By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Margaret Horvath, 82, was known around the Dearborn Heights community as councilwoman, board trustee and community volunteer as a result of a tireless work ethic and commitment to the area.
Horvath died Aug. 17 after losing her four-year battle with cancer. Her most recent role up until retirement in 2017 was city councilwoman for 25 years starting in 1993.
“Serving as a councilwoman for the city of Dearborn Heights is where the majority of Marge’s commitment, hard work and passion was,” her obituary read.
Horvath was born and raised in Detroit to her Italian immigrant parents Emilio and Virginia Daguanno.
She attended Fitzgerald Elementary, Post Intermediate and Cooley High School. While in high school Horvath was employed by Kresge Co. and National Bank of Detroit, and after graduation she worked for Chrysler Corp., according to her obituary.
In 1967, Horvath and family moved Dearborn Heights when her oldest child began school which began Horvath’s involvement in the former North Dearborn Heights School District.
During her 22 years, she served as PTA member at large to president and many other positions in between as well as being elected to the school board. She was a member of the committee that decided to merge the district with Crestwood School District.
“We were saddened to hear the news,” Crestwood School District Interim Supt. Richard Klee said on the district’s Facebook page. “Throughout her career, her service impacted countless students and community members. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”
“Marge helped head the committee that began the all-night party on graduation night for Crestwood High School seniors,” the obituary said. “Additionally, Marge also served on the board of the Dearborn Heights Hockey Association and was the person who began the learn-to-skate and play-hockey classes for 3-year-olds and up. She also served many years on the board for the North Dearborn Heights Baseball League.”
While serving the local schools, Horvath began her career with AT&T where she was employed for 21 years retiring as the executive secretary to the vice president.
“As a retired member of AT&T, she began community service with the AT&T Pioneers,” according to the obituary. “As a member of the AT&T Pioneers, Marge served the communities of Dearborn Heights, Allen Park and Southgate going to elementary schools and putting books in the hands of third-graders through this outreach.”
Horvath was also served on the board or was involved with, The Goodfellows, Meals on Wheels, Kiwanis Club, Spirit Festival, Parade chairperson and St. Sabina Parish Council.
In 1997 she was honored as Senior Citizen of the Year in the state of Michigan.
Dearborn Heights Goodfellows Treasurer John Zadikian called his friend Horvath “a longtime community volunteer, activist with a personality and heart as big as this town has ever seen” in an Aug. 19 Facebook post.
“When I signed on in 1988 to this group of Goodfellows so that no child would go without a Christmas, I was instantly attracted to Marge’s dedication and wicked sense of humor,” he wrote. “Over the years, we had our differences, but there was always love and respect for each other at the end of the day. I always teased her as being large and in charge and she would fire back with a smile that I — was merely large.
“She had a tremendous sense of humor and a get-it-done attitude,” Zadikian wrote. “When it came to our kids and citizens in need, she was front and center. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for the Goodfellows. If there was a child in town who somehow didn’t have a happy holiday, it wasn’t for lack of trying on Marge’s part. She’d move Heaven and Earth for our kids. That was Marge.”
Zadikian said his last conversation with Horvath was after the May flooding aftermath when she called him about a family who was flooded out and had nowhere to go.
“She called me and barked orders as only she could,” he wrote. “An hour later, she called back to see what I had done, and when I said I was trying hard, but the task at hand was not yet complete, she questioned my testicles. Not their size, but if I had any. We roared with laughter and then hung up. That was Marge.”
“The end of an era is an overused cliche, but so appropriate in this case. There will never be another Marge Horvath.”
Visitation for Horvath was scheduled at the L.J. Griffin Funeral Home, 7707 Middlebelt Road in Westland on Aug. 23 and is scheduled to lie in repose at St. Sabina Catholic Church, 25605 Ann Arbor Trail, Aug. 24 followed by a funeral mass.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org or Shriner’s Hospital for Children www.lovetotherescue.org.
“Marge had a love for all sports but her favorite was hockey,” the obituary read. “She also had a special place in her heart for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame football. Above all Marge was a great mother, Nonna and devoted friend to many. Margaret will be forever missed and never forgotten.”
She leaves children Andrea Ciupak, Cynthia Ochmanski, Michael Horvath, Patrick Horvath, Mark Horvath and Jennifer Kedzierski; and grandchildren Stephen Ciupak, Nicholas Ciupak, Rebecca Ciupak, Joseph Ochmanski, Robert Ochmanski, Paige Horvath, Tyler Horvath, Michael Harper, Emilio Horvath, Cecelia Horvath and Tenley Horvath.
Marge was the oldest child and has three siblings, Richard Daguanno, Ferdinando Daguanno and Antonia Daguanno as well as a was aunt to many nieces and nephews.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])