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Obituaries


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Carolyn Brzuchowski

Died: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Age: 76
Carolyn Brzuchowski, nee Sobocinski, 76, died Saturday, April 28, 2012.

She was born July 20, 1935, in Detroit to Leo and Rose Sobocinski (nee Chrzanowski). She attended St. Hyacinth School from 1940 to 1948, Dominican High School from 1948 to 1952, and Wayne State University, graduating from the Department of Mortuary Science in 1956. She continued her studies at Wayne State and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. She held a double major in English and history.

Mrs. Brzuchowski taught school in Ferndale from 1957 to 1958, and worked with her father at the Leo T. Sobocinski Funeral Home in Detroit and Eastpointe. In 1978, she became president of the Sobocinski Funeral Home.

The Leo T. Sobocinski Funeral Home was started on the east side of Detroit in October 1929. In the late 1950s, property was purchased in Eastpointe (then East Detroit) for the present funeral home. The location needed zoning changes which took many appeals right up to the Michigan Supreme Court. After zoning was changed, the building opened in September 1963. Mrs. Brzuchowski worked with her father beginning in July 1956, when she received her mortuary science license. Her father sold her the business in 1972 and she operated until she sold it to Carriage Services Dec. 22, 1997.

Her family was long-involved in the funeral business. Her maternal grandparents owned Chrzanowski Funeral Home in Detroit and aunts and uncles owned Sommers Funeral Home in Detroit and Smigielski Funeral Home in Detroit and Ubly.

Mrs. Brzuchowski was a licensed funeral director, a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, past president of the Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science Alumni Association and a member of the Detroit Athletic Club and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. She was active in charity work with the Boca Raton Hospital, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Grosse Pointe Symphony, Ronald McDonald House and Alzheimer’s groups in Detroit.

Throughout her life, she lived in Detroit, Eastpointe, Grosse Pointe Shores and Birmingham, as well as Boca Raton, Fla.

Her favorite pastime was needlepoint, but most of all, she enjoyed shopping. Her family said she was the one they turned to for words of comfort and understanding.

Mrs. Brzuchowski is survived by her husband, Robert Brzuchowski; children, Joy (Christopher), Rosann and Carl and grandchildren, William and Charles.

She was predeceased by her parents, Leo and Rose Sobocinski and sister, Camelia Lawrence.

A funeral Mass was held Wednesday, May 2, at St. Hugo of the Hills Stone Chapel in Bloomfield Hills. Entombment is in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.

Brian M. DeFour

Died: Friday, April 27, 2012
Age: 66
Grosse Pointe Park resident Brian M. DeFour, 66, passed away Friday, April 27, 2012, after a brief struggle with lung and bone cancer.

Born Feb. 15, 1946, to Morris and Margaret DeFour, he graduated from Austin Catholic Preparatory High School in 1964 as valedictorian, Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in history, and George Washington Law School as valedictorian.

Mr. DeFour served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era. He served as attorney and counselor to many for more than 40 years. He was employed by the Veterans Administration at the time of his death.

Mr. DeFour was a lifelong lover of books and an avid golfer. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren at Detroit Tigers baseball games and camping around Mich-igan. He enjoyed traveling and his partial residency in Siesta Key, Fla. His family said he touched the lives of many people with his smile and generosity, and maintained his trademark intelligence all the way to the end.

Mr. DeFour is survived by his beloved wife, Sandy DeFour; devoted brother, Ralph DeFour (Jan); loving sister, Maureen Neuhaus (Frank); beloved daughters, Michelle Withrow, Christine DeFour and Stephanie DeFour Thomas; stepchildren, Kimberly Regalado and Ken Regalado (Laura); treasured grandchildren, Sara, Patrick and Daniel Withrow, Lindsay Fortin, Austin Thomas, Carter, Ethan and Eliot Regalado Hanson, Lindsay and Peyton Regalado, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents; brother, Wayne DeFour and grandson, Joshua Dean Withrow.

Mr. DeFour’s family would like to express their gratitude to the staffs of Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe and ShorePointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the loving care they provided Mr. DeFour and support they gave to his family.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 4, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 15020 Hampton, Grosse Pointe Park. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. at the church.

Interment will be at Great Lakes National Military Cemetery in Holly with a private family ceremony.

Donations to honor Mr. DeFour’s life can be made payable to Sandy DeFour for coverage of medical expenses.

Joyce Mulkey Jipson

Died: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Age: 84
Joyce Mulkey Jipson, 84, passed away Thursday, April 26, 2012.

She graduated from Grosse Pointe Country Day, now University Liggett School, and attended Ogontz Junior College. She was a member of the Junior League of Detroit, Sigma Gamma Association and Detroit Zoological Society and volunteered at Henry Ford Medical Center and Cottage Hospital.

Mrs. Jipson is survived by her daughter, Pamela (Scott) MacKenzie and nieces, Debra (Daniel) Carvill and Madeline Joyce Mulkey.

She was predeceased by Charles Winship MacKinnon and Thomas William Jipson; her brothers, Hugh and William Mulkey and her parents.

Family and friends may share memories at ahpeters.com.

Jason Dotterer

Died: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Age: 36
Grosse Pointe Park resident Jason Dotterer, 36, died Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Born March 18, 1976, in Grosse Pointe to Gary and Carmen Dotterer, he studied art at Wayne State University and attended the Joint Apprentice Training Program at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Detroit Local No. 58. He was an electrician through IBEW Local No. 58.

Mr. Dotterer was an involved parent at Detroit Waldorf School in Detroit and an active member of the schools building and grounds committee. He was a member of the Backyard Garden Club in Grosse Pointe Park.

Mr. Dotterer was the beloved husband of Jenevieve Lilly, who survives him. He also is survived by his daughters, Malena Lilly and B. Raine Lilly; son-in-law, Tom Gersky; stepdaughter, Gwyneth Lilly; stepson, Evan Lilly; his parents and sisters, Aryn Dotterer and Frances Torres.

Donations may be made to the Jason Dotterer Memorial Education Fund, PNC Bank, 1 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

Grace O. Huvaere

Died: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Age: 87
Longtime Grosse Pointe Park resident Grace O. Huvaere, 87, died Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

She was born March 25, 1925, in Detroit to Frank and Olive Morenz. In 1943, she graduated from St. Ambrose High School in Grosse Pointe Park. In later years, she became an active member of the St. Ambrose Altar Society, where she volunteered her time for bake sales, rummage sales and other activities sponsored by the church. She enjoyed sewing, needlework, crafting, baking, cooking and music throughout her life.

Mrs. Huvaere raised four children and then started a career with the State of Michigan Secretary of State office in Detroit where she worked for more than 18 years. After retirement, she was involved with Services for Older Citizens, not only as a participant, but also as a volunteer. There she shared her many talents and made lasting friendships with other seniors.

Her family said they will miss playing card games with her, completing jigsaw puzzles and hearing about how she had won at Bingo that day. She touched many lives during her lifetime and will be missed by those who knew her.

Mrs. Huvaere was predeceased by her husband, Valere; parents and sisters, Loreto Becigneul and Mary Alice Vann.

She is survived by her children, Kerin Kopec (David), Larry Huvaere (Linda), Valerie Huvaere and John Huvaere and grandchildren, Ryan Huvaere and Timothy Kopec. She also leaves behind her cat, Sweetheart.

A funeral Mass was celebrated April 27 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Park.

Mary Jo Kerns

Died: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Age: 87
Mary Jo Kerns, wife of Jack A. Kerns and a resident of Charlotte, N.C., passed away Saturday, April 21, 2012. Mary Jo and Jack were married 62 years. They were childhood sweethearts, having met when Jack moved onto the same street Mary Jo was living on when she was 13 years old and Jack was 14 years old. The couple spent the bulk of their married years in Grosse Pointe, where she was a co-owner of Martha’s Closet for many years.

Mrs. Kerns was born Feb. 24, 1925, in Milwaukee to Henry John Roesch Sr. and Cecil Weaver Roesch and attended The National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1943. She attended Michigan State University and belonged to the Alpha Phi Sorority. While at MSU, she took pilot training lessons and passed. After World War II she became an airline stewardess for Chicago and Southern Airlines and flew until marrying Jack Kerns Feb. 25, 1950, in Orange County, Calif.

Her family said Mrs. Kerns loved life. God played an important role in her life. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great- grandmother. She will be missed.

Mrs. Kerns is survived by her husband, Jack; son, Christopher A. Kerns and his wife, Sherry S. Kerns of Troy, Ohio; daughter, Susan Kerns Clements of Sylva, N.C.; grandchildren, Stacey Kerns, Gianna Clements (Rob) Parrott, Craig A. (Sarah) Kerns, Reina Clements (Chris) Sowers, Dominique Clements and Riley Clements and great-grandchildren, Joseph Booker Parrott, William Henry Sowers and Kate Marie Sowers.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Henry “Bud” John Roesch Jr.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1623 Carmel Road, Charlotte.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 E. Seventh Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.

Daniel Leo Pierron D.D.S.

Died: Friday, April 20, 2012
Age: 83
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Daniel Leo Pierron, 83, died Friday, April 20, 2012.

He was born Feb. 1, 1929, in Detroit, to Edith Helen Nicolay and Daniel Leo Pierron. He graduated from Alma College and the University of Detroit College of Dentistry. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1952 to 1954.

He married Elsie Boldia in 1951 and the couple had three children.

Dr. Pierron worked 40 years as a dentist in the Detroit area. He was active in several dental associations and instrumental in the early establishment of what eventually became Delta Dental Plan of Michigan, dedicating his time and experience to ensuring that dental health care would be included in many major employer benefit plans. Following retirement, he joined the faculty at University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry as a part-time instructer.

He was member of the Lochmoor Club, where he was an avid golfer and tennis player and enjoyed the company of his many friends.

Dr. Pierron is survived by his wife, Elsie; children, Suzanne (John Gilmore) of Bethesda, Md., Daniel (Rebecca Smithson) of Washington, D.C. and Timothy of Grosse Pointe; beloved grandchildren, Andrew and Madeline Pierron and Barry and Corinna Gilmore; and brothers, Paul (Shirley) and Frank (Marguerite).

He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Richard.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 26, at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods.

Mary Jane Dwyer

Died: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Age: 77
Mary Jane Dwyer, nee Wiggins, beloved artist and mother, passed away Thursday, April 19, 2012, at Catholic Hospice of Miami in Miami, Fla., surrounded by her loving children. She was 77.

Born in Grosse Pointe and a resident for the first 50 years of her life, she graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, now Grosse Pointe Academy, and Marymount Univer-sity. Her family said her creative and free-flowing spirit will be remembered and celebrated.

Mrs. Dwyer was predeceased by her husband, Charles; parents, Richard and Mary Wiggins (nee Kelly) and brother, Thomas Wiggins.

She is survived by her children, Charles Dwyer, Mary Kathryn Dwyer and Richard Dwyer, all of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sheila Dwyer Schwartz (the late Charles) of Adrian and Chrysta Dwyer Hammon (Mike) of Miami.

She also is survived by her brother, Richard Wiggins (Barbara) of Roswell, Ga., sister Suzanna Kennedy (the late Willard) of Palm Beach, Fla., and grandchildren, Sarah Glinn, Michelle and Daniel Schwartz, Dakota and Bryce Hammon and Richard Dwyer and great-grandchild Blake Glinn.

A celebration of her life was held in Fort Lauderdale. She will be interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

M. Sandra Loving

Died: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Age: 74
M. Sandra Loving, nee Trax, originally from York, Pa., died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning Thursday, April 19, 2012, at her home in Grosse Pointe Woods. She was 74.

A proud alumnae of Grove City College, she followed her passion for finance as a certified public accountant and financial counselor.

Ms. Loving is survived by stepchildren, Mark Loving and family in Florida, Steve Loving and family in Illinois and Melissa Loving and family in Michigan. She also is survived by her dearest friend, L. North, of Grosse Pointe Woods, and many dear friends and colleagues.

Ms. Loving’s ashes will be laid to rest May 16 in the Mount Rose Cemetery in York. She will be rejoined with her father, mother and brother, Freddie.

Express condolences at ahpeters.com.

Donations may be made in her honor to the Michigan Humane Society at michiganhumane.org.

Mary Virginia Place

Died: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Age: 88
Mary Virginia Place, 88, passed away Thursday, April 19, 2012, at Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak after a long illness.

Born Mary Virginia Shuck July 15, 1923, in West Virginia, she was the daughter of Issac Shuck and Beatrice Meadows. A Detroit area resident since the 1940s, Mrs. Place, her husband, Donald, and her four children moved to St. Clair Street in the City of Grosse Pointe in 1960. She lived in her home on St. Clair until shortly before her death.

Mrs. Place was predeceased by her husband in 1991.

She is survived by her children, Kurt Shuck, Donald Place, Susan Place and Lyle Place; grandchildren, Jessie Place, Christina Place, Jeffrey Place and Brian Place and great-granddaughter, Rose Place.
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