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David Gray Brown

Died: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Age: 73
David Gray Brown, 73, died Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012.

He was born Dec. 30, 1938, in Milton, Mass., to Waldo Hayward Brown and Frances Gray Merkel and attended Albion College. His father was a naval architect and his great-grandfather was the first president of Ford Motor Co.

Mr. Brown came from a long line of boaters. He would summer on Cape Cod and was a member of the Harwichport Golf Club.

He was a former member of the Detroit Power Squadron and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

Mr. Brown is survived by his son Joshua D. Brown and his wife, Amanda; his companion, Ilene Christian and his siblings, Paul Brown and Frannie Aeschlimann.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his siblings, Ann McLure Waldo and John Brown.

Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Donations may be made to the Michigan Parkinson Foundation, 30400 Telegraph Road, Suite 150, Bingham Farms, MI 48025.

Rita Carotta

Died: Friday, October 19, 2012
Age: 97

Rita Carotta, 97, a longtime resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, died peacefully Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at her home. She was born July 11, 1915, in Montello, Wis., to Julius and Antonia D’Orazio. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Tully, by 45 years.

After her husband’s death in 1967, Mrs. Carotta got her first driver’s license and started working at Himelhoch’s in the Village. After several years, she moved to Jacobson’s, where she continued working until she was 80.

First and foremost, she enjoyed being a loving mother and homemaker. Her family said her homemade pies were the best anyone ever tasted.

Mrs. Carotta is survived by her daughter, Lois Johnston (Dale) of Grosse Pointe; son, Alan (Carol) of Naperville, Ill.; grandchildren, Kerry, Kyle, Kelly, Kory, Alan Jr. and Christopher; and great-grandchild, Owen.

She also is survived by her dear sister, Norma Carotta (Bert) who resides in Clinton Township and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, until time of service at 1 p.m. at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Donations may be made to St. John Health Foundation, P.O. Box 673271, Detroit, MI 48267.

Share a memory at ahpeters.com.

Roger Franklin McNeill M.D.

Died: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Age: 88
Roger Franklin McNeill M.D., 88, died Th ursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe, following a brief illness. He was born Feb. 2, 1924, in Lincoln, Neb., to Maude Simmons and Clarence Ernest McNeill. He completed undergraduate studies at Yale University. In the spring of his senior year, the Glen Miller Air Force Van came to Yale to recruit during World War II, and he joined the U.S. Air Force. Aft er two weeks of pilot training, he learned there was no longer a need for more pilots, and his best option was to join the Army and study medicine. He was accepted directly into the University of Nebraska Medical School in the Army Specialized Training Program in the spring of 1945. Upon graduation, he completed his internship at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles; his surgical residency at the University of Michigan; and his fellowship at Wayne State University. On Dec. 22, 1945, just prior to starting medical school, he married Marcy Jean Bauer in Omaha, Neb., and they were married nearly 67 years. He started his Grosse Pointe practice in 1956, and he and his wife moved to Grosse Pointe in 1957, where they raised their family. Dr. McNeill served three times as chief of surgery at Bon Secours Hospital and was chairman of the executive committee. He also served as faculty to surgical residents at Wayne State University. He worked all night during the 1967 Detroit riots. Dr. McNeill was active in the community serving as Worshipful Master of Corinthian Lodge; was the Rotary Club leading fundraiser for many years, with perfect attendance for 30 years; a Grosse Pointe Park City councilman for 10 years and was on the Grosse Pointe Shores Foundation Board of Trustees. He also was a member of the Circumnavigator’s Club, English Speaking Society, 33rd Degree Scottish Rite, the Hundred Club and the Moslem Shrine. He was a past president of Torch Club International and a member of the Country Club of Detroit and the Detroit Athletic Club. He was a University of Michigan Football season ticket holder for more than 50 years. Dr. McNeill loved the practice of medicine, living in Grosse Pointe and summer visits to Colorado, where his father had built a cabin in Allen’s Park in 1939. His family said, Dr. McNeill oft en commented if he had it all to do over again, he wouldn’t change a thing. Dr. McNeill is survived by his wife, Marcy; son, Douglas McNeill and his wife, Anne; his daughter, Nancy Ziemba and her husband, Mike; grandchildren, Lindsey McNeill, Jeff and Jamie Ziemba, Scott and Joanna Ziemba and Luke and Megan Terra and great-grandchildren, Sidney Ziemba and Anam and Oran Terra. Donations may be made to Rotary International at rotary.org. Share a memory at verheyden.org.

Douglas LeVern Wake M.D.

Died: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Age: 95
Douglas LeVern Wake M.D., 95, died Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, of complications from a fall.

He was born in Aug. 12, 1917, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, to Lewis and Mary Alice (Pratt) Wake. The family moved to southeast Michi-gan when he was in third grade. He graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1935 and earned his bachelor’s degree in science in 1939 and his medical degree in 1942, both from the University of Michigan. He was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society as a junior. He took his internship and residency in pediatrics at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, finishing training in 1944. He was listed in Who’s Who in America at 24 and became a naturalized American citizen in 1949.

Dr. Wake served in the U. S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. He volunteered for radiation hazard work, and followed the atomic bomb from Los Alamos, N.M., to Bikini Atoll in the Marianna Islands to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. He was honorably discharged from the Army as a captain and set up a private practice in pediatrics in Royal Oak where he practiced 37 years until retiring in 1983.

Dr. Wake enjoyed bowling and Alpine skiing. He was a prolific amateur horticulturist, raising orchids at his homes in Royal Oak and Pompano Beach, Fla. He was an avid yachtsman, winning hundreds of trophies during the several decades he raced sailboats. He raced in 39 Bayview to Mackinac races and 25 Chicago to Mackinac races, achieving “Old Goat” status in both. He was a member of Bayview Yacht Club for 60 years.

He had a lifelong interest in building, working his way through college and medical school as a carpenter and remodeling homes during his working life or in retirement.

Dr. Wake married Margaret Jane Bryant Aug. 18, 1940. She died Jan. 26, 2012.

He is survived by their four children, Brian (Joan), Patti Townsend (James), Mary Ann Uznis (George) and Lewis (Marie). He also leaves his brother, John Hextel LeRoy (Shirley); nine grandchildren; one step-grandchild and 15 great-grandchildren.

A memorial gathering for Doug and Maggie Wake will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Bayview Yacht Club, 100 Clairpointe, Detroit. His ashes will be divided into three portions, one to be scattered on Lake St. Clair, another on Lake Medora in the Keweenaw Peninsula and the third to be buried with Margaret at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eagle Harbor.

Donations may be made to Bayview Yacht Club Junior Sailing, 100 Clair-pointe, Detroit, MI 48215.

Joan Clarke

Died: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Longtime Grosse Pointe Farms resident Joan Clarke, 79, died Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, from a virulent strain of throat and brain cancer.

She was born in 1933 and lived in Detroit until moving with her husband, Patrick to Grosse Pointe Farms in 1969.

Mrs. Clarke graduated from Michigan State College in 1955. She then worked as a lunchroom manager in Detroit Public Schools until joining the Detroit Police Department in 1957.

As a police woman, she was awarded a departmental citation and Police Woman of the Year in 1962 for her undercover investigation of an illegal abortion ring.

She entered the Detroit College of Law in 1963, graduating in 1967. Passing the bar exam that summer, she was hired by the Wayne County Prosecutor in 1968 as a trial prosecutor, remaining in this position until her retirement in 1996. She was one of the first female attorneys in this position.

In retirement, Mrs. Clarke and her husband, Patrick, enjoyed one another’s company and travelled extensively from Svalbard, Norway to Hawaii. She was an avid bridge player and bowler, as well as an alumna member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Discussing politics critically and studying Detroit’s current issues gave her much pleasure.

Her family said she will be missed deeply and is grateful to have had her in their lives.

Mrs. Clarke is survived by her husband of 45 years, Patrick; sister, Ursula McMahon of Grosse Pointe Farms; numerous nephews and nieces and grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

She was predeceased by her parents and sister, Jean.

Joseph E. Mihelich

Died: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Joseph E. Mihelich passed away Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla., from complications relating to heart surgery.

He was a lifelong resident of Michigan and practiced law in Macomb County for more than 50 years. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and Detroit College of Law.

After graduation from Detroit College of Law in 1951, he joined the U.S. Army where he served four years as a 1st lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps during the Korean War. Following his military service, he began his law practice in East Detroit.

During his long law career he was able to mentor many attorneys and enjoyed sharing his experience and knowledge; most importantly, with his daughter, Julie, who followed in his footsteps to become an attorney. Mr. Mihelich was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1973. He was honored to receive his 50-year pin from the State Bar of Michigan, and to celebrate 50 years of practice with his family, friends, and colleagues. Besides law, his passions were golf and travel. Over the course of his lifetime, he was able to travel the world.

Mr. Mihelich served on many committees in Grosse Pointe Shores. He was a 51-year member and past president of Lochmoor Club, where he was a caddie in his childhood.

He was predeceased by JoAn, his loving wife of 50 years and his sister, Shirley M. Kendall.

Mr. Mihelich is survived by his children, Jayne and her husband, Jorge Cortez; Joseph and his wife, Karen, and Julie and her husband, Chris Cloney. He was a friend and Papa to his six grandchildren: Amy, Austen, Skyler, Andrea, Caitlin and Andrew.

His family said Mr. Mihelich will be remembered as a loving father, husband, brother, grandfather, mentor and teacher. He was proud of his long law career and family. He will be missed by many.

A celebration and remembrance of his life will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Lochmoor Club, 1018 Sunningdale, Grosse Pointe Woods.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, N.Y. 10163-4777 or at michaeljfox.org.

Robert R. Deneweth

Died: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Robert R. Deneweth, of West Bloomfield, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at home surrounded by his family.

He was born July 21, 1948, in Detroit to Edna (nee Rondina) and Raymond Deneweth. A 1966 graduate of Austin Catholic Prep High School, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration from John Carroll University, graduating with honors. He also played varsity basketball at Austin and John Carroll, serving as captain his senior college season. In 1974, he received his Master of Business Administration degree, with honors, from the University of Detroit.

From 1975 to 1989, Mr. Deneweth held several positions at Michigan Bell Telephone Co. and then AT&T. He subsequently co-founded Uznis/Deneweth Custom Builders and Developers. In 2000, he founded the Deneweth Company, and developed land and built custom homes throughout the metro Detroit area.

A member of multiple local and national real estate and home building associations, he also served as the chairman of Bloomfield Township’s construction code board of appeals and property maintenance code board of appeals. He served in the Michigan Army National Guard and volunteered much of his time to the betterment of his daughter’s alma mater, Marian High School, serving as chairman of Marian’s athletic club and facility committee and as a member of the board of directors for the past four years.

His family said building was Mr. Deneweth’s passion and he was well known for his excellence and professionalism within the industry. He subscribed to a strong work ethic, moral values, and personal integrity. He possessed a great sense of humor and loved telling stories.

He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed all levels of competition. In his spare time, he enjoyed landscaping and reading, especially the newspaper, political commentary and the Bible. He had a deep love for the United States, strong conservative values and a lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith.

A devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend, he was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and associates.

Mr. Deneweth is survived by his best friend and wife, Mary (nee Cronenworth); daughter, Jessica and brothers, Ronald (Mary) and Richard (Constance) Deneweth. He also is survived by his mother-in-law, Lorraine Cronenworth; sisters-in-law, Carol Todd and Linda Meade (Kenneth); brother-in-law, Charles Cronenworth, as well as his nieces and nephews and their children of whom he was extremely proud: Melissa, Kelly, Benjamin, Christina, Charles, Jacob, Raymond James, Christopher, Nicholas, Morgan, Chase, Kingsley and Callahan.

He was predeceased by his parents, Raymond and Edna Deneweth; father-in-law, Charles Cronenworth and sister-in-law, Anne (nee Nolan) Cronenworth.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Our Lady of Refuge Church, 3750 Commerce Road, Orchard Lake. Friends may visit at the church beginning at 3 p.m.

Donations ma.y be made to Marian High School, 7225 Lahser Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301 or to a charity of choice.

Express condolences at lynchfuneraldirectors.com.

Albert W Ghesquiere

Died: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Age: 93

City of Grosse Pointe resident Albert W. Ghesquiere, 93, died Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.

He was born Dec. 6, 1918, in Detroit, and graduated from the University of Detroit in 1940. He worked as an engineer for Uniroyal Tire Co. for more than 42 years.

Mr. Ghesquiere enjoyed football and baseball. He was a member of the University of Detroit Hall of Fame for football and led the nation in rushing in 1940 with 1,022 yards. He was a member of the Belgian American Business Club and the Belgian Century Club.

Mr. Ghesquiere is survived by his daughter, Virginia Kaye Lutz (Mike); son, Gary Ghesquiere; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, George.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Oct. 19 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Bruce Andrew Mair

Died: Friday, October 12, 2012
Age: 51

Bruce Andrew Mair, longtime resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, formerly of Redford Township, died peacefully Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. He was 51.

Mr. Mair was born Jan. 14, 1961, in Detroit to Bruce and Helen Mair (née Hourigan) and graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1979. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit School of Law.

Mr. Mair will be remembered for his love of life, will to live, charm and great sense of humor. His love for languages led him in the summer of 1983 to Salamanca, Spain, where he attended a study abroad program with the University of Michigan. Here he met his future wife, Jet, originally from the Netherlands. After law school, Mr. Mair joined Besser Company in Alpena, a manufacturer of concrete block machinery, and assisted the company in entering the African market. Years later he established his own international export company.

He truly enjoyed spending time with family and friends, studying languages, swimming and watching classic movies.

Mr. Mair is survived by his wife of 24 years, Jet Mair (née Meijers), and his daughters, Sophie and Madeline.

He also is survived by his siblings, Amy Carr (Pat), Rebecca Mair (Richard Marcolini), Ian Mair (Gail), Stuart Mair and Matthew Mair; father-in-law, Jan Meijers (Renée Jacobs); brother-in-law, Herman Jan Meijers (Suzanne) and many niece and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Bruce and Helen Mair and his mother-in-law, Hannie Meijers (née van Hemert).

A memorial gathering will begin at 10 a.m., immediately followed by a memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at St. Valentine Catholic Church, 25881 Dow Ave, Redford, MI 48239.

Donations may be made to the American Brain Tumor Association at abta.org or to an Educational Fund for Mr. Mair’s children, made payable to H.E. Mair-Meijers and sent to P.O. Box No. 36723, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Share a memory at

verheyden.org.

William Thomas Peters

Died: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Age: 78
Former Grosse Pointe resident William Thomas Peters, 90, died Sunday Oct. 7, 2012, in Kalamazoo. He was the former director of the Grosse Pointe Public Library.He was born Aug. 29, 1922, in Lyons, N.Y. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and graduated from Syracuse University.Mr. Peters was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Harper Woods and later a member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Portage. He was also a member of the American Librarian Association and the ACLU and Rotary International.In his free time, Mr. Peters was an avid golfer, enjoyed woodworking, playing dominoes and watching sporting events.On April 2, 1945, he was united in marriage with Frances Catherine Sterk, by whom he was predeceased April 28, 2006. He also was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, James and Edward Peters.Mr. Peters is survived by his son, Stephen Peters Sr. (Kathryn) of Portage; three grandchildren, John Peters (Aimee) of Portage, Stephen Peters Jr. of Kalamazoo and Christina Cassell (Cameron) of Nashville, Tenn.; sister-in-law, Florence “Timmy” Luke of Kalamazoo; and many nieces and nephews.A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1150 W. Centre Ave., Portage, with Fr. Robert F. Creagan, presiding.Graveside services will held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 25800 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield. Share a memory at langelands.com.
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