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Margaret Alice Rybak

June 26, 1929 May 21, 2020
Margaret Alice Rybak
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Obituary for Margaret Alice Rybak

Margaret Alice Rybak, a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died on Thursday, May 21, 2020. She was 90 years old. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter M. Rybak in 2011 and brothers, Robert (Dorothy) Kuehnle and Donald (Barb) Kuehnle. She is survived by her children, Howard (Rose) Rybak, Anne (Tim) Hoban, Beth (Todd) Parsons, Walter Rybak and Tom (Lisa) Rybak; grandchildren, Thomas Rybak, Natalie (Richard) Steward III, Kathryn (Austin) Kidd, Eileen (Dan Bragg) Hoban, Christopher Hoban, Michael Parsons, Christine (Nick) Jarriel, Matthew Rybak, Sarah Rybak, Patrick Rybak and Scott Rybak; great-grandchildren, Ella Parsons and Caroline Parsons; siblings, Marion (Frank) Weaver, as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Margaret Alice was born June 26, 1929 to Donald and Katherine Kuehnle. She lived on the Kuehnle family farm until the age of 5 with her sister Marion and 2 brothers Donald and Bob. The family moved to the Latourette in Hartland, MI and then in August 1941 the lived in the Spring Mills Tavern on M59. Margaret called herself a real farm girl. She loved the farm life. Raising and caring of the animals as well as growing vegetables and gardening were happy times for her as a child.

Margaret graduated from Milford High School in 1947. After high school she attended the Business Institute of Pontiac for 18 months. After earning her certificate, she would make time to travel to Toledo, Ohio to visit family. She loved to tell the story of a certain time when she was returning home from one of those visits. She had gotten off the bus at one of the stops, which was in Ann Arbor, MI for a restroom break. During the break, the bus left without her. Margaret being the precocious person she is, bought a newspaper, found an ad for a job and applied for it. Her first job was at the University of Michigan Fresh Air Camp. While working at the camp she continued her education at U of M for 2 years in accounting and business. This marked the beginning of her life in the Detroit area where she would soon meet her beloved husband Walter.

She met her soul mate Walter Michael Rybak, affectionately known as Wally, at a dance at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit on Woodward Avenue while out with friends. They married thereafter on December 1,1956 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Milford. The couple moved to Detroit and started their family which included 5 children, this was much smaller than the original plan of 10 by Wally. Every summer was a meticulously planned vacation out west. They would often pack the kids and sometimes Grandma Kuehnle into the station wagon and travel all over the US for family vacations. Margaret loved the outdoors. She loved traveling “out west.” Her favorites included the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite Park, Glacier National Park and the forests of California. Margaret was a photographer at heart. Along the way she would document her visits, her family and her genuine love of what God had created. She especially loved taking photos of flowers.

There was never a flea market or antique store that they could drive past without making Wally stop. She was a treasure collector of items that had shown where she had been and many things that she loved.

While the children were growing, Margaret volunteered at St. Jude Catholic School in the library, gym and at the annual rummage sale. She was also a member of the Regina Moms Breakfast Club while her daughters attended high school. Volunteering at these functions she met her closest circle of friends. Joan DeLave, Maude Eichorn, Dana McGuire, Rosalee Schellschmidt and Marie Fera would become lifelong friends and important influences in Margaret’s life. They met one Saturday a month for years until age and circumstance would no longer permit their outings.

In January 2011, Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer and bone cancer. The prognosis was dire with a life expectancy of 6 month to live. She was started on medication, which she would describe as a nuisance and not really needed, but did take vigilantly with the encouragement of her family. The doctors were never told how stubborn and feisty she was or how she snubbed her nose at their diagnosis.

In May of 2011, just a few months after her diagnosis, she lost her love, her beloved Wally and began the journey as a widow. It was never safe for her to return home alone, so with some 'gentle nudging' she began living with her children. Margaret spent time with her sons and daughters from Michigan to Florida with in between stays in Tennessee. She was very much love and cared for by her entire family. Wally would be proud of the family and the unconditional love that was given his Marge.

Margaret was a jigsaw puzzle lover. During quiet times with the family she could be found working on a puzzle. She encouraged and even negotiated with friends and family to add a piece to the puzzle she was working on. She was an inspiration to us all with her tenacity and determination to finish something she started. Up until her final days she could be found adding a piece or two to her puzzle.

Michigan summers and Florida winters and Tennessee in betweeners will certainly be lonely without our beloved Margaret. Ninety years of a loving, caring and inspiring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister who was a friend to many will be sorely missed. We all have peace of mind in knowing she is united in Heaven with the Lord as well as her husband, family and friends that have gone before her. Rest in peace sweet Margaret, we love you.

A private Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 2250 East Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, the Rev. Fr. James P. Conlon to officiate. (The service will be Livestreamed on the church's website) at 11 o'clock on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Burial in Highland Cemetery in Highland Township with The Rev. Msgr. John Budde to officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in her name to American Cancer Society, 20450 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, MI 48076 ( or the U.S. National Park Service, c/o Office of Budget Execution, 1849 C St., Room 2320, Washington, D.C. 20240 (

For further information please phone 248-684-6645.

Memorial Contribution

American Cancer Society

20450 Civic Center Drive
Southfield, MI 48076

National Park Service

Office of Budget Execution
1849 C St. Room 2320
Washington, DC 20240

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