Ruth Ann Johnson
May 29, 1943 – May 30, 2022

Longtime Engadine resident, Ruth Ann (Patzer) Johnson, passed away peacefully at the age of 79 on Monday, May 30, 2022. Ruth was born May 29, 1943 in Engadine, daughter of the late Henry and Evelyn (Couture) Patzer.

Ruth was a graduate of Engadine High School’s class of 1962 and a graduate from the Virginia Farrell Beauty School in the Detroit area. After she completed beauty school, she returned home and worked for a short time as a beautician in Newberry. She also worked in Naubinway at Beaudoin’s Café and that is where she met her future husband, Vern, who worked next door at Beaudoin’s Texaco gas station. Vern and Ruth were married on May 1, 1965 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Engadine.

Ruth enjoyed cake decorating, which started out as birthday cakes for her daughters and soon she was making cakes for the community for all occasions, including many wedding cakes. She enjoyed traveling and visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, France and Italy with her daughter, Gretchen, as her travel partner. She enjoyed being a Girl Scout leader and gardening.  She loved tending to her flowers around her home. One of her biggest joys was taking care of children. Her “kids” included John and Christina Bertucci; Bryan, Andrea and Nicole Kovar; Charlie, Andrea and Sharon Fosdick; Justin and Jordan Wilcoxen; and Ryne Ozanich.

Ruth is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Vern, of Engadine; her two daughters Lori (Mark) Skaggs of Menominee and Gretchen (Katie Porter) Johnson of Terrace Park, Ohio; her one granddaughter Lillian Skaggs. She is also survived by her sister Kim (Dick) Miller of Engadine and brothers Bill Patzer of Engadine and Lee Patzer of Engadine;  a very special cousin, Barbara (David) Vanderhoff of Novi; godson, Mark Vanderhoff; special friends Marjorie Nelson and Susan Fosdick. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by several aunts and uncles, including “The Twins” Herman and Ruth.

A gathering of family and friends will take place Monday June 6, 2022 from 10:00 am until 11:00 am at the Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry.  Funeral services celebrating the life of Ruth will follow at 11:00 am at the funeral home with Pastor David Tielbar, of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Brevort, officiating.  Interment will follow at the Maplewood Cemetery in Rexton.

Ruth’s family would like to give thanks to the exceptional care she received at the Medilodge in Munising and Golden Leaves Nursing Facility in Newberry

Memorials may be directed to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Brevort or the Love Pantry in her loving memory.

Condolences may be expressed at Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.


Richard D. Williams
September 4, 1942 – December 12, 2021

Richard Douglas Williams, 79, of Cass City, MI, passed away December 12, 2021. He was born September 4, 1942.

Richard was a 1961 graduate of Newberry High School, had an honorable discharge from the National Guard, and also had 60 years at the IBEW Local #17 of Detroit.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Linda; his daughter Jodi (Dino) Messing; grandchildren Amanda (Kevin), Justin (Katie), and Kaitlyn; four great-grandchildren and one more on the way.

He cherished the outdoors – trout fishing, hunting, his big garden, riding the back roads of Luce County, Lake Superior, and agate hunting. He and Linda traveled around the Great Lakes, following the St. Lawrence to Maine, down to Key West, and back to Cass City. They also traveled to Alaska so Dick could fish for grayling on the other side of the Arctic Circle.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Douglas and Dorothy Williams; one brother; and his in-laws, the late Leonard and Jenny Carlson of Newberry.

Cremation has been accorded.


Thomas E. Harjes
August 23, 1933 – May 30, 2022

Thomas Edward Harjes, 88, of Newberry, died Monday, May 30, 2022 at Golden Leaves Living Center in Newberry.

Born August 23, 1933 in Pentwater, son of the late Henry and Ruth (Iteen) Harjes, Thomas enlisted in the United States Army on September 14, 1950 serving during the Korean War until his honorable discharge on May 28, 1955 attaining the rank of Private First Class.

Thomas was a resident of Pentwater and employed as a mold maker for C.W. Casting in Muskegon for several years until his retirement in 1991.  On June 12, 1993, Thomas married the former Kathleen Niswonger in White Cloud, Michigan.

A resident of the Newberry area since the mid 1990’s, Thomas enjoyed bow hunting and was a member of the Michigan Bow Hunters Association.

In addition to his parents, Thomas is preceded in death by his sister Maggie.  Survivors include his loving wife, Kathleen, of Newberry; children Kathryn Braden of Ohio and Thomas Harjes Jr. of Michigan; step-children Leo St. Germaine of Newberry; Everett St. Germaine of White Cloud, Edith St. Germaine of Baldwin and Lela St. Germaine of White Cloud; 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Per request, cremation services were accorded.  Military honors conducted by the American Legion Post #74 and the United States Army Honor Guard will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be expressed at

Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.


Thelma “Kelly” Backman
June 25, 1925 – June 1, 2022

Longtime Newberry resident, Thelma “Kelly” Margaret Backman, 96, died Wednesday afternoon, June 1, 2022 at her residence in the presence of her loving family and the care of North Woods Home Care and Hospice.

Born June 25, 1925 in Raber, daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Jane(Crisp) Oberle, Kelly was a graduate of Newberry High School.

Kelly was employed as a cook at the former Newberry Regional Mental Health Center for several years until her retirement.  She enjoyed travelling, camping, working in her garden and loved spending time with her family, especially the grandbabies.

In addition to her parents, Kelly is preceded in death by her husband Oscar Lenart Backman; son William Wehner; siblings Anna, William, Dorothy, Evelyn, Bernice, Joseph, Ruth, John, Gordon, Ruby, Violet and Leila.

Survivors include her children Richard (Suzanne) Wehner of Gwinn, Connie Blakely of Newberry and Shawn (Colleen) Munch of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Per request, cremation services were accorded.  A graveside service will be held Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Forest Home Cemetery in Newberry with Pastor Ron Oberle officiating.

Condolences may be expressed at

Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.


Helen Marie Schroder
March 6, 1955 – May 10, 2022

Helen Marie Schroder, 67, of Old Town, FL passed away May 10, 2022 of a traumatic brain injury from a fall.

Born March 6, 1955 in Newberry Michigan to the late Jerry and Viola (Sevarns) Troop. She is survived by her loving husband of 48 years, Ervin Schroder, two daughters Brenda and Sherry (Brad) of Port Orange, Fl and son Ervin Jr (Punky)(Jamie) of Newberry, MI. Three grandchildren, Darian McCormick of Port Orange, FL, Logan McCormick of Newberry, MI and Brendan Palmer of Port Orange, FL. Three brothers, Jerry (Bimbo) Troop of Loredo, TX, Danny (Dorothy) of Newberry, MI, Ernie (Liz) of Newberry, MI and four sisters, Cindy Pitawanakwat of Newberry, MI, Ann Gorman of Newberry, MI, Chris Thomson of Mesa, AZ and Patricia Schocinski of Mesa, AZ. And several nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Timothy Troop and Clifford Tucker, and one sister Laura Burndt.

Born and raised in Newberry, MI where she met her husband and raised her children. She was the secretary of their logging business for many years, She also worked as a turn key at the Newberry sheriffs office and was on staff at the boys home Parker Place for a short time.

She loved the outdoors and could be counted on to shoot and clean her own deer and birds back in her day. She loved to go out boating and fishing with her family and friends. She enjoyed spending time fishing and picking blueberries with her grandchildren. She was a huge animal lover, and has spent many hours doctoring up and saving all the hurt  wildlife we would bring home for her to save. “Stubby” her cat, was her most favorite child, was put on pedestal and spoiled.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend that was taken to soon and will be missed deeply.

As per her wishes there will be no funeral. We will be having a memorial at the Schroder family residence in Newberry, MI on June 23, 2022 starting at 2 p.m. where we will be planting a tree of life with her ashes. Family and friends are welcome to join us for food, drinks and sharing memories of our beloved.