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Monday, December 22, 2014

SUREL, Marie Theresa - High School Diploma

Not a person's photograph, but still too important a treasure to leave it sitting there!

This is the High School Diploma of one MARIE THERESA SUREL, who graduated from Cathedral Central High School in Detroit Michigan on June 12, 1936.

In the same bi-fold presentation cover, there is a small card detailing the classes that Ms. Surel successfully completed. These are Apologetics I & II, Stenography I & II, English VII & VIII, and Bookkeeping I & II.

I admit, I had to go to Google to learn what Apologetics could possibly be. But now I am all that much wiser. According to Wikipedia:  "Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information."

Perhaps we would refer to that as "Debate" or "Public Speaking" these days.

In trying to determine who Marie Theresa Surel could have been, I started first at Ancestry.com and looked at the 1930 Census records for the area.  I found only one family with that surname. They lived on Riopelle Street in Detroit. Father John, mother Paulina, and children Walter, Sofia, Maria and Edwin. In 1930 the daughter Maria is 13 years old, making her the correct age to graduate from High School in 1936. The slight variation on the spelling of the name does not overly concern me as names on census records are often slightly "mis-recorded." The parents were born in Poland. The children were born in Michigan. The father's occupation is "Butcher."

The following newspaper article was published in late April of 1931. Marie/Maria would have been fourteen at that time:


Let that be a lesson to the would-be robbers - Never threaten the daughter of a butcher.

On the 1940 Detroit census, daughter "Mary" is 22 and living at home. Her occupation is "Inspector" in the Automobile Industry.

8-Jun-1940, a Wayne County Michigan Marriage Certificate was issued between Marie Surel (age 22, born abt 1917) and John Smigielski (age 26, born abt 1914) The bride's parents are given as John Surel and Pauline Solyjan. The groom's parents are Karol Smigielski (1885-1975) and Stella Graczyk (1881-1976).

I believe the following are the dates of life for Marie Theresa Surel-Smigielski:

Born 27-May-1917
Died 10-Jan-1988, Eastpointe, Macomb, Michigan

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