John Harrwaldt

John  Ralph  Harrwaldt, age 56, of Blissfield, passed away, November 6, 2012, at Hospice of Lenawee with his loving family by his side. He was  born January 13, 1956, in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Ralph & Jeanette (Moore) Harrwaldt. On April 16, 2000, he married Tammie Mitchell.  She preceded him in death in December 13, 2000. John was a lifelong resident of Blissfield. He graduated from Blissfield High School in 1974. John owned and operated Harrwaldt Construction for over 30 years. He spent his career as an exceptionally talented carpenter. He pleased many people in and around Blissfield remodeling their homes with his in-depth knowledge and perfection skills. He was especially proud of his last job for his sister, Carolyn.     He is survived by his children, Ralph Harrwaldt, Nicole Harrwaldt and Shonda (Steve) Mitchell-Garcia, his grandchildren, Kamron, Kevin, Emily, Raylyn and K’le, three sisters, Vicki (Rick) Trabbic, Bev (Loren) Staup and Carolyn (Terry Yancer) Burgermeister, several nieces and nephews and several very special friends and his beloved dog, Zephyr. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Jeanette (Moore) Harrwaldt, his sister, Cheryl Yeager and nephew, Trevor Mitchell. Cremation has taken place.  A visitation and memorial service will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2012, at J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, 2959 N. Adrian Hwy (M-52), Adrian, Michigan. Visitation is from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with the memorial service at 11:30 a.m. officiated by Rev. John Kottke. A luncheon will be served immediately following the service at Coach Light Estates Mobile Home Park Community Room, 650 West Adrian Street (US 223) Blissfield, Michigan. www.PurseFuneralHome.com

Michael Hudson

ADRIAN — Michael G. Hudson, age 60 , of Adrian, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, November 15, 2012, in Genesee County, Michigan. He was born October 8, 1952 to Georgia (Mosher) and Paul Hudson in Toledo, Ohio. He attended Bedford School. On June 8, 1991, he married Virginia “Ginny” Goetz in Blissfield, MI. Michael served his country in the Army from 1975 -76. He was employed as a truck driver for CTI trucking; he had worked for Sharon Manufacturing, a family owned business that his grandfather created. He also worked in the agriculture industry at Royster Clark. Michael loved life whether when he was wrestling with his grandchildren, fishing on Lake Erie or at family get togethers. He especially loved the casinos and the exciting atmosphere. He was a member of the American Legion of Blissfield and a Lambertville volunteer fireman from 1969 to 1986. Michael is survived by his beloved wife, Ginny, his loving children, Michelle (Randy) Lange of Madison, Alabama; Jinny Lynn (James “Jim”) Lesniewski of Lambertville, MI; Michael Paul Hudson and Mark Steven Hudson, both of Las Vegas, Nevada; grandchildren, Corey Lange, Alexia Lange and James Ryan Lesniewski; siblings, Paul “Skip” Hudson of the British West Indies; Vicky (Raymond) McMillan of Dundee and Judi Hudson, of Vancouver, Washington. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Thomas A. Hudson, son, Michael George Hudson Jr. and infant brother, Steven Hudson. Funeral services for Michael will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 19, 2012, at the Tagsold Chapel, Wagley Funeral Home, Blissfield, with Rev. John Paschen officiating. Burial will be in Riga Cemetery. Visitation will be on Sunday, November 18, from 2 -4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lenawee Humane Society or the Blissfield American Legion. On line condolences to the family will be welcomed at www.WagleyFuneralHome.com

Robert Napier

KINGMAN, Ariz. — Robert W. “Bob” Napier, 64, passed away November 7, 2012, at the Kingman Regional Medical Center. He was born November 13, 1947, in Adrian, to Dallas and Dorothea Napier. Bob was a donut-maker at a family donut shop — Hinkles Donuts — in Toledo, Ohio, prior to moving his family to Lake Havasu City in 1974. He worked for McCulloch Corporation as well as the Lake Havasu Unified School District where he retired in 2009 as a ground maintenance worker. Bob had a love of the desert and horticulture. He enjoyed studying and cultivating outdoor plants and small gardens and was very knowledgeable of desert wildlife. He also had a flair for antiques “picking,” always appreciating the stories and history behind the rare pieces he would find at yard sales. Bob, a quiet and reserved man, will be remembered by his family as having a quick wit and a heart of gold. His sense of humor was appreciated by family, friends, and strangers alike, and he was always giving from his heart to the best of his means. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. Bob is survived by his mother, Dorothea Napier, of Deerfield; daughter, Kimberly (John) Alexander, of Kingman, Ariz.; son, Charles (Bianca) Napier, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; brother Ron (Kaye) Napier, of Temperance; sister Sue (Benny) Rapp, of Deerfield; grandchildren. Valerie Zettel, Marc (Melissa) Zettel, and Alicia Napier; and two great-grandchildren. A private burial has taken place at Deerfield Village Cemetery. Those wishing to make a contribution in memory of Bob should consider the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society, envelopes are available at Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel. You may send a condolence to the family at www.WagleyFuneralHome.com.

Julie Briggs

Julie M. Briggs, 22, of Blissfield, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, November 18, 2012, at her home. She was born July 18, 1990, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the daughter of Paul and Joan (Webb) Briggs. Julie graduated from Britton High School in 2009. Julie attended the Hope Center and competed in bowling at the Special Olympics. She loved to go camping with her family and was a great babysitter for her nieces and nephews. She was a fan of Elvis and Patsy Cline. In addition to her parents, Julie is survived by her grandmothers, Rita Webb of Adrian and Joyce Briggs of Oscoda, Mich.; her siblings: Kristina Betz of Blissfield; Jason (Abby) Briggs of Grass Lake; and Allison Briggs of Blissfield; nieces and nephews: Kalli, Landen, Micajah, and Giavonnie; and many close aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Carl Webb and John Briggs. The funeral Mass for Julie will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at Light of Christ Catholic Parish St. Alphonsus Church with Father Paul Schwermer presiding. Visitation will take place on Friday from 1 to 8 p.m. at Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel in Blissfield. Contributions in memory of Julie may be made to her family. Condolences are welcome at www.WagleyFuneralHome.com.

Cause, manner of woman’s death still a mystery

By Melissa Burnor

SYLVANIA — “She was a woman that loved her grandchildren,” Detective Jake Albright of the Sylvania Township Department said of Catherine Sackrider.
The 59-year-old former Sylvania woman’s body was found near an old barn on Scott Highway in Palmyra Township Nov. 9 by an employee of Crop Production Services spreading lime on the corn stubble field surrounding the barn.
Albright said that Sackrider’s dentist in Sylvania Township was able to identify x-rays taken from the autopsy and comparing them toher dental records at his practice.Catherine Sackrider

Police have not determined the manner of death but are treating it as suspicious.
“There was evidence at the scene that made it suspicious,” Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh said, “but we haven’t released anything. We don’t want to hinder their investigation or ours.”
And the multiple-jurisdiction investigation that covers three states is a complicating factor in the investigation that is requiring cooperation with law enforcement in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
Sackrider was last seen leaving her daughter’s home on Sept. 18 on Vineyard Road in Sylvania Township, Albright said. Sackrider’s daughter, husband and her two children actually lived in Sackrider’s home. Sackrider had been living the last couple of years at a lake cottage on Wall Lake in LaGrange County, Indiana. Sackrider’s husband died in April 2010. He had run a copier business in the Toledo area for approximately 18 years.
Albright said Sackrider’s disappearance was allegedly brought to light by someone in LaGrange County on Sept. 24. who started asking the daughter “where is your mom?”
It was then it was determined there was a problem. A missing person’s report was filed with the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department that day.
There were few leads until the Sackrider’s body was discovered in a rural area of Palmyra Township surrounded by farm fields and woods. But local investigators quickly homed in on the case south of the Michigan border when a Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department detectives at the scene remembered the missing person case from Sylvania.
An autopsy was performed on Sackrider’s body the day after she was discovered at ProMedica Bixby Hospital. Investigators are still awaiting laboratory results from the initial autopsy.
Albright said if investigators have enough evidence to charge anyone in the death the case would be tried in Lucas County based on discussions he has had with Lucas County prosecutors.
“Because this is where she was last seen alive,” Albright said.
Albright said there would have to be a legal process followed to get all the evidence that was collected in Palmyra Township sent to Sylvania township.
“There was nothing there that indicated she was in fact killed there,” he said.
Welsh said his department is cooperating with the investigation and agreed that the investigation and any prosecution that could result may end up in Ohio.
“It’s probably going to lead us in that direction,” he said, “we are willing to do that, if that is the best thing to do.”
Albright said nothing in the investigation so far has turned up anything in the woman’s past that would indicate someone had a motive to do her harm.
“She was a woman that loved her grandchildren and minded her own business,” he said.
He would not comment on whether this could be a random incident or if she was targeted.
Albright said he doesn’t feel there is someone out their randomly targeting people “for kicks.”
“I would be comfortable with my wife walking down the street where she was last seen, even in the middle of the night,” Albright said.
“Obviously we are checking into her past,” Albright said. “She was a low-risk person; not involved in any criminal activity.”
Anyone who may have seen anything related to either incident can call the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department at 517-263-0524.
Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. This is an edited form of the complete story. For the rest of the story, please pick up the Nov. 21, 2012, edition of The Advance, or call to subscribe at 517-486-2400.

Body found in Palmyra Township confirmed as woman missing from Sylvania

By Melissa Burnor

PALMYRA – The partially decomposed body of a woman found by a man spreading lime in a Palmyra Township farmer’s field Friday afternoon has been identified as the woman missing from Sylvania since mid-September.

Lenawee County Undersheriff James Anderson confirmed Tuesday that dental records provided for Catherine A. Sackrider had positively identified the remains as the 59-year-old Indiana woman who had been missing from Sylvania, Ohio.

The victim, who lived in LaGrange County, Ind., had been reported missing Sept. 24 to the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office after she allegedly failed to return home from visiting her daughter and son-in-law the Toledo area. Her vehicle was later found abandoned in a park behind the Starlite Plaza on Monroe Street in Sylvania. She was reportedly last seen Sept. 18 after visiting her daughter in the Toledo area, according to a news release from Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh.

Her body was discovered near the back corner of an unused wooden barn in the 6000 block of Scott Highway.

According to Welsh, Lenawee Central dispatch initially received a call reporting the body found at 1:20 p.m. Nov. 9. When officers responded, they found the partially decomposed remains of what they believed to be a woman.

Scott Highway Barn
Body of missing woman found Nov. 9 behind Palmyra Township, Michigan, barn

An autopsy conducted Saturday, Nov. 10, at ProMedica Bixby Hospital had confirmed the body was that of a woman, but did not establish identification, Anderson had said Monday. Police had believed it was a women based on the clothing she was wearing. Police are awaiting laboratory results in hopes these may explain how the woman died.

The cause and manner of death are also key elements in the investigation and were undetermined in the autopsy, according to Welsh. But he had earlier said authorities do suspect foul play. The location of her death also remains unknown, according to the Tuesday Welsh news release.

The Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department had first notified the Sylvania Township, Ohio, Police Friday afternoon after a sheriff’s detective remembered seeing a recent report about a missing person from their area, Welsh said in a weekend news release. That missing person was Catherine A. Sackrider.

The Lenawee County Sheriff’s office will continue working with the Sylvania Township Police and the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

Copyright 2012 River Raisin Publications, Inc.


Man charged in burning of Palmyra Masons’ Bible

By Melissa Burnor

PALMYRA — A King James Bible that every Palmyra Mason since 1866 has laid their hands on when they were sworn in to the lodge will never return to its rightful owners. An anonymous tip to the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department in October led police to the suspect who they say burned the Bible after stealing it in July of 2011 along with some other ornamental fixtures from the Palmyra Masonic Lodge on Lenawee Street in Palmyra.

Ronald Morton Huskins II, 22, Blissfield, was arraigned Nov. 8 in Lenawee County District Court on charges of arson of personal property $200 or more but less than $1,000, breaking and entering of an occupied dwelling with intent and larceny in a building. According to a police report the Bible was an 1859 King James Bible.

Mason Dave Bailey said it was dedicated by the ladies or wives of the Masons in February of 1866 shortly after the lodge was chartered.

“It has been used for every meeting or every function we have had since then,” Bailey said. “Every guy who has gone into that lodge has laid his hands on that Bible to get sworn in,” he said. Also stolen were some ornaments that formed a plumb bob, square and level.

Huskins pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He will have a preliminary examination on Nov. 19.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For the complete story, please see the Nov. 14, 2012, edition of The Advance. Just call 517-486-2400 for weekly delivery to your mailbox.

Blissfield DDA/Main Street has new manager

Blissfield’s new Downtown Development Authority Director/Main Street manager Patricia Rayl brings experience from working with some successful communities and with the Main Street program in Michigan. She also has a love of historic preservation that she sees as a good fit for her job in the village of Blissfield. The DDA/Main Street Program hired Rayl who officially took the helm of the management position on Nov. 5.

Rayl quickly was immersed into the activities of the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program with the annual Yuletide Cheer event that drew many visitors and shoppers to downtown over the weekend.

Rayl replaces Michael Sessions who took a new position after a two-year stint in Blissfield.

Most recently Rayl was the Downtown Market manager of the Jackson Downtown Development Authority Farmers Market. Rayl has done internships with both the cities of Albion and Marshall where she also became acquainted with the Michigan Main Street Program and many of the people who work with it on the state level as well she said. Rayl has both an undergraduate degree and a masters in public administration from Eastern Michigan University.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For the rest of this story and many other news stories including the Britton Deerfield Board of Education meeting, notes from Deerfield Village’s monthly meeting, lots of Yuletide and Veterans’ Day photos, please see the Nov. 14, 2012, edition of The ADVANCE. For home delivery, please call 517-486-2400.

Janet Griffes

PALMYRA— Janet Louise Griffes, 63, of Palmyra, passed away Thursday, November 8, 2012, at Bixby Medical Center. She was born July 8, 1949, in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of Maynard T. and Joan M. (Weldishofer) Herr. Janet graduated from Sand Creek High School with the Class of 1967. Janet worked for Madison Public Schools where she retired with 30 years of service. She was an active member of the Zion United Brethren Church serving as Sunday School Treasurer. Janet enjoyed sewing and quilting and was a member of Quilts of Compassion. She also enjoyed flower gardening and bird watching. She is survived by her sons, Jamie (Connie) Griffes and Timmie Griffes, both of Palmyra; three grandchildren, Leah Ward, Austin and Winter Griffes; three sisters, Anita (Jerold) Craig of Jasper; Patricia (Donald) Warner of Blissfield; and Kathryn Herr of Canton, MI; and a very special friends and neighbors, Penny and Jim Whitt. A memorial celebration of Janet’s life was held Monday, November 12, 2012, at the Zion United Brethren Church with Rev. Aden Porter officiating. Contributions in memory of Janet may be made to Zion United Brethren Church or the Palmyra Fire Department. Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel where condolences may be sent to www.WagleyFuneralHome.com.

Willard Mason

ADRIAN — Willard B. Mason, age 89, of Adrian, passed away peacefully under the loving care at the Hospice of Lenawee Home on Friday, November 2, 2012. He was born to Mildred (Knisel) and Hazen Mason on March 4, 1923 in Berkey, Ohio. Willard married Helvi Muhonen, together they celebrated 60 years of marriage, before her death in 2003. He served his country in the U.S. Army during WW II, in the Pacific. He enjoyed going on trips to the casino with his two buddies, they were known as the “3 Amigos”. He was the dear father of Bill (Sally) Mason and step father of Gene; grandfather of Gene, Doug (Lisa), Duane, Dean, and Valerie; and great-grandfather of seven. Willard has also been a devoted partner to Ilah Ost for the last 9 years, she survives. Willard was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Helvi and his sister Kathleen Ries. His body has been donated to the University of Michigan Hospital Research Program. Memorials in memory of Willard may be made to Hospice of Lenawee, 1903 Wolf Creek Hwy., Adrian, MI 49221. On line condolences may be made to the family at www.WagleyFuneralHome.com.