Hanna Elisabeth (Biederich) Michalak

June 21, 1933 ~ December 5, 2019 (age 86)


King, NC – On December 5th, 2019 our mother, Hanna Michalak, crossed the threshold into the next reality as defined by her faith and beliefs.  Hers was an extraordinary life filled with travel, adventure, and perhaps, above all, an understanding of the value of family.  In her brief 86 years on our planet, she had the gift of visiting nearly every state in the union and a total of 26 countries.

Born in Kiel, Germany, in 1933, she was but a child when the hostilities that would become the Second World War began.  The second youngest sister in a family of 12 children, she and several of her other young siblings were forcibly moved away from their homes.  They all went to different towns and families but, fortunately, these locations were as described by the government as, “a safer place to be.”  Once the war ended, she was reunited with her family and began work in a United States Air Force cafeteria near her home.  Within a year, she had met and married her first husband Jack Goelling, then a Staff Sergeant I the Air Force.  Upon completion of his service, they emigrated to New Hampshire where their only child, Max, was born.

Electing to pursue a career as a professional cook, she found joy in bringing the gift of exceptional food to many families.  Although she had many wonderful work experiences, one of her fondest memories comes from her time as the Executive Cook for Paul Newman and his family at their home in Connecticut. 

She moved to Winston Salem in 2000 to be closer to her son Max, and haughtier-in-law Debra, and her three grandchildren: Kyle, Alexandr and Sarah.  She is also survived by 2 great-grandchildren: Juliette and Fisher.  She truly enjoyed her time here in North Carolina and loved traveling to our beaches and the mountains.  She spent many a Saturday morning venturing out to local farmer’s markets and also loved to drive north to visit the roadside stands near Mt. Airy.

She will be fondly remembered as a strong-willed and independent woman whose life was lived with passion and an enduring commitment to her friends and family.  A private memorial service will be held at a date yet to be determined in the spring of next year.

Slate Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Hanna Michalak.  Online condolences may be offered at  

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Private Service

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