Since President Bush has extended the time of honoring those who died on September 11, 2001 in the attack of America until Sunday, September 21st, this website will display a virtual flag at half-mast for this week. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and friends of those who died and with those who are working so hard looking for survivors, all the volunteers - not only in New York but across the entire country, those serving in the United States armed forces, and for the entire country. May God bless America!
Sandy LaFreniere passed through heaven's gates on September 20, 2001 and although we knew she was very ill, we didn't expect God to want her so quickly.
Sandy was born April 5, 1948 in Flint, Michigan to Al and Helen Dudzik. She attended and graduated from Holy Redeemer Catholic School and then went on to work at St. Joseph Hospital in Flint until moving to the island. On September 22, 1979 Sandy married Gerald LaFreniere, Sr. in Charlevoix, Michigan and the wedding reception was held on the "Beaver Islander" ferry. As the office manager for the Beaver Island Boat Company on the island for 19 years, hers was one of the first smiling faces visitors saw. According to her husband, Jerry, "...she ran the office and the crew..."
Sandy was a "giver" and not a "taker", she gave of herself to everyone: family, friends and strangers. She gave her time in helping others, supporting island events and organizations including this website. She made welcome both friends and total strangers to her home who stopped by to see the "Freesoil Museum", a collection of old island photographs that Jerry has so lovingly preserved. The annual parties at Jerry's pole barn wouldn't have happened without Sandy's organizational skills and abilities. She even gave up riding in the front seat of the car to her dog, Jagger, so he could enjoy the scenery. You'd see Jerry driving, with Jagger beside him, and Sandy sitting in the back seat... a sight that will be long remembered.
Sandy had so many facets that it's impossible to capture her essence in words, she wasn't "just" Jerry's wife, she wasn't "just" a mother, she wasn't "just" a grandmother. She was funny with a quick and lively sense of humor. She was bossy sometimes and had a temper that she could vocalize. She stood up for herself, family and friends and tried to right wrongs. Although not a born and raised Islander, Sandy was truly the personification of what an Islander should be... welcoming and friendly. Even though the name Dudzik isn't exactly Irish, Sandy was Irish through and through.
To paraphrase the promise that God made through Isaiah all those centuries ago: Sandy has been called by name and has been redeemed. She's without pain and suffering now. Most likely she's busy getting things organized for when the rest of us finally join her.
Sandy was preceded in death by her father, Al Dudzik. She is survived by her mother, Helen Dudzik of Swartz Creek, Michigan and sister, Joyce Wilson also of Swartz Creek; five children: Becky LaFreniere, Michelle Gray, Gerald LaFreniere Jr., Deborah Robert, and Rory Connaghan; five grandchildren: Charlie Emily, MacKenzie, Hannah and Katie. She is also survived by her special "child", Jagger
Sandy will be returning home on the Sunday boat, please join together to meet the ferry at 4:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Sandy's memory to the Beaver Island Hospice, Beaver Island, MI 49782. Visitation and the Rosary will be Sunday evening. A funeral Mass celebrating the life of Sandra Kay Dudzik LaFreniere will be held on Monday at 11:30 am with Father Pat Cawley officiating. Internment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jerry and his family and we celebrate having had Sandy as a part of our lives.
Betty Lockton of Monee, Illinois and Beaver Island was received into heaven on September 20, 2001 in Frankfort.
Betty was born on Beaver Island May 1, 1915 to Mike and Mable Cull. She attended and graduated from the island school and headed off to nursing school in Chicago where she remained after completing her education. When World War II arrived, Betty served her country proudly as a nurse in France.
She married Stanley Lockton, who preceded her in death one week after the birth of her last child. She did a magnificent job raising four young children alone and those four have grown into responsible, caring adults. Betty and her family returned to the island every summer and many of us can remember driving past her brother Jack's house and seeing her playing cards on the glassed in porch until all hours. This past summer, Betty was able to be on the island enjoying her new home in the Port St. James area.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley, and brothers: Jack, Larry, and Ray. She is survived by a sister Sally Hammermeister of Dyer, IN and a brother Rolland Cull of Beaver Island; sister-in-laws Claire Cull and Nancy Cull both of Beaver Island; her four children: Tom (Monica) of Lynwood, IL; Susie (Ted) Kocol of Henderson, CO; Patty (Pat) Crawford of New Lennox, IL and Alice (Andy) Klees of Frankfort, Il along with seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Betty will make her final trip home to the island Friday, September 28th with visitation and the Rosary being that evening. A celebration of the funeral mass will be Saturday, September 29th, 11:30 am. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Our prayers and thoughts to Betty's family at this time of parting.
Betty Hoffman was taken to heaven on September 20, 2001. Born on March 21, 1928 in Detroit to Gilbert and Thelma Hunt, Betty lived her life within the Detroit area except for four years spent on Beaver Island. She graduated from MacKenzie High School in Detroit and lived for several years in Walled Lake, MI before moving to Wixom, Michigan where she died.
Betty is survived by her sister, Lil McGlocklin of Beaver Island; brothers Don of Linden, Michigan and James of Southgate, Michigan and seven children: John, Cheri, Mark, Carolyn, Candy, Kurt and Kris.
Our condolences to Betty's family, she was a classy lady and one to be very proud of.
Page Two of the News on the 'Net