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April 29, 2001

Obituaries

Gladys C. Stewart
      Died April 26, 2001
      RAPID CITY - Gladys C. Stewart, 78, of Rapid City, died on Thursday at her residence.
      Mrs. Stewart was born in New Boston on June 13, 1922, to Ervin and Hedwig (Lorenz) Wohlfiel. On Dec. 20, 1947, in New Boston, she married Victor Stewart, who preceded her in death on July 6, 1993.
      Mrs. Stewart resided in Romulus until 1980, when she moved to Kalkaska County. She enjoyed sewing, drawing and writing.
      She is survived by three sons, Jack (Debra) Stewart of Beulah, Russell (Pam) Stewart of Tecumseh and Mark (Linda) Stewart of Marion; four daughters, Sharon (Ray) Dyer of Grand Rapids, Vickie Rusch of Ann Arbor, Hattie Stewart of Utah and Gloria (Doug) Campbell of Rapid City; 23 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
      She was also preceded in death by her son, Paul.
      Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday at the Wolfe Funeral Home in Kalkaska. Rev. Ted Turanski will officiate. Interment will be in Clearwater Township Cemetery in Kalkaska County.
      Friends may call at the funeral home today from 7 to 9 p.m.
      Memorial gifts may be directed to the American Cancer Society.
      Phyllis J. Tannehill
      Died April 26, 2001
      TRAVERSE CITY - Phyllis J. Tannehill, 75, of Traverse City, died Thursday at The Arbor House.
      She was born June 12, 1925, in Bingham, the daughter of Enor and Frances (McDonald) Hockstad and had lived in Traverse City, later moving to Grand Rapids and then returning to Traverse City in the early 1970s.
      Phyllis had been an administrative assistant at Munson Medical Center prior to her retirement and had previously been a member of Zonta, Beta Sigma Phi, Grace Episcopal Church and the Church's Guild. Phyllis served as president of the PTO, not only in Grand Rapids, but also in Traverse City and was a former member of the Traverse City Golf and Country Club.
      Phyllis is survived by a daughter, Susan (Bruce) Idema of Suttons Bay; a son, David (Mariuxi) Siffert of Charlottesville, Va.; her step-children, Carol (Thomas) Kuimjian of Alexandria, Va., Barbara (Chris) Ammann of Bloomfield Hills, Thomas (Janice) Tannehill of Traverse City, Amy (Patrick) Shields of Fulshear, Texas; her grandchildren, Jill and Tyler Sanborn, Aisha and Jason Siffert; her step-grandchildren, Kristin Sabo, Tavis and Jala Tannehill, Tucker and Madison Sheilds; her brothers, Robert Hockstad of Elk Rapids and Bruce (Rita) Hockstad of Traverse City and several nieces and nephews. Also surviving is her former husband, Charles Siffert of Traverse City.
      Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James Robert Hannehill, who preceded her in death Jan. 11, 1994; her sister, Dorothea Hardesty and her brothers, Howard and Gordon Hockstad.
      Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 from Grace Episcopal Church with the Rev. Fr. D. Edward Emenheiser officiating.
      Friends may call at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimers Association, Munson Hospice or Grace Episcopal Church.
      The family is being served by The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
      Madelyn Ann Wendels
      Died April 26, 2001
      EMPIRE - Madelyn Ann Wendels, 72, of Empire, died unexpectedly on Thursday at her home.
      She was born on Oct. 5, 1928, in Fond du Lac, Wis., the daughter of James Francis Sr. and Nora Marie Gross Keenan.
      She graduated from Goodrich High School in Fond du Lac. On Feb. 7, 1953, she married John Leonard Wendels at St. Patrick's Church in Fond du Lac. Madelyn was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling and was devoted to her husband, children and grandchildren. Madelyn was a volunteer for the Glen Lake Community Library, Empire Heritage Group, Empire Fire Department and the Red Cross Bloodmobile.
      She is survived by her husband, John of Empire; two daughters, Judith (Leonard) Shalda of Empire and Donna (Kevin) Cierpial of Holton; six sons, James and Michael (Laura) Wendels of Empire, David (Anna) Wendels of Maple City, Daniel (Joann) of Traverse City, Donald (Susan) Wendels of Gulfport, Miss. and John (Kim) Wendels of Virginia Beach, Va.; three sisters, Rosemary (Joseph) Fortunato and Elaine (Ray) Bauer, both of Fond du Lac, Wis. and Patricia (Robert) Hornes of Sheboygan, Wis.; one brother, Jerome of Fond du Lac; one brother-in-law, Robert (Lou) Wendels of Sun City, Ariz.; two sisters-in-law, Kay Keenan and Shirley Keenan of Fond du Lac; 16 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
      She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Donald, James Jr. and Robert; and three sisters-in-law, Vera, Joy and Ruth.
      A Rosary will be said at St. Philips Neri Church in Empire at 7 p.m. on Monday and Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. with Rev. Chad Zielinski officiating. Internment will be at a later date.
      In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Empire Fire Department or St. Judes Children's Hospital.
      Arrangements have been entrusted to the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes.
      Bernard T. Strong
      Died April 28, 2001
      TRAVERSE CITY - Bernard T. Strong, 90, of Traverse City since 1921, died on Saturday at his home.
      He was born on May 24, 1910, in Chisholm, Minn., the son of Matthew Leander and Anna (Gragg) Strong. On June 17, 1943, in Traverse City, he married the former Greta E. Nylund, who preceded him in death in 1996.
      Bernard T. Strong began as a sheet metal worker in Detroit in 1926. He also served in World War II as a master sergeant in aircraft sheet metal repair. Strong purchased one of the original homesteads in Traverse City from Matthew Rich, which he farmed for decades, principally in cherries. Much of the Strong farm is now the new East Junior High. When not farming cherries, Strong was a well-respected carpenter. He played a major role in the construction of most of Traverse City's current municipal and governmental buildings. These buildings include Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City Senior High School, Traverse City Light and Power, Grand Traverse County Jail, Park Place Hotel, Holiday Inn, Munson Medical Center, The Chamber of Commerce and the original construction of Governor Milliken's home on the Bay.
      He is survived by his two sons, Bernard T. Jr. (Mary) Strong of Traverse City and Gary (Karen) Strong of Ashburn, Va.; a daughter, Dana E. (Sid) Halvorsen of Traverse City; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
      He was also preceded in death by his brother, Hugo Strong; and two sisters, Bertha Gloomis and Ingrid Barrett.
      A Service of Remembrance will be held on Monday at 3 p.m. at the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes with Rev. Steve Summerfield officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to the Munson Hospice.
      Gladys A. Ayers
      April 27, 2001
      OLD MISSION PENINSULA - Gladys A. Ayers, 93, a longtime resident of the Old Mission Peninsula, died on Friday.
      Gladys was born on Oct. 11, 1907, in Divernon, Ill., daughter of Thomas W. and Leah (Wakefield) Bee. In 1941 she married Theodore J. Ayers, who preceded her in death.
      Gladys was an honorary member of the Catholic Daughters of America, a longtime member of the Old Mission Women's Club and a member of the St. Joseph's Altar Society.
      Gladys is survived by her adoptive son, Thomas (Barbara) Bee of Old Mission; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Leah (Thomas) Bateman of West Palm Beach, Fla.; a very special niece, who is like a daughter to her, Maxine Hamrick of Traverse City; and many other nieces and nephews, who she loved dearly.
      She was preceded in death by her husband, Theodore Ayers, who died in 1980; one brother, Thomas H. Bee; two sisters, Mary (Raymond) Weiler and Garnet Bee.
      Visitation will be held on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary service at 7 p.m. at the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Mapleton. The Rev. Patrick Barrett will officiate. Interment will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton.
      Memorials may be directed to the Peninsula Volunteer Fire Department or Mass Intentions.
      Arrangements have been entrusted to the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes.
     
      Walter R. Wolpert
      Died April 24, 2001
      SAGINAW - Walter R. Wolpert, 81, of Saginaw, passed away on Tuesday at Saginaw Geriatrics Home.
      He was born on Oct. 4, 1919, in Saginaw, the son of the late Reinhart and Floy (Schneider) Wolpert. Walter married the former Catherine McDonald on Jan. 25, 1941. They then moved to Traverse City in 1965, where Walter retired in 1973 as district manager of Investors Diversified Services. Catherine preceded him in death in 1991. He was proud to say that he was in the "people business" throughout his career in sales.
      He is survived by three sons and one daughter, Max and Diane Wolpert of Kalamazoo, Dan and Pam Wolpert of Saginaw, Ken and Toni Wolpert of Saginaw and Nancy Jenkins of Saginaw; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ralph Duane and Kathleen Wolpert of Saginaw, Richard and Elaine Wolpert of Crosby, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.
      Walter was also preceded in death by his sister, Violet Wolpert.
      Funeral service will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, 2001, at The Snow Funeral Home, 3775 N. Center Road in Saginaw. Pastor Larry Starke will officiate and cremation will follow. Friends may call at the funeral home where the family will be present on Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
     
      Mary Pickford McGowen
      Died April 26, 2001
     
      TRAVERSE CITY - Mary Pickford McGowen, 81, of Traverse City, died Thursday at her home, with her beloved stuffed animals, collectors plates and stamp collection.
      She was born June 12, 1919, in Rome Township, Adrian, to Lisle and Edna (Cunningham) Pickford. On Sept. 30, 1944, she married Milo V. McGowen, who preceded her in death on March 21, 1991.
      Mrs. McGowen was an Adrian High graduate and attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio for two years. She was voted freshman class secretary. She worked in the State Office Building in Lansing as secretary to the Director of the Apiary Division. She later worked in Detroit for the Federal Government.
      She is survived by her sister, Laurie Sullivan of Lake Orion; a daughter, Mrs. George (Jackie) Liddle of Roscommon; and a son, Terry (Jacque) McGowen of Traverse City; five grandchildren, Chris Liddle of Saranac, Laurie Liddle of Roscommon, Lisa Liddle of Grand Haven, Ryan and Corey McGowen of Traverse City; four great-grandchildren, Jessica, Kyle, Amanda and Robert.
      In addition to her husband, Mrs. McGowen was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Mrs. Jean Wood.
      Friends may call at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City Monday evening from 6 until 8 p.m.
      Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday from the funeral home with Pastor C. Jay Koehler of Trinity Lutheran Church officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to The American Lung Association.
      Leone L. Seeley
      Died April 28, 2001
      TRAVERSE CITY - Leone L. Seeley, 98, a lifelong Traverse City resident, died at home on Saturday.
      She was born in Alden on Sept. 26, 1902, the daughter of James N. and Mary (Campbell) Lannin. On Dec. 25, 1923, she married Clayton K. Seeley.
      After graduating from County Normal School in Kalkaska, in 1920, she taught in one room schools for three years. She later continued her education at Northwestern Michigan College, being in the first classes offered at NMC. She later graduated from Central Michigan College in Mount Pleasant in 1959. She taught Kindergarten at Norris School for many years prior to her retirement.
      She was a member of Bible Baptist Church and the Grand Traverse Area Retired School Personnel. She enjoyed many crafts, including sewing, crocheting, knitting, macramé and ceramics. She was an avid reader, but, the loves of her life were her Kindergartners, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.
      She is survived by her daughters, Wilma (Carl) Lemcool of Traverse City; Phylis Bozeman of Hudson, Florida; a daughter-in-law, Marcia Seeley of Traverse City. Also, nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
      She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Clayton in 1975; a son, Kenneth, in 1989; and a brother Russell.
      Visitation will be held Monday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. The Rev. Gerald Bauman will officiate at a Celebration of Mrs. Seeley's Life at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Bible Baptist Church, corner of Cass and Hartman, where friends may also call one hour prior to services. Burial will take place at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to Bible Baptist Church or to The Father Fred Foundation.
     
      CLARENCE L. VENNE, 71, of Wellston, formerly of Muskegon, died Friday, April 27, 2001, at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee. He was born on Sept. 2, 1929, in Muskegon.
      Private family services will be held. Final interment will be in the Mona View Cemetery in Muskegon Heights.