Bedford teacher had lots of roles


BLISSFIELD - Phyllis McMacken-Maschke, 84, who taught home economics, math, science, and even driver's education during a 23-year career at Bedford High School, died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday at Flower Hospital.

Mrs. McMacken-Maschke, a 43-year resident of Temperance, retired from Bedford High in 1984.

"She was always interacting with kids and doing everything you can imagine," said daughter Ellen Bacon, now a teacher at Bedford High. "She was a cheerleading adviser and a class adviser. Everywhere you looked, there she was."

Another daughter, Karen Adamski, also teaches at Bedford High.

Mrs. McMacken-Maschke was a whirlwind, and the click of her high heels down the hall sounded a warning to girls sneaking a smoke in the restroom, daughter Ellen recalled.

Science received Mrs. McMacken-Maschke's emphasis for many years, and she often attended summer programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

She became one of the first women to teach driver's education, her daughter said.

Mrs. McMacken-Maschke was a graduate of Waite High School and the University of Toledo, putting herself through college by working in the laboratory at the Sun Oil refinery.

She taught for a time at the former Luella Cummings School for Girls.

She and Jack McMacken married Oct. 14, 1944. In 1957, they renovated a century-old farmhouse in Temperance formerly owned by a great-uncle of hers and made it their home. They kept a large garden every year.

"If you came to visit, you came home with a big bag of vegetables," daughter Ellen said.

Mr. McMacken died July 1, 1999. She married Arthur Maschke, a former principal of Bedford High, July 6, 2000. She and her first husband had been friends with Mr. Maschke and his late wife.

She and Mr. Maschke moved to Blissfield and spent winters in Sun City Center, Fla. He died April 28.

Surviving are her son, James McMacken; daughters, Ellen Bacon and Karen Adamski; brother, Charles Harriman, and 10 grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, Temperance, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to Bedford Senior High School.