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Barbara Anne Jackson

Barbara Anne Jackson

Died: Friday, November 21, 2008
Age: 88
Surrounded by family, Barbara Anne Jackson, 88, died peacefully at her St. Clair Shores home, Friday morning, Nov. 21, 2008. A former Grosse Pointe Woods resident, she was born and raised in Detroit and graduated from Northwestern High School in 1938. In 1941 she married Donald Jackson, her loving husband of nearly 64 years.

A devoted mother of three, Mrs. Jackson was proud of being a homemaker and an excellent cook. She enjoyed painting, sculpting, reading and playing tennis and golf. She also loved family vacations to northern Michigan and Florida.

Mrs. Jackson was active in her church. While living in Detroit, she served as program director at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Upon moving to the east side, she joined Salem Memorial Lutheran Church, playing a key role in church fundraising, beautification and member outreach. For her many years of service, she was named Woman of the Year by the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 2004.

Mrs. Jackson also was committed to her community. She was a volunteer at Luther Haven Nursing Home in Detroit for 10 years. While there, she started and supplied a sundries cart visiting all the residents several times each week, worked as a hairdresser and served as a personal secretary to Pastor Barb Andrews. Through her sorority, Alpha Tau Beta, Mrs. Jackson was involved with fundraising for the Michigan League for Crippled Children and The March of Dimes for more than 50 years.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Donald (Sylvia) Jackson of Tempe, Ariz., Tracy (Doug) Blatt of Grosse Pointe Farms and William (Debra) Jackson of Okemos; grandchildren Brian, Lauren, Callie, Will, Jeff and Scott; and great-grandchildren, Jackson, Campbell, Coco and Griffin.

She was predeceased by her husband, Donald W. Jackson, who died in 2005.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 at Salem Memorial Lutheran Church, 21230 Moross, Detroit.

Helen Cassidy Stevens

Helen Cassidy Stevens

Died: Thursday, November 20, 2008
Age: 92
Former Grosse Pointe resident Helen Marie Ervin Cassidy Stevens died Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 in Florida. She was 92.

Mrs. Stevens was born Oct. 13, 1916 in Detroit to Herschel Charles and Mabel Helen Guina Ervin. She attended Thircle School and St. Agnes School. In June 1934 she graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Monroe, then attended Sienna Heights College in Adrian and Wayne State University.

She married George Leo Cassidy in 1937 and in 1943 received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wayne State. She taught third grade for the Grosse Pointe Schools at Lochmoor School and also worked in the Grosse Pointe Public Library system.

She and her husband had three children. While raising her children, Mrs. Stevens earned her master’s degree in education from Wayne State in 1964.

Mrs. Stevens was a member and active volunteer of many organizations including the American Association of University Women, Friends of the Library, the Founders Society Detroit Institute of Arts, League of Catholic Women, American Bar Association Wives, the Women’s District Golf Association, Grosse Pointe Hunt Club, Womens Altar Society of St. Paul on the Lake, Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association, Pointe Bridge Group, Grosse Pointe Women’s Symphony Association, the Grosse Pointe Women’s Club, Women’s City Club of Detroit, Christ Child Society, Womens’ Association for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Historical Society. She was one of the organizers of the Grosse Pointe Lawyers Wives as well as a book reviewer and program chair for the Pointe Book Club in Grosse Pointe.

Mrs. Stevens volunteered with the American Red Cross, the Bon Secours Hospital Assistance League and Fontbonne Auxiliary of St. John Hospital.

Mrs. Stevens loved bridge, golf, league bowling, piano, and needlepoint.

She liked to travel and was an amateur photographer, 8 mm cinematographer and editor.

In 1969, her husband, George, died. After his death, she became a circuit court librarian in Detroit and a court recorder and judge’s secretary in Dearborn.

She maintained a widow’s membership with Bayview Yacht Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, the Detroit Boat Club and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

In 1982, Mrs. Stevens moved to North Palm Beach, Fla. to live with her daughter. She became active in her new community and while participating in social and religious activities, met Burrowes G. Stevens Jr. They wed in 1994.

She participated in the Elderhostel Conferences on a number of campuses throughout Florida and Georgia. She enjoyed spending time at the Stevens’ cottage on Great Diamond Island, Maine and listening to music through the concert series at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In 2006, Mrs. Stevens was placed in hospice care in Florida. In spite of her declining health, she displayed a graceful and dignified manner.

She is survived by her husband, Burrowes of Jupiter, Fla.; son, Kevin Clarke Cassidy of Houston; daughters Denise Anne Cassidy of Shorewood, Wis. and Mary Sheila Cassidy of North Palm Beach; three grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her first husband, George Cassidy; and her sister, Elizabeth Anne Ervin Kelly.

Matthew Berrien Smith

Matthew Berrien Smith

Died: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Age: 60
Grosse Pointe resident Matthew Berrien Smith, 60, died peacefully at his home Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008.

He was born Sept. 5, 1948 in Detroit to James M. and Elizabeth Smith. He joined a family of three wonderful older sisters: Sally, Nancy and Lucy.

Mr. Smith was the husband and dearest friend of Susan (nee Axsom) for 35 years. Always a proud father of his sons, Damon and Nathaniel, he felt blessed to welcome Damon’s wife, Gareth, and Nathaniel’s wife, Liesl, into his family. Most recently he became a loving and smitten grandfather to Evalyn and Olivia.

Mr. Smith graduated from Grosse Pointe High School and the University of Michigan, majoring in English. After graduation, he taught in Ann Arbor at Clague Middle School and Huron High School.

He then switched gears to focus on corporate training and video production at Magnetic Video in Farmington Hills where he managed the educational products division.

He later became self-employed designing and running creative problem solving seminars at Fortune 500 companies both in the Detroit area and nationally.

Returning to the classroom in the 1990s, Mr. Smith taught at Kennedy Middle School and Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores. He received an Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in the 1995-96 school year and in 2003 was given the Peacemaker of the Year Award by the Macomb County Youth Violence Prevention Council.

After retiring in 2005, he continued to stay in touch with students, encouraging them in their post high school endeavors. 

Mr. Smith was best known to his close friends as a poet, storyteller and collage maker. He was an active participant in performance poetry during the 1990s. He both competed in and judged slam poetry events at the Heidelberg in Ann Arbor.

He was a member of the 1994 Ann Arbor Slam Team competing at the National Slam Poetry Competition in North Carolina. He was the host and “slam master” of the first Detroit-based slam poetry series at the Magic Bag Theater’s “Word Slam.”

Mr. Smith also edited several poetry anthologies, and performed his poetry on radio, television and at a variety of theatrical events. After retiring from teaching, he focused much of his writing effort on memoirs of growing up in the Detroit area. 

Mr. Smith and his wife shared a love of travel and interest in different cultures. They taught and studied in Taiwan for a year in the 1970s before returning home to start a family. In 2002 they were able to return to Asia and travel in China.

In 2007 they attended the Michigan Hemingway Society’s annual meeting in Petoskey, where Mr. Smith was recognized for an “a la Hemingway” vignette about their life in Taiwan.

In addition to his wife, children, grandchildren, mother and sisters, he is survived by his brothers-in-law, Michael (Lucy) Hofmann and Floyd (Sally) Bailey; and many dear nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his father, James Morgan Smith.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 16 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms.

Memorial donations may be made to the All Saints fund at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 16 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 or Hospice of Michigan at hom.org.

Charles R. Wilson

Charles R. Wilson

Died: Monday, November 17, 2008
Age: 77
City of Grosse Pointe resident Charles R. Wilson, 77, died Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, at Henry Ford Nursing Home — Belmont in Harper Woods.

Mr. Wilson, known as “Bob” to his friends and family, was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Charles and Lucy Wilson. He graduated from high school in Niagara Falls and then from Eastern Michigan University and the University of Detroit Law School.

He was a highly respected private practice attorney for 42 years who truly enjoyed his work.

Mr. Wilson was a great family man. He enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He sang in the United Methodist Church choir for 40 years. He also played tennis.

Mr. Wilson is survived by Patricia, his wife of 56 years; son, David (Patti); daughter, Suzanne; and grandchildren, Alaina, David, Charlie, Matthew and Leah.

Memorial services were held Nov. 22 at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Memorial donations may bemade to the Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church choir, 211 Moross, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Henry O. Gesell D.D.S.

Henry O. Gesell D.D.S.

Died: Monday, November 17, 2008
Age: 77
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Henry O. Gesell D.D.S., 77, died Monday, Nov. 17, 2008.

He was born in Detroit to Henry O. and Delores Gesell and graduated from Detroit’s Southeastern High School. He received his Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Detroit School of Dentistry in 1960.

Dr. Gesell began practicing dentistry in 1960 in association with the late Dr. Paul Kowalchuk. Dr. Gesell later opened his own practice in St. Clair Shores where he worked as a sole practitioner until 2007.

He recently had joined the practice of Robert Masi D.D.S. in Harper Woods where Dr. Gesell continued to treat his patients.

He was an avid sailor, fisherman and alpine skier. He was a member of Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit since 1952 and was a former member of the Crescent Sail Yacht Club of Grosse Pointe Farms.

Dr. Gesell is survived by his daughters, Margy (Pat Bushey), June (Bill) Larkins and Laura; grandchildren, Riley and Carolyn Larkins; and sister, Barbara Vieira.

A memorial celebration will be held at noon, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at Lake Shore Presbyterian Church, 27801 Jefferson, St. Clair Shores.

Memorial donations may be sent to Give Kids a Smile, a University of Detroit program that serves children with unmet dental needs. Checks should be made payable and sent to The Macomb Dental Society (GKAS), c/o David Borlass D.D.S., 5412 Sherwood, Shelby Township, MI 48313.

Adele Barbara Moroun

Adele Barbara Moroun

Died: Friday, November 14, 2008
Age: 88
City of Grosse Pointe resident Adele Barbara Moroun, 88, died Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.

Mrs. Moroun was born in Dubois, Pa., the youngest of 13 children, and attended the University of Pennsylvania. She was the financial officer for Moroun Nursing Home.

She enjoyed painting and traveling.

She was a member of the Detroit Athletic Club, Grosse Pointe Artists Association, Women’s City Club, Fontbonne Auxiliary, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grosse Pointe Woman’s Club, and St. Paul’s Altar Society.

Mrs. Moroun is survived by her daughter, Barbara Cleek; son, John Moroun; grandchildren, Susan Azar and Sarah Gilmore; and great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Madeleine, Alexander, George and Graham.

She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. S.J. Moroun.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 18, followed by interment in Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Bonaventure Monastery, 1740 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207; or the Salvation Army, 615 Slaters Lane, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22313.

L. Renee Ross

Died: Friday, November 14, 2008
Age: 78
L. Renee Ross (formerly Lucille Eisenbrey), 78, of Bosque Farms, N.M. died Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, peacefully in her sleep after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Ms. Ross is survived by her devoted husband, James Spencer Barnett, six children, 11 grandchildren, six nieces and nephews, and four beloved dogs.

Her extended family will miss this most extraordinary woman.

Born in Cleveland in 1930, Ms. Ross enrolled in nursing school where she met her first husband, Dr. Arthur B. Eisenbrey Jr. They moved their growing family to Grosse Pointe where she remained until 1985.

Ms. Ross’ restless mind and immense energy were expressed in a culinary flair, raucous piano playing and singing sessions, beautiful needlepoint, intense games of bridge, Scrabble, gin rummy, Risk and backgammon, an amateur acting career and political activism.

Following her divorce, Ms. Ross returned to school to earn both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration in just three years at Wayne State University.

She then worked at the Detroit Area Agency on Aging to create innovative programs to bring area youth to work in the elderly community.

She served on the board of the League of Women Voters and she also chaired the Detroit-East Chapter of the Older Women’s League.

For those many contributions to the community, she was honored by the Michigan Legislature with a joint resolution in 1985.

Ms. Ross then moved with her new husband, Spencer, to Bosque Farms where they designed their home and where she lived until her death.

She worked as a supervisor with the New Mexico Department of Human Services in the Income Support Division, retiring after 10 years.

She served as a docent at the New Mexico Natural History Museum between trips to Europe and around the United States to visit her friends and children.

Her 28 years with Spencer, 23 of them in her adopted home of New Mexico, were the happiest of her life.

A family remembrance/reunion will be held in 2009.

Charlotte Danaher Vaughan

Charlotte Danaher Vaughan

Died: Friday, November 14, 2008
Age: 88
Former Grosse Pointe resident Charlotte Danaher Vaughan, 88, died Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn after a brief illness.

She was born in Charlottenburg, Germany, Feb. 1, 1920, and immigrated to the United States with her parents and older brother when she was three years old.

She attended Mount Holyoke and Grinnell colleges and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College. After graduation she lived in New York City and worked at ABC Radio, which she referred to as one of the happiest periods of her life.

She married James P. Danaher Aug. 31, 1946. After a brief stay in Placerville, Calif., the couple moved to Grosse Pointe Shores where they raised their five children.

After divorcing in 1971, she married Henry F. Vaughan Jr. on May 18, 1977 and the couple moved to Stuart, Fla. The family, which now included Mr. Vaughan’s four children, enjoyed many summers up at Old Mission near Traverse City.

Mr. Vaughan died in Florida in 1988, and Mrs. Vaughan continued living there until 1997 when she moved to Henry Ford Village, a retirement community in Dearborn. During her 11 years there, the staff said she “always had a smile on her face.”

Mrs. Vaughan enjoyed reading, art, particularly Impressionist painting, writing in her journal, playing bridge, Frank Sinatra songs and watching tennis matches on television.

She supported many local artists in Petoskey and Stuart buying their handmade craft works. She was a devout Roman Catholic.

Her father, Dr. Charles W. Brabbee, was awarded numerous patents for inventions in the heating and air conditioning industry and was a guest lecturer at both Columbia and Yale universities. Her brother, Ralph A. Brabbee, was director of marketing services at the Kimberly Clark Corp.

Mrs. Vaughan was especially proud her family did well in the United States as first generation immigrants, and she had a special place in her heart for the Statue of Liberty.

Mrs. Vaughan is survived by her children, James Jr., Eileen (Frank) Traum, Thomas (Mallory) Danaher, Steven Danaher and Kathleen (Dave) Rybicki; grandchildren, Christopher Danaher, and Kelly and Brooke Danaher; and stepchildren, Terry Vaughan, Wendy (Bob) Brickman, David Vaughan and Vicki Vaughan Bush.

Services were held at Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park. Interment will be at the Dunedin Municipal Cemetery in Dunedin, Fla.

Memorial donations may be made to SOLEIF, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Inc., Att: Donor Services, 17 Battery Place No. 210, New York, NY 10004-3507 or by calling the foundation at (212) 561-4588.

Helen F. Rice

Died: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Age: 88
Former longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident Helen F. Rice, 88, died Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008, at her home in Jupiter, Fla.

She was born in Detroit to Helen and Peter V. Barr and graduated from Southeastern High School in 1936. She attended Detroit Business Institute and worked as an executive secretary at McDonald and Company Investments in Detroit.

Mrs. Rice was a longtime volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and also volunteered at Bon Secours Hospital. She loved opera, playing bridge and Tigers baseball.

She was a member of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

Mrs. Rice is survived by her son, Kenneth J. (Leslie) Rice; daughters, Nancy (James C.) Dee, Arlene (John D.) Lewis and Carolyn (Donald T.) Darling; grandchildren, Jennifer (Eric) Holdt, Kieran J. Dee, Ryan J. Dee, John C. Lewis, Melanie (Colin T.) Darke, Maureen Lewis, Carly (John) Rejc, Aaron K. Rice, Philip J. (Katherine) Darling, Adam B. Darling and Casey Darling; and great-grandchildren, James and Delaney Holdt and Lindsay Darke.

She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph J. Rice; and brother, Edward L. Barr.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at St. Paul on the Lake, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1450 Centrepark Blvd., Suite 210, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

Helen F. Rice

Died: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Age: 88
Former longtime Grosse Pointe Woods resident Helen F. Rice, 88, died Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008, at her home in Jupiter, Fla.

She was born in Detroit to Helen and Peter V. Barr and graduated from Southeastern High School in 1936. She attended Detroit Business Institute and worked as an executive secretary at McDonald and Company Investments in Detroit.

Mrs. Rice was a longtime volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and also volunteered at Bon Secours Hospital. She loved opera, playing bridge and Tigers baseball.

She was a member of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

Mrs. Rice is survived by her son, Kenneth J. (Leslie) Rice; daughters, Nancy (James C.) Dee, Arlene (John D.) Lewis and Carolyn (Donald T.) Darling; grandchildren, Jennifer (Eric) Holdt, Kieran J. Dee, Ryan J. Dee, John C. Lewis, Melanie (Colin T.) Darke, Maureen Lewis, Carly (John) Rejc, Aaron K. Rice, Philip J. (Katherine) Darling, Adam B. Darling and Casey Darling; and great-grandchildren, James and Delaney Holdt and Lindsay Darke.

She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph J. Rice; and brother, Edward L. Barr.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at St. Paul on the Lake, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1450 Centrepark Blvd., Suite 210, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
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