Kathryn Breitner

BLISSFIELD – Kathryn A. Breitner, age 55 of Blissfield, passed away January 27, 2016.

She was born in El Paso, Texas the daughter of James and Helen (Collingsworth) Jaqua, and grew up in the Petersburg area.

Always cheerful, Kathryn showed her family how to live with great joy. She shared this joy with her treasured grandsons who lovingly called her “Yaya”. She attended Light of Christ Parish in Blissfield. Kathryn was dearly loved by many people who will miss her fun and energetic spirit.

Surviving are her children: Kandace (Archie Nieswander) Breitner of Blissfield, Corbin (Holly) Lucas of Petersburg, and Cody (Gabby) Libstorff of Milan; grandsons, Kaleb and Kalon; siblings: Frank (Heidi) Jaqua, Deb (Karl) Knerr, Edward Jaqua, and Susan (Richard) Brown; and a very special friend, Ronnie Clegg.

She was preceded in death by her mother.

Mass of the Resurrection for Kathryn was at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 5, 2016 at Light of Christ Parish in Deerfield with Fr. Jeffrey Poll as Celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Alphonsus Cemetery in Deerfield. The family received friends at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kathryn’s family to assist with expenses. Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel in Blissfield where online condolences and memories may be shared at www.WagleyFuneralHomes.com.

Nieman pins 100th wrestling win

Noah Nieman of Blissfield High School wrestles for his career 100th win Jan. 20. Copyright River Raisin Publications, Inc.
Noah Nieman of Blissfield High School wrestles for his career 100th win Jan. 20. Copyright River Raisin Publications, Inc.

Blissfield High School junior wrestler Noah Nieman may have had a halfway easy trek for two of the most important wins of his high school wrestling career.

Against a Lenawee County Athletic Association dual meet of teams including Columbia Central and Onsted, Nieman and his Royal comrades hosted their second home wrestling meet of the year Jan. 20.

It was a perfect setting for the Blissfield grappler to claim his 100th career wrestling victory in front of a home crowd.

Nieman entered the evening of wrestling with 98 overall career wins and his climb to 100 was made easy when Columbia Central failed to match weight at 135 lbs.

His next opponent came in Onsted’s Brittany Ratliff, a female opponent Nieman pinnedher in the first period for win number 100. Nieman pinned Ratliff at 1:43 on the clock and his victory was followed by a short celebration.

For the complete story by Brad Heineman as well as all the local sports results from the previous week and lots more photos, please see the Jan. 26, 2016, edition of The ADVANCE. Like local sports? Looking for the name of your favorite player, subscribe for weekly delivery – just $32 a year. Call 517-486-2400 and Paula will sign you up!

Boosters host Nite at the Races Saturday

Nothing says horse racing, good food and good company like sporting a derby hat. The Blissfield Athletic Boosters will be doing just that and more at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, as the Nite at the Races event, in its fourth year, will be hosted at the Blissfield American Legion Hall.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the racing will begin at 7 p.m. At a last update by Blissfield Athletic Director Steve Babbitt, $20 tickets were going quickly and very few were still available. For the complete story and lots more local news, please see the Jan.  27, 2016, edition of The ADVANCE.

Aging Giles pool poses dilemma for Blissfield Village


Will the Gail Giles Pool open this summer? Possibly repairs will be enough but the village may potentially have to replace the shell of the pool now showing signs of significant damage.

Would the village decide to rebuild the pool in another location or eliminate a public pool from the village landscape altogether? There is damage to the concrete shell but how much is not known. “Without peeling back the vinyl liner we don’t know exactly how bad it is,” village Administrator James Wonacott said, “but you can tell by applying pressure that there is give and there shouldn’t be.”

Wonacott said he believes the concrete shell is the original one constructed 60 years ago.

The pool originally opened for three days during the Labor Day weekend of 1956 after the completion of construction. It opened in the spring of 1957 with a dedication on May 30 for the first full season. The main donors were Mr. and Mrs. William Giles whose daughter Gail Giles had drowned.

Besides the shell, the liner and the circulation system are in need of repairs.

Last year after a significant flood put the entire facility under water, the pump was severely damaged and it was uncertain whether repairs could be made to it in order to reopen the pool. Parts were found and the pool was open weeks later.

For the complete story, please see the Jan. 27, 2016, edition of The ADVANCE. To subscribe, just call 517-486-2400 and get local, Local, LOCAL news in your mailbox each week!

Robert Zimmerman

Robert William Zimmerman, age 83, of Blissfield, Michigan, passed away January 22, 2016, at Whispering Pines, Adrian.

He was born October 4, 1932, in Blissfield Township to Harold and Mabel (McCormick) Zimmerman.

He was married on February 8, 1952 to Pauline (Lievens) Zimmerman. In addition to his loving wife of 63 years, he is survived by one daughter, Debra (Rick) Burns of Tipton; one sister, Lois Bockbrader and one brother, James (Jane) Zimmerman; three grandchildren, Heather Miller, Lindsey Burns, and Rian Burns; and 2 great-grandchildren, Michael Miller and Hayden Kobus.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law, Clayton Bockbrader.

Bob was an electrician for 47 years before retirement, being the owner of Zimmerman Electric, Inc. of Blissfield.

He was a member of Light of Christ (St. Peter’s) Church; a member of the Blissfield Volunteer Fire Department for 19 years and a member of the Blissfield Rotary Club. Bob enjoyed weekends at Round Lake and winters at Port Isabel, Texas, for 35 years. He was an avid traveler and bowler and will be greatly missed by his loving family. His favorite saying was “Well, it’s five o’clock somewhere!”

Visitation for Bob was at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield,  Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 2-8 p.m. with a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. The Funeral Liturgy will be read at Light of Christ (St. Peter’s) Church, Blissfield, on Thursday at 11 a.m. with Fr. Jeff Poll officiating. Visitation will also be held on Thursday from 10 – 10:45 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery. You may send condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Light of Christ (St. Peter’s) Church, Hospice of Lenawee, or the Alzheimer’s Research. Envelopes are available at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.

Jennie Alcock

Jennie Lea Alcock passed away Thursday, January 21, 2016, at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born on April 16, 1927, to Samuel and Tessie (Buchanan) Birchfield. She married Lyle Robert Alcock on December 26, 1946, in Adrian. He preceded her in death on May 2, 1980. Jennie is survived by her five children, Larry (Debbie) Alcock, Linda (Don) Michelin, Sharon Gunter, John (Linda) Alcock and Mike Alcock, 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; brother Roger (Judy) Birchfield, sister-in-law Anne Birchfield; her loving caretaker Pam Castillo and close friend Lois Mason.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, John, Jack and Samuel Birchfield, sisters, Lois Baughey and Dixie Birchfield, sister-in-law Sondra Birchfield, brother-in-law Bud Baughey.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 1 p.m. at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home in Blissfield, with Pastor Keith Smith officiating. Burial followed in Pleasant View Cemetery. Visitation was Tuesday, January 26, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home in Blissfield. You may send condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given in honor of Jennie, to Hospice of Lenawee. Envelopes are available at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.

Patricia Gomulinski

Patricia Ann Gomulinski, age 78, of Petersburg, Michigan, passed away January 24, 2016, at her daughter’s home with her loving family by her side.

She was the daughter of Dr. Robert E. Benson and Elizabeth K. Bancroft. She was born in St. John’s, Michigan, on January 5, 1938.

She grew up in St. John’s and attended Ferris State University. She worked for the Michigan Department of Health Division of Laboratories for 10 years.

She met her husband, Melvin Gomulinski, in Lansing and they were married in 1968. Following her husband’s job relocation, they moved to Petersburg, Michigan, in 1972. There, they started a family, as well as a Christmas tree farm. The family are members of St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Toledo, Ohio, where Pat was a choir member. She was also a member of the River Raisin Order of Eastern Star. She enjoyed playing bridge and was an avid golfer, but most of all she cherished her time with family and grandchildren.

She is survived by her daughter, Natasza (Dan) Walker and her son, Andrzej (Patty) Gomulinski, her sister Jean (Richard) Weaver as well as grandchildren, Nathan, Lauren, Lindsey, Nolan, Mikayla, Mitchell, Morgan, Madeline, and Mallory and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 29, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 North Main St., Sylvania, Ohio with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 30 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4718 Brittany Road, Toledo, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church or to Whiteford Music Boosters, 6655 Consear Road, Ottawa Lake, Michigan 49267.

Luella Cory

Luella Clara Cory, age 98, entered the arms of Jesus in her son’s home surrounded by her family on Friday, January 15, 2016. She was born in Blissfield, Michigan on August 17, 1917 to Ernest and Margaret Knapp.


Luella married Robert Cory on June 20, 1944, and after a beautiful marriage of 50 years, he preceded her in death in 1995. She is survived by their three children: Kathy (Rody) Rodeheaver, Pat (Larry) Russell, and Dan (Dawn) Cory; and seven grandchildren: Cory (Jennifer) Rodeheaver, Joel (Lauren) Rodeheaver, Abbey (John) Johnston, Laura (Adam) Rodeheaver-Van Gelder, April (Chris) Key, Danielle Cory, Jessica Cory and eight great-grandchildren. Luella was the last living family member of five siblings.


Luella began a career in cosmetology after graduation from Blissfield High School. She and Bob established a home in Blissfield where their children were raised and their grandchildren loved to visit. Her many interests and abilities centered on her faith, her family and serving others with hospitality and a generous spirit. She lived a very long and full life reflected by the joy she found in such activities as gardening, sewing, and grand-parenting. She also cared for her own parents in her home until their passing. In later years, she spent many hours assisting a mission project benefitting marginalized woman in Africa by preparing material to be used in sellable products. Many knew her as a woman of faithful prayer. Her family and friends will dearly miss her.


A private family burial will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, at the Ogden Township Cemetery. The family will receive friends and family staring at 2:30 PM at Zion United Brethren Church, followed by a 3:00 PM memorial service, officiated by Pastor Aden Porter. In honor of Luella, memorial contributions may be given to Zion United Brethren Church, 4830 E. Weston Rd., Blissfield, MI 49228. Phone: 517-443-5969.

Blissfield students train for Safety Patrol

The 2016 Blissfield Safety Patrol squad will be providing assistance to students. (Copyright 2016 River Raisin Publications, Inc.)
The 2016 Blissfield Safety Patrol squad will be providing assistance to students. (Copyright 2016 River Raisin Publications, Inc.)


Approximately two dozen Blissfield elementary and middle school students have been commissioned with the task of keeping the Blissfield Schools campus safer. The 21 fifth-graders and approximately five sixth-graders are now part of the AAA Safety Patrol recently reintroduced to the Blissfield campus. Safety patrollers will aid younger students crossing along the driveway and getting from the bus loop to the elementary school. Blissfield Elementary Principal Michael Valasek said there had been a safety patrol in Blissfield but it was several years ago. But with heavier traffic in the parking area during school drop off and pick up times the program has been reintroduced. Blissfield Police Chief Dale Greenleaf, who has worked with the schools to improve the safety and traffic flow around the elementary school, introduced the idea to elementary Valasek.