Monthly Archives: September 2014

John F. “Jack” Lajiness

December 18, 1937 – September 30, 2014

LajinessJohn “Jack” Lajiness, 76, entered eternal life on September 30th, 2014.  He was the son of Gordon and Irene (Schnorberger) Lajiness.  A 1956 graduate of Monroe Catholic Central, he later earned his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Ferris State University in 1961.  He married Gail Robillard in Garson, Ontario, in 1962.  From their blessed union of 52 years, they had four children, Paul (deceased), Tim (Kellie), Terry, Todd.  He was preceded in death by his brother Allen and his grandson Nolan. 

 Jack was a gentle man of great integrity, a devoted husband and a loving father and grandfather.  He was a founding owner of Professional Village Pharmacy and worked with great care and dedication to serve the health care needs of the people of Monroe.  Among his hobbies was a love for aviation.  He earned his private pilot license at an early age and took great delight in sharing this passion with his sons and grandchildren. 

After his retirement in 2002 from his work as a pharmacist, he volunteered generously at St. Charles parish and enjoyed traveling with his wife, Gail.  He will be deeply missed by his wife, children, surviving grandchildren (Bryce, Monique, Matthew, Benjamin, Sophia, and Anna) and the whole family.  He is also survived by his brothers Tom (Evelyn) and Vincent “Dick” (Sue), his sister Nora, and multiple nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be held at Rupp Funeral Home in Monroe, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday with a rosary at 7:30 p.m.; on Thursday visitation from 1:00-8:00 p.m. with a Scripture service at 7:00 p.m.  He will lie instate Friday at St. Charles Catholic Church (Newport) at 10:00 a.m. with the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., officiated by Msgr. Todd Lajiness.  Burial will follow at St. Charles Cemetery, Newport.  

In his memory, gifts can be offered to Sacred Heart Major Seminary or Changing Lives Together, St. Charles Newport.  

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Diane F. Summers

February 16, 1943 – September 26, 2014


    SummersDiane F. Summers, age 71 of Monroe, died 8:34 a.m. Friday, September 26, 2014 in her home.

    Friends may visit from 5 – 8 p.m. Wednesday at Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 7 p.m.  Cremation will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in accordance with her wishes.

    Born February 16, 1943 in Dearborn, Michigan, she was the daughter of Joseph and Pauline (Bessette) Bernard.  She married James W. Summers on December 22, 1986 in Dearborn.

    Diane was employed as a beautician and was a member of Redeemer Fellowship Church.  She enjoyed sewing, crafts, shopping, and decorating.

    Diane is survived by her husband Jim; a daughter, Denise Oaks of Westland; her father of Westland; step-daughter, Heather Summers of San Diego, California; brother, George (Eve) Bernard of Kingman, Arizona; half brothers, Lester (Lori) Vincent of Brighton, Michigan, Jerry (Linda) Vincent of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Lenny Vincent of Michigan; a sister, J.B. Bernard of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; two grandchildren, George Milian and Sydney Campbell; and great-grandchild, Jace Campbell.

    Diane was preceded in death by her mother, Pauline Vincent, daughter Doreen Bessette, and half brother Roger Vincent.

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Joseph W. Sobota

July 31, 1920 – September 25, 2014


    Joseph W. Sobota, age 94 of LaSalle, Michigan, died Thursday, September 25, 2014.

    Joseph lived a long and rewarding life, and will be greatly missed.

    His family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

    Rupp Funeral Home is assisting the family.

    Online condolences can be sent through

Scan1Joseph M. Geyman
October 4, 1941 – September 24, 2014

Joseph M. Geyman, 72, of LaSalle, passed away Wednesday at the University Hospitals, Ann Arbor due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident on September 21, 2014.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Rupp Funeral Home, where services will held at 11 a.m. Monday. Rev. Ray McGee will officiate. Procession will follow to Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.

Joe was born October 4, 1941 in Monroe. He was the son of Vincent and Marcella (Stark) Geyman. He married Donna D. Crutchfield September 25, 1978.

He worked for Holcim (formerly Dundee Cement) retiring in 2004.

Joe joined the LaSalle Volunteer Fire Department in November 1963 and was still an active firefighter. He was a very dedicated member of the department had been on 172 calls this year.

His passion and pastimes were woodworking, gardening and hunting.

Joe is survived by his wife, Donna Geyman of LaSalle; seven children, Sherri Oley of Monroe, Sandra (Elwood) Gay of LaSalle, Joseph Geyman, II of Toledo, Gary (Ida) Bledowski of Hillsdale, Chad Geyman of LaSalle, Charlie Geyman of Monroe and Jenna Geyman of Monroe; a sister, Jan (Arthur) Allen of Toledo and three grandchildren, Thomas, Brooke and Renia.

He is preceded in death by his parents; a brother Gerald Geyman and a sister, Jean White.

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St.BernardCatherine A. St. Bernard

March 22, 1917 – September 25, 2014


    Catherine A. St. Bernard, age 97 of Monroe, died at 4:15 a.m. Thursday, September, 25, 2014 at Wellspring Lutheran Services, Monroe.

    Friends may visit from 1 – 8 p.m. Sunday at Rupp Funeral Home.  Mass of the Resurrection celebrating her life will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church on Monday at 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Louis Lapeyre will officiate.  Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.

    Born March 22, 1917 in Monroe, she was the daughter of Peter and Mary (Cannoe) Sulfaro and Casper Marchese.  She married Clifford S. St. Bernard on October 29, 1949 in St. Joseph Church.  He preceded her in death on November 23, 1983.

    Catherine devoted most of her life to helping others.  She was an active member and volunteer at St. Joseph Church and was honored by the Monroe Council of Churches as “Church Person of the Year” in 1976.  She was Past Commander and former Chaplain of Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary 79, Monroe.  She had been honored and recognized by many organizations and civic groups for countless hours of volunteer work that could never be tallied.  Such organizations include Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Monroe County, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and Arthur Lesow Community Center, to name a few.

    Catherine is survived by a daughter, Roberta (James) Vancena; brothers, Richard Marchese and Donald (Cathy) Marchese; sisters, Frances Vukovich and Josephine Williamson, all of Monroe.

    In addition to her husband Clifford, she was also preceded by parents Peter Sulfaro, Mary Marchese, and Casper Marchese; brothers, John, Tony, Casper, and Robert Marchese; sisters, Mary Barber, Rose Patterfritz, and Margie Winters.

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Dean W. Hill

September 2, 1940 – September 22, 2014


    HillDean W. Hill, age 74 of Monroe, died at 11:10 a.m. Monday, September 22, 2014 at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo.  He had been seriously ill for two weeks.

    Friends may visit from 2 – 8 p.m. Thursday at Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 12 p.m. Friday.  Rev. Jeffrey Heimsoth, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church will officiate.  Burial will follow at Gethsemane Cemetery with military honors provided by VFW Post 1138, Monroe.

    Born September 2, 1940 in Monroe, he was the son of Wade and Marie (Zarend) Hill.  He married Linda L. Landt on March 2, 1963 in Grace Lutheran Church.

    Dean served in the U.S. Army from February 14, 1962 to January 31, 1964, obtaining the rank of Corporal.

    Dean was employed by La-Z-Boy in Monroe for 14 years and then by Ford Motor Company in Milan as a Relief Operator, retiring after 26 years.

    Dean was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, American Legion, and Moose Lodge 884.  He was an avid sports fan.  He enjoyed watching sports on all levels, professional, college, high school, or attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.  Dean also enjoyed golfing, playing cards, telling jokes, and vacationing annually with his wife in Vero Beach, Florida.

    Dean is survived by his wife Linda; four sons, Wade (Joan) Hill, Michael Hill, and Bryan Hill all of Monroe, and Chad (Bridget) Hill of Maybee; brother, Jim of Oregon; sister, Rose Marie (Billy) Weaver of Monroe; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

    He was preceded in death by his father Wade; mother, Marie “Tweet” McIntire and her husband Louis who became his second father; and a brother Rolland Hill.

    Memorial donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran School / Technology Department or a charity of the donor’s choice.

    Online condolences can be sent through



BerryBessie “Irene” Berry

Bessie “Irene” Berry, ­87 years old of Monroe, Michigan, died September 21, 2014 at Medilodge of Monroe.

Friends may call at Rupp Funeral Home, 2345 South Custer Road, Monroe, MI on Friday September 26, 2014 from 2:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.  She will lie in state at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 5301 East Albain Road, Monroe, Michigan on Saturday September 27, 2014, from 1:00 PM until services beginning at 2:00 PM  Dennis Knab from the South Monroe Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses will officiate .  Burial will be at Woodland Cemetery in Monroe, Michigan.

Irene was born on November 21, 1926, in Monroe, Michigan.  She was the daughter of James Oder and Nila (Whitaker) Friar.  Her step-mother was Laura (Rice) Friar.  She married James Edward Berry on June 18, 1949 in Monroe, Michigan.  He preceded her in death on September 15, 1991.

Irene was a homemaker and previously worked at Monroe Auto Equipment during World War II. After that she was then employed by Consolidated Paper Company.  She also worked at Frenchtown Senior Citizens’ Center where she volunteered for many years.  She was an avid fan of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, watching them on TV or listening to the play by play on the radio. She enjoyed working on crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and in later years she enjoyed Sudoku.  For over 59 years she was a member of the South Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Monroe, Michigan.  She dedicated her life to Jehovah God and was baptized on August 28, 1955.  She shared her faith with others regularly in the house to house ministry and never missed a month in all her 59 years.  She read her Bible daily and attended congregation meetings and conventions, missing very few, and prided herself being early to greet others. She was a faithful witness of Jehovah God.  She had the confidence and hope of the resurrection to everlasting life on a paradise earth by her God, Jehovah.

Surviving are her children James E. (Frankie) Berry, Jr., Daniel C. (Joyce) Berry, and Gloria J (Wayne H.) Trouten all of Monroe, Michigan,: five grandchildren Matthew (Lori) Berry, Brooke (Jon) Lockmiller, Amber Berry, Lauren (Ryan) Stiner, and Melodie Berry; and six great-grandchildren: Tyler Berry, Kayla Lockmiller, Zachary Berry, Joshua Berry, Johnathan Berry, and Ivan Stiner.  She is also survived by her brothers Hubert (Joyce) Friar of Homestead, Florida, Clifford (Bea) Friar of Monroe, Michigan.

She was preceded in death by her husband James, her parents James O. and Nila (Whitaker) Friar and her step-mother Laura Friar who raised her from two years of age, a brother Eugene Friar who died in 1929 at nine months of age, brother Charles (Wanda) Brooks, sister Florence (Ron) Bussell, and James ( Delores) Friar 

Memorial contributions may be made to Watchtower. It will be used for the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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BlairJames W. Blair

June 8, 1935 – September 19, 2014


James W. Blair, 79, of Monroe, died at 10:48 a.m. Friday at Toledo Hospital. He had been in poor health for two months.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Rupp Funeral Home where a Rosary service will be held at 6 p.m. followed by a V.F.W. Post 1138 military service at 7 p.m. Friday. He will lie instate Saturday 9 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with the Mass of the Resurrection at 10 a.m. Rev. David Burgard, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, will officiate. Burial will follow at Michigan Memorial Park, Flat Rock.

Born June 8, 1935 in River Rouge he was the son of Theodore Hector and Libera (Augustinis) Blair. He married Anna Marie Nadeau on August 23, 1958 at Our Lady of Lords Catholic Church, River Rouge. She preceded him in death on July 19, 2000.

James served his country in the United States Army from January 28, 1955 to January 13, 1958. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. John the Baptist Church.

He was employed by the Ford Motor Company Dearborn for thirty-one years as a Journeyman Pipe Fitter retiring in 1995.

Surviving are his children Stephen (Wanetta) Blair, Sr., Denise (Charles) Bodine, Feletia (Gary) Dupuie, Sr., Angeline (Michael) Schieda, Christine (Timothy) Haut and Sheila Blair (Dale Jr.); sister, Julia Blair of Taylor; nineteen grandchildren and twenty seven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife Anna (Nadeau) Blair; parents; sister, Elizabeth; brothers Hubert, Thomas, and William Blair.

Memorials may be made to

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Charlton R. Akins

January 26, 1954 – September 18, 2014


Charlton R. Akins, 60 of Monroe died at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at his home..                Memorial services will be held Tuesday 11 a.m. at FrenchtownMissionaryBaptistChurch. Rev. B. J. McDaniel, pastor will officiate. In accordance with his wishes cremation will take place.

Born January 26, 1954 in Columbia, South Carolina, he was the son of Charles Milton and Estelle Clark (Bass) Akins.

Ron was employed most of his working life as a truck driver.

Surviving are his children, Ron (Lisa) Keener of South Carolina, Lisa Keener of Dearborn and Kyana (Joseph) McJunkins of Canyon County, California; siblings Charline (Jack) Kessler of Lambertville, Lonnie (Rayma) Akins of Monroe, Betty (John) Akins of Toledo and Tina (Dan) Meehling of Blissfield.; nine grandchildren Junior, Drey, Nicole, Dustin, Shayne, Aaliyah, Jordan, Tyler and Dana; great-grandson Weston.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Charles M. Akins, Jr. and Steve Allen Akins; and a sister Sheryl Thomas.

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Timothy M. Kuriwchak

April 22, 1968 – September 18, 2014


    KuriwchakTimothy M. Kuriwchak, age 46 of Dearborn, died Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn.

    Born April 22, 1968 in Lincoln Park, he was the son of Karl B. and Mary Patricia (Mitoraj) Kuriwchak.

    Tim was a 1986 graduate of Monroe Catholic Central High School.  He was a fan of baseball and hockey, especially the Detroit Tiger’s and Red Wings.  He was employed by Ford Motor Company for 21 years, currently in Livonia, and had recently been on medical leave due to his declining health.

    Tim is survived by his father, Karl (Nancy) Kuriwchak of Sebring, Florida; daughter Amanda; brother John (Mary) Kuriwchak of Monroe; and nephews, Colin and Conor Kuriwchak.

    Tim was preceded in death by his mother and a stillborn brother Mark.

    Cremation will take place in accordance with the family’s wishes.  Private interment will be held at St. Joseph Cemetery, Monroe.  Rupp Funeral Home is assisting the family.

    Memorial donations in Tim’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.

    Online condolences can be sent through