Miscellaneous Wayne County, Michigan Obituaries - 1999


October 4, 1999

Ervin Dasher
Ford worker for 43 years
Ervin W. Dasher, a retired Ford Motor Co. employee, died Sept. 28 at his Freedom Township home in Washtenaw County. He was 98.
Born in Detroit, Mr. Dasher attended school in Allen Park, or Ecorse Township as it was then known, said his niece Barbara Heyer. 
He started work at Ford in 1922, the same year he married Vera Mills. While at Ford, he took several educational courses, Heyer said. He retired in January 1965 as a plant engineer supervisor.
Mr. Dasher enjoyed fishing and hunting.
He was a member of the River Rouge Masonic Lodge #511 for 50 years and also a member of the Ford Old Timers Club, the Manchester Sportsman's Club and the Manchester Beagle Club.
He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Doyle, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Jenter-Braun Funeral Home, 302 E. Main in Manchester. 

William McCreadie
He was a painter for Ford
William McCreadie, a retired employee of the Ford Motor Co. Wixom plant, died Thursday of emphysema at a Farmington Hills hospice home. Mr. McCreadie, a resident of Detroit, was 69.
Born in Highland Park, he graduated from Highland Park High School.
He worked at the Burroughs Co., now known as Unisys, before taking a job at Ford. He worked at Ford as a painter for more than 30 years until retirement in 1993.
In 1955, Mr. McCreadie moved from Highland Park to Detroit after getting married. The couple remained in the same house until his death.
Mr. McCreadie was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills. He loved watching television and reading Westerns.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughters Janet Zolkower, Susan Palka and Nancy McCreadie; two sisters, and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held today at 11 a.m. at the Thayer-Rock Funeral Home, 33603 Grand River in Farmington. Burial will follow in White Chapel Cemetery in Troy.

Paul Bommarito
He liked fishing and science
Paul Bommarito, a 37-year employee of Ford Motor Co.'s Rouge complex, died Sept. 23 in a Cleveland hospital following heart surgery. He was 57.
Mr. Bommarito was born in Detroit and lived on the east side for more than four decades before moving to Sterling Heights about a dozen years ago.
"He fished Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River whenever he had the chance," said nephew Peter Salinas. "He collected Scientific American magazines going back many years and spent a lot of time with family and friends."
Mr. Bommarito is survived by a sister, Margaret Sensini; a brother, Peter Bommarito; three nephews; a niece; two grandnephews, and a grandniece.
A memorial mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Mary's Catholic Church, 646 Monroe in Detroit. A luncheon will follow.

January 5, 1999

Jane Kruger
Child-abuse investigator
Services for Jane Kruger, one of Wayne County's first Children's Protective Services investigators, will be 1:30 p.m. today at Hebrew Memorial Chapel, 26640 Greenfield in Oak Park.
Ms. Kruger, a resident of Farmington, died Sunday at University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, after suffering a stroke on Wednesday at her office in Taylor. She was 52.
A native of Detroit, Ms. Kruger was a graduate of Mumford High School and Wayne State University. She began working for the state Department of Social Services, now the Family Independence Agency, nearly 30 years ago, while attending WSU at night to earn her master's degree in social work.
In the early 1970s, Ms. Kruger became one of the first child-abuse investigators with the newly created Children's Protective Services. She investigated the cases of thousands of abused and neglected children.
Ms. Kruger became a CPS supervisor at the FIA's western Wayne County office in Taylor.
"She was an extremely intelligent, bright person," said Margaret Warner, FIA Zone manager of Wayne County Child and Family Services.
Ms. Kruger is survived by her sister, Beverly Friedman, and a niece, Kayla Friedman. 
Burial will be in Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale.

Leo Bishop
Golf pro designed courses
Leo Bishop, a PGA player in the '50s and a golf course architect who designed a number of Michigan courses, died Sunday of renal failure and pulmonary edema at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
Mr. Bishop, 84, of Rochester Hills, formerly of Royal Oak, was the professional at Tecumseh Country Club, which he designed, for 14 years. Other courses he mapped out include Somerset Golf Course, Lake in the Woods Golf Course and Pine Knob Golf Club.
He served in the Army during World War II.
He is survived by his wife, Laura; daughters Sandi Hitch and Debbie Dunstan, and a brother. 
A memorial service will be in the spring.

Stanley Elkiss
Retired pharmacist
Services were held on Sunday at Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield for pharmacist Stanley Z. Elkiss, 73.
Mr. Elkiss, a 1949 graduate of Wayne State University's School of Pharmacy, died of heart disease Dec. 31 at Providence Hospital in Southfield.
He owned Dewey Drugs in Detroit for many years and then moved to Daring Drugs in Oak Park, from which he retired seven years ago. The West Bloomfield Township resident is survived by his wife of 50 years, Audrey; daughter, Davee Lopatin; son, Mitchell; four grandchildren, and two brothers.
Burial was in Beth El Memorial Park in Livonia. 

Nora Marie Fraser
Taught elementary school
Former Detroit elementary school teacher Nora Marie Fraser died of cancer on Friday at her home in Brighton. The longtime Detroit resident had moved to Largo, Fla., several years ago but returned to Michigan.
Mrs. Fraser, 90, is survived by her daughter, Karen Duff; son, Robert Fraser; six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church, 2101 South Hacker in Brighton. 

September 7, 1999

Therese Helene Danz 
Nun taught school 44 years 
Sister Therese Helene Danz, a veteran teacher, died Friday, days before her 88th birthday. An Immaculate Heart of Mary nun, she died at the convent's health care center in Monroe. 
Sister Danz had always wanted to be a nun, said her sister, Mary Whalen of Birmingham. She grew up in Detroit's Rosedale Park neighborhood, one of seven children, and joined the convent in 1927. "She felt she could serve the Lord better that way," said Whalen. 
Sister Danz prepared for her 44-year teaching career by earning a bachelor's degree from Marygrove College in Detroit and a master's degree from the University of Detroit, both in elementary education. 
Her teaching stints included schools in Detroit, Dearborn, Coldwater, Flint, Harbor Beach, Ionia, Mt. Morris, Roseville and Trenton. She also taught in Chicago and at the Hall of the Divine Child in Monroe. 
To her family and friends, she was known as a bubbly and loving friend who was "always happy to see you when you visited," Whalen said. 
Sister Danz is also survived by sisters Janet Whalen and Beatrice Sholander. 
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. today at St. Mary Motherhouse campus, 610 W. Elm Ave. in Monroe, with a 7 p.m. memorial service. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the campus chapel. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, also located on the campus. 

James Lee 
Public relations consultant 
James Wideman Lee II, a former public relations executive who helped shape Chrysler's image in the 40s and 50s, died Sunday. He was 93. 
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Lee graduated from Princeton University in 1928 and was hired by Ivy Lee and T.J. Ross, public relations consultants. He was the group's overseas representative in Europe and became a partner in 1934. 
In 1938, Mr. Lee moved to Detroit to serve as a public relations counsultant for Chrysler Corp. He lived in Grosse Pointe and worked for Chrysler for 21 years. He served on the board of trustees for Grosse Pointe Public Schools and was a member of the Detroit Club and the County Club of Detroit. 
In 1959, he returned to New York. Two years later, he and his wife, Betty Buechner Lee, bought the Barrows House, an inn in Dorset, Vt. The Lees ran the inn for 11 years. While in Dorset, Mr. Lee was a volunteer firefighter, and active in the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert. He was a member of the Ekwanok Country Club, the Dorset Field Club and the Corn Exchange. 
Throughout his life, Mr. Lee participated in fund-raising and activities for the Princeton Class of 1928. He was also an avid tennis player, skier and hunter well into his 70s. 
Mr. Lee is survived by his second wife, May Foote Lee; daughters Penelope Lee Ludwin, , Patricia Lee McCormack and Elizabeth Louise Sanstead; a brother; step-daughters Katharine Lingamfelter, Janet Stones and Cynthia Foote Hinkle; six grandchildren, and eight step-grandchildren. 
A memorial service will be held at the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert in Vermont at 10 a.m. Friday. 

January 8, 1999

Lorraine Barney
Club golf champion
Lorraine Barney never gave in to cancer, believing she would recover and get back to her beloved game of golf. She was former club champion at the Birmingham Country Club.
It was not to be. Mrs. Barney, 67, died Wednesday at her Birmingham home.
She was a graduate of the College of New Rochelle in New York. Prior to raising her two children, she taught school at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Beverly Hills and Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak.
She was a member of the Women's District Golf Association of Michigan.
Mrs. Barney is survived by her husband, Edward; daughter Barbara Masek and son David Barney; two sisters and a brother, and five grandchildren. 
Visitation is from 2-4 and 6-8:30 p.m. today at William R. Hamilton Co., 820 E. Maple, Birmingham, with a funeral mass at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas More Church, 4580 N. Adams, Troy. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in East Brunswick, N.J.

Cametrese Estwick
Volunteer, girls' mentor
Music and fashion were among the many interests of Cametrese Estwick, 36, who died of cancer at her Detroit home Monday. 
Mrs. Estwick, a graduate of Henry Ford High School in Detroit, attended Wayne State University. She was a bookkeeper at NBD Bank and recently worked for her family catering business.
She volunteered at Henry Ford Hospital and was an active member of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church where she mentored girls. She was also a member of the NAACP.
Mrs. Estwick is survived by her husband, Arnold; son Arnold Jr. and daughter Alisha; parents Carl and Janice Jackson; two sisters, and three brothers. 
Visitation is from 1-4 p.m. today, with family hour from 6-7 p.m., at Swanson Funeral Home, 14751 W. McNichols, Detroit. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Saturday at her church, 5251 E. Outer Drive, Detroit. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Margaret Birach
Served Madison Heights
Margaret Birach retired as treasurer of the City of Madison Heights in 1997, after 25 years of service that began when she was hired as an account clerk. 
Mrs. Birach, 70, died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure Tuesday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
During her career, she served on the Police and Fire Retirement Board, the Housing Code Board of Appeals, the Economic Development Corporation and other civic organizations. She especially loved working for the Goodfellows.
Mrs. Birach is survived by daughters Margaret Carpenter, Diane Milkie, Kathleen Bean and Mary Ann Movinksi; sons J. Drew Brach and Dan Birach; three sisters; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 
Visitation is from 2-9 p.m. today at Edward Swanson & Son Funeral Home, 30351 Dequindre, Madison Heights. Services are at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Dennis Church, 2200 E. 12 Mile, Royal Oak.
Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.

January 9, 1999

Durwood Swaninger
Retired metallurgist
Durwood J. Swaninger, a retired metallurgist and quality control manager, died of cancer Wednesday at the Angela Hospice Center in Livonia.
He was 80 and had recently moved from Venice, Fla., to Henry Ford Village in Dearborn.
A native of Willis, Mr. Swaninger was a graduate of Cooley High School in Detroit, where he ran track, and Wayne State University, where he played on the college football team and was a Golden Glove boxer.
He worked at Park Chemical Company in Ferndale, then became plant manager at the former Utilite Corporation. Later, he was quality control manager at Washers Inc. in Livonia. 
After retiring in 1975, Mr. Swaninger spent summers in Grand Lake and winters in Venice. 
He is survived by his wife, Hilda; sons Roger and Donald, and four grandchildren. 
A memorial service will be held at noon Jan. 30 at the Henry Ford Village Lifecare Retirement Community's chapel, 15101 Ford Road, Dearborn. 

Peter Moeller
Began Underdog Day at GM
Shortly before his death, Peter Moeller celebrated the 23rd annual Underdog Day -- an observance the General Motors factory worker started to salute hard workers.
Mr. Moeller, who worked for the automaker in Flint for 32 years, was known as Chief Underdog for proclaiming the third Friday in December in honor of workers.
He died of cancer Jan. 2 at his home in Clio. He was 58.
He was born in a suburb of Hamburg, Germany, in 1940 and moved to the United States 10 years later. He settled in Frankenmuth and attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1965 with a degree in English. He taught school briefly before going to work for GM.
Mr. Moeller was proud of his work at GM and believed it was as important as work done in the executive suites. It was this belief that led him to start Underdog Day in 1976 as a salute to "all of the underdogs and unsung heroes -- the No. 2 people who contribute so much to the No. 1 people we read about."
Mr. Moeller is survived by his wife, Anne; daughter, Monica Dufour; son, Sean, and two grandchildren. A memorial service will be at a later date.

March 11, 1999

Edmund Ura
Teacher and scoutmaster
Edmund Ura was 13 months old when his parents brought him from Poland to Hamtramck, where he lived until he married in 1955.
Mr. Ura, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Wayne State University, taught in the Ferndale school system for 25 years -- first as a junior high science teacher, then at Ferndale High. He retired in 1990.
Mr. Ura, 73, died Sunday at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills of complications from bone marrow disease. 
From 1972 to 1983, he was scoutmaster at Best Junior High School in Oak Park, where he and his wife, Mary, lived and raised their family. Mr. Ura was especially proud that his troop produced a dozen Eagle Scouts, including his sons Ed and Andy.
In addition to his wife and sons, Mr. Ura is survived by a daughter Kathryn Sullivan; two grandsons, and a sister and brother.
A funeral mass is at 10 a.m. today at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 13500 Oak Park.

Dr. Martin Alexander
Met wife in World War II
While serving as a flight surgeon with the 52nd fighter group in Italy, Corsica and Sicily during World War II, Dr. Martin Alexander met a young Red Cross worker named Mary Ann Landis. They married on the Isle of Capri while still in the service.
Their 55-year marriage ended Monday when Dr. Alexander died in Albuquerque, N.M., where they had lived since 1995.
Dr. Alexander, 84, was born in Detroit. He was on a championship track team at the University of Michigan and was a 1939 graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School. 
After returning from the service, he practiced medicine in Denver and was a member of the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners for several years. He retired in 1980.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Lannie and son John, two grandsons and two brothers.
A private family service was held in Albuquerque.

Merle Roninger
Ex-legal secretary loved dogs
Merle Roninger was never far from her beloved Boston terrier, Amy. She had a succession of the breed during her life. Miss Roninger, 87, died of leukemia Monday at her home in Glen Arbor, Mich., where she moved in 1983 after many years in Birmingham.
She was a graduate of Liggett School and then attended Detroit Commercial College. She spent 38 years as a legal secretary in Detroit. She was a longtime volunteer at the Baldwin Library in Birmingham, and continued that work at the Glen Lake Community Library in Empire.
Miss Roninger, who never married, was an expert knitter and crocheter. She is survived by seven cousins and many friends at the Glen Arbor Woman's Club.
Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. today at the Martinson Funeral Home in Suttons Bay. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

January 12, 1999

William Aiken
Exec 'loved the game of golf'
Longtime CEO and chairman of ACO Hardware, William (Bill) Aiken, 64, died of cancer Wednesday at his West Bloomfield Township home.
Mr. Aiken grew up in Manchester, and it was there he met his wife, Joyce. The high school sweethearts were married for 45 years.
Mr. Aiken served in the Navy in 1954-56 and was a graduate of Cleary College in Ypsilanti. 
He was employed by Ernst & Young prior to joining ACO in 1972.
"Bill loved the game of golf," said his wife. "That was his passion. If it was raining, he would convince me we could play 18 -- and then he would want to play another 18."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Terry Hughson and Kim Aiken; son, Brian; three grandchildren; three sisters, and a brother.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Congregational Church of Birmingham, 1000 Cranbrook Road at Woodward Avenue.

Anna Hoffman
Owned antique shop in '50s
It was just a year past the turn of the century when Anna Hoffman was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France. Her family moved to this country when she was 8, and it was in the United States that Miss Hoffman met and married another Alsatian, Charles Haman. They were married for 54 years. 
Mrs. Haman died Dec. 31 of heart and respiratory failure at Wayne Total Nursing Center in Wayne. She was 97.
During the 1950s, she was a coin and stamp dealer and had an antique shop, the Lobby Treasure Chest, in Highland Park.
Mrs. Haman is survived by daughters Dolores Hendershot, Rosemary Barnhart and Kathleen Haman; son, Arthur Haman; 16 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Marys of Redford Church, 14750 St. Marys, Detroit.

Ann Van Veen
A painter, sculptor and poet
Painting and sculpturing were among the talents of Ann Davis Van Veen, who died of a heart attack Friday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
She was a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design.
Mrs. Van Veen, 79, of West Bloomfield Township is survived by her husband of 56 years, G. Henry Van Veen; sons Peter, Mark and Hugh; daughter, Gretchen Gerteis; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Birmingham Unitarian Church, 651 N. Woodward, Bloomfield Hills.

Donald Kauth
Former MSU football star
While at Michigan State University, Donald Kauth was a member of the national championship football team in 1952 and cocaptained the 1954 team. He was an academic All-American.
Mr. Kauth, 65, of Bloomfield Hills died of complications from heart disease Saturday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
After graduating from MSU, he received a master's degree from Wayne State University. He was with Burroughs Corp., which became Unisys, for 32 years, retiring as director of distribution.
Mr. Kauth is survived by his wife, Nancy; sons Kevin, Michael and Christopher; daughter, Erin; two grandsons, and two sisters.
Visitation will be 4-9 p.m. today at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks, Clawson. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2225 E. Fourteen Mile, Birmingham. Interment will be in Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven.

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