Miscellaneous Manistee County, Michigan Obituaries


First Name:
Last Name:
George W. Vandervest
George W. Vandervest, age 71, of Hamlin Township, died January 25, 2001 at his home.
There will be no visitation at the funeral home.
Oak Grove Cremation Center of Manistee is in charge of arrangements.

Bill J. Harrigan 
Bill J. Harrigan, age 80, died on January 25, 2001, in Plymouth.
Bill was born on March 13, 1920 in Buckley, to William and Flavilla Harrigan and grew up in Kaleva. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Bob and Ted, and is survived by brother Jack.
Bill married Maxine Tompke in 1942. He is survived by his wife and six children, Bill, Sheryl Hannak, Jack, Jean Sealy, Kevin and Brian; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Bill served in the Pacific during World War II. Following the war, Bill and Maxine moved to Detroit where Bill worked for Greyhound Corp. They moved back to the Manistee area in 1975.
The family will be at the Terwilliger Funeral Home, Kaleva, to receive family and friends on Sunday, Jan. 28, 4 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Jan. 29, 11 a.m., at the funeral home with the Reverend Tom Jasperse officiating. Burial will be at Brown Township Cemetery.
The family is requesting donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association or to the Onekama Congregational Church.

Gerald K. Avery
Gerald K. Avery, age 47 of Benzonia, died January 22, 2001 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.
There will be no visitation at the funeral home.
Oak Grove Cremation Center of Manistee is in charge of arrangements.

Holland P. Capper 
Holland P. Capper, formerly of 3031 Lakeshore Rd., Manistee, died March 22, 2001, in Wilmette, Ill. Mr. Capper was born in Van Wert, Ohio, the son of Clark and Lilian (Terry) Capper on December 5, 1905. 
In 1912, the family moved to the Hudson area and Holland graduated from Hudson High School in 1923. Later that year, he enrolled at Albion College, the first of his family to attend college. Majoring in biology and chemistry, he came under the tutelage of several distinguished professors: Dr. Arthur Chickering, Dr. David Randall, and Dr. William Whitehouse. He was graduated from Albion in 1927 and moved to Manistee where he taught for 40 years in the same lecture room and chemistry lab at Manistee High School. 
In 1930 he married his college sweetheart, Thelma Jane Raidle. 
Holland had many abilities and interests, but a central theme of his entire life was his devotion to the scientific method. He constantly urged his students and family to test assumptions and popular beliefs in a constant search for true facts. He enjoyed for all his life the fact that his two disciplines, biology and chemistry, were constantly changing, with scientists always discovering that old assumptions and beliefs were, in fact, wrong. Newly discovered evidence was fun for him and he always enjoyed sharing new ideas with students, friends and family. Mr. Capper taught three generations of students during his long tenure at MHS. He was greatly respected and feared and many tales are remembered and retold by his former students. Perhaps the principal reason students remember him is because he believed in letting them discover their own intelligence, in their own way, without undue interference from him. He taught a process rather than a rote system and was dedicated scholar with the highest standards for himself and his students. 
For a number of students, a familiar story emerged. Mr. Capper fostered a special spark in these students who first encountered him as unmotivated high schoolers. Mr. Capper¹s enthusiasm for science and his encouragement of their gifts led them to college. They were often the first member of their family to pursue higher education. Going on to earn the Ph.D., they entered careers in scientific research, medicine and college teaching, always remaining in touch with their original mentor, Holland Capper. Although he weighed only 160 pounds, Mr. Capper played guard on the varsity football team at Albion College. In his early years at MHS, he coached the Manistee High School football team for several success seasons. His former players remembered fondly that, "He even let the skinny guys play." 
He always emphasized the basics, leaving the fancy stuff to the teams he consistently beat. After his tenure as football coach, he refereed for years and maintained his love of football his entire life, loyally watching TV football and baseball in his later years. 
Mr. and Mrs. Capper were lifelong Methodists. Mrs. Capper was church organist for 30 years and Mr. Capper sang tenor in the choir for 60 years. They were faithful participants in many of the church activities and treasured all the wonderful friends they made within that community. During World War II, Mr. Capper worked full-time as a teacher and also held a job at the Manistee Iron Works where he helped manufacture bullet-making machines which were shipped to our Allies. 
His childhood had been spent on a farm, and he continued his interest in farming all his life. He kept milk cows, pigs, chickens and other farm animals to help feed his family. During the summer, he had a truck farm of 20 acres and his produce was sold through local grocery stores and renown for being fresh and wonderfully tasteful. He continued farming into his late 80s and his sweet corn is fondly remembered by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
One of Holland's outstanding traits was his ability to get the most for his money. In 1939, he bought a canoe, large tent, campstove and other camping gear for $35. This equipment was used by the family for over 40 years. He and Thelma took their four children on countless excursions including two extensive camping tours. A trip to the East included New York City, Washington, D.C., and Gettysburg with the family traveling in a tiny 1939 Ford. The western trip included Yellowstone Park and the Great Salt Lake. Mr. Capper set up the tent and did all the outdoor cooking every night on these trips. 
His teenage sons inspired him to take up skiing in the early 1950s and they all decided that Manistee County needed its own ski area. Picking a site in the Udell Hills area, with the cooperation of the Forest Service and the hard labor of other ski enthusiasts, he planned, directed and carved out of the forest what is now known as the Big M Ski Area. He served as its first manager. Holland skied until he was well past 80 and was proud of his membership in the Over-70 Ski Club, a national organization that, in addition to the age qualification, insisted that members must still be downhill skiers, not just cross country. 
He was often asked to show his driver's license to qualify for senior citizen discount tickets. He ski raced several times along with his son Holland, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
The family home was located at 493 Oxford Ct. In 1960, the Cappers purchased the acreage and saw mill at the Lakeshore Road address. Mr. Ray Carty had run the saw mill for many years and it was a local landmark. In 1961, Holland and Thelma moved to the country. By now, all their children had either graduated from college or were attending college. 
The birth of eight grandchildren was a great joy to them, especially since their grandfather had built a cottage on the property. "Capper's Mill" was run almost single-handedly by Mr. Capper. 
For the next 35 years, he built cottages, decks and fences, taking great pride in his craftsmanship. He felled large trees and did custom sawing for many builders. Anyone who worked for him had to adhere to his strict standards. He also grew Christmas trees and continued producing wonderful vegetables and beautiful flowers on the extensive acreage which also bordered Bar Lake. 
His grandsons recall fondly that their grandfather even had specific instructions for how the lawn was to be mowed. The Cappers were gracious hosts to many large picnic gatherings, especially when the sweet corn was in season. 
Holland and Thelma traveled extensively after retirement. They crisscrossed the continental United States so often that they had slept in every state. They were particularly fond of the summer Olympics and saw the Games in Mexico City, Munich, and Montreal. They also traveled in Europe as representatives for "Youth for Understanding," having started the Manistee chapter and initially hosting German exchange student Gina Huhn in 1958-'59. 
The bond between Gina's family and the Cappers continues to the present day. 
Satisfying a long held desire, Holland went on a scientific and photographic African safari in 1981 at the age of 75. 
Mr. Capper is survived by: one son, Holland of Wilmette, Ill.; two daughters, Mary Stewart of Seattle, Wash., and Susanna Edgar of Manistee; a sister, Julia Houser of Hudson; eight grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. 
He was preceded in death by his wife; his son, John; three sisters; and a brother. 
Holland Capper leaves an example and achievement and zest for life to his family. 
A memorial service will be held on May 26 at the United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., the family may be greeted at a reception in the parish hall at the same location. Memorials to the Manistee United Methodist Church or Albion College Briton Scholarship Fund, 611 East Porter, Albion, MI 49224; are suggested. Letters may be sent to: The Capper Family, 1916 Pike Place Suite 12 No. 4, Seattle, WA 98101-1097. 

R. Gale Johnson 
Mr. R. Gale Johnson, 69, of Manistee, formerly of Livonia, died Tuesday, April 3, 2001 in Manistee Medical Care Facility. 
He was born July 5, 1931 in Port Huron to Herbert J. and Mary Johnson. He married Kathleen Roy November 11, 1995 in Onekama. Mr. Johnson was a structural engineer with Whitehead & Kales prior to his retirement. He served with the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean Conflict and also served in the reserves until 1956. He was a member of Onekama Church of the Brethren and Marysville Lodge No. 498 F&AM. 
He is survived by: his wife, Kathleen; three daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel (Wendy) Hill of Redford, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip (Tamara) Wallace, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur (Tina) Carter of Whitmore Lake; a son, Mr. and Mrs. Michael (Karen) Johnson of Howell; eight grandchildren, Joshua Hill, Bradley Wallace, Nicholas Wallace, Michelle Carter, Maria Carter, Melissa Carter, Chelsea Johnson and Shiloh Johnson; two step-children, Suzanne (Mark) Lentych, and Richard Howell; three step-grandchildren, Jessica, Meghan and Kade; his mother, Mary Johnson Woodruff of Port Huron; a sister, Mr. and Mrs. Carl (Barbara) McCormick of Hale; seven nieces and nephews; and 13 grand-nieces and nephews. 
He was preceded in death by his father, Herbert, in 1960. 
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. this evening (Wednesday) in the Pollock-Randall Funeral Home Inc., in Port Huron. A memorial service will be held at noon on Thursday in First Baptist Church of Marysville with visitation from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service. Dr. John Jelinek will officiate. Burial will be in Oaklawn Cemetery, Algonac. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Onekama Church of Brethren Building Fund, Gideons International or Manistee Ducks Unlimited.

Fred William May 
Fred William May, age 69, of Bear Lake, died April 3, 2001 at Munson Medical Center, was born on May 10, 1931 in Detroit, the son of Clifford and Olive (McManus) May. 
He was a telephone repairman for Bell Telephone 37 years. Fred loved fishing and the Detroit Lions. He came to Bear Lake every summer, moving here in 1969. Fred married Jo Ann Clark in Lincoln Park on June 21, 1957; she survives. 
He is also survived by: sons, Jeffrey May of Manistee; Dean (Monica) May of Denver, Colo., Fred (Janette) May and granddaughter, Hayley, of Bear Lake; daughter, Mary Ann Batsakis; and grandson, Alex of Traverse City; one brother, Clifford (Valerie) May of Nokomis, Fla.; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. 
He was preceded in death by his parents. 
Funeral services for Fred William May will be held on Friday, April 6 at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Michael Conner. Spring burial will be in the Pleasanton Township Cemetery. Memorials made to Munson Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. The family will be at the funeral home to receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m., 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 5. The Edwards Funeral Home of Bear Lake is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

Larry L. Larson
Larry L. Larson, age 52, of Scottville, died Saturday, March 24, 2001 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. 
Oak Grove Cremation Center of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements. 

Cecilia F. Holt
Cecilia F. Holt, age 95, of Lino Lakes, Minn., passed away Sunday, March 25, 2001 in her home.
She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 12, 1906 in Montel and Bridget Henley Shinkle. Cecilia graduated from St. Clare¹s High School in 1925. She moved to Duluth in 1925 and graduated from St. Mary¹s School of Nursing in 1928. Cecilia worked at St. Mary¹s Hospital from 1928-1936. She then devoted the rest of her life to her family. She moved to Lino Lakes in 1996 and lived independently until her time of death.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Willis George Holt in 1973; and her sister, Evelyn Bowen in 1994. 
She is survived by: her daughter, June C. Holt of Lino Lakes; four grandchildren, David (Mary) Drew, Kathryn (Randall) Duffield, Michael (Taeko) Racckowski, Vicki (Steven) Ramsey; five great-grandchildren, David and Michael Drew, Thomas and Emily Duffield, Michelle Racckowski; and one nephew, Dennis Bowen.
Private family visitation and prayer service were held Tuesday evening at the Crawford Chapel. Private family funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today, Wednesday at the Crawford Chapel. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Northwoods Children Home. Arrangements by Crawford Funeral Service, Duluth, Minn.

Estelle Banasiak
Estelle Banasiak of Thompsonville died Friday evening at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital LTC, due to complications from pneumonia. 
Mrs. Banasiak was a resident of Thompsonville for the past 14 years, coming from Grand Rapids. She was a member of St. Raphael Catholic Church in Copemish and was a member of the altar guild of the church. She enjoyed golfing and bowling. 
She is survived by: her children, Sharon and Bill; two grandchildren, Molly and Billy; a brother, John; a nephew, Dennis; and a very special godson, Ron; and many special friends from her church and golf and bowling leagues. 
Mrs. Banasiak was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; her parents; and a sister, Mary. 
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. from St. Raphael Church, with the Rev. Richard A. Kosterman, celebrant. Interment will be in Thompsonville Cemetery in the spring. Friends may meet with the family one hour prior to the mass. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider St. Raphael Church. The Benzonia Chapel, McElduff Funeral Homes, is handling arrangements. 

John Lakos 

John Lakos, 84, of Manistee, died Sunday, March 25, 2001 at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee. 

He was born May 11, 1916 in Eastlake, the son of John and Rose (Kiszelik) Lakos. John graduated from Manistee High School in the class of 1934. He attended Manistee County Normal and then taught school in one-room schoolhouses in the Kalkaska area from 1935-37. In 1938-39 he was a Senior Clerk with the U.S. Forest Service doing mapping of forest plantations and serving as Forest Fire Suppression Supervisor. He later attended Central State Teachers College (which is presently Central Michigan University). At one time John taught woodworking in the Manistee Public School System. He had also been office manager for Associated Trucking and Darling Freight in Manistee. For several years he was an X-ray technician at the former Mercy Hospital in Manistee, where he also taught first aid to Manistee policemen, firemen, high school students and teachers, and to nursing students at Mercy Hospital. It was in this endeavor that he met his future wife. He married Viola M. VanBeek on May 20, 1960 in Volga, S.D. At the time of his retirement, John was a licensed electrician and boiler maintenance man at West Shore Hospital. He was licensed to repair Westinghouse elevators and was also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. John was presently serving as a member of the Manistee City Planning Commission and as a member of the Historical Overlay Committee of the Downtown Development Authority in Manistee. He was a member and past president of the Manistee Lions Club where he had served as treasurer for many years. He was a past deputy district governor of Lions District 11E. The Lions Clubs International Foundation awarded John the Melvin Jones Fellowship, their highest award given for dedicated humanitarian services. In past years, he had been active with the Manistee Civic Players, the local Boy Scouts of America and as a ski patrol leader at Caberfae Ski Area. His hobbies included camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing, hunting, swimming, reading and working on community betterment projects and Lions Club civic improvement programs. John regularly attended the Manistee United Methodist Church. 
He is survived by: his wife, Viola; two sons and a daughter-in-law, William and Susan Lakos of Lansing, and David Lakos of Manistee; daughter, Sue Lakos of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; grandchildren, Elizabeth and Andrew Lakos; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Rosalie and George Reddin of Windsor, Ontario and Elizabeth McDowell of Reed City; and two nephews, John McDowell of Reed City, and Thomas Hackett of Duluth, Minn.
John was preceded in death by: his parents; a sister, Helen Hackett; and a nephew, James Hackett. 
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Manistee United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Jerry Selleck officiating. Burial will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Johnson Funeral Home on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The body of Mr. Lakos will be taken to the church Thursday at 10 a.m. to lie in state until the time of services. The family suggests those wishing to remember John consider a gift to either the Lions International programs for the visually and hearing impaired or the organ fund at the Manistee United Methodist Church. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and at the funeral service. The Johnson Funeral Home of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Regina Matchekosky 
Regina Matchekosky, age 92, of Rakoniewski Road in Manistee, died late Wednesday evening, March 21, 2001 at the Manistee Heights Care Center in Manistee. She was born on June 23, 1908 in Filer Township, the daughter of the late Martin and Valentina (Konieczna) Rakoniewski. 
Regina married Edward Matchekosky on October 4, 1927 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Manistee. He preceded her in death on April 20, 1970. She was employed at the Glen of Michigan for over 30 years. She was a communicant of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Manistee. Regina also liked reading, being outdoors and enjoyed her flower gardening and was a volunteer at the Manistee Heights Care Center for several years. 
She is survived by: Six grandchildren and their spouses, including Michael (and Linda) Wojciechowski of Traverse City, Timothy Wojciechowski of Manistee, Patricia Miller of Traverse City, Garrett (and Wanda) Downing of Lima, Ohio, Jed (and Mary) Downing of Gallatin, Tenn., and Kelly (and Corey) Miller of Lima, Ohio; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, Peter Wojciechowski of Manistee; a sister-in-law, Susan J. Rakoniewski of Manistee. Nieces and nephews also survive. She was preceded in death by: two daughters, Elizabeth Wojciechowski and Barbara Brown; by six sisters, Eva Bodouinac, Gladys Zielinski, Josephine Brzycki, Helen Grabowski, Blanche Ish and Bernice Pieczynski; and by two brothers, Harry and Edmund J. Rakoniewski. 
Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 24 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Manistee, with the Reverend William L. Zwiefka celebrant. Burial will take place at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Manistee. The family will receive friends at the Herbert Funeral Home on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the procession to the church for the funeral mass. The Herbert Funeral Home of manistee is in charge of fneral arrangements. 

Henry T. Ax 
Henry T. Ax, 86, of Manistee, died Wednesday, March 21, 2001 at the Alamo Nursing Home in Kalamazoo. 
He was born August 3, 1914 in Manistee, the son of Gustaf and Augusta (Johnson) Ax. 
He married Geraldine Repo on January 14, 1940 in Manistee. Henry was a retired merchant marine engineer. He sailed with the U.S. Steel Great Lakes fleet for over 40 years. He was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Manistee. 
He is survived by: sons and daughters-in-law, Dennis and Karen Ax of Allegan, and Eugene and Phyllis Ax of Grand Rapids; seven grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. 
Henry was preceded in death by: his parents; six brothers, Victor, Oscar, Robert, Ben, Edward and William Ax; sisters, Huldah Carlson and Clara Danielson. 
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Manistee, with the Rev. Douglas MaGinn officiating. Final interment will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Manistee. The family will be at the Johnson Funeral Home on Friday from 7-9 p.m. to receive friends. The body of Mr. Ax will be taken to the church at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday to lie in state until the time of services. The family suggests that those wishing to remember Henry consider a gift for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Manistee. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and at the funeral service. The Johnson Funeral Home of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements. 

Clarence Raymond Peterson
Clarence Raymond Peterson, age 89, formerly of Ludington, died Tuesday evening, March 20, 2001 at Birchwood Nursing Center in Traverse City. 
He was born on October 22, 1911 in Free Soil, the son of the late Carl Andrew and Anna (Hansen) Peterson. He attended schools in Victory Township (Mason County) and Manistee Public Schools. He finished eleventh grade at Manistee High School and began a lifelong career as a Great Lakes seaman. In 1930, after initial service on several Passenger-Package Freight vessels, he began a 54-year career aboard the Pere Marquette Car Ferries (later, the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Baltimore & Ohio Railway Systems) that ended with his July 1, 1984 retirement at the same time the B&O terminated its cross-lake service at Ludington. At retirement, he was the senior employee in the entire B&O system. During the course of his long career, he progressed from deckhand, lookout and watchman to wheelsman. He favored the latter and chose to spend the bulk of his career in that post. When he began his career, the carferries were old, time-worn ³two-stackers² that dated back a good many years. He later was aboard the City of Saginaw, City of Flint, City of Midland, Spartan and Badger on their maiden voyages to Ludingtom from the Manitowoc shipyard. Clarence, who rode out some fierce Lake Michigan storms, called the 1940 Armistice Day storm the worst he had experienced. He was aboard the City of Flint when it had to be beached just north of the harbor entrance. He took pride in his skill as a wheelsman and he particularly enjoyed the challenge of guiding his vessel to Milwaukee¹s Jones Island dock. The main challenge was a railroad bridge with a clearance of just two feet. His knowledge of the river current, wind conditions and the vessel¹s helm response let him guide it through the bridge without touching either side. Clarence greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing with a number of his close Ludington friends. He also enjoyed watching automobile races, as well as football, basketball, hockey and baseball games. He was a ³Golden Eagle² member of Ludington Aerie 1354, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and a life member of the Ludington Elks Lodge 736. 
He is survived by: two brothers and sisters-in-law, Ernest and Eleanor Peterson of Manistee, and Donald and Dorothy Peterson of Manistee; two nephews, Carl J. Peterson and Robert W. Peterson; five nieces, Nancy Greal, Marian MacNicol, Anna Rhodea, Carol Steinberg, and Terri L. Pieterson. 
He was also preceded in death by: his parents, Carl A. Peterson and Anna (Hansen) Peterson; and one brother, Alfred A. Peterson. 
Cremation has taken place. In accordance with his express wishes, there will be no visitation or memorial service. The Herbert Funeral Home of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Milford L. Reed
Milford L. Reed, 85, of Keillor Road, Bear Lake, died March 20, 2001 at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort. 
He was born June 2, 1915 in Pleasanton Township, the son of Fred and Louise (Hale) Reed. Milford owned and operated Reeds Sawmill. He ran the sawmill and raised sheep; he loved to hunt and fish. 
He is survived by: sons, Larry and Joyce Reed of Bear Lake, and Raymond and Beverly Reed of Bear Lake; daughter, Edith (Wendell) Putney of Frankfort; 13 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; one sister, Olive Chamberlain of Muskegon. 
He was preceded in death by: wife, Esther; daughters, Arbutus and Frances Louise; a grandson, Kevin Reed; and sister, Beatrice Alkire. 
Funeral services for Milford L. Reed will be held on Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m. from the Edwards Funeral Home, Bear Lake, with Pastor Kit Potter officiating. Spring burial will be in Pleasanton Township Cemetery. The family will be at the funeral home to receive friends from 12 noon until time of service today (Thursday). The Edwards Funeral Home of Bear Lake is in charge of the funeral arrangements. 

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