Unusual Hobbies Week: Portland woman fills entire house with massive owl collection

Ionia County woman collects owls as far as the eye can see

PORTLAND, MICH. - If it exists, somebody on this planet likely collects it.

Many people who amass collections don't do it for monetary or investment reasons, but rather, for emotional reasons.

"For me, it all started when I received an owl cookie jar as a wedding present in 1946," said Beverly Dudek, 90, as she stands amongst thousands of owl collectibles from inside her home. "I found out that the cookie jar had a matching set of salt & pepper shakers, so I set out to find those.

"It just blossomed from there."

For 71 years, and counting, Beverly has continued collecting owls. You name it, she likely has it in her collection.

"I usually find them at yard sales and Goodwill," Dudek said. "Sometimes i get owls as gifts."

In every room of her home, from the baseboards to the ceiling, owl collectibles exist. Many are stacked on top pf each other while others are two or three deep on several rows of shelving.

"I think I probably have 3,000 [owl collectibles] or so," said Dudek.

But once she gives you the whole tour of her house, you'll swear there's ten times that many.

"No matter where you look, they're all looking back at you," said Dudek, jokingly. "The thrill of the hunt is what has kept me at it for all these years."

Is Beverly's owl collection the biggest in Michigan, or perhaps the biggest in the entire world? Nobody knows. What Beverly does know is that when the good Lord calls her home, a piece of her collection will be going with her.

"I'm going to pick one out [of my owl collection] and make sure it goes in my casket with me," said Dudek. "I don't want to be alone."

To contact Brent Ashcroft, send email to: brentashcroft@wzzm13.com. Follow Brent Ashcroft on Twitter: @brentashcroft.

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