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Zofia J. F. Drozdowska Kafarski, M.D. Obituary


Memories & Candles

“I am so sorry to have missed Zofia's funeral. She was an amazing person, and I admired her so much. We met during her Bal Polonais days, and her...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: pat hardy - bloomfield hills, MI

“I am so sorry to have missed Zofia's funeral. She was an amazing person, and I admired her so much. We met during her Bal Polonais days, and her...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: pat hardy - bloomfield hills, MI

“Zofia Kafarski was a bright shining star that lit up Detroit's arts and social scene for so many years. Her tireless efforts and untold hours of...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Joseph Neussendorfer

“Erik, Konrad, and family,I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. I know this has ended her suffering and now she is in a...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Mary Wetzel

“Zofia was always a great lady and true friend and will be greatly missed. When we move to 300 Chesterfield Road in 1976, we were immediately welcomed...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Wetzel family

“Erik and Konrad, I am so sorry about you Mom. I was just asking about her the other day while visiting my parents. She and your family have been...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Liz Wetzel


Zofia J. F. Drozdowska Kafarski, MD - Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Physician, Patron to Polish Arts & Culture Zofia Drozdowska Kafarski was a resident of Bloomfield Hills, a physician and tireless & accomplished supporter of arts & culture, particularly Polish arts & culture. Her commitment to these causes was only exceeded by the love and devotion to her two sons, Erik and Konrad, her husband, Mitchell, and later her grandchildren, Matthew and Anna. Zofia died peacefully in her sleep of complications from Parkinson's Disease on January 4, 2013. Zofia was born in Rudniki, Poland just before World War II. Her family moved to Warsaw where her father founded a cement sewer manufacturing company. In 1939 the war came to Poland and Zofia and her family were forced to focus on survival. They persevered bombings and combat, then the occupations. There was never-ending dangers and harassment and her entire family was even placed on a firing line to be executed only to be dismissed without explanation at the last moment. At one point Zofia was shot and the bullet lodged in her leg. Years later when she could have had it removed she purposely chose not to as it reminded her of how difficult life can be and how quickly it can change. After the war ended the situation was no better. The Communist regime stripped her family of most all they owned as they did to most citizens and Zofia had to work cleaning floors in offices. In spite of these obstacles she managed to put herself through school and into medical school where she obtained both medical and dental degrees from Akademia Medyczna W Warszawie (Medical University of Warsaw) in 1957. Nevertheless, she and her family realized that any chance of a good future lay abroad in the United States. She left her parents, friends and family and came to the U.S. on her own. In 1961 Zofia arrived in Detroit, passed her medical licensing exams, completed her residency at Wayne State University and began her specialty in Anesthesiology. She was on staff at Henry Ford, Blaine, Harper-Grace and Receiving Hospitals. She met Mitchell Kafarski and in 1967 they married; they had two sons, Erik and Konrad. Zofia was drawn to the arts and culture. She was especially proud of her Polish heritage and became a significant proponent of Polish history, music, opera, art and culture in the Detroit and Palm Beach areas. Her passion took her around the United States, to Europe and Poland numerous times for events, tours, acquisitions and conferences. She was an excellent compliment to her husband and they each had much success in their respective lives because of each other. Zofia was even more so a dedicated and loving mother to her sons. Later when her grandchildren came along, she enthusiastically took on her role of doting and caring grandmother. Zofia was also a very inviting and caring hostess, there was always someone over, friends, family or volunteers, often without invitation and at all hours. She had a reputation for throwing great parties not just for her or her husband, but also for her children. Zofia's life was slowly cut short by Parkinson's Disease. She took it on like one of her big projects. She learned everything she could about it, managed to keep active and avoided a considerable amount of associated suffering. Even in her last year she particularly enjoyed the visits from her grandchildren, old friends and family, and would make great efforts to let them know. Cultural, Artistic & Professional Causes and Awards: -Bal Polonais of Detroit, Founder & President, 1984-2000, Charity Bal Fundraiser for Polish Arts & Culture -Art of Poland Associates (Detroit Institute of Arts), Founder & President, 1980-1998, Polish art exhibits & acquisitions funding and coordination for DIA. -Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society, Benefactor & Member 1970-2000, Trustee 1982-1990 -Trustee, Michigan Opera Theater, Detroit, 1982-2000 - Lifetime Trustee Emeritus / Lifetime Achievement Award, Michigan Opera Theater, Detroit, 2004 -Michigan Opera Theater, Operas Funded and Brought to MOT: 1981-1982 - American premiere of StanisÅ‚aw Moniuszko's The Haunted Castle 1991-1992 – Midwest American premiere of Karol Szymanowski's King Roger -Founding Contributor, Kravitz Center for Performing Arts, W Palm Bch, FL, 1989 -Board of Directors, Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Society, Palm Bch, FL, 1985-1990 -Bloomfield Arts Association, Birmingham, Chairman Fund Raising Committee 1973-1974, Board of Directors 1973-1984 -Member, Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Bloomfield Hills, 1980-1993 -Board of Regents, Orchard Lake Schools, Orchard Lake, 1981-1983 -Oakland University, Friend of Kresge Library / Presidents Club Society, 1973-1986 -Member, International Society, Palm Beach, FL, 1988-1992 -Trustee, Greater Palm Beach Symphony, 1986 -Member, Business Committee for the Arts, Palm Beach, FL, 1991-1994 -Chevalier Chaine Des Rotisseurs, 1982 -Knight of Malta, Order of St John, 1986 -American Association of Museums, Detroit -Member, Wayne State Medical Society -Member, Michigan State Medical Society -Member, Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists Favorite Quote summarizing thoughts on her accomplishments: Polish - "Nie swieci garnki lepia " English - "If you really want something, you will get it." The family will receive friends Monday, January 7, 2013, from 2-8 p.m. at A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road, Troy (between Maple and Big Beaver), with Prayers at 7 p.m. The Funeral Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8 - 11 a.m. at St. Hugo of the Hills Stone Chapel, 2215 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, with Rev. Joseph Szewczyk officiating. Visitation begins at church 10:30 a.m. Memorial tributes may be made to: The Kosciuszko Foundation (www.thekf.org) or the Michigan Opera Theatre (www.michiganopera.org).

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