Blissfield welcomes economic development director

Tyler Dotson is on the job in Blissfield.
Tyler Dotson is on the job in Blissfield.

After just five days on the job as Blissfield’s new downtown/economic development director/Main Street manager, Tyler Dotson said he is feeling right at home in the village of Blissfield. Dotson is Blissfield’s first economic development director, filling a new role that expanded the job description of the downtown development director/Main Street manager. Village officials expanded the position after the departure of the previous director and manager last August. Dotson said he is quickly learning the lay of the land and meeting people within the community. He said building relationships is one of the primary building blocks in successful economic development.

For Melissa Burnor’s complete story, please see the Jan. 13, 2016, edition of The Advance.

Sylvia Wegner

Sylvia Wegner passed away on January 5, 2016 at The Lighthouse of West Bend, WI., where she resided since June of 2014.  She was formerly of Blissfield and Adrian, MI where she lived for 25 and 15 years, respectively.  Sylvia was 81years old and was born in Sulina, Romania to Karl and Theodora Schinner on July 30, 1934. In November of 1952 she married Billy Redman in Linz, Austria at a double wedding ceremony with her twin sister, Eleonora.  They raised their family in South Lyon and Brighton, MI. On September 15, 1976 she married Edward Wegner in Ann Arbor, MI.  Sylvia was fluent in three languages; German, Romanian and English.

Sylvia spent 30 years working in professions she truly enjoyed. As a hairdresser for seven years; then after schooling, five years as a school nurse and later in obstetric nursing.  She also enjoyed cooking and needlepoint stitchery; but her greatest love was her two children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Sylvia is survived by one son, Kenneth (Joanne) Redman of Fredonia, WI and one daughter, Theresa Redman of Minden, Nevada; three grandchildren, Sarah (Chuck) Sylvia, Jeremy Redman and Adam Vorenkamp; one step granddaughter Marisa (Jeremy) Theis; and two great grandchildren, Riley and Molly Sylvia. She is also survived by two sisters, Eleonora (Derek) Anderson and Erika (Horst) Kablau of Canada; four nieces, Debra, Denise, Caroline and Tina. Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, and daughter-in-law Nancy Redman.

She was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1500 North Blissfield Hwy, Palmyra, MI., where services will be held on Friday January 15, 2016. The family will receive visitors at the church 10:00 AM, service following at 11:00 AM.  A private interment will follow in Brighton, MI.  Memorials suggested to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Palmyra, MI or Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care of Wisconsin.

Leslie Nachtrab

Leslie M. Nachtrab, 38 of Blissfield, passed away Saturday, January 9, 2016 at home under the loving care of her family.

Leslie was born December 14, 1977, in Adrian, the daughter of Letah (Gilson) Kilmer and Edward Phillips.

She graduated from Blissfield High School in 1996 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Siena Heights University in 2004.

On April 14, 2007, Leslie married Benjamin Nachtrab on Amelia Island in Florida and they were blessed with a son, “B” (Benjamin).

Leslie loved traveling with her husband. She was a talented artist who enjoyed scrapbooking and painting; and was very competitive in sports. Leslie was part of the work family at Alliance Retina in Toledo. She attended Ogden Church.

In addition to her husband and son, Leslie is survived by her mother, Letah (Richard) Kilmer of Blissfield; father, Edward (Linda) Phillips of Manchester, TN; grandfather, Mack (Janette) Pettit of Adrian; sister, Dana (Christopher) Sargent of Amelia Island, FL; and numerous family members including Carey (Lona) Pettit, Mack Pettit, Samantha Pettit, Tina Hessel, Dennis Phillips, Randy Phillips, Yvonne Burgess, Bambi Perry, Yvette Majestic, Collette Sullins, Roger Keiser and Ron Keiser.

A celebration service will take place at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 15, 2016 at Ogden Church with Rev. John Maguire officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the service.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are suggested to Investment Centers of America, c/o Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel, 301 S. Lane St., Blissfield, MI 49228, for the benefit of her treasured son, Benjamin. Envelopes will be available at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel where online condolences and memories may be shared at

Betty Knisel

Betty R. Knisel, age 91 of Blissfield, passed away Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at her home under the tender care of her family.

Betty was born November 15, 1924, in Ottawa Lake to the late Joseph and Amelia (Korth) Bexten, and grew up working on the family farm.

On June 21, 1946 she married Jarvis Knisel. He preceded her in death, having been blessed with 51 years together.

Betty was a homemaker, but also worked with Jarvis on their farm taking care of the chickens and maintaining a beautifully manicured lawn. She was a faithful member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where she was active in the Ladies Circle and Sunday school. With her caring spirit, Betty was known for sending cards, visiting, and always having cookies on hand to share.

She is survived by her children: Karla (Bill) Kasefang of Adrian, William (Ann) Knisel of Sand Creek, Kris (Mark) Hubbard of Temperance; grandchildren, Jason Knisel and Jenna Knisel; great grandchildren, Cloé and Seth; sisters, Irene Prielipp of Britton, Hilda Atherton of Ottawa Lake, and Doris (Roger) Sankowski of Oregon, OH; and her sister-in-law, Marilyn Bexten of Temperance.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Leo Bexten.

Funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 16, 2016, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with Rev. Gary Leking officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery. Friends may visit the family at Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Lenawee or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Online condolences and memories may be shared at

Evelyn Granzow

 Evelyn Elizabeth Granzow, a long-time resident of Blissfield, MI, passed away December 30, 2015 in Hastings, MI. She was 93.

Evelyn was born March 27, 1922 in Albuquerque, NM, where her family moved after her father was injured in World War I. After his passing, Evelyn moved back to Holgate, Ohio, with her mother and sister, where she grew up surrounded by her mother’s extended family.

Her earliest recollections were of farm life, gathering berries in the woods with her grandmother, and watching her uncles make dandelion wine.

Evelyn graduated from Toledo School of Nursing in 1944. Soon after, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and served during World War II, until her honorable discharge in 1946. She then attended Case Western Reserve and earned a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, in 1948. In 1950 she was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, and was assigned to a surgical unit in Germany. She was honorably discharged a second time in 1953. She then began working toward an advanced degree, earning a Master’s of Nursing Administration in 1955 from Wayne State University.

It was as a nurse in Virginia that she met her future husband, Donald Granzow. They met in late 1954 and were married on August 27, 1955. In 2015 they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They moved to Blissfield in 1956, where Don established a dental practice. That same year they also joined St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, where they remained active members until their move to Hastings, in 2011. During her more than 50 years as a member of St. Paul’s she was a continually reliable volunteer, organizer, and leader. She lived her faith through her actions. As a resident of Blissfield for more than 50 years, Evelyn contributed to the well-being of the community in countless ways.

Because she was a trained nurse, she was often called on by friends, neighbors, and family to evaluate injuries, provide emergency care, and offer informed medical advice. Through the years she also worked for a number of area organizations, including LARC, the Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority, Lenawee Medical Care Facility, and the Cielito Lindo Daycare Program at St. Paul’s.

Evelyn is survived by her husband Donald; by her four children and their spouses, John (Gwen), Stephen (Linda), Kathryn (William), and Thomas (Jennifer); by her five grandchildren, Chase, Gage, Zlatko, Emma, and Ian; and by her sister, Alene. Funeral services took place Sunday, January 3, 2015, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blissfield. Evelyn was an avid, life-long reader and 50 year patron of the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library. The family requests that memorials be given to the library in her name. Memorials may also be given to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blissfield or Grace Lutheran Church in Hastings. Online condolences and memories are welcome at 

Paul Dusseau

Paul A. Dusseau, 79 of Blissfield, died Thursday, December 24, 2015, at Flower Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Born October 25, 1936, in Monroe, Mich., he was the son of Joseph and Mary (Stock) Dusseau.

A U.S .Army veteran, he married Sharon R. Blank on January 7, 1961.

Paul was a self employed farmer and was also employed by  Roadway. He attended St. Anthony Catholic Church in Temperance, was a volunteer for Our Lady of Toledo Shrine and also a member of Knights of Columbus Council 7832, Blissfield.

He was a volunteer fireman for Riga Township and was currently a trustee on Riga Township’s board. Paul was a jack of all trades, enjoyed “throwing” parties in the party barn, gardening, his grandsons basketball games, but most of all spending time with his family and friends.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Sharon; daughters, Paula Dusseau, Renee (Anthony) Camazzola and Lisa (Matthew) Kasza; brother, Chuck Dusseau; sister, Carol (Ward) Close and grandchildren, Alec and Sam Kasza and Mia and Nicco Camazzola. He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Ernie, Norman “Bud”, Raymond and Rolland Dusseau and two sisters, Dorothy Thomas and Rosalie “Pete” Lewis. Visitation was from 2-8 p.m. Monday, December 28, 2015, at the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, 1640 Smith Rd. (at Jackman) Temperance. Mass of Christian Burial was Tuesday, December 29, 2015, at 11:00 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 4605 St. Anthony Rd., Temperance, where he laid in state after 10:00 a.m., Fr. David Burgard, officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Memorials may be made to Our Lady of Toledo Shrine.

Madison Schools threatened on social media


  Madison Schools were closed Tuesday after threats of violence surfaced Monday evening against the school.
Before 8 p.m. Monday, someone posted from an account on the social media site Facebook threatening they were going to commit a violent act and warned people not to show up. A subsequent post said the shooting would start at 9 a.m. The post that came from an account which as yet is unconfirmed was from someone using an alias who wrote,  “I’m gonna shoot Madison up tomorrow. Don’t show up any of you.”
“Gonna start at 9,” the second post said.
Madison Superintendent Ryan Rowe addressed parents via an email that was also posted to the Madison  later in the evening which reads as follows:
“Dear Madison Family:
School administration and law enforcement are aware of threatening comments made this evening via social media. Law enforcement are handling the situation at this time. The person of interest is in custody.
“Please know that your child’s safety and well-being is, and will continue to be, our greatest priority.”
On social media during the evening, students wrote of their concern as some said the account appeared to still be active after the announcement that a person was in police custody.
  For the complete story, please see the Late Edition/Addition insert in the Jan. 6, 2016, edition of The Advance.

Wreaths reach across America to Deerfield grave

Lloyd Pitney puts a wreath on the grave of his cousin, veteran  Staff Sgt. Bryan Pitney, a Deerfield, Michigan, native. (Copyright 2015, River Raisin Publications, Inc. All rights reserved)
Lloyd Pitney puts a wreath on the grave of his cousin, veteran Staff Sgt. Bryan Pitney, a Deerfield, Michigan, native. (Copyright 2015, River Raisin Publications, Inc. All rights reserved)

Deerfield native Staff Sgt. Bryan Pitney served 14 years in the United States Army that included three tours in Iraq and three tours in Afghanistan. Ten days after returning stateside from his last military assignment, the young father was killed in a motorcycle accident while on active duty in Burnet County, Texas, on Oct. 19, 2014, near where he was stationed at Fort Hood.

On Dec. 19, 2015, family member and cousin Lloyd Pitney of Tennessee, a Vietnam veteran along with his wife drove to Deerfield to place a wreath on the younger Pitney’s grave in the township cemetery. Just the couple along with Bryan Pitney’s parents, Dan and Bonnie, his widow Christina and two of his children Callie and Bryson were there.

All across the country this December veterans’ organizations have placed wreaths on veterans graves primarily in the national cemeteries to remember them during the Christmas and holiday season as part of Wreaths Across America.

For the complete story by Melissa Burnor, please see the Dec. 23, 2015, edition of The Advance.

Marjorie Noll

Marjorie Rose LaSotta Noll of Hillsdale, Michigan, passed away on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Margie was born June 17, 1936, in Dickinson, ND, to John and Rose (Armbrust) LaSotta.   After graduating from Blissfield High School in 1954, Margie began her career as a secretary at Blissfield Mfg. Company, and went on to enjoy other secretarial positions at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and Old Kent/Fifth Third Bank, from which she retired in 2000. In 1962, she married Thomas (Tom) Noll, and was blessed thereafter to find her true calling in life as a beloved mother to a daughter (Lisa) and son (Chris).   An avid reader, one of Margie’s favorite activities was reading with her cherished cat nestled in her lap. Her love of animals was eclipsed only by her love of family. Margie is survived by her daughter Lisa (Al) Noll Maxwell of Carmel, Ind.; and her son Christopher (Taryn) Noll of La Grange, Ky.; grandsons, John and Peter Maxwell; and grandchildren, Alex, Matthew and Lauren Noll. Also surviving are her sisters Arlene Hull, Angie Rouget and Diane Witt. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John LaSotta.   The Funeral Liturgy was held Tuesday, December 22 at Light of Christ (St. Peter’s Catholic Church), Blissfield, at 11 a.m. The family met visitors prior to funeral services, from 10 – 11 a.m. Burial was in Pleasantview Cemetery in Blissfield, Michigan.   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Hillsdale Humane Society, 3881 South Tripp Road, Osseo, MI  49266. Online condolences and memories may be shared at

Palmyra Masons serve Christmas dinner

For the 25th year, the Palmyra Masons will gather together again this Friday, Christmas Day, and cook up a generous holiday classic meal for anyone wanting a holiday dinner. The complimentary dinner, made with all volunteer help, begins at 11 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. at the Blissfield American Legion Post 325 Hall, 451 High, Blissfield.

Volunteers will also deliver meals to those who cannot make it to the dinner. For those in need of a meal, please call Denise on Christmas Day at 517-605-0478. 

For the complete story, please see the Dec. 23, 2016, edition of The Advance.