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Marie Louise Muha, a cherished partner, sister, aunt, friend, and advocate for children, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2023, at her home in Fennville, MI. Born on March 19, 1953, in Chicago, IL, Marie's life was marked by her creative spirit, her passionate dedication to her community, and her thoughtful presence in the lives of all who knew her.
Marie's academic journey culminated in a Master of Fine Arts degree that paved the way for a career marked by both service and artistry. As the Director of Finance for the Interurban Transit Authority in Douglas, Michigan, she was known for her sharp intellect and her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those around her. Her professional accomplishments were paralleled by her personal passion for art; as a Custom Picture Framer, Marie created and operated a beloved local business, Framing for Friends. She had a unique talent for collaborating with her customers on a personal level. They quickly became friends as she learned the story behind their photograph, memorabilia, or pieces of art and together they created a masterpiece that would be cherished for a lifetime.
Beyond her professional life, Marie's love for wildlife was profound. She found great joy in observing the foxes in their dens that roamed the woods in the Oval Beach dunes. At her home, Marie cared for the birds that visited her gardens and she offered them five bird baths where they frolicked and bathed to her utter enjoyment. Every morning, after Marie arrived at her shop, her crow met her squawking from the rooftop until she fed him a variety of tasty treats. Upon opening her shop, and getting her equipment started, Marie would go straight to the Oval Beach to walk in solitude with nature. Marie's love for animals was not just a hobby but a reflection of her compassionate soul.
Marie's dedication to helping children in need was a testament to her kind-hearted nature. She was a staunch advocate for those who needed a voice, providing comfort and support to many young lives. Her ability to connect with and uplift children was a gift that will be remembered by all who witnessed her kindness.
Creative, passionate, and thoughtful—these words best describe Marie Louise Muha. Her creativity was not only evident in her art but also in her ability to find unique solutions to challenges, both in her work and in her personal endeavors. Her passion was felt by everyone she met, whether through her tireless work ethic or her fervent support of the causes she believed in. Thoughtfulness was the hallmark of Marie's interactions; she had an innate ability to make everyone feel seen and heard.
Marie's family was the cornerstone of her life. She is survived by her best friend and devoted caregiver, Davida Ellen Williams; her loving and dedicated sister, Jane Muha; her adoring nieces, Barbara Krause (Jim Walters) and Mary Tsao, along with their children, Trevor Krause, Jessica (John) Kohler, Emily Tsao, Thomas Tsao, and Catherine Tsao. Marie's dear companion, Rafi, misses her deeply. He stayed by her side to protect her through her six weeks of illness. Along with her parents, Marie was preceded in death by her dear and special nephew, Henry Krause, who the family knows was there to greet her.
The loss of Marie Louise Muha is felt far beyond her immediate family. Her absence will leave a void in the hearts of her friends, colleagues, and the many lives she touched through her work and advocacy. Yet, the legacy of her warmth, generosity, and creativity will continue to live on in the memories of all who had the privilege to know her. Davida has commissioned local artist, Marcia Perry, to create a bench from a tree to be placed at the Interurban Transit Authority in Douglas in the staff outdoor relaxation area. A garden is also being created around this bench for the staff, which will incorporate special cobblestones with a rich family history engraved with Marie’s name. A dedication celebration is being planned for May 2024.
Due to the generosity and outpouring of love and concern for Marie, a donation in her name was sent to Hephzibah Children’s Association for the children’s Enrichment Fund. Davida had created this program decades ago and it is where Marie and she met and worked together starting in 1979. A local photographer took portrait photographs of each child as they entered the program, and they hung on the walls just like in a private family home. As each child left the program, Marie framed every portrait as a gift to hang permanently at Hephzibah. Years later when the children returned for reunions, they were in awe that their presence was still a precious part of the agency.
Marie's life was a beautiful tapestry of love, art, and service, and her story will be told with fondness and admiration for generations to come. As the sun sets on a life so brightly lived, we say farewell to a soul that truly made the world a more beautiful place. Rest in peace, dear Marie. Your light will never fade.
Memorials Contributions can be made in Marie Muha’s name at: http://www.hephzibahhome.org/donate/
Attn: Barbara Krause- Database Manager
The obituary, along with pictures, are located on the Chappell Funeral Home website, www.chappellfuneralhome.com, and the family encourages you to visit and leave remembrances of Marie.