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December 3, 2002

Obituaries

INTERLOCHEN - Steven Blair McCulley, 45, of Interlochen, died Monday, Dec. 2, at his home.
      He was born in Fairfield, Ill., on April 24, 1957, the son of Washington Junior and Alice Lucille (Hosea) McCulley.
      Steven was an avid outdoorsman and especially enjoyed deer hunting. He had also enjoyed playing basketball when he was younger.
      Steven is survived by his wife, Heidi McCulley; three children, Blair McCulley of Kewadin, Chelsea McCulley of Interlochen and Shiloh McCulley of Interlochen; his mother, Alice Wyllys of Manistee; four brothers and sisters, Linda (Jerry) Frazier of Wayne City, Ill., Alvery (Beth) McCulley of Colorado, Sandy (Darrell) Ropoza of Kalkaska and Robin (Terry) Hoffman of Kaleva; and numerous nieces and nephews.
      Steven was preceded in death by his father, W.J. McCulley, in 1983.
      Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, at the Terwilliger Funeral Home in Kaleva, with the Rev. Floyd Soper officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.
      GRAYLING - Merle B. Carlson, much-loved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt, went to be with the Lord on Sunday. She was 77 years old.
      She was born Merle B. Meech on Sept. 13, 1925, in Chicago, to Henry and Cora Meech. She graduated from Battle Creek Central High School in 1942 and worked at Fort Custer during World War II, before her marriage to Arthur V. Carlson on Nov. 15, 1946. The family moved to Grayling in 1953.
      Mrs. Carlson retired in 1995 from the Crawford-AuSable schools, where she was employed in the food services program at the middle school. She was a member of the Grayling Lioness Club and attended Grayling Heritage Baptist Church. She loved to read and travel, Hawaii being her favorite destination with her husband. But her greatest joy was her family, of whom she was immensely proud. She delighted in holidays, birthdays and band performances of her grandchildren and grand-nephews.
      At a wonderful family get-together on Labor Day weekend, she said, "This is one of my 'cup runneth over' days." It was one of ours too, Mom, and though we know you are in a better place, with others that you love so dearly, we will always miss you.
      Mrs. Carlson is survived by her husband of 56 years, Arthur; daughters, Julie (Dale) Powers-Gehman of Gaylord, Christine (Tom) Olson of Lawton; son, Richard of Grayling; son-in-law, Robert Graham of Paw Paw and Fort Myers, Fla.; her sister, Amber Meech; special niece, Cory (Bill) Dean of Grayling; four grandchildren, Jennifer (John) Nondorf, Angela (Tom) Nondorf, Brad Olson and Stephen Olson; three great-grandchildren, Daniel, Christine and Noah Nondorf; and four grand-nephews, Zachary, Spencer, Griffin and Wesley Dean.
      She was preceded in death by an infant son, Wendel; daughter and granddaughter, Cindi and Katie Graham; sister, Burnis Meech; and son-in-law, Roderick A. Powers.
      Visitation will take place this evening, Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Sorenson Funeral Home in Grayling.
      Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at Grayling Heritage Baptist Church.
      TRAVERSE CITY - Esther Lucille Gray, 86, of Traverse City, died Monday, Dec. 2, at Bortz Health Care of Traverse City.
      Esther was born on May 25, 1916, in Harbor Springs, the daughter of Leon A. and Bernice (Sleeper) Moore. She and her family moved to Traverse City when Esther was a young child, where her father owned Moore's Drug Store and her mother worked at the Dorothy Lee Gift Shop, both in downtown Traverse City.
      She graduated from Traverse City High School in 1935 and went on to the University of Michigan to earn her bachelor's degree in journalism. Esther married Arthur V. Gray in Traverse City and he preceded her in death on April 15, 1986. She was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Sharon.
      Esther worked for the Family Independence Agency (formerly the Department of Social Services) as a social worker prior to her retirement. She also was a master seamstress, enjoying her sewing immensely. Prior to working for FIA (DSS) she taught sewing classes at Singer. She also enjoyed knitting, tatting and crocheting, as well as reading and doing crossword puzzles. A past member of First Congregational Church, Esther also was involved with the Girl Scout and Boy Scout organizations.
      Survivors include her children, Carol (Charles) Forwerck and Larry (Paula "Polly") Gray, all of Traverse City; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and a sister Lorraine Murphy of Traverse City; along with nieces and nephews.
      Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue until the time of the service. Burial will take place at Oakwood Cemetery.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to First Congregational Church.
      ROYAL, Ark. - Carl Robert Alpers died Nov. 30, 2002, at his home in Royal, Ark.
      He was born Sept. 5, 1929, in Traverse City to Walter and Bernice (Stites) Belanger. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle Henry and Lucy (Belanger) Alpers in 1934. In Northport on March 13, 1954, Carl married Georgia Kiersey of Omena.
      Carl served in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky. He moved to Petoskey in 1954, where he was the original owner/operator of the Radio City Village Trailer Park. He also worked as engineer on the ship John Galster, shipping cement from Penn Dixie Corporation, and for Alger Trucking, and as a heavy equipment operator for the City of Petoskey before retiring to Royal.
      Carl loved to fish and camp. He was a member of the Studebaker Drivers Club and the First United Methodist Church.
      He is survived by his wife Georgia; his son, Robert Alpers of Petoskey; three daughters, Brenda (Robert) Johns and Marcia (Randy) Fosmore of Petoskey, and Debra (Philip) Boeve of Fort Atkinson, Wis.; a sister, Maxine McLeod of Florida; two stepbrothers, Kneale Alpers of Muskegon and James (Shirley) Alpers of Suttons Bay; many grandchildren and one great-grandson.
      Carl was preceded in death by both his natural and adoptive parents.
      He will be cremated by his request and a memorial service will be performed Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs, Ark., with the Rev. David B. Wilson officiating.
      Donations may be made to Hospice Home Health Care.
      Arrangements by Caruth-Hale Funeral Home of Hot Springs, Ark.
      RICHARD FRANK "DICK" BABEL, 85, of Traverse City, died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2002.
      Arrangements are pending at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, Traverse City.
     
      LARRY A. CHAPMAN, 61, of Manistee, died Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002, at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw.
      The family will receive friends at the Oak Grove Cremation Center on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m.
      Funeral services will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. at the New Life Tabernacle in Manistee, with visitation one hour prior to the services. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.
      The Oak Grove Cremation Center is serving the family.
     
      ROBERT H. PARKINSON, 84, of Traverse City, passed away Sunday, Dec. 1, 2002, at his home.
      Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, at the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes.
      A complete obituary will appear in the Wednesday edition of the Record-Eagle.
     
      CLARENCE P. J. PEARSON, 30, of Mancelona, died Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002.
      A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Antrim Church of Christ.
      The family was served by the Penzien Funeral Homes, Inc. in Mancelona.
     
      IDA MAE RUSNELL, 94, formerly of Alba, died November 28, 2002, in Texas.
      Family will receive friends on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Penzien Funeral Homes, Inc., in Mancelona from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
      Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at the funeral home.
     
      RICHARD ALAN "SPEEDO" STEPKA, 43, of Branch and a native of Manistee, died Monday, Dec. 2, at the Memorial Medical Center of West Michigan in Ludington.
      Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Custer. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Cremation will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.
      The Oak Grove Cremation Center is serving the family.
     
     
      TRAVERSE CITY - DeWitt Volney "Grumpy" McCrea, 72, of Traverse City, formerly of Grawn and Muskegon, died Friday at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.
      Born on April 19, 1930, in Muskegon, he was the son of Roy and Victorine (St. Charles) McCrea.
      DeWitt worked at the Sara Lee Corporation in Traverse City since 1973, retiring in 1997. He was formerly employed by Morgan-McCool. DeWitt gave his time and talents to the community through his membership in the United Way and St. Michael's Lutheran Church. DeWitt enjoyed his coffee groups, and his family, particularly his children and grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.
      DeWitt is survived by his brother, Roy "Joe" (Kay) McCrea Jr. of Grand Haven; two nephews, Greg and Mark; 10 stepchildren, Vickie (Alfred Sr.) Scriver, Minnie (Arthur) Gagnon, Betty (Hank) Shawnoskey, Jerry (Donna) Green and Carol Hickerson, all of Traverse City, Paula (Larry) Gauthier of Grawn, Bev (Lonnie) Schaub of Kingsley, David (Shirley) Green of Florida, Robert (Pat) Green of Spring Lake and Ronald (Michaelyn) Thorington of Grawn; 42 grandchildren; 60 great-grandchildren; and two very special friends, Stacy Terch and Debbie Jones.
      He was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia Green McCrea; his second wife, Ernestine Thorington McCrea; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
      A memorial service will be held at St. Michael's Lutheran Church on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Timothy Brand officiating.
      Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society, 525 W. 14th St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
      The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City.
      Donald C. Boyce
      Died November 30, 2002
     
      NOVI - Donald C. Boyce, 67, of Novi, formerly of Lime Lake near Cedar, died peacefully Saturday, Nov. 30, at home surrounded by his family.
      He was the beloved husband of Ruth Ann; the loving father of Mary, Andy (Karen), Sarah (Bob) and Peter; and the loving grandfather of Sarah, Paul, Ben, William, Bobby, Shay, Samuel and Aaron
      Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, at The Presbyterian Church, 701 Westminster Road, Traverse City.
      TRAVERSE CITY - Forrest N. Livasy, 77, of Traverse City, passed away at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002.
      He was born July 18, 1925, in Adel, Iowa, the son of L. Dow and Laura M. (Seaman) Livasy. On Jan. 26, 1946, in National, Wash., he married the former Maxine E. Lucas. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he moved to the Traverse City area with his wife.
      Forrest had been employed with Consumers Energy for 39 years, and was a member of First Christian Church, Eagles Club, Elks Club and the Dads Club of the VFW. He enjoyed hunting and was an avid bowler.
      Survivors include his two sons, Neil (Sue) Livasy of Traverse City and Lyle (Lois) Livasy of Rockford. He was also blessed with three grandsons, Scott (Missy) Livasy, Chris (Theresa) Livasy, Nicholas Livasy; two step-grandchildren, Michelle (Mark) Beyer-Stevenson and Derek Beyer; nine great-grandchildren; brother, Bernard Livasy; two sisters, Jean Hughlette and Callie Keeler; and several nieces and nephews. Forrest was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years; parents; son, Noel; and brother, Blair Livasy.
      Friends may call at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
      Services will be at the funeral home on Thursday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Robert Winter of Faith Baptist Church of Greenville officiating. Following the services, military honors will be under the auspices of Cherryland VFW Post 2780. Burial will be in Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.
      In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans in care of Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
      CASS CITY - Helen Marie Karr of Cass City, formerly of Traverse City, died suddenly, Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Covenant Cooper Hospital in Saginaw at the age of 63.
      She was born March 20, 1939, to Robert and Maxine (Gary) Sutton in Royal Oak. She married Clayton R. Karr on Jan. 14, 1962, in Cass City.
      Helen babysat children in her home. She bowled on the Charmont Women's Bowling League for many years. She enjoyed collecting hummingbirds and loved to read and visit with her family and friends on the phone.
      Helen is survived by her husband, Clayton; her children, Brian (Cindy) Thompson of Commerce, Diane (Lorn) McIntosh of Decker, Rhonda (Scott) Hartel of Argyle; stepdaughter, Debra Licea of Marlette; brothers, Lyle "Dave" Sutton of Traverse City, Jim Sutton of Leonard; half-brothers, Ted Strieter of Traverse City and Dennis Oakler of Royal Oak; sisters, Dorothy Gilbertson and Carol Burgess, both of Irving, Texas, Darlene Gomert of Grand Prairie, Texas, Judy Klatt of Owosso; half-sister, Sheri Marvin of Traverse City; 13 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.
      She was preceded in death by her son, Dennis Karr; a brother, Robert Sutton; and her parents.
      Funeral services were held at the Kranz Funeral Home in Cass City, with Debra W. Kranz serving as celebrant. Interment was in Elkland Township Cemetery in Cass City.
      BELLAIRE - Lyla I. Ritt, 89, of Bellaire, died early Monday morning, Dec. 2, at Brock's Adult Foster Care in Atwood.
      She was born in Kearney Township on Oct. 10, 1913, the daughter of William and Martha Pearl (Blasdell) Derenzy.
      Lyla graduated from Bellaire High School in 1931. She married Emil O. "Pete" Ritt on Jan. 15, 1933, in Bellaire. He preceded her in death in June 1998.
      A homemaker for most of her life, Mrs. Ritt enjoyed painting, playing the piano, gardening, hiking, traveling, and most of all, time with her family.
      She is survived by her sons, Danny A. (Maudie) Ritt and Donald L. (Carol) Ritt, both of Bellaire; and a daughter, Gayle A. Hansen of Traverse City. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
      In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Velma Blake and Arlita Derenzy; two brothers, Richard and Karl Derenzy; and a grandson, Bradley K. Gregory.
      Visitation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.
      Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at the funeral home with Elders Gilbert Fox and Nancy Olsen officiating. Burial will be in Flewelling Cemetery, in Kearney Township, in the spring.
      Memorial contributions in Lyla's name may be directed to the Community Church of Christ of East Jordan, 202 Jordan St., East Jordan, MI 49727, where she was a lifetime member.
     
     
     
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