Our beloved mother and devoted wife passed onto her eternal home after 101 years of gracious living.
She was born August 2, 1912, in Wilkeson, Wash., to Anton and Pearl Sterbick, the 6th of 10 children. Her parents instilled a strong sense of family unity that never left her. Her siblings and their families met for over 75 years every Christmas eve to continue their familial bond along with their Croatian and Catholic heritage.
Mom met her future husband, Anthony “Tony” of 66 years on Dad’s way to a Croatian picnic in July of 1947. They were married three months later on October 18, and settled in Hoquiam, WA. They quickly had four children and to the end Mom epitomized the role of homemaker extraordinaire. She was involved in school related activities as her children grew and was a lifelong active member of Our Lady of Good Help Catholic Church in Hoquiam.
Mom’s Croatian roots were always evident by the wonderful foods she prepared just as her mother had. Mom traveled back to the “old country” (Croatia) four times. She met her relatives there and traveled to the sacred sites of Medjugorje as well as the holy city of Rome.
She was an avid sports fan and above all followed Notre Dames’ sport teams. From Knute Rockne days on, her love of “the Irish” never wavered.
Mom was extremely social, never missing an invitation to family and friends events. Everyone enjoyed Mom and Dad’s presence and they were always the last to leave get togethers. She was also strong willed and stood her ground on the values she believed in.
A hole has been created in our hearts that will never be filled. She was a great example of love and left the best of herself with the rest of us.
Mom is survived by husband, Anthony “Tony”; children, Anthony (Sharon), Peter, Marianne, and Julie; grandchildren, Joshua and Jonathan Cemelich, Anna and Aaron Bowers; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral mass will be held at 11 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Vancouver, WA (rosary said at 10:15 am) followed by a reception in the church’s hall. Burial services will be held at 11 am, Thursday, January 23, 2014, at Calvary Cemetery, Tacoma, WA. Donations may be made to the Nat’l Right to Life League in Marianne Cemelich’s memory.