Zaleski wins Homemaker of the Year award at annual county fair


August 18, 2018

Submitted photo

Marlene Zaleski, right, of Bessemer, receives a plaque honoring her as Homemaker of the Year at the Gogebic County Fair last weekend from Bonnie Maki. This was Zaleski's first win in the competition that dates back 40 years.

IRONWOOD - Marlene Zaleski of Bessemer was named the Homemaker of the Year at the Gogebic County Fair last weekend.

Zaleski entered 98 exhibits in baking, canning, flowers, sewing, knitting, garden vegetables, photography and antiques, according to Bonnie Maki, coordinator of the annual award.

Of those exhibits, Zaleski earned 61 first and second ribbons, and she received a grand championship ribbon for her canned beets.

"They were just beautiful," said Maki.

Zaleski said she was thrilled with the honor. "It was a goal in retirement. I'd been working on it all year."

Zaleski retired from a career of nursing at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital in November. She and her husband, Ron, raised two children.

Marlene and Ron took the Master Gardner course and they have been active in that activity for years. They instruct the sixth grade students at Washington School in planting the flowers around Bessemer City Hall and along Sophie Street. She also has served on the Bessemer City Council. A few years ago she took the Master Canner course and has been preserving their garden crops.

This was the 40th year of the award, according to Maki, a former winner. She was one of the members of the original Gogebic Extension Homemaker Council which put together the award.

This was Zaleski's first time winning the award. Maki said Zaleski will not be eligible to win next year, and contestants can only win twice.


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