McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Mother of Amy Szumigala Mohler ’72 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on May 16, 2011


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SZUMIGALA Anne M. Anne Marie (Labuzinski) Szumigala, age 81, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2011, while undergoing heart surgery. She was born May 3 1930, in Toledo, OH, the daughter of Walter and Mary Labuzinski. She attended Central Catholic High School (class of 1948), attended Joliet University on scholarship, and graduated from the University of Toledo, specializing in the field of education. She continued her education at Eastern Michigan University, and earned a Master’s Degree in Gerontology. Anne spent a lifetime devoting herself to helping and educating others, especially within the Toledo Public Schools and at Immaculate Conception and Little Flower Catholic schools in Toledo. She also taught at Bedford Public schools and taught continuing education courses at the Monroe Senior Center in Monroe, MI. She was an honored recipient of President George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light Award” for her volunteer work in the field of education. She was an integral coordinator of the G.I.V.E. (Grandparents Interested in Volunteering for Education) program in Toledo. Anne also volunteered for numerous community enrichment activities, including the Toledo Museum of Art (The Peristyle), the Masonic Auditorium, and other cultural events. She sang in the choir at Little Flower Church and made it a priority to sing at funeral masses to aid in comforting families of the dearly departed. She also volunteered for the PTA, the Cub Scouts, and the Toledo Mother of Twins Club. She served as Volunteer Director for the DACOVA United Way Volunteers Action Committee and as a Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Anne found time to pursue other passions in her life. She traveled the globe, starting with primitive camping trips across the USA with her family, and later in life traveling with her husband Jim to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Egypt, Russia, Japan, and the Amazon River. She enjoyed nature by daily walks and tending her extensive vegetable and flower gardens. She nurtured life, even planting dozens of flowers the weekend before her untimely death. She loved spring, the season of rebirth and new growth. Her motto was “Live each day”. Anne balanced these outside activities while supporting her family by making home cooked meals, sewing, cooking and canning produce, and making specialty Polish and ethnic dishes. Her children anticipated the arrival of Placek shipped to them every Easter and Christmas. Even professionally catered family events were enhanced by the addition of her special, home cooked items. She is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Jim; her children: Amy (Bob) Mohler, Houston, TX; David (Ellen Daley) Szumigala, Fairbanks, AK, Dale (Lisa) Szumigala, Colorado Springs, CO, Cathy (Michele Condie) Szumigala, Wellsville, UT, Sue (Richard) Morgan, Wauseon, OH; grand children, Jeremy, Jonathan and Jennifer Mohler; Matias, Antonio and Nayeli Szumigala, Cassandra Szumigala; Tyce Liston, Nichole (Jason) Heller, Jessica and Christina Morgan and great-grand-children, Isaiah, Ethan, Elijah, Isaac and Ella Heller. She was preceded in death by her parents and grandson, Nathan Morgan. Friends and family may visit on Sunday, May 15, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at W.K. Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home, 3838 Airport Hwy., where the Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. Funeral services will begin with prayers at the mortuary on Monday at 11:15 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 12 Noon at Little Flower Church, 5522 Dorr St, Toledo, Ohio. Interment to follow at Resurrection Cemetery, 5725 Hill Avenue. A reception will be held following Internment at the O’Grady Center at Little Flower Parish. Tributes in Anne’s name may be directed to the tuition assistance fund at St. Benedict (formerly Little Flower) School. 

Published in Toledo Blade from May 13 to May 15, 2011

Anne Szumigala (1930-2011)

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(News article) A former school teacher who was in 1990 recognized by President George H.W. Bush for her volunteer work in education, Anne Szumigala died Tuesday while undergoing heart surgery. She was 81.

Mrs. Szumigala was a lifelong Toledoan who devoted much of her life to children, family members said.

After graduating from Central Catholic High School, Mrs. Szumigala went first to Joliet University and then on to the University of Toledo, from which she graduated.

She taught for years in public and private schools, starting her career in 1953 with Toledo Public Schools. She also taught for Little Flower, Immaculate Conception and Bedford Public Schools before returning to the Toledo district for two years.

She retired in 1989.

It was then she ramped up her volunteering.

“She just loved helping people,” daughter Amy Mohler said. “That’s what she lived for.”

Mrs. Szumigala received her most notable recognition in 1990, when she was selected as one of former President Bush’s ”Thousand Points of Light” award winners. Her husband, Jim Szumigala, said she was notified by letter that she had been selected. Later, the couple was flown to Disney World in Florida for an all-expenses-paid award ceremony. Another of her daughters, Cathy Szumigala, said her mother even got to be onboard Air Force One during the festivities.

In spite of all the excitement and accolades, Mrs. Szumigala wasn’t one to brag, even to her daughters.

“She was very humble and she never talked about this stuff. She’d write us a little letter, ‘Oh yes, I did this, I did that,’ and it was all very down-played,” daughter Cathy said.

Mrs. Szumigala volunteered with many organizations, including the United Way, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Cub Scouts. The Thousand Points of Light — an award given by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network to honor volunteerism — was given for her work in education.

Her husband, whom she met on a blind date, said educating was her true passion.

“She loved children and she wanted to help them,” he said.

The couple had traveled extensively, visiting some of the most historic parts of the world. Together, they saw the pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, and the Roman Coliseum. They also visited remote locations far off the beaten path. Mr. Szumigala said they recently took a cruise ship up the Amazon River.

“We enjoyed that trip, seeing the native villages along the way, the history,” he said.

Surviving are her husband of 58 years, Jim; sons, David and Dale; daughters, Amy Mohler, Cathy Szumigala, and Sue Morgan; 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11:15 a.m. Monday at Little Flower Catholic Church. Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at W.K. Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home, Airport Highway.

The family suggests tributes to the tuition assistance fund at St. Benedict School.

Contact Blade staff writer Tyrel Linkhorn at: or 419-724-6134.

Published in Toledo Blade on May 13, 2011

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