Douglas James Baker
Died: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Douglas James Baker, 64, died Tuesday, July 27, 2010. He lived in Harrison Township.
He was born Oct. 8, 1945, in Dearborn and attended Eastern Michigan University where he was a star basketball player and outstanding athlete.
After school, Mr. Baker entered the financial services business and became a certified life underwriter, chartered financial consultant and a licensed insurance counselor. Prior to joining the Baker Financial Group as chief executive officer, he was a vice president at JP Morgan. He was the Financial Estate Planning Counsel Metro Detroit president from 2007 to 2008.
Mr. Baker was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed boating, golfing, tennis and life with his many friends and family members. He was an accomplished sailor and raconteur with 49 Mackinac races behind him, well beyond "Old Goat" status.
He was past commodore of the Detroit Yacht Club, past treasurer of Bayview Yacht Club and an active member of the Detroit Athletic Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club, and the Past Commodore's Club.
Mr. Baker is survived by his beloved wife, Anne Donnelly Baker; brother, Donald (Helen) Baker; sister, Mary Lynn Baker-Hunter; niece and nephews, Bridget (Randy Borchardt) Baker, D. Gregory (Julie) Baker and Brien Baker and grand nieces and nephews, Joshua Borchardt, Sarah Borchardt, Connor Baker, Maximilian Baker and Devon Baker.
A memorial service was held Aug. 3 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Detroit.
Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 30200 Telegraph Rd., Suite 105, Bingham Farms, MI 48025 or to the VanElslander Cancer Center, 19229 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.
Rosemary Heenan Durant
Died: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Rosemary H. Durant died at her home Thursday, July 29, 2010.
She was born March 8, 1915, in Detroit to Earl I. and Bernice (nee Palmer) Heenan and graduated from Miss Newman's School in 1932 and from The Madeira School in 1933. Madeira taught her to: "Function in disaster, finish in style," as she told her children and grandchildren.
With her Madeira class, she attended Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inauguration. She graduated from Vassar College in 1937 with a degree in child study.
Mrs. Durant was a wife and mother known for her quiet elegance, gentleness and kindness.
She married Richard Durant (who proposed on their second date, although she did not accept until three years later) in July, 1945. They were married 62 years until his death in 2008. Together they raised four children: Richard, Jr., Peter, Clark, and Eugénie. For all her married life, Mrs. Durant created and maintained a safe and loving home for her family. She was happiest when her whole family could be together — whether around the dinner table, in the backyard, or on vacation.
Mrs. Durant was a volunteer for the Sophie Wright Settlement House in Detroit. She served in various capacities as an officer and the chairwoman of the board. For years she made casseroles and took them to friends when a death or hardship in their family occurred.
Mrs. Durant took an active role in the International Bible Study Fellowship program and maintained a little handwritten black book of Bible verses she loved. She also served as a deaconess in her church.
She started her active participation in Republican party politics by walking the 14th Congressional District in 1950 and 1952 with her husband when he ran for U.S. Congress. Over many years she distributed literature, made phone calls, hosted teas, attended meetings, and encouraged others, all while smoothing any ruffled feathers.
Mrs. Durant enjoyed needlepoint, sewing and gardening. She was a member of the Grosse Pointe Farm and Garden Club since 1948 and served a term as its president.
After her first grandchild was born more than 30 years ago, she drove 140 miles at night to sit with her in intensive care. "Mama Rose" rejoiced in the birth and life of each grandchild. After her youngest great-grandchild was born last year, she started Skype-ing with him every week.
Mrs. Durant is survived by her four children; two daughters-in-law, Suzanne and Susan, seven grandchildren, Hope, Maggie, T. Clark, Kate, John, Page and Anne and three great-grandchildren, Susan, Caroline and Grey.
A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at Knox Presbyterian Church, 25700 Crocker Blvd., Harrison Township.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cornerstone Schools, 6861 E. Nevada, Detroit, MI 48234; or Knox Presbyterian Church Missionary Fund, 25700 Crocker Blvd., Harrison Twp., MI 48045.
Barbara de Henning McLean
Died: Friday, July 30, 2010
City of Grosse Pointe resident Barbara de Henning McLean, 84, passed away peacefully in her sleep after a long illness Friday, July 30, 2010, at ShorePointe Nursing Center in St. Clair Shores.
Born Sept. 20, 1925, in Detroit to Catherine Courtney Ludwig and Henry Ludwig, Mrs. McLean was a self-employed certified gemologist, jewelry designer, appraiser and antique dealer. She was an expert needle pointer, designing and creating magnificent silk pettipointe wall hangings, rugs and pillows. She traveled extensively in Europe and enjoyed a good mystery novel.
Mrs. McLean is survived by her daughter, Renee de Henning Rogers; grandchildren, Dawn Rogers (Bobby) Mitchell, Tanya Naumenko (Michael) Bartoszewicz and Nicholas Naumenko and great-grandchildren, Bobby, Makenzie and Michael Mitchell and Chase and Matthew Bartoszewicz.
She was predeceased by her first husband, Baron Serge de Henning; second husband, Roland McLean; daughter, Claire de Henning Naumenko; sisters, Bette Salasnek and Mary Lou Fenner and brother, George Ludwig.
Funeral services are private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society, 18519 Mack Ave., Detroit, MI 48236-3224 or at gpaas.org.
Died: Saturday, July 31, 2010
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Ruth Moore, 90, passed away Saturday, July 31, 2010, after a lengthy illness.
Born June 27, 1920, in Columbus, Ohio, she was the wife of the late Dwight Moore; mother of Richard (Betsy) Moore of Fairfield Glades, Tenn., Sandra (Edward) Barry of Clarkston and Helen (Bob) VanDyke of Gulf Shores, Ala. She also is survived by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Moore was an active member of the Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church. She was a wonderful artist and her biggest regret in aging was that she could no longer drive her car.
A memorial service will be held this fall at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter, 20300 Civic Center, Suite 100, Southfield, MI 48076 or Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church, 19950 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.
Marilyn S. Rizzo
Died: Saturday, July 31, 2010
Marilyn S. Rizzo, 76, died at home Saturday, July 31, 2010, after a long illness.
Born May 2, 1934, in Detroit, she is survived by her husband of 50 years, Paul Rizzo and children, Paul (Kathleen), Mike (Jane), Jayne (Michael) Reardon, Theresa (John) Brooks and Laura (Jonathan) Burleigh and grandchildren, Jillian, Brian, Kayla, Jessica, Regina, Margaret, Daniel, Allison, Joseph, Andrew, Claire, Anne, Sophia, Liam and Donovan.
She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. After an early career as a clinical nurse, Mrs. Rizzo later became business manager for her husband's surgical practice. She was active in St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church and particularly enjoyed singing with the choir and sharing her faith through the children's liturgy.
Raymond R. Tessmer
Died: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Longtime Grosse Pointe Park resident and Detroit auto dealer Raymond R. "Trader Ray" Tessmer, 98, died Saturday, April 24, 2010.
Born June 6, 1911, he grew up on the family farm at the corner of 12 Mile Road and Dequindre in Warren. As a youngster, he would wake at 2 a.m. with his dad and ride under the seat of a horse drawn wagon on its way to Detroit's Eastern Market for the 6 a.m. opening.
As a boy, he loved tinkering with his dad's Model-T Ford, changing clutch belts when his dad didn't know it, and nurturing a mechanical desire to work at an auto dealership one day. His first job was at Ed Schmidt Chevrolet as a parts and service helper in 1927.
In 1930, he was hired by C & R Chevrolet after someone recommended him as "a young fellow who can make any car run."
By 1932, a new owner bought the dealership with the help of loans from Mr. Tessmer and the dealership's bookkeeper Rose Knauf. Shortly thereafter, Ray and Rose became husband and wife.
Over the next 10 years, Mr. Tessmer and his partner bought several other franchises. When his partner purchased Jefferson Chevrolet in Detroit in 1942, Mr. Tessmer purchased a 25 percent interest in the dealership and worked full-time as its general manager.
In 1953, Mr. Tessmer purchased sole ownership of Jefferson Chevrolet and quickly made his mark by implementing 24-hour service.
He earned his nickname "Trader Ray" by accepting almost anything that could be appraised as down payment on a vehicle. He used everything from odd jewelry to the occasional cow as down payment. He was a self promoter on area signs with his picture and "Trader Ray" became a Detroit area household name.
He was among the first dealers in the area to start a company pension plan and he diversified into the tire wholesale business as well. Many 30- and 40-year employees and their families provide testament to the business he developed.
Mr. Tessmer was a generous and active supporter of many community activities including church paper drives, Soap Box Derbies and hosted several Michigan-Ontario Muskie club parties at the dealership.
He served on the Chevrolet Dealer Council and was also president of the Greater Detroit Chevrolet Dealers Association.
Mr. Tessmer was loved by customers, employees, family and friends alike. He was the life of the party and enjoyed sharing the opportune "friendly drink." His zest for the car business was rooted in a life of service and his legacy as a generous person and great Detroit businessman will not be forgotten by the many lives he touched.
Predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Rosanna, Mr. Tessmer is survived by his daughter, Sandra and her husband Jim; grandchildren, Jimmy, Brian and Stephanie and great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Grayson.
He also is survived by his sisters, Marie McClennan and Martina (Barney) Novak.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 29, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. at the church.
Memorial donations may be made to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.