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Michael P. Looney

Michael P. Looney

Died: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Age: 59
Former Grosse Pointe Park resident Michael P. Looney, 59, died Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 at St. John’s Senior Community.

He was born June 6, 1949 in Detroit to Christopher and Anne Looney.

Mr. Looney graduated from both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. He was self-employed in the real estate business.

Mr. Looney was also an antiques collector.

He is survived by his sister, Alice M. Kenifeck; brother, Christopher Looney Jr. and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Thursday, Feb. 19, at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier, Grosse Pointe Park. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Chicago.

Memorial donations may be made to Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Contributions — VE01FS, 4100 John R, Detroit, MI 48201.

George B. Blair III

George B. Blair III

Died: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Age: 62
Grosse Pointe Park resident George B. Blair III, 62, died Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Mr. Blair was born Feb. 2, 1947 in Grosse Pointe Farms to Sgt. George Blair and Margaret Palmer. He leaves behind a loving family and many friends.

Mr. Blair graduated from Grosse Pointe High School in 1965. He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969. After living in Hawaii for several years he returned to the Grosse Pointes and worked as director of purchasing for the John Johnson Co. in Detroit.

He became the assistant director of parks and recreation for Grosse Pointe Park and worked up until his recent illness.

He had a love of boating and the water and he was harbor master for the 268 boats in the Windmill Pointe Park marina. He was also the editor of the “Communicator,” Grosse Pointe Park’s community newsletter.

Mr. Blair loved sports and boat racing and was an avid movie fan and trivia buff. Known as “Mr. Book of Knowledge” to family and friends, he was called upon to solve many a questionable fact.

He was an Eagle Scout and a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit.

Mr. Blair is survived by his loving brother, Frederick of Millersville, Md. and sister, Elizabeth formerly of Grosse Pointe Park, now living in Lenox Township.

He was predeceased by his parents.

A celebration of Mr. Blair’s life will be held noon Friday, Feb. 13, at the Tompkins Community Center in Windmill Pointe Park, 14920 Windmill Pointe Drive, Grosse Pointe Park.

Ralph J. Kliber

Ralph J. Kliber

Died: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Age: 90
Longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident Ralph J. Kliber, 90, passed away suddenly Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009.  

He was born May 10, 1918 in Detroit and graduated from St. Cecilia’s High School. Mr. Kliber earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit School of Commerce and Finance in 1940, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Detroit Law School in 1945.

Mr. Kliber met his wife, Alice, in 1941 on a blind date. They married in 1943 and had three children. All three of their children became lawyers.

While earning his law degree, Mr. Kliber worked as an accountant for Rutten Welling & Co. and became managing partner in 1964. In 1969 he joined what is now Deloitte & Touche where he headed the firm’s national small business department.

He turned to law full time in 1980 when he became a partner at Fischer, Franklin, Ford, Simon & Hogg. In 1993, he opened his own law practice where he continued working full time until his passing.

Throughout his six-decade career as both CPA and attorney, Mr. Kliber held many distinguished positions including past president of the Michigan Association of CPAs and Accountancy Foundation where he was a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, past professor of auditing at the University of Detroit, member of the governing council of the American Institute of CPAs, past chairman of the board at Bon Secours Hospital, past president of the Bon Secours of Michigan Foundation, past president and treasurer of the One Hundred Club of Detroit which helps the widows and orphans of police and firemen who die in the line of duty, board member of the Mt. Elliott Cemetery where he served since the mid-1940s, a 50-year member of the Detroit Athletic Club, and co-author of the Michigan Accountancy Act. 

A lifelong Roman Catholic and active church member, he served his beloved church in many capacities including past president of the Cardinal Club, lector at both Our Lady Star of the Sea and St. Paul on the Lake churches. He enjoyed the behind the scenes work as a weekly columnist for Our Lady Star of the Sea Sunday bulletin for 40 years. He received great comfort and joy from his faith.

Mr. Kliber, who once piloted his boat around the lower peninsula of Michigan, had a lifelong passion for boating. He was a member of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club for nearly 50 years and was commodore in 1971. He was club historian, chairman of the past commodore’s club, and 2007 Member of the Year.

With his wife and many good friends, he enjoyed traveling the world with The Nomads where he was able to enjoy his hobby, photography. He was the past chairman of the Nomads and a member for nearly 40 years.

He attributed his lifelong good health to camping every summer of his boyhood with his family at Orchard Beach in Manistee.  

Mr. Kliber is survived by Alice, his beloved wife of 65 years; daughter, Elizabeth A.; son, Thomas; five step-grandchildren; brothers, Edward and William and many nephews and nieces.

He was predeceased by his son, James.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 16 at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods. 

Memorial donations may be made to The Capuchin Monastery, 1740 Mount Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.

Henry Earle III

Died: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Age: 73
Henry Earle III, 73, died Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. He was a lifelong resident of Grosse Pointe until his retirement in 1996 when he moved to Naples, Fla.

Mr. Earle was a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy, Trinity College and The University of Michigan Law School. He was a partner in the law firm of Clark Hill.

He was a member of the Grosse Pointe Club, The Yondotega Club and the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club.

Mr. Earle is survived by his wife, Melinda, and son, Clifford Earle of Los Angeles.

Memorial donations may be sent to Phillips Andover Academy, 180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810.

Share memories with the family at fullerfuneralhome.com.

Joan vander Zee Towar

Joan vander Zee Towar

Died: Sunday, February 08, 2009
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Joan vander Zee Towar, died peacefully at home on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2008.

Mrs. Towar was the daughter of a former vice president at Chrysler Corporation. She was a former fashion model, fashion coordinator and department manager at Saks 5th Avenue, Detroit.

A graduate of Mount Vernon College, Washington D.C., she was a member of the Michigan Humane Society, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institute.

She was predeceased by her husband, AJ “Bud” Towar Jr. and sister, Virginia Gale vander Zee.

She is survived by her stepdaughter, Kimbriel Towar-Colton and two stepsons, A.J. Towar III and Phillip Towar Wright. She also is survived by her loving cat, Charley.

Her family and friends will miss her warm smile and gracious heart.

Memorial donations may be made to the Grosse Pointe Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 36366, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 or Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption, 296 Chalfonte Ave, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Jane Linda Thompson

Died: Saturday, February 07, 2009
Age: 88
Longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident Jane Linda Thompson, 88, died Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at St. Anne’s in Southfield. She lived in Grosse Pointe Woods for 50 years until moving in 2004 to live closer to other family members.

Mrs. Thompson was born Feb. 22, 1920, in Danbury, Conn. to John Burzinski and Anne Zdanio. She graduated in 1937 from Pershing High School as a class valedictorian and vice president of the senior class. She received a scholarship to the University of Michigan, but declined it choosing instead to work at a doctor’s office to help support her parents.

She worked at National Machine from 1947 to 1949. She also was the executive assistant and bookkeeper for a company owned by Mr. C. Brackett of Grosse Pointe Park who was one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Dollar a Year Industry Leaders.

Mrs. Thompson was a member of the St. Jude Circle Women’s Club, the Rosary Alter Society at Our Lady Star of the Sea and a Girl Scout and Brownie leader.

She enjoyed gardening, dressmaking and working with other people to improve their lives and circumstances. She was a good friend and confidante to all who knew her.

She is survived by her daughter, Lynn Thompson Gibbons of San Diego and Kay Miller of Beverly Hills; grandchildren, Lindsay and Meghan Miller and her brother John Burzinski of Danbury, Conn.

A funeral service was held Feb. 10 at A.H. Peters Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Institute — Detroit Chapter, 24359 Northwestern Highway, Suite 225, Southfield, MI 48075.

Joyce W. McCormick

Died: Friday, February 06, 2009
Age: 88
Joyce Woodcock McCormick, 88, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and longtime resident of Grosse Pointe, died Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, in Albany, N.Y.  

Born Joyce Margaret Woodcock July 31, 1920, in Northampton, England to Ernest and Margaret Woodcock, she moved to Philadelphia in 1925 and then to Windsor, Canada in 1926. Along with her brother, Leonard Woodcock, and her parents, she moved to Grosse Pointe Park the following year.

She married Jay William McCormick in 1954 and lived with him in Grosse Pointe until his death in 1997. 

An avid reader and supporter of the arts, Mrs. McCormick graduated from St. Ambrose High School in 1938 and attended Wayne State University. She worked for 42 years in the Grosse Pointe Public Library system, retiring in 1986. 

Mrs. McCormick is survived by her daughter, Molly McCormick Brindle of Saratoga Springs; her son, Jay Allan McCormick of Denver, Colo., and her twin step-daughters, Margaret McCormick Ramey of Bethesda, Md., and the Rev. Marcia McCormick Davenport of St. Petersburg, Fla.; as well as eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She also is survived by her lifelong friend, Bernice Cottrell of Grosse Pointe Farms; her nephew, John Woodcock of Los Angeles and her nieces, Leslie Woodcock Tentler of Washington, D.C., and Janet Woodcock of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.  

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28 at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms.

Her ashes will be interred next to those of her husband at Christ Church Grosse Pointe.

Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army of Detroit, 1200 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226; or to the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, 10 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe, MI 48236.

The family also wishes to give thanks to the staff of the Community Hospice of Albany County for their help during Mrs. McCormick’s final days.

Sterling E. Graham Jr.

Sterling E. Graham Jr.

Died: Thursday, February 05, 2009
Age: 80
Grosse Pointe Farms and Vero Beach, Fla., resident Sterling E. Graham Jr., 80, died Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, at Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach.

Mr. Graham was born Oct. 29, 1928, in Cleveland. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he met his future wife of 54 years, Mary Mulford Graham. They resided in Grosse Pointe Farms where they raised their three children.

Mr. Graham was a dedicated family man and beloved member of the community. He was a securities trader with W.C. Roney & Company for more than 40 years.

Mr. Graham was an avid golfer, boater and loved to dance, play paddle tennis, travel and spend time with his family. He was a member of the Grosse Pointe Farms Police Support Unit, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, was a past president of the Securities Traders Association, as well as a past commodore of the Grosse Pointe Farms Boat Club.

Mr. Graham was a member of the Country Club of Detroit and the Moorings Club.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Andrea (Michael) Mattei and Cathy (PJ) Boatwright; son, Sterling (LeeAnn) Graham III and grandchildren David and Lisa Matttei, Graham, Casey and Jack Boatwright and Christine Graham. Mr. Graham also is survived by his sister, Jane Champ.

He was predeceased by his brother, Thomas.

A memorial service was held at St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Vero Beach. A memorial service also will be held in Grosse Pointe at a future date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Indian River Medical Center, 1040 37th Place, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Elinor R. Whiteley

Elinor R. Whiteley

Died: Thursday, February 05, 2009
Age: 92
Clinton Township resident Elinor R. Whiteley, 92, died Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, at the Church of Christ Care Center.

Mrs. Whitely was born Feb. 8, 1916, in Cincinnati to Allona and Maurice Katz. She graduated from Wayne State University in 1940.

She is survived by her son, John Allison Whitely; grandchild, Jack Howard Whiteley and great-grandchild, Jayden Howard Whitely.

Inurnment will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit.

Arrangements were handled by A.H. Peters Funeral Home.

Mary Ellen Floer

Mary Ellen Floer

Died: Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Age: 78
Longtime Grosse Pointe resident Mary Ellen Floer, 78, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, at home with her children by her side.

She was born Oct. 9, 1930, in Detroit to Lawrence and Marguerite Antrim. She was a lifelong Grosse Pointer who attended Maire Elementary and Pierce Junior High schools and graduated from Grosse Pointe High School in 1948.

Mrs. Floer received her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and her master’s in education from the University of Michigan.

She began her teaching career as a student teacher at The Keating School in Detroit. She was so well-liked by students, peers and parents, they did not want her to leave when an opportunity became available in the Grosse Pointe school system. She spent 30 years working at Maire Elementary. Once again, Mrs. Floer was adored by her students, their parents and other faculty members.

Mrs. Floer enjoyed traveling, playing Yahtzee, water aerobics, playing piano and volunteering at her church. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society, International Beta XI Chapter and the Beaumont Assistance League Group VII. She was a devoted volunteer in her retirement.

Mrs. Floer is survived by her son, Michael Lawrence; daughters, Kathryn Suzanne of Evergreen, Colo. and Stacey Noonan of Francis, Utah; grandson, John Francis Noonan III of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; her beloved godson, Richard M. Mitchell and many loving nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Donald S. Floer.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 7 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, where she was a member for 30 years. Interment was in Resurrection Cemetery, Clinton Township.

Memorial donations may be made to Beaumont Hospice, 1200 Stephenson Highway, Troy, MI 48083.
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