Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Jacqueline 'Jackie' Lacek

WOODRUFF, Wis. - Born Dec. 31, 1925, Jacqueline "Jackie" Lacek died on Oct. 11, 2022, at Seasons of Life Hospice House, in Woodruff, surrounded by her family. She spent her last day on Earth lying by a favorite window with the warm October sun streaming through and full-color maple, aspen and oak trees lighting up the skyline.

Jackie is survived by her son, Mark and his wife, Susan, and their children, Emmy, Ally and Faith (deceased); daughter, Mary Ann Colasacco and her husband, Jim, and their children, Jason and Erin (Mickey); son, Kevin and his wife, Nancee, and their children, Miles and Griffin (Hannah); daughter, Karen Groves and her husband, Tim, and their children, Trevor (Amanda), Kendra and Hunter; and by brothers, Ed and Patrick Alvey; plus many relatives, friends and caretakers whom she loved dearly.

Jackie was preceded in death by her husband, Emil Lacek; her parents, Frank and Anna Alvey; and her brothers, Frank and Ray Alvey.

Jackie, as she was known to all, grew up in the Mercer and Manitowish area. She attended Mercer Public School and then left Mercer to work in Wausau at an insurance agency and a paper mill. After a whirlwind courtship of seven years with the dashing Emil Lacek, they married on Oct. 8, 1955. Four children arrived within six years. Jackie and Emil raised the kids in the home they built on Grand Portage Lake.

Jackie was renowned in Mercer for her Memorial Day fish fries. Dad would slay walleyes, and Mom would spend the day cooking the fish in her little "fry daddy" - then serving it up with her signature potato salad. Her record was serving 144 people in one day.

Jackie worked at home as an entrepreneur long before it was the cool thing to do. She did sewing alterations, ironed clothes for a girl's camp, cleaned homes and styled hair, all while being a great wife and mom.

When all those kids finally went to school, Mom got a "real" job at Brandt's Red Owl. In her trademark red smock, she performed many roles: clerk, custodian, butcher and bookkeeper. Once she retired, she then worked cleaning rooms at the Great Northern Motel.

Her work ethic and "get it done with no complaints" attitude was a benchmark for all. What was even more apparent was her wonderful way with people. She was genuinely interested in everyone and shared her caring, compassion, wit, humor and sage advice with all. A friend magnet to the end, she loved and adored the many wonderful caregivers in both hospice programs. Our family will be forever grateful to those who treated her so lovingly and respectfully.

Mom was always our amazing sunshine from the moment we were born right to her last breath and, as her children, we won the golden ticket. Always there for us no matter what. Knitter, seamstress, creative spirit and book-lover who taught us all to love reading. Scout leader, school board member, host for years of water skiers, snowmobilers and our friends. Everyone was always welcome in our home with Mom as hostess and forever taking care of all of us - related or not. No one with a bigger heart. Always wanting to help us and keep us on the right track every day of our lives, whether we were down the hall or halfway around the world. Always worried about each of us and wanting the best lives possible for us and her grandkids. Our Dad's best friend who together made a storybook couple and role models for us all.

Now, Mom has left us but Dad gets his girlfriend back. Probably has a shore lunch and boat ready to take her to his new favorite fishing spot. We are so happy that they are together again. Mom, you will never know how much you mean to each of us and how much we love and respect you. A better role model could not be found as you taught us to be honest, ethical, respectful, helpful and always curious - just like you. What a legacy you leave. Our unending goal is to be like you in so, so many ways. We will love you forever. - Mark, Mary Ann, Kevin and Karen

Service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Mercer. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. with Mass beginning at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Mercer Cemetery. All are then invited to a luncheon served at the Mercer Community Center.

Mom insisted on having just one floral bouquet and politely asked that memorials be sent to Faith's Lodge, 505 U.S. 169, Suite 245, Plymouth, MN 55441; or Seasons of Life Hospice, 8951 Woodruff Road, Woodruff, WI 54568.

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