Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 21, 2012

Laura R. Czerniak


MAPLE CITY — Laura Roseline Czerniak, 84, lifelong resident of the Maple City area, passed away at Maple Valley Nursing Home in Maple City on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012.

Laura was born on Nov. 26, 1928, in Cedar to Joe and Rose (Witkoski) Sharnowski.

While working at a Kroger, Laura met her soul mate, the late Claude Czerniak. On Sept. 3, 1949, Laura and Claude were united in holy matrimony at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Isadore. The wedding could only take place after some chores were done, making the bride-to-be one of very few able to say she milked the cows in the morning and was married by afternoon.

Laura was the head cashier at Kroger when she retired after 30 years of dedicated service. She then went to work at the Manitou Farm Market during the summer months. Laura also worked for Kasson Sand and Gravel for 15 years.

In her spare time, Laura loved to fish. She liked to ice fish, spear fish, you name it, she loved it. She also enjoyed going to the casino, playing cards, and watching Jeopardy. Laura was an outstanding quilter and made a quilt for each of her grandchildren. She had an amazing ability to preserve her weekly hair-do's and always managed to look just perfect. Laura and Claude loved to polka and shared a love for big cars and antique cars. She even upholstered a 1931 Model A. She was willing to try anything, and ended up successful at pretty much everything. She liked to make crafts out of sea shells and always had an immaculate flower garden and home.

Laura had a knack for connecting with people. Her outgoing personality and bright smile made it easy for her to make friends everywhere she went. Claude and Laura also enjoyed traveling to such places as Hawaii, the Dakotas and the Wisconsin Dells. Laura was a member of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church. Above all else, she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Laura is survived by her son, Claude Jr. "Sonny" (Bernie) Czerniak of Maple City; her two daughters, Carolyn (Robert) Noonan, also of Maple City, and Claudette (Frank) Winowiecki of Cedar; 17 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; son-in-law, Lawrence Petroskey; sisters, Eleanor "Pat" Williams of Indiana and Arlene (Richard) Hatton of Florida; and many other loving family members and friends.

In addition to Claude, Laura was preceded in death by her daughter, Cheryl Petroskey; brother, Al Sharnowski; and her parents.

Visitation for friends and family will be held Wednesday, Dec. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, with a vigil service to take place at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, also at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, with the Rev. Kenneth Stachnik officiating. Graveside committal services will be held at St. Rita Catholic Cemetery in Maple City in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children's Hospital, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, or to the Biederman Cancer Center through the Munson Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Please share thoughts with the family at Laura's online guest book at

The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.