Paul A. Bennett, Betty Jane Harger, Shirley Ann Pontek, Joyce McMaster, Imogene (Bennett) Post-Guthrie, Richard J. Dubay

Paul A. Bennett

Paul A. Bennett, beloved father, and grandfather, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, to be with his Savior on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the age of 90.

Lieutenant JG Paul A. Bennett, USNR, was born January 8, 1922 in Milnor, North Dakota. In 1941 he worked in California for North American Aviation, where he worked on the final assembly of the first ninety-five B-25 bombers built for the Army. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy early in 1942 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Paul served two tours of duty as a carrier-based pilot in the Pacific with Composite Squadron 10 (VC 10), flying TBM Avenger torpedo bombers. His first tour was on the USS Gambier Bay, until it was sunk by enemy battleships during the battle of Leyte Gulf. For his heroic attacks on enemy ships during that battle, Paul was awarded the Silver Star and the Air Medal, and his squadron later received a Presidential Unit Citation.

He returned to college in 1946 and received a BSME from North Dakota State, was then appointed a Graduate Research Assistant at Purdue University, and received a MSME degree from Purdue in 1952. While in college Paul married Ruth Lovas on December 28, 1946.

They had 4 children. Randy (Carolyn) of Mt. Pleasant MI; Joyce (Don) Ross of Lansing MI; Cindy (Andy) Deveau of St. Johns MI; and Tim (Kris) of Spooner WI. They also had 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Paul is survived by his sisters, Alice (Don) Lee of Milner, ND and June Jorgenson of Lisbon, ND. Ruth Lorayne (Lovas) Bennett died on March 10, 2006 and son Randy in 2007.

After graduating from Purdue, Paul worked 45 years as an automotive engineer, improving the performance of petroleum products in internal combustion engines. His research resulted in a number of design changes. Most significant was his patent for developing the PCV valve, now standard emissions equipment on all cars world wide. His work earned him international recognition, and he was honored by his selection as an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Fellow. He also worked as a consultant to the U. S. Army, engine manufacturers, the petroleum industry, and served as an expert witness in several lawsuits, before his retirement in 1997.

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 3, 2012 at St. Johns Lutheran Church, 511 E. Sturgis St. Johns with Rev. Dr. Bryan Salminen officiating. Interment will follow at South Bingham Cemetery with military honors provided by the St. Johns Honor Guard. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Friday, March 2, 2012 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. Memorials may be made to the Bennett Endowment Fund at St. John Lutheran Church.

Betty Jane Harger

Betty Jane Harger, 89, died Tuesday, February 28, 2012. She was born, April 19, 1922 in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Harry and Elnora Cowie. Betty Jane married Edwin Harger on March 5, 1949 in Chicago, and he survives her.

She is also survived by her daughters, Lorraine (Philip) Mackie of St. Johns, Beth Socia of St. Johns, Barbara (Mark) Turner of Brethren, MI, many grandchildren, great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Betty Jane was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, James Cowie, one sister, Ruth Gerrans, and one son-in-law, Dick Socia.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday March 2, 2012 at The Osgood Funeral Home in St. Johns, with Pastor Keith Whipple officiating. The family will receive friends 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Friday prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor.

The family was served by The Osgood Funeral Homes.

Shirley Ann Pontek

Shirley Ann Pontek, age 75, of Ovid, Michigan died Sunday, February 26, 2012 at her daughter’s home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church, Ovid, MI on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. with Rev. Fr. Raymond Urbanek officiating. Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery Erie, Pennsylvania. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 11 A.M. to 8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie Chapel.

Shirley was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1936, the daughter of Anthony and Betty (Skrzypek) Schak. She graduated from Villa Maria Catholic High School in Erie, PA. and went on to receive an Associates Degree in Business and Travel Tourism at Southeastern Academy in Kissimmee, Florida.

Shirley worked as a travel consultant, cruise specialist for Anderson Travel, East Lansing, Michigan, as well as a JC Penney Customer Service Supervisor, and Diet Workshop Instructor in Flint, MI. She enjoyed sewing, going to the casino, and traveling. Her 3 grandsons were very important to her. Shirley had resided the past 38 years in Ovid, Michigan. She was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, Ovid, Michigan where she played the organ for many years.

She is survived by her daughter Debbie and Dennis Heinze of Gregory, MI, son Joe Pontek Jr. and Kimmy Baese, of Ovid, MI, 3 grandsons; Justin Heinze, Austin Heinze, and Kolby Pontek. She was predeceased by her parents, and uncles Edward and Frank Schak.

Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society. Online condolences can be sent to The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes Elsie Chapel Elsie, Michigan.

Joyce McMaster

Joyce McMaster passed away Monday, February 27, 2012 at the age of 65. Born August 8, 1946 in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, the daughter of Merle and Myrtle (Church) Patrick. Joyce married Lloyd McMaster on June 14, 1962 in Ovid, Michigan and he survives her.

Joyce is also survived by her daughter, Sherry Bates, sons, Tim McMaster, Lloyd (Sandra) McMaster, Jr., Jeff (Chris) McMaster, Steve McMaster, 15 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, one sister, Joan Fraker, brothers, Merle (Ruth Ann) Patrick, Jr., Mike (Kim) Patrick, and Walt (Teresa) Patrick. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, son, Billy McMaster, grandson, Ricki Hasenbank and brother, Jim Patrick.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 2, 2012, at the Houghton Chapel of the Osgood Funeral Homes in Ovid. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday and 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Lung Association. To learn more about Joyce and to view her Life Story film, please visit her personal webpage at

Imogene (Bennett) Post-Guthrie

Imogene was taken into the care of our Lord on February 24, 2012. Imogene was born to Kay William and Zora Mel Vada Bennett on August 1, 1924 in Lansing, Michigan. She was the final survivor of four sisters with whom she shared life-long friendships. A long-time resident of Lansing, she graduated valedictorian of the 1941 Lansing Everett High School class. She was a member of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church where through the years she served on the altar guild and enjoyed circle meetings. During the 1950/60’s her daughters remember countless “basement projects” where we created items for church bazaars and fundraisers.

Imogene was a WWII bride who was married to Lovell “Pat” Post until his death in 1997. Following her 1975 retirement from United Automobile Workers – Local 724, she devoted herself to family and was a long-term caregiver to husband Pat, and then to her best friend Nita Frantz. In 2001 Imogene married Donald Guthrie, a retired Lansing Firefighter, and was blessed with another love in her life.

Imogene was an original northern Michigan woman who wore jeans before they were fashionable. All the summers of her life she dwelled on the shores of Dixon Lake, first in her father’s hand-chinked log cabin and then in her own much loved cottage. The lake property is a family legacy from her parents and remains treasured by the entire family. It was there at the lake, she taught us to swim like fish, gave us horses to ride, campfires to roast marshmallow’s over and live with the sound of waves and the warmth of the sun in our hearts. It was there she gave her daughters the gift of inquisitiveness and independence which shaped our lives. A wonderful homemaker and tireless hostess, she welcomed her family, their friends, horses and dogs, with the door thrown open wide, a full refrigerator and a gracious heart. We know Imogene’s laughter will remain on the lake breezes as a joyful memory of a life well lived. She was our fun-loving friend, a role model and keeper of family customs. We’ll always remember Mom wading into the lake with her cocker spaniels by her side, laughingly encouraging us to “jump in – the water’s fine!”

She is survived by her daughters, Cynthia (Jerry) Sanderson, Brenda (Milo) Maneval of St. Johns, grandchildren, Rebecca (Terry) Stockton, Mark (Kym) McCutcheon, Joel (Kelly Bradish) Helmer, Todd Maneval, Tara (Ed) Paksi, Ty Maneval, Tazia (Renzie) Milarch, Tab (Amy) Maneval, 15 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, husband and first love, “Pat” Lovell Post and her second husband Donald Guthrie.

Funeral Services will be held, 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 27, 2012, at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church with Pastor Jim Lichtenberger officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening, from 6-8 p.m. at The Osgood Funeral Home, 104 East Cass Street, St. Johns, MI. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Disabled American Veterans or Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The family was served by The Osgood Funeral Homes.

Richard J. Dubay

Richard J. Dubay of Holt was born May 6, 1943 in St. Johns, Michigan, son of the late Frank and Wanda (Cox) Dubay and passed away February 23, 2012 at age 68. He served in the US Air Force for 4 years and the Michigan Army National Guard for 23 years, and retired from General Motors.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Margaret Dubay; children, Chris (Chuck) Benner, Richard (Kim) Dubay, Jr., and Michele (Jason) Holmes; 7 grandchildren; brother, Robert Dubay and several nieces and nephews. Richard was preceded in death by his daughter, Tammie Dubay.

A graveside service will be held at a later date at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the A.L.S. in memory of Richard Dubay.

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Posted in: Obituaries.
Last Modified: March 1, 2012