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Dorothy Duncan

Died: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Age: 86
Dorothy Duncan, 86, passed away peacefully Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at her home in Danbury, Conn., with family by her side.

She was born Dec. 28, 1926, to John Edgar and Maude (nee Fiscus) Duncan of Grosse Pointe. A gifted pianist and singer, she attended the Eastman School of Music and National Music Camp at Interlochen, then earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan in 1949. After college, she became a music teacher, then left the classroom to begin a family in Ossining, N.Y., with her husband, Roger Appleby. In 1963, they relocated to Port Washington, N.Y.

Divorced in 1972, Ms. Duncan reassumed her maiden name and studied computer science at Hofstra University. She then worked as a computer programmer at Doubleday & Company in Garden City, N.Y. and Publishers Clearing House in Port Washington, retiring in 1992. As a single mother, she raised and provided for her three children by reeducating herself in a promising new field — and bravely starting a new career at age 46. She relocated to New Milford, Conn., in 2010, then purchased her dream house on Kellner’s Pond in Danbury, Conn., in 2011. She lived there happily in quietude for two years with her beloved German shepherd, Daisy.

Ms. Duncan is survived by her son, Shaun Appleby; grandson, Ethan Appleby and his mother, Jenny Creasy; daughter, Amy Appleby and her husband, Peter Pickow; son, Jed Appleby and his wife, Magaly; grandson, Matthew Appleby; and grandson, Travis Appleby and his mother, Sarah Strange. She also is survived by her brother, D. Grey Duncan of Jacksonville, Fla., and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased in 2007 by her older brother, John “Jack” E. Duncan Jr. (Mary Lou) of Grosse Pointe.

A remembrance gathering will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Fellowship Hall of the Sherman Church, 6 Church Road, Sherman, Conn.

Donations may be made to the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy, c/o Adopt-a-Bench for Dorothy Duncan, 1562 First Avenue, Suite 331, New York, NY 10028 or at carlschurzparknyc.org.

Share a memory at forevermissed.com.

Ellen Phelan Hamilton

Died: Friday, November 15, 2013
Age: 78
Ellen “Terry” Phelan Hamilton, 78, of Grosse Pointe Farms and Vero Beach, Fla., passed away Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.

Mrs. Hamilton was born in Detroit Sept. 2, 1935. She was a lifelong resident of Grosse Pointe and cherished her time on the family farm in Metamora. She attended Grosse Pointe Country Day School; graduated from Georgetown Visitation Convent Preparatory School, Washington, D.C., and from Briarcliffe College, Briarcliffe Manor, N.Y.

Mrs. Hamilton was the chief financial officer and owner of the Wm. R. Hamilton Co. She had been a special education elementary teacher, and was fondly known by her students as “Miss Terry.”

She was a member of the Country Club of Detroit, The Moorings Club in Vero Beach, the Grosse Pointe Garden Club, the Junior League of Detroit Inc., Sigma Gamma Association, and was a volunteer at Beaumont Hospital.

Mrs. Hamilton was an avid golfer and tennis player. She enjoyed bridge, knitting, spending time with her dog, Duffy, and a good crossword puzzle.

Mrs. Hamilton is survived by her son, Philip Kirkwood Hamilton II (Lesa); daughter, Patricia Barry Byndas (Mark); grandchildren, Anna Skae Page and William Robertson Page; sisters, Mary Meade Fuger of Grand Rapids, Florence P. Connolly of Saginaw and Anne Boyer of Palm Desert, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, David Mitchell Hamilton Sr. in 2012; son, David Mitchell Hamilton Jr. in 1977, and her parents, James Joseph Phelan Jr. and Ellen Skae Phelan.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Family will receive friends one half-hour before the service. A private burial will take place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Detroit Institute for Children, 5447 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48202 or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Share a memory at williamrhamilton.com.

Isabelle Elizabeth Thomas

Died: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Age: 98
Isabelle Elizabeth Thomas, 98, died Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at home.

She was born to George and Mary Thomas in Winchester, Ky. The family moved to Heidelberg Street in Detroit in 1923 and attended St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. “Issy,” as her family affectionately called her, was one of 11 children. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by siblings, Katherine Mabarak, Anna, Tommy, Matry, Sabe, Wakim, and Helen Thomas, and Genevieve Parker. She is survived by her sisters, Josephine Thomas Geha and Barbara Thomas Issac, and multi-generations of nieces and nephews.

Ms. Thomas’ family described her as being the closest to a saint as they will ever know. Her entire life was committed to serving others.

Ms. Thomas graduated from the nursing program at Deaconess Hospital on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Wayne State University. She worked as a nurse in many capacities during her 50-year career, most notably as a home health care nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association, which created the “Issy Award” in honor of her many years of dedicated service.

Ms. Thomas loved to cook and try new recipes. She enjoyed picnics, family gatherings, and traveling. The Petoskey/Bay Harbor area was a favorite vacation spot.

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2160 E. Maple Road, Troy.

The funeral service follows at 11:30 a.m.

Arrangements are being handled by Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, Grosse Pointe Park.

Mary Denise Mabarak

Died: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Age: 66
Mary Denise Mabarak, 66, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

She was born March 5, 1947, in Alma, to Eric and Sarah Gorham. She grew up in a military family and spent three years of her childhood in Germany, moved back to the United States and lived in various parts of the country. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Neb., in 1965.

After high school, she attended Wayne State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1971 and later received a Master of Education degree in 1984. She earned additional certifications as an education specialist/reading specialist from WSU in 2007.

She married Paul Mabarak in 1969 in Detroit.

Mrs. Mabarak began work for the Detroit Public Schools as a special education and learning disabilities teacher at Butzel Elementary/Middle School where she worked from 1984 to 2009. She also served as a special education resource room teacher there beginning in 1998. She worked at Marcus Garvey African Centered Academy from 2009 to 2011 and finished her career at DPS as a peer assistance review consultant teacher from 2010 until her retirement in 2011, after 27 years of service.

Mrs. Mabarak was a member of Pi Lambda Theta National Honor Society and Professional Association in Education, WSU Writing Project, Wilson Reading System, International Dyslexia Association, Michigan Association for Learning Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children and the International Reading Association.

She was the recipient of 11 classroom grants for instructional enrichment, served as a Wilson Reading System trainer for DPS and as school grant writing team chairwoman, mentored and coached DPS teachers in classroom management and instructional practices and served as a member of school review teams for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Middle Start Initiative School Quality Reviews.

Her family said Mrs. Mabarak was a teacher’s “teacher” and loved spending her summers training teachers. She loved her work and its different aspects which included teaching learning disabled students and illiterate adults to read, writing grants, mentoring students and teachers, holding workshops and many other educational activities. When called upon to lead or assist, she answered with her best effort and recognized by her peers for her devotion, unwavering commitment and professionalism to her beloved occupation. She loved her career, students and the people at DPS.

Mrs. Mabarak enjoyed the waterfront on Lake St. Clair and had a great love for her family, pet dogs, cooking and travel.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Mrs. Mabarak is survived by her husband of 44 years, Paul; son, John Paul; mother, Sarah Gorham; brother, Pat Gorham (Gayle) and sister, Marcia Pullin (Dennis).

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier, Grosse Pointe Park.

Donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Share a memory at cremationmichigan.com.

Ronald W. Hicks

Died: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Age: 85
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Ronald W. Hicks, 85, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.

Mr. Hicks was born Oct. 31, 1928, to Harold O. and Wilhelmina (nee Little) Hicks at Old Cottage Hospital, and was wheeled across Kercheval Avenue into the newly opened facility a few days later.

He graduated from Southeastern High School, June 1946, and then attended Cass Technical High School, taking night courses in automotive repair and welding.

Mr. Hicks retired after a long career at AM Multigraphics working as a service representative, and later as a sales account manager. He continued to work in the printing field, completing his career with a position at United Way Detroit in the print and graphic design department.

Mr. Hicks served four years in the U.S. Naval Reserve with Construction Battalion Unit CB 9-14, based out of Detroit Broadhead Naval Armory. It was through this service he learned to ski in the mountains of Colorado during training and survival missions.

He was a former member of Bayview Yacht Club and past commodore of the Grosse Pointe Farms Boat Club. In recent years, Mr. Hicks was active in senior exercise classes at Assumption Cultural Center in St. Clair Shores. He participated in weekly recitation of the rosary at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, and volunteered at Riverview Health and Rehab Center in Detroit. He enjoyed sailing, skiing, canoeing, concerts, jazz music and dancing.

Mr. Hicks was predeceased by his loving wife and dance partner of 47 years, Rosemary Clifton Hicks; brother, Charles G. Hicks and sister, Mary Hicks Kavanaugh.

He is survived by his daughters, Carol Ann Austerberry (John), Cynthia Hicks Holme (David) and Mary Beth Nicholson (Jim); grandchildren, Ann Marie, Charlotte and Margaret Nicholson and John “Jack” Holme; sister-in-law, Elaine Hicks and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. in the church gathering space.

Donations may be made to United Way of Southeast Michigan at donate.liveunitedsem.org or the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute Research Fund at henryford.com.

Share a memory at ahpeters.com.

William David Rickard

Died: Friday, November 08, 2013
Age: 92
The Rev. William David “Tex” Rickard, 92, passed away peacefully Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, surrounded by family.

In 1921, he was born in Houghton, the youngest of four children. Raised in Mount Clemens, where he attended Mount Clemens High School, he became the first member of his family to graduate from college in 1943.

He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Helen (nee Gregory) in 2000, a psychiatric nurse whom he met and fell in love with at Albion College and married in 1945.

The Rev. Rickard was the last living member of a close family, predeceased by siblings, Robert, Ed and Jean. He is survived by six children, Tilda, Evelyn, Greg, Ron, Stephen and Lori-Ann, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lori-Ann lives in Grosse Pointe Farms and her daughters, Alyssa and Cassie, attended Grosse Pointe South High School.

The Rev. Rickard graduated from Garrett Seminary and was ordained in 1946. He served congregations in Wisconsin, Midland, Saginaw, the Port Huron District (as district superintendent), Livonia, East Detroit, Davis, and finally, his boyhood church in Mount Clemens, retiring in 1998. He continued to serve as a guest minister and taught Sunday classes on Bible study and meditation at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church. He served on the Albion College Board of Trustees from 1957 to 1971.

An accomplished athlete, The Rev. Rickard won varsity letters at Mount Clemens High and Albion, won YMCA paddleball and racquetball championships and was the pitcher in church softball leagues.

His family said Rev. Rickard founded his life on faith, family and friends. He was well-known for his warm and cheerful personality and love of humor. He took a keen interest in the lives of those he met.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Mount Clemens First United Methodist Church, 57 Southbound Gratiot, Mount Clemens.

A more complete obituary is at vickfuneralhome.com.

Anne Harnett

Died: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Age: 78
Anne Harnett, nee Amara, 78, died peacefully Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born April 26, 1935, in Detroit to Francesco and Benedetta (nee Trigilio) Amara. She attended the Detroit Public Schools, graduating from Cass Technical High School. She then attended Wayne State University earning a degree in Arts and Sciences.

It was at Wayne State she became an Italophile, matriculating in Italian language, literature, and art. After graduating from Wayne State, she left for a year of study in Italy at the Universita’ di Perugia. While there, she explored the country. Its art and architecture, as well as Renaissance literature, became a lifetime quest. She made many trips to Italy to pursue her interest in all aspects of Italian language and culture. Mrs. Harnett taught Italian for Travelers for the Grosse Pointe Schools Adult Education Department for many years, preparing hundreds of individuals for their own Italian odyssey.

Mrs. Harnett was active in many organizations, namely, the Understudies of the Hilberry Theatre at Wayne State, Anthony Wayne Society, Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter, Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, Grosse Pointe Historical Society and the Center for Palladian Studies in America.

Mrs. Harnett had been a member of the Detroit Institute of Arts since 1965, where she served for many years as a docent. She was a founding member of the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, serving on its board for several years.

Mrs. Harnett is survived by a sister, Lena Coen (Paul); brother, Salvatore Amara (Sharon); sisters-in-law, Patricia Brown and Elizabeth Harnett, both of Scotland, as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her loving husband of 46 years, Dr. Reginald Harnett, and her brother, Sebastian Amara.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon, Saturday, Nov. 30, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Gathering begins at 11:30 a.m. at the church.

Share a memory at verheyden.org.

Jane C. Summers

Died: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Age: 101
Jane C. Summers, 101, a resident of Beechwood Manor, St. Clair Shores, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.

A Michigan native, she was born March 18, 1912, in Leesville on the east side of Detroit. She graduated from Southeastern High School in 1929 and from the University of Michigan in 1933. She became a substitute teacher during the Great Depression and upon earning a master’s degree from Wayne State University in 1940, she started her full-time teaching career. She spent the next 30 years teaching social studies and U.S. and world history at Jackson Junior High in Detroit, retiring in 1971. She and her husband, William, an ophthalmologist and ear, nose and throat physician, were some of the first tenants at Lakeshore Village in St. Clair Shores, later moving to Grosse Pointe Shores where they lived 42 years.

During World War II, Mrs. Summers was a Red Cross volunteer at Harper Hospital, changing bed pans for the wounded. She also taught Sunday School at Church of Our Savior Episcopal Church in Detroit. She loved to garden and play the stock market. In their younger years, she and her husband enjoyed golfing at Essex Golf and Country Club in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and playing bridge with three other couples every month and on New Year’s Eve.

Mrs. Summers is survived by many nieces and nephews. Having no children of her own, her family said she was generous to her siblings’ offspring, who will remember her kindness.

Mrs. Summers was predeceased by her husband, Dr. William A. Summers; brothers, Dr. James B. Cooper and Robert Cooper and sister, Margaret Jones.

Share a memory at ahpeters.com.

James H. Perry

Died: Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Age: 89
Grosse Pointe Woods resident James H. Perry, 89, died Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

A proud U.S. Navy war veteran, known as “Frogman Jimmy Perry” and later in life as “Diamond Jim Perry” the diamond broker and jeweler of the Fisher Building for 47 years, he was a three-time member of the Michigan State High School Wrestling Cham-pions (1940, 1941 and 1942), a YMCA wrestling champion, A.A.U Cham-pion and was a member of the East Detroit High School Hall of Fame. Mr. Perry also enjoyed all sports and dancing.

A funeral service was held Nov. 12 at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons Inc., Sterling Heights.

Mr. Perry is survived by his sons, Jim II (Tracey) and Jeff and grandchildren, Steven, Laura and Ryan. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Maxine H.

Donations may be made to the Veterans Legacy Project, Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Interment was at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly.

Share a memory at wujekcalcaterra.com.

Raymond Daniel Sphire M.D.

Died: Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Age: 86
Raymond Daniel Sphire M.D., 86, of Grosse Pointe Farms, died unexpectedly at his home Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

He was born Feb. 12, 1927, in Detroit, to Samuel Raymond and Nora Mae (nee Allen) Sphire, and was the loving husband of Joan Sphire (nee Baker); father of Suzanne S. Brock (Jeb), Raymond D. Sphire Jr. (Leslie) and Catherine S. Shell (Jeff); dedicated to his grandchildren, Clay, Sam, Anderson, Jeffrey, Emma and Jamie Brock Jr. (Lindsay) and great-grandfather to Jebby Brock.

Dr. Sphire earned his degree from University of Detroit in 1948, after graduating from University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He worked as a lifeguard during college summers at the park in Grosse Pointe Park.

He received his medical degree from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago and was accepted for medical residency in anesthesia at the Harvard Anesthesia Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was chief resident.

Upon completing his residency in Boston, Dr. Sphire returned to Detroit and Grace Hospital, where he began a long career as an anesthesiologist, educator and administrator.

In 1956, he was one of the anesthesiologists on the team of physicians performing the first successful open heart surgery in Michigan.

Dr. Sphire was appointed senior attending anesthesiologist and director of the department of anesthesiology for the Detroit Macomb Hospital Association in 1970. Eight years later, he was elected to the board of trustees of DMHA. In 1980, he was appointed chief of the medical staff. He held this position for 13 years, while concurrently serving as chief of the departments of anesthesiology, inhalation therapy and respiratory therapy.

Additionally, during his tenure at DMHA, Dr. Sphire established the hospital’s first brain death committee. 
He was clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and clinical professor of respiratory therapy at Macomb Community College in Mount Clemens.

A past president of the Wayne County Society of Anesthesiologists, he was a member of the American College of Anesthesiologists, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Association of Respiratory Therapists, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a number of other professional and scientific organizations.

Upon his retirement from St. John Macomb Hospital, Dr. Sphire was named “Lifetime Staff Member” of St. John Hospital Association.

Dr. Sphire served his country stateside as a tank commander in the U.S. Army during World War II, conducting explosives training. During the Korean War, he was a 1st lieutenant, having been recruited by the U.S. Air Force for intelligence service at Washington and Lee University.

He was a certified SCUBA diver and had several thousand hours as an instrument rated private pilot who enjoyed flying his beloved Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza from Michigan to his vacation home in Maine.

According to his family, Dr. Sphire loved fishing, hunting, and was known as a spectacular shot with rifle and shotgun. He once took golf lessons from Sam Snead but remained a lifelong, terrible golfer, though he enjoyed the game. He was a voracious reader, interested in everything, and possessor of a keen and inquisitive mind. He did the New York Times Crossword puzzle daily, was a fan of early James Bond movies and enjoyed driving his silver Aston Martin Lagonda.

Funeral services have taken place.

Share a memory at ahpeters.com.
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