Remembering Delores Helen Dwyer

Remembering Delores Helen Dwyer

Delores Helen Dwyer High School Photo

Delores Helen Dwyer school Photo – Maiden Name: Kurkowski – class of 1950 Big Beaver High School

Delores Helen Dwyer of Rochester Hills died Friday, December 27, 2013. Survived by her three children, Kathleen Sanchez, William Dwyer and Michael Dwyer, she passed quietly at the age of 81. Two grandchildren, Joseph and Stuart Sanchez, and her dearest sister Bernadette Kurkowski also survive Delores. Her late husband, Charles Dwyer, died in 1988.

Delores spent most of her life in the Rochester area. As a child of the depression, her family maintained a small farm off W. South Boulevard to provide food for the family-at-large, many living in Detroit. “Dode” graduated from Big Beaver High School in 1950, the last graduating class of Big Beaver Schools.

She was in charge of class history in her senior year at Big Beaver High. Delores was also involved with bowling, speech, cheerleading, and yearbook. One of the fundraisers her class held was selling Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

Delores Kurkowski met and married Charles Dwyer at the age of 18. Their 1951 spring wedding was held at Guardian Angles Parish in Clawson, MI.  Close to 1960, Delores, along with Charles, Kathy and Bill, moved into their home in Rochester Hills (then Avon Twp.) where she lived the rest of her days.

Mom in the corner garden - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Mom in the corner garden – Photo by Michael Dwyer

Family and friends will remember Delores loved bowling and gardening. She was a homemaker; and in her 50’s and 60’s she worked at the Hallmark Store in Meadowbrook Village Mall, where the Village of Rochester Hills is today. She also worked for Rochester Community Schools and volunteered at the gift shop at Crittenton Hospital.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in her middle 60’s, the illness would slowly take parts of her life for the next 18 years. She lost the ability to work, drive, and garden and then to walk, bathe, and talk and finally to eat. Her family kept her in her familiar home of over 50 years until the end.

After spending one week in Crittenton Hospital, she stopped breathing with her two sons at her side. A private funeral mass was held on Monday.

Friends of the family may donate to her caregiver’s fund via Potere-Modetz Funeral Home, 339 Walnut Blvd., Rochester, MI 48307. Checks should be made out to “Michael Dwyer.” Information is available online or by calling 248-651-8137.

Personal Note from Michael Dwyer

I’ve written several obituaries during my career as a freelance writer. Many times, they highlight a person well known in the community. Sometimes for their philanthropy or community status, other times for a remarkable achievement in their life.

My mother, Delores, touched many people with her willingness to care and love. Some, like her caregivers, only knew her in the end stages of the illness. Even then, she affected their lives for the better.

Delores was the most remarkable woman I’ve ever known, not for accomplishments in the community, but for the great love she showed her family, every day of her life. Thank you mom.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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