Archive - Obituary

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August 4th, 2010

Donald E. Rutledge

Donald E. Rutledge, 86, of Adrian, passed away Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, at Bixby Medical Center.  Donald was born July 7, 1924, in Alvordton, Ohio, the only son of John and Sylvia (Kuney) Rutledge.

While serving in the US Navy during World War II, Don participated in the North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy campaigns.   Prior to completing his tour of duty, he was stationed in Pearl Harbor.  

On March 23, 1946, Donald married Tillie Soto in New York City.  Tillie, his wife of over 64 years, survives.

Don worked for Faraday in Tecumseh for over 23 years.  He was a talented woodworker, making many pieces of furniture.  Don also loved photography and took many photos for a local motorcycle club.  He built his own forge and made numerous knives.  Don was well known in the community as an active member of the VFW Annis-Fint Post #1584, participating in hundreds of veterans’ funeral services, parades, and flag raising ceremonies.

In addition to his wife, Don is survived by seven children, Vicky (Duane) Winter of Adrian; Johann (Dave) Townsend, also of Adrian; Donald (Reneé) Rutledge, Jr. of Brooklyn; Tammy Rutledge of Colorado; John Rutledge of Indianapolis; Jacquelyn (Vincent) Torres and Mike Rutledge, both of Adrian; 18 grandchildren, Robert (Candy) Jardine, Chad Jardine, Steve Winter, Kim (Craig) Davis, Melissa Winter, Rayne Rutledge, Alicia (Scott) Barnes, and Cristy (Brian) Justice, Timmaira Silvers, Patrick, Joshua, Tyler, Janeé, Mikayla, and Laken Bennion, V. Alex, Isaac, and Jaiden Torres; 18 great grandchildren; and two great great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Isaac Bennion; and three sisters, Velma Snyder, Viola Suter, and Evelyn Smith.

Daniel Gail Austin

Daniel Gail Austin, 92, passed away July 31, 2010. Gail was born May 14, 1918, the son of Daniel and Chloe (Burkholder) Austin. 

On Feb. 11, 1942, he married Harriet Ann Lewis in  Toledo, Ohio. She preceded him in death Sept. 28, 2006. He was a lifelong resident of the Britton area. He was a member of the Holloway-Raisin Presbyterian Church and the Tecumseh Masonic Lodge F & AM  #69.

Gail is survived by two daughters, Rebecca Austin of Hillside, Ill. and Susan (Warren) Leemgraven of Allendale, Mich.; one grandson, Travis (Lisa) Leemgraven of Fremont, Mich.;  six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held Tuesday, Aug.3, 2010, at the J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Tecumseh followed by a funeral service officiated by the Rev. Richard Bruce and a Masonic Service  by the Tecumseh Masonic Lodge F&AM #69.  Private burial was in Palmyra Cemetery.

July 28th

Margaret A. Leighton

Margaret A. Leighton, 91, of Tecumseh, went to be with her Lord and Savior, July 21, 2010, at home surrounded by her family.  Margaret was born April 16, 1919, in Britton, Mich., the daughter of Ford and Doris (Zeluff) Exelby.

After graduating from Britton High School in 1936, she received in 1940 her bachelor of science degree from Michigan State Normal College.   Muskegon Heights was her first teaching position and at this time she met and married Edward (Bud) Leighton settling   on Pottawatamie Street in Tecumseh where she still resided.

Margaret was a very dedicated elementary teacher at Lincoln, New McKinley, Birdsall and Alexander Schools  in Adrian retiring after 34 years of service.

In 1957, she married Robert Hoekstra and enjoyed many friends and dances at the Tecumseh Country Club and a great trip to Europe.   She had many great adventures traveling to Europe, the Caribbean and Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and all through the United States with travel groups and good friends.  

Margaret was a very dedicated church member, active in the Mary Martha Circle and the turkey suppers.  She was the oldest living female member of the Britton Congregational Christian  Church.  Her memberships included  the Michigan Education Association, Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel (Lenawee), Business and Professional Women's Association (Tecumseh and Adrian), and the Herrick Memorial Hospital Auxiliary - volunteering for over 3,000 hours.  Her friends were many and of all ages from the 3-year-old next door to 103-year-old good friend, Mrs. Claxton.

Gerard "Jerry" Francis Cark

Gerard (Jerry) Francis Cark, 78, of Ann Arbor, Mich., died peacefully on July 28, 2010.  Jerry was the son of Clarence J. and Kathryn M. born in October of 1931.  He is preceded in death by sister, Kathryn Lung and brothers, Clarence and John Cark.  

He attended St. Charles Elementary School and graduated from Central Catholic High School.  He was drafted out of high school, in 1949, into the US Army during the Korean Conflict.  After basic training he served his time guarding the Panama Canal.  Jerry was self-employed most of his life and enjoyed over 30 years of retirement.  He was married to Joan Linderman in June of 1959 and resided at Evans Lake in the Irish Hills of Michigan for 25 years.  He could be seen anywhere in the country at a bluegrass festival.

He is survived by wife, Joan of Ann Arbor, Mich.; daughters Kathryn Cark of Houston, Texas, Lisa (Mike) MacDonald of Hersey, Mich., Brenda (Bernard) Tucker of Ypsilanti, Mich., Patricia (Frank Vincent) Cark of St. John, United States Virgin Islands; and son, Michael (Kerri) Cark of New Smyrna, Fla.  

He had great fun and shared joy with grandchildren Millicent and Matthew MacDonald and Morgan and Michael Cark they will miss him dearly.  He has many nieces and nephews that he loved and enjoyed spending time with.  He showed his family how to enjoy life, love every minute and cherish the simple pleasures.

Jerry will be cremated and mass will be said in his honor on Friday, July 30 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Shrine in the Irish Hills where he will be buried.

Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Joseph Shrine, Brooklyn, Mich. or Arbor Hospice, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Stanley H. Kruse

Stanley Howard Kruse, 90, of Tecumseh, passed away July 25, 2010.  Stanley was born Oct. 1, 1919, in Deerfield, Mich., the son of Henry and Leola (Bragg) Kruse.   On Oct.12, 1940, he married Virginia Peotter in Tecumseh.  She preceded him in death May 4, 2010.  He retired from the Tecumseh Products after 40 years of service.   Stanley was a member of the Tecumseh First Presbyterian Church where he served in many capacities throughout the years.   He also was an active member of the Shawnee Squares and their camping group.

Stanley is survived by his children, Gerald Stanley (Penny),  Keith Duane (Sharon),  Paul Wayne and Dawn Ileen (James) Hutton; grandchildren,  Gerald, Christine, Debrah,  Demetria, Meghan, John, Corbett, Patrick, Tighe and Lori; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Joyce McKenzie; and numerous nieces and nephews.   

Besides his wife, Virginia,  Stanley was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Arthur and Orvin.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2010, at the J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Tecumseh with Pastor Richard Mortimer officiating.  Burial will follow in Brookside Cemetery, Tecumseh.  Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m., the time of the service at the funeral home.

Condolences to the family may be made online at

Janet Smith

Janet Smith was born in Detroit on Nov. 25, 1932, the daughter of Frank and Janet (Thomson) Wright.  For 24 years she worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Company where she had met her husband, Francis E. Smith.  They were married on Sept. 7, 1957.
Janet was a Red Hat Lady and enjoyed quilting, knitting, and playing bridge.  She was active in her church where she served as an elder and also with the Stephens Ministry giving comfort to others.  She enjoyed travelling many places with her family.

Janet will be greatly missed by her two daughters, Cathy (Mark) Miller of Tecumseh and Cheryl (Joseph) Choronzy of Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.; six grandchildren, Allison (Justin) Bigelow of Armada, Brian (Jacklyn Turbett) Miller and Jason Miller, both of Tecumseh, Michael Choronzy of Menomonie, Wisc., Matthew and Christy Choronzy, both of Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.; and sister, Elizabeth (Ernest) Andre of Harrisville; and many nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis E. Smith and her parents.
Thanks to Pastor Richard Mortimer, her Stephen Ministry “sisters”, family, friends and neighbors who all touched her life with cards, flowers, visits, and phone calls.   Janet appreciated the loving care she received at Lynwood Manor and Hospice of Lenawee.   She was greatly loved by all who knew her and often stated “I’m so lucky”, and “I’m so blessed”.  

A memorial service will be held Aug. 21, 2010, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 211 W. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh, Mich..  As she wished cremation has taken place.  
Janet’s family has suggested that donations in her memory be given to Hospice of Lenawee, Hospice of the Straits or to the First Presbyterian Church in Tecumseh, Mich.  
“Family is so important” & “Family is everything” were phrases frequently stated by Janet.

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