STAMM, Della, 90, of Alpena, died Tuesday, April 17, peacefully at home.
Della was born February 9, 1922, in Maple Ridge Township, the daughter of Boleslau and Antonia (Zielinski) Harkiewicz, both natives of Poland. She grew up on the family farm on Long Rapids Road, often working a team of horses. During the war years she went to work in Alpena at Fraser Products, sewing tents for use on the front, and later, at Thunder Bay Originals.
On October 4, 1952 Della married the love of her life, Martin Stamm, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alpena. Together they bought a dairy farm in Hillman, and she tended her massive flower and vegetable gardens while Martin tended the farm. Her husband preceded her in death on February 11, 1983, and Della then moved to Alpena to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.
In Alpena, Della filled her days providing daycare for her grandchildren and children of family friends. She established new flower gardens and knitted, sewed, and crocheted, providing countless tablecloths, doilies, and other fancy goods for church use, fundraisers, friends, and family. Della loved to decorate for holidays, and was a fabulous cook. Her greatest pleasure was crocheting beautiful christening outfits for her great-grandson and future babies, at the age of 89. Della recently celebrated her 90th birthday with friends and family, and was proud of being able to live independently. She was known to many family and friends as “Busia.”
Della took pride in her church families over the years. While single in Alpena, she raised funds for the original Catholic Central High School building. In Hillman, she was renowned for her chicken dinners at St. Augustine’s, where she also grew and arranged altar flowers each weekend. After moving back to Alpena, Della cooked dinners for many years at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Over the years she cooked for priests and bishops, served as a Eucharistic minister, and was a member of the Altar Society and League of Catholic Women. In 2010 Della was honored with the Diedre Beagle Lifetime Volunteer Service Award for her dedication and service to the parish.
Owing to her many triumphs in church cookery, her favorite bible story was the feeding of the multitudes with the loaves and fishes.
Della is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Harry Wilson; grandchildren, Jeff Wilson and Stephanie (Dan) Florip; and great-grandson, Adam Florip, all of Alpena. She was preceded in death by her husband, Martin; her parents, Boleslau and Antonia Harkiewicz; and her siblings, Mary Czajkowski, Eugene, John, Helen Wodkowski, Sr. Mary Amadeus (Lavina), her twin sister, Theodora Budnick, and an infant brother, Frank.
Mrs. Stamm is at the Bannan Funeral Home where family and friends may call on Friday from 2 -8 p.m. with a parish prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Greg McCallum officiating.
Interment: Holy Cross Cemetery