The world lost an amazing wife, mother, sister, teacher and bon vivant as Marsha Waymire of Charlotte passed on unexpectedly, at home on October 28, 2020.
Marsha lived for her family – her husband David, daughter Emma and her dogs, currently Luca and Nico – as well as her hundreds of first-grade students at Washington Elementary School in Charlotte over the last 20 years, and her many friends who relied on her to bring a smile, laugh and good times whenever she was near.
Born on May 11, 1955 in Flint, Mich. to Carroll Leo Lantz and Virginia Alice Markley Lantz, Marsha was raised in the Civic Park area of Flint before her family, including her brother Mike and sisters Sue and Kim, moved to Flushing where she graduated from high school.
It will surprise no one who knew her that Marsha passed on a chance to attend college and instead moved to Mesick with friends to find her own path. She took many jobs to make ends meet, including working in a cherry cannery and small auto parts factory.
Returning to Flint, she worked 89 days at the former Saginaw Steering Gear factory before leaving once she saw a 30-year path of well-paid drudgery ahead of her. She moved into retail positions before finding a niche in dental office management.
Marsha met David Waymire, then a Flint Journal reporter, in a downtown Flint bar and married him in 1981. When David’s job took him from Flint to Lansing, Marsha landed a position at Delta Dental in Okemos. She quickly moved into management at Delta. It was at this time that she developed her long attachment to flamingos, in any form, shape and size, from yard decorations to paintings to pool floats.
Emma was born in 1988. Once she entered elementary school, Marsha left Delta to focus on raising her little girl, her most treasured asset. A few years later, Marsha decided to pursue her longtime interest in teaching, graduating from Olivet College with her bachelor’s degree in education. In 2003, she became a first-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School, where Emma had attended.
For nearly 20 years, she shaped the lives of hundreds of first grade students at Washington and became an integral part of the school. Along the way, she received a master’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University.
Marsha was a vital part of Emma’s life as a soccer mom, equestrian follower, cheerleader at cross country and track events, and more. She and David travelled widely, from California to New York, Oregon and Colorado, as well as Miami, Paris, Tokyo, Belize and more. In March 2018, they helped Emma hold the wedding of her dreams, marrying Jarrett Clark in Costa Rica. With Emma and Jarrett living in Colorado, Denver became a second home for Marsha and David.
Over the years, Marsha and David hosted memorable parties at their Lansing home and then in their country abode between Potterville and Charlotte. A wine aficionado, exemplary mixologist, poolside tanner, gardener, extraordinary quilter, dedicated but mediocre skier and superb storyteller – often by exaggerating small everyday events into comedic episodes – Marsha breathed life, laughter and love into events large and small.
She retired from teaching this year and was planning new interesting paths to follow when she died peacefully in her sleep. She is survived by David; Emma and Jarrett; her dogs Luca and Nico; her granddog Henry; her grandhorse Cayman; her brother Mike and sisters Sue Bradley and Kim Lamphere; many brothers- and sisters-in-law and nephews and nieces; and the many students whose lives she touched.
A celebration of her remarkable achievements and love of life was held on Tuedsay, November 3 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Interment followed at Maple Hill Cemetery, Charlotte.
David and Emma hope to establish an endowment fund in Marsha’s name to cover the cost of student school supplies that Washington Elementary teachers usually pay for out of their own pockets. More details will be available when the family hosts a major celebration of this amazing woman’s life once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Russell M. Densmore
Russell Merle Densmore was born on July 17, 1932 and he took the checker flag on October 29, 2020. If you knew Russ you knew he loved and lived racing. As a young man he would race at Jackson Speedway. It was in his blood, so much that he decided to build his own Michigan Ideal Speedway. He worked 40 years at Michigan International Speedway (Fire Rescue). Russ was a volunteer firefighter/first responder, he also spent time in law enforcement and built a propane business, Thermogas of Springport, Mich.
Russ is survived by his wife Pat, having just passed 44 years together. Also surviving are his twin daughters, Joan Densmore (Dutch), June (Rick) Stevens; step-sons, Dave (Kim) Eddy, Steve (Joie) Eddy; grandchildren, Nicky, Richard, Chris, Jenny, Ethan, Abbey, Kim and Donna; several great-grandchildren; sister, Donna (Leon) Hinderer; several nieces and nephews and their spouses. Russ was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mildred (Dunn) Densmore; daughter, Dianne Chunko; great-grandsons, Dylan and Colton Aukerman; brothers, Ed (Gwen) and Dale (Betty) Densmore; and sisters, Goldie (Earl) Garrison, AnnaBelle (Norris) Reynolds and Helen (Harry) Barton.
Funeral services for Russell were held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at Vickers Springport Funeral Home in Springport with Reverent Bill Tripp officiating. Burial followed the service at Springport Cemetery. Honored pallbearers were Steve Eddy, Dave Eddy, Ron Densmore, Richard Yahnka, Ethan Eddy and Shawn McCall, and honorary pallbearers were Curt Ainsworth, Terry Hiither and Rustie Hiither. Arrangements entrusted to Vickers Springport Funeral Home, 121 Pearl Street P.O. Box 235, Springport, MI 49284, (517)857-4848.
Donald L. Thompson, Sr.
Donald Lee Thompson, Sr., of Vermontville, died on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Donald, 85, was born October 5, 1935, in Lansing, Mich., the son of Palmer and Martha (Everingham) Thompson. On December 4, 1954, Donald married his sweetheart, Rose Marie Hummel and together spent the next 55 years. He worked 32 years as a welder for Fisher Body until his retirement in 1983. Donald was an avid outdoorsman.
Donald is survived by his children, Alicia (Gareth) Tyler of Olivet, Trese (Rick) Paisley of Bellevue, Rose “Rea” Kirby of Vermontville, Sue (Kenneth) Cowell of Vermontville, Donald “Bud” (Ursula) Thompson, Jr. of Vermontville; many grandchildren; special companion, Deb Rogers of Battle Creek; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Rose Marie; and grandson, Donald Thompson III.
Funeral services were held on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. Visitation was held for two hours prior to the service, with mask, group capacity, and distancing guidelines practiced.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to The Maple Valley Scholarship Fund. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Donald on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Donna J. Tirrell
Donna Jeanne (Lovell) Tirrell was born on April 25, 1934 in Lake Odessa, Mich. to Gordon and Margarette Lovell, and died at age 86 on October 30, 2020 at home with Don at her side. Donna Jeanne graduated from Vermontville High School in 1952 and went on to Lansing Business Institute. After graduation, she went to work at Oldsmobile as an executive secretary until she married Don on November 7, 1954, when she became a farm wife. Over the years, she raised three children and kept their home in order while Don worked the fields. Donna Jeanne was involved in Church Circle at Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church and for several years was the wedding reception planner, meeting with the brides to help plan their receptions. She was involved with I-Go-You-Go club, Farm Bureau, worked at Smith’s Men’s Wear, volunteered at Hayes Green Beach Hospital and was the Carmel Township treasurer for 12 years. She and Don enjoyed spending time at Indian River, Mich., and enjoyed sitting on the dock watching the boats. They enjoyed spending a few weeks in the winter at Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. Donna Jeanne was also known to make cookies for the neighborhood kids who played ball in her yard.
Donna Jeanne is survived by her husband of 65 years, Don; children, Vickie (Greg) Shaver of Charlotte, Bill Tirrell of Roscommon, and Tom (Deanna) Tirrell of Tulsa, Okla. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren, Jamie (Travis) Reed of LaGrange Park, IL, Dan (Jill) Shaver of Charlotte, Chad (Stacy) Weldon of Grand Ledge, Megghan (Niki) Ravan of Hastings, Don (Caitlin) Tirrell of Eaton Rapids, Alex (Sarah) Tirrell of Tulsa, Okla. and Maggie Tirrell of Overland Park, Kans.; 10 great-grandchildren along with cousins, nieces and nephews; and special friends Pat and Bub Briggs. She was preceded in death by her brother, Kendall in May of 2020.
Funeral services were on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at the family farm in Charlotte with Pastor Jack Conklin officiating.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Eaton Community Palliative Care or Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Donna on her Tribute Page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Gary F. Fassett
Gary Floyd Fassett, 83, died on Friday, October 23, 2020 at Bel Aire Senior Living, in American Fork, Utah. He was born on June 9, 1937 in Charlotte, Mich. He got an early start in business, selling apples and Cloverine salve door to door, and later ran the largest paper route in town, along with his brother.
After his junior year in high school Gary headed West and worked on a ranch in Wyoming. He finally returned to Michigan a few weeks after the start of his senior year, hauling a string of horses. By the time he graduated from Charlotte High School in 1955 he already owned property. He went to carpentry school, and hitchhiked to work at a car factory in Lansing. He married his first wife, Sally Trumble, in 1959, however, their marriage was brief. Gary built a riding stable in Yankee Springs, Michigan, cutting all the corral poles by hand while serving seven years in the Michigan National Guard. He married Gwendolyn Marcella Jardot in 1963, becoming an instant father to her three daughters. They added three more daughters to their family. Gary and Gwen owned and operated the Flying Horseshoe Western Store for many years, first in Middleville (Yankee Springs) and later in Hastings, selling saddles, tack, sporting goods, and guns. Gary grew up hunting and was proud to receive a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA) from his father. He went on to bag big game trophies across North America and Africa. He won several shooting contests with his excellent marksmanship. The entrepreneur in him opened a museum with all of his trophies mounted for paying customers to view. In 1979 Gary and Gwen moved their family to Lincoln, Montana where he began guiding hunters professionally, making many trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The family moved to Fairfield, Montana in November of that year, and that marriage later ended in 1983. Gary managed Sky Top Ranch in Clancy, Montana for ten years. He met his third wife, Penny Schilling Chriske in 1998 and they married in 2003. She brought her son, Brady, to the family and Gary proudly told people he had seven children. They lived mainly in Helena, Montana, but also in Ray, North Dakota before returning back home to Montana. This marriage ended in 2018. From 2017, Gary resided in Fairfield, Choteau, and Great Falls, Montana. He spent his final 53 days in Utah. Not one to be caged, he lasted 172 days in long-term care facilities. Throughout his life he enjoyed business, hunting, guns, golf, bowling, running, music, billiards, dancing, travel, and “shooting the breeze.” He was a loving father, world-class negotiator, humorous storyteller, loyal friend, and an incredibly hard worker. He had quite the agenda of things he still wanted to accomplish when he passed.
Gary is survived by his children: Cassandra Carter Fadness of Boulder, Montana, Camey Lee Boster of Hastings, Jody Fassett Kyburz of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Amy Fassett de la Bruere of Bettendorf, Iowa, Angie Fassett Swanson of Missoula, Mont., and Brady Chriske of Missoula, Mont. He is also survived by his recent loving wife, Penny Chriske Fassett of Helena, Montana and best friend, Jerry Haan, of Kent City, Mich. There is a host of other dear family members and friends in his cheering section. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Esther Doty Fassett; brother, Gaylord Fassett; sister,Marilyn Fassett Charboneau; former spouses, Sally Trumble and Gwendolyn Jardot Fassett; and daughter, CatheyLee Bennett.
Graveside service will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Fairfield, Mont., with masks and other social distancing protocols. Gary would be thrilled if you choose to donate to the National Rifle Association. The family sincerely thanks the fine people of Teton County, Mont. for looking after their father, as neighborly folks do, and serving him in any capacity.
Gary has been well cared for by Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home of Choteau, Mont.
Darwin L. Maurer
Darwin Lee Maurer, affectionately known as “Gabby” because he had the gift of gab, died October 28, 2020 in Bellevue, Mich. at the age of 75. He was born in Coldwater, Mich. on August 25, 1945 to Clyde and Lena (Houck) Maurer. Known for his gift of entertaining others, Dar loved to make people laugh and was often the life of the party. He was a master of the “pull my finger” trick, as well as telling great stories. Dar cared deeply about his friends and family. He had a big heart and would do anything to help others.
During his working career, he held various jobs at fairs and other venues, working with stage and sports audio equipment. His favorite job that he loved to tell stories about was the photo finish job and working as a sound tech. Also an avid sportsman, Dar enjoyed hunting, fishing on the pier at Frankfurt, and being an “armchair” athlete for many different sports on TV.
Darwin is survived by his daughters, Kristen (Kenneth) VanDalsen, Shannon (Israel) Hansen, and Sara (Vincent) Shepherd; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Alice Dean; former wives, Bonnie Ferazzi and Joy Maurer; as well as good friends Ray and Crystal. He was predeceased by his sister, Francis Bressler; and his parents.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Darwin on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Robert B. Sinko
Robert Bernard Sinko of Vermontville, a prankster who loved to make people laugh, died November 4, 2020 at the age of 89. Born in Johnstown, Pa., to John and Mary (Galash) Sinko on August 31, 1931, Robert grew up in a home full of love and children, 11 children in total. After graduating from Alma High School, he married Rosalie Ann Gryble on October 23, 1954 in Lansing, and they started a family of their own, based in faith, love, honesty, and hard work. Robert was a Material Handler at General Motors for 30 years, and then worked ten years at St. Mary Catholic Church taking care of the facility and he truly enjoyed his time there. Over the years Robert was a Cub Scout Leader at St. Therese in Lansing, a member of St. Mary Men’s Club, he helped out at Resurrection Football and Basketball games, enjoyed sports of all kinds, and he took a lot of pride in caring for his lawn (his wife lovingly calls him an obsessive mower).
Robert is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rosalie; children Robert (Linda) Sinko, Mark (Sherry) Sinko, Randi Sinko, Karen (Kris) Fase, and Kathy Sinko-Mills; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; several siblings; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and several siblings.
Friends are encouraged to support Robert’s family. Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte with Rev. Father Dwight Ezop officiating. Visitation was one hour prior to the service, 10-11 a.m. at the church. Interment followed at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lansing. Mask, group capacity, and distancing guidelines will be practiced.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Capital Area Humane Society. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Robert on his Tribute Page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.