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Marie D. Nykaza - 89


Marie D. Nykaza nee Benson, age 89. Passed away on November 12, 2021. Longtime Homewood resident formerly of Harvey.  Born in Blue Island on August 17, 1932, to Goldie M. nee Peck and Charles R. Benson.  Her first job was at Watland Brothers Camera Shop in Blue Island, where she acquired a lifelong love of photography.  The next 7 years she worked at Argone National Lab in the Graphic Arts Dept.  Upon leaving Argone, Marie became a stay-at-home mom raising her three sons.  At 36, she returned to school getting an associate in art degree from Thornton Township Community College.  An avid cake baker her whole life, Marie made many cakes for family and friends.  She once made a wedding cake for a neighbor’s daughter (3 foot tall).  When her sons were out of school, Marie returned to the workforce.  She sold carpets at John M. Smith, and draperies at Montgomery Wards. She had her own 1-person interior design company called Trend Interiors. Then she worked for five years at the Community Medical in Harvey as a nurse’s aide.  After retiring, Marie was able to spend more time painting, drawing, and taking pictures, she won many awards for her photos.  In her late 60’s she returned to school again, taking interior design and art classes at Prairie State College.  Marie was a past member of American Society of Interior Designers, Park Forest Photography Club and Polish Falcons.  Preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Eugene G. Nykaza Sr.  Mother of Nicholas (Ginger), Gene and Larry Nykaza.  Grandmother of Nick (Sarah), Ryan (Carolyn) Nykaza and Jessica (Matt) McWilliams.  Great grandmother of Haley and Morgan.  Sister of Elsie (Jim) Landers and the late George (late Maxine) Holden, Rose Holden and Lou (late Jeanie) Benson.  Aunt of many nieces and nephews.  Funeral and services were private.  For information contact Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home, Chicago Heights 708-481-9230 or

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