Mildred Blumenthal, Principal
Edmund W. Lang, Class President
* * * * * *
Lois Adrian Pingel*
Roberta Blancher Spearman*
Betty Lou Dack Correia
Robert F. Davis
Betty Jane Detzler Babion*
Barbara Donavon Allen
Robert A. Green*
Betty Lu Hicks Vatter
Mary L. “Molly” Husted Chedester
Allene Husted Clayton
Wanda Kennedy Allen*
Alice Meiser Morache
Kathryn Ritchey Fritz*
Mary Stillwagon Rhynard
Donna Sutton Rau*
Robert J. Thompson
Phyllis J. Utter Neiman*
Maxine VanSickle Gehl (Imbi)*
Betty Vosburg Richardson
Virginia Wangler Hanes*
Annabelle Wiltse Gault
Adrian J. Dantzer
(November 1, 1924 - August 25,
Adrian James Dantzer, age 89, passed away Monday August 25, 2014 in West Branch, MI. Adrian had
lived in West Branch for all of his life and graduated from Rose City High School with the class of 1944. He was born
to Adrian and Mary (Moore) Dantzer on November 1, 1924 in Berkley, MI. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, VFW,
Past President of Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus Council #2022 where he was a Grand Knight, District Deputy, and a 4th Degree
Knight. Adrian was chairman of the Economic Development Committee for 23 years and was very active in the community where
he volunteered for many organizations. He also owned and operated Dantzer’s Service Station for 50 years. Adrian served
in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII and served in Brazil.
Adrian is survived by his children: Ron (Clara)
Dantzer of West Branch, Larry (Eileen) Dantzer of West Branch, Linda (Dick) Dunn of West Branch, Sandy (Chris) Dantzer-Donahue
of Colorado Springs, CO., Jim (Sandy) Dantzer of West Branch, Dave (Missy) Dantzer of West Branch, Jerry (Wendy) Dantzer of
Grand Rapids, MI, Mark (Sharol) Dantzer of West Branch, Patty (Dave) Walby of West Branch; 24 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Also surviving are his brothers: Richard (Deb) Dantzer of West Branch, Carl “Douglas” (Edith) Dantzer of Flint,
MI; sisters: Alice Klemmer of St. Petersburg, FL and Helen (Bob) Bryer of St. Clair Shores, MI. He was preceded in death by
his wife, Maxine, parents, and siblings, Betty Dantzer, Jack Dantzer, and Millie Zettel.
Robert Charles Rau
(May 30, 1925 - August 16, 2014)
Robert C. Rau, age 89, passed away quietly at his home on Saturday, August 16, 2014
with his family near.
He was born May 30, 1925 in Horton
Township the second oldest child of William and Esther (Bragg) Rau and resided his whole life in Ogemaw County. He graduated
from St. Joseph High School in 1944 and completed an agriculture course at Michigan State University. On August 14, 1948
he married Doris M. Schneider at what is now Holy Family Catholic Church. Together they raised four children. She predeceased
him just short of their 50th anniversary on June 21, 1998. They shared a love of fishing. They especially enjoyed ice fishing
the Munuscong close to their cabin near Pickford and traveled throughout much of the United States and Canada.
Bob’s other love was farming. He was very proud of the family farm which he
and Doris started when they purchased the first farm in 1951 and they gradually kept adding more acreage. In 1984 he and his
two sons went into partnership in Cedar Lane Dairy Farm. He “retired” in 1988. He also worked in the oil fields
and loaded out boxcars of hay to supplement the farm income. He was proud of the many young high school men who worked on
the farm over the years, many of them living with the family. In 2011 he hosted a 60th anniversary party at the farm for former
hired men, family and friends to celebrate the progress of the operation.
him are his children; Diane (Ronald) Bartlett of Sterling, Susan (Randy) Wangler, Robert A. (Deborah) Rau and Mark (Vicki)
Rau all of West Branch. Twelve grandchildren; Jon (Janice) Bartlett, April (Ryan) Raymond, Jason (Rachel) Bartlett, Kristi
(Jared) Yenna, Chad Wangler, Brent (Alexandra) Wangler, Carrie Rau, Rob (Lacy) Rau, Tony Rau (Lady Munoz-Toro), Christen (Travis)
Ockerman, Michael (Jackie) Rau and Kelli Rau. Bob has 21 Great-Grandchildren with two more arriving later this year. His siblings
Marie (Junior) Clemens, Helen (John) Baker, Charlie (Betty) Rau, Alice (Harold) Chemeaux and sister-in-law Evelyn Rau also
survive him, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Besides his wife he was predeceased by his parents,
and siblings, Leon Rau, Keith (Mavis) Rau, Bethel Byrnes and his father and mother in-law Lawrence and Elva Schneider.
On July 18, 2000 he married Donna Neubecker at St. Joseph
Catholic Church. She predeceased him July 5, 2013. They enjoyed country music, dancing and traveling together. Her four children
Jean Neubecker, Ronald (Deb) Neubecker, Mary (Tim) Winter and Thomas (Kristi) Neubecker and their families also survive him.
Bob was an avid hunter and would relate his escapades
to anyone interested. He belonged to the Eleven + One Hunting Club near Oscoda and enjoyed time spent hunting whitetails,
playing cards and swapping tales with the other members. He went on caribou hunts to St. James Bay. He pheasant hunted in
South Dakota and Michigan’s Thumb many times over the years, hunted mule deer and antelope out west, and was still a
successful turkey hunter at age 87.
Bob loved to play
Euchre and made some good friends playing Wednesday nights. Many times he hosted games Thursday afternoons at his house where
he would serve his zucchini bread or cookies. He took great pride in his cookie and pie baking skills. He also loved to share
the harvest from his garden and fruit trees with anyone who stopped in. He was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Catholic
Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus for 67 years, Farm Bureau, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Federal Land Bank
Board, Ogemaw County Road Commission, West Branch Farmers Co-op Board, and served on the ASCS Committee and MABC.
His family would like to thank the staff at Bortz Health Care of West Branch for
their excellent rehabilitation and care for Dad after his fall, Hospice of Helping Hands for supporting us in getting him
back home, and special thanks to Mona White for her compassionate care for Dad when we were not available.
Visitation will be at Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Tuesday,
August 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with the K of C leading a rosary at 7:00 p.m. Bob will lie in state on Wednesday, August
20 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00
a.m., with Fr. Patrick Maher officiating. Burial will follow at the St. Joseph Cemetery.
lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to the St. Joseph School Technology Fund, Ogemaw Co. Relay for Life,
or Hospice of Helping Hands.
LANG, EDMUND W. "Ed"; of Waterford; passed away January 9, 2014; age 86. Loving husband of Donna for 64 years.
Preceded in death by his son, Greg. Beloved father of Pam (Bob) Hayes, Jay, and Robin (Robert) Slaughter; loving grandfather
of seven, great grandfather of eight. Ed was in the Merchant Marines. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus
#5436 and a member of Our Lady of the Lakes since 1953. He loved bowling and will be sadly missed by many family and friends.
Knights of Columbus Rosary Service 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lewis E. Wint and Son Funeral Home, Clarkston where friends may
visit Sunday 3 to 8 p.m. Funeral Mass 11 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church. Rite of Committal All Saints
Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Special Needs Children at New Horizons of Springfield, Michigan or Our Lady of the Lakes
Imbi "Maxine" VanSickle Gehl
(May 23, 1926 -
November 29, 2013)
Imbi Maxine Gehl, age 87, passed away Friday, November 29, 2013 at St. Joseph Health Care in
Tawas, MI. Imbi lived in West Branch for 31 years, formerly of Mt. Morris. She was born to Everett and Imbi (Sippola) Van
Sickle on May 23, 1926 in Ferndale, MI. Imbi was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Ladies Bible Study, Ogemaw
Historical Society, Veteran’s Auxiliary, Relay for Life and WOW- “War on Weight”. She enjoyed reading, shopping,
crocheting, sewing and crafts.
Maxine is survived by her children; Kaye (Calvin) Cockrill of Mt. Morris, MI, Peggy Gehl of Mt. Morris, MI,
Gordon (Donna) Gehl of Forney, TX, Richard Gehl Jr. of West Branch, MI, Patrick (Mary) Gehl of West Branch, MI, her 9 grandchildren;
Tina, Anthony “Tony”, Tonia, Andrea, Marie, Morgan, Zackary, Danny and Willene, her 10 great grandchildren and
her 3 great great grandchildren. Also surviving are her brothers and sister; Everett Van Sickle, Robert (Camille) Van Sickle,
Clifford Van Sickle, and Carol Jean Bragg. Imbi is preceded in death by her parents, husband; Richard “Eugene”
Gehl, sister; Mavis Rau, brother; Jerry Van Sickle and grandsons; Steven and Noah.
Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin on Tuesday, December 3, 2013
from 2-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in West Branch.
Pastor Mary VonDaggenhausen will officiate. Memorial Contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church or Relay for
Virginia J. "Ginny" Hanes
(August 13, 1924
- April 27, 2012)
Virginia J. “Ginny” Hanes, age 87 of West Branch, passed away Friday, April 27, 2012
at West Branch Regional Medical Center. Virginia was born in West Branch, daughter of Charles and Pearl Wangler.She graduated
from West Branch High School in the class of 1944. She married Arthur E. Hanes on October 26, 1946 in West Branch. Virginia
enjoyed playing Euchre Wednesday nights at Burger King. She owned Ginny’s Beauty Shop since 1972 and still enjoyed working.
Virginia is survived by husband, Arthur E. of West Branch, (Class of 1943)daughters, Connie (Walter) Trout
of West Branch, Patty (Richard) Dack of West Branch, grandchildren, Rick (Raychelle) Trout, Tricia (Eric) Reed, Bobby (Heather)
Dack, Jonathon Hanes, Stephanie Hanes, and great-grandchildren, Courtney, Alec, Dawson, and Tucker. Also surviving are sisters,
Joan Thompson (Class of 1939), Bernice Lacko (Class of 1939) both of West Branch, and brother, Dean Wangler (Class
of 1949) of West Branch.
Cremation has taken place. A graveside service will be held at a later date.
|Wayne R. Matthews
|Class of 1944
Wayne Russell Matthews, age 84 of West Branch, passed away Wednesday September 14, 2011 at Bortz
Health Care. Wayne was born October 29, 1926 to William and Elizabeth (nee Crow) Matthews. He had lived in West Branch all
of his life, spending most of those years on the farm where he was born. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church,
the Methodist Men’s Club and the Masonic Lodge #376 of West Branch. He operated a dairy farm until age 40, at which
time he attended Michigan Tech University. He then worked as the director of the Ogemaw County Equalization Dept. for 23 years,
retiring in 1989. He enjoyed woodworking, golf, travel and spending time with this family but perhaps more than anything,
he enjoyed using his talents to help others.
Wayne is survived by three children and their families, Glen (Diane) Matthews of Alanson, MI, Philip Matthews of
West Branch and Lorna (Bill) Eis of Kalamazoo, MI, five grandchildren and their families, Eric Matthews, Allen (Elizabeth)
Matthews and Kristen Eis all of Chicago, IL, Michael (Melissa) Eis of Kennesaw, GA, Jennifer (Greg) Raymond of West Branch,
MI, four great-grandchildren, Lucas and Adelle Matthews, and Brandon and Ryan Eis. He was preceded in death by his wife Betty,
his daughter, Kathy Gaulin, and five brothers and sisters.
* * * * * * * * *
Barbara Donavon Allen
Betty Lou Dack Correia
Betty Vosburg Richardson
(January 9, 2014)
Maxine "Imbi"VanSickle Gehl
(November 29, 2013)
Virginia "Ginny" Wangler Hanes
Phyllis Utter Neiman
Kathryn J. Ritchey Fritz
(January 16, 2011)
(April 2, 2010)
(April 25, 2007)
Lois Adrian Pingel
Arthella Hamilton Sanborn
Juanita Hughes Tetu
Edna F. McCord Robinson
Mary Jane McCormick Sapp
(April 14, 2001)
Benjamin F. Pekrul
Genevieve Poling Swain
Francis Spencer Bougham
Robert M. Strode
Ralph "Bob" R. Wood
(September 20, 2002)
In Loving Memory
Phyllis Jean Utter Neiman
Neiman, Phyllis J.
Mrs. Neiman age 83 passed away Friday June 13, 2008
at Sylvesters Assisted Living. Phyllis was born on July 22, 1924 to the late Jay & Ardith (DeWitt) Utter. She graduated
from West Branch High School at West Branch, Michigan with the class of 1944. On September 1, 1946 Phyllis met the love
of her life Bill Neiman and was married December 31, 1946. They celebrated 50 years of marriage before Bill passed away on
May 19, 1997. Phyllis owned and operated a day care center at her home for 30 years. Phyllis is survived by her sons Den (John)
of Grand Rapids and Ken of Pinconning a daughter Cindy (Jim) Dietzel of Pinconning and the joy of her life her granddaughter
Jamee Dietzel. Phyllis wishes were to be cremated. Internment will be in Pinconning Township Cemetery with her husband.
* * * * * *
|Kathryn J. Ritchey Fritz
|Class of 1944
Kathryn J. (Ritchey) Fritz died peacefully after a long illness, surrounded by her family at her home in
West Branch on January 16, 2011. She was born in Reading, Michigan on July 18, 1926, to Carl and Alice (Coulter) Ritchey.
Her family moved to the West Branch area when she was in middle school. She graduated from West Branch High School in 1944.
On June 30,1945 she married Harry S. Fritz at St. Joseph (now Holy Family) Catholic Church.
In addition to raising 12 children, Kathryn worked in retail sales and at Ogemaw Heights High School. Her hobbies included
sewing, knitting, quilt making, bowling, playing cards, and reading. She was very active in St Anne's Guild and the Council
of Catholic Women (CCW), as well as being an altar server and Eucharistic minister in the Catholic Church. She served 37 years
on the Klacking Township Board, was a member of the Ladies Farm Bureau and Ogemaw District Library Board in Rose City. She
was a 4-H sewing and knitting leader. Kathryn is survived by her 12 children: Sharon Fritz, Linda (Joe) Hintz, Michael (Aimee)
Fritz, Gordon Fritz and Donald (Carla) Fritz all of West Branch, Roger (Cindy) Fritz of Standish, Paul (Donna) Fritz of West
Branch, Alice (Dale) Kenworthy of Huntington, IN, Bryan (Jan) Fritz, Terry (Rae) Fritz both of West Branch, Jill (Joel) Randolph
of Aiken, SC and Lori (Ray) Shelley of Rose City. She is also survived by 23-grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She
was preceded in death by her husband Harry, her parents, a brother, Glenn Ritchey, and two sisters-in-law; Gladys (Fritz)
Kenworthy and Mary Ritchey.
Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will be on Friday, January 21, 2011 from 1-9 p.m.
with a CCW Rosary at 2:00 p.m. and a Scripture Service at 7:00 p.m. The Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on
Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church, Klacking Creek,West Branch. Kathryn will lie in state at the church beginning at
10:00 a.m. Fr. Patrick Maher will officiate. Burial will be in the spring at Holy Family Cemetery, West Branch.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the St. Joseph Catholic School Endowment Fund, 961 W. Houghton Ave, West Branch,
MI 48661 or to Hospice of Helping Hands, 335 E. Houghton Ave., West Branch, MI 48661.
Betty Jean Engman Matthews, 78, of West Branch died
Monday, October 4, 2010, at Bortz Health Care of West Branch. She was born January 29, 1932 in Harlem, Montana to Eric Alfred
and Maria Mae (Bennett) Engman. She attended the rural Cook School and West Branch High School.
After the deaths of both parents, in 1935 she moved to West Branch to be raised as a daughter by her aunt and
uncle, Hazel (Bennett) and Edward Cook. In 1949, she married Wayne Matthews at the First United Methodist Church. They raised
their family and lived at the same farm throughout their married life. Betty worked as a nurse for many years at Tolfree Memorial
Hospital and Dr. Jardine’s office. She changed careers in the 1960’s and went to work for Production Credit Association.
She retired in 1989.
Her family was of uppermost importance during her entire life and she spent many hours in her retirement years
looking after the needs of others. She enjoyed cooking and homemaking. She was an active member of the First United Methodist
Church of West Branch for many years.
She is survived by her husband, Wayne Matthews; three children and their families, Glen (Diane) Matthews of
Alanson, MI, Philip Matthews of West Branch, and Lorna (William) Eis of Kalamazoo, MI; five grandchildren and their families,
Eric Matthews of Chicago, IL, Allen (Elizabeth) Matthews of Chicago, IL , Michael (Melissa) Eis of Acworth, GA, Jennifer (Greg)
Raymond of West Branch, MI, and Kristen Eis of Chicago, IL; three great-grandchildren, Lucas Matthews, Brandon Eis and Ryan
Eis; a brother Eric Engman of Nashville, TN; two sisters, Gladys Tellessen of Spokane, WA, and Dorothy Wilkie of Camas, WA.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Kathy Gaulin, and two brothers, Olaf Engman and Emil Engman.
Visitation for Betty will be held Thursday, October 7, 2010 from 1-9 PM at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral
Home in West Branch. Her funeral will be held Friday, October 8, 2010 at 11:00AM at the First United Methodist Church in West
Branch. Pastor Lisa Cook will officiate. Burial will follow at the Brookside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Betty’s name to the First United Methodist Church, Ogemaw
Commission on Aging or the Hospice of Helping Hands.
|Jack Bray (1947) Bob Davis(1944) Don Tuck
|At the 2010 banquet...
|Bob Davis..A proud fisherman..
* * * * * *
|Harry White Class of 1944
Harry H. White, a man of quiet dignity, died peacefully on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at the home of Ron and Susan White of
Although he was born in Bay City and worked many years for General Motors in Flint, Harry considered West Branch
his home. This is where he went to high school, graduating in 1944, and retired to after 38 years of service with GM.
After an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1946, he married Mary (Evelyn) Ranney and raised a family in Flint. After Evelyn’s
death, he met and married Barbara Niergarth of Evart.
Harry, known to some as Sonny, enjoyed family, gardening and nature. He was a man of faith who was active in
the Mayfair Bible Church in Flint and the Methodist Church in West Branch.
He was preceded in death by Evelyn in 1981 and Barb in 2010. Harry is survived by his children Liana (Mike)
Lemnus, Harry E. (Mona) White, Lavon (Brian) Blattenberger, Ron (Susan) White, Ray (Nancy) Niergarth, Nancy (Dave) Handy,
Ron Niergarth and Brad (Janis) Niergarth. He was very proud of his 17 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
The visitation will be held at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Sunday, August 15,
2010 from 5-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the funeral home. Kevin White will officiate
with burial following at Brookside Cemetery, West Branch.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Hospice of Helping Hands, West Branch.
* * * * * *
|Betty Detzler Babion
|Class of 1944
Betty J. Babion, age 84 of West Branch, (West Branch High School,
Class of 1944), passed away Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at West Branch Regional Medical Center. Betty had lived in West Branch
for most of her life. She was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church and she retired from Tolfree Memorial Hospital in 1988
after 27 years of service.
Betty is survived by her children, Sandra (Thomas) Krebs of West Branch and Robert (Anne) Babion of Royal Oak,
8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister, Delores Robbins of Farmington Hills. She was preceded
in death by her husband Leland, 1 brother and 2 sisters.
Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin on Thursday, August 5, 2010
from 3-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday at the Calvary Baptist Church in West Branch. Rev.
Thomas Teall will officiate with burial following at Brookside Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Tolfree Memorial Hospital Foundation or to the Calvary Baptist Church.
Richard E. Gehl, age 84 of West Branch, passed away Wednesday,
July 28, 2010 at his home. Mr. Gehl had lived in West Branch since 1987, formerly of Mt. Morris. He was a member of the VFW
Post #3775 of West Branch, the West Branch Senior Center Inc. and the First United Methodist Church. He enjoyed selling raffle
tickets and hunting. He retired after 35 years working for GM Fisher Body in Flint and BOC in Grand Blanc.
Richard is survived by his wife Imbi Maxine VanSickle Gehl, Class of 1944... of West
Branch, children; Kaye (Calvin) Cockrill and Peggy Gehl both of Mt. Morris, Gordon (Donna) Gehl of Forney, TX, Richard Gehl
Jr. and Patrick (Mary) Gehl both of West Branch, grandchildren, Tina, Tony, Tonia, Andrea, Marie, Morgan, Zachary, Danny,
Willene and 10 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his brother, Leo Gehl (class of 1947) of West Branch
and his sister-in-law Neva Crawford of West Branch. He was preceded in death by his grandsons, Steven Cragg and Noah Gehl,
his parents, John and Grace Gehl, brothers.. John (1942)Leon(1947) and Tom Gehl. (1953).
Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin on Thursday July 29, 2010
from 1-9 p.m. On Friday, Mr. Gehl will lie in state at the First United Methodist Church in West Branch beginning at 12:00
p.m. until the time of the service at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Lisa Cook will officiate with burial following at Edwards Township Cemetery,
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Helping Hands, the VFW Post #3775, the
American Cancer Society or the First United Methodist Church.
Leon Robinson, age 85 of West Branch, WBHS class of 1944, passed away Friday, April 2,
2010 at Horizon Senior Living in St. Helen. Leon lived in West Branch all of his life. Leon married Betty J. Candy on June
9, 1951 in West Branch. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge #376 of West Branch, Elf Khuraf
of Saginaw and West Branch Shrine Club. Leon loved to hunt and fish.
Leon is survived by his wife, Betty J. of West Branch, daughter, Karen (George) Dickson of Big Rapids, sisters,
Helen Robinson of West Branch, Hazel (Charles) Butler of West Branch, and sister-in-law, Arlene Robinson. Also surviving are
granddaughters, Marianne Dickson of San Francisco, CA, Beth Anne Dickson-Levine of Charlotte, NC and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by brothers, Elston, Henry, Frank, Ralph, sisters, Grace Sutherland and Lucille Purks.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church Monday, April 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm. The family
will receive friends from 12:30 until time of service at 2:00 pm at the church. Rev. Lisa Cook and Rev. Cindy Gibbs will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church.