Miscellaneous Manistee County, Michigan Obituaries


First Name:
Last Name:
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.

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.

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.

Robert P. Johnson
MANISTEE -- Robert P. Johnson, 94, of 395 Second St., Manistee, died Wednesday evening, Jan. 24, 2001 at the Manistee County Medical Care Facility.
He was born December 11, 1906 in Manistee, the son of the late Andrew W. and Huldah (Carlson) Johnson.
He was a graduate of Manistee High School - Class of 1926, and a graduate of the Michigan College of Mortuary Science in 1941.
He was united in marriage to Reatha Scheppelmann at the bride's home near Bear Lake on July 6, 1941. They would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this year.
From the time he was big enough to sit on a stool, Bob worked in his father's shoe store, the Johnson-Ostlund Shoe Store on River Street. During the late 1920's he and other downtown merchants were recruited and equipped by the former Manistee County Savings Bank to form a group known as the "vigilantes," who were trained by the Michigan State Police, and who could respond in case of a robbery at the bank.
At the time of the Kaleva Bank robbery, Bob and members of the group were deputized by Sheriff Martin and assisted in the manhunt for the robbers.
After the shoe store closed in 1939, Bob worked in various jobs until deciding to attend the Michigan College of Mortuary Science.
He received his Mortuary Science license in 1941 and would have received recognition from the Michigan Funeral Directors Association this year for his 60 years as a licensed funeral director. Following graduation, he worked part time for Ralph J. LaValle at his funeral home in addition to working as a forgings inspector at the Falleen Drop Forge in Filer City.
After the drop forge closed in 1953, Bob considered going into the funeral business full time and went into partnership with Mr. LaValle in 1954.
His involvement in the funeral business began in the early 1930s when he worked part-time for Felix Lundquist, a funeral director serving families in Manistee and Kaleva during the time when many visitations and funerals were held in the home. Bob saw many changes in the funeral business in his 60-plus years of funeral service and he had many stories he liked to tell about the changes and the different customs observed over the years. In the 1960's he was elected by local voters to serve as Manistee County Coroner.
He was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ of Manistee, the Michigan Funeral Directors Association's 777 Club, the Forest Shrine Club and Traverse City Commandery No. 41 KT.
He is a life member of Manistee Lodge No. 228 F&AM, Manistee chapter No. 65 RAM, Manistee Council No. 46 R&SM, Manistee Commandery No. 32 KT and the Saladin Shrine. He was also a life member of the Manistee Elks Lodge.
He loved hunting and fishing. Up until three years ago, Bob bragged that he had only missed one season of deer hunting since 1928 and that was due to being in college.
Bob is survived by: his wife, Reatha; son and daughter-in-law, Denis and Emmy Johnson of Manistee; daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Dennis Fisher of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; grandchildren, Jennifer and John Daly of Grand Rapids, Robert and Kendra Johnson of Crystal Falls, Christopher and Synthia Johnson and son Corey of Manistee, James, Kathryn, Alex and Angela Johnson, all of Manistee and Ryan, Michael, Corey and Andy Fisher of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; a brother and sister-in-law, Edgar and Marion Johnson of Livonia; and by several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by: a brother, John C. Johnson; and sisters, Lillian Beckwith, Lucile Carlson and Lois Swanson.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Manistee with the Rev. Sally Schreiner officiating.
Burial will be in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery.
Friends may begin calling at the Johnson Funeral Home Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A Masonic Memorial Service will be conducted Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. The body of Mr. Johnson will be taken to church Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to lie in state until the time of services.
The family suggests that those wishing to remember Bob consider a gift in his memory to either the Shrine Crippled Children's Fund, the Manistee First Congregational United Church of Christ, the Manistee Faith Covenant Church Building Fund, or the charity of the donor's choice.
Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and at the funeral service.

Evelyn D. Richardson
Mrs. Richardson, 89, died January 19, 2001 in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was a homemaker. Mrs. Richardson was born July 15, 1911 in Schenectady, N.Y., to Ernest and Mary (Blake) DeFrate, who are deceased.
She was married in 1930 to Howard Larsen Richardson, who is deceased. Mr. Richardson was the son of Avis (Larsen) and Arthur Richardson, and also the grandson of Anna and H.B. Larsen who were early settlers in Manistee. The Larsens were married in Manistee on March 9, 1876 and opened the H.B. Larsen store on River Street.
Inurnment will be at the Larsen plot in Oak Grove Cemetery, Manistee, Mich., at a later date.

Philip D. Schnorbach
Philip D. Schnorbach, 73, died unexpectedly in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001. He was born in Manistee on April 24, 1927, the son of Philip W. and Jean (Duncan) Schnorbach.
He attended Manistee High School and was graduated in 1945, as the president of his senior class. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until discharged after the end of World War II. He then received a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana and was graduated from the law school at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
While in Manistee, he was a communicant of Guardian Angels Church and had been employed during the summer, while attending college, at the American Box Board paper mill in Filer City.
The paper mill had previously been known as the Filer Fiber Co. and one of the co-founders was his paternal grandfather, P.P. Schnorbach. Both his father and his uncle, William, had managed the mill for a number of years. He had been a member of the Manistee Golf and Country Club for several years.
He took a position with Chase Manhattan Bank and was sent to Tokyo, Japan, where he worked for several years. While there, he met Betty Marjorie Thornton, who was teaching school in Japan. In 1956 they both returned to the States and on August 25 of that year, were married in St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Brighton, Mass. He then relocated to California where he was active in the banking business.
Later in his career, he was involved in investment banking with ties to the Far East, and he traveled extensively to many countries there, having just returned from Singapore on the day he passed away.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; a daughter, Leslie, of Santa Monica; a brother, Peter, of Mequon, Wis.; and an aunt, Margaret Duncan of Manistee. He is survived by: his wife, Betty, of Santa Monica; a sister, Jane Ingells of Dana Point, Calif.; a son, Philip of Coppell, Texas; and three grandchildren.
In California, he was a communicant of Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church, where the funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2001.

Lorraine V. Altice
Lorraine V. Altice, age 78, of Cottage Lane, Manistee, died unexpectedly on Monday evening, January 29, 2001 at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee. She was born November 10, 1922 in Manistee, and was the daughter of the late Stanley "Dukes" and Isabelle (Klozak) Chycinski. She was a graduate of Manistee High School, the class of 1941. Lorraine married Theodore P. Altice on April 15, 1951 in Crown Point, Ind. They had lived in the Chicago area most of their life. Ted preceded her in death on July 25, 1977. Lorraine returned to Manistee in 1991 to care for her ailing mother and has made her home here, since that time. She attended St. Joseph, Guardian Angels and St. Mary's of Mt. Carmel Shrine churches, all in Manistee.
Lorraine is survived by: her daughter and son-in-law, Geri and Jerome Monicke of Streamwood, Ill.; her son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Janice Altice of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; and two grandsons, Ryan and Wesley Altice, both of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; one niece, Tony Altice of Albuquerque, N.M. Several cousins also survive her.
Lorraine was also preceded in death by: her son, Scott Altice on June 11, 1984; and her sister, Eunice Chycinski.
Memorial services will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday evening, Feb. 1 at the Herbert Funeral Home in Manistee, with the Rev. William Zwiefka officiating. Inurnment will take place at the family niche in Wilmette, Ill., at a later date.
The family will receive friends at the Herbert Funeral Home on Thursday evening from 7 p.m. until the time of services at 8 p.m. The Herbert Funeral Home of Manistee is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Kenneth D. Toner, Sr.
Kenneth D. Toner, Sr., of Clarkston, died January 29, 2001 at age 68.He was the husband of Phyllis J.; father of Kenneth D. Toner, Jr., of Clarkston and Cheryl (Kevin) Peters of South Carolina; grandfather of Anthony Kasari, Michael and Jonathan Peters; brother of William (Irene) Toner of Detroit; son-in-law of Myrtle Edwards.
Ken retired from the Detroit Police Department in 1981 and had worked for Perry Drugs. He was the co-owner of P.J.'s Antiques in Holly. Ken was active in the Detroit and Clarkston Boy Scouts of America and was proud to have served his country in the Korean Conflict.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Lewis E. Witt & Son Trust 100 Funeral Home, Clarkston, where friends may visit today (Wednesday) from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Interment Lakeview Cemetery. Memorials to the Independence Township or the Springfield Township libraries. www.legacy.com

Margaret Marie Matson
Margaret Marie Matson of Palm Desert, Calif., died Saturday, January 13, 2001. She was born in Manistee on September 2, 1929 to Oscar and Elvera (Engwall) Anderson. She graduated from Manistee High School in 1947. For many years, Margaret was employed as a secretary at Century Boat Company in Manistee and at Dow Chemical Company in Midland. She has resided in California since 1972.
Margaret is survived by: her daughters, Mari (John) Penny of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and Rhonda Efroymson of Cathedral City, Calif.; granddaughter, Cari Sue Michaels and grandson, Richard (Melanie) McDonald of Durango, Colo., and grandsons John Penny and Andrew Penny of Anaheim Hills; great-granddaughter, Morgan McDonald and great-grandson, Lucas McDonald. Also surviving are: three brothers, Allan (Sue) Anderson of Eastlake, Douglas (Mary Jane) Anderson and Jack (Carroll) Anderson of Manistee; two sisters, Beverly (Richard) Volgstadt of Byesville, Ohio, and June (Jim) LaBar of Mt. Clemens.
Memorial services were held at Orange Villa Bible Church in Orange, Calif., on January 25. A memorial service will be held in Manistee at a date to be announced.

Richard Marion Gilbert
Richard Marion Gilbert, 74, went to be with his Lord February 5, 2001. He was born July 27, 1926 in Arcadia, the son of Claude and Leona (Kawczinski) Gilbert.
He was a member of the Arcadia United Methodist Church and the Arcadia VFW. He spent all of his life in Arcadia, except two years in the U.S. Army, Nov. 28, 1944 to Nov. 23, 1946, serving in the Pacific Theater. Upon returning from World War II, he married his beloved Yvonne Weidman, Nov. 14, 1946. To this union were born four children.
Survivors include: his wife, Yvonne; two sons, Gregory S. Gilbert of Arcadia, and Leslie C. (Roxanne) Gilbert of Frankfort; two daughters, Debra Gilbert (Gary) Lantz of Traverse City, and Rebecca L. (Gregg) Selander of Grandville; 21 dearly loved grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; one brother, Claude Jr. (Angie) Gilbert of Onekama; many nieces and nephews and a host of cousins.
Richard was preceded in death by: his parents; a brother, Alister; and his sister, Bonnie; his two half-brothers, Edwin and Chester; and a half-sister, Violet.
Richard's favorite verse: I will life up my eyes to the hills -- "From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." -- Psalm 121:1-2
Visitation will be held at the Edwards Funeral Home in Bear Lake, today, Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 6 to 9, with a VFW memorial service at 6 p.m. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m., from the Arcadia United Methodist Church with Pastor Mark Anderson officiating. Spring burial will be in the Blaine Township Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Gilbert family.

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.

Erliene E. Parker
Erliene E. Parker, age 82, of Scottville, died Friday, Feb. 23, 2001 at Memorial Medical Center in Ludington.
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.

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