Sally Anne Repeck 1956- 2020 Community Activist
Jul. 30, 2020 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Sally Anne Repeck, a well-known community activist in Plymouth, died July 19, 2020 following a four-year battle with cancer.
Ms. Repeck was the former chair of the Wayne County Department of Social Services and also chaired the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority during the streetscape revitalization in the city. She also served as the executive director of OASIS (a domestic violence agency for Cadillac, Wexford and Missaukee counties. Ms. Repeck was both a major community-supporter of the The Detroit Sunday Journal during the Detroit newspaper strike and a leading opponent of the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Repeck was born March 1, 1956 to a “large and fiercely loving Polish Catholic family” in Detroit. Her family said she was a firm believer in innate human dignity and that there were “simply right and wrong ways to treat other people”. She devoted her career to non-profit organizations focused on human services, supporting and leading organizations like Easter Seals, Neighborhood Senior Services, the Michigan Public Schools Foundation and a rural domestic violence prevention center.
Her step-daughter, Jess Zimbabwe, who referred to Ms. Repeck as a “bonus parent” said she had a reliable internal compass toward the common good.
Ms. Repeck was famous in her family for setting off kitchen smoke alarms with her cooking efforts and unique culinary creations. She shared her cooking interests by suggesting the Plymouth Men’s Cooking Club in 2000 which endures to this day.
“She was a true friend to many with an uncanny knack for knowing when people needed a call or a visit or a spontaneous trip to the dollar store to by a silly hat,” Zimbabwe said. “She saw the best in absolutely everyone, holding out the possibility of redemption of even the most entrenched assholes.”
Ms. Repeck was diagnosed with only three to four months to live in 2016 and refused medical advice for weekly treatment and tests, instead helping her husband, former Plymouth Crier Publisher W. Ed Wendover, in outfitting a big blue church bus she called the “Old Age Home for Hippies” and setting out to visit family and friends across North America. The pair traveled in the bus from Newfoundland to Key West, Seattle to D.C., Padre Island to Atlanta, the Adirondacks to the Badlands of South Dakota. Her husband said she enjoyed camp hosting at Washington Monument State Park in Maryland and at the base of Mt. Rainier in Washington.
In addition to her husband and step-daughter, Ms. Repeck is survived by granddaughters Celia and Martha Zimbabwe; her son-in-law Sam Zimbabwe; a niece, Shannon Tyman; brothers, Paul (Cheryl) Repeck, Pat (Debbie) Repeck, Melvin (Mary Ann) Czechowski and Michael (Margaret Campbell) Czechowski; nephews Alex (Kaitlin) Repeck, Evan Repeck and Vince Herbruck; a niece, Erin Repeck, and a multitude of mostly Irish cousins and their offspring, along with a host of dear friends.
A private memorial celebration will take place in Plymouth at a future date and a family remembrance is planned for Woodslee, Ontario when circumstances permit.
Her husband suggested that memorial contributions “may be made to the hospice organization nearest where you live or by giving a $20 bill to the first homeless person you next encounter.”