December 11, 2017

Harold R. Gronseth Died Dec. 10, 2017

Harold Roosevelt Gronseth

Died Dec. 10, 2017

Harold Roosevelt Gronseth, 88, a longtime resident of Suttons Bay and teacher in the Traverse City Area Public Schools, died Sunday, Dec. 10 in Perry, Georgia.

Mr. Gronseth, who last taught at the former Norris Elementary School before his retirement in 1982, was a 1948 graduate of Suttons Bay High School. He also taught in two other Michigan communities, Reed City and Greenville, during his 27-year teaching career. He was born in Detroit and moved with his parents to Suttons Bay while in high school.

Mr. Gronseth and his family had deep ties to Suttons Bay, where his father had a cherry orchard and his paternal grandfather, and later his uncle, operated Gronseth’s Shoe Store. His Norwegian immigrant grandfather, Lars J. Gronseth, moved to Suttons Bay from Bay City in 1886 after answering an ad for a shoemaker.

As a young man, Mr. Gronseth was a boater and joined the United States Power Squadrons in Traverse City, earning a navigation certificate after taking a rigorous course.

He established scholarships in his parents’ memory at their alma maters. The scholarship for his mother is at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, and for his father at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, where Mr. Gronseth also studied. He graduated from the school in 1952 with a teaching degree, with concentrations in history and art.

Mr. Gronseth told Albion officials that he “just wanted to do something that would be a lasting tribute.”

“I knew how much he thought of his time at Albion,” he said of his father, Harold E. Gronseth, who died in 1962 in Suttons Bay. “It’s just a very satisfying thing for me, to know that there is something permanent and beneficial that I did while I was walking around this good earth.”

On his mother’s side, Mr. Gronseth was proud of his middle name – Roosevelt – and family ties to two presidents, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt. Mr. Gronseth was a distant cousin of both presidents, just as his well-known relatives were to each other.

Mr. Gronseth moved with his mother, Alice Roosevelt Gronseth, to Perry in 1982. She died there in 1988.

In the 1970s, Mr. Gronseth made two transoceanic voyages to Europe, one aboard the Queen Elizabeth to England, and the other on the Leonardo da Vinci, a memorable trip with a number of celebrities aboard en route to the film festival in Cannes, France. He remembers sitting in the bar one evening with a journalist and spotting the famous Spanish artist, Salvador Dali, sitting with his wife at a nearby table. The journalist had been assigned to write about him and others, but he confessed that he was too frightened to approach the artist. Mr. Gronseth, who had written a paper about him in college, proclaimed: “I’m not.” He marched over to the table and chatted with Dali about his art. “He was pleasant,” Mr. Gronseth recalled.

Mr. Gronseth will be remembered for his wonderful storytelling, especially about family. He had an exceptional memory of family history from his childhood and beyond. He will also be remembered for his love of cars, trading them in about every two years for a new one.

“I never saw a car I didn’t want to buy. I had to have it,” he once said.

Mr. Gronseth’s first car was a 1937 Packard, a gift from his father in 1952. It was among his favorites, with its sleek lines, running boards and iconic hood ornament. He continued his love affair with cars, even later in life in Perry, where he once purchased, as he called it, “a tricked-out” 2008 Dodge pickup.

Survivors include cousins in several states, including Michigan.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Suttons Bay, with visitation held one hour prior.  Burial will be held at a later date at the Lutheran Cemetery, Suttons Bay.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Leelanau Historical Society, P.O. Box 246, Leland, MI 49654.

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December 2, 2017

David O. Fredrickson Died Nov. 13, 2017

David O. Fredrickson
Died Nov. 13, 2017

TRAVERSE CITY – David Otis Fredrickson, 67, of Traverse City, died peacefully on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at Munson Hospice House.

David was born June 16, 1950 in Traverse City; the son of Daphne O. Fredrickson and the late James R. Fredrickson of Traverse City.

Dave graduated from Traverse City High School in 1968.  He graduated from Princeton University in 1972.  He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1978.  Dave was a member of the Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City.  

He was also a volunteer at the Jubilee House and with the Democratic Party of Traverse City.  A voracious reader, Dave had a keen interest in world history, politics and current events.  Dave will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

David is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Pamela and Scott Sullivan of Alamo, CA, his brother and sister-in-law, James and Cynthia Fredrickson of Suttons Bay; his nieces and nephews, Ashley Fredrickson, Christopher Fredrickson, Patrick Sullivan, Brian Sullivan; and his aunt, Joyce Harper.

He was preceded in death by his father, James; a brother Donald Fredrickson in March 2017.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

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November 29, 2017

Frederick G. Horn, Died 17, 2017

Frederick G. Horn
1927 ~ 2017

Frederick Gilbert Horn, 90, of Wyoming MI and Northport, died peacefully at home on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Fred was born Jan 31, 1927 in Northport, the son of Frederick A. Horn and Alma M. (Anderson) Horn, the youngest of 9 children.

Fred served in the U.S. Army, worked at the Traverse City State Hospital then had a long career with the Railroads where he retired in 1978 as a Conductor on the Am Trak line from Grand Rapids to Chicago. He enjoyed many years in retirement as a member of the American Legion and as an active member of the Wyoming Moose Lodge #763 where he visited almost daily for camaraderie and good cheer.  When not at the Moose Lodge, his friends would gather weekly at his home for highly competitive card games.  He also enjoyed golf, morel mushroom hunting, and visiting with the Ladies.

Surviving Fred are his 5 children, Cheryl (Clint) Cook of Northport, Dale (Terese) of Lansing, Kara Jacobs of Traverse City, Gale (Wally) Morton of Northport, and Fred of Sierra Vista, AZ; 9  grandchildren, Melissa (Jerome) Farr, Darci (Chad) Dean, Brigette (James) Bowser, Nikki Horn, Jeremy (Kim) Horn, Meghan (Jeff) Brach, Danny (Ali) Horn, Ellsa Jacobs, and Miranda Christianson; 20 great-grandchildren; his cousin and lifelong friend, Norman (Pauline) Nielsen of Northport; and special friend and companion, Lori Schmidt of Wyoming.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Alma Horn; and his brothers, Melvin, Walter, William, Carl, Albert, and Orville; his sisters, Nettie Horn and Alfreda (Urban) LaCross; and his granddaughter, Jerico Horn.

Cremation has taken place and services will be announced in the spring.

Memorials may be directed to the American Heart Association at and/or to the American Legion at

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November 25, 2017

Kevin D. Yannett, Died Nov. 22, 2017

Kevin D. Yannett
Died Nov. 22, 2017

PESHAWBESTOWN - Kevin Daniel Yannett, 31, of Peshawbestown passed away Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 at home.
Kevin was born Jan. 21, 1986 in Gallup, NM the son of Donald George Yannett Sr. and Helen Johnson.

Kevin was a talented man with his hands, a jack of all trades.  He was a free spirited, loving and caring person.  He was a journeyman welder and a member of the boiler makers union.

Kevin is survived by his parents, Don Sr. and Helen, his children, Aneria, Ahmerik, Eeanna, Darian; a brother, Edward Carl Yannett; his aunts and uncles, Sandra Yannott, George Yannott Jr., Florine Yannott, Richard Hart, Loi Hart, Gail Woods, Henry Johnson, Harry Johnson, Ester Johnson, Nancy Johnson, Art Johnson and Emily Johnson.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Syleesha; and a brother, Donald G. Yannett Jr.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27 at the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.  Burial in Gallup, New Mexico will be held at a later date.
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November 21, 2017

Constance "Connie" R. Thatcher, Died Nov. 17, 2017

Constance R. Thatcher
Died Nov. 17, 2017

NORTHPORT – Constance Rae Thatcher, 83, of Northport, passed away Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at home surrounded by dear friends and her loving family.
Connie was born April 21, 1934 in Columbus, Ohio the daughter of William Nace Damsel and Gertrude (Carpenter) Damsel.  On Dec. 4, 1954 in Columbus she married James Arthur Thatcher.
As a young lady Connie sang professionally in a women’s barbershop group called The Barberettes and was the opening act for noted comedian, Jonathan Winters.  Connie had a lifelong love of singing: she sang in church choirs, was a member of Northport's Village Voices, and was always involved with singing no matter where she resided.
Connie was a fantastic cook whether it be wild game, breads, pies, prime rib, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinners.  Her culinary skills were featured on Mort Neff's Michigan Outdoors television show in which she won the 1965 trophy with her “Beaver par Excellence” dish.
She was an avid fan of Ohio State University sports.  Connie wintered for the last 30 years in the American Southwest and fell in love with Native American art and culture and used those influences in her crafts.
Connie is survived by her four sons, William A. Thatcher, Jon W. Thatcher, James T. (Deb) Thatcher, Joseph D. (Laura Kalchik) Thatcher; two sisters, Sharon Hall, Lillian (Charles) Bethel; five grandchildren, Samantha, Hannah, Lucas, Jacob and Meredith.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband of fifty-eight years, James.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at the Trinity Church of the United Church of Christ in Northport.
Memorials may be directed to Trinity United Church of Christ, PO Box 156, Northport, MI 49670 and The Leelanau County Cancer Foundation, PO Box 235, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653.
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