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M. Robert Chandler

M. Robert Chandler

Died: Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Age: 68
Former Grosse Pointe Farms resident M. Robert “Bob” Chandler, 68, passed away Tuesday, May 4, 2010, in Farwell next to the river he loved to fish. The medical examiner feels Bob’s heart just stopped.

His family said Bob lived passionately, with purpose, and was a special person who made a difference in the lives of many. His life and legacy, almost 69 years long, was defined by his love and loyalty to friends and family. Life, in all its variety, was beautiful to Bob and he shared his love and eternal optimism with those who knew him. He had the ability to turn the most challenging situations into positive experiences.

Bob attended Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Ill., and was an all-state quarterback for the state champion Lions football team. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Class of ‘63, and had tremendous pride being a former starting quarterback for the Wolverines.

Bob also had an incredible gift for finding beauty in all things and he used this talent to create unique homes, business ventures and patents. He was a passionate outdoorsman who loved boating, fly-fishing excursions, long visits with family, and relaxing at his riverside cabin in central Michigan with his family and pals. 

Bob enriched the lives of many, including his ex-wife and cherished friend, Ann Cronenweth Chandler of Ann Arbor, formerly of Grosse Pointe Farms; his children, Scott (Dee) of Jupiter, Fla. and Stefanie (Tim) Rosa of La Jolla, Calif.; grandchildren, Ryan and Nicole; brothers, Clark, Ralph and Edward; sisters, JoAnn and Denise and his loving extended family of friends, cousins, nieces, nephews and his dearest core of “roomies” from U of M.  

Bob’s family expresses its gratitude for the tremendous support of friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, teammates and the University of Michigan.

A memorial service was held Monday, May 10, in Ann Arbor.

Memorial donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan Health System, 300 N. Ingalls, Room NI4D06, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 or at med.umich.edu/mott/help.

Hazen G. Ziegler

Hazen G. Ziegler

Died: Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Age: 77
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Hazen G. Ziegler, 77, passed away Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at Henry Ford Continuing Care in Roseville after a brief illness.

He was born Oct. 8, 1932, in Detroit to Henry and Bertha Ziegler. He graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit and earned a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and a specialist certification in education from Michigan State University. He joined the ROTC at WSU and remained in the arm for 30 years retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Ziegler was a long-term employee of Warren Consolidated Schools where he was a principal at Pennow and Fillmore elementary schools. He retired in 1987.

He was an avid golfer and enjoyed spending winters in West Palm Beach, Fla. and the summers traveling throughout the country with his Airstream trailer.

Mr. Ziegler is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Sally; daughter, Kathy Bronikowski and his son, Bruce Ziegler. His granddaughter, Alyssa Bronikowski was her Papa’s pride and joy.

He was predeceased by his parents and son-in-law, Michael Bronikowski.

Funeral services were held May 8 at First Christian Reformed Church in Grosse Pointe Park with interment at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

Memorial donations may be made to Outdoor Opportunity Fund, Attn: Disabilities Nature Trail, 16485 Congress, Clinton Township, MI 48038 or First Christian Reformed Building Fund, 1444 Maryland Ave., Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230.

Peter Charles Mullikin

Peter Charles Mullikin

Died: Sunday, May 02, 2010
Age: 67
Former Grosse Pointe Park resident Peter Charles Mullikin, 67, died Sunday, May 2, 2010, in Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix.

Mr. Mullikin was born in Detroit to Chilton and Sania Mullikin and graduated from Grosse Pointe High School and Ferris State University. He was a licensed general contractor who owned and operated a business in Orange County, Calif.

Mr. Mullikin enjoyed spending time with his family, golfing and camping. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 1767 in Newport Harbor, Calif.

Mr. Mullikin is survived by his son, Peter Mullikin Jr.; daughters, Stephanie Golden and Sarah Muns; grandchildren, Connor, Jacob, Avery and Maeve; his sister, Mary Pappas and his brother, Ted Mullikin.

He was predeceased by his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at Mariner’s Church, 170 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1501 East Flower, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

George Peter Coutilish

George Peter Coutilish

Died: Friday, April 30, 2010
Age: 84
Twenty-year Grosse Pointe Woods resident George Peter Coutilish, 84, passed away Friday, April 30, 2010, with his family by his side at his home overlooking Lake Shannon.

Born on Christmas Day in 1925 in Cleveland, he moved to Detroit in 1928 with his parents, Pete and Anna, and siblings, Aristides “Art” and Mataxa “Roxy.” He graduated from Detroit Southeastern High School in three years in 1941. At 135 pounds, he boxed for the Catholic Youth Organization, Diamond Belt and Golden Gloves. From 1948 to 1951, he lived upstairs and worked in his family restaurant, The Green Leaf Grill, on 12th Street in Detroit.

Mr. Coutilish was a Korean War veteran. He served his country as a U.S. Army cook in Korea from 1951 to 1952. In 1982, he completed a 30-year career as a senior designer at General Motors Corp., where he was recognized for creating the patented Coutilish Clamp.

During much of his 20 years in Grosse Pointe Woods from 1968 to 1987, he could be found most summer Sunday mornings cooking breakfast and hanging out with his family and friends at the city’s Lake Front Park. During those same years from fall to spring, he was a regular member of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church and a popular Sunday school teacher. From 1984-1987, he oversaw construction of his dream home, “Paradise,” on Lake Shannon.

In 2000, he celebrated his 75th birthday in grand style at Da Edoardo Grosse Pointe with family and friends. His brother, Art, best described him at that time saying, “You can’t find a better man around. He’s straight and honest. What better things can you say about a man?”

Mr. Coutilish is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Sue (nee Velas) and his children, Cynthia (John) Gray-Howey of Lake Orion, Pamela Scott of New York City, Peter (Christine) of Macomb, John (Theresa) of Rochester Hills, Theodore (Mary Beth Langan) of Grosse Pointe and Anastasia (James) Faremouth of Marco Island, Fla. He was the cherished grandfather, “papou,” of 10.

He also will be missed by many extended family members and friends.

A funeral service was held May 4 at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores with interment at Christian Memorial Cemetery in Rochester Hills.

Memorial donations may be made to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 21800 Marter Road, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.

Share a memory with the family at ahpeters.com.

Mark Robert Andzelewski

Mark Robert Andzelewski

Died: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Age: 22
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Mark Robert Andzelewski, 22, passed away Thursday, April 29, 2010.

He was born Sept. 26, 1987, in Dearborn to John and Denise Andzelewski and graduated from Grosse Pointe North High School in 2005.

He is survived by his parents and his best friend and brother, John James.

Mark enjoyed writing, film production, photography, music and playing guitar.

His family said Mark blessed their lives with laughter, courage, and love. He found many ways to channel his creative gifts while demonstrating heroic strength. His character throughout his life-long struggle was brave and positive.

His family thanked God for Mark and everything he taught them during his short time with them and believed that he finally found peace and freedom from pain. 

A private burial was held and a memorial is planned for later this summer.

Mary C. Peterson

Mary C. Peterson

Died: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Age: 88
Former Grosse Pointe Farms resident Mary Peterson died Thursday, April 29, 2010, two days before her 89th birthday, at Providence Hospital in Southfield.

She was born Mary Josephine Cone, May 1, 1921, in Bristol, Conn. Her family soon moved to Glen Cove, N.Y., where she lived until starting nurses’ training at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. She graduated in June 1942 and became a school nurse. Her life changed forever in September 1943 when she met Frank Peterson, who was attending the V-7 Navy program at Columbia University. They corresponded throughout World War II and married Oct. 12, 1946, in Glen Cove.

The new Mrs. Peterson and her husband moved several times — first to Michigan, then Indiana and Illinois. During those years, she focused on raising her family. She was active in the Girl Scouts, the local school board and other community activities. In 1964, she returned with her family to Michigan and resumed her nursing career in 1966 at St. John Hospital in Detroit.

As her career bloomed, she was promoted from staff nurse to charge nurse to supervisor and returned to the University of Detroit, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree to add to her RN. She joined the staff of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and became the assistant director of medical nursing in 1973.

After retirement in 1983, Mrs. Peterson soon became involved in the community and found fulfillment in her volunteer work and her family. For more than 20 years she managed the religious education library at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church and taught literacy at the Dominican Center for 15 years. Two years ago, she decided to give up yard maintenance and moved to Botsford Commons Retirement Community in Farmington Hills where she continued to use her library skills and sewing talents.

Mrs. Peterson is survived by her daughters, Marianne (Joseph) Polito and Karen McNally; granddaughter, Jennifer Robinson and two great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 6 at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Brighton.

Donations may be sent to Gleaners Community Food Bank, Livingston County, 5924 Sterling Drive, Howell, MI 48843.

Judy A. DeCosmo

Judy A. DeCosmo

Died: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Age: 68
Judy A. (nee Jaglowicz) DeCosmo, 68, died Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

She is survived by Ronald, her beloved husband of 49 years; children, Jackie (Bill) Williams, Jill DeCosmo and Robert DeCosmo and grandchildren, Amanda and Michael. She also is survived by her sister, Marilee (Richard) Rinke and Nancy (Donald) Kucyk.

Mrs. DeCosmo was a member of The Village Garden Club, The Quilt Guild and The Questers.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 4 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Woods with interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.

Share memories at WujekCalcaterra.com.

Mary Ficarra

Mary Ficarra

Died: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Age: 92
Former Grosse Pointe Woods resident Mary Ficarra, 92, died Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

She was born Oct. 24, 1917, in Detroit to Salvatore and Girolama Caminita, immigrants from Sicily, Italy. In 1936, she married Sam Ficarra and had two children.

Mary adored her family and showered them with love. She always greeted them with a big smile and open arms. She was funny, warm, and talented.

She loved to cook. She reveled in preparing big Italian meals, not only for family, but also for anyone who stopped by. Mouths watered in anticipation of her homemade pasta sauce, eggplant Parmesan, spedini, and so much more.

Mary’s other passion was beading. If she wasn’t stirring a pot of sauce, she was threading a needle. She would bead just about anything she could get her hands on. Her grandchildren joked that she would have beaded a car if she could. From clothes to purses to holiday ornaments, whatever she beaded became a brilliant work of art.

Her family said Mary touched the lives of those around her with goodness and love. She taught others to do the same, bringing more happiness to the world than there was before. She will live on in the hearts, minds, and actions of everyone who knew her.

She is survived by her daughter, Virginia Ficarra; grandchildren, Kathleen McNamara Wildwood, Karen McNamara Meier, Kristin McNamara Hull, Lisa Ficarra and Scott Ficarra and great-grandchildren, Andrew and Kevin Meier.

She was predeceased by her husband, Sam and son, Nate.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 1 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Woods with interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.

Raymond A. Fisher Jr.

Raymond A. Fisher Jr.

Died: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Age: 85
Harper Woods resident Raymond A Fisher Jr., 85, passed away Wednesday, April 28, 2010, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease and was reunited with his darling wife of 43 years, Betty. He had been a former longtime Grosse Pointe Park resident.

Mr. Fisher was a veteran of World War II, serving both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. He was a retired special agent from the Prudential Insurance Co. of America with more than 32 years of service.

Mr. Fisher was a devoted usher of St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church for more than 46 years and had been active in the St. Clare Young People’s Club before and after he married as well as other church activities throughout his membership there.

He also was a member of the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club for 22 years, dedicated 15-year volunteer of Bon Secours Hospital, member of the Grosse Pointe Veterans Club, and a former president of the St. Joan of Arc Senior Card Group, along with being a member of other various local card groups.

Mr. Fisher is survived by his children, Richard D. (Ann) Fisher, Nancy F. ( Dr. Tom) Day and Raymond A. (Karen) Fisher III; grandchildren, Sarah M. (Gregg) Schwartz, Raymond A. Fisher IV, Drew Fisher, Thomas W. Day and Karen (Justin) Farrell; great-grandchildren, Brayden and Camdyn Schwartz and Odin Farrell; sister, Shirley F. (Joseph) Barton; brother-in-law, Louis R. (Ilene) Meyers and many nieces and nephews. He also is survived by his beloved friend, Bess Vigliotti.

He was predeceased by his wife, Betty; sister, Marie and sister- and brother-in-law, Barbara and Richard Kroll.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 1 at St. Joan of Arc Church in St. Clair Shores.

Memorial donations may be made to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207 or Beaumont Foundation for the Bon Secours Chapel, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007-9620.

Raymond R. Tessmer

Raymond R. Tessmer

Died: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Age: 98
Longtime Grosse Pointe Park resident and Detroit auto dealer Raymond R. “Trader Ray” Tessmer, 98, died Saturday, April 24, 2010.

Born June 6, 1911, he grew up on the family farm at the corner of 12 Mile Road and Dequindre in Warren. As a youngster, he would wake at 2 a.m. with his dad and ride under the seat of a horse drawn wagon on its way to Detroit’s Eastern Market for the 6 a.m. opening.

As a boy, he loved tinkering with his dad’s Model-T Ford, changing clutch belts when his dad didn’t know it, and nurturing a mechanical desire to work at an auto dealership one day. His first job was at Ed Schmidt Chevrolet as a parts and service helper in 1927.

In 1930, he was hired by C & R Chevrolet after someone recommended him as “a young fellow who can make any car run.”

By 1932, a new owner bought the dealership with the help of loans from Mr. Tessmer and the dealership’s bookkeeper Rose Knauf. Shortly thereafter, Ray and Rose became husband and wife.

Over the next 10 years, Mr. Tessmer and his partner bought several other franchises. When his partner purchased Jefferson Chevrolet in Detroit in 1942, Mr. Tessmer purchased a 25 percent interest in the dealership and worked full-time as its general manager.

In 1953, Mr. Tessmer purchased sole ownership of Jefferson Chevrolet and quickly made his mark by implementing 24-hour service.

He earned his nickname “Trader Ray” by accepting almost anything that could be appraised as down payment on a vehicle. He used everything from odd jewelry to the occasional cow as down payment. He was a self promoter on area signs with his picture and “Trader Ray” became a Detroit area household name.

He was among the first dealers in the area to start a company pension plan and he diversified into the tire wholesale business as well. Many 30- and 40-year employees and their families provide testament to the business he developed.

Mr. Tessmer was a generous and active supporter of many community activities including church paper drives, Soap Box Derbies and hosted several Michigan-Ontario Muskie club parties at the dealership.

He served on the Chevrolet Dealer Council and was also president of the Greater Detroit Chevrolet Dealers Association.

Mr. Tessmer was loved by customers, employees, family and friends alike. He was the life of the party and enjoyed sharing the opportune “friendly drink.” His zest for the car business was rooted in a life of service and his legacy as a generous person and great Detroit businessman will not be forgotten by the many lives he touched.

Predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Rosanna, Mr. Tessmer is survived by his daughter, Sandra and her husband Jim; grandchildren, Jimmy, Brian and Stephanie and great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Grayson.

He also is survived by his sisters, Marie McClennan and Martina (Barney) Novak.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 29, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. at the church.

Memorial donations may be made to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.
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