Maureen Guzek, owner, editor and publisher of The Ontonagon Herald, passed away unexpectedly on January 21, 2021 of complications following heart surgery. Maureen was the daughter of the late Francis and Kathleen (Kay) Guzek. She was born in Ontonagon, Michigan on November 21, 1946, attended the Ontonagon schools, and graduated from Ontonagon High School in 1964. She earned an Associate’s Degree in business from Gogebic Community College.
Maureen always had an entrepreneurial spirt. She started a day care business in the early 1970’s, and was later involved with the establishment of Tiny People’s Preschool Nursery in Ontonagon. She was a founding member and president of the Penny Ante Investment Club. She was employed for several years as business manager for Menigoz Building Supply, and later became a bookkeeper at the First National Bank in Ontonagon. In 1990, she and her then husband William Kilmer purchased the Ontonagon Herald. She has served as the Herald’s editor for the last 30 years. She was also the co-owner and operator of the River Road RV Park and Campground.
Maureen served the community for many years, including as a member the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce, the Ontonagon Downtown Development Association, the Ontonagon Village Housing Commission, and most recently as a member of the Village Council. She was a longtime supporter of area businesses and also of many local not-for-profits, including Ducks Unlimited, Camp Josh and Ontonagon County Animal Protection.
As much as she was committed to her business and her community, Maureen was even more committed to her friends and family. She was always ready and willing to come to the aid of a friend in need, and her family was her source of strength and the center of her life. She was loved both for her generous spirit and for her sense of humor.
Maureen is survived by her two daughters, Barbara Kilmer of Ontonagon, and Debbie (Gary) Bryant of Vulcan, Michigan; by her two grandchildren, Troy and Brandi Matonich; and by one great-grandchild, Bentley Matonich. She also leaves her best friend and significant other, Rick Bernier of Land O Lakes, Wisconsin. Also surviving are three of her four brothers, Joseph (Mary) Guzek of Brighton, Michigan, Peter Guzek of Ontonagon, and Fred (Susan) Guzek of Dover, Kansas; and two sisters, Mary Anne Guzek Kimball of Ironwood, and Jean (Jack Whiting) Guzek of Bloomfield, New York; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Michael Guzek; her brother-in-law, Robert Kimball; and her sister-in-law, Debbie Bartley Guzek.
Due to Covid restrictions, no funeral arrangements have been made at this time. A memorial service is planned for a yet-undermined later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a local charity of your choice in memory of Maureen.
Cane Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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