Elaine P. McGlinn, 89, passed away at her home in Plymouth, Michigan on March 4, 2022. She was born on July 19, 1932 in Leavenworth, Kansas as the eldest daughter of Helen (Buselt) Kubicki and Joseph Kubicki. She grew up in Leavenworth and married her high school sweetheart, Richard (“Dick”) McGlinn. They were married for 66 years and had eight children, 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Richard passed away on August 8, 2020.
She was beautiful and gifted with music from her early years. She sang (and tap-danced) from age 4, performing in her hometown and Kansas City through her teenage years. From an early age, she received voice and piano training, evolving into a gifted soprano. She was homecoming princess at Immaculata High School. In her later years, she sang with the Schoolcraft Community Choir and St. Kenneth’s Church Choir. Throughout her life, she shared her extraordinary voice and love of music at celebrations with family and friends. One of her favorite songs, sung to her husband and children, was Always by Irving Berlin.
First and foremost, she was a wife and mother. Elaine and Dick’s dreams of a large family came true with eight children born over nine years’ time. Elaine was a nurturing mother and a pillar of love and support for her husband’s and her childrens’ education, interests, and careers. She always had an open door and open arms for her family, and listened, guided, celebrated, and consoled freely and without judgment. She shared Richard’s love of the AuSable River where the children spent glorious summers camping and fishing. Holidays and celebrations were special times with a large family – the children and grandchildren remember summer family reunions, unforgettable Thanksgivings, and overflowing gifts beneath the Christmas tree.
Elaine became a registered nurse at the age of 55. She had started a nursing program at St. Margaret’s Nursing School in Kansas City, leaving to become a wife and mother. After her children were grown, she resumed her education, finishing her nursing degree at Schoolcraft Community College. She worked for a period of time at Harper-Grace Hospital until retiring to spend time with her grandchildren.
Elaine’s happy place was outside in her spacious vegetable, herb and flower gardens, and among the trees she thoughtfully planted and nurtured. She preserved tomato sauce, chili sauce, green beans and pesto sauce. Some of the family’s best memories are of summer days and evenings spent in the shade of the sycamore, maple and dogwood trees she planted.
She was a devout Catholic, attended Sunday Mass and was a member of the church choir at St. Kenneth’s. One of her favorite memories was a trip to the Vatican with St. Kenneth’s choir where she sang for the Pope. Her values were guided by her faith and her passionate belief in the essential goodness of humankind. She held a deep abiding belief in peace – protesting war alongside her husband – and in the equality of all people. She took her young children to volunteer at Focus Hope and later worked the phone banks to elect President Barack Obama.
Elaine was very proud of her Polish heritage. Her grandparents immigrated from Poland between 1890 and 1904, settling in Leavenworth, Kansas. At that time, there were coal-mining jobs to be had and a Polish-Catholic church was being built, St. Casimir’s; both grandfathers were founding members of St. Casimir’s. Elaine’s parents spoke fluent Polish and introduced their children and grandchildren to the many delights of Polish cuisine – golabki, kielbasa, pierogi, chruscik, and paczki.
Elaine is survived by her 8 children (Stephen, Paula, Mark, Richard, Maureen, David, Daniel, and Eileen), 16 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and her sister (Barbara).
Family and friends are welcome at Schrader-Howell Funeral Home in Plymouth on March 8, 2022 from 4pm-7pm and to a memorial mass at St. Kenneth’s Church in Plymouth on March 9, 2022 at 11:30am. A private burial for family will follow at St. Hedwig Cemetery in Dearborn. St. Hedwig Cemetery is run by the Franciscans; St. Francis of Assisi, founder, was loved by Elaine and Richard, for his patronage of animals and nature. The burial plot at St. Hedwig is in the St. Casimir section; St. Casimir’s in Leavenworth, Kansas was Elaine’s home parish and Elaine passed on the anniversary of St. Casimir’s death.
In celebration of the life of Elaine P. McGlinn, who loved children, peace, and humanity, we welcome your contributions to UNICEF and Focus Hope.
For those who are unable to attend, the funeral mass will be live streamed.