Roze Stroik was born on October 16, 1910 in Polonia Village, Sharon Township, Portage County, Wisconsin. Her birthplace is commonly known as Stevens Point. She was later baptized into the Catholic Church as Rose Mary Stroik. The rest of her life, she was known as Mary Rose.
Mary’s mother was Helen Frances Gorski and her father was Andrew Anton Stroik. She was the third in a group of eleven children. Her siblings were: Frank, Edward, Benjamin, Walter, Anthony, Domenick, Esther, Stanley and Stella (twins). One of her mother’s children died at birth just before she was born.
Mary only went to public school for a few years before she stopped going. In 1924 at the age of 14, her family moved from Wisconsin to the thumb area of Michigan. She was sold to an older man named Peter Kasper in 1925 by her father, Andrew. Mary and Peter were married on January 18, 1926 without a ceremony. A few months later, she was rescued by her friends and never saw Peter again.
Mary married Andrew Karpuk (1898-1963) on February 5, 1927 at the age of 17. The couple had seven children: Edward Nichlas, Rose Mary, Donald Jay, Helen Geneviere, Andrew Jr., Albert Fred, and Alice (who died in infancy). Andrew and Mary had split up by 1940. She then had another child, Mary Ann, with a boarder named Anthony Norczyk (1896-1970).
Mary then had another eight children with Walter Anthony Dreffs, whom she married on November 3, 1951 – just two and a half months before the last time she ever gave birth. Those children were: Sandra Esther, Susan Kay, Wilma Rose, Walter, a set of stillborn twins, then Daniel Ray, and Diane Marie. (Note that in this wedding photo of Mary and Walter, she is six and one-half months pregnant with Danny and Diane.)
It must also be noted that in 1945, Walter’s nephew Edward Dreffs married Mary’s oldest daughter, Rose Mary Karpuk. Since Mary and Walter were married in 1951, technically she married her daughter’s uncle-in-law.
Mary spoke Polish quite well and was known to yell at her kids in a foreign tongue so they wouldn’t understand her. She was a member of the Local UAW 455 in Saginaw, Michigan, for her 25+ years spent working on an assembly line at Central Foundry Malleable Iron plant. She drank tea often and would always save the Sunday comics for whichever grandchild came to visit her next. Mary was a long-time member of St. George’s Catholic Church of Saginaw.
Mary never stopped dating. On November 16, 1979 she married Alexander Romaine (originally Romanaw). Alex was born August 22, 1900 in Lithuania and died May 9, 1984 in Saginaw, Michigan. (However, I must note that his marriage license to Mary Rose Stroik shows his birth date on August 15, 1901 and a birthplace of New York City, New York, USA.) Mary moved into Alex’s home, and was often the target of armed robberies in her later life at his residence on the southwest side of Saginaw.
At the time of her death, she was cited as having 13 children, 48 grand-children, 81 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandson. Mary died on May 9, 1994 at the age of 84. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Saginaw, Michigan.
A Matter of Public Record: Mary Rose Stroik
Original Certificate of Birth, State of Wisconsin, Department of Health–Bureau of Vital Statistics, Registered number 65 of Year 1910, #1048129, Filed October 23, 1910, Roze Stroik
Original Birth Record, State of Wisconsin, Department of Health–Bureau of Vital Statistics, Portage County, Page 404, Filed March 6, 1941, Mary Rose Stroik
Marriage License, Saginaw County, Michigan, Book O, Page 51, Record 33069, License Date December 5, 1925, Peter Kasper and Mary Stroik
Marriage License, Saginaw County, Michigan, Number 33975 of Year 1926, Andrew Karpuk and Mary Kasper, Filed February 9th, 1927
Marriage License, Saginaw County, Michigan, Local File Number 62029, November 3, 1951, Walter Dreffs and Mary Karpuk
Divorce Decree, State of Michigan Circuit Court, Saginaw County, No. CH-32191, Mary R. Dreffs vs. Walter Dreffs, Filed July 8, 1958
Marriage License, Saginaw County, Michigan, Local File Number 48270, Filed November 16, 1979, Alexander Romaine and Mary R. Dreffs in Clare County
Certificate of Death, State of Michigan, Department of Public Health, CF 1939, State File Number 0941778, Filed November 10, 1994
Obituary Notice, The Saginaw News, Wednesday November 9, 1994, Romaine, Mrs. Mary R.