Mary Ann Deutsch-Frenchik was passionate about her grandson Kyle, her faith, baking cakes and 4H, her son Fred Deutsch said.
“Her grandson was most important to her,” Deutsch said. “She went to all his football games. She never missed any of his sports activities, including wrestling and track.”
Each summer Deutsch-Frenchik took Kyle on train-themed vacations. Their travels spanned the United States and beyond including Pennsylvania, Canada, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
A member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Deutsch-Frenchik, 70, of St. John, helped with the church’s festivals.
“She was a devoted Catholic who never missed church,” Deutsch said.
Deutsch said his mom recently participated in a pilgrimage visiting shrines and churches in Europe, including Our Lady of Fatima. At church, Deutsch-Frenchik met her husband of 13 years, George, who survives.
Active in 4H for 30-plus years, Deutsch-Frenchik served as a leader and was the cake decorating superintendent.
“Her big thing was making cakes,” Deutsch said. “She made the family birthday and wedding cakes.”
Deutsch-Frenchik enjoyed baking Christmas cookies and decorating her home for the holidays.
Growing up on a dairy farm, she showed dairy cows at the Lake County Fair, which she attended daily to see the children’s projects.
A member of the Southlake Agricultural Historical Society and the American Farm Bureau Federation, Deutsch-Frenchik was in charge of the kiddie tractor pull for many years and was involved in the AG Awareness Days for students.
A Crown Point High School graduate, she retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 30 years’ service.
Her other hobbies were gardening, canning and sewing.
“She was always willing to help others and always cheerful,” Deutsch said.
Deutsch said he misses his mom, who was always there to help.
“Help was always just a phone call away,” he said.