Ellen Elizabeth Whitcomb Gerich
Former Grosse Pointe resident Ellen Elizabeth Whitcomb Gerich, 90, died Sunday, Oct. 28, 2001, in Los Altos, Calif.
Mrs. Gerich was born on June 9, 1911, in Milwaukee, Wis. She was the youngest of Archie Dwight Whitcomb and Emily May Percy Whitcomb's five children.
She grew up in Milwaukee and married her high school sweetheart, the late Jerry J. Gerich, in 1937.
Mrs. Gerich dedicated her life to creating a comfortable home for her family. The Gerichs lived in Chicago, Ill., Battle Creek and Arlington, Va., before settling in Grosse Pointe. In 1979, she retired to Bella Vista, Ariz. She moved to Los Altos to be closer to her sons in 1998.
Always active in the community, Mrs. Gerich was a member of the Grosse Pointe Faculty Wives Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Bella Vista Community Church. She was also an avid bridge player and golfer and had the distinction of being the only golfer in the Gerich family to score a hole-in-one.
Survivors include her sons, Jerry Gerich of Livermore, Calif. and John (Elise) Gerich of Los Altos, Calif.; four granddaughters, Karna Cestero, Jocelyn Gerich, Bryn Gerich and Samantha Jordan; two great-grandsons, Alex Cestero and Drake Jordan; a sister-in-law, Val Butler of West Allis, Wis. and a brother-in-law, Lou Rukavina of Notre Dame, Ind.
Arrangements are being handled by the Spangler Mortuaries of Mountain View, Calif. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11:30 a.m., at the Forest Home Cemetery Chapel, in Milwaukee, Wis.
Memorial gifts may be made to the D.A.R. or the Bella Vista Community Church, 75 E. Lancashire Blvd., Bella Vista, AR.
Jean C. (Jeanie) Graham
Jean C. (Jeanie) Graham, 49, dear wife of William J. Graham, died on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001, at her home in Detroit.
Mrs. Graham graduated with a G.E.D. with honors from McKenzie High School in Detroit.
She was co-owner of the St. Clair Advertising Agency for 10 years and editor of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club's magazine the Grosse Pointer for three years.
Mrs. Graham was a devoted volunteer who worked with the handicapped, including participation in a horseback riding program in Novi. She owned two horses, loved riding and was known to have rescued abandoned animals.
As a resident of Detroit's Harbor Island neighborhood, Mrs. Graham was an active participant in the Creekside Association. She organized a bi-weekly clean-up drive targeting abandoned homes near public schools in the Jefferson-Chalmers area. This work made the area safer for children and won her a Keep Michigan Beautiful award from the governor.
An avid boater, she was a member of the International Shipmaster's Auxiliary.
In addition, Mrs. Graham was committed to Gilda's Club and WATCH, a support group for breast cancer patients.
Mrs. Graham is also survived by her daughter, Kristina Louise; her parents Richard and Kathryne Pruner; brothers Doug (Jan) Pruner, Victor (Pam) Pruner and Vincent Pruner; sisters Louise McKinney and Martha (Bob) Wolfe. She was predeceased by her sister Aileen Cannon.
Arrangements were handled by the Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Grosse Pointe Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Grosse Pointe Christian School at the First Christian Reformed Church, 1444 Maryland, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230 or Gilda's Club, 3517 Rochester Rd., Royal Oak, MI 48073.
Mildred Marie Gridley
Mildred Marie Gridley, 101, died Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.
The youngest of seven children, Mrs. Gridley was born in Winona, Minn. She married the late Leon Gridley in 1923 and they settled in Grosse Pointe Woods in 1947.
Although the couple had no children of their own, Mrs. Gridley always said her friends were her children, and there were many.
A constant parade of visitors passed through the Gridley home and she received phone calls on a regular basis from all corners of the United States. She was dearly loved by all for her quick wit and the offerings of sage advice on life. "After all," she would remind her friends, "I am 100 years old."
In her youth, Mrs. Gridley enjoyed horseback riding on Belle Isle and in Palmer Park. She was also an active volunteer at the Cottage Hospital Gift Shop over the years.
An antique lover, she reveled in driving a hard bargain for a special piece and was noted for generously giving her things away to friends who happened to admire them.
Arrangements were handled by the A. H. Peters Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Woods. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m., at St. Joan of Arc Church, 22412 Overlake in St. Clair Shores. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.
Lillian Mary Johnson
Lillian Mary Johnson, 90, died on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001, of respiratory failure in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Born in Newark, N.J., Mrs. Johnson was a resident of Grosse Pointe.
During World War II, she was a captain in the Women's Army Corps and the commanding officer of the WACs at Camp Carson, Colo.
Mrs. Johnson was an active member of the American Association of Retired Persons, the WAC Veterans Association, American Legion Post 570, Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 2636, the Grosse Pointe Women's Club, the Detroit Review Club, the School of Government, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council and the Grosse Pointe Classical Music League.
She is survived by a son, Louis Robert Johnson; a daughter Eleanor Johnson and grandchildren Stephanie, Daisy and Allison.
Arrangements were handled by the Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park. A memorial service was held at St. Paul Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Farms. Mrs. Johnson was cremated and her ashes are interred at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.
Keith R. Klempay
Harper Woods resident Keith R. Klempay, 23, dear son of Robert and Karen Klempay, died on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001, at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
Born in Detroit, Mr. Klempay was a 1996 graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University in 2000.
Mr. Klempay worked in management information systems for Pulte Homes since 1999. His hobbies included collecting Star Wars memorabilia, computers and video games.
Survivors include a sister Kristin (William) Schram; great-grandfather Arnold Gentry; grandmothers Margaret Klempay and Kathleen Gentry; aunts and uncles, Michael (Jackie) Klempay, George (Peggy) Klempay, Thomas (Renee) Klempay and Joseph (Laurie Lancaster) Klempay, Stephen Klempay and Michael Gentry; a great-great-uncle Otto Lehre and a great-aunt Joan Gardiner. He was predeceased by his great-grandmother Maud Gentry, and grandfathers, Michael Klempay and Herman Gentry.
Arrangements were handled by A. H. Peters Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Woods. A memorial service was held on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores. Interment is at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy.
Margaret A. Long
Margaret A. Long, 94, of Grosse Pointe died of a heart attack on Monday, Oct. 29, 2001, at her Grosse Pointe home.
Miss Long was born in Marshall, graduated from Marshall High School and received a bachelor of arts and a master's degree from Western Michigan University.
She began her career in education in Homer. After moving to Grosse Pointe in 1953, she taught first and second grades at Defer Elementary School. There, she was well remembered for her belief that reading skills were achieved at different paces. By having the same children in first and second grades, she felt that she was better able to enhance their reading ability. She retired in 1972, at the age of 65, after almost 20 years dedicated to the students of Grosse Pointe.
Unwilling to give up her love of teaching, Miss Long tutored children in her home for many years until she reached her late 80s. Her ability to reach children earned her not only the love of her students but accolades from both parents and school administrators. Miss Long continued to receive personal calls and notes from many students after almost a half century.
She was also an ardent and accomplished bridge player. It wasn't uncommon for her to play bridge three to four days a week after retirement. Her friends enjoyed not only her skill but also her loving personality.
Miss Long is survived by a sister, Beryle Thick of Marshall; a niece, Diane (Frank) Gunther of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; a nephew, William (Mary) Thick of Marshall and several great-nieces and nephews in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. She was predeceased by her parents, a brother Fred Long and a sister Jerrie Born.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m., at the Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack Ave., in Grosse Pointe Park. She was cremated and interment will be at Oakridge Cemetery in Marshall.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.
Marcelle K. Lubeski
Longtime Harper Woods resident Marcelle K. Lubeski, 89, died on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001, at the Henry Ford Continuing Care Center-Belmont in Harper Woods.
Mrs. Lubeski was born in Detroit and graduated from St. Mary's of Monroe in 1930.
She is survived by her sons Gerald Lubeski, Thomas Lubeski, George Lubeski and Kenneth Lubeski and a sister Frances Prough. She was predeceased by her husband Ira J. Lubeski.
Arrangments are being handled by the A. H. Peters Funeral Home of Grosse Pointe Woods. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m., at St. Paul Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore in Grosse Pointe Farms. Mrs. Lubeski will lie in state at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the mass begins. Interment will be in St. Paul's Cemetery in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Henry Ford Contining Care Center-Belmont, 19840 Harper in Harper Woods, MI 48225 or Henry Ford Hospice, 23000 Mack Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.