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Michelle Margaret Zeleny, beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, auntie, cousin, teacher, and friend, passed away at her mother’s home on Saturday, May 28, 2011 under the care of Altru Hospice.

Michelle was born Nov. 13, 1965 in Grand Forks, N.D. to Raanne (Sullivan) and Don Zeleny.

She was baptized and confirmed at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church, attended East Grand Forks Senior High, and graduated in 1984. She then graduated from UND in 1989 with a BS in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education.

She later received her Master’s degree from Southwest State in Marshall, Mn.

Michelle taught for 10 years in the Minneapolis area and the last 13 years in the Pine River-Backus School District, where she was named Teacher of the Year for 2009-10.

Michelle was loved and adored by many, and cherished by her family and friends. There wasn’t a person who met her that didn’t walk away without a smile on their face and a skip in their step. She was larger than life, infectiously funny, and greeted everyone she met with an insanely beautiful smile that could melt an iceberg!

The grace, strength, and courage with which Michelle handled this difficult journey was truly inspirational and a testament to the way she lived her life. Whether you were a family member or dear friend, you knew she loved you deeply and that was an honour.

God Bless our dear “Mishy.” She will be sorely missed, but she will never be forgotten. “One day at a time. . . .”

Michelle is survived by her mother, Raanne (Gene) Wavra of East Grand Forks, Mn; father, Donald (Marcia) Zeleny of Fort Frances, Ont.,; loving sister, Mary Beth Pesch of Fisher, Mn.; adored niece, Kaitlyn Pesch; and grandmother, Margaret Sullivan of East Grand Forks, Mn.

Also surviving are her aunts, Rita (Ted) Pond and Diane Sullivan; cousins, Sean Sullivan, Casey (Darla) Sullivan, Rick (Mary) Madill, Charlotte (Stan) Copeski, Wendy (Walt) Mizinski, Gary (Kathy) Madill, Jim (Cindy) Madill, Bruce (Jan) Sandbeck, Marie (Jim) Hultman, and Cal (Karen) Sandbeck; step-sisters, Angela Mihichuk and Kristi Stallmo; step-brothers, Mike (Terri) Mihichuk and Darrin (Jinell) Wavra; step-nieces, Halle and Makenzie Wavra and Lillie Ann Stallmo; and step-nephews, Jacob Wavra and Dawson Mihichuk.

She was predeceased by her grandparents, Harold “Snooks” Sullivan, and Malania and Peter Zeleny; and aunts and uncles, Olga and Bill Madill, Stella and Donald “Sandy” Sandbeck, and Patrick Sullivan.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 2 p.m. in Mendenhall Presbyterian Church, 528 10th St. NW, East Grand Forks, Mn.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

A fellowship gathering will follow at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Valley Golf Course Club Rooms, 2407 River Road NW, East Grand Forks, Mn.

In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations are preferred to Altru Hospice or Hope Lodge in Rochester, Mn.

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