John (Jack) McClellan Overhiser
John (Jack) McClellan Overhiser, 91, of McMillan, Michigan, passed away Sunday morning, July 2, 2020. He was happily married to Phyllis (Purdy) for 68 years. Jack was born on August 17, 1928, to John and Emma Overhiser in Omaha, Nebraska. The family of five moved to Chicago, Illinois where Jack graduated from Senn high school. He then enlisted in the Army where he served for a year in S. Korea at the conclusion of the Second World War. Jack was a 1st Lieutenant in the Military Police. He attended Western Michigan University on the G.I. Bill, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Secondary Education. He also participated in the philosophy club and the debate team, winning several awards. He earned a Masters of Education Administration from the University of Michigan, also taking doctorate level classes. It was at Western that Jack met Phyllis, fell in love and married on August 12, 1951. They lived in a rented house and soon after built a modern house in Portage, Michigan, doing much of the labor themselves. It was here they had their son, Jack and 2 years later their daughter Karen. Many happy times were spent here with their new family. Jack began his career teaching English and history at Portage Township High School. In 1959 the family moved to Melvindale, Michigan, where he was a counselor at Melvindale High School. He then worked for many years as high school principal and later as Superintendent of Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Schools. Jack retired after 30 plus years of dedicated service. While in Melvindale their daughter Lori was born, and in 1967 the family moved to Plymouth, Michigan. Here Jack and his family spent many happy years and had lots of fun pursuing all sorts of activities and just being a family. Great times were had on Summer vacation camping trips, birthdays and holidays. Jack was a very involved and active dad and shared his interests and curiosity with his kids. He was a loving husband and loved all of his children very much and it showed in his pride for them. He was a wonderful role model and dad. After retirement, Jack and Phyllis moved to McMillan, Michigan to be near their daughter Karen and her husband Kyle, excited and ready to be grandparents in their newly built house. Jack volunteered at Seney National Wildlife Refuge with Phyllis. He served as president of Friends of Seney for a number of years. Their enthusiasm as educators, lovers of nature and history showed in the work they did. They helped organize events, create displays, run the store and educate visitors. Jack and Phyllis were members of the Luce County Historical Society. They both spent many hours volunteering at the museum, the former jail and sheriff’s residence. Jack served as president for many years. He focused a lot of energy on applying for grants, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars for much needed renovations to the buildings and grounds. Projects included hiring an architect who specialized in historically accurate architecture to renovate the tower to its former golden glory, and also the roof and brickwork. Jack wanted to restore the gardens to the Queen Anne era when the house and jail were built, and hired a specialist landscape architect to do so. A landscape historian, Scott Kunst from Ann Arbor, Michigan was hired to research, supply and help implement the gardens as well as present a program to the public. Jack and Phyllis spent many very happy years in McMillan, where they were able to take an active part in their grandchildren’s lives. This gave them great joy and they were very proud of and loved their grandchildren, Brad, Jacob and Kelly, and great-grandson’s Jakobi and Deklen very dearly. Jack was an avid reader and loved reading about American and world history, geology and geography. He also stayed well informed on current US and world events. Jack charted the Overhiser genealogy back to the 1600’s and enjoyed sharing this information at family reunions with relatives. Jack greatly loved all of his nieces and nephews and was proud of all of them. He loved hearing about their lives. Dad, we all loved you so much. Anyone who knew you knew you were a kind, sincere, sweet and patient man. You had an inquisitive mind and had so much enthusiasm. Always an optimist who cheered people up and on. We were so blessed to have you in our lives. We will miss you beyond words until we see you and mom again. Jack was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis (Purdy), his parents John and Emma Overhiser, his sisters Marion Queen (Eldon) and Lois Cannizzo (Joseph), and his nephew John Queen. Survivors include son John (Jack) McClellan Overhiser III; daughters Karen (Kyle) Edwards and Lori Overhiser; grandchildren Brad Smith, Jacob (Sarah) Edwards, and Kelly Edwards; great-grandsons Jakobi and Deklen Edwards; and many wonderful nieces and nephews. A small private memorial service was held to honor both Jack and Phyllis. Memorial donations may be directed to the Luce County Historical Society or the Seney Natural History Association. Condolences may be expressed at www.beaulieufuneralhome.com. Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.
William J. Wehner
William J. Wehner, age 72, was born in Newberry February 20, 1948 to Thelma “Kelly” Backman passed unexpectedly August 21, to be with the Lord. He left Newberry at a young age and found his calling as a painter. He loved it so much he began his own company, joined the union, and made it his life work until he retired. His favorite job was painting the Mackinac Bridge. He is preceded in death by his father Leonard Wehner and one daughter Ernistine. Survivors are his mother Kelly Backman; brothers Dick (Sue) from Gwinn and Shawn (Colleen) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; one sister Connie Blakely of Newberry; son Shawn (Jamie) of Ludington and Joe (Tanya); and daughter Kelly Jo; several grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins; one special cousin Ronald Oberle, who was like a brother to him growing up. At his request, cremation will be held in Ludington. No services at this time.
Benjamin Charles Rajala
Longtime Paradise resident, Benjamin Charles Rajala, 91, died Sunday morning August 23, 2020 at the Hospice House of the EUP in Sault Ste. Marie. Born January 7, 1929 in Painesdale, son of the late Charles and Mary (Stimac) Rajala, Ben was a 1947 graduate of Chassell High School. On December 29, 1950, Ben enlisted in the United States Air Force and served during the Korean War until his honorable discharge on December 3, 1954 attaining the rank of Airman First Class. Ben was employed as an expeditor for Ex-Cell-O Corp. in Highland Park for 37 years until his retirement in 1984. A seasonal resident of Paradise since 1960, Ben had been a permanent resident following his retirement. On October 21, 1994, he married the former Coletta (Beauchamp) Lauren in Paradise and was a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, the Paradise Senior Citizens and the VFW Post #4418 of Newberry. Ben was an avid fisherman and a loving friend to all of those in need. In addition to his parents, Ben is preceded in death by his wife Coletta on February 24, 2010; sisters Rose (Joseph) Bussiere and Marie Pyonk;
Survivors include his step-children Arthur (Theresa) Lauren of Skandia, Mary Lauren of Chicago, IL and Mark Lauren of Marquette; three step-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Leo Pyonk of Sterling Heights; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. A Memorial Mass celebrating the life of Ben will be held Wednesday September 30, 2020 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church with Fr. Marty Flynn officiating. Rite of Committal with full military rites conducted by the American Legion Post #74 and the United States Air Force Honor Guard will follow at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in his memory. Condolences may be expressed at www.beaulieufuneralhome.com. Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.
Marcy Ann Justice
Marcy Ann Justice, 62, of Bradenton, Florida and Curtis, Michigan, passed away Sunday evening August 23, 2020 at The Pines of Sarasota in Sarasota, Florida, after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Marcy was born July 14, 1958 in Manistique, Michigan, to Richard and Nancy (Gowan) Erickson. In 1960, Marcy and her family moved to Findlay, Ohio, where they were joined in 1962 by Marcy’s baby brother, Stuart. After spending her early years in Findlay, Marcy and her family moved to Mound, Minnesota in 1972, where she went on to graduate from Mound High in 1976. Upon graduation, Marcy matriculated to the University of Minnesota, where she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority and, in 1980, she graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in English Literature. Marcy had developed a keen interest in business after her graduation, and proceeded to join the “family business” at National School Studios (later Lifetouch) in 1981. While at Lifetouch, Marcy proved to be a valued asset and in 1984 was promoted to the position of Territory Manager in Minnesota, a position she would hold until her retirement. Later in 2005, Marcy joined forces with her mother and best friend Nancy and opened “Spruce It Up” – a well-loved home accents store in Curtis, Michigan. On June 7, 1987, Marcy was married to John L. Justice in the Little Stone Church on Mackinac Island. Their union was blessed with three sons, John Charles (b.1988), Douglas Richard (b.1991) and James Stuart (b.1994). Marcy called Edina, Minnesota home, but as in her youth, Marcy’s summers were spent in Curtis, where she shared her love of family, of Curtis lake and of the north woods with her husband, sons and visiting friends and family. Marcy was a voracious reader, a skilled pianist, a dedicated volunteer and a hostess without peer. Marcy was kind to all, generous to a fault, and possessed the ability to make anyone she met feel valued and special. In addition to her parents, Richard and Nancy Erickson, Marcy is preceded in death by her son James Stuart “Jack” Justice in 1994. Survivors include her loving husband of 33 years, John, of Bradenton, Florida and Faribault, MN; sons John Charles Justice of New Liberty, Iowa and Douglas Richard Justice of Minneapolis, Minnesota; brother Stuart (Peg) Erickson of Edina, Minnesota, nephew and Godson Will Erickson and niece Lucy Erickson. Uncles Fred (JoAnn) Gowan of Eden Prairie, Minnesota and Curt Erickson of Stuart, Florida; as well as many loved cousins and dear friends. Funeral services celebrating the life of Marcy Ann Justice will be held Saturday September 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Erickson Center for the Arts in Curtis, Michigan with Father Tom Wray officiating. Interment will follow at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Curtis. Memorials may be directed to MARCY’S PANTRY in Curtis, Michigan in her memory. Condolences may be expressed at www.beaulieufuneralhome.com. Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.
John Daniel “Mac” MacDougall
John Daniel “Mac” MacDougall, of Farmington, entered eternal life on August 24, 2020, at Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi. He was 87. John was born October 4, 1932, in Detroit, to the late Daniel and June (Swanson) MacDougall. A 1950 graduate of St. Leo High School in Detroit, John studied at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. He proudly served his country in the US Army, from 1952-1954, where he was a corporal stationed at Fort Knox, KY, and a member of the Military Police. He met Linda L. (Wood) while stationed at the Newberry, Michigan, State Police Post. They married September 11, 1971, at St. Gregory Catholic Church in Newberry and enjoyed nearly 49 years of marriage. John enjoyed a long career in public safety which spanned several decades. He began with the Michigan State Police from 1956-1981, assigned to Posts in Pontiac, Buffalo, Newberry, Detroit and finally, Northville. Following his retirement from MSP, he was head of security for Providence Hospital in Southfield from 1981-1991. Moreover, John served the City of Clawson as a Fire Inspector beginning in 1991, until his retirement in 2015 as Clawson’s Fire Marshall. John grew up loving baseball and followed his kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events over the course of many years. He was proud to have even had the opportunity to scout for the Atlanta Braves as well as the Cleveland Indians ballclubs. He was a devout Catholic and proud American. Most of all, John was a family man. His love and devotion to his family, friends, neighbors and treasured grand-dogs was profound. May he rest in peace. John was the beloved husband of nearly 49 years to Linda; devoted father of Nancy (Brian) Evans, Daniel (Angel) and Timothy (Anne); and loving grandfather of Jacob and Justin Evans, and Iris, Viktoria and John MacDougall. He is also survived by his treasured dogs, Spencer, Sadie and Lily. Sadly, he was preceded in death by his sister, Sr. Margaret MacDougall, SSJ, and granddogs, Miller, Uma, Lou, Bud and Casey. John’s funeral mass at St. Gerald Church in Farmington, and interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, took place Saturday, August 29. Contributions are kindly suggested to the St. Gerald Conference of St. Vincent de Paul, Farmington, MI or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis. TN. Arrangements entrusted to the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home, Farmington (248-474-5200).