Monika, spelled the German way, reached out her arms and flew to the arms of her loving son Andy and love of her life Marky on Tuesday morning, January 28, 2020. She went on her terms, at home where she was close to her memories, family and friends, Pancreatic CANCER won another fight but her fight was valiant.
Monika was born on May 31, 1941 in Bremerhaven, West Germany, daughter of Karl Richard and Anna Marianette (Wollinsky) Dworok. Monika attended school and graduated Secondary school in Germany. She started her new life adventure when she traveled to the United States on a ship and then made the bus ride to Texas with her son Michael on her lap in 1962. She was a new mother alone in a new country married to a service man, in 1964 she had her second son, then she became a divorced woman with two young boys to raise. Mark found the love of his life and wooed her back to life and she found what a real man does, loves his new formed family and they were married on November 21, 1966 in Uvalde, Texas.
After Mark's service in the Air Force ended in 1970, they traveled back to his home town of Battle Creek, Michigan. He worked at Kellogg's and Monika was a homemaker and started her avid love of the sport of bowling that same year. In 1971 through 1986, she became involved in the Junior bowling program at Ken Nottkes Bowl, now Bowlero Lanes. Spending time with her boys and then her grandchildren was her joy. The great grandchildren made her heart happy. Everyone loved their Oma and Opa Bird. Special grandson, Evan Grant, loved all the adventures the family took together.
The program was huge, two shifts on Saturdays the lanes were filled all 68 of them with youth bowlers, YABA. Monika became the Youth Director of the YABA program, she had a way to persuade you to become involved with coaching for a shirt that stated COACH on them. She loved watching, teaching, and coaching the youth from 6 to 22 years. Monika worked at Ken Nottkes behind the desk starting in 1983, to pay for her bowling habit! She was coached by Hall of Famer Buzz Fazio, as a left handed bowler, she had style and was a very classy lady. The one thing you would remember is her accent, it was awesome.
In 1996, Monika was elected the Battle Creek Hall of Fame for Superior Performance. Monika bowled on all three lanes in Battle Creek: Springlake Lanes, M-66 Bowl and Bowlero (formerly known as Ken Nottke's Bowl.) Bowling in Mixed Double, Women, Mixed Leagues. City, state, and Owosso 600 Club Tournaments were always a weekend away, even bowling in a few National Tournaments, fun with the bowling family.
The only thing that stopped her bowling was the loss of her husband Marky in 2011 and the two hip replacements that had her sidelined for two years. But she came back and she was loving the old lady ball, as she would call it! Dancing was her joy, especially with her new hips, 60's through 70's classic rock was her music. She loved to laugh and enjoyed life.
When Monika found out in December that she was given news of Cancer, she was determined to come watch her team mates on Monday and Thursday nights. She was defiant to the bitter end, wanted to make sure we all knew that she loved her bowling family.
Monika was predeceased by her parents, brothers Robert, Hans, Siegfried Dworok and Dieter Wollinsky. Her In-laws Harold M. and Betty L. (Dennis) Bird. Husband Harold Marcus (Mark) Bird in 2011, son, Andrew R. Bird in 2009.
Surviving is a son, Micheal Leland (Judi) Bird of Ceresco; grandchildren Brandi (Ryan) Ledbetter, Jennifer (Josh) Johnson, Joshua Bird, Jason and Trevor Slayton. Great-grandchildren Greyson and Olivia Ledbetter, McKenzie, Dane, Madalyn Johnson and Tony Bird.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. A graveside service will be held at a later date determined by her son Mike. She will be missed always. Arrangements by the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home.