits will miss this strong woman with a commitment to helping others. She will be deeply missed.