Saturday, November 19, 2011

Michele Frances Smetana

Michele “Mimi” Frances Smetana, 45, of Racine, died peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. She was the daughter of Frances Smetana and the late Joseph Smetana.

Mimi was the beloved friend of countless people in the community. She was known for her big heart, warmth, humor and sensitivity. She easily made each person she was around feel like they were the most important person in the world.

Born on June 23, 1966, with Down Syndrome, Mimi was, above all else, a teacher. Her presence and personality taught people that getting to know individuals with differences is the most enriching and transformative of life’s experiences. Just a moment with Mimi helped a person realize that a good life is not measured by education, wealth or material items. It’s about loving every ounce of the people who surround you. She was forever telling people, “I love you soooo much.” And she always meant it.

Michele was proud of the many achievements in her life. She graduated from Park High School in 1985, worked hard in the fast-food industry and assembled disposal components at Careers for many years. No matter where she worked, she brought joy and smiles to the faces of the people she met. One of Michele’s biggest accomplishments was directing the all men’s chorus, Racine Dairy Statesmen, and cheering them on in competition. Michele found extreme joy in her family, her friends, the Green Bay Packers and her mom’s cookies. Her huge smile, bright knowing eyes and big Mimi hugs will be missed by all who knew her.

Michele was preceded in death by her loving father, Joseph Smetana, who was her constant companion until his death in 2003. She is survived by her mother, Frances Smetana; sisters, Linda (Bill) Seidel, Cindy (Don) Morin; brother, Joe (Silvia) Smetana; her cherished nephews and nieces, William (Jess) Seidel, Lori (Patrick) Hemauer, Michael (Amy Severinson) Seidel, Ana Smetana; little grand-nieces, Amelia and Esther; and soon to be grand-nephew, William. Michele will always be fondly remembered by her many aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends she made over her lifetime.

A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, November 25, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6400 Spring St., with Rev. Terrance J. Huebner officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Friday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Memorial Mass at 11 a.m. Careers Industries and their outstanding staff were a big part of Michele’s life and the family suggests that any memorials be made to Careers in her memory.

A special thanks to Nicole Cobb and the wonderful caregivers at Love of Caring Family Group Home for the years of tender love and selfless caring for Michele. Also a big thank you to Michele’s special guy, Martin Walker, for always being there and for always making her smile even as the days got tougher.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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