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Marilyn Smith Wood

Died: Monday, August 08, 2011
A celebration of life service for Grosse Pointe resident Marilyn Smith Wood will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms.

Mrs. Wood, a loving mother, cherished grandma Mimi and dear friend, peacefully passed away Monday, Aug. 8, 2011.

A life-long resident of Grosse Pointe, she was an accomplished artist and interior designer.

Mrs. Wood is survived by her children, Christine (Sheldon) Wardwell, Jane (Charles) McFeely, Robert (Tricia) Wood, all of Grosse Pointe; Candace (David) Lancaster of Seattle, and Martha (Bill) Cyphers of Haverford, Pa. She also is survived by 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society, 296 Chalfonte, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236.

Michael William Nehra

Michael William Nehra

Died: Sunday, August 07, 2011
Age: 63
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Michael William Nehra, 63, died peacefully Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, surrounded by his wife and children at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He fought a long and courageous battle against kidney cancer.

He was born June 9, 1948 in Detroit to Backus “Turk” and Barbara Nehra and graduated from Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods in 1966.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in the Vietnam War.

Mr. Nehra enjoyed golfing, boating and sports and was a member of the American Legion.

Mr. Nehra is survived by his loving wife, Laura; adoring children, Kellie (James) Fanaras, Jennifer (Eric) Hoffman, Jade and Michael R. and dear grandchildren, Joshua and Autumn Fanaras and Michael, Kathryn, Jane, Colin and Sydney Hoffman.

He also is survived by his mother, Barbara; mother- and father-in-law, Shirley and Robert Elliott; sisters, Michele Leonard, Mary (Kim) Waldo and Joan Sherburn; brothers, John, Vern and Phil (Jil) and many loving family members and friends.

He was predeceased by his father.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon, Friday, Aug. 12, at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier Road, Grosse Pointe Park. Visitation begins at 11:30 a.m. at the church.

Donations may be made to the Michael W. Nehra Memorial Fund.

Express condolences or share a memory at verheyden.org.

Nunzio John Ortisi

Nunzio John Ortisi

Died: Friday, August 05, 2011
Age: 85
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Nunzio John Ortisi, 85, died peacefully Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.

He was the beloved husband of 55 years to Josephine (nee Leone) and the cherished father of JoAnn (the late Alan) Gerlach, Rosario (Cindy) Ortisi and Virginia (Drew) Lelli and adoring grandfather of Brian, Mary, Anna and Maria. He was the eldest of five most caring and loving siblings: Joseph (Josephine), Dominic (Mary), Frank (Pauline), Angeline (Charlie) Tringali and Marie (Mike) Maloney and is survived by many caring nieces and nephews.

Mr. Ortisi graduated from Wayne State University and became a certified public accountant. From 1958 to 1986 he worked for the City of Grosse Pointe Park as comptroller and city clerk.

He enjoyed baseball and Italian opera, but his undivided love was for God and his family.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 11 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Donations may be made to the Capuchin Monastery, 1750 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207.

Express condolences or share a memory at verheyden.org.

Nunzio J. Ortisi

Nunzio J. Ortisi

Died: Friday, August 05, 2011
Age: 85
Longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident, Nunzio John Ortisi, 85, died peacefully Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, surrounded by his loving family,

Born in Augusta, Sicily, he immigrated to the United States at age 3. He was the eldest of six children who remain close to this day. Every Wednesday, the four brothers would go out to lunch and spend the afternoon together.

Mr. Ortisi grew up in Detroit, attended Cass Tech High School and Wayne State University, earned a degree in accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant. He worked for the firms, Purdy, Donovan and Beal and White, Bower and Prevo.

From 1958 to 1986, he worked for the City of Grosse Pointe Park as comptroller and also became the city clerk. He loved the challenge of his job, as well as the people with whom he worked. After his retirement from Grosse Pointe Park, he continued his career as the chief financial consultant for the Ryba Fudge Company of Mackinac Island and Caramagno Foods Co.

He was a member of the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club, having just received his 20-year pin. He served on the stewardship and education committee for several years at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

Mr. Ortisi was an avid baseball fan. He was a good player and was the second baseman for the Detroit Fireman Midgets League with Art Houtteman, who later became a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Because of his athletic abilities, Mr. Ortisi was awarded a silver medal for the Detroit Regional decathlon meet.

He enjoyed classical music, especially Italian opera, of which he knew all the lyrics. His friends and family characterized Mr. Ortisi as “the personification of a gentleman,” but his undivided love was for God and his family.

Mr. Ortisi is survived by Josephine, his loving wife of 55 years; his children, JoAnn (the late Alan) Gerlach, Russ (Cindy) and Virginia (Drew) Lelli; grandchildren, Brian, Mary, Anna and Maria, as well as three brothers and two sisters.

A funeral service was held at Verheyden Funeral Home, Grosse Pointe Park. A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 11 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Woods.

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

Barbara Townson Weller

Barbara Townson Weller

Died: Thursday, August 04, 2011
Age: 88
Barbara Townson Weller, 88, of Grosse Pointe Farms, died peacefully Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, at home.

“Boo” as her friends affectionately called her, lived life to the fullest. Laughter, a strong sense of humor, and speaking her mind were hallmarks.

She was a strong supporter and volunteer for several local charitable organizations, including the Neighborhood Club and Sigma Gamma, where she served on the boards of directors.

Mrs. Weller’s passions included bridge games and the Detroit Lions, the team she loyally followed for more than 60 years.

She was born in Rochester, N.Y., May 17, 1923. She graduated from Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn., in 1941 and then attended Sarah Lawrence University. During World War II, she worked for Pan American Airlines in Miami.

She married Gordon A. Weller, also of Rochester, in 1948 and they moved to Detroit, where he went to work for Bundy Tubing Co.

Mrs. Weller is survived by a son, Gordon “Tim” Weller, daughter-in-law, Lynn Van Dine Weller, of Chatham, Mass., and three grandchildren. Her husband, Gordon, and a daughter, Leslie, died in 2003.

Her memorial service will be private. She will be interred at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Chatham, Mass., where she owned a summer home.

Donations may be made to the Neighborhood Club, 17150 Waterloo, Grosse Pointe, 48230; Services for Older Citizens, 17150 Waterloo, Grosse Pointe 48230; or the Sigma Gamma Foundation, P.O. Box 36373, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236.

Marshall Noecker

Marshall Noecker

Died: Monday, August 01, 2011
Age: 96
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Marshall Noecker, 96, died Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.

Born on a farm June 10, 1915, in Sanborn, N.D., he always remembered his North Dakota roots, especially as the place where he developed his will to succeed.

He graduated in 1938 from the University of Minnesota and in 1939 received the 732nd CPA license granted in the United States.

Mr. Noecker operated multiple businesses in the aluminum industry. His last, and largest firm, International Extrusions, is the largest employer in Garden City.

He rose above personal tragedy, losing at a young age his wife, Harriett, mother of his four oldest children. He then married Sandra Wilkinson Noecker, a mother of two young sons. Together, Marshall and Sandra had two more children. He was most proud of raising his family of eight children.

He came to Detroit in 1946 to work for Kaufmann Window and Door, America’s first aluminum storm window maker. He purchased the company in 1952, and became a pioneer in the post-war aluminum industry. He was an early manufacturer of aluminum outdoor chairs, awnings, windows, doors, bus shelters and entranceways.

Mr. Noecker was a founding member of the Michigan Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and ran on a statewide ticket for the Republican Party in 1960 with George Romney.

He also was a founding member of St. James Lutheran Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, of which he was its first treasurer.

Mr. Noecker loved traveling. His magnetic personality brought him into contact with many of the 20th century’s well-known personalities, such as his life-long friend, Trammel Crow, and his first employer and mentor, Andrew Higgins.

While working for the Higgins Boat Co. during World War II, Mr. Noecker worked with then Sen. Harry S. Truman when the senator came to review the company for the U.S. Senate. His career brought him close to several presidents of the United States, British prime ministers, Asian royalty and U.S. business tycoons. Mr. Noecker’s good friend, Tony Spellar, a member of English Parliament, introduced him to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with whom he swapped signed copies of their memoirs.

Author of six books, Mr. Noecker will be missed by those who knew him and loved him.

Mr. Noecker is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sandra; son, Richard Spangler; son, Gregory Spangler, his wife, Merrilee and their children, Duncan and Victoria; son, Nicholas Noecker, his wife, Danielly and their daughters, Ava and Bebe and his daughter, Alexandra Ferrara, her husband, Dr. Richard Ferrara and their sons, Richard and Marshall.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Harriett. He is survived by his children with Harriett: son, Marshall Noecker, his wife, Carlee and their daughters, Dana and Lindsey; daughter, Ann Dawson, her husband, Murray and their daughters, Lauren and Letitia; son, William Noecker, his wife, Peggy and their children, Drew and Leah; daughter, Nancy Debosek and her husband, Dick.

He also is survived by his great-grandson, Maxwell.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at his longtime church home, St. James Lutheran Church, 170 McMillan Road, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Donations may be made to St. James Lutheran Church, 170 McMillan Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Frances Gowen

Frances Gowen

Died: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Age: 95
St. Clair Shores resident Frances Gowen, 95, died Sunday, July 31, 2011.

She was the beloved wife of Culmer, who predeceased her, and the dear mother of Fred. She also is survived by her grandchildren, Gary, Kathleen and Karen and great-grandchildren, Cameron, Austin, Kirk, Paige and Olivia.

Mrs. Gowen grew up on a farm in southern Indiana in a family of six children. She played basketball at Oakland City High School. She always enjoyed sports and attending the Little League games and Neighborhood Club basketball and soccer games of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also was a dedicated Detroit Tigers fan.

Mrs. Gowen also liked gardening and preparing special meals for her family and friends. She enjoyed traveling to Indiana to visit her siblings.

She was a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20205 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods. Visitation begins at 9 a.m.

Charles Allen Petrie

Charles Allen Petrie

Died: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Age: 71
Charles Allen Petrie, 71, died Sunday, July 31, 2011, at his home with his family by his side. He was a retired Grosse Pointe Park police sergeant.

Born Jan. 15, 1940, in Detroit to John and Lola Petrie, Mr. Petrie was involved in the Fraternal Order of Police during his career and in retirement. He also was a member of Detroit Elks Club No. 34 BPOE.

He loved telling funny stories about his experiences while serving as a policeman and spending time on his boat “Was a Fuzz” on Lake St. Clair.

Mr. Petrie is survived by his wife, Joann; children, Stacia (Josh) Ford and Tess Petrie (Matt Gould); daughter-in-law, Theresa; grandchildren, Luke and Lola Ford; sister, Lola Newman and brother, Walt Petrie.

He was predeceased by his son, Donald; his parents and his sister, Jackie.

A memorial gathering will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, followed immediately by the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to F.O.P. Grosse Pointe Lodge #102.

Debra Cole-Bahanovich

Debra Cole-Bahanovich

Died: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Age: 55
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Debra Cole-Bahanovich, 55, passed away Sunday, July 31, 2011, after a two-year battle with breast and brain cancer.

She is survived by her husband, Mark Bahanovich; daughter, Carrie; grandchildren, Morgan, Gabriel and Robert; sisters, Sherry (Larry) Bischoff and Brenda (Fred) Sauter; her twin brother, John (Jackie) Cole and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces.

She was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Margaret Cole.

She will best be remembered for her devotion to helping others.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 20500 Anglin, Detroit. Instate at 9:30 a.m. until the service.

Donations may be made to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 20500 Anglin, Detroit, MI 48234 or a cancer charity of the donor’s choice.

Express condolences or share a memory at verheyden.org.

William O. Bradley Jr.

William O. Bradley Jr.

Died: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Age: 94
Longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident William Oscar Bradley Jr., 94, passed away Saturday, July 30, 2011, under the compassionate care of the staff at Beechwood Manor and St. John’s Hospice.

Mr. Bradley, known as Brad to his many friends and associates, was born Aug. 8, 1916, in Washington, D.C., the only child of William and Julia.

He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation after earning his accounting degree from Strayer College. He served as a special agent in Omaha, Neb., El Paso, Texas, and Miami. He was transferred to the Detroit office where he met and married his wife, Betty.

He advanced to assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit office and, after retiring from the FBI, served as vice president of Michigan Consolidated Gas Company.

The son of southerners with deep roots in the Carolinas and Maryland, Mr. Bradley was a true Southern gentleman — honorable, dependable and gracious. His family’s law firm was responsible for securing all the international permits and contracts for the first transcontinental underwater cables for AT&T.

A world traveler, he logged flights on the Concord, trips on the Orient Express and spent many Boxer Day holidays in London. A life-long horseman, he courted his wife on the dirt roads of Cook Road to and from the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club.

A member of numerous community organizations, including Kiwanis and the Masons, he was a past president of the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club. He never missed a luncheon at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial with his friends.

He was a past member of the Detroit Boat Club, Lochmoor Club, the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club and Circumnavigators. He was also a deacon and elder at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Bradley is survived by his two children, William, “Bill,” of Grosse Pointe Park and Ann, of New York City.

He was predeceased by his wife, Betty, in 2010.

Donations may be made to CANDER of Michigan, 8619 Edgewood Park Drive, Commerce Township, MI 48382 or the National Parkinson Foundation at parkinson.org.
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