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Obituaries


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July 10, 2014 Issue
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Wilson Aaron Blair Jr.

Died: Friday, July 04, 2014
Age: 80
Wilson Aaron Blair Jr. passed away suddenly Friday, July 4, 2014, with his loving wife, Marilynn by his side, on his favorite holiday.

Born July 11, 1933, in Acup, Ky., Mr. Blair enlisted in the U.S. Navy and went ashore in Korea with the First Marine Division, Medical Battalion to assist the injured. Returning safely, he used the G.I. Bill to matriculate at Western Michigan University and later the University of Michigan. He dedicated 40 years to the students in Ferndale Public Schools.

After retiring, Mr. Blair devoted himself to his family, pets, gardening, home improvements, travel and lending a hand whenever needed.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Blair is survived by his children, Bobby and Amy, Timothy and Beverly, MaryLynn and Rob; most beloved grandchildren, Danielle, Sarah, Scott, Joseph, Allison, Alyssa, Marlena, Patrick, Hunter, Tommy and Victoria; sisters-in-law, Betty Blair, Jeanne Marie Williams and Shirley and John Franchi. He will be missed by his adoring puppies, Sweetie and Lovie.

He was predeceased by his parents, Wilson and Lina; in-laws, Edward and Hazel; brothers, James and Jay; sister, Frieda, and brother-in-law, Eddie Metry.

Many cousins and friends will miss his helpfulness, work ethic, patriotism and devotion to family. His neighbors will miss the many decorations he displayed for every holiday.

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 9 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Mary Jane Brennan

Died: Monday, June 30, 2014
Age: 83
Mary Jane Brennan, 83, died peacefully Monday, June 30, 2014, at Sunrise on Vernier in Grosse Pointe Woods.

She was born March 30, 1931, in Detroit, to William and Ilene Howard, grew up on Detroit’s east side and graduated from Dominican High School in 1948. She graduated from Marygrove College in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree. On Oct. 11, 1952, she married Thomas Brennan at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Detroit.

Mrs. Brennan was a home economics teacher. She started teaching in 1960 at Grosse Pointe High School and then at Grosse Pointe North High School when it opened in 1968. She retired in 1989.

Mrs. Brennan enjoyed reading, traveling, sewing, cooking and baking. She was involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s activities, attending many sporting events, recitals and family trips. She was known for her sense of humor and enjoyed entertaining family and friends, especially during the holidays.

Mrs. Brennan is survived by her children, Mary Jo Charboneau (Tom), Thomas A. (Nanci), Ellen Kossarek (Mark) and William (Robin); grandchildren, Kevin Brennan (Ceci), Pat Brennan (Lori), Chris Charboneau, Terry Brennan (Dorrie), Katie Lamb (Tim), Meghan Charboneau, John Charboneau (Evie), Mary Kossarek, Sam Brennan and Stephanie Brennan and seven great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas, in 2006.

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 7 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, St. Clair Shores.

Donations may be made to the Capuchin Monastery, 1820 Mt. Elliott Street, Detroit, MI 48207 or Marygrove College, Office of Funds Development, 8425 West McNichols, Detroit, MI 48221-2599.

Dorothea Hunter Fox

Died: Friday, June 20, 2014
Age: 94
Dorothea “Mickey” Hunter Fox, 94, a California native who lived most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, as well as many years in Grosse Pointe and Boynton Beach, Fla., died peacefully Friday, June 20, 2014, with her daughters tending her.

She was predeceased by her loving husband of 39 years, Robert Boyd Hunter; loving husband of 21 years, Karl O. Fox; and beloved son, Robert Boyd Hunter Jr.

Mrs. Fox’s family and friends will remember her as a beautiful, candid and vibrant personality, with sparkling eyes, a sharp mind, ready wit and generous heart. A dedicated wife, mother and homemaker throughout her life, she often said she had been deeply fulfilled by these traditional roles.

Mrs. Fox enjoyed cooking, entertaining, interior decorating, sewing and knitting, while staying closely involved in her four children’s school and social lives. In recent years, refusing to be left behind by the computer age, she did her best to deal with e-mail and Facebook on her iPad. She never quite mastered Twitter.

She had a wry sense of humor and quick mind. In the 1920s, she was one of the Terman gifted children (high I.Q.) in the Stanford-Benet I.Q. study, which tracked her throughout her life. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. There, as a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, she met several lifelong friends.

Mrs. Fox is survived by her children and stepchildren, Molly Hunter Giles of Canandaigua, N.Y., Sarah Hunter Ferries (Jeff) of Napa, Calif., Patricia Hunter Fisher of Montpelier, Vt., Brian Fox (Joan) of Citrus Heights, Calif., and Karen Knudtsen of Boise, Idaho; grandchildren, Nathaniel Weis (Sally), Kathryn Weis, Karlie Knudtsen Coviello (Garth), Morgan Fox Seaman (Augie), Susannah Fox, Ted Fox, Tracy Ferries and Stephanie Alison and great-grandchildren, Cooper, Hunter, Olivia and Jake Weis, Abigail Seaman, Marley Alison and Grace Coviello.

The family wishes to thank those who lovingly cared for Mrs. Fox during her last weeks and months.

Donations may be made to Sutter Care at Home – Hospice, 110 Stony Point Road, Suite 200C, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, or a favorite charity.

Family contact: mollygiles@rochester.rr.com.

Antoine Haouilou

Died: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Age: 76
Antoine Haouilou, 76, passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 1, 2014, surrounded by his family.

He was born March 20, 1938, to Badaoui and Elvira Haouilou in Arbet Khozhia, Lebanon.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Violette Haouilou, and his loved and loving children, Teresita Haouilou, Tony Haouilou and his wife, Jacqueline Haouilou, Odette Haouilou Dougherty and her husband, John Dougherty, and Jimmy Charbel Haouilou.

‘Abuelito’ also is survived by his adored grandchildren, Jonathan, Sophie, and Ana Dougherty and Claudia and Andres Haouilou; sister, Marie Haouilou Mahfoud (the late Milen Mahfoud); brother, Kabalan Hawilo (Henriette) and many nieces and nephews.

He is loved and survived by his extended family, the Abiragis, all of whom were like his brothers and sisters.

Mr. Haouilou loved God, his family and his community. His family said he was loved and remembered by those who had the fortune of knowing him.

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 3 at St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church, Warren.

Donations may be made to St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church, 31601 Schoenherr, Warren, MI 48088.

Victor M. LaFata

Died: Monday, June 09, 2014
Age: 47
Victor M. LaFata, 47, died Monday, June 9, 2014.

Born Sept. 26, 1966, in Detroit, he attended Robinson Elementary School in Detroit, then moved with his family to Grosse Pointe Park, where he attended Maire Elementary School and Pierce Middle School. He graduated in 1985 from Grosse Pointe South High School and attended Wayne State University and Michigan State University.

Mr. LaFata was employed at The Country Club of Detroit beginning in 1980 and worked there as an honor caddy, until the time of his death. He was the personal caddy for William Clay Ford, as well as many other prominent Grosse Pointers. He also worked at Lochmoor Club; Center For Evaluation and Rehab, a physical therapy clinic in Warren; J.L. Hudson Co.; and the Neighborhood Club, where he supervised senior citizen recreational programs.

Mr. LaFata’s many interests included playing varsity soccer at South, hockey and football in elementary school and tennis at Wimbledon Racquet Club and Eastside Tennis and Fitness. He was also an accomplished drummer. He played in the Grosse Pointe South symphonic and concert bands. He enjoyed all kinds of music, especially classic rock.

He was a Spartan football fan, as well as a Detroit Lions and Tigers fan. He also enjoyed going to the movies. Rocky films were his personal favorites.

Mr. LaFata is survived by his mother, Suzanne LaFata of Grosse Pointe Park; sister, Lauren Clune (Michael) and nephews, Matthew and Brendan Clune all of the City of Grosse Pointe.

He was predeceased by his father, Joseph LaFata and brother, Joseph M. LaFata.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Paul Catholic Church, June 17 with a reception at The Country Club of Detroit.

Memorial donations may be made to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, 90 Park Avenue, 16th floor, New York, NY 10016, or at bbrfoundation.org.

Ronald Rayl

Died: Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Age: 87
Ronald Rayl, 87, died Wednesday July 2, 2014, at The Villages in Florida.

He was born in Emmett to Kenneth Rayl and Thelma Soulle, graduated from college and was a sales manager with Barnes Industries Inc. in Madison Heights.

Mr. Rayl was a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II. He enjoyed golfing and socializing with friends.

Mr. Rayl is survived by his sons, Francis, Robert, Christopher and Thomas; daughter, Diane and grandchildren, Randi Harvey, Whitney Dice, Timothy Rayl, Michael Rayl, Joseph Seaver, Dave Seaver, Katlin Seaver and Danny Seaver.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife, Margaret Rayl; second wife, Mary Devine-Rayl, and close friend, Helen Ryan.

A funeral Mass will be held at a future date at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Park.

Lois K. Smith

Died: Thursday, April 03, 2014
Age: 86
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Lois K. Smith, 86, died Thursday, April 3, 2014.

She was the beloved wife of James; loving mother of Constance (Walter Liskiewicz) and Carrie (Cynthia Swain); dear sister of Milton (Mall) Kionka, and grandmother of Ian, Erin, Matthew and Cameron.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at St. James Lutheran Church, 170 McMillan Road, Grosse Pointe Farms.

James/Katherine Trebilcott/Richard

Died: Monday, November 18, 2013
Age: 96
A combined memorial service for longtime Grosse Pointe resident James J. Trebilcott, who passed away Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at age 96, and his daughter Katherine Anne Trebilcott Richard who passed away Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in East Lansing, will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Mr. Trebilcott was predeceased by his wife, Maureen, and is survived by sons, Ronald (Lois) and Michael Trebilcott.

Ms. Richard is survived by her husband, Philip.

Donations may be made to Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, 1210 West Saginaw, Lansing, MI 48915 or St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

John Van Vleck

Died: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Age: 94
Former Grosse Pointe resident John Van Vleck, 94, died Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Jean, and identical twin brother, William. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Van Vleck Webster of Scottsdale.

Mr. Van Vleck was a veteran of World War II serving in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines. While a member of the military police he also played basketball for the United States in Europe during the war. He taught physical education at Finney and Mumford high schools in Detroit for more than 30 years.

Mr. Van Vleck was a loyal Detroit Tigers, University of Michigan, Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Rattlers fan.

His family said anyone who knew Mr. Van Vleck enjoyed his positive spirit, witty comments and kind heart. He had a powerful sense of humor and never lost it during the time he fought Alzheimer’s disease.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, July 12, at Hansen’s Mortuary, 6500 East Bell Road, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Donations may be made to the American Service Animal Society at dogs4vets.org.

Frances Edna Vaughn

Died: Saturday, July 05, 2014
Age: 94
Frances Edna Vaughn, 94, passed away peacefully Saturday, July 5, 2014, at Sunrise Senior Living in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Mrs. Vaughn was born Aug. 15, 1919, in Saginaw, to John and Gertrude Baker.

She grew up in Detroit, attending grade school and high school at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School. She also attended Marygrove College, where she was active in the Delta Psi Sorority.

While in the eighth grade at St. Charles, she met Joseph J. Vaughn, whom she married March 25, 1944. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

At St. Charles, Mrs. Vaughn met many of her lifetime friends and together they raised their families in the Grosse Pointe area. She was a resident of the Grosse Pointes from 1956 until the time of her death. A devout Catholic, she was an early parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church and later a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. She was active in the Our Lady Star of the Sea Rosary Altar Society, the Girl Scouts of America and the Austin Catholic Preparatory High School Mother’s Club. Mrs. Vaughn enjoyed playing golf and bridge and was a lifetime member of Lochmoor Club and Lost Lake Woods Club.

As a loving and devoted mother, her family said Mrs. Vaughn was proud of her Irish heritage and taught by example the importance of a smile, a positive attitude and a good laugh.

Mrs. Vaughn is survived by her husband, Joseph J. Vaughn, and children, Kathleen A. Hickel (Gerard) and Jacqueline L. O’Boyle (Paul); Marybeth Grosfield (Richard), Jeffery J. Vaughn (Patty) and Thomas S. Vaughn (Patti), and James M. Vaughn (Ellen).

She was also loved by her 22 grandchildren: Richard (Mary Ann), Gregory (Jaclyn) and Merrill Grosfield; Catherine Vaughn-Gillman (Eric); Cecelia, Patrick and Audrey Vaughn; Joseph Vaughn II; Julia Evans (Trefor); Anne Marie Miller (Christopher); Robert Aumer (Meredith); Meridith Markovitz (Eric); Kathryn Bachey (Jeffrey); Gerard Hickel (Maureen); Lauren Ferguson (James); Jacqueline Mueller (Luke); Ashley Lee (Matthew); Deirdra Wisniewski (John); Logan Franko (Brad); and Mary Kate, Bridget and Elizabeth Vaughn, as well as 27 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Vaughn was predeceased by her sisters, Mary Ruth Hopp (David); Kathryn Kennedy and Barbara Heiss.

Visitation will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods. Rosary will be at 7 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Friday, July 11, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 22412 Overlake Drive, St. Clair Shores. Visitation begins at 11 a.m. at the church.

Donations may be made to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 22412 Overlake Drive, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080-2498 or Capuchin Mission Center, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.

James Robert Versical

Died: Sunday, June 29, 2014
Age: 63
Former Grosse Pointe Shores resident James Robert Versical, 63, died Sunday, June 29.

He attended St. Joan of Arc and Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic schools and graduated from Austin Preparatory High School. While attending Northern Michigan University, he developed a passion for woodworking.

He practiced his craft in Wisconsin and New York, as well as in his home state. He excelled at designing and creating fine furniture from timber he harvested in northern Michigan. He was also a skilled construction worker and carpenter, and once sailed to Portugal in a boat he helped build.

Mr. Versical is survived by his son, James Thomas; sister, Ann Crowley, and brothers, Joseph Jr. (Linda), David (Janice) and Robert.

He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Catherine, and brother, John (Pamela).

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, 211 Moross, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Donations may be made to Cass Community Social Services, 11850 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI 48206.
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