Mrs. Linda Kathryn Szorik

  • Born: January 21, 1936
  • Died: July 29, 2019
  • Location: Vero Beach, Florida

Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons

54880 Vandyke
Shelby Township, MI 48316

Tel. (586) 677-4000

Tribute & Message From The Family


LINDA KATHRYN SZORIK nee LAMBERT

If you walked upon the sand of Vero Beach during the past 17 years, you probably enjoyed the sound of the crashing Atlantic surf and the graceful flight of a flock of seagulls skimming the surface of the waves. You may also have come across a message scrawled in the sand that contained the shape of a heart and the name "Jules". The message was written almost every day by Linda Kathryn Szorik (nee Lambert) as a memorial to the love of her life, Julius E. Szorik. Jules died in the Autumn of 2001 before they could realize their shared dream of oceanside living in Florida.

Life for Linda started out in a much colder location than the place of her death. She was born in Bay City, Michigan during what became known as the "1936 North American Cold Wave", one of the coldest periods in the recorded history of North America. Her parents, Donald J. Lambert and Beatrice V. Lambert (nee Kent) predeceased her. Donald and Bea raised Linda in a home filled with laughter, love, and familial warmth, albeit one that sometimes suffered from a lack of ambient warmth. The house was very modest in condition and appearance but rich with life within it. Linda was the second oldest child. Her sister Barb is the oldest. Barb lives with her family in Michigan. Linda and Barb were close all their lives and enjoyed gossip and sharing funny stories. Linda's younger sister, Laraine, lives in Michigan. Laraine and her late husband, Tom Foy, often stayed with Linda in Florida or took vacations together in Michigan. Laraine and Linda both loved to shop and had endurance for shopping equivalent to an elite marathon runner. Linda's youngest sibling is her brother, Tim. Tim has lived most of his adult life on the Gulf Coast of Florida. When they were children, Linda helped her parents take care of her brothers and sisters. Her father usually worked the night shift at the nearby Chevrolet factory and her mother often suffered from a debilitating heart condition. Linda helped her parents by getting her siblings off to school, preparing meals, and keeping neighborhood bullies in check if they tried to mess with her family. Her sister reports she did this all with "a bubbly personality and good humor. Although Tim may disagree because she had to cajole him to get him to do his share of the chores." Tim later became a U.S. Marine, no doubt prepared for the challenge of military life by his experience of taking direction from his older sister.

Linda was smart and determined, but she was not fond of school. She loved being with her friends Elaine Glaza, Nancy Ellison, and her best friend Millie Yates who died when she was 21 years old. The four friends would often convince their buddy "Porky" to drive them to dances and other places in Bay City because none of the girls owned a car. At an early age she left home to work at a hospital in Detroit. By the power of her personality, she convinced them that she could operate a complex hospital switchboard although she had no prior experience or training. She performed well on the job and was liked by her colleagues. For a short time, she left Detroit for the lights of New York City where she worked in retail sales at a large department store. Life in New York was not what she had hoped.

Soon after returning to Michigan, she met a tall Canadian man at a VFW dance at Whitmore Lake. The man, Julius Szorik, was an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. He was hardworking, funny, romantic, and a very good dancer. They immediately fell in love and were forever inseparable. Linda noted that Jules' greatest deficiency was the lack of a heater in his beat-up Dodge automobile. Jules' parents, Julius Szorik and Louisa Szorik nee Kovach loved Linda when they first met. They remained close all their lives. Linda and Jules visited Julius and Louisa at their home in Canada almost every weekend for more than 40 years. Linda's mother and father loved and welcomed Julius, but her father Donald remarked that "he had no reason to live anymore" when Linda married Jules in 1958 because Linda brought so much joy to her father and she was moving to Canada.

Linda and Julius raised three boys, Mark, Jeff, and Chris. Mark was born in Canada before the family moved back to Michigan in 1961. The family lived in Sterling Heights for five years before inevitably moving to a street called "Tundra" in Shelby Township, Michigan. Linda would not be able to escape the cold that she so disliked for another 40 years. However, she did enjoy the warmth of close friendships she made in Shelby Township. Her best friend, Fern Grosso, was the person she loved most in life outside her own family. Fern and Linda were attached at the hip until Fern died in 2012.

Linda raised her family with the values that mattered most to her. She loved God and joined the Roman Catholic church when she married Julius. She was steadfast in her faith throughout her life. She hoped her children would find and share her love of God and do so at their own pace. It was a great source of happiness and comfort that they all did. She insisted that her sons learn the value of independence, humility, fairness, and service to others. Linda was never impressed with wealth, power, or prestige. She was impressed with sincerity, warmth, and service. She was a voracious reader often reading 3 to 6 books per week her entire adult life. Her tastes favored non-fiction, biographies, and ridiculous romance novels.

Mark, Jeff, and Chris were all very close to their parents. They cherish family memories that are almost impossibly wholesome like on the old TV show "Happy Days". Linda and Jules created a wonderful family life for their boys. The highlights of the family year were a big Summer vacation and month-long celebration of Christmas at year end. Travel was the only splurge for an otherwise frugal family. Family vacations would sometimes stretch to six weeks and covered every state in the country. Linda and Jules continued their wanderlust when the boys were grown with frequent cruises and trips to Europe, South America, Central America, Canada, Mexico, and retracing earlier trips through the United States.

Linda did not keep it a secret that she always wanted a daughter. She had to wait a while for her dream to come true. She was eventually blessed with three daughters when Mark married Mary Shaver, Jeff married Kari Schellie, and Chris married Mary Shepherd. Linda enjoyed loving relationships with Mary, Kari, and Mary. All of them value Linda as a "second mother". Linda loved each of them unconditionally and considered herself very lucky that her sons married women who were independent, patient, and intelligent. Even though Linda lived far from Mary, Kari, and Mary they stayed close through frequent phone calls, cards, letters, vacations, and visits to one another's homes. Mary, Kari, and Mary developed even closer bonds with Linda when each of them became mothers. Linda was blessed with six grandchildren. Mary's sons are Matthew, Michael, and Paul. Kari's son is Julius. Mary's daughters are Rachel and Nicole. Linda commented to friends that her favorite thing in life over the past few years were visits and conversations with her grandchildren. She was always proud of their various interests and accomplishments, and valued her unique connection with each of them.

When Jules died in 2001, Linda kept alive their shared dream of moving to Florida. Linda was an intensely private person and initially feared moving to Vero Beach on her own with no social connection to the place. She quickly had her fears allayed when she made close friends. One of her closest friends, Tina, died before Linda. Her surviving close friends, Connie and Marsha, were a source of joy and comfort to the end. Her neighbor, Lace, was a valued heart who helped when Linda learned she was ill. Anyone who knew Linda knew that she was a person of strong convictions. She survived open heart surgery from a rare non-malignant tumor in the past and beat cancer almost ten years ago. Last September, she received news that she once again had cancer. Confident in her decision, she asked family, friends, and her physicians to respect her desire to live the rest of her life without active treatment of her cancer. She enjoyed informing people that she was "having many more good days than bad". In the end, her pain and discomfort only needed to be endured for a short time.

Linda lived an ordinary life that was extraordinary for its satisfaction. Her life story had a happy ending -- it also had a happy beginning and a happy middle. She found happiness in Michigan until she found her place in the sun in Florida. Now, if you walk upon the sand along the ocean in Vero Beach, you will no longer see a heart shape with "Jules" scrawled in the sand. However, from time to time, you may see "Jules + Linda, forever" printed near the shoreline as a loving tribute by family or friends.

Thank you for sharing in Linda's life and for reading this brief tribute. Visitation for family and close friends will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at St. Kieran Catholic Church, 53600 Mound Road, Shelby Township, Michigan. Funeral mass will begin at 10:30 am. Interment at Van Hoosen Jones cemetery in Rochester, Michigan will follow mass.

Memorial contributions to the Fr. Solanus Casey Center or the Capuchin Soup Kitchen are appreciated. Please share memories with the family at their "On-Line Guestbook" at WujekCalcaterra.com


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Jeff and family I am so sorry for your loss.My prayers are with you and family.

Posted by Stephen Bielaniec - Shelby Township, MI - Friend   August 10, 2019

To all of Linda's precious family. What a beautiful obituary! I enjoyed reading it with sad heart but found myself smiling as I found out even more about my beautiful neighbor. It was indeed a privilege to know such a bright, loving, funny, independent, caring woman. I will miss her so much! She lives on through each of you! She was ever so proud of her family!

Posted by Lace Milligan - Vero Beach, FL - Neighbor   August 05, 2019

Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to my dear friend, Linda. We spent many hours in conversation each week, discussing matters both meaningful and trivial, sharing the good and the bad of our daily lives. She was honest and courageous throughout her illness, and taught us all by her example. I will truly miss her.

May the bunnies be with you,
Marsha

Posted by Marsha Holliday Fusco - Friend   August 05, 2019

I met Linda about 15 years ago; I would run every morning along the ocean highway and Linda would walk... after a few months I stopped to talk to her and did so almost every day that we met.

She was always funny. interesting to talk with and good friends with many others on the ocean highway including Tina and Heidi.... she always spoke highly of her love of family and her late husband.

It was a pleasure to know her

Posted by Olin harried - Vero Beach, FL - Friend   August 04, 2019