Died: Friday, February 24, 2012 Esther V. Gompers
Grosse Pointe Shores resident Esther V. Gompers, 73, died Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.
She was born Sept. 19, 1938, in Detroit to Mike and Virginia Yessaian. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.
She retired as the assistant comptroller for CBF Systems in Fraser.
An avid reader, Mrs. Gompers enjoyed traveling, crafting, volunteering at church and spending time with family and friends.
She was a member and past president of Gamma Tau Sorority and a member and past moderator of Presbyterian Women.
Mrs. Gompers is survived by her husband of more than 50 years, James S. Gompers and daughters, Nancy (Martin) McEnroe and Carole (Michael) Clancy.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Albert Aslanian.
A service in celebration of her life was held Feb. 29 at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.
Donations may be made to Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church, 19950 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 or Hospice of Michigan at hom.org.
Died: Friday, February 24, 2012 Patricia E. Brown
Patricia E. Brown, nee Moore, longtime resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, passed away Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.
She was born March 21, 1928, in Paterson, N.J. She was a graduate of Paterson’s East Side High School as well as the Ridgewood Secretarial School in Ridgewood, N.J.
Pat was a member of Broadway Baptist Church and lived in New Jersey until her husband’s relocation to Detroit in 1966. With her family she attended Covenant Baptist Church before transferring membership to Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in 1975. Pat was a familiar face at Memorial, her involvement including multiple terms as an ordained elder and deacon as well as participation in Presbyterian Women, weekly Bible circle, outreach programs, LOGOS, and OWLs.
Pat worked as a telephone operator in New York City, an administrative secretary at The Whittier and also spent time as the secretary at both Broadway Baptist and Memorial Church. She served as a board member of Pilgrims of Ibillin, supporting the work of Archbishop Elias Chacour and the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in the Galilee region of the Holy Land.
Pat loved to talk of her travels — a year-long transfer to Ardmore, Okla., with her family and two trips to Jerusalem. Cherished trips with friends on the Queen Elizabeth II and to South Africa were highlights.
Pat was predeceased by her husband, Robert J. Brown. She was the beloved mom of Donald (Diane), Douglas (Teri) and Dale (JoAnn); proud grandma of Robert, Abigail, Matthew, Sheridan and Carmen and dear sister of Virginia Powers. She also is survived by many nephews and nieces and new grandchildren and great-grandchildren by marriage.
A memorial gathering will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack, Grosse Pointe Woods. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 5, at the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. The Rev. Dr. Peter Henry will officiate.
Her cremated remains will be scattered in the Memorial Garden at the church.
Donations may be made to Henry Ford Hospice, 1 Ford Place, Suite 5A, Detroit, MI 48202 or at henryford.com/body.cfm?id=37995 or Dominican Literacy Center, 11148 Harper, Detroit, MI 48213 or at dlcliteracy.org.
Died: Friday, February 24, 2012 James McKenna M.D.
Grosse Pointe Park resident James McKenna M.D., 75, died Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.
He was born June 22, 1936, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y. to James and Ellen (née McGrath) McKenna and graduated in 1954 from St. Patrick’s Preparatory School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1958 from Seton Hall University and his medical degree from National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, in 1963.
Dr. McKenna’s early career included engineering work at Otis Elevator and Westinghouse while he attended Seton Hall. Following graduation, he joined Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J.
After graduating from medical school, he completed his internship and general surgery residency at the United Hospitals of Newark-Presbyterian in Newark, N.J., with special training under Dr. E.G. Wever in the physiology lab at Princeton University. He completed his ear, nose & throat surgical residency at Wayne State University, where he later joined as faculty. He served on staff at Harper Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Allen Park.
Dr. McKenna was certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. He completed a fellowship in facial plastic surgery in California in 1968, then partnered in private practice in Detroit and later in Livonia where he joined the staff of St. Mary Hospital. He retired from medical practice in 2000.
In retirement, Dr. McKenna was a member of the Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe where he enjoyed team bowling. He was a life-long boating enthusiast. Dr. McKenna and his wife, Mary Ann, née McKenna, were married 53 years and resided in the Grosse Pointes for more than 40 years.
In addition to his wife, Dr. McKenna is survived by his four children and their spouses, James (Suzanne) McKenna V of St. Clair Shores, Patrick McKenna of Grosse Pointe Park, Bonnie (Mark Haas M.D.) McKenna of Montclair, N.J., and Audrey (Rob Decker) McKenna of Roseville; his sister, Catherine McCullagh of Kensington, Md.; beloved sister-in-law, Joan McKenna of Little Neck, N.Y.; and five granddaughters, Caileigh McKenna of Cleveland, Molly McKenna of Minneapolis, Madeleine and Elizabeth McKenna, both of St. Clair Shores, and Sophie Haas of Montclair.
Donations may be made to Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Warming Center, 438 St. Antoine Street, Detroit, MI 48226.
Died: Thursday, February 23, 2012 Julie Cudlip Whitman
Longtime Grosse Pointe Farms resident Julie Cudlip Whitman, 73, died Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. She was a former resident of Metamora.
From early childhood, she cherished her summers spent at her cottage in Charlevoix. Her love of family, friends, art and all animals, large and small, were well known. She volunteered in the communities in which she lived and participated in several organizations which benefited from her involvement and leadership.
She will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved her.
Ms. Whitman is survived by her sons, William S. (Jennifer) Whitman and Peter D. Whitman Jr. and many devoted nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were private.
Donations may be made to Tau Beta Association, c/o Mrs. Christopher A. Cornwall, 229 Merriweather Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 or Belvedere Memorial Fund, Box 218, Charlevoix, MI 49720.
Died: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 LaVerne Eddie Johnson
LaVerne Eddie Johnson, 86, died peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, at Beaumont Hospital Hospice Grosse Pointe.
He was born Nov. 25, 1925, the son of dairy farmers, Eddie and Clara Johnson of West Sweden, Wis. After graduating from Fredric High School in Fredric, Wis., he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944. He was sent to Texas A&M College for special training, before shipping out to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands where he served from October 1944 to November 1945. He was honorably discharged from the marines as a sergeant in 1946.
After the war, Mr. Johnson moved to Chicago, where he met and married Marlene Kramme in 1951. They moved to Detroit in 1958 to start a business, VernDale Products Inc., a milk powder manufacturing plant. After more than 50 years VernDale continues to operate under second and third generation leadership.
In 1961 he planted a citrus grove outside of LaBelle, Fla., and in 1968, he started VernDale Farms, a hog farm in Fowlerville. Both businesses are still in operation.
Mr. Johnson loved and collected classic cars, many of which were entered in events, winning awards at the Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook, EyesOn Design in Grosse Pointe Shores and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
He was a member of American Dairy Products Institute, Gulf Citrus Growers Association and Classic Car Club of America.
His family said he will be missed by the many lives he has touched.
Mr. Johnson is survived by Marlene, his beloved wife of more than 60 years; children, Dale (Robin), Rhondi (Fred), LaMar (Dan) and Barry (Nancy); 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his sisters, Sandra Nelson and Audrey Johnson.
Donations may be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 375 Lothrop, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 or to Beaumont Hospice Grosse Pointe, c/o Beaumont Foundation, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007-9620.
Died: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Theresa “Terry” Ann Pfaendtner
Longtime City of Grosse Pointe resident Theresa “Terry” Ann Pfaendtner, nee Gardner, 84, died Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012.
Mrs. Pfaendtner was born April 16, 1927, in Cheboygan, the youngest of 11 childrent o Louis and Mary (nee O’Brien) Gardner. The family moved to Detroit when she was young and she remained in the Detroit community the rest of her life.
In 1946, she graduated from St. Ambrose High School. She met her beloved husband, Patrick, in 1957 and they were married at St. Ambrose Jan. 4, 1958.
Mrs. Pfaendtner was an active member of the Third Order Fraternity of St. Francis for 62 years. There, she met many of her closest friends and 12 of them formed the Girls Club. Her Girls Club met once a month so that each woman could have the chance to host.
Mrs. Pfaendtner was devoted to her family, friends and church. Her family said those who knew her saw a great woman, blessed with faith, who had great courage and infinite wisdom. A longtime member of St. Ambrose, she was always willing to help out.
Mrs. Pfaendtner is survived by her children, Mary Lou and Joan (David Jackson) and beloved grandchildren, Maggie, Patrick and Delaney.
She was predeceased by her husband; brothers, Morris, Kyran, Louis and Glen and sisters, Angela, Pauletta, Gwen, Mary Margaret, Gloria and Constance.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 27 at St. Ambrose.
Donations may be made to the Capuchins, 1750 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207 or to St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton St., Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230.
Died: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Betty Jo Rush
Longtime Grosse Pointe resident Betty Jo Rush, nee Hall, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 21, after a prolonged debilitating illness. She was 84.
Born Nov. 4, 1927, in Arkansas, she graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1945 and Harper Hospital School of Nursing in 1948. She was a staff nurse at Children’s Hospital of Michigan when she met and married Dr. William Rush. Together, they raised their three children, William Jr., Jeffrey and Janet.
Her family said Mrs. Rush was a loving and supportive mother who provided a warm and welcoming home. Prominent in the Grosse Pointe art community, she pursued her personal interest in art at a studio in the old Sacred Heart Academy under the tutelage of her close friend, Sr. Matsusaki. On holidays, for many years, she enjoyed spending time with family and friends at the family cottage in Gaylord and at the Otsego Ski Club.
In her later years, she continued to pursue her interest in art while fostering a loving relationship with her children and grandchildren. She will be remembered by her loved ones as a caring mother and grandmother.
Mrs. Rush was predeceased by her parents, Jewell and Ira, and her sister, Shirley. She was the loving mother of Bill (Mendi), Jeff (Rici) and Janet Doyle; proud grandmother of Katie, Colleen, Kristen and Megan and former wife of Dr. William Rush.
A memorial service was held Feb. 24 at Christ Church Grosse Pointe.
Died: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Jack Dykema Shattuck RPh
Former longtime Grosse Pointe Park resident Jack Dykema Shattuck RPh, 86, died Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. He was living in Lake Forest, Ill.
A long time Michigander and Midwesterner, he was born Feb. 14, 1926, and graduated from Ferris State University on the G.I. Bill after service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. At Ferris, he earned a degree in pharmacy. Mr. Shattuck was a 25-year executive with Detroit-based Parke-Davis & Company and subsequently worked with Physician World Communications and Choices Publishing Group.
He was deeply loved by family and friends and known for his quick wit and animated storytelling.
Mr. Shattuck is survived by his beloved wife, Marcy, nee Donker; loving children, Claudia (James) Lockhart, Trisha and John; grandchildren, Rebecca and Madeline Lockhart and Sharon, Laura, Courtney and John Clinton.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Donnellan Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, Ill. Interment will be private.
Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org.
Died: Monday, February 20, 2012 Robert Henry Pytell
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Robert Henry Pytell, 85, died Monday, Feb. 20, 2012.
He earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Detroit and was a private practice attorney in Grosse Pointe Farms at his firm R.H. Pytell and Associates. He also served as municipal judge in Grosse Pointe Farms for 20 years. He was a member of the State Bar of Michigan.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Pytell enjoyed sailing, skiing, tennis, cycling, photography and playing piano.
He was a member of the Crescent Sail Yacht Club, Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe, Services for Older Citizens, Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe, Polish Century Club and St. Paul Usher Club.
Mr. Pytell is survived by his wife, Laurie; daughter Mary Beth (Paul) Agase; sons, Mark (Ann Winkler) and Robert (Danielle DeLuca) and grandchildren, Grace, Lynn, Emily, Robert, Joseph, Matthew, Hope, Joseph and Thomas. He also is survived by his sister, Patt K. Flower.
He was predeceased by his grandson, Curtis.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. A prayer service begins at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. at the church.
Donations may be made to Services for Older Citizens, 159 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 or Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe, P.O. Box 36366, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.
Died: Sunday, February 19, 2012 Frank P. Hogan Jr.
Frank P. Hogan Jr., 74, died Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, at his Grosse Pointe Park home.
He was born Sept. 25, 1937, in Philadelphia of a Lithuanian mother and Irish father, Paula and Frank Hogan. His parents moved to Detroit when he was a toddler to be a part of the “war effort.”
Mr. Hogan attended East Detroit High School. The oldest of five children, he was taught the beauty and complexity of English by the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns in grade school.
Mr. Hogan was a Russian translator in the U.S. Army Security Agency, stationed in what was then West Germany. He retired from a career in sales and marketing, including Delta Dental of Michigan. He also once served as president of the Grosse Pointe Optimists Club.
Mr. Hogan enjoyed the written word, publishing “Sound-Alikes: A Dictionary of Midwestern American English Homophones” in 2008. He was also a political activist.
He enjoyed traveling, boating on Lake St. Clair, fishing, golfing and spending time with his family.
Mr. Hogan is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Lou; children, Jeff (Lisa) Hogan, Dawn (Kevin) Maccadino, Colleen (David) Krause and Don (Christina) Hogan; grandchildren, Garrett, Darren, Jacob, Brittany, Kelsey and Jackson and his siblings, Maureen, Paula, Tom and Karen.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park. Visitation begins at the church at 10 a.m.
Donations may be made to St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230.