Jennifer Frances (Skura) Osmolski of Manistee, MI, died peacefully on February 20, 2017 after a long fight with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 68 years old.
Jennifer married Robert Osmolski on August 16, 1969 at St. Casmir Church in Hammond, IN. She was the devoted mother of Mary (Jim) Olson of Buckley, MI, Cecilia (Scott) Brauer of Chicago, IL, and Joe of Marquette, MI; and the beloved grandmother of Luke and Adam. She was the loving daughter of the late Stanley & the late Christine Skura, and cherished older “Sis” to Barbara, David, Stacia, Stan, and Drew.
Jennifer graduated from Bishop Noll High School in Hammond, IN in 1966 and went on to earn a B.S. in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph’s College Calumet Campus in East Chicago, IN. Her first teaching job was at St. Columba in Chicago, IL and subsequently taught at St. James School in Montague, MI and Ludington Area Catholic School in Ludington, MI.
Robert and Jennifer settled in Fountain, MI in 1974 and built their home on Thunder Lake where she eventually took a hiatus from teaching to raise Mary, Celia, and Joe. While away from the classroom, she found joy as an active parishioner, lector, Eucharistic minister, and Director of Religious Education at St. John Cantius Parish in Free Soil for 10 years.
The family moved to Manistee in 1986 and Jennifer returned to teaching, starting her career at Manistee Catholic Central, where she retired from in 2009. The majority of her time at MCC she taught third grade; and most rewardingly prepared hundreds of students for the sacrament of First Communion. She introduced her students to the annual Do Something: Kindness & Justice Challenge in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and in 2002 her 3rd graders were named a champion class by the organization. She also drove the school bus to/from field trips and was inducted into MCC’s Hall of Fame in 2003.
Jennifer continued her involvement in the church as a Religious Education Catechist at St. Joseph’s in Manistee. She was also a member of St. Joseph’s Rosary and Altar Society and set a daily example of living out the Beatitudes. She was one of the most thoughtful and generous souls and may have singlehandedly kept Hallmark in business with the number of cards she sent to friends and family for birthdays, holidays, and “just because”.
Jennifer had a special place in her heart for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother Teresa, and all of the Angels and Saints, notably the children of Fatima. It’s also been said that Jennifer was first to coin the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” as a means of disciplining her students; but the family did not have the foresight to trademark the question onto bracelets (“W.W.J.D.”).
She loved lilacs, Shadow (the family dog), watching game shows, Leave it to Beaver, Family Ties, and MCC girls’ basketball games. She enjoyed writing in calligraphy, sewing, listening and dancing to “the oldies”, especially, The Temptations, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and The Beetles.