Friday, May 12, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Life Story / Obituary
Doreen Jakimowicz lived a very active life well into her later years. Blessed with an abundant and loving family, she relished her role as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Generous beyond measure, there simply wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for her family or a stranger in need. Doreen leaves behind a rich collection of memories for her special friends and loved ones to cherish forever.
Looking back on the 1920s, it was a period when the media focused on jazz music and celebrities. Harry and Florence Nightingale, welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Doreen, on December 11, 1926, in Burton Joyce of Nottingham, England. Her parents were hard workers. Her father worked at Burton Joyce Water Works polishing water tanks, and her mother took care of those in her community who were battling illness. Doreen’s strong work ethic and compassion for others were a part of her upbringing. She was a great blessing to her loving parents.
Born and raised at 10 Rose Cottages, Doreen lived a typical childhood of those living during the tumultuous time of World War II. As a youngster, she recalled the days of hearing air raid sirens in her neighborhood and being sent home from school early to take shelter. In her small community, they endured eleven air raids that claimed the lives of 178 and further injured over 350. It was a devastating time in Burton Joyce. Doreen lost several of her classmates and neighbors in the air raids. She watched her town turn to rubble right before her very eyes. The trauma of these days never left her. Despite the war, she managed to complete her schooling by the required age of fourteen. During these early years, food was scarce due to rationing so her grandfather grew veggies in the garden. The family relied on local neighbors to share chicken eggs and they each took turns harvesting fruit from the trees that were still thriving even in the midst of the wreckage.
Doreen learned the traditional roles of young women during the Thirties. Her mother was known to pitch in to help wash and iron her older sister’s clothes. Doreen was responsible for taking it to her sister Vera's home which required a lengthy bus ride including a transfer. On one occasion, when Doreen arrived, her sister wasn’t home. Not wanting to come all that way only to turn around and haul the laundry back home, she stuffed each piece of clothing through the mail slot! Doreen’s mother didn’t see this quite as clever as she did, however, and she ended up in trouble! On a positive note, she never was asked to deliver the laundry again! A talented seamstress, Doreen used her skills to work a factory job sewing Knickers. She vividly recalled the day that a German fighter plane flew close to her second-story station and began shooting threw the window, unfortunately some did not survive. Back at home, bombs were dropped directly behind the cottage. These were difficult days. When the fog was heavy, buses would cancel routes, forcing her to walk eight miles back home after a long day at the factory. Doreen’s tenacity for work and survival were never questioned as she had survived so much in her early years.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of Tadeusz (Ted) Jakimowicz, a Polish immigrant who would change the course of her life forever. He was a member of the Royal Air Force stationed in Burton Joyce. One fateful day their paths crossed when Doreen’s bike had a flat tire and he stopped to help her. Their first meeting was something straight from the movies. Once he had her bike back on the road, they were forever endeared to one another. They married and welcomed home their baby daughter, Valerie, at Rose Cottages just the same way that Doreen was so many years before! By late 1949, Ted came to America on the Queen Mary arriving in Ellis Island. He was eager to find work and landed in Detroit. In 1952, Doreen and Val also took the same five-day journey on Queen Elizabeth I. Together they also welcomed their son, Roland, and daughter, Shirley, completing their family.
Motherhood kept her mind off how much she missed her family back in England. It was a difficult time for Doreen as she was excited about their life in America but deeply missed Burton Joyce and the Rose Cottage memories. She was grateful for her parents to come for a visit to the United States in 1958. Sadly, that visit was the last time that Doreen saw her mother. In 1969, Ted, Doreen, Roland, and Shirley, traveled back to England for a family reunion. During that time they also visited Poland to meet Ted's family. Doreen taught her children to be fiercely independent and to stand up for themselves. It was evident that family was important to her and she cherished every moment of being a mother.
She had a remarkable career in industry. A large majority of her work was sewing piecework until 1964. She was then hired by Fisher Body, the General Motors Plant in Livonia where she worked for over twenty-five years. Most of her time there was spent sewing car seats and working on car door interiors until she retired in 1988. Even during these busy years, Doreen always prepared home-cooked meals for her family! She enjoyed larger gatherings as well including cooking over thirty pounds of Kielbasa for special work occasions! Once retired, she and Ted enjoyed traveling. Two special trips were to visit Jamaica and Hawaii. Ted only gave her a short notice for such trips, yet Doreen scrambled for her belongings and was always ready at the door! A highlight was when she took her oldest daughter, Val, on a trip out west in a motor home with grandsons, Eddy, Paul, and close friends, Mary and Dan. All along the route between Michigan and Montana, they enjoyed stopping at every Wall Drug store famous for 5-cent cups of coffee they saw advertised on each and every highway billboard! Above all else, Doreen enjoyed the time she spent with her family.
Described as caring and loving, Doreen made everyone feel special in her presence. Gifted with an extraordinary memory, she was known to remember birthdays and special events and enjoyed sending greeting cards. Doreen also had a great sense of humor. She enjoyed posting humorous comics on Facebook as well as some of the pictures she took over the years. Facebook became a way for her family to know that she was alive and well. They would send morning greetings and nighttime messages to end their day. Doreen enjoyed her " cup of tea” it made everything better.
Deeply loved, Doreen was a wonderful person to know and to love. She was the matriarch of her family and there is no doubt that her special presence will be missed each and every time her family is gathered together. May they feel her warm presence among them and share in great joy and laughter reflecting fondly on the good times she shared with each and every one of them.
Doreen M. Jakimowicz, passed away on May 6, 2023, at the age of 96. She was the beloved wife of the late, Tadeusz, and the loving mother of Valerie (the late Wally) Awiszus, Roland Jakimowicz, and Shirley (the late Mike) Davis. Doreen was the dearest grandmother of Edward (Rene Ditton) Talik, Paul Talik, James (Renae Walsh) Jakimowicz, the late Robert Jakimowicz, Anthony (Whitney) Jakimowicz, Melissa (Drew Drake) Jakimowicz, Jesse (Heather) Davis, Jamie Davis, and Lisa (Tim) Seibert. She was also survived by her 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Doreen was predeceased by her siblings; Sylvia, May, Vera, Harry, and Bruce. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 3-8 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan 48154. An additional visitation will be held on Friday, May 12, 2023, from 10 am until the time of the funeral service at 11 am at the funeral home. Interment to take place at Parkview Memorial Cemetery, Livonia, Michigan.