Friends We Will Miss


Janice Armstrong att. ’94-04, janice armstrongPontiac, passed away January 2. Janice worked as a nurse’s assistant in long term care and hospice in Sault Ste. Marie. She transitioned from working in a hospital to supporting others at a homeless shelter. Janice loved animals of all kinds.

Susan (Rich) Bergmann ’88susan bergman, Charlevoix, died December 5, 2019. Susan worked for many years as a certified OB nurse in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she met and later married Dan Bergmann. They eventually relocated to Bethel, Alaska where she worked as a correctional nurse at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center. She continued her career as an OB nurse at Charlevoix Hospital and then later was the director at Charlevoix Count Commission on Aging. Susan and Dan returned to Alaska in 2009, and Sue became a public health nurse, requiring frequent visits by float plane to remote villages. She recently retired and returned to Michigan. Sue loved the out of doors. She and her husband Dan and their then 2-year-old daughter Brenna traveled the entire length of the Yukon River by boat.

Gloria E. Christensen ’77, gloria e christensenMonroe, passed away December 30, 2019. Gloria was a manager at PNC bank and spent her winters in Arizona. In her off time, she enjoyed playing pool and entering tournaments with her teammates, the Catus Chicks. She played card games and outdoor sports.

kurt r douglassKurt R. Douglass ’71, Traverse City, died August 25, 2019 recovering from open heart surgery. A devoted Christian, he enjoyed being in nature. Kurt took third place in a bodybuilding competition in 2008 and completed a marathon, which was one of his life’s goals.

sharon fielderSharon Fielder ’61, Flint, passed away October 8, 2019. Sharon had a long career working in different divisions of General Motors. He loved sports, music, motorcycles and food. Preceding him in death are his wife Sharon Ann Mitchell-Fielder and son Sharon Fielder II.

larry goetzLarry E. Goetz ’87, Dafter, passed away December 8, 2019. Larry was a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He enjoyed playing the drums with bandmates from Goetz Brothers Band at home or in public. An avid fan of football, he followed the Boston Bruins and Dallas Cowboys.

John Jobes ’79, john jobesSault Ste. Marie, died January 11. John served in Vietnam before working for Edison Sault Electric Company and Chippewa County Road Commission.  He leaves behind a wife, son and grandchildren whom he loved dearly.

Richard L. Kopitsch ’56, richard l kopitschLansing, died December 21, 2019. “Butch” as called by friends and loved ones majored in forestry and worked in Canada for his father. Richard loved hockey and coached it for many years. 

Michael E. Larkin ’65, michael e larkinReese, died December 8, 2019. Michael was a second lieutenant in the Vietnam War. He volunteered for Special Forces (Green Berets) and was an A-Team leader with 1st Special Forces Group, seeing action in Southeast Asia including the Republic of Vietnam. After coming home, he attended Cooley Law School and then practiced law in both Michigan and Texas. His greatest joy in life was being a father and raising his son.

Kurtis K. Malzahn ’90, kurtis malzahnScottville, died November 29, 2019.  Kurtis was the superintendent of the Water Treatment Plant for the City of Ludington. He was an avid sports fan and loved the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions. He married Tami Shafer in 1995 and they have two children, Quentin and Kami. Kurtis loved his family dearly, he loved to laugh and he had a great sense of humor.

Jon Myers ’89, Dundee, died January 8. Jon served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Charlevoix Lodge No. 282 F. & A.M. He loved flying and was a certified flight instructor. His professional career was as a maintenance manager at the Lafarge cement plant, Alpena, and the Holnam cement plant, Dundee. Jon and his wife Rebecca of 53 years have two children and several grandchildren.

Philip J. Norman ’83, philip j normanBark River, died October 15, 2019. A Navy man, Philip served for 8 years before attending Lake Superior State University.  Philip then met his wife and had two children.  He worked in the medical and fuel industry before settling into real estate.  Following retirement, Philip worked with others in hospice care.

Lori Person ’88, Sheridan, Oregon, died unexpectedly December 30, 2019.

Dennis Siemiet ’73, dennis siemietRochester Hills, died December 29, 2019. Dennis was an early Detroit area computer and electrical engineering pioneer. He gained local notoriety and advanced his career working the defense industry, where he holds multiple patents. After beginning in Detroit, his career took him to St. Louis and then to western Michigan. In the late 1990s he shifted to the automotive engineering field back in the Detroit area. Dennis was married to Deborah (Sorovetz) ’72 for 46 years; they have three children.

Kevin T. Sunderland att.’74-’75,kevin sunderland Lake Wales, FL, passed peacefully on November 20, 2019. Kevin worked in sales which took him to Maine. There, he lived on a ranch complete with livestock. He enjoyed the outdoors and all that comes with living in Maine in the winter, including chopping firewood. Many members of his immediate family reside in Florida, where he chose to retire in 2012.

Jason E. Truitt ’07, jason truittWallace, went to be with his Lord and Savior October 10, 2019. Jason enjoyed basketball, playing with his sons and being with his wife. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and planned to do more of it when he purchased a used boat on Craigslist. Jason was especially good at problem-solving and could fix anything.

Clyde VanDusen ’48, St. Ignace, passed away August 2, 2019. Clyde grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and attended Sault High School. Shortly after graduating he married Elsie, with whom he had many children. They divorced then he married Patricia Kasper. He was most proud of Clyde’s Drive-Ins which he founded in 1949. With family being important to Clyde, he founded Clyde’s Kids, a business in the Straits to keep kids close by. One of Clyde’s wishes were fulfilled when he visited the Price is Right and was called down to participate.

Margaret M. Vonderwerth, (att. ’97), Margaret M. VonderwerthTrout Lake, entered heaven on January 1. “Mickey,” a kind-hearted, generous woman, enjoyed getting dressed up for events. In her earlier years she was active in drama and chorus, which led to her ambition of becoming a STAR!