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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Gail L. Stein, 62, of LaSalle died at 1:08 a.m. Thursday at Mercy Memorial Hospital. She had been in poor health for six years and seriously ill for three months.
Friends may call from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 7 p.m. Dr. Tony Lynn lead pastor of Raisinville Baptist Church will officiate.
Born September 1, 1947 in Monroe she was the daughter of Rolland J. and Betty J. (Zimmerman) Schindler. She married Michael A. Stein on February 5, 1982 in Monroe.
She was at one time employed at Consolidated Paper Company, north side, Jimmy’s Rathskellar, and Connecticut General.
Gail was a 1965 graduate of Monroe High School and enjoyed being a homemaker and especially enjoyed being around family. She also had a great fondness for animals, having several pets over the years. She was an active member of Relay for Life.
Surviving are her husband Michael and grandson Hunter Snodgrass of LaSalle; son George Walters of Phoenix, Arizona; step-son Michael (Beth) Stein, Jr. of Monroe; daughter Beverly Snodgrass of Petersburg; step-daughter Elizabeth (Robert) Eastman of LaSalle; brother, Rick Schindler of Monroe; seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister-in-law Rose Schindler.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Monroe County Humane Society.
Online condolences may be sent through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Bernice Pratt, 87, of Temperance went to be with the Lord at 11:05 p.m. Wednesday at home. She had been in poor health since March.
Friends may call from 12 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe where a rosary service will be held at 4 p.m. She will lie instate 10 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Temperance with services at 11 a.m. Rev. Stephen Rooney, pastor will officiate and entombment will be at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.
Born July 25, 1922 in Erie, she was the daughter of Honore and Alida (Nerregher) Van DenBerghe, She married John L. Pratt on November 22, 1941 at St. Joseph Church he preceded her in death on May 20, 1985.
She was at one time employed at Consolidated Paper Company, north side, Howard Ternes Packaging, was the former owner of the Uptown Bar and in later years sold real estate.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Temperance, Women of the Moose Chapter 714, Fraternal Order of the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary 2254, V.F.W. Post 1138 Ladies Auxiliary.
Loving mother to daughters; Judy A. (Austin) Ellison of Temperance, Mary E. (Robert) McCarty of Anderson, SC, Amy L. Stewart of Los Angeles, CA, Aledia C. (Michael) Gabrielson of Lambertville and Michele T. (James) Thompson of Monroe. She is also survived by a brother, Marshall Van DenBerghe of Monroe; sister, Jacqueline Hackert of Monroe; thirteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her daughter Penny S. Alger, granddaughter Jennifer Gabrielson, sister Josephine Bordeau and brother Joseph Van DenBerghe.
Memorials may be made to the St. Joseph Food Closet.
Online condolences may be sent to www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Edward H. “Dunnie” Butler, age 79 of Monroe, died Wednesday December 30th at Mercy Memorial Hospital. He had been seriously ill for a month.
Cremation has taken place in accordance to his wishes. Interment will be in Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery, LaSalle. Friends may visit from 5 – 7 p.m. Friday January 8th in the Rupp Funeral Home where a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m.
Born September 2, 1930 in Monroe, he was the son of Edward and Nellie (Broummet) Butler. Ed married Betty Jennings May 31, 1952 in Angola, Indiana. He later married Grace Dinsmore on September 2, 1983 in London, Ontario Canada.
Dunnie was a Quality Control Manager for Ford Motor Company at their Woodhaven Stamping Plant totaling 36 years of employment.
He served in the United States Air Force from July 21, 1947 to July 20, 1950.
Ed was a pilot and instructor, currently holding an airline transport pilot rating. Dunnie was also a MAPA Flight Instructor for 10 years.
He is survived by his wife Grace; three daughters, Cynthia (David) Miracle, Vickie Butler, and Yvonne Morrison, all of Monroe; a sister, Barbara (Ken) Drouillard of Monroe; two step-daughters, Janice (Nigel) Fox and Linda (Mark) Banks; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Ed is preceded in death by a step-son, John Scott Broughton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be sent through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Thomas J. Beamish
October 20, 1934 – December 29, 2009

Thomas Joseph Beamish, 75, of Okeechobee, Florida formerly of Monroe passed on December 29, 2009 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, following two years of serious illness.
Friends may call from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 7 p.m. Rev. Fred Michiolek, pastor of St. Charles Catholic Church will officiate.
Born October 20, 1934 in Riverview, Michigan he was the son of Harry L. and Anna (Cramer) Beamish. He married Judy J. Irvin on August 2, 1975 after which they resided in Monroe until December 2004 when they moved to Okeechobee, Florida.

Thomas worked for a short time at Chrysler Engine, but spent most of his working years at a consumer products plant in Rockwood, Michigan known originally as Calgon Corporation and ending as Reckitt Benckiser, Inc. Employment began 1959 and ended at retirement in 1997. He then operated Golf Tees sporting goods before the Florida relocation. He was a member of the Monroe Moose Lodge. Prior to illness he enjoyed golfing and boating.

Surviving are his wife, children Keeli (Michael) Ernst – Monroe, Laurie(Ken) Earle – West Branch, Suzanne Beamish – Riverview, Michael(Brenda) Beamish – Brownstown, Jennifer Pouzak – Lincoln Park, Scott(Jan) Irvin – Monroe, and Kathryn Morris – Monroe, sister Margaret (Richard) Springstead of S. Rockwood; 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was cherished beyond measure by those listed as well as many close friends both in Michigan and Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Online condolences may be sent to www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Mark L. Spreeman, 56, of Monroe died at 7:30 p.m. at University Hospitals, Ann Arbor.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12 noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Rupp Funeral Home, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday. The Rev. Robert Bauer, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Carleton, will officiate. Entombment will be at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.

Born September 10, 1953 in Dundee, he was the son of Raynor and Joyce (Zimmerman) Spreeman. He married Michele Calkins February 15, 2002 in Monroe.

He was on the Monroe City Police Department for 29 years, retiring in April 2005.

He was a member of the FOP Lodge #113, National Riffle Association and enjoyed participating in Civil War reenactments.

He is survived by his wife, Michele Spreeman of Monroe; his father, Raynor (Nancy) Spreeman of Monroe; his mother, Joyce Golden of Monroe; three brothers, Frank (Gwen) Spreeman of Monroe, Michael Spreeman of Scottsdale, Arizona, David (Sherrie) Spreeman of Monroe; a sister, Molly (Jason) Rice of Acworth, Georgia and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his stepfather Charles Golden and a niece Melanie Spreeman.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University Hospitals organ transplant department.

Online condolences may be sent through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

George M. Stevenson, age 74 of Monroe, died 5:25 p.m. Tuesday, December 29th at Flower Hospital, Sylvania, Ohio.
Friends may call from 12 – 6 p.m. Thursday and 12 – 4 p.m. Friday in the Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. Rev. Marc Gawronski, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church of Monroe will officiate. Burial will follow at LaSalle Township Cemetery.
Born July 7, 1935 in Newport, Michigan, he was the son of Albert and Mildred (Bloss) Stevenson. He married Alice M. Laudenslager on October 15, 1955 in Calvary United Methodist Church. After her passing on December 15, 2003, he later married Jacqueline (Sullivan) Rafko on November 30, 2008 in St. Mary Catholic Church.
George was employed by Ford Motor Company in Monroe as a pipefitter for thirty years, retiring in 1983.
He was a member of Moose Lodge 884, U.A.W. Local 723, and for twenty-five years, George was a member of the Frenchtown Volunteer Fire Department. He enjoyed gardening, reading western novels, tinkering in his garage, and attending auctions and flea markets.
George is survived by his wife, Jackie Rafko-Stevenson; a daughter, Sandra (Danny) Proffitt-Waddell of Shiloh, Tennessee; a brother, William Stevenson of Kentucky; five sisters, Bonita Swartz of Casey, Illinois, Edith Gentry of Lynchburg, Virginia, Alice Burgard of Newport, Barbara Sampson of Carleton, and Helen (Chuck) Veres of Cadillac; three grandchildren, James Proffitt, II, Rebecca (Mark) Bielecki, and Mandy (Corey) Haven; four great-grandchildren and three step-children.
In addition to his first wife, he was preceded in death by two sons, Brian and David Stevenson; a brother Robert; and a sister Corrine Behm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gabby’s Ladder or the Nick Rafko Memorial Fund.
Online condolences may be sent through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Robert F. Knegendorf, 82, of Monroe died at 3 a.m. Monday at Mercy Memorial Hospital he had been in poor health since November 18, 2009.
Friends may call from 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rupp Funeral Home. He will lie instate 9 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church with services at 10 a.m. Rev. Jeffrey Walsh, associate pastor of the church, will officiate. Burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.
Born October 1, 1927 in Monroe he was the son of Charles and Emma (Furstenberg) Knegendorf. He married Esther Beck on November 9, 1957 and she preceded him in death on October 3, 1989. He then married Lois J. Hemry on June 15, 1991 at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Bob was employed in the offices of Monroe Auto Equipment Company for thirty-eight years, retiring in 1989.
He served in the US Army during World War II from February 2, 1946 to July 29, 1947 and attained the rank of corporal.
He was a 1945 graduate of Monroe High School, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and a seven day a week volunteer at the Monroe Senior Center. He also enjoyed playing cards, bingo and going to casinos.
Surviving are his wife Lois, step children Kevin M. (Patricia) Hemry of Monroe; Jackie L. (Mindy) Hemry, Jr. of Gaylord; Christine S. (Robert) Frayer of Gregory, Michigan; Nancy J. (Scott) Ellison of Monroe and Lisa A. Brown of Monroe; step grandchildren Christopher and Kelly Frayer, Robert and Jen Frayer, Allison Frayer, Brooke Hemry, Kevin Hemry II, Kelli Hemry, Kayla Hemry, Paige Hemry, Corey Cousino, Brittany Cousino, Nickolas Brown, Joshua Brown, Jonathan Brown; step great-grandchildren Kyndal Rogers, Arden Hemry and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Esther, brother, Alvin Knegendorf, sisters, Dorothy Agusta, Arlene Ruth Knegendorf, Jean Ann Jackson and Mary M. Koster and step-son Earl A. Hemry.
Memorials may be made to the Monroe Senior Center or Trinity Lutheran Church.
Online condolences may be sent to www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Chad L. Stoner, age 36 of Oceanside, California, formerly of Petersburg, Michigan, died due to a white water kayaking accident near Quito, Ecuador.
Friends may call from 4 – 9 p.m. Monday and 12 – 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Knights of Columbus, Erie Council 7413, will recite the Rosary at 7 p.m. Tuesday. He will lie instate 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Erie where Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Rev. Kevin Russeau, C.S.C. will officiate. Con-celebrating will be Rev. Fred Kalaj, pastor of St. Joseph Parish. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in LaSalle.
Born October 10, 1973 in Monroe, he is the son of David and RoseMary (Trombley) Stoner.
Chad was a 1991 graduate of Monroe High School and graduated Cum Laude from Monroe County Community College in 1993. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Bio-chemistry from Eastern Michigan University in 1995. In 1997, Chad completed his Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. While attending Eastern Michigan University, he was employed as a lab assistant with Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Currently, Chad was Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer (formerly Parke-Davis) Pharmaceutical in LaJolla, California.
Chad is a member of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist, St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Parish in Oceanside, CA and former member of St. Joseph Church and the K of C Council in Erie, Michigan.
He enjoyed kayaking, snow skiing, running, traveling, and was an avid University of Michigan football fan. Chad’s favorite personal quote was “Work Hard, Play Harder”.
Chad is survived by his parents, David and RoseMary Stoner of LaSalle, MI; a sister, Kari (Tim) Goins of LaSalle, MI; two brothers, Richard (Martha) Stoner of Lambertville, MI, Ryan Stoner of Monroe, MI; two nieces, Marcianna Clendenin and Sierra Goins; two nephews, Wyatt Goins and Joseph Stoner.
Chad was preceded in death by his grandparents, Russell & Martha Stoner and Wilfred & Caroline Trombley; and two uncles, Alton Stoner and Robert Trombley.
In lieu of flowers, Chad’s family is requesting memorial donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, T.H.A.N.K.S., Inc., or a charity of the donors choice.
Online condolences may be sent through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Santo J. Bellestri, 88, of Monroe died at 9:45 p.m. Sunday at home he had been in poor health since October.
Friends may call from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rupp Funeral Home where a Rosary service will be held at 7 p.m. He will lie instate 9 a.m. Thursday at St. Michaels Catholic Church with services at 10 a.m. Rev. Stephen Vileo, pastor of the church, Rev. Fred Kalaj, pastor of St Joseph Church, Erie and Rev. Thomas Vermiglio, pastor of the Comboni Missionaries, will officiate. Entombment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Monroe.
Born July 15, 1921 in Augusta, Sicily he was the son of Sam and Concetta (Carrabino) Bellestri. He married Rose C. Russo on September 14, 1946 at Holy Family Church, Detroit she preceded him in death on December 20, 2002.
Santo was employed by Sears, Monroe from 1948 until retiring in 1978. He was also employed part time at Sacks Furniture, Monroe.
He served in the US Navy during World War II from August 25, 1942 to January 22, 1946.
A 1940 Graduate of Monroe High School, he was a member of St. Michaels Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus 1266, Monroe 4th degree. He volunteered for the Comboni Missionaries and was a twenty year volunteer for the Michigan Cancer / Karmanos Center. He was also known for Santo’s roast beef.
Surviving are his sons Sam (Julie) Bellestri of San Carlos, California; Thomas (Yvonne) Bellestri of Erie and James (Christine) Bellestri of Monroe; brother Sam Bellestri of Monroe; grandchildren Tonia (Shawn) Lucca, Sam (Ana) Bellestri, Thomas Bellestri, Michael Bellestri, Angela Bellestri, Christopher Bellestri and Nicholas Bellestri.
He was preceded in death by his wife and sisters, Frances Bellestri and Frances Gianino.
Memorials may be made to the Comboni Missionaries or Mercy Hospice of Monroe.
Online condolences may be sent to www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.

Sister Ann Marie (Naomi) L’Esperance, IHM

Monroe, Mich. – Sister Ann Marie L’Esperance, IHM, 94, died Friday, Dec. 25, in the IHM Health Care Center, Monroe, Mich. She has been under Mercy Memorial Hospice Care of Monroe.

Sister Ann Marie was one of six children, three boys and three girls, of Simon and Gertrude (O’Neil) L’Esperance. She was born Aug. 28, 1915, in Detroit and given the name Ann Marie. Sister Ann Marie attended St. Charles Elementary and High Schools in Detroit. She became a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe in 1932, taking the religious name of Sister Naomi.

Sister Ann Marie earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College and masters’ degrees from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. She taught in formal education for 68 years at St. Martin, St. Gregory and Annunciation, Detroit; Holy Cross, Marine City; Our Lady of Lourdes, River Rouge; St. Matthew, Flint; St. Patrick, Wyandotte and Gabriel Richard, Riverview, Mich.

In 1970 Sister Ann Marie began a 36-year ministry at Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview. Six of those years were spent as a substitute teacher. Besides teaching, she was involved in the sodality, future teachers club and the Gabriel Richard yearbook. Sister Ann Marie enjoyed playing the piano and crocheting Sacred Heart Badges. She retired in 2002 to the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe. She was admitted to the Health Care Center in 2007 where she resided until her death.

Sister Ann Marie is survived by her brother, Frank, and her sister, Rita (Mrs. Robert Hughes), and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Neal and Gerard and her sister, Justine (Mrs. Louis Murphy).

Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Monday, Dec. 28, from 2 until 7:30 p.m. with a Remembering at 3 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Chapel on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Marc Gawronski, as presider. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery on the Motherhouse Campus. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.