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Obituaries


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Elizabeth Opie

Died: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Age: 63
Elizabeth Opie, nee Blake, 63, died Sunday, May 20, 2012.

She was the beloved wife of John “Jack” Blake; loving mother of Anne Peoples (Tim Jarzembowski), Renee Howell (Randy) and Julia (Max Miller) and dearest grandmother of Shannon Howell. She also is survived by her loving Blake family.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 31, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton Street, Grosse Pointe Park, 48230. Visitation begins at 10:30 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to National Alliance on Mental Illness at nami.org.

Elizabeth Rusinow

Died: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Age: 96
Elizabeth “Betty” Rusinow, 96, died peacefully Sunday, May 20, 2012, surrounded by her family.

She was predeceased by her husband, Daniel, and is survived by her children, William (Linda) and Thomas (Kimberly); grandchildren, Robin Lombardi, William Daniel “Danny” and Natalie Rusinow; great-granddaughter, Rachel Lombardi and many nieces, nephews and friends.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her daughter, Georgeanna.

Mrs. Rusinow was the youngest of six daughters born to Italian immigrant parents. She was a longtime Grosse Pointe resident and life-long eastside resident. She was one of the original parishioners of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church and served as the first librarian at Our Lady Star of the Sea School.

Her family said Mrs. Rusinow lived a full and meaningful life.

Donations may be made to The Capuchins, 1750 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207.

Express condolences or share a memory at verheyden.org.

Mary E. Taylor

Died: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Age: 89
Mary E. Taylor, 89, passed away Sunday, May 20, 2012, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe, surrounded by her loving daughters.

She was born Aug. 7, 1922, in Omaha, Neb., to Gertrude and James O’Neil. She attended University of Nebraska where she never missed a Cornhuskers football game. It was there she met her husband, Douglas Taylor. They later moved to Grosse Pointe Park in 1957.

Mrs. Taylor worked for the Grosse Pointe Public School System for 20 years. Her family said she was an incredibly caring person who had a bewitching way of making those she came in contact with immediately fall in love with her.

Mrs. Taylor was predeceased by her loving husband, Douglas T. Taylor; parents, Gertrude and James O’Neil and her brother, Jim O’Neil.

She is survived by her children, Stephen Taylor (Julie), David Taylor (Cindy), Sharon Bartalucci (Ronald) and Patricia Brodhead (Brian); grandchildren, Hilary, Colleen, Julie, Stephen, Anne, Amy and Catherine and 14 great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial will be held at a later date.

William Urban Reidt

Died: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Age: 90
William Urban Reidt, 90, a longtime Grosse Pointe Farms resident and physician, died Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Dr. Reidt was a 5th generation physician who was board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease. He enjoyed a long career practicing medicine until he was 80 years old and was primarily affiliated with Bon Secours Hospital.

Dr. Reidt is survived by his sister, Virginia Smith; his wife, Phyllis and his four children, Diana, Paul, Laura, and Linda.

Pauline Litos

Died: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Age: 91
Longtime Grosse Pointe resident Polyxene “Pauline” Litos, nee Cardasis, died Thursday, May 17, 2012, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Grosse Pointe Woods. She was 91.

She was born Feb. 12, 1921, and immigrated to the United States in 1934. She graduated with honors from Miller High School in Detroit.

During World War II, Mrs. Litos worked at the Hudson Motor Co. Through her uncle, she met Thomas Litos of New York. They married in 1946 and founded Litos Bookkeeping and Accounting Agency, which originated in Detroit’s Greektown. The company later moved to Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Park. They worked together at the agency until Mr. Litos’ death in 1995.

Along with her husband, Mrs. Litos was active in a number of civic, community and philanthropic activities.

She was a life-long member of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. She was active in church activities, the Democratic Party, the Daughters of Penelope philanthropic group and senior citizens groups until her late 80s.

She and her husband also supported a number of Greek American groups.

Mrs. Litos especially enjoyed spending time with family, friends and traveling throughout North America and Europe. She had fond memories of her trips to Italy, Greece and New York.

Her family said Mrs. Litos was helpful and hopeful throughout her life and had a positive disposition. She was an activist who believed in participation.

Mrs. Litos is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Gloria and David Donaldson; brother, John Cardasis (Anna); sister-in-law, Ethel Cardasis and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas and her brother, Michael Cardasis.

A funeral service was held May 22 at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores.

Edna A. Bakewicz

Died: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Age: 88
Grosse Pointe resident Edna A. Bakewicz, 88, died Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

She was born Sept. 23, 1923, in Detroit to Martha and David Duncan, and graduated from Cass Tech High School in 1941. She married Frank J. Bakewicz Dec. 11, 1943.

In 1982, while fighting to be a breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Bakewicz began attending Wayne State University on a four-year Merit Scholarship Award. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1985 and a Master of Arts degree in 1987.

Mrs. Bakewicz was a past president and member of the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, a member of the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, a charter member of the International Society of Artists and a member of the Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Society.

Mrs. Bakewicz was a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her family said she loved to share her faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and will be missed by those who loved and knew her, especially her devoted husband of 68 years, Frank.

Mrs. Bakewicz was the proud mother of the Rev. William F. Bakewicz of Long Prairie, Minn., Mrs. Susan Lemmons of Ramer, Tenn., and Mrs. Rhonda Lindell of Troy, all of whom survive her.

Additionally she is survived by her grandchildren, Joseph Hodge, Jonathan Bakewicz, Rebekah Bakewicz, Martin Lindell III and Eric Lindell and great-granddaughter, Lucia Bakewicz.

She was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Mary Dennis and Dorothy Thomas; brother, David Duncan and her daughter, Christine Emily Bakewicz.

A funeral service was held Saturday, May 19, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grosse Pointe Farms. Interment took place at Gethsemane Cemetery in Detroit.

Mary DeLong Baubie

Died: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Age: 85
Mary DeLong Baubie, 85, died Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Boulder, Colo.

She was born March 7, 1927, in Chicago to Charles Shaver DeLong and Elizabeth Hinde DeLong. She was an active member in the Sigma Gamma Association and the Huron Mountain Club, where she was the first female president.

Mrs. Baubie is survived by her children, David M. Harris and Margaret M. Harris; sisters, Elizabeth D. Kuhl and Cynthia D. Washburne; grandchildren, Jennifer M. Miller, John B. McNaughton, Elizabeth A. McNaughton, Emily D. Harris, Samuel S. Harris, Maisie Baubie, Katie Baubie, J. Robb Baubie Jr., Whitney Baubie, Stephanie Baubie and Elizabeth Whitney.

Donations may be made to the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation at hmwf.org; the Sigma Gamma Foundation, P.O. Box 36373, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236 or the Hospice Foundation of America at hospicefoundation.org.

Ira Bradford Swegles II

Died: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Age: 50
Life-long Grosse Pointe Farms resident Ira Bradford “Brad” Swegles II passed away Sunday, May 13, 2012, at the age of 50.

He was born March 27, 1962, to John Earl “Bud” and Margaret Nay Swegles. He graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1980 and from Albion College in 1984.

Mr. Swegles’ passion for sailing led him to a career managing high performance sailboats throughout the world. In recent years, he worked in the commercial construction industry. He managed the steel construction of many keynote projects including the Chicago Skyway, the McNamara Terminal and Ford Field.

Mr. Swegles loved to spend time with his children who are active in baseball, soccer, swimming and rowing. He coached many baseball teams and was a board member of the Grosse Pointe Gators swim club. A longtime member of Bayview Yacht Club, Mr. Swegles completed more than 35 Mackinac races, winning the event three times. Over the years, he also completed many ocean races including Newport-Bermuda and Miami-Montego Bay. In 1994, he was on board Champion Eagle winning the Canada’s Cup.

Mr. Swegles is survived by his wife, Janet, and his three children, Paige, David and John. He also is survived by his brother, John E. Swegles (Sue) and nephew, Matthew Swegles.

He was predeceased by his parents.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 17, at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

An education fund has been established for Mr. Swegles’ children. Checks may be made payable to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and mailed to Robert Eger, 50 Willison, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236. Indicate “Swegles Children Education Fund” on the check memo line.

Gail Arden Schneider

Died: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Age: 72
Gail Arden Schneider, 72, died Sunday, May 13, 2012, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

She was born in Detroit to Jane and Richard Zimmerman and graduated from Wayne State University in 1962.

Mrs. Schneider was a stay-at-home wife and mother who dedicated herself to family, friends and the community in which she lived. She married Dr. John R. “Jack” Schneider April 20, 1963. In her nearly 50 years of marriage, Mrs. Schneider was a loving wife, proud parent and cherished grandmother.

Mrs. Schneider also was a tireless volunteer. Trained early in life as an occupational therapist, she was dedicated to helping children. This led to her involvement with the Sigma Gamma organization and her service on the board of the Detroit Institute for Children.

In 1992, she received the Katherine Tuck award from Sigma Gamma for her service to the DIC. She also chaired Sigma Gamma’s annual fireworks picnic and was patron chair for the Mistletoe Magic Christmas dance in 2008, which was chaired by her daughter, Kristen.

Mrs. Schneider was a dedicated volunteer at the schools her children attended. She was a trustee and president of the parent’s coordinating council at The Grosse Pointe Academy and served on the school’s advisory board. She and her husband were honorary chairs of the Academy’s Action Auction in 2010. She also served as president of the parent board at University Liggett School.

Mrs. Schneider also loved to garden and served as president of the Junior League Gardeners. She was a member of the Junior League of Detroit, worked on the show house many years and chaired its flower boutique.

Her hobbies included gardening, floral arranging, entertaining and maintaining her beautiful home. She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, at her residence on Lower Herring Lake near Frankfort. She was interested in the natural beauty of the area, as well as the wildlife. She kept scrapbooks of wildflowers and tabs on the birds she’d seen.

Mrs. Schneider is survived by her husband, John R. “Jack” Schneider M.D.; sons, Kurt J. Schneider (Betsy) and Erich J. Schneider (Meghan); daughter, Kristen Schneider Van Pelt (Tom) and grandchildren, Annie, Lily and Dexter Schneider, Kate and Tommy Van Pelt and Jack and Sophia Schneider.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Donations may be made to Sigma Gamma Foundation, P.O. Box 36373, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236-0373 or The Grosse Pointe Academy, 171 Lakeshore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Dorothy M. Schmidt

Died: Saturday, May 12, 2012
Age: 100
Former Grosse Pointe resident Dorothy M. Schmidt, 100, died Saturday, May 12, 2012, at the Village of East Harbor in Chesterfield.

She was born in Ann Arbor to Karl and Clara Malcolm and graduated from the University of Michigan, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

Mrs. Schmidt enjoyed playing bridge and traveling with her husband. She was a member of Grosse Pointe Memorial Church and the Grand Marais Garden Club of Grosse Pointe. She was also a life member of the Detroit Yacht Club.

Mrs. Schmidt is survived by her son, Thomas Schmidt (Robin); daughter, Gloria Whittlesey (Steven); five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Arthur; daughter, Audrey Zuehlke; parents and her brothers, Karl and Russell Malcolm.

A funeral service was held May 16.

Donations may be made to Hospice of Michigan, 400 Mack, Detroit MI 48201.
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