A bright light in Polonia went out with the passing of Ms. Teresa Natalie Abick. Ms. Abick spent her life as a hard-working and compassionate public servant who worked to build a better place for those around her and to promote Polish culture and heritage in the United States. Polonia is a better, stronger community because we were fortunate enough to have Teresa Abick come our way.
Ms. Abick was born in Detroit on July 27th, 1928 to Chester and Teofila Sikora. She attended St. Stephen’s Elementary School, St. Casimir’s High School, the Detroit Business Institute, and Walsh Community College. The Sikoras were very active in the PNA; Mr. and Mrs. Sikora were both PNA members, along with Ms. Abick’s three brothers. They signed Ms. Abick up when she was 1 years old. All belonged to Council 54, Lodge 53.
Ms. Abick was first elected as a delegate to Council 54 in 1949. Since then, she went on to hold every office a member can hold outside of the PNA home office, including as the Recording Secretary of Lodge 53, President of Council 54, Commissioner of District 10, and much more. Under her direction, Council 54 instituted a Scholarship Program for PNA High School seniors. In 2005, after the passing of President Edward J. Moskal, she was sworn in as Interim President until the election of Frank Spula as PNA President a few months later.
Most notably, Ms. Abick served as the 1st National Vice President of the Polish National Alliance from 1991 until her retirement in 2015. As Vice President, she oversaw the implementation of Polish language courses, Polish Schools, the National Scholarship Program, Polish Dance groups, Senior Citizen Programs, and Polish heritage and history celebrations.
Ms. Abick was also very active in politics, including as a National Director of the Polish American Congress. She worked for several Michigan state legislators and politicians, including former Michigan Governor James Blanchard, the late Congressman John D. Dingell, the late State Senator George Hart, and Representative Ray Murphy, Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Dearborn, Michigan, Honorable Joseph Pernick, Judge of Probate of Wayne County Probate Court, Michigan. She also represented the PNA as a trustee for Pope John Paul II Cultural Center and helped raise over a million dollars for its building fund in Washington D.C. She served as Regent and Ambassador of the Orchard Lake Schools. She served on the Boards of Directors of the American Cancer Society and St. Andrews Home for the Aged. And that is all just to name a few of the numerous contributions of Ms. Abick!
Ms. Abick was the recipient of numerous awards, including (but not limited to) the Polish National Alliance Achievement Award, American Relief for Poland Dedication Award, the WPNA 1490 AM Radio Person of the Year Award in 2003, Woman of the Year award from Orchard Lake Ladies Auxiliary in 1998, and much more.
Ms. Abick strongly believed in the youth and their ability to change the world. “I strongly believe that youth is our future, like we always preach but sometimes don’t practice,” she once said in an interview. She continued: “When you help somebody with a scholarship, by supporting dance groups, Polish schools, or just by giving a small donation for a performance, you are supporting Polish heritage. Polish history is so unique and great.”
Ms. Abick passed away on April 1st, 2022 at 93 years old. She was the beloved wife of the late John “Bo” Abick. She was the loving mother of Tom (the late Marianne) Tabin and the late Mark Tabin, and the dearest grandmother of Jeanine (Clint) Hodge, Matthew Tabin, Timothy (Teresa) Tabin, Jonathan Tabin, and T.J. (Nicole) Tabin. She also leaves 10 great-great grandchildren, 2 great-great-great grandchildren, nieces Elaine (Kenneth) Kurc, Anita Tabin, Patricia Sikora, Natalie (John) LaCroix, and several great nieces and nephews.
Ms. Abick traveled extensively to Poland and Rome, and met the late Pope John Paul II several times. When she once asked him for a blessing for Polish Americans, he made a cross on her forehead. Ms. Abick carried herself with a loving, positive attitude for everyone around her. She was a true force in our organization and a proud member of our vibrant Polish-American community.
She will be dearly missed by friends and family.