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Ralph Brevig Soderberg, M.D.

Ralph Brevig Soderberg, M.D.

Died: Monday, December 17, 2007
Age: 78
Ralph Brevig Soderberg, M.D., 78, of Grosse Pointe Park, died Monday, Dec. 17, 2007.

He was born Oct. 22, 1929 in Los Angeles. He grew up there and went to Stanford University where he earned a medical degree. After two years in the U.S. Navy, he moved to Detroit in 1958 and then to Grosse Pointe Park in 1961 where he spent the rest of his life.

Dr. Soderberg practiced medicine at Jennings Hospital until it closed in 1979. He then moved his practice to Mack Avenue and affiliated with Bon Secours Hospital until his retirement in 1995.

Throughout his life, he was an avid stamp collector. In most recent years, he specialized in the stamps from Switzerland. He won several gold awards with his collections.

He was a member of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, where he would bowl and enjoy the friendship of many.

Dr. Soderberg is survived by his wife, four children and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Lucy Marie Ponczocha

Died: Sunday, December 16, 2007
Age: 92
Lucy Marie Ponczocha died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007 at Beaumont Hospital. She was 92 years old and a resident of Grosse Pointe Woods since 1988.

She was born Oct. 30, 1915 to Constantino and Mary Ernesto, Italian immigrants from Reading, Penn. After graduating from Reading High School, she went on to become a successful business woman.

As a manager for the Lerners Women Apparel Shops, she traveled to cities across the United States as a window display designer teaching her skills while pursuing her career.

In 1945, she met Joseph Ponczocha, a U.S. Marine. They married June 22, 1946 in Reading and moved to Detroit in 1947. She gave birth to five children, the first being a set of twin girls.

While raising her five children, she was a makeup consultant, which led her to give speeches and demonstrations to hundreds of women in the Detroit area. Later she worked as a sales consultant in a bridal shop.

She had a passion and love for Italian cooking. She was an avid sewer with a flair for interior design. In her later years she loved to read and do crossword puzzles. She was unique in her talents and personality.

Mrs. Ponczocha was the happiest when her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were around her. She loved to tell stories of her past experiences, culture and life.

In her later years, she struggled with many health problems including osteoarthritis, epigastric disease and multiple surgeries including hip and knee replacements. She had a strong will and sharp mind until the end.

She is survived by children Joan (Randall) Ryszewski, Jean (Richard) Mooney, Joseph (Maria), June (Lawrence) Przybysz, and John; grandchildren Michelle (Rodger) Hunwick, Renee Ryszewski, David (Gabriella) Ryszewski, Paul and Cheryl Mooney, Jennifer Ponczocha, and Ryan, Andrea and Matthew Przybysz, and Amanda and Andrew Ponczocha. She also is survived by great-grandchildren Lauren and Lillian Hunwick.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Joseph.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 20 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church with interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; Veterans for America, 1025 Vermont Ave., 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20005; or the Michigan Arthritis Foundation, 1050 Wilshire Drive, Suite 302, Troy, MI 48084-1564.

Robert F. Edwards

Robert F. Edwards

Died: Sunday, December 16, 2007
Age: 76
Former longtime Grosse Pointe resident Robert F. Edwards, 76, currently of Brighton, died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007.

Mr. Edwards enjoyed a long and successful career in the title insurance industry and was vice president, corporate marketing manager for the Chicago Title Insurance Co. prior to his retirement in 2000. He belonged to, and was active in, numerous trade-related associations and organizations.

He was a former member of the Detroit Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club and Gowanie Golf Club and an active member of the Detroit Athletic Club and the Detroit Golf Club. He was very proud to have “shot his age” several times and scored eight holes-in-one.

Mr. Edwards was also a member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and an avid fan and supporter of U of M football for many years.

His family said he was known for his smile, sense of humor, generosity and kind manner. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.

Mr. Edwards is survived by Karen, his loving wife and devoted life partner of 32 years; mother-in-law JoAnn Lingenfelter; brother-in-law Ken Lingenfelter; nephew David; and nieces Joanna, Jennifer and Julie.

He also is survived by his dear friends, Ed and Judy Burton of Lisle, Ill., and Doug and Colleen Hunter of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario.

Services were private. Memorial donations may be made to Evans Scholars Foundation, 1 Briar Road, Golf, IL 60029. Share memories with the family at DesmondFuneralHome.com.

Beverly Ann Eidt MacConnachie Remus

Beverly Ann Eidt MacConnachie Remus

Died: Saturday, December 15, 2007
Age: 78
Grosse Pointe Park resident Beverly Ann Eidt MacConnachie Remus, 78, died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, from a sudden illness.

She was born July 23, 1929 in Grosse Pointe Park to Herbert and Cerene Collins Eidt. Mrs. Remus was the beloved wife of Stanley Remus and the terrific mother of 10 children with her first husband, James MacConnachie, who died in 1981.

Mrs. Remus grew up in Grosse Pointe. She attended St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School, Dominican High School and was a 1947 graduate of Marygrove College.

She excelled in art. She studied and painted in watercolor for 20 years. She loved to travel all across the United States and journeyed to Europe, in particular Ireland and Scotland.

A lifelong reader, Mrs. Remus was a student of history and enjoyed passing on her knowledge of the events and people affecting our present lives. She believed strongly in community involvement and volunteered at St. Ambrose Catholic grade school library and with Meals on Wheels. She was involved with St. Ambrose Catholic Church, singing beautifully in the choir for 10 years.

Her family said she was a true Renaissance woman — one of a kind.

Mrs. Remus’s family will remember her as a “people person”, who always had the time to listen to and advise her friends and family. She found something in common with anyone she met. She was the peacemaker between siblings, family and friends.

Mrs. Remus was a strong, determined and opinionated woman who lived an authentic life on her own terms. Although she faced great adversity in her life, she overcame it with grace, dignity and a delightful sense of humor.

She is survived by her husband, Stanley; children Kathleen (Clint), James (Sara), William (Patricia), Kevin (Diane), Daniel (Kay), Maureen (Michael), Ian and Roseanne (Bennet); and 20 grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her first husband, James MacConnachie; children Douglas and Cerene; and her parents.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Services for Older Citizens, 17150 Waterloo, Grosse Pointe, MI 48230.

Lawrence Fabian Smith

Lawrence Fabian Smith

Died: Thursday, December 13, 2007
Age: 97
Lawrence Fabian Smith, 97, of Grosse Pointe Woods, died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, after a brief hospitalization. He was born Nov. 12, 1910 in Wilkes Barre, Pa. to Harry Smith and Mary Fitzpatrick.

After high school, he moved to New Jersey and worked in the plastics industry. He pursued his lifelong interest in theater as an actor and a sound technician with various New York City theater groups.

He served as a captain in the U.S. Army in the Chemical Corps. While serving during the European Occupation, he met his future wife, Patricia Riley, who was then working for the American Red Cross in Paris. They married shortly thereafter in her hometown of Chelmsford, England and moved to Staten Island, N.Y. They then moved to Chicago, where Mr. Smith began his career in the plastics industry. They had two children, Justine and Larry Jr.

In 1952, the family moved to the City of Grosse Pointe. Mr. Smith worked more than 35 years as a manufacturer’s representative for PISA Plastics. He was active in the Society of Plastics Engineers and served as its president for several years. He also served as past president of the Grosse Pointe Little League. He continued to pursue his interest in theater, remaining active in the Grosse Pointe Little Theater as a sound technician.

After retirement, he became an active supporter of the arts, serving as a board member and active volunteer for the Scarab Club, a local artist organization. He was a devoted volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program, delivering meals to homebound seniors in Grosse Pointe every week for eight years.

He is survived by his son, Larry Jr., (Fran); daughter Justine (Brian Taylor); and granddaughter Angelina.

He was predeceased by his wife, Patricia; sister Alice; and his parents.

Services were held Saturday, Dec. 15 at A. J. Desmond Funeral Home in Royal Oak. Share a memory with the family at desmondfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, 21885 Dunham, Clinton Twp., MI 48036

William N. Fritz

William N. Fritz

Died: Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Age: 89
City of Grosse Pointe resident William N. Fritz, 89, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, at his home. He formerly had lived in Grosse Pointe Park.

Mr. Fritz was born June 20, 1918 in Detroit to William and Wilhelmina Fritz. He was a 1936 graduate of Grosse Pointe High School and received his Bachelor of Laws degree from Wayne University Law College in 1947.

Mr. Fritz started his career as a Wayne County Deputy sheriff. He retired as a Wayne County assistant prosecutor and was still active working in his private practice.

Mr. Fritz served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve retiring in 1978.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at his cottage in Ontario, Canada.

He was a former board member of Sixth Church Christ Scientist in Detroit.

Mr. Fritz is survived by his wife, Muriel S.; daughter Nancy B. (Robert) Denner; daughter-in-law Vivian; grandchildren Katherine A. (Tim) Jenny, William F. Denner and James R. Denner; and great-grandchildren Rachael and Sarah Jenny. He also is survived by his brothers, Carl and Harvey.

He was predeceased by his son, William J.; brother Edward; and his parents.

Funeral services were held Dec. 15 at A.H. Peters Funeral Home.

Memorial donations may be made to the giver’s charity of choice or the Sixth Church Christ Scientist Detroit, 14710 Kercheval Ave., Detroit, MI 48215.

David Sherwood Jr.

David Sherwood Jr.

Died: Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Age: 85
David Sherwood Jr., 85, died Wednesday Dec. 12, 2007, at his ancestral Grosse Pointe Park home with his family present.

Mr. Sherwood was born in Detroit Sept. 23, 1922 and his family moved to Grosse Pointe in 1927. He attended elementary and high school in Grosse Pointe and graduated from the University of Detroit with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

During World War II, Mr. Sherwood enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served in the Pacific campaign aboard an LST, where he had received a commendation for heroism during battle.

After the war, he returned home to work in the family business, Sherwood Brass Works, started by his grandfather in 1903. In 1970 the business was sold and he officially retired to pursue other interests.

Mr. Sherwood loved boating and was a life member of the Detroit Yacht Club. He also was a member of the Shriners and The Players Club.

He always will be remembered as a devoted father and for the compassion, keen intelligence, warmth and great sense of humor that touched the hearts of family and friends alike.

Mr. Sherwood is survived by his sons, David (Sharon) and Michael (Bernadine); daughter Darlene; grandchildren Nathan Sherwood, Amanda (Andrew) Backman, Devin (Onalee) Kliebert, and Trevor (Jamie) Kliebert; and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Diana.

At his reqest, a memorial service will not be held. A memorial stone and ashes are being placed at his family plot at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Detroit.

A gathering of family and friends to honor Mr. Sherwood’s life and the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions in his honor may be made to The Players Endowment Fund, 3321 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48207. The money will be used to benefit The Players, which Mr. Sherwood enjoyed so much.

Paul Michael Zavell, M.D.

Paul Michael Zavell, M.D.

Died: Sunday, December 09, 2007
Age: 80
Paul Michael Zavell, M.D.,80, of Grosse Pointe Farms, died Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Dr. Zavell was born in Indiana Harbor, Ind. on Aug. 25, 1927. The family later moved to Flint.

After one year at The Johns Hopkins University, he was called for service in the U.S. Army.

Upon his discharge, he returned to college, graduating from Johns Hopkins in 1951. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa. He loved golf and organized the university’s first golf team.

In 1951 he began his medical studies at The Johns Hopkins Medical School, receiving his medical degree in 1955. He was a member of Phi Chi.

After graduation, Dr. Zavell returned to Michigan and started his residency training in pediatrics at Henry Ford Hospital. There he met and married his wife, Patricia Lynch, who was a social worker.

He began in private pediatric practice in 1957 treating and nurturing thousands of area children until his retirement in 1997.

Dr. Zavell loved his patients and derived great pleasure when even after retirement, former patients would recognize and greet him on the street or in a restaurant.

Dr. Zavell served as president of the Detroit Pediatric Society. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of Malta.

He was a devoted father, encouraging his children in all of their endeavors.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children Mary Anne (Mark) Glowacki, Jeanne (Jack) Archibald, John (Beth) Zavell, M.D., Peter (Susan) Zavell, M.D. and James Zavell; grandchildren Ellen and Anne Glowacki, Sarah and John Archibald, Amy, Mary and Paul Zavell, and Joseph and Jackson Zavell.

He also is survived by his sisters, Dorothy Stanley of Taylor and Irene Brock of Ann Arbor, and his brother, Rev. Edward Zavell of Taylor.

Visitation will be held Thursday, Dec. 13 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 14 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms, followed by interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.

Andrew W. Michalak III

Died: Sunday, December 09, 2007
Age: 52
Former Grosse Pointe Park resident Andrew W. Michalak III, 52, passed away Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007, at his home in Plantation, Fla., surrounded by loved ones after a long battle with esophageal cancer.

Mr. Michalak was born Oct. 12, 1955 in Detroit to Andrew W. II and Joann Michalak. He attended St. Clare de Montefalco Catholic School and Pierce Middle School. He graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1973 and moved to Florida shortly thereafter to pursue his passion for golf.

Mr. Michalak was the director of golf at Emerald Hills in Hollywood, Fla. for the last 15 years of his life. Members and employees of the golf club described him as the “true hidden gem of Emerald Hills.” He truly enjoyed his work and was highly respected in his profession as well as in his personal life.

He enjoyed watching all sports and playing cards, especially gin and Texas hold ’em.

Mr. Michalak will be missed greatly by all who knew him. The Michalak family strongly encourages everyone to be screened for cancer by having an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Cynthia; mother Joann Freydberg; siblings Mark, Denise Gianino, Suzanne, James (Jane) and William; eight nephews; and two nieces.

He was predeceased by his father, Andrew W. II.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 15 at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Plantation.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 250 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 or Vitas Hospice Charity Fund, 5420 NW 33rd Ave., Suite 100, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

Bernadette A. Palombit

Bernadette A. Palombit

Died: Sunday, December 09, 2007
Age: 87
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Bernadette A. Palombit, 87, died peacefully Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007.

She was born Feb. 19, 1920 in Detroit to Albert and Rebecca Bare´. She married Rudolph Palombit in 1939. She was a loving wife and mother to four children. She was a gifted pianist and her love of music lasted her entire life.

Fr. Segio Fossati of the PIME Missionaries celebrated a funeral Mass at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Detroit where Mrs. Palombit was baptized, celebrated her first communion and confirmation, and married. She graduated from the church’s high school. Attending her class reunions, which she did for 65 years, was one of her greatest joys.

Mrs. Palombit is survived by her daughter, Christine Gallagher; son Rudolph J. Palombit; daughters-in-law Sandra McCoy and Elizabeth Palombit; grandchildren Bernadette Platt, Brian Gallagher, Penny Bare´, and Richard, Ross, James and Jeffrey Palombit; and 13 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Rudolph; and sons Richard and Marc.
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