Reverend Ralph Prescott Witmer

The Rev. Ralph Prescott Witmer, 93, a resident of Beaver Island, passed away on Jan. 3, 2006 in Asheboro, N.C.

A graduate of Albion College in Albion, Mich., he also attended Garrett Theological Seminary and was a minister in the United Methodist Church serving more than 11 churches during his 40-year career, including the Petoskey United Methodist Church.

He was predeceased by his mother, Mildred Faye Chilton Witmer; his father, Glen Alden Witmer; his brother, Vern Witmer; his son, Steven Leslie Witmer; and his wife, Charlene Leslie Witmer.

He is survived by his children, Carol Cathey, Ronald Witmer and Lynn Witmer; his wife, Ruth Witmer; her daughter, Susan Powell; and 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Petoskey United Methodist Church, 1804 East Mitchell Road. The family will receive friends at the church just prior to the service from 1-3 p.m. Burial will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Concord, Mich.

If desired, donations may be made in the name of Ralph Witmer to the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), a non-profit, international humanitarian aid organization providing relief from hunger and disasters and teaching peace. Contributions may be sent through any local United Methodist Church or directly to UMCOR by calling (800) 554-8583.

Arrangements are being handled by Stone Funeral Home in Petoskey.

Quiet Beginning to 2006

We must be getting old. Most of the folks I've talked to didn't even go out to celebrate ringing in the New Year. I know we didn't. There were several parties going on from the AA hosted one at the Beaver Island Christian Church to Donegal Danny's Pub and the Shamrock. Either folks are still recovering or didn't over indulge... too much.

Reading the news I learned that one way some folks celebrated the start of 2006 was to take a swim. Beaver Island doesn't have a Polar Bear Club and I sincerely doubt one would really catch on. Although the harbor is clear of ice at the moment, the thought of jumping into that cold, cold water is enough to chill one to the bone. Most years a diver would discover that the water was "hard" as they finalized their swan dive. The closest I'm getting to a swim during the first month of 2006 will be sitting in the jacuzzi.

Islander Sports

Don't forget to come out and cheer this coming weekend as the Islanders take on Munsing Baptist in basketball and volleyball on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Where'd I See That?

Many an island house sports a weathervane and some are mighty fancy. This one caught my eye as being rather unique. Do you know where it is? Check around town and you might catch a glimpse of it.

Still Rolling

Chuck and Jean Carpenter had an exciting trip to a warmer climate after leaving the island. They were driving along when the left front tire blew out at 75 mph. It took out part of the fender with it. By the way, the legal speed limit in Texas is 75 mph before you think Chuck was speeding. This happend in what he refers to as "No Man's Land" about 40 miles south of Van Horn, Texas. It took four hours for them to get help. AAA told them aid was on the way, but never got there. Ford Travel said they were 160 miles from the nearest Ford dealer. Luckily a Texas Highway Maintenance truck showed up and called a tow truck out of Van Horn. After two new tires, a fixed fender and $460 they were on their way again. Chuck pointed out it was at a reduced speed. They are safe and sound and enjoying the warmer weather.


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