Died: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Brian Joseph Forster
Brian Joseph Forster, 63, a longtime Grosse Pointe and Petoskey resident, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, after a valiant four-year battle with Multiple Systems Atrophy. He passed away at his home in Petoskey under the care of hospice.
Mr. Forster was born March 7, 1944 in Pontiac to Andrew and Ellen (nee Lagraff) Forster.
He enjoyed several careers during his lifetime including teaching in the Grosse Pointe Public School System, as a C.P.A. in public accounting, and as a founding partner in Olympic Corp., a general contracting firm, and Delta Contracting Group, a real estate development company.
Mr. Forster was an avid downhill skier and loyal enthusiast of Nubs Nob. He was also a longtime member of the Detroit Athletic Club where he played squash and was a loyal patron of The Tap Bar.
He played many a frustrating round of golf at Gowanie Golf Club, loving every minute of it, and also belonged to Petoskey Bay View Golf Club.
He enjoyed many laughs and good times playing co-ed volleyball and closing The Club 500. His family said that no one was ever more blessed with an amazing group of lifelong friends.
Mr. Forster and his wife, Patty, moved to Petoskey in 2002, fulfilling a lifelong dream of retiring in Northern Michigan.
He is survived by his loving wife Patty (nee Moran); and his loving children Julie (Tom) Goodrich, Brian (Claire) Forster and Andrew (Heather) Forster. He taught them many life lessons, most importantly the importance of the two words “listen” and “believe.”
He also is survived by six terrific grandchildren; his siblings Dennis (Patty), Renee (Mike) Foley, Abbie (Scott) Thiss, and Mary Ellen (Warren) Vrooman; brothers-in-law Thomas (Patti) Moran, Mike (Patty) Moran, and Joe (Beth) Moran; and sisters-in-law Cathy (Al) Rutledge, Mary (Lon) Barr, and Lucy (Bob) Gorski.
He was pre-deceased by his parents; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Thomas Joseph and Philomene Moran.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, 3434 M-119 Road, Suite F, Harbor Springs, MI 49740.
Died: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Margaret Palazzolo
St. Clair Shores resident Margaret Palazzolo, 75, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, at Oakwood Hospital. She was formerly a resident of Grosse Pointe Park.
Mrs. Palazzolo was born Nov. 19, 1932 in Monroe to Phillipo and Angelina Badalamenti. She graduated from the Catholic Girls Academy in Monroe.
She married her husband, Joseph, in 1951.
Mrs. Palazzolo was a homemaker and helped her husband at his grocery business, Five Brothers Market.
She enjoyed playing cards with her friends and was famous among family and friends for her delicious Italian cooking.
Mrs. Palazzolo is survived by Joseph, her husband of 56 years; daughter Roselyn (Keith) Rhodes; and grandchildren Joseph, Natalie and Lauren.
She also is survived by her sister, Fara Palazzolo; and brothers Joseph Badalamenti and Emmanuel Badalamenti.
Visitation will be held 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons Funeral Home, 36900 Schoenherr Rd., Sterling Heights.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at St. Lucy Catholic Church, 23401 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 30200 Telegraph Rd., Suite 105, Bingham Farms, MI 48025.
Died: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Beverly J. Wilson
Former Grosse Pointe Farms resident Beverly J. Wilson, 80, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe. She most recently lived at the American House East in Roseville.
She was born April 16, 1927 in Flint to William C. and Irene Walton Hummell. She married Robert M. Wilson and the couple moved to Grosse Pointe in 1963.
Mrs. Wilson was known for her love of her family, and the wonderful life and joy she shared with her late husband, Bob.
It seemed as if she was always cooking for an army. Her six children and their friends could always count on arriving home from school to the smell of fresh cookies and cupcakes.
Her family said she will be missed for her deep concern for her family and friends, and her sense of humor which she passed on to her grateful children.
She is survived by her sons, Robert M. (Donna) of Algonac, Christopher (Colleen) of Fort Myers, Fla., and Gary (Lauren) of the City of Grosse Pointe; daughter, Nancy M. Wilson of Fort Myers, Fla.; 12 grandchildren; and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased in 1998 by Bob, her husband of 53 years; sons, James T. “Tim” and Jeffrey P.; her parents; and her siblings, Violet Roberts and James Hummell.
A service was held Feb. 15 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church with interment at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Point Edward, Ontario.
Memorial donations may be made to COTS Detroit, 26 Peterboro, Detroit, MI 48201 or The Salvation Army, 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075.
Died: Monday, February 11, 2008
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Angela Virginia Popovic, 78, died Monday, Feb. 11, 2008.
She was born April 18, 1929 in Detroit to Jack and Maria DiGaetano and attended Girls Catholic Central High School.
Mrs. Popovic was a wife, mother and homemaker.
She is survived by her husband, Milan; daughter Donna M. (Barry) Bussiere; sons Michael M. and Daniel J. (Roberta); grandchildren Lia, David, Matthew and Alex; and her sister, Catherine Palazzola.
She was predeceased by her parents.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 and from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at A. H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 21620 Greater Mack, St. Clair Shores, with interment following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Died: Sunday, February 10, 2008
Grosse Pointe Woods resident James R. B. Smith, 87, died Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008.
Mr. Smith was born in Detroit to John and Margaret Smith. He graduated from Eastern High School in 1938 and worked as an engineer at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a water tender 3rd Class.
Mr. Smith was a member of the American Society of Body Engineers.
He had a wide variety of interests including golf, fishing, boating, reading and music.
He is survived by his wife, Doris V. Smith; daughters Diane Gluszewski and Susan Lockhart; son Jim Smith; seven grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.
Mr. Smith was predeceased by his son, David, and his brother, Jack.
A funeral service was held Feb. 13 at First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grosse Pointe Woods.
Memorial donations may be made to the First English Building Fund, 800 Vernier, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.
Died: Thursday, February 07, 2008 Thelma Nelsen
Thelma Nelsen, 91, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, at St. Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor. She was a resident of the City of Grosse Pointe.
Mrs. Nelsen was born April 2, 1906 in Detroit to Thomas and Tilly Burkenio.
She was a member of the Grosse Pointe Senior Ladies Club and 48 year volunteer at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.
Mrs. Nelsen was an avid golfer. She was a life member of Gowanie Golf Club in Harrison Township. She also enjoyed playing cards and was a Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers fan.
She is survived by her daughter, Judith (Jerry) Bell; grandchildren Deborah (Fred) Pearson, Susan Bell and Kelly Backer; and five great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband, Clifton; and her son, Thomas.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 12 at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Farms.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Capuchins, 1820 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207.
Share a memory at Verheyden.org.
Died: Thursday, February 07, 2008 John Edwin Bodkin
Former Grosse Pointe Park resident John Edwin Bodkin, 84, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008.
He was born Sept. 3, 1924 in Detroit to Edwin and Florence (Peterson) Bodkin.
Mr. Bodkin’s involvement with the Detroit Yacht Club began at an early age spending summers aboard his father’s yacht, “Vagabond.” These formative years established a love of the water that was a central theme throughout his life.
He graduated from the University of Michigan’s Naval Architecture Program—a background that served him well throughout his life as a prolific builder and designer.
In the waning years of World War II, Mr. Bodkin served in the U.S. Navy as a naval architect and designer.
Among the projects he worked on was a program to improve destroyer performance by harnessing four engines in two banks called “pancaking.”
After the war he continued in the marine trades designing, among other things, a new propeller for the Boblo boat “Columbia” for better fuel efficiency and power.
In the post war years, he founded the John E. Bodkin Yacht Brokerage. This began with the restoration of the Indian Village property that housed his offices and became his home during the 1950s and early 1960s.
Over the next 30 years, the business grew to become the largest yacht brokerage in the Great Lakes Region and one of the most renowned in the nation.
Thousands of boats were sold by the firm ranging in size from the 19-foot Lightning class that he helped to establish in the Detroit area to the sale of some of the largest yachts in the world.
He was especially proud of being the first broker to display a sailboat with its mast up at the Detroit Boat Show.
Mr. Bodkin was a well-respected sailor, having competed in many Mackinac races, Southern Ocean Racing Circuits, and Bermuda Races throughout the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.
He crewed on many boats of renown such as “Dorade,” “Escapade” and the New York 32’s “Apache” and “Falcon.”
As a long term member of Bayview Yacht Club and Detroit Yacht Club, he also owned several boats of his own. Most notable of these was the historic yacht “Helene,” which, as a yacht broker he brought back from coastal defense duty after WWII and still graces the waterways of the Detroit area.
During the 1970s he changed vocations and home towns, founding a printing company that serviced the automotive industry for 20 years.
Mr. Bodkin retired from the business in 2001 and continued to live in St. Clair for the duration of his life.
During his later years he lived an active life converting an 1872 vintage one-room school house into his home. The final result became a landmark in that community and was often visited by former students, who marveled at the quality of the workmanship and his stewardship of the property.
Mr. Bodkin is survived by his children, John Swegels III, Jeffery Edwin Bodkin, and Kimberly Bodkin Webster; grandchildren, Mathew Swegels, and Lucas, Liam and Lauren Webster; and great-granddaughter, Addison Swegels.
Mr. Bodkin will be remembered in a celebration of his life from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at the Detroit Yacht Club, 1 Riverbank Rd., Detroit.
Contributions may be made to the Navy–Marine Corps Relief Society, nmcrs.org.
Died: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 William R. “Ray” Brownell
William R. “Ray” Brownell, 96, died Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, at Chelsea Retirement Community in Chelsea. He was born Oct. 29, 1911 in Detroit to William J. and Mary Etta Robb Brownell.
Mr. Brownell graduated from the University of Michigan. On Oct. 29, 1949, he married Florence Hewitt in Grosse Pointe.
He retired from Parke Davis on Nov. 1, 1973, where he was a production manager.
He was a member of the Senior Men’s Club in Grosse Pointe.
In 1992, he and his wife moved to Chelsea.
Mr. Brownell is survived by son James A. (Joan) Brownell of Davenport, Iowa; daughter Virginia (John) Chapman of Austin, Texas; and grandchildren Patrick and Jeffrey Chapman and Cassondra and Suzanne Brownell.
He was predeceased by his wife, Florence, in 1998.
A memorial service was held Feb. 11 at Chelsea Retirement Community with the Rev. Beth Foster officiating. Mr. Brownell’s ashes will be placed in the mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit.
Memorial contributions may be made to Chelsea Retirement Community, 805 W. Middle St., Chelsea, MI 48118.
Died: Monday, February 04, 2008 John T. Brosnan Sr.
Grosse Pointe Park resident John T. Brosnan Sr., 77, died Monday, Feb. 4, 2008.
He was born Jan. 5, 1931 in Detroit to Jeremiah and Anna Brosnan and graduated in 1948 from St. Rose High School in Detroit.
Mr. Brosnan was signed by the Cleveland Indians baseball farm system in July, 1951, but was drafted by the U.S. Army in Oct., 1951, during the Korean War.
After serving for two years, he returned to the Cleveland Indians for two years.
He was a Grosse Pointe Park policeman for five years and then a tavern owner for 45 years at various locations on East Jefferson — the last in Grosse Pointe Park at Maryland.
Mr. Brosnan was a member of the Grosse Pointe Park Foundation and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 102.
He had a great interest in baseball and football.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret; daughter Mary Lynn Hammer; sons John Jr. (Rose) and Gerard (Anne); grandchildren John, Michael (Becky), Daniel, James, Paul, Elise, Anna and Stephen; and great-grandchildren, Haley and Shane.
He also is survived by his brother, Terrence (Alice).
Mr. Brosnan was predeceased by his son, Stephen; his parents; and his brother, Jeremiah.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 8 at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe Farms with interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Died: Monday, February 04, 2008
Mary Decker Flintermann, a lifelong resident of Detroit and Grosse Pointe, died peacefully in the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. She was 92.
Mrs. Flintermann was born Mary Ann Decker in Bay City on Aug. 26, 1915. She was married to Donald Flintermann for 45 years until his death in Oct. 1988.
Mrs. Flintermann is survived by children Charlotte Fink of Santa Barbara, Calif., Barbara Alter of Phoenix, Ariz., Mary Smart of Bloomfield Hills and Rockey Flintermann of Winnetka, Ill.; and seven grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband, Donald; and her oldest son, Andrew, who passed away in 1989.
Mrs. Flintermann was a member of many local community organizations and charities.
A private family ceremony will be held at the Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church in the City of Grosse Pointe.
Arrangements were handled by Hamilton Funeral and Cremation Society of Grosse Pointe.