Archive - Obituary

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July 21st, 2010

Theresa Miller

Theresa Miller, 86, of Tecumseh, died on Monday, July 19, 2010, at Herrick Medical Center under the care of Hospice of Lenawee and with her family at her side. She was born on Jan. 5, 1924, in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of Matthew and Agnes (Bora) Solarski. She was united in marriage to Russell C. Miller on June 28, 1947, and he preceded her in death on April 1, 2010.

Theresa was a lifelong member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church. She was a homemaker and worked at Tecumseh Products during WWII as a “Rosie the Riveter.” She had also worked at H.W. Tuttle and then Faraday in Tecumseh until retiring in 1987. She was an avid gardener and animal lover and enjoyed crocheting. She was a great cook, and she adored her family, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.

She is survived by three sons, Gregory Miller and Vincent (Penny) Miller of Tecumseh, and Dennis (Julie) Miller of Sand Creek; one daughter, Elizabeth (Rick) Steele of League City, Texas; seven grandchildren, David, Carrie, Daniel (Biz), Noah, and Benjamin Miller and Corey and Cally Steele; and great-grandsons, Bradley and Conrad.
In addition to her parents and husband Russell, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Ray, Ed and Walter Solarski and two sisters, Mary Richardson and Rosie Solarski.

Visitation will be on Thursday, July 22, at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral mass will be at noon on Friday at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until service time at the church. Rite of committal will follow at Lenawee Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Tecumseh. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee.
Condolences may be offered to the family at

July 15th

Patricia Lee Dwyer

Patricia Lee Dwyer,  63,  of Portage, formerly of Tecumseh, passed away July 12, 2010.  Patricia was born Feb. 20, 1947, in Manchester, Mich., the daughter of Warren Miller and Clarissa (Susie) Walker.  

Pat received a master’s of nursing and was employed for 12 years at Herrick Hospital, Tecumseh.

Patricia is survived by her husband, Kevin Dwyer of Portage; children, Dean Sweckard of Cincinnati and  Jennifer (Brandon) Grice of Jackson; four grandchildren; brother, Steve (Judy) Walker of Tecumseh; and a sister, Diane Zincke of Howell.  

She was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather, Hollis Walker; sister, Holly Sue; and a brother, Michael.

Memorial services will be 3 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2010, at the J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Tecumseh with Pastor Clayton Carn officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to  3 p.m. Saturday before the service at 3 p.m.   Condolences to the family may be made online at

Lois Jordan

Lois Jordan, 95, of Lansing, formerly of Clinton, died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at the Grandhaven Living Center, Lansing with her loving family at her bedside. She was born in Livingston, Tenn., on July 19, 1914, the daughter of Sidney and Sallie (Clark) Harward. She was united in marriage with Truman Jordan on Jan. 5, 1936, in Livingston and he preceded her in death on Dec. 5, 1996.

Lois moved to Lansing from Clinton in 1992. She attended the Lansing Trinity Methodist Church and was a member of the Lansing Area Patchers, and a former member of Adrian Quilt Guild. Lois lived on a farm near Macon, Mich., for many years where she raised chickens and sold their eggs.

Lois is survived by a daughter, Lenora (Gene) Rathbun of Lansing; a son, Truman H. (Linda) Jordan of Mt. Vernon, Iowa; six grandchildren, Cindy (Dirk) Case, Paul (Brenda) Rathbun, Jim (Rachel) Rathbun, Jenny (Eric Wood) Jordan, Jackie (Andy) Morrical, and Joy (Mark Johnson) Jordan; twelve great grandchildren, Joshua (Natalie) Case, Amanda Case, Ben, Sam, Allyssa, James, Shalyn, and Jeremiah Rathbun, Sam and Emma Jordan-Wood, and Matt and Mandie Morrical.

In addition to her husband, Truman, Lois was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers; and two sisters. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Visitation will be at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes, 313 W. Pottawatamie St. Tecumseh, MI  49286, on Friday, July 16, 2010, from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be on Saturday, July 17, at 1 p.m. at the Macon United Methodist Church, 11964 Macon Hwy.  Clinton, Mich. 49236, with the Rev. Lance Ness officiating. Visitation will be held at the church from 12 noon until service time. Interment will follow at Macon Cemetery.

James Eugene “Jim” Marcum, Sr.

James Eugene “Jim” Marcum, Sr., passed away Monday, July 12, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor surrounded by the love of his family.  He was 79. Jim was born in Rowan County, Ky., on Feb. 27, 1931, to William and Chloe (Hall) Marcum, one of six children.  

He attended Fort Gay High School and dreamed of becoming a pilot with the Air Force.  Upon discovering he had severe color blindness he went on to become one of the first very few jet engine mechanics at the time in USAF.  After his honorable military discharge he left for southern Michigan, where he met and married the love of his life, Joyce Dowling, on March 29, 1956, and they began their life together.  

His work career included time as a plumbing apprentice, construction, and working at the Clinton Engine company.  He later retired, in 1992, from the Ford Motor Company after spending 30 years at the Rawsonville facility.

The family spent many fun times at their cabin on Houghton Lake, enjoying snowmobiling, hunting, being with friends, and all the experiences of lake life.  After his retirement he became an accomplished woodworker and shared his creations with all his family members.  Jim did not shy away from the recent technology boom; but rather embraced the creation of new skills on the PC and digital photography.  He was also a member of the Southern Michigan Antique Tractor and Engine Association (SMATEA) and the American Legion, Post # 176, Pieper-Hall-Sparks, Clinton, of which he was the longest continuous member.  Jim cherished the many close friends he came upon in life and always was ready to lend a hand to any and all in need.  He will surely be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Helen L. Schafer

Helen L. Schafer, 83, of rural Pioneer, Ohio, died Thursday evening in her home following an illness. Born March 27, 1927, in Dexter, Mich., to Hazel Campbell and Emil A. Ruhlig, she had been a Montpelier/Pioneer area resident since 1953.

She was married to Howard L. Schafer on Oct.30, 1948 and he survives.

A devoted housewife and mother, she was a 57-year member of St. James Lutheran Church, Archbold, where she was a Sunday School teacher, a member of the Altar Guild, Ladies Society, Happy Club, and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.  Helen was a member of the Montpelier Board of Education and served as President.  She was a member and held the office of President for the Montpelier School Mother’s Club.  She was a member of 4-H while growing up and became a 4-H Club Leader as an adult.  She was a member of the Williams County Fair Board and Fair Foundation, and served each as president.  Helen was inducted into the 2007 Williams County Agriculture Hall of Fame. An avid bowler, she most recently was a member of two bowling leagues at Bryan Lanes.

Also surviving are three sons, Roger Schafer, Leslie (Jan) Schafer, Nelson Schafer (and friend Michelle Boothby), all of Montpelier; five daughters, Carolyn (Forrest) Haverfield, Maplewood, Ohio, Diane (Neil) Rhonemus, Lynchburg, Ohio, Beverly Schafer, Pioneer, Amy (Tim) Sellers, Montpelier, Linda Spathelf, Rio Rancho, New Mexico; 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; one brother, Albert (Madonna) Ruhlig, Dexter, Mich.; two sisters, Alice Gall, Ann Arbor, Mich., Lois (Don) Lutz, Jeffersonville, Ind.;  and two sisters-in-law, Allie Ruhlig, Ann Arbor, Mich. and Karen Ruhlig, Athens, Ill.

July 7th

George E. Downard

George E. Downard, 81, of Tecumseh, died peacefully on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor with his family at his side. He was born on Dec. 30, 1928, in Onsted, Mich., the son of Cecil K. and Nora (Withrow) Downard. He married Betty M. Handy, his bride of 55 years, on Aug. 12, 1950, until she preceded him in death on Nov.1, 2005.

George was a Tecumseh resident since 1950 after moving here from Tipton. He worked for the Tecumseh Products Company for 38 years until he retired in 1984. He also, along with his wife Betty and their family, catered for many festivities and weddings for over 25 years in the Lenawee, Monroe, Hillsdale, Jackson, and Washtenaw county areas. He was an Army Veteran of WWII and was a proud member of the American Legion Post #34 and VFW Post #4187, both in Tecumseh, was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Drives and truly enjoyed the outdoors, especially the times he spent hunting and camping. In recent years, when he wasn't at the former Boomers Burgers or Big Boy, you could find him tinkering on “who knows what” and crafting at home. He fondly spoke of the times he spent with his family camping, playing cards, and time spent up north. He will be missed by his family and all those who knew and loved him over the years.

He is survived by his three sons, Douglas (Debra), Gregory (Tanya) and Christopher (Darlene) all of Tecumseh; his daughter, Laura S. Downard of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; one brother, William “Leroy” (Judy) of Gwinn, Mich.; one sister, Juanita Cutchall of Frederic, Mich.; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and wife, he is preceded in death by three brothers, Cecil K. Donald D. and Alvin.

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