Jerome F. Van Belle

October 31, 1928 – October 2, 2015


VanBelleJerome F. Van Belle, age 86 of Monroe, died 2:35 p.m. Friday, October 2nd at Alice Lorraine Care Center. He had been in poor health for 7 months.

Family and friends may visit from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Rupp Funeral Home where the Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. He will lie instate at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Catholic Church. Mass of the Resurrection celebrating his life will begin at 11 a.m. The church Pastor, Rev. David Burgard will officiate. Jerome will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife, Mary Jane, at St. Joseph Cemetery with military honors provided by VFW Post 1138, Monroe.

Born October 31, 1928 in Monroe, he was the son of the late Camiel and Leonie (Ramout) Van Belle.

Jerome attended St. Mary Elementary School and was a 1946 graduate of Monroe High School. He attended Tri-State University in Toledo, Ohio and Cleary College in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

During the Korean War, Jerome served in the United States Army from November 3, 1950 to October 6, 1952, obtaining the rank of Sergeant.

On October 18, 1958, Jerome married the love of his life, Mary Jane Denecker at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Blissfield, Michigan. They were joined in marriage by Rev. Francis A. Lukasiewicz. Sadly, she preceded him in death on July 8, 2008.

After working for Sears from 1946 to 1948, he worked for Detroit Edison, retiring as Supervisor on July 1, 1988. During his 40 year career, he worked in Monroe, Taylor, Plymouth, and Belleville.

Jerome was a life member of St. Mary Church where he was baptized, educated, received Holy Communion, and confirmed. He served as a Lector for over 20 years and was a member of its Resurrection Choir. For over 20 years, he led the congregation in song and prayer at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions every Tuesday evening. He was also a member of the Monroe Center for Healthy Aging, Frenchtown Senior Citizens, AARP, Comboni Mission Club, and St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center. Jerome was a former member of Carl F. Payson, American Legion Post 60, where he served as Commander in 1959.

Jerome is survived by a son, John J. (Debra A.) Van Belle of Monroe; two grandsons, Steven J. Van Belle and Brandon J. Van Belle, both of Monroe; two brothers-in-law, Leon Denecker of Hudson, Michigan and George (Madeline) Denecker of Riga, Michigan; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents and wife Mary Jane, he was also preceded by three sisters, Helen, Margaret, and Zulma Van Belle; sister-in-law, Sally Denecker; and niece, Linda McGivern.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church, Comboni Missions, or St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center.

The family would like to thank the staff of ALCC and ProMedica Hospice for the loving attention they gave Jerome while under their care.

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Helen L. Wittkop

June 7, 1926 – October 2, 2015


WittkopHelen L. (Weaver) Wittkop, age 89 of Monroe, died at 7:21 a.m. Friday in her home.

Family and friends may visit from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday. Rev. Katie Waggoner, Pastor of First United Methodist Church and Rev. Brad Lewis will officiate. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.

Born June 7, 1926 in North Baltimore, Ohio, she was the daughter of Harry and Myrna (Robison) Weaver. Helen attended Boyd Elementary School and was a 1944 graduate of Monroe High School.

She married Gerald C. “Jerry” Wittkop on April 23, 1949 at Trinity Lutheran Church. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this past April with all members of their wedding party at Joe’s French Italian Inn.

Helen was a homemaker and was previously employed at Stadelman’s in the record department, and at Weis Manufacturing Company. She was a fan of the Detroit Tigers and enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, telephoning, watching weekday TV (The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful), day trips to Frankenmuth, and was the very best homemaker.

In her youth, Helen was an active member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and as a member of First United Methodist Church in Monroe, she was a former church Secretary, Treasurer, Circle leader, and Family Nights Coordinator. Currently, she was still active in the church membership and memorial duties.

Helen is survived by her husband Jerry; son, Gregory Paul Wittkop of Monroe; sister, Mildred Rietkerk of Orange, California; sister-in-law, Vickie Wittkop of Dover, Ohio; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins from Michigan, Ohio, Idaho, Wyoming, and North Carolina.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Geneva Hess and Maxine Weaver; and son, David Fred Wittkop on September 30, 1997.

Memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.

Helen went to be with her Lord and Savior peacefully in her sleep with no pain or suffering. Our loss is God’s gain to a wonderful lady, wife, mother, relative, friend, neighbor, and now God’s child…”Home at last, thank God Helen is home at last.”

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Raymond E. Pfiester

December 18, 1929 – September 30, 2015


PfiesterRaymond E. Pfiester, age 85 of Monroe, passed away at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, September 30th at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Ray was born December 18, 1929 in Amarillo, Texas to Harry and Odessa (Lyles) Pfiester. His boyhood days were spent in Topeka, Kansas until the railroad moved his dad to the desert town of Barstow, California where he graduated from High School.

Ray served in the United States Navy from August 4, 1947 to February 14, 1950, obtaining the rank of Aviation Electronics Tech 3rd Class Petty Officer. During that time he taught in Memphis, Tennessee which brought him to the Midwest. Ray took a job at Monroe Steel Castings and married Maureen C. Angove on April 9, 1979 in Monroe. He joined Toastmasters International to improve his speaking skills and also was a leader in Junior Achievement.

Living close to Lake Erie, Ray came to love the water when he moved to Monroe and decided to try his hand at sailing. He was certainly an adventurer and single handed his first sailboat to Buffalo, New York and back, saying that because of that trip he finally knew how to sail. He joined Monroe Boat Club where he was a member of the Tuesday Night Racing Fleet and went on to participate in many of the bigger races on western Lake Erie. After he married Maureen in 1979, he bought an Island Trader ketch that became a year round home for 6 years and berthed it at Monroe Boat Club. He served as Vice Commodore there and was always involved in activities at the club. In 1981, Ray and Maureen bought Aladdin’s Flowers which they operated until selling it in 2001.

Ray was handy at most anything and had many different jobs in his lifetime, but his career was being an electrician, retiring from Detroit Edison here in Monroe after 15 years. He loved nature, traveling, gardening, hunting, going up north to Grayling at “Doug’s Place”, and of course anything involving water…sailing, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, and beach combing. His curiosity for most anything gained him untold knowledge in a myriad of subjects but his love of science and aviation are most notable.

Ray is survived by his wife Maureen; three children from his first wife Mary, David (Shelly) Pfiester of Pahrump, Nevada, Cyndi (Louie) Barnett and Phillip (Susan) Pfiester, both of Monroe; sister, Mary Lou Norton of Walla Walla, Washington; brother, Robert Pfiester of Elk River, Idaho; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ray was loved by all of Maureen’s family who embraced him like a brother.

Family and friends may visit from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday at Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 12 p.m. Elder Mark Angove of Redeemer Fellowship Church will officiate along with military honors provided by VFW Post 1138, Monroe. Cremation will follow in accordance with his wishes.

Memorial donations may be made to ProMedica Hospice. The family is eternally grateful for the tender care and support by their staff to Ray and Maureen.

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LommerseLommerse2Rutgerus M. “Rudy” Lommerse

October 26, 1928 – September 29, 2015


Rutgerus M. “Rudy” Lommerse, 86, of LaSalle, passed away Tuesday at 12:04 a.m. at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital.


Friends may call 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Rupp Funeral Home, where a scripture service will be at 6 p.m. with military honors by VFW Post 1138. He will lie instate at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Church with a Mass of the Resurrection at 11 a.m. Entombment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, Monroe.


Rudy was born October 26, 1928 in Bennebroer, The Netherlands. He was the son of Rutgerus F. and Wilhelmina (Need) Lommerse. He marred Matilda “Dolly” Leonard June 19, 1954 at St. Joseph Church Erie; she preceded him in death June 25, 2005. He then married Clara J. Warner January 26, 2008 at North Point Nazarene Church, Toledo and St. Joseph Church, Ida.


He served his country in the US Army from 1950 to 1952. He attained the rank of Staff Sargent and earned a Combat Infantry Badge, Occupation Medal (Japan), Korean Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, United Nations Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Korean Presidential Citation.


Rudy was employed at Jones Transfer for 19 years retiring October 26, 1990.


He was a life member of VFW Post 1138, the 1st Calvary Division, Ft. Hood, Texas, 7th Calvary Regiment Korean War Association, Bondurant Chapter of 1st Calvary Division Division, Florida, the National Rifle Association and Belgian American Club and 60 year member at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.


He is survived by his wife Clara Warner-Lommerse, two sons, Robert (Beth) Lommerse and Donald Lommerse both of Monroe; a daughter, Denise (Rick) Antosik of Adrian; three step-daughters, Rhonda (Keith) Martin of Temperance, Greta (Frank) Wright of LaSalle and Nan (Jeff) Lonsway of Erie; three sisters, Wouda Vandermeer of Monroe, Elisabeth Okkerse of DeBary, Florida and Wilma Kalamaja of Torrington, Wyoming; thirteen grandchildren, Jason (Tammy), Daniel, Matthew, Shawlynn (Wes), Amy (Chuck) Jill (John), Erik (Sarah), Brad (Ciara), Aaron (Kayla), Andrew (Makenzie), Valerie (Brett) Brittany (Travis) and Jason (Nicci) and twenty one great-grandchildren, Ethan, Owen, Anthony, Jared, Connor, Nolan, Tavin, Annabel, Duncan, Betsy, Alex, Brennan, Blake, Isabella, Kyle, Ariel, Elizabeth, Carson, Isabella, Jenna and Kaylee.


In addition to his first wife, he is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, John and Ted.


Memorial contributions may be made to Monroe Salvation Army or the Wounded Warrior’s Project.


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KurtzEdward G. Kurtz

March 4, 1925 – September 28, 2015


Edward G. Kurtz, age 90, of Monroe, died at 6:15 p.m. Monday, September 28, 2015 at Wellspring Lutheran Services.


Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Rupp Funeral Home. He will lie instate at 10 a.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church with services at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle, with military honors by VFW Post 1138, Monroe.


Born March 4, 1925, he was the son of Otto and Edna (Schmidt) Kurtz. He married Phyllis Brenton Leibenguth on November 26, 1960. She preceded him in death on February 11, 2011. They were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2010.


Edward attended Monroe High School and Cleary College. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed. He served his church as an usher, on the House Committee and the Tape Ministry.


He worked approximately 20 years for Ford Motor Company and Kaiser Jeep Corp. before he became Administrator of the former Monroe Lutheran Home where he spent his last 18 years before retirement.


Ed served his country from June, 1943 until January, 1946 in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served during the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns and received the American Campaign Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with 2 bronze stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.


Ed was a vice president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1955 and was a delegate to both the State and National conventions. He was a life member of the Michigan Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Monroe Boat Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1138. Ed was a member of the former Mercy Memorial Hospital Systems, Monroe Community Health Services Board of Trustees and its Monroe Health Ventures Board of Directors for a number of years.


Ed is survived by two sons, David (Jodi) Kurtz of Apple Valley, Minnesota and John (Rene) Kurtz of Monroe; four step-children, Linda Bentley of Temperance, Chuck (Sue) Leibenguth of Monroe, Jim (Patty) Leibenguth of Traverse City and Tom Leibenguth of Monroe; thirteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.


In addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Fred J. Kurtz.


Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or Trinity Lutheran Church.


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Reverend Ronald Kinsey Corl

Feb. 17, 1934 – Aug. 16. 2015


Ronald Kinsey Corl, age 81, of Houston, Texas, passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2015, at a hospital In Spring, Texas.


Born February 17, 1934, in Monroe, Michigan, he was the son of Kinsey and Ruth (Plath) Corl. Ron was a 1952 graduate of Ida High School. Following graduation, he was drafted into the army. On August 7, 1954, he married Sharon Lynn Poe. She joined him in Texas and their daughter Victoria was born at the army hospital in August of 1955.

After Ron was discharged from the army, he worked for Chevrolet in Toledo, Ohio. During the time of a layoff, he felt the call to be a minister. Ron was appointed to be a student pastor to two small rural Michigan Methodist churches in Rae and Cone before he started college in 1958. He attended Adrian College, graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, graduated from Methodist Theological School of Ohio in 1968 with a Master of Divinity Degree, and became an elder in the Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church. During Ron’s 41 years of ministry, he also served as pastor at churches in Macon, Plymouth, Samaria Grace, Clinton, Madison Heights and Harper Woods, Michigan. Upon his and Sharon’s retirements in 1999, they moved from Harper Woods to Houston, Texas.

Ron is survived by his wife Sharon of 61 years, children Victoria Gurnack of Chicago, IL, Richard (Sandra) Corl of Spring, TX, Bethany Thomas of Conroe, TX and Randall (Theresa) Corl of Spring, TX, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Ron is also survived by five sisters, Marjorie (Roger) Kreps and Ann (LaVerne) Rothman of Monroe, MI, Mary (Harold) Arendt of Rockwood MI, Nancy (William) Bigelow of Bronston, KY, and June Scarborough of Black River, MI; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Ron was preceded in death by his parents, brother Richard Carl Corl, and brother-in laws, William Knabusch, Richard Scarborough and Noel Poe.


Following a viewing at Klein Funeral Home in Spring, Texas, on August 19, 2015, cremation took place.


A memorial service to honor and celebrate the life of Ron, Pastor Ronald Kinsey Corl, will be held Saturday, October 3, 2015, at 2 P.M. at the First United Methodist Church in Madison Heights, MI, 246 East 11 Mile Road, 48071, with Rev. Rhonda Osterman and Dr. Harold Slater officiating.

Randal L. Dively

January 18, 1965 – September 23, 2015


IMG_4516Randal L. Dively, age 50 of Monroe, died Wednesday, September 23rd at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan after fighting a courageous 6 month battle with cancer.

Randy was born January 18, 1965 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Ronald and Edrie (Powley) Dively.

Randy was a 1982 graduate of Hollidaysburg High School in Pennsylvania. A year later, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving 6 years from May 1983 to May 1989, obtaining the rank of Electrician’s Mate First Class. He was stationed on a submarine USS Augusta SSN 710.

Randy married Jennifer J. Klorer on April 12, 1991 in Williston, Ohio. For the past 19 years, he was employed by Ford Motor Company. His most recent position was as the Stamping Maintenance Operations Supervisor at the Ford Production Development Center in Dearborn.

Randy was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and loved the outdoors, especially camping and hunting. His favorite times in life included traveling to 38 states on family vacations, hunting with family, supporting Taylor in her sports and coaching Dusty in baseball from youth to adult. He also is a past Certified Instructor for the 4-H Shooting Sports program and past Director of Ida Recreation. The past 3 years were enjoyed with his home brewing. Anyone that wanted to ask questions or see his process was always welcomed.

Randy is survived by his wife J.J. Dively of Monroe; son, Dustin Dively of St. Johns, Michigan; daughter, Taylor Dively of Monroe; parents, Ronald and Edrie Dively of Allen Park; two brothers, Les (Ruth) Dively of Riverview and Todd (Carri) Dively of Temperance; sister, Kimberly (Chuck) Moser of Rockwood; mother-in-law, Genny (Jack Riches) Klorer of Oak Harbor, Ohio; brother and sister-in-laws, Steve (Amy) Simkus of Genoa, Ohio; brother-in-law, James Klorer Jr. ; nieces and nephews, Pam (Adam) Laura, Randi (Dan) Wicks, Matthew (Eleanor) Moser, Ron, Rose, Tyler, Jack, and Zane Dively, Stephen, Adelyn, and Brianna Simkus, James Klorer III.

Randy was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Jim Klorer, Sr.; sister-in-law, Joy Klorer-Simkus; grandparents, Paul and Marita Dively and Charles and Helen Powley; and many aunts and uncles.

Cremation will take place in accordance with his wishes. The family will receive visitors from 1 p.m. until time of memorial service at 7 p.m. Sunday at Rupp Funeral Home including military honors provided by VFW Post 1138, Monroe.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, 4100 John R, Detroit, MI, 48201, or by going to The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at Karmano’s especially Gale, Lennie, Tina, Iyeshia, and Sandy.

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Arthur J. Porter

October 28, 1992 – September 14, 2015


PorterArthur J. “A.J.” Porter, Sr., age 22 of Monroe, died unexpectedly on Monday, September 14, 2015.

Family and friends may visit from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Rupp Funeral Home where services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Born October 28, 1992 in Detroit, he was the son of Kalvin and Barbara (Wright) Porter.

A.J. was a 2010 graduate of Monroe High School, a member of Joe’s ALCC Boxing Club, and attended Stewart Road Christian Ministries Center.

A very gifted, talented, and successful amateur boxer, A.J. recently ceased employment as an operator with Grupo Antolin, an auto parts manufacturing company in Canton, to pursue a boxing career. Some of his accomplishments to date included titles in Golden Glove, Silver Glove, Regional and State titles, and was a Bronze Medalist at Nationals. A.J. just recently signed a 3 year contract for his professional career with MG Ring Productions, George Reynolds.

A.J. is survived by two daughters, Symone Porter and AJ Porter, a son, Arthur Porter, Jr., all of Monroe; his mother, Barbara Wright of Detroit; three brothers, Robert Johnson of Detroit, Kalvin Porter of Monroe, and Allah Wright of Monroe; a sister, Crystal (fiancee LaKAT Killough) Johnson of Romulus; Fiancee, Tyvonna Fisher of Monroe; and three Godchildren, LaMya Jackson, Romello Isaac, and Avaria Love Murray, all of Monroe.

A.J. was preceded in death by his father, Kalvin Darnell Porter, Sr.

Donations may be made to the Memorial Fund for Arthur Porter, c/o Monroe Bank & Trust.

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marrinSister Marianne Marrin, IHM, 83, died Friday, Sept. 18, in the IHM Health Care Center. 


Born on Feb.10, 1932, Marianne Marrin was one of three daughters born to Michael and Margaret (Scanlon) Marrin in Chicago, Ill. She attended St. Felicitas Grade School and Aquinas Dominican High School, both in Chicago. Marianne entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe in 1950 and received the religious name, Sister Catherine Michael.


She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Marygrove College. As a young teacher, Sister Marianne taught elementary students at St. Joseph, Monroe; Our Lady of Help, Detroit; St. John, Benton Harbor, Mich.; St. Philip, Battle Creek, Mich.; St. Patrick, Wyandotte, Mich., and St. Renee in Chicago. A life-long educator, she also spent several years each at St. Michael, Miami; and at St. Matthew, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Brigid in Detroit. She taught at St. Christopher School in Midlothian, Ill., for more than 10 years. 


Sister Marianne retired and ministered as a volunteer for three years in Oak Lawn, Ill., before returning to the Motherhouse in 2005. She entered the IHM Health Care Center in 2009. 


Sister Marianne is survived by her sister Katherine Marrin of Chicago. She was preceded in death by her sister Margaret.


Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe on Wednesday, Sept. 23, beginning at 9 a.m., with a Remembering at 10 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow. 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. 



CloumJohn W. Cloum

October 28, 1919 – September 19, 2015


John W. Cloum, 95, of Monroe, passed away at Regency Health Care in Taylor.


Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Rupp Funeral Home, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday. Rev. Larry Detruf will officiate. Burial will follow at Monroe Township Cemetery.


John was born October 28, 1919 in Monroe. He was the son of Elias Gregory and Katherine (Seilheimer) Cloum. He married Lavetta E. Woodrum November 5, 1954 at Maumee Presbyterian Church, Maumee; she preceded him in death October 23, 2012.


He was employed by Ford Motor Company Monroe Plant for 30 years as an inspector; retiring December 23, 1980. He had also work construction in Detroit as a young man.


He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II.


John was a member of D.A.V. And Monroe Senior Citizens. He enjoyed bowling, hunting and fishing.


He is survived by two sons, Edward J. Cloum of Toledo, Lewis H. Cloum of Monroe; two daughters, Patricia Whitaker of Monroe and Jeff (Mary) Scott of Clearwater, Florida and eight grandchildren.


In addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by his parents, a son, John W. Cloum, Jr and two sisters, Edna Hill and Leona Reinhardt.


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