Blissfield Royals win a mud-bowl Homecoming

A rainy, muddy Blissfield High School homecoming was just what the doctor ordered for the Royals who defeated the visiting Dundee Vikings 20-6 Friday night.

Wearing their special black-and-purple uniforms with yellow outline numbers, it was impossible often to make out who made the hit or carried the ball for the winning cause, but hit and carry they did to earn a homecoming LCAA league victory.

For the complete story, please see the Oct. 5 edition of The Advance.

Blissfield celebrates homecoming 2016

Blissfield High School will celebrate its Homecoming Friday with a theme of Outer Space. A king and queen will be crowned during halftime of the varsity football game with the Dundee Vikings at 7 p.m. A homecoming parade will also be held at 5 p.m. Class floats, the Blissfield High School Marching Royals and senior king and queen candidates will ride through Blissfield. The candidates pictured, starting with the queen candidates are from left, Natalie Smith, Jade Casanova, Lexi Clark and Erin Southward. The King candidates from left are, Jason Klauda, Lucas Waldvogel, Spencer Fisher and Noah Nieman. This week, students at Blissfield will celebrate each day with different homecoming themes. Monday was pajama day, Tuesday was safari day, Wednesday is outer space day, Thursday is college day and Friday is Royal day. A pep assembly will be held at 1 p.m. Friday and the dance is Saturday evening.

2016 Blissfield High School Fall Homecoming Court
2016 Blissfield High School Fall Homecoming Court

Barbara Loar

Barbara Jean Loar, age 87 of Blissfield, passed away Saturday, September 24, 2016, at Blissfield Place under the loving care of Hospice of Lenawee. She was born February 15, 1929, in Blissfield, Michigan to Arthur and Estella (Rutherford) Betz, and graduated from Blissfield High School with the Class of 1946.

On March 17, 1948, Barbara married Harold Loar in Blissfield. He preceded her in death in 2012, having been blessed with 64 years together.

In addition to helping on the family farm, Barbara baked and decorated cakes for 25 years.

She and Harold enjoyed many winters in Sebring, Florida and traveling with the Great Lakes Camping Club.

Barbara attended the First United Brethren Church (Element Church) for several years where she was active in the children’s ministry, preparing funeral dinners and the women’s missionary group. She was a member of Solid Rock Church.

She is survived by her children: Linda (Mark) Gramlich of Mauldin, SC; the Rev. Robert (Linda) Loar and Brenda (Gary) Zimmerman, both of Blissfield; ten grandchildren: Adam (Staci) Gramlich, Eli (Erin) Gramlich, Dawn (Brandon) Osenko, Deana (Andy) Strudwick, Christopher (Bridget) Loar, R. Scott (Rachael) Loar, Ryan Loar, Katie (Michael) VanEtten, Kristin (Michael) Oluwole, and Emily (Shaun) Mikicic; 19 great grandchildren; and a sister, Judy Mehan of Petersburg. In addition to her husband, Harold, she was preceded in death by her son, H. Keith Loar and a brother, Donald Betz.

Funeral services took place at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at the Element Church in Blissfield with the Rev. Keith Smith officiating. Burial followed at Pleasant View Cemetery. Visitation was held at Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel in Blissfield Monday from 2 to 8 p.m. and again Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until the service. Contributions in memory of Barbara are suggested to Hospice of Lenawee or Solid Rock Church. Online condolences and memories may be shared at

Janice E. Beck Durbin

Born to Russell E. Beck and Elaine M. Kutzley Beck on January 7, 1942 in Hudson. Jan grew up on the family farm in Morenci.

She graduated from Morenci High School as Salutatorian, Class of 1960. Jan enrolled in Adrian College where she studied home economics education and met the love of her life Peter E. Durbin. She graduated from Adrian College in 1964 and she and Pete were married that August. They enjoyed 52 years together.

Jan began her teaching career at Blissfield High School where she served as FHA Advisor as well as class advisor. During that time she received the first Michigan FHA Advisor of the Year award. Her love of students and passion for learning served her well in her nearly four-decade career as an educator. Jan also taught in the Evergreen Local School District. She retired in 2003 from St. Francis Education Center where she taught middle school science. Jan also mentored numerous student teachers and colleagues throughout her career.

Jan was a Cub Scout den leader, 4-H leader and Sunday school teacher. She lived her faith and ministered throughout her life through Berkey Congregational Christian Church and her community as a whole. Her home baked pies and sugar cookies were the stuff of legends. She was also a talented seamstress.

Jan’s greatest achievements were her children Melissa A. Durbin Growden and Thomas M. Durbin and her grandchildren Isaac and Olivia Durbin.

She was a gracious hostess and lovingly accepted guests into her home. Jan never lost her “farm girl” upbringing and welcomed everyone with a smile, kind words and respect.

Jan’s faith and fighting spirit helped her remain a survivor of stage IV Ovarian Cancer for 34 years and also a Breast Cancer survivor for 10 years. She was a heroic role model for so many cancer survivors. Jan never gave up the fight.

On Sunday, September 25, 2016 she peacefully passed away at Flower Hospital with her family at her side.

Survivors include: husband, Peter E. Durbin, daughter, Melissa A. Durbin Growden, son Thomas M. (Dori) Durbin, grandchildren Isaac and Olivia Durbin and grand cats Stella and Baxter. She is also survived by brothers Keith R. (Beverly) Beck, Robert L. (Karen) Beck and Charles R. (Deborah) Beck and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russell and Elaine Beck, in-laws Roger and Marian Durbin and son-in-law Andrew M. Growden.

In lieu of flowers, the family has arranged tributes in Jan’s memory to American Farm Museum & Education Center Memorial Garden c/o Blissfield State Bank or the Scholarship Fund at Lenawee Christian School.

Friends may call at Reeb Funeral Home in Sylvania, Ohio, on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. A celebration of Jan’s life will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.

Veteran’s walk for medical marijuana comes through Blissfield area Tuesday

By Brad Heineman

A Navy war veteran who hails from Astoria, Ore., has taken on another fight on his own, but this fight takes place on the land – not at sea – and his fight, which is for legalizing medical marijuana, was literally pulled through Blissfield today.

Fifty-eight-year-old Ras Ible, a self-declared “Rastafarian” is currently engaged in a 3,000-mile trek across the nation which began in California – all on foot – to raise awareness for homeless American veterans and to promote a possible future that would make medical marijuana available for those that may need it.

Ible, pulling a green painted cart – his mobile home – entered Blissfield Tuesday afternoon, made his way quickly

The walking veteran pulls his home on a cart behind him as he moved through Blissfield Sept. 20.
The walking veteran pulls his home on a cart behind him as he moved through Blissfield Sept. 20. Photo by Brad Heineman, Copyright, River Raisin Publications, Inc.

along U.S. 233 and on to the state of Ohio the same day. His eventual goal is to arrive at the White House in Washington D.C. before the November election, where he said he will park his homestead and live until a change in the country has been made.


BREAKING: Body found in near Blissfield identified

Updated noon, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016:

BLISSFIELD – Preliminary reports on the death of a man found in the vicinity of a truck that had run through a North Blissfield Highway cornfield into a woods indicate  that Daniel Studnicka, 61, Blissfield, may have died of a medical issue, according to authorities.

F/Lt. Tony Cuevos of the Michigan State Police said an autopsy is scheduled for the victim early this afternoon whom he said had reportedly had a history of heart problems.

Death notice was made by Blissfield Police to his next-of-kin in Blissfield.

Authorities were called to a situation where a deceased person was found Tuesday mid-afternoon in the vicinity of a vehicle off the east side of North Blissfield Highway, just past the airport.

A local resident had alerted The Advance just after calling the authorities as he had noticed vehicle tracks through a cornfield earlier.

On Tuesday, he realized there was a vehicle at the end of those  tracks in a nine-acre wood lot and he called police. Authorities then found a dead person in the vicinity of the vehicle although it was not known immediately known what the manner of death had been. The vehicle was not visible from Blissfield Highway.

Other people have since reported they too had seen the tracks of a vehicle entering a field, but assumed it was a case of vandalism.

On scene were the Michigan State Police, Blissfield Township Fire Department, Madison ALS and David Nowland, medical examiner from the Lenawee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Report filed by Melissa Burnor

FOOTBALL Sept. 16: Blissfield, Madison, Whiteford win

The Royals of Blissfield tasted the sweetness of success by spoiling Onsted’s homecoming Friday night, 12-0. It was their first win in almost two  years.

Meanwhile, Madison won its Trojan homecoming over Britton Deerfield’s visiting Patriots, 33-0.

And the Whiteford Bobcats clawed their way to a win over the Summerfield Bulldogs in a Cats-beat-Dogs 34-28 outcome.

For the complete stories, please see the Sept. 21, 2016, edition of The Advance.

Ruth Schneider

Ruth Alice Schneider (Sheldon), 83 years, of Blissfield, passed away on September 3, 2016. in the Saline Evangelical Home surrounded by her family.

The daughter of Ithamer and Loa (Clough) Sheldon, she was born on September 13, 1932, in Palmyra. A loving mother, her greatest joy in life was being with her family.

Ruth is a graduate of Blissfield High School and attended Lenawee County Normal. April 9, 1952 she married Leonard J. Schneider, he preceded her in death in 1993. Ruth worked at Just Rite Bakery until the age of 22. She then worked for Brockway Photography and Kohlman International all while selling Avon for over 20 years.

Ruth worked as a bookkeeper for Knapp Motors for over 15 years retiring in 1997. After retiring she volunteered for Hospice of Lenawee County for 15 years. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Riga. Ruth very much enjoyed meeting with her “Lunch Bunch” for their monthly meetings. She was a member of the Maple City Swingers Square Dancing Club and a member of the Lenawee County Historical Society. Ruth loved to crochet for her family and was famous for her peanut brittle and chocolate chip cookies.

Ruth is survived by her loving children, Steven (Gretchen) Schneider, Sandra (Patrick) Duris; brother, Solon (Wanda) Sheldon; sister –in-law, Mae Sheldon; grandchildren, Dennis (Amy) Schneider, Michelle (Don) Fare, Melissa (Eric) Urbanski, Andrew (Kelsey) Schneider, Thomas (Lauren) Duris; great – grandchildren, Henry, Greta and Maxine Schneider, Charles and Harrison Fare, Connor, Zennon and Rylinn Urbanski, baby Schneider on the way; and many nieces and nephews. Along with her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by her brother, Albert.

Visitation was on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Urbanski’s Bedford Funeral Chapel 8300 Lewis Ave., Temperance. Visitation was held on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. with Funeral Service at 11 a.m. in Trinity Lutheran Church 7623 Riga Hwy. Riga. Burial followed in Pleasant View Cemetery, Blissfield. In memory of Ruth, memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church of Riga, or Hospice of Lenawee County. Online condolences may be shared at