CORRECTED DATE: Filing deadline April 19

By Melissa Burnor

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s Advance – April 13 – has the wrong filing deadline in the story and in the headline. The filing deadline is definitely April 19. We regret the error.)

With a few days left until the deadline for filing a petition to run for local and state offices, very few local races have yet to materialize. The deadline for filing to seek township, county and some state offices is 4 p.m. April 19. All township board seats are up for grabs as well as the county jobs such as sheriff, prosecuting attorney, treasurer, clerk, surveyor, drain commissioner and county commission seats. The only county races so far that appear to be in the making are a primary race for Lenawee County Prosecutor and a race for the District 4 county commission seat that includes Madison Township. Incumbent prosecutor Burke Castleberry and challenger Rodney Leon have both filed as Republicans in that race. Republicans Dawn Bales, who was appointed to fill out the remainder of Cletus Smith’s term, and Randy Swander have both filed for that seat. Harvey Schmidt, owner of Schmidt and Sons Pharmacy filed as a Democrat last week for the 57th district seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. Republican candidate Bronna Kahle has also filed a petition.

(For the rest of this story, please see the April 13, 2016, edition of The Advance. Again, the date in the newspaper, however, is incorrect. So sorry about that!)

Matthew Smith

BLISSFIELD: Matthew Richard Smith, age 41 of Blissfield died on Monday, April 4, 2016 at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI after a short illness. Matt was born on July 26, 1974 in Adrian, Michigan to Fred and Linda (Kuhn) Smith. He graduated from Blissfield High School in 1992. He continued with a 4 year apprenticeship and became a journeyman sheet metal worker out of Local 33 in Toledo, Ohio. Matt will be missed by many friends and family.


In addition to his parents, Matt is survived by the love of his life, his daughter, Bristol Ray Smith; grandparents, N. Richard Smith and Delilah “Mickey” Kuhn O’Connor, both of Blissfield; aunts and uncles, Ted (Sharon) Smith of Blissfield; Bonnie (Mike) Hayes of Jackson and Tim (Leta) Kuhn of Onsted; cousins, Jason (Sue) Smith of Dundee, Justin (Sarah) Smith and family of Palmyra, Robert (Brittany) Kuhn and family of Jackson and Lacey Kuhn and family of Jackson and his faithful canine, Roy. Matt was preceded in death by his grandmother, Margie Smith, his grandfather, Bernard “Bub” Kuhn and his faithful friend, Clide.


Visitation for Matt will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Anderson Rudd Funeral Home in Blissfield. Funeral services and interment for Matt will be held privately.

You may send condolences to the family at Memorial contributions may be made to the Lenawee Humane Society or to the Blissfield Firefighters Association. Envelopes are available at Anderson Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.

Blissfield pool closed for summer

By Melissa Burnor

There will be no swimming lessons, no hanging out at the outdoor pool or water aerobics this year. Blissfield village officials have closed the  Gail Giles Pool indefinitely due to concerns over its condition and the uncertainty of whether it can be repaired or will need to be replaced. Until engineers can determine the extent of the deterioration and whether it can be replaced or repaired village officials are uncertain what the expectations are.  Unfortunately, officials say that no matter what the engineers say should be done with the pool, how they will proceed is questionable.
“We don’t have the money to do it right now,” village administrator Jim Wonacott said, “regardless of the option.” Village officials said they may have to ask taxpayers whether they may be willing to fund the renovations and repairs or perhaps a new pool through a millage.
Wonacott said there is  deterioration of the concrete shell and liner. The extent of the deterioration of the shell can’t be established unless the liner is peeled away . But Wonacott said several months ago that the deterioration can be felt by pressing into the liner.
The second area of concern is the pump for the main filtration system of the pool. The apparatus was damaged during the flood last summer causing the pool to be shut down for several weeks while the  pump was repaired. It was hard for the company who repaired it to find parts for it due to the age of the equipment.

(For the complete story, please see the March 30, 2016, edition of The Advance.)

Benefit to boost diabetic-alert-dog-for-Blissfield-tot fund

Blissfield tot, Brooks Seeburger, will be the center of attention this coming Monday at Lena’s Italian Restaurant.
For the entire serving day at the restaurant, food purchased, either dine-in or carryout  will have 10 percent of all sales made go to Seeburger and his family.
Brooks, 2, has been diagnosed with Type I diabetes and his parents, Aaron and Ashley Seeburger, have been in the process of raising funds to purchase a diabetic alert dog for their young son.
Blissfield State Bank, one of the main supporters of the event will match any amount of the Monday event, as will businesses TLC Community Credit Union, Iott Insurance Agency, Dr. Christopher Mallow D.D.S and Knapp Motors. Miss River Raisin Festival Olivia Miller, whose platform is “Don’t Stop for Diabetes” will make an appearance at the event.

Elva Rau

DEERFIELD – Elva J. Rau, age 75 of Deerfield passed away on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at her home after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was born on November 25, 1940 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania to Robert and Pearl (Nitterwrit) Blackburn.  On September 4, 1965, she was married to Albert Rau in Flint and he survives.  Elva was a member of Light of Christ (St. Alphonsus Catholic Church) in Deerfield.  She enjoyed gardening, shopping and cleaning, as she was a meticulous housekeeper. She had worked at the Lenawee County Courthouse, retiring on December 21, 1996.
In addition to her husband, Albert, she is survived by a daughter, Stacey (Carl) Ulrich of Deerfield; a daughter-in-law, Nilda Rau of Deerfield; three brothers, Robert (Kathy) Blackburn of Florida, Barry (Linda) Blackburn of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and Tim (Denice) Blackburn of Irwin, Pennsylvania; and three grandchildren, Chelsea Zay and Matthew and Christopher Rau.  She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Scott Rau.
The funeral liturgy for Elva will be read at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 4, 2016, at Light of Christ (St. Alphonsus Catholic Church) in Deerfield with Fr. Jeff Poll officiating. Burial will follow in Deerfield Cemetery, Deerfield. Visitation will be held on Sunday at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield from 2-8 p.m., with a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Visitation will also be held on Monday from 10-10:45 a.m. at the church in Deerfield, to be followed by the service. You may send condolences to the family at

Harvey “Parker” Tagsold

Harvey “Parker” Tagsold, Jr., age 80, passed away Wednesday, March 23, 2016.
He was born May 24, 1935, the only son of Harvey “Parker” and Doris (Hawkins) Tagsold Sr., and was a 1953 graduate of Blissfield High School where he was co-captain of the “Sugar Boys” basketball team.  After two years at Albion College he transferred to Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science and graduated with the Class of 1956.
On February 24,1978, Parker married Patricia Nighswander at the First United Methodist Church in Blissfield.
Parker was a partner in the family business, Tagsold Furniture and Funeral Home with his father, and later with his son, Douglas, until his retirement in 1984.  He then became an independent contractor, transporting hazardous waste and later delivering motor homes.
Parker held a commercial pilot’s license for over 60 years accumulating 3,000 hours of safe flying.  He loved being active, spending time hunting, boating, catching fish, flying, traveling, camping, skiing in both the USA and Europe, bowling and being with his family.  Never wanting to be idle, Parker was active in the community serving on the Blissfield Village Council, Blissfield Board of Education, Blissfield Fire Department where he was Fire Chief four years, Past President of Blissfield Rotary Club, Lenawee County Planning and Solid Waste Committees, Board of Directors of Jipson Carter State Bank, National Ski Patrol at Boyne Highlands, Free and Accepted Masons Palmyra Lodge and Zenobia Shriners Toledo.
Introduced at a young age to classical music, he went on to participate in Blissfield High School Band, Albion College Band and Orchestra, Zenobia Shrine Brass Band and Blissfield United Brethren Church Brass Ensemble.
In his retirement Parker and Pat traveled extensively in their RV, participating in several caravans including Alaska and Eastern Canada Maritime region.  They joined Habitat for Humanity Caravaners, and, with fellow RVers, participated in building projects around the United States that led to many lasting friendships.
In addition to his wife of 38 years, Patricia, he is survived by his children: Douglas Parker (Diane) Tagsold and Linda Jean Cantrell, both of Blissfield, Jeffrey Scott (Laura) Tagsold of Dewitt, MI; step-children, Barbara Cambal and Brian (Denise) Mallory, both of Blissfield; 14 grandchildren; one great granddaughter and a step great grandchild; a sister, Marilyn Hatfield of Ventura, CA; and brother-in-law, Jim Hoenig of Chandler, AZ.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his second wife, Patricia Bierman; sister, Janis Hoenig; step-daughter, Connie Jo Nine; and son-in-law, Steve Cantrell.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at Blissfield Baptist Church with Rev. Thomas Frantz officiating.
Contributions in memory of Parker are suggested to Blissfield Baptist Church or Blissfield Fire Department.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel where online condolences and memories may be shared at

Gary Houghtby

Gary Alan Houghtby, 82, of Raleigh, N.C., passed away Friday March 11, 2016, in Raleigh. He was born January 17, 1934, in Adrian, Mich., raised in Blissfield, Mich., fourth child of Earl and Edith Drinkwater Houghtby.

Gary graduated from Blissfield High School in 1951 and from Michigan State University in 1956 with a BS in Microbiology. He then received his Master’s degree from Michigan State University in 1959. Furthering his education he went on to receive his PhD in Food Science\Microbiology in 1964 from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Gary served in the US Army, doing research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, for 2 years.

He worked for the Food and Drug Administration in Seattle, and in Cincinnati, OH, where he certified state milk laboratories in all US states and territories. Gary taught certification courses to state officials, and supervised nation-wide split test sample testing.

After retiring from the FDA, Gary delivered flowers in Raleigh for ten years, which he thoroughly enjoyed, except on Valentine’s Day.

A quiet, gentle man with a wicked sense of humor, Gary was a constant reader, and loved modern jazz.

He liked to travel, loved the beach, and enjoyed gourmet cooking and dining and fine wines. He was owned by many cats during his lifetime.

Gary married Jean Hetherington in 1982 in Batavia, Ohio. Together they remained in Ohio until they moved to Raleigh in 1993.

He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Harlan Houghtby of Jackson, Mississippi.

Gary is survived by his devoted wife, Jean Hetherington Houghtby; his sister, Florence Houghtby Blankenship of Issaquah, Wash.; his brother William Earl Houghtby of North Oaks, Minn.; a special niece Natalie Houghtby-Haddon of Crystal City, Va., and many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He is also survived by his pal, Zeke the cat.

The family received visitors from 5-7 p.m. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home 1701 E. Millbrook Rd. Raleigh, NC 27609 Friday March 18, 2016. A Memorial service was held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday March 19th, at Brown-Wynne Millbrook Rd followed by committal prayers at Oakwood Cemetery Raleigh.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Aden Porter Sr.

Aden Walter Porter, Sr., age 89 of Blissfield passed away
Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Hospice of Lenawee Home, Adrian.

He was born at home in Ogden Township, Michigan on October 28, 1926 to Clare A. and J. Pearl (Loar) Porter. Aden was a graduate of Blissfield High School
and went on to serve his country during WWII with the Army Air Corps.

On April 25, 1981, Aden married Sandra Edwards Packard.  She survives.

Aden worked for the Tecumseh Products and for Peerless Gear until he retired.
He also farmed and raced horses up until recently.  Aden attended Zion
United Brethren Church all of his life. He enjoyed bowling on Wednesday
night’s I.O.O.F. league and the Monday night church league.

Surviving is his wife, Sandra Porter of Adrian; two children, the Rev.
Aden (Debra) Porter of Blissfield and Barbara (Gregg) Russell of Quincy; four grandchildren, Aundrea Baker, Matthew Russell, Vanessa (Alex) Barrus
and Brianna (Chris) Lubelski; three great-grandchildren, James, Annamarie and
Piper and 1 sister, Marian Gmeiner of Cape Cod, Mass.  He was preceded in
death by his parents.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service to celebrate Aden’s life
will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the Zion United
Brethren Church, Blissfield with the Rev. Aden Porter officiating.  Visitation
will take place prior to the service on Saturday from noon – 1:45
p.m. at the church. You may send condolences to the family at  Memorial contributions may be made to
the Zion United Brethren Church, Blissfield. Envelopes are available at
the church or at Anderson Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.

Pamela Andrews

Pamela “Pam” S. Andrews, 70, of Temperance, died Monday, March 14, 2016, in her home.

Born October 21, 1945, in Adrian,  she was the daughter of Stuart and Frances (Kohler) Paulson.  A 1963 graduate of Blissfield High School, she married Robert C. Andrews on November 21, 1964, in St. Peters Catholic Church in Blissfield. He preceded her in death on Jan. 14, 2003.

Pam was a clerk for the treasurers department  for Bedford Township for 27 years, retiring in 2015.  Pam was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Temperance.  She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and attending their various activities, as well as traveling with her sister-in-laws. Pam will be remembered for her beautiful smile and infectious laugh.

Pam is survived by her loving children, Michelle (Kevin) King, Jeffrey (Amy) Andrews and Matthew (Chris) Andrews; siblings, Chris (Jim) Davis, Mike (Chris) Bates and Karol Romer; grandchildren, Brittany, J.C., Madisyn, Koryn, Connor, Grace, Alec, Kate, MacKenzie, Grant, Brock, Luke, Jack, Alaina and Nate; K-9 companion, Samantha.  She was also preceded in death by her parents; brother, Thomas Paulson, step-father, Jack Bates; step-brothers, Jack and Jerry Bates.

Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m Friday, March 18, 2016, at the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, 1640 Smith Rd. (at Jackman) Temperance, MI.  Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11:00 am in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, 8330 Lewis Avenue, Temperance, where she will lie in state after 10 a.m.  Interment will follow in the church cemetery.  Memorials may be made to Bedford Athletics.

Mary Ellen Wapshall

BERKEY, Ohio – Mary Ellen Wapshall of Berkey, Ohio, died March 11, 2016.

Mary Ellen was born on January 16, 1927 to Carlton J. and Leona (Connolly) Schmidt.

She married Merlin S. Wapshall on November 27, 1948.

She is survived by her loving husband Merlin and dear son Dr. Terrance M. Wapshall. She was preceded in death by her parents, precious daughter Beth Ann Wapshall, brother Henry C. Schmidt, and sister LaJeanne Creque.

Mary Ellen was a secretary at Willys Overland for five years and Field Enterprises-World Book Encyclopedia for 14 years. She was past president and long time member of the Altar and Rosary Society at St. Elizabeth Church in Richfield Center, Ohio.

According to Mary Ellen’s wishes there will be no visitation and burial will be private.