Irene Catherine Handziak

Irene Catherine Handziak, 96, of Sugar Island passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Sunday November 7, 2021.

Irene was born September 19, 1925 in Goetzville, Michigan to Koney and Nellie Schmitigal. Irene was the second oldest of 13 children. The stories are endless!

Irene is survived by her three children, Marion (Dave) VanLuke, Frederick Handziak, and Frank J. (Diane)Handziak; three granddaughters, Kathleen (William) Holland, Amanda (Corey)Stoneman, and Melissa (Jason) Morehouse; three great grandchildren, Alexander Morehouse, Mason Morehouse, and Page(David) Gentner; two great great granddaughters, Ava and Alyvia; sisters, Francis Walthers, Lillian Jankewicz, and Bonnie (Steve) Newnun; brothers, Conrad Schmitigal, Harold (Barbara) Schmitigal, Kenneth (Diane) Schmitigal , and Eugene(Linda) Schmitigal, and too many other loving family members and friends to fit in this obituary.

Irene is preceded in death by her husband, Frank R. Handziak; parents, Koney and Nellie; sisters, Stella Willis, Dorothy Bielas, Marion McConkey; and brothers, Lawrence Schmitigal, and Stanley Schmitigal.

Irene married Frank R. Handziak on September 21, 1946. In 1955 Irene and her family made Sugar Island their home and she became involved in many organizations. A few to mention are 4-H Leader, Blue Bird Leader, starting member of Sugar Island Ambulance Club, Sugar Island Lionesses Club, Red Hats Society, and Sugar Island Treasurer for 23 years. Irene attended mass at the Sacred Heart Church on Sugar Island. She will always be remembered for her apple pies, cookies, jams, pickles, and all her crafting projects (especially her washcloths).

The family would like to thank Adrienne Beckham and the Sugar Island Ambulance EMS for all they had done for Irene, Hospice of the EUP staff for all their caring and support, Riverside Medical, War Memorial Hospital, and Chippewa County Health Department.

The family would also like to thank Rosie Menard (Handziak) for her weekly coffee visits throughout the years with Irene. Irene always looked forward to Rosie’s visits.

Visitation for Irene will be held on Friday November 12, 2021 from 10:00am until the time of service at 11:00am at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Sault Ste. Marie, MI with Father Mark McQuesten officiating. Final Resting place will be Oaklawn Chapel Gardens. Irene was such an important part of her family. She will be remembered, missed, and loved forever.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting contributions be made to the Hospice of EUP 308 W 12th Ave Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 or Sugar Island Lions Club Ambulance Fund, 7332 E. 1 ½ Mile Rd. Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Clark Hovie Galer Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

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