Margaret Walczak, fondly known by all as “Sue” during her seven decades living in Colorado Springs, made her confident passage to meet her savior on March 29, 2018. Margaret, as she was christened, began life in Rochester, Minnesota in April 1923. As a child and young adult, she excelled at school both in academics and social responsibilities, holding positions in student council and Lutheran League. For women of her generation, college was not thought an option, so she channeled her potential into music, athletics and work, playing the piano and singing, even cutting a vinyl record of favorite songs. Margaret and her brother, Herbert, were an impressive figure-skating team and participated in local ice exhibitions. Margaret’s first job outside the home was as a bank teller. Here she acquired business skills, her independent income, and freedom and boldness to travel around the country and Mexico with her girlfriends.
Margaret met Steve Walczak, her husband-to-be, in June, 1948, while touring Yellowstone National Park. Steve adopted her nickname Sue and bestowed on her a new last name. Her story then merges with the history of many in her generation: in 1949, the couple moved 1500 miles away from her family and community to tiny Colorado Springs, population 40,000, where they bought a cute white house in a brand new development filled with her other post-war couples. Within a decade, three blond daughters filled its rooms, and the couple built their dream house in Woodmen Valley, outside the city limits. Sue cooked, sewed, canned and made preserves, became a Girl Scout leader, nurtured puppies, kittens, lambs, chicks and turtles, handled the finances and filed the taxes, and urged or forced the girls to appreciate art and music—driving them to piano lessons, taking them to operas, and enrolling them in summer painting classes at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. In her life as a mother, she did all and more of what was expected of her generation, perhaps, but always superbly, in the most loving, generous, positive and cheerful manner, one that her strong, guiltless, educated, independent, supremely lucky daughters can appreciate for its true depth and breadth as grownups.
Once an empty-nester in the 1970s, Sue spread her wings and launched into new activities: enrolling in music theory classes at the community college, working as a Jill-of-all-trades at a high end boutique dress shop, growing African violets, needling her way into active membership of the Pike’s Peak Embroidery Guild of America, and being named 1989 Volunteer of the Year for her advocacy work with United Seniors of Colorado. Her religion provided a powerful base of comfort for her.
Sue’s three daughters, sons-in-law, grandsons, great granddaughters, cat and friends can’t fathom life without her. Please direct any gifts in her memory to: Lutheran Hour Ministries; or, Wild Blue Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, PO Box 88252, Colorado Springs, CO 80908 www.wbars.org.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 4th at Evergreen Cemetery.