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Martha Jane Nyboer

Died: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
City of Grosse Pointe resident Martha Jane Nyboer, 103, died Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, peacefully in her home of almost 60 years.

She was born Nov. 22, 1910, in Marengo, Ill., and her family moved to Detroit in the 1920s. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 1933 after attending Oberlin Kindergarten Primary Training School and the University of Michigan. In 1939, she married Dr. Jan Nyboer of Holland, Mich., who died in 2000.

Mrs. Nyboer was involved in activities at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church such as sewing, charity projects and music programs. She enjoyed entertaining family and friends in her home. She and her husband had many travel adventures which took them around the world to places such as Paris, Prague and India. Mrs. Nyboer would take along her watercolors to these destinations and capture the scenes that interested her.

Another great interest was gardening and she was a loyal member of the Grand Marais Branch garden club. She also was an active member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority until recent years.

Mrs. Nyboer is survived by her daughter, Gretchen Perla (Ron); sons, Jan Nyboer (Bernadine), Peter Nyboer and Lee Nyboer (Anne); eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the Stephen Ministry for their care and friendship.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Donations may be made to Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236-3783 or Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake at


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Marian Coyle

Died: Monday, September 15, 2014
Age: 83
Marian Coyle, 83, died Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

She was the beloved wife of Jerry; proud mother of Robert, Thomas (Elise), Patrick (Cynthia), Gerald (Marianne and Mary Louise Coyle and grandmother of Hanley, Connor, Elizabeth, Charles, William, Oliver, Gerald, Michael, John and Henry.

She also is survived by her siblings, Catherine Boettcher, Joseph Mack (Joyce) and Janet Holtgreive (James) and brother-in-law, Thomas Walsh.

She was predeceased by her sister, Margaret Walsh.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at noon Saturday, Sept. 20, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Donations may be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.

The Rev. David L. Brecht OSA

Died: Saturday, September 06, 2014
Age: 75
The Rev. David L. Brecht OSA, former pastor at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Park, died Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, following a two-year struggle with a leukemia-like blood disease. He was 75.

Born David Lloyd Brecht Oct. 17, 1938, in Detroit, to John Lloyd and Mary Brecht he graduated in 1956 from Austin Catholic Preparatory High School in Detroit. He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wis., Sept. 8, 1956, and ordained a priest, Feb. 6, 1965. In 1961, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

In 1965, the Rev. Brecht earned a master’s degree from Villanova and a diploma in counseling from Salesian University, Rome, in 1967. He earned a Master in Education degree from Loyola University in and a doctorate in education administration, also from Loyola.

After ordination, the Rev. Brecht was assigned to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, as a teacher and chaplain. He later taught at Villanova University and became principal of St. Rita High School in Chicago. In 1985, he was appointed headmaster of Cascia Hall School in Tulsa, Okla. After serving in various capacities at churches and schools in Illinois and Oklahoma, he was named minister of St. Clare. In 2011, he became headmaster of Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township, and in 2012, was relieved of his duties at St. Clare to enable him to give full attention to Austin.

After he was diagnosed with myelodysplasis, he resigned as headmaster, but continued to teach until June when declining health led to his retirement.

The Rev. Brecht was named an Outstanding Educator of America in 1972 and was inducted into the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 1980. He published several articles and served on numerous educational commissions and task forces.

He will be remembered for his love for the priesthood, the Augustinian Order, St. Augustine and for music, particularly Gregorian chant.

The Rev. Brecht is survived by his siblings and spouses, John and Geraldine Brecht, Paul and JoAnne Brecht, Tom and Ann Brecht Stock, Tom and Mary Ann Brecht, Mark and Mary Brecht, and Greg and Michelle Brecht and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

He will be deeply missed by many other relatives, friends, former students and parishioners.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, until time of Mass at 6 p.m. at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier, Grosse Pointe Park.

Donations may be made to the Augustinians, 5401 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615.

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Lois Jane Beard

Died: Saturday, September 06, 2014
Age: 92
Lois Jane Beard, 92, died Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, surrounded by her loved ones.

She was born Feb. 8, 1922, in Detroit to Carolyn Thomas Reichard and Lloyd Reichard. She graduated from Southeastern High School and attended Michigan State University, where she met Thomas B. Beard. They were married from 1943 until his death in 1966. The couple raised their four children, Tom Jr., Nancy, Cathy (deceased 1982) and David, in Grosse Pointe Woods.

In 1969, Mrs. Beard began a 23-year career as the administrative assistant to the president and board of trustees of St. John Hospital. She loved her job and the St. John community.

She loved to golf, play tennis, ski, read, cook, entertain friends, play bridge, volunteer at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial and help others.

Mrs. Beard lived the last 27 years of her life at Woodbridge East in St. Clair Shores, where she will be remembered for her beautiful geraniums, service on the board of directors and daily walks. She loved to sit on her porch and greet people and their dogs as they walked by. She was a longtime member of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Mrs. Beard’s family is grateful for the dedication of the caregivers who took loving care of her in her home the last six years, as well as to the provider, HealthCall of Detroit.

In addition to her children, Mrs. Beard is survived by grandchildren, Gwennie, Rebecca, Thomas, Elizabeth, Christina, Tommy, Laura and Caitlyn; seven great-grandchildren and daughters-in-law, Olga, Eva and Ann.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. the same evening, at the funeral home, led by her beloved minister, Randy Boelter of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Donations may be made to Christ the King Lutheran Church, 20338 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.

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Jeffrey Lynn Pierson

Died: Saturday, September 06, 2014
Age: 59
Former longtime Grosse Pointe resident Jeffrey Lynn Pierson, 59, died Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. He most recently lived in Harper Woods.

He was born Sept. 25, 1954, in New Haven, Conn., to Davison Pierson and Sally Pierson. He graduated in 1972 from University Liggett School and studied at the University of Denver and Wayne State University.

Mr. Pierson had eclectic interests including, rock and roll music and playing guitar. He enjoyed tennis, golf, hockey, deep sea fishing and surfing.

He is survived by his mother, Sally, and was predeceased by his father.

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

Donations may be made to the Detroit Zoological Society at detroitzoo.org.

Keith A. Lawrence

Died: Thursday, September 04, 2014
Former longtime Grosse Pointe resident Keith A. Lawrence, beloved husband of Denise, loving father to Kristen, James and Keven, and grandfather of Noah, passed away Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, he remained an avid Ohio State fan, although he spent most of his life in Michigan, graduating from Grosse Pointe South High School, where he ran cross country, was involved in the band and choir programs and earned the Eagle Scout award, and Central Michigan University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

Mr. Lawrence loved animals and during his lifetime owned many well-loved dogs. He owned a pet store during the 1990s, combining his career path in retail sales with his passion for animals. He began his career in retail management with S.S. Kresge Company/Kmart, was a manager with RadioShack and served as an executive with Boy Scouts of America. Most recently he worked in electrical sales at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Warren.

Travel was another of his passions and he enjoyed cruising as well as travels to Europe and Japan. Among his favorite trips were several to Hawaii and his most recent trip to Puerto Rico to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

In addition to his immediate family, Mr. Lawrence is survived by his brother, Michael Lawrence; sister, Linda Lawrence Hoke; brother-in-law, Randy and niece, Heather.

He was predeceased by his parents, Clark and Barbara Lawrence, longtime educators in Grosse Pointe and owners of Grosse Pointe Pre-Kindergarten.

Mr. Lawrence’s life was celebrated with a service Sept. 8 at E.J. Mandziuk and Son Funeral Directors in Sterling Heights, followed by interment at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society at donate.cancer.org or the Michigan Humane Society at michiganhumane/goto/Keith_Lawrence.

Virginia Backus Caulkins

Died: Thursday, September 04, 2014
Age: 92
Virginia Backus Caulkins, 92, died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in Hobe Sound, Fla.

She was born in Detroit to Lotta and Standish Backus and graduated in 1940 from the Ethel Walker School, in Simsbury, Conn. She brought up her five children in Grosse Pointe Farms and Shores while spending summers in Manchester-by-the-Sea and Gloucester, Mass. She enjoyed many outdoor sporting activities including skiing, golfing, shooting and playing tennis and was an avid bridge player.

She was a member of the Country Club of Detroit, Grosse Pointe Club and Jupiter Island Club, as well as Tau Beta Association, Protestant Children’s Home Grosse Pointe and Garden Club of Michigan.

Mrs. Caulkins is survived by her four sons, Robin, Randolph, Standish and Timothy (Suzanne Tucker); daughter, Dr. Shelley Marks (Dr. Erik Gaensler) and grandchildren, Nicholas Gaensler and Hatley McMicking.

She was predeceased by her husbands, Gen. Alfred L. “Budd” Marks and Edward B. Caulkins Jr.; sisters, Barbara Jewett and Dorothy Lunken and brothers, Standish Backus and Charles Backus.

No funeral service will be held.

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

Janet Philippart Drolshagen

Died: Monday, September 01, 2014
Age: 82
Longtime Grosse Pointe resident Janet Philippart Drolshagen, 82, died Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, at her home surrounded by her loving family.

She was born Jan. 10, 1932, in Detroit, to Helen (nee Carr) and Howard Philippart and graduated from Our Lady of Mercy High School in 1949. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and performance from Marygrove College in 1953. She performed as soloist, accompanist, teacher, church musician, conductor and arranger and choral director. Her repertoire ranged from classical and sacred, to show music and popular modern.

Mrs. Drolshagen was a board member of the Grosse Pointe Symphony, Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, Marygrove College, Austin Catholic Preparatory High School, Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church and a member of the Wednesday Music Club and Beaumont Assistance League.

She was the beloved wife of Leo Francis Drolshagen for 59 years; dear mother of Leo (Barbara), Rev. Jerry, Joseph (Janet), Nancy Ponkowski (Timothy) and Catherine; cherished grandmother of Leo IV, Colin (Katie), Eric and Helen Drolshagen, Joseph, Cara, Micaela and Jacob Drolshagen, Elizabeth, Timothy, Michael and Jennifer Ponkowski and Abigail and Anita Shah. She was the loving great-grandmother of Madelyn, Audrey, Ellen and Julia.

She also is survived by her dear sisters, Sr. Mary Barbara S.C., Kay Srebernak (Bill) and Betty Philippart.

Mrs. Drolshagen was devoted to her Catholic faith, her beloved family and the joy of music.

A funeral Mass has been celebrated.

Donations may be made to the seminarian fund of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Seminarian Sponsorship Program, P.O. Box 4116, Corpus Christi, TX 78469.

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Donald V. Clark

Died: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Age: 55
Donald V. Clark, 55, of Jenison, passed away Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, after a two-year battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held at noon Friday, Oct. 3, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Mr. Clark was born May 15, 1959, in Detroit, graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1977 and attended Babson College in Boston. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980 and, after completing basic training at the USMC Recruit Depot, San Diego, served on board the U.S.S. Blue Ridge, homeport Yokosuka, Japan, with extended periods in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Mr. Clark worked with his father at Michigan Rivet Corporation in the Detroit area and Petoskey facilities throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s.

He had many interests, but his passion was the adventure of the open road. He parlayed his love of cross-country motorcycle riding into a career as a Teamster, and spent more than a decade as an owner-operator in the long-haul transportation industry. For the last five years, he covered regional routes for SpartanNash and was a proud member of the Teamsters Union, Local No. 406.

Mr. Clark is survived by his children, E. Kelly and Logan; mother, H. Jane Clark; sister, Patricia Clark-Martin; brothers, Thomas and Robert Clark; several nieces and nephews; and the rest of his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his father, Thomas M. Clark.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 310, White Plains, NY 10605 or at lls.org.

Matthew Amos Houghton Jr. D.O.

Died: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Age: 72
Matthew Amos Houghton Jr., D.O., 72, of Glen Arbor, passed away peacefully Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, at Munson Medical Center Hospice House with his beloved wife, Barbara Ann, “Barbie,” by his side.

He was born May 17, 1942, at Jennings Hospital in Detroit to Matthew A. Houghton Sr., D.O., and Jane Elizabeth Hunter Houghton. A Rotary kid and musician, he graduated from Grosse Pointe High School in 1960, played the French horn in the band, guitar in his performing group and sang soprano solo in the Christ Church Grosse Pointe Boys Choir.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in classical music from Olivet College, where he was president of the Kappa fraternity, and a medical degree in 1969 from A.T. Still College of Osteopathy and Surgery in Kirksville, Mo.

Throughout his childhood, his family spent summers on Big Glen Lake. In October 1970, his love of the Leelanau Peninsula cinched his decision to become director of medical education and a full-time emergency room physician at the Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital. He established the Empire Clinic with the Detwiler Drugstore in Empire on June 12, 1971, and on Oct. 1, 1971, married Barbara Ann Beckett of Traverse City.

Dr. Houghton celebrated the 40th anniversary of his country family/sports medicine/emergency practice in 2011. Many of his patients have had no other doctor in their lives.

Dr. Houghton led the county emergency training drills, and served as chief medical examiner for Leelanau County (41 years), Benzie County (12 years) and Grand Traverse County (14 years).

He was a fixture on basketball court and football field sidelines and was team physician for the 1978 Lady Lakers who won the Girls State Basketball Championship. The Michigan Legislature paid tribute to Dr. Houghton in 1979 for initiating the “Glen Lake Plan” which assigned specific responsibilities to each member of a coaching staff in the event of injury to an athlete. The plan has been adopted by high schools throughout the nation.

Dr. Houghton promoted lifelong staff development, senior citizen health education and medical/safety learning opportunities for high school students. He developed water rescue training for the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department and Advanced Life Support training for the Leelanau County EMT-S. As an associate clinical professor of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Wayne State University College of Medicine, hundreds of medical interns and residents rotated through Dr. Houghton’s Empire and Glen Arbor Medical Arts offices.

Dr. Houghton was the medical director of the Michigan Special Olympics (1986-2008), the medical director of the North American Vasalopett and U.S. Ski Association (1980-2001) and director of the Northwest Michigan Sports Medicine Clinic (1978-2013). He often consulted for organizations as varied as the National Transportation Safety Board, the Union Internationale Motonautique, the Central Military Command of the United Arab Emirates, the USAF Capsule Recovery Team, the Navy Seals and the Federation of Italian Motorboating.

Dr. Houghton served as director of the Mark Lavin Memorial Offshore Med-ical and Safety Foundation Inc., which provides training on medical safety protocols to members of offshore racing communities in 26 countries. The foundation’s efforts have resulted in the design and manufacture of safer hulls, cockpits, helmets and personal safety devices.

Dr. Houghton loved a Sunday afternoon drive in his Guards Red Porsche 911 Targa with a whale tail. He was one with canines — including a number who were grateful for his skill in removing porcupine quills.

Dr. Houghton is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann Beckett Houghton; sister, Nancy Jane Elizabeth Hunter Houghton, D.O., (Cindy); godmother and aunt, Estelle Johnson, formerly of Grosse Pointe; father-in-law, James J. Beckett and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his mother-in-law, Dorothy Alice Beckett.

Family members thank the staff members of Munson Medical Center, Orchard Creek, Integrity Home Health Care, Great Lakes Therapy House Call and the Munson Hospice House as well as the patients, friends and colleagues who sent messages and prayers.

A viewing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth Street, Traverse City.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, in the gymnasium of Glen Lake High School.

Donations may be made to Dr. Matt’s Dreams Account, State Savings Bank, c/o Shirley Lawson, P.O. Box 476, Empire, MI 49630; The Leader Dogs for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307; or Glen Arbor Fire and Rescue Association, P.O. Box 417, Glen Arbor, MI 49636)

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