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 Marlene Virginia <I>Piet</I> Sakalas

Marlene Virginia Piet Sakalas

Ferndale, Oakland County, Michigan, USA
Death 20 Apr 2004 (aged 61)
Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan, USA
Burial Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section 29, Lot 535, Grave 2
Memorial ID 9690299 · View Source
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"if I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with her.....I'd play a song that would never ever end, how I'd love dance with my sister again ..."R.I.P. Mar for you are loved and your spirit is inside my heart and will remain until the good Lord calls my number!

Dearest Sister, Wife, Mother, Teacher. Marlene was my sister and the most caring, loving and sweetest person that you could know. She was a teacher of science for over 30 years. She taught at Centerline High School, St. Ladislaus and finally Our Lady Of Lasalette. Marlene loved to teach and received many awards including science teacher of the year award for her students that competed at the Science Fair at Cobo Hall.
Marlene loved her pets, she loved all of her students and most of all loved her family. She was very religious and never missed a Sunday service. She was a wonderful mother and wife. She leaves behind her husband Peter, her daughter Lorrie (Steve) and grandson Josh. Her son Matthew (Tina)- granddaughter Chloe Marlene 6/16/2006 and grandson Carson. Her son Michael (Lucinda)
granddaughter Stella Bele 8/27/2007, and twin grandsons Henry Michael and Hank Bruno - November 2008 in(Australia), and her son Larry (Veronica, and newest grandson Bryce Thomas.

Marlene died suddenly following knee surgery. We miss her and love her.
Father: Bruno Piet
Mother: Frances Piet
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Science teacher was an 'angel' to students

Students, family recall Catholic instructor who died after surgery

By Dorothy Bourdet / The Detroit News

BERKLEY — The letters say it best.

In careful cursive or a sloppy scrawl, the students of Marlene Sakalas penned their feelings about their teacher in letters to her family.

"God sent an angel to the world to make a difference. That angel not only made a difference to her family and friends, but she also made a difference to everyone she taught, especially me," wrote Jalese Johnson, a seventh-grader at Our Lady of La Salette Catholic School.

Marlene Sakalas, who taught sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade science, died suddenly April 20 after undergoing a knee replacement surgery. Now, her family, friends and the small school where she taught are trying to cope with the loss of the teacher who invested 12 years of her career and even more of her heart into her students.

Marlene Sakalas was the kind of teacher who had a personal relationship with each of her students, said Principal Carol Smith.

"She really wanted them to feel God's love. She was a conduit for the Lord, I guess," Smith said.

But Marlene Sakalas, 61, was also a conduit for discipline.

"It was tough love," said Dwight Thomas, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at the school, who felt the wrath of his teacher more than once.

But Dwight often called Marlene Sakalas at home — just to chat or talk about his problems.

"To me, she was like my other mother. She would always be there for me," he said.

On a recent gray morning, her oldest son, Larry Sakalas, stopped to talk to students about his mom.

"Next to us, you guys were the most important thing in her life," he told the eighth-grade class.

He asked the students, who will move on to a new school next year, to promise to study hard and do their best to succeed — a speech his mom probably would have given.

"Just remember some of the values she tried to teach you guys," he said.

Fourteen-year-old Madeleine Doucet won't forget the unbending standards of Marlene Sakalas.

"I would say that she pushed us all to the limit of what we could do — she only expected the best out of us," Madeleine said.

But her greatest lessons were lived, not lectured.

Her example inspired her son, Larry Sakalas, 34, to become a teacher, he said.

"I watched what she did and how she made a difference in a lot of people's lives," said Larry Sakalas, who teaches accounting at Anderson High School in Southgate.

"She always told me I would be a good teacher, course I could never be as good as she was but I'm trying," he said.

Inside the Our Lady of La Salette's red brick building, mention Marlene Sakalas and everyone has a story — usually accompanied with tears and smiles.

One of her biggest contributions was organizing the annual science fair. She could describe in detail the projects of about 80 students involved in the fair, Principal Smith said.

She also started a National Junior Honor Society chapter at the school and sponsored the student council, Smith said.

"How are we every going to get this done because she did so much," Smith said.

At their home in Warren, her husband, Pete Sakalas, wonders the same thing.

"She couldn't do enough for other people and for our kids, she was just that way," he said. "What she did at school just reflected what she did at home."

Pete and Marlene Sakalas, Warren residents since 1967, would have celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary in July. They met in biology class at the University of Detroit where she helped him boost his plummeting grades.

From the time he met her until her death, she was always giving to others, Pete Sakalas said.

After she died, her family donated her corneas and bone tissue to the Gift of Life Donor Program.

"So even in death she's helping somebody," Pete said.

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  • Created by: TOM♦
  • Added: 22 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9690299
  • TOM♦
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marlene Virginia Piet Sakalas (23 Oct 1942–20 Apr 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9690299, citing Resurrection Cemetery, Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by TOM♦ (contributor 8285730) .