2017-04-20 / Obituaries

Patricia Serwach


Patricia Serwach Patricia Serwach Patricia Serwach, who regularly traveled throughout Michigan in work overseeing corporate planning for the 12-hospital McLaren Health Care Network, died April 13, 2017. She was 68.

Just four years ago, Serwach earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan-Flint, earning perfect grades at the age of 64. A half century earlier, she was a national merit scholar in her native Grosse Pointe, urged to apply at the nation’s best universities.

Each of Serwach’s five children would graduate college with two similarly earning post-graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

She started her career as an executive assistant for former Michigan Gov., Ambassador and Supreme Court Justice G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams. She then became one of Detroit’s best legal secretaries, working for the University of Detroit Law School and for the top partners at Detroit’s Dykema Gossett Law Firm, the state’s leading and largest law firm.

In the late 1970s, she started a printing company, St. Clair Shoresbased Great Lakes Graphics with 100 employees working at all hours.

By 1984, Serwach became the founder and publisher of Heritage: A Journal of Grosse Pointe Life, a glossy coffee table magazine (dubbed “prestigious” by the Detroit Free Press). Heritage battled competing metro Detroit magazines like Monthly Detroit, Metropolitan Detroit and Crain’s Detroit Business for readership in the 1980s and 1990s.

One of four daughters of the late Donald and Shurley Louwers of Grosse Pointe Park, Serwach spent summers and weekends at the Louwers family cottages of Brevort Lake in Brevort Township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the heart of the Hiawatha National Forest between St. Ignace and Tahquamenon Falls.

She settled permanently on the same lake, a short walk from the Louwers family cottages, in the early 1990s. After moving to the U.P., she also continued a lifelong tradition of singing and playing guitar for the local Catholic Church every weekend and helping the sick and less fortunate.

Over the past 20 years, she never stopped working, heading marketing for the Cheboygan-based VitalCare and later serving on the board of Mackinac Straits Health System as well as being elected to the St. Ignace Board of Education.

After VitalCare merged with Flint-based McLaren, she quickly rose to the top of McLaren’s systemwide management, serving as director of business development for the statewide health network and being promoted to corporate manager of planning in 2014.

Last summer, she and her husband purchased their first boat, sailing to the nearby sand dunes, enjoying the lake where her father taught her to fish.

Serwach is survived by her husband, Edward; five children, Mark (Laura), Kristine (Scott), Joseph (Debra), John (Rebekah) and Matthew (Jazmin); three sisters, Ellen Sue, Donna, and Debbie; nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

A funeral mass was held Monday, April 17, with viewing at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by Mass at 1 p.m., at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, W1934 Church Street, Moran, Michigan.

Donations in her name in lieu of flowers may be made to Hospice of the Straits.

R. Galer Funeral Home in Pickford assisted the family with arrangements.

- As submitted by the family of

Patricia Serwach

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