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MARLA L. OWCA


Marla Louise Owca, 89, of Coloma, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 at her home in Coloma. She was born March 28, 1933 in Benton Harbor, MI to Maxwell Miller and Margaret (Ludlam) Guinn.

The family will receive guests from 5-7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 at the funeral home, proceeding to Riverview Cemetery for committal.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Salvation Army, www.centralusa.salvationarmy.org/stjoseph or Lest We Forget, www.lestweforgetusa.org. Those wishing to leave an online condolence for the family may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Marla worked for many years as a marketing manager at Whirlpool, up until her retirement. She was a pioneer for women in the workplace, rising from an entry level secretary to executive during her 30-year tenure with the company. Marla was a breast cancer survivor, and was a vocal advocate for women’s rights. In her younger years, she was proudly crowned Ms. VM, a title associated with her employer and the Blossomtime pageant. After retirement, Marla spent her winters in Florida, finding many friends there, including her Red Hat Ladies in New Port Richey. She was an avid golfer, enjoyed bird watching, and spending time in her garden.

Marla loved her family dearly and enjoyed spending time with them whenever possible. Marla will be missed by her four daughters, Marilyn (Dan) Bowie, Kelley (Anthony) Gagliardo, Pamela Herbst, and Donna Manchester; three sons, David (Cheryl) Modelewski, Michael (Julie) Modelewski, and Gary (Caroline Sullivan) Owca; her grandchildren, Melissa (Phil) Hosbein, Jeremy Bowie, Michelle Bowie, Stanley Modelewski IV, Kayla (Gilberto) Villiegas, Jacob Modelewski, Anthony “A.J.” Gagliardo, Michael Gagliardo, AnnaMarie Gagliardo, Austin Herbst, and Rebecca Herbst; her great-grandchildren, Nathan, Sam, Mason, Ben, Cooper, Luis, Isabella, Ella, and Hannah; and her sister, Maxine (the late Jerry) Iversen.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Donald Owca; her first husband, Stanley Modelewski II; her son, Stanley Modelewski III; her grandson, Donald Herbst; her sister, Winifred Yore; and her parents.


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