Tuesday, March 7, 2017
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
A rosary will take place at 7:00 pm.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
9:30 AM EST
17500 Farmington Rd
Livonia, MI 48152
In State at 9:00 am until funeral mass at 9:30 am.
Life Story / Obituary
One of Life’s great beauties, Sonia Mulvihill, 96, lived a heart centered life committed to kindness and a deep faith. Genuinely devoted to her family, Sonia relished nothing more than sharing the lives of those she loved. With a firm sense of the Divine, Sonia embraced life’s joys and challenges equally, grateful for the gifts in both. Deeply treasured, Sonia leaves behind a brilliant tapestry of beautiful memories her loved ones will forever hold as priceless heirlooms.
With The Great War behind us, the 1920s gave birth to many firsts that helped pave the way for a decade of abundance and much celebration for our nation. The year began with high hopes as The Great Steel Strike ended and the US census proved for the first time in history more Americans lived in urban areas than rural. With the inventions of the hair dryer, Q-tips, and traffic lights, a greater ease and comfort for many became the new normal. Hope grew exponentially later in the year with the ratification of the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote, and millions of women were working white collar jobs. While riding the post-war quiet and the nation’s feelings of high hope and good fortune, Valentine and Katherine Matusik added to history’s lists of celebrations when they welcomed their daughter Sonia into their hearts and home on July 31st.
Growing up in Detroit during the 20’s and early 30’s Sonia enjoyed a childhood rich in family and school. Her father worked as a laborer, cobbler, and molder while her mother ran the household and also worked in the kitchen at Cadillac Motors. The family lived in a small two bedroom lower flat on 51st street that her father helped to build. It is here that Sonia and her sisters, Mary, Jackie, and Jan, enjoyed spending evenings on the front porch and playing games like jacks, hide and seek, and hopscotch with their neighborhood friends. Sonia enjoyed attending St. Stephen’s and Our Lady Queen of Angels and loved all of her classes.
As a teen, Sonia was a beauty, and she experienced wonderful memories going out dancing with her friends and charmingly weaving her way through many a young suitor’s calls for attention. Following her graduation from Cody High School in 1938, Sonia attended modeling school. She was soon hired by Hudson’s, Sears, and Diamond’s, an exclusive dress shop in Detroit. Sonia modeled for ten years. Sonia learned to sew while working with seamstresses in the dress shops. As her skills grew stronger so did her love for sewing. Over her lifetime she made everything from children’s clothes to men’s suits, as well as slipcovers and drapes.
Once Sonia met Jack Mulvihill, her dance card was permanently full and the young couple spent every weekend dancing at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. After they married, Sonia and Jack settled in Dearborn and soon welcomed four children to their home. Jack supported the family working as a chemical salesman by day and as a musician by night while Sonia ran the household and also earned a modest income with her sewing. With her talented hands, Sonia made suits for her sister and her sister’s co-workers; she often made suits for Jack and his bandmates. Sonia also loved interior decorating, as she was able to put her sewing skills to even more use by sewing many window coverings for her house. Not easily intimidated by a challenge, Sonia and Jack dabbled in entrepreneurship. First, they opened Sonia’s Fashion Shop followed by Nutto-Hill Appliances; later they ran a small 8 unit apartment complex, a bar, and lastly, The Esquire Motel on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.
Sonia took great pride in raising her four children, Pat, Nancy, Gary and Karen. Though she loved animals, Sonia only allowed the children to have small turtles and fish as pets. Sonia especially enjoyed taking her children and their friends to Detroit Tigers baseball games on Wednesday afternoons when it was ladies day and admission was only 50 cents. A favorite memory Sonia cherished was traveling to Florida and visiting the theme parks as a family. A devout Catholic, Sonia attended church every Sunday and increased her volunteering within the church community as her children grew older. She generously served many a luncheon in service of her fellowship over the years. Sonia’s unwavering faith, coupled with her strong work ethic, sense of perseverance, and many talents afforded her children a powerful model on which to build their own lives.
Despite the tremendous loss that came when Jack died, Sonia chose to continue to embrace each day fully. She joined the Livonia Travel Club and traveled extensively both in the States and abroad. Sonia’s single greatest joy was spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She delighted in sharing their lives and enthusiastically supported each of their endeavors. A cherished memory for the entire family was her 90th birthday celebration when they gathered together on a double-decker river boat on Belleville Lake for a two-hour tour. The 40 plus guests enjoyed each other’s good company while dining on good food and dancing to famous forties tunes. A good time was truly had by all.
The last three years of Sonia’s long life were spent in the caring community at Woodhaven’s Assisted Living Center. Sonia loved her stay at Woodhaven wholeheartedly asserting, “you don’t have to worry about anything, you’re always being watched out for and are never alone. Everyone is so friendly.” Sonia attended many of the activities offered at the center including her favorite--bingo, exercise class, movies, and various music and art programs. She was esteemed by her peers who saw her as a “very nice and fun loving person.”
Those who knew her would unhesitatingly agree that Sonia’s life centered on her family. She was a proud and devoted mother to her children whom she deeply loved and unfailingly supported. Her kind nature made her a wonderful grandmother to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Though the world is surely duller without Sonia’s bright light, her vibrant legacy will continue to brilliantly shine in the hearts and lives of those she leaves behind.
SONIA (Matusik) Mulvihill, age 96, passed away March 3, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Jack. Dear mother of Pat (the late Ken) Lepczynski, Nancy (John), Morgan, Gary, and the late Karen. Cherished grandmother of Kenny, Jeff, Scott, Kevin, Sean, and Jennifer. Loving great-grandmother of Hayley, Jeremy, Bella, Gideon and Morgan. Predeceased by sisters Mary, Jackie and Jan. Family will receive guests Tuesday from 2-9 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Rosary at Neely -Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 5 Mile Rd. (Between Middlebelt and Merriman). A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., in state until time of mass from 9 a.m. at St. Aidan Catholic Church, 17500 Farmington Rd. (Between 6 and 7 Mile) To sign the online guestbook visit