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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November 14, 2017

Kristine M. Popp Died Nov. 13, 2017

Kristine M. Popp
Died Nov. 13, 2017

LAKE LEELANAU - Kristine Marie "Kris" Popp, age 52, of Lake Leelanau, died Monday, November 13, 2017 at Munson Hospice House after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 

Kris was born on June 9, 1965, in Big Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of David Forster and Linda Ducheney Penney, who each survive.

On November 20, 1995, at St. Mary of Assumption Church in Lake Leelanau, Kris married the love of her life, Dale Popp, who survives.

The family was happy to share Kris with the Leelanau County Community because volunteering was her passion.  Kris served on the Board of the LCC/LYE community choir for a number of years.  She was the Coordinator of the Lake Leelanau summer ball leagues; a troop leader for Girl Scouts, and her greatest love was not only attending all her children's ball games, but serving as statistician and bookkeeper for JV and Varsity sports including basketball, volleyball, and softball where the coaches relied on her as being the "official" bookkeeper due to her accurate bookkeeping skills and understanding rules of the games.

She loved planning family trips especially to their favorite destination, DisneyWorld, which the entire family enjoyed together.  Making memories for her children and grandchildren was very dear to her heart. 

Kris was a woman of great faith and served in her church as lector and Eucharistic minister.   She made rosaries and gifted them to many friends and family members, always personalizing them with their favorite color, patron saint, or specialized beads.  

In addition to her loving husband of 21 years, Kris is survived by her children, Erin Marie (Robert) Blake, Christine RoseElla (Jason) Harnick, Megan Elizabeth, Ryan William, and Shannon Olivia Popp; grandchildren, Kayleigh Marie and Landon Joseph Harnick; mother, Linda Penney of Traverse City; family  friend, John King, of Williamsburg;  father, David Forster of Kalamazoo;  stepfather, David Penney of Traverse City;  stepbrothers,  Ronald (Melessa of Grand Rapids), Matthew of Jackson, and David Scott of Traverse City; and  many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Kris was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Ashlee Marie; an infant son, Matthew Joseph; and her loving grandmother, Martha Forster; and father-in-law, Edward Dale Popp.

Visitation will take place at Martinson Funeral Home in Suttons Bay on Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. with the rosary being prayed at 7 p.m.  On Friday, November 17, 2017, visitation will take place at St. Mary Assumption Church in Lake Leelanau at 10 a.m.   A Mass of Celebration will take place at 11 a.m.  Burial to follow at St. Mary Cemetery. Father Bryan Medlin will serve as celebrant.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: The Popp Family, c/o Martinson Funeral Home, 115 St. Joseph/P.O. Box 159, Suttons Bay, MI 49682.

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November 11, 2017

Robin K. (Denny) Allen, Died Nov. 9, 2017

Robin K. Allen
Died Nov. 9, 2017

TRAVERSE CITY - Robin Kay Allen, 63, of Traverse City, passed away Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at Culver Meadows Senior Living with her loving family at her side.

Robin was born April 14, 1954 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of John C. Denny and Kathryn A. (Craker) Denny.  On Feb 6, 1988 she married her loving and devoted husband of twenty-nine years, Joddy D. Allen, who survives.

It is almost impossible to describe the kind of person Robin was.  The sheer magnitude of her personality was too big and too great to put into words.  Every casual encounter was treated as a long-lost friend, while the love she had for those she cared most was its own unwavering force.  Her laugh had the power to not only lift spirits, but turn heads and forge new friendships.  Her generosity and fierce loyalty was intimately known by so many.  If she knew there was something someone she cared for needed, it was already done, and then some.

Robin did nothing part way.  She was all in, with her love of laughter, her devotion to family and friends, and if you were to see the Allen household at Christmas, she was all in with Christmas decorations too.  She took so much joy in the gifts of those around her.  The frames in the Allen home are bursting with the faces of those she loved as well as with the talents of her family, namely those of her beloved cousin Rob.  One of the greatest joys of her life was being the mother to her two talented daughters.  She celebrated life, with and for those in hers.
For those that weren’t fortunate enough to meet Robin, you missed experiencing the joy of one of the kindest souls and one of the most humorous personalities around.  If you were fortunate enough to meet her, then you’re lucky enough to know that her memory will always bring a smile to your face.    

Robin is survived by her husband, Joddy; her mother Kathryn; her two daughters, Jennifer and Samantha Allen; her brother, Greg; a nephew, Sean, and a niece, Cahlee.

She was preceded in death by her father, John Denny, and her sister, Colleen Georgiana Gendron.

Visitation will be held on Monday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to the start of the funeral service at 12 noon at the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.  After the service a procession to a and burial in Omena Hillcrest Cemetery will follow.  The Rev. Dr. Homer Nye will officiate.

Memorial may be directed to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration,

Please share condolences with the Allen family below or at the Martinson Funeral Home Facebook page:

November 6, 2017

John R. Kinker, Died Oct. 29, 2017

John R. Kinker
1952 ~2017

John Robert Kinker, 65, of Omena, poised on the edge of a wetlands where he found his power spot, John quietly passed away at home on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

John was born on July 1, 1952 in Detroit, the son of Donald and Sara (Peterson) Kinker.

John was born in Birmingham, MI but spent most of his childhood in Cazenovia, NY.  He went to several different colleges, studying art, engineering and horticulture.  John worked in landscaping and construction before meeting his life partner, Lynn.  Together, they bought and renovated houses, slowly moving their way north to Leelanau County.

He took every opportunity to expand his mind through travel and literature.  John’s adventures took him to many places in the world, but his fondness was for the desert southwest.  Always a self-educator, he read prodigiously, absorbing both lighthearted and weighty material that guided his path.

In his shop he worked the grain and bend of wood, creating functional and beautiful works of art.  He also serviced the intricacies of an engine, pondered the ways of the world, or plucked away on his banjo.  Always spending as much time as it took to honor the processes involved, he was a true craftsman.

He also built boats to explore our water world…a tree house to have a bird’s eye view of the land…and worked the earth to sustain their farmstead.

Of this rare human being, beauty was born.  Together John and Lynn, created a nurturing homestead, bringing into the world two beautiful daughters, Olivia and Lillian.  Their path will be illuminated by the patience, intelligence, and humor their father gently embraced.

John is survived by his wife, Lynn; and daughters, Olivia and Lillian.

Private family services have been held.

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November 4, 2017

Marjorie Sprenger Died Nov. 3, 2017

Marjorie H. Sprenger
Died Nov. 3, 2017

LELAND – Marjorie Helen Sprenger, 91, of Leland, passed away Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 at Effie’s Assisted Living.

Marjorie was born on July 25, 1926 in Ann Arbor, the daughter of Edward and Wava (Imhoff) Warren.  On June 28, 1946 also in Ann Arbor, she married Robert William Sprenger who preceded her in death on Oct. 28, 2011.

Family was very important to Marjorie. She was fond of describing frequent trips to her grandparents in Orland, IN, and Washington D.C.  Another favorite thing to do was get in the car with her parents and her sister, Margaret, and drive to the family cottage on Zukey Lake.

Following their wedding, Marjorie and Robert worked side by side managing the Sprenger family farm in Coleman, MI, for the next 25 years, raising four children and an exchange student from Germany, Bernd Kuckuck.  She was a Cub Scout Den Mother. Marjorie’s table was always full with family members and hired hands, and no one was ever turned away empty-handed; Marjorie would whip up something delicious to feed a hungry wayfaring stranger knocking at their door.

Marjorie’s generous and compassionate heart was also evident in the way she treated migrant families who worked at the farm as extended members of her family.
When she was 45, Marjorie returned to college, finishing her degree in education, graduating from Central Michigan University.  She taught close to 30 years, first in Beaverton, then at Traverse Heights in Traverse City.  Marjorie was especially gifted in working with what others considered to be “difficult” children, bringing out the best in each of her students. 

Following her retirement, Marjorie enjoyed cooking for the Heritage Festival in Traverse City, and serving her church through United Methodist Women and Drama ministry.
She enjoyed cruising the Great Lakes together with her husband on their beloved “Siesta,” cooking in the galley for Inland Seas and the “Madeline” of the Maritime Heritage Alliance.
Marjorie loved to dress up as “Peanut Butter the Clown” for Cherry Festival, and entertaining at the Indian Pre-School at Traverse Bay United Methodist Church.
She was one of those rare individuals who was constantly thinking outside the box, letting her creative mind surprise others.

She was a woman of faith, loved to read her Bible, and was an avid member of the Tuesday Afternoon Women’s Bible Study at the Leland Community United Methodist Church.
Marjorie enjoyed being surrounded by her family, living out the last 9 years of her life being cared for by her four children.  Only as she needed more care did she move to Effie’s in Leland, bringing joy and laughter to her fellow residents and the staff.

Marjorie is survived by her sons, Glenn Robert (Kathy), Dirk Warren (Michelle), and Paul Arthur (Linda) Sprenger; daughter, Mary Wava (Daniel) Hofmann; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister, Margaret (Nelson) Thomas; brothers-in-law, Gerald Sprenger and Charles Mester; and sister-in-law, Barbara (Jacob) Vander Sys.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Leland Community United Methodist Church. Rev. Daniel Hofmann will officiate. Private interment will be held at Geneva Twp. Cemetery, Coleman, MI.

Memorials may be directed to Inlands Seas Education Association, P.O. Box 218, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 and/or to the Leelanau Children’s Center, P.O. Box 317, Leland, MI 49654.

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