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Geraldine G. Opalewski

Geraldine G. Opalewski

Jul. 21, 1921 - Jan. 27, 2012

Geraldine G. Opalewski, age 90, of Onaway, died at home on Friday January 27, 2012.  Born in the Polish community of Hamtramck, Michigan on July 21, 1921, Gerry was the daughter of Anthony Leon and Leokadya (Cybert) Czarnecki.

On December 20, 1941 Geraldine married Eldon Hatfield.  They made their home in Webberville where they raised their five children and owned a diner and a realty company.  Gerry also worked at a bank in Williamston, starting as a teller and working her way up to becoming the bank's assistant manager.  On July 1, 1972, in Fenton, Michigan, Geraldine was united in marriage to Harold Opalewski, who was her teenage sweetheart and to whom she was engaged to at the age of 16..  A year later they moved from Detroit to Onaway and Gerry went to work at the UAW Education Center.  She worked as a bus driver and worked in food service and housekeeping, retiring in 1985.

Gerry was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Onaway and was a former president of the St. Paul's Alter Society, a life member of the George Garm's VFW Post 5857 Women's Auxiliary, a member of the Waverly Friendship Club, and was an Onaway Red Hatter.  She enjoyed crocheting, knitting, sewing, reading, and flower gardening.  Gerry never turned down a chance to go with her lady friends or with her family on a day trip to the casino where you would find her playing the penny and nickel slots.

Surviving Geraldine are her daughters, Lorann K. (Jack) Siddall of Kalkaska, Karen L. Hatfield of Gladwin, and Robin L. Hatfield of Petoskey; sons, Rusty G. Hatfield of Jupiter, FL and David A. Hatfield of Onaway; 11 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and 10 great, great grandchildren; as well as, nephew, Anthony (Ginny) Czarnecki of Morrison, CO; and niece, Penelope (James) Smith of Boynton Beach, FL.  Gerry was preceded in death by her husband, Harold in 2001; sisters, Esther Patten and Virginia Gilbert; and brothers, Florian, Harry, and Claude Czarnecki.

Visitation will be at the Chagnon Funeral Home in Onaway from 3:30 pm until 8:00 pm on Wednesday Feb. 1, 2012 with at VFW Women's Auxiliary Service starting at 7:00 p.m. followed by a Rosary Wake Service led by St. Paul's Alter Society at 7:30 pm.  Visitation will resume at St. Paul Catholic Church on Thursday Feb. 2, 2012 from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral mass at 11:00 a.m.  Geraldine's final resting place will be at Waverly Township Cemetery in Onaway.  To honor Gerry's memory, her family has suggested donations to the Shrine of St. Jude, St. Paul Catholic Church Window Restoration Fund, or to Hospice of the Straits. 

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