Archive - Obituary

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March 24th, 2010

Victor (Coachie) Lawson, Jr.

Victor (Coachie) Lawson, Jr., was born April 6, 1921, and died on March 15, 2010.  He married Louise Bolender on Feb. 8, 1945, and she preceded him in death after nearly 64 years of marriage.  

Vic is survived by a daughter, Pat (Jerry) Forsyth and two sons, Jim (Debbie) and Bob (Abbe) Lawson.  He also leaves seven grandchildren, Kirk, Kristin (Joe) Hess, Kari and Katy Forsyth, Courtney and Tate (Monica) Lawson, and Stone Lawson.  Four great-grandchildren survive their “Grandpa Great,” Grant and Ty Forsyth, and J.R. and Katherine Hess.

Vic was a marine aviator veteran in World War II, having flown the “F6F-5N Hellcat” in the Pacific.  He graduated from Western Michigan University and started teaching and coaching in Jonesville and Greenville, Mich., before coming to Tecumseh in 1953.  He retired from the Michigan National Guard as a major after 32 years of service.  One of his many legacies is having taught hundreds of Tecumseh kids to swim while managing the City of Tecumseh outdoor pool.  He was inducted into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame.  

Upon retiring from the public schools, he and Louise spent two years in Okinawa, Japan, where he taught for the Department Of Defense.  They then moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where he went to the University of New Mexico to become certified to teach adapted PE to Special Education students.  After he and Louise returned to Tecumseh, he continued to substitute teach until he was 86, when not in Florida for the winters.  He was awarded the Musgrove Evans Award for his contributions to the community.  Vic and Louise attended the Tecumseh United Methodist Church.

Catherine Reynolds

“She Walked With GOD”
Her love was that given to her by Christ, sharing with all, denying none.

In lieu of flowers, please look into your heart and give as the Lord guides you.  The celebration of her life will be held at a later date.  Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.

Estil D. Childress

Estil D. Childress, 67, passed away at home on March 20, 2010.  Estil was born March 28, 1942, in Richlands, Va., the son of Floyd Robert and Dorothy (Vance) Childress.  On May 27, 1963, he married Emma Rife in Elizabeth City, N.C. and she survives.

Estil was retired from the Tecumseh Products Company, where he worked as manager of engineering from 1983 to 2006.

In addition to his wife, Emma, Estil is survived by daughter, Dwana (Brian) Wyrick of Tecumseh; son, Gregory (Stephanie) Childress of Tecumseh; three grandchildren, Shelby, Cameron,  and Kyle Wyrick; brother, Thomas (Judy) Childress of Lyman, S.C.; and sisters, Jean Barton of Townville, S.C., Earlene (Graham) Barton of Honaker, Va., and Geraldine (Dallas) Hubbard of Swords Creek, Va.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Ernest Childress.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 23, 2010, at J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Tecumseh, with the Rev. John Kottke officiating.  Interment followed at Brookside Cemetery, Tecumseh.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Condolences to the family may be made online at

Robert J. Jones

Robert J. Jones, 85, of Tecumseh, died Wednesday, March 24, 2010, in his home with family by his side.  He was born March 4, 1925, in Tipton, Mich., the son of Ora and Minnie (West) Jones.

Robert  was a 1943 graduate of Clinton High School and worked for the Tecumseh Products Company for 41 years until retiring in 1986.  He was a Veteran of the United States Army, was a member of the American Legion Post #34 in Tecumseh and had attended the Tecumseh United Methodist Church.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his lifetime partner, Nadine Seitz with whom he made his home; one son, P. Jay (Lisa) Jones of Whitehouse, Ohio; Nadine’s daughters, Vickie (Gary) Beebe  and Lynne (Stephen) Weiss both of Tecumseh; and six grandchildren, Gary (Stacey) Beebe, Erika (Bryan) Rawlins, Raj (Tarah) Bater and Jennifer, Neil and Matthew Weiss; and four great-grandchildren, Taylor, Justin, Jeremiah and Derek.  
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Jeffrey and Mark;  four brothers,  William, Steve, John and Glen; and four sisters, Thelma Swarts, Myrtl Bell Radant, Fern Snyder and Gertrude Munger.

At his request, cremation has taken place.  A memorial service will be held at the Tecumseh United Methodist Church  on Friday, March 26, at 4 p.m. with the Rev. David McKinstry officiating.  The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.   A time of  food and fellowship will follow the service at the church.  Burial of the cremated remains  will take place in the Tipton Cemetery at a later date.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee.  Condolences may be sent to the family at

March 18th

John Marc Neill

"The black smoke has quit and I made the 300 foot pull for the last time.  I have my tractor on the trailer and I'm on my way to be at peace with the Lord."

John Marc Neill, 55, of Tecumseh, Mich., passed away on March 10, 2010, at his home surrounded by his family.  John fought the hard battle with cancer for three months right to the end.

John was born in Tecumseh on Nov. 10, 1954, to Thomas "Tim" Neill and Agnes (Lechner) Neill.  He graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1973.  After graduation he went to work for L & I Leasing in Britton, Mich., as a truck driver.  He then drove truck for Tecumseh Products.  In 1981, John and his brother Jim opened Neill's Towing & Auto Repair, providing service to the area 365 days a year until his passing.  John also owned Uncle John's Snack Shop, serving hot dogs  and other snacks around Lenawee County.

John had a love of pulling tractors and owned "Pulled My Way.”  This tractor was indeed special to him because his nephews, Michael and Jacob, had worked on it with him and accompanied him to many tractor pulls.  Michael and Jacob stepped up to help their favorite Uncle operate Neill's Towing as John waged his battle with cancer.  John's nieces were the dream of his heart whether it was following them in their sports endeavors or family times together.

John is survived by his mother, Agnes of Tecumseh; brother, Tom (Sally) Neill of Adrian; and brother, James (Linda) Neill of Manitou Beach.  In addition, he is survived by nephews, Michael, Jacob, and Jordan Neill of Adrian; nieces Shelby Neill of Manitou Beach and Holly (Rob) Griewahn of Adrian; and grandnieces Chloe and Lily Griewahn.

Preceding John in death is his father, Thomas "Tim”; several aunts and uncles; and his maternal grandparents, Jacob and Anna Lechner of Toledo, Ohio.

William “Bill” M. Powell

William “Bill” M. Powell, 88, of Tecumseh, died peacefully under the care of Hospice of Lenawee on Sunday, March 14, 2010, with his family by his side.    He was born Jan. 1, 1922, in Macon, Mich., the son of Otto M. and Edith (Kaltenbach) Powell.  He married Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” McCoy on Dec. 20, 1947, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 2, 2001.

Bill was a veteran of the United States Navy serving during WWII from 1942 until 1948.  He then served in the Naval Air Reserve from 1948 until 1972.  He was a self employed realtor in Tecumseh for many years and was a member of the Tecumseh United Methodist Church, Tecumseh Club, Tecumseh Country Club, Adrian Elks, and the Tecumseh American Legion Post #34.  Bill was very active in the Tecumseh community by serving on the Economic Development Committee and the Tecumseh City Council.

He is survived by his son, Robert M. Powell of Plymouth; his daughter, Barbara (Ernest) Palmer of Tecumseh; five grandchildren; three sisters, Pauline VanValkenburg of Tecumseh, Kathleen Kopke of Britton and Josephine Thomas of Jackson; and special friend, Lois Nicholls of Jackson.  

In addition to his wife and parents, Bill was preceded in death by one brother, John.
At his request, cremation has taken place. Inurnment of the cremated remains will be in Brookside Cemetery Columbarium at a later date.  

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee.  Condolences may be offered to the family at

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