Alexandrine M. Siudara 1917-2005

Long time island resident Alex Siudara, born on November 29, 1917, passed away on May 9th, 2005 at age 87.

Alex Siudara came to Berkley in 1948, with her husband, Dr. Leonard, who was one of the original family practice physicians to serve in the area. There she raised her six children and was a member of the National Shrine of the Little Flower parish. She was active in the Oakland County Osteopathic Auxiliary. Alex was at her best when someone needed help. She had many talents, including playing the organ, crafting, and playing the stock market. She beat the Dow Jones Index more often than not. But, woe to any broker who put her into a "looser!" She loved "market timing" and was good at it. Alex and Doc were among the early yachting explorers of the waters of Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron in the 50's and 60's. Wherever they went, they always had a boat load of kids with them. She was "all family." They flew the burgee of the Great Lakes Cruising Club when that organization was in its infant years. Alex was also a very early member of the Clinton River Boat Club and, along with "Doc", did much to develop " Club Island " located at the entry to the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River. The "Alexandra" was regularly moored at Club Island for many a summer. Alex and "Doc", on their retirement from the yachting circle, were awarded a lifetime membership in the Clinton River Boat club in recognition of their many contributions over the years.

Alex and Len retired in 1979, moving north to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan . The move was associated with "Doc" becoming the resident island physician. One needed to be a trooper to live on Beaver Island year-round, braving the winter gales and heating their north shore home with a wood burner. But, Alex loved it. She was a trooper. Her seven-year term as a full-time island resident ended when "Doc" retired a second and final time in 1986. Thereafter, she enjoyed island living each year from May through October. Alex was a member of the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Beaver Island and a contributor to the Beaver Island Historical Society. She also sang for several years with the local chapter of the Sweet Adelines, a ladies barbershop harmony group. Len, her devoted mate of 67 years, and her six children and eleven grandchildren will miss her. She was a unique and caring person who loved the simplicity and fresh air of the North Country and has chosen to be interred on the island.

Alex was preceded in death by her brother Bartholomew Gasiorowski and sister of Melvina Rogers.

She is survived by her husband of 67 years Dr. Leonard J. Siudara and children Dr. Jerome ( Elizabeth ), Leonard "Bud" (Susan), Timothy ( Elizabeth ) Thomas (Patricia), James (Cynthia) and Maribeth. She is also survived by grandchildren Missy, Patrick, Michael, Andy, Chris, Peter, Jamie Beth, Andrea, Mark, Tyler and Tiffany.

Donations in memory of Alex Siudara may be sent to the Beaver Island Historical Society, St. James , MI 49782 .

Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13th, 2005 at the William Sullivan & Son Funeral Home in Royal Oak, Michigan.

A funeral Mass celebrating the life of Alexandrine will be held at 12:00 p.m. at the National Shrine of The Little Flower located at 2123 Roseland Avenue; Royal Oak, Michigan on Saturday, May 14th, 2005

2nd Annual Sock Hop a Success

Submitted by Dee Gallagher for the AMVET's Ladies Auxiliary

The AMVET's Ladies Auxiliary would like to thank all who helped support our 2nd Annual Sock Hop held on April 30th. With your help, we were able to make over $1000 to use for our service projects in and for the community. Those that were at the Sock Hop in body were also there in spirit as the floor was never empty to the 50's/60's music provided by the D.J., Joe Nagraba.

The winning 50/50 Raffle ticket of $415 was won by Alexis Latimer of Saranac, Michigan, granddaughter of Bob and Sandy Latimer.

Special thanks go to the following. Without them this evening could not have happened.

Thanks, everyone! See you next year.

Michigan History Trivia...

Highway Lighthouses

We are all acquainted with the yellow warning signs along Michigan's roads alerting us to dangerous intersections, sharp curves, steep grades and other driving hazards. But few people are familiar with the devices that preceded these modern diamond-shaped caution notices, an old-time apparatus called the “highway lighthouse.”

These contraptions were invented around 1920 to alert vehicle operators to pending perils. Their method of conveying this message was by means of an intense flashing light. By positioning these blinking illuminators a hundred feet or so before a particular menace, motorists could prepare to take defensive action.

Highway lighthouses were nearly eight feet tall, shaped somewhat like an oversized antique gas pump and were fitted with a large lens in the middle of a top-mounted globe or drum. Through this round optics piece the warning signals were flashed by igniting pulses of acetylene gas.

These winking roadside markers were introduced to Michigan in 1921, transmitting cautionary tidings on state trunk lines and main county highways. The lighthouses served their purpose well, but were phased out beginning in 1927 with the introduction of uniform signage along the state's ground transportation network.

By 1930 these stationary guide lamps had disappeared from the state. Today, not a museum in the country can be found possessing one of these illuminators from yesteryear.

To learn more about Michigan's transportation past, check out the current issues of Michigan History or Michigan History for Kids magazines. For more information or a free trial issue, call (800) 366-3703 or visit .

Island's Population Depleted Last Week

While Barbara Cruickshank and I were at the regional librarian's conference at Boyne Highlands, there were others off and gone to various events. Mrs. Stambaugh's 5th and 6th graders were off to Torch Lake to camp. The 8th graders, and chaperones, joined with the Charlevoix school for a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. However, before you begin to think that the island would float away, remember that the snow birds are now returning... Dave and Alice Crown, John and Joyce Runberg, John and Pat Rowley to name but a few. The population is beginning to pick up quickly. Welcome back to those who were away for the cold months!

Signs of Spring

There's the usual signs of spring - the ice gone from the harbor, ferry back on schedule, jet ski's and boats moving about, players hoping to beat par on the golf course, etc. Then there are things like the Gull Harbor sentry who stands watch all summer from a rock, keeping track of the comings and goings of lake traffic, the beaver lodges active again and their residents busy gnawing on trees, flocks of turkeys wandering the woods and roadways of the island, the huge nest atop the microwave tower is evidently receiving an addition since it sure looks even larger than last year, and the old apple orchards are beginning to revive for another season.



Fire Danger

It's dry out there folks so let's be very careful. Although rain is predicted for tonight and tomorrow, it will take quite a bit to move that arrow down to low. Sunday night the Fire Department was paged out and although the abandoned barn eventually burned to the ground, Fire Chief Tim McDonough said that "if there had been any wind it probably would have turned out a lot different." Thank goodness it was seen and reported before the flames could spread further. Let's be really careful so we don't have a tragedy.

Alexander "Lex" C. Marcinak 1942-2005

Alexander "Lex" C. Marcinak, 63, of Grand Haven and Beaver Island, died Monday, May 2, 2005, at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

He was born Jan. 11, 1942, to Alexander J. and June (Young) Marciniak in St. Clair Shores; and married Karin Vander Hoff on Nov. 16, 2004, in Grand Haven.

Mr. Marcinak was co-owner of A&A Manufacturing in Spring Lake. He was a 1962 graduate of Grand Haven High School, and a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, where he had served as an usher and was an altar boy. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and sailing; and he raced stock cars, motorcycles and boats.

Survivors include his wife, Karin Marcinak of Grand Haven; children: Danielle Marcinak of Grand Haven, Jessica and Jayme Teale at home, Rory (Nora) Hintz of Grand Haven, Rochelle (Jose) Maciel of Madison, Wis., Robin Burdick of Florida, Russ (Lydia) Hintz and Rod Hintz, both of Grand Haven, Ray Lynn Stetson of Ferrysburg, Renee Hintz of San Diego, Calif., and Kelly (Chris) Meyers of Muskegon; a granddaughter, Shelbie Friefeldt of Grand Haven; his mother, June Marciniak of Ferrysburg; brothers and sisters: Ann (Art) Willard of Connecticut, Joann (Norm) Davis of Ferrysburg, Larry (Debbie) Marcinak and Roman (Julie) Marciniak, both of Spring Lake, Mary (Lou) Rodriguez of Georgia, Win Marcinak of San Francisco, Carla (Paul) Mason of Madison, Wis., Rosanne (George) Simikowski of Chicago, and Frank (Jane) Marciniak of Ferrysburg; and many nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren. Mr. Marcinak was preceded in death by his father, Alex Marciniak; a daughter, Rhonda DuPruis; and a brother Michael Marciniak.

A funeral mass for Alexander "Lex" C. Marcinak was held 12-Noon Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Spring Lake with Rev. Anthony Vainavicz as celebrant. Memorials may be made to the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan.

Arrangements were handled by the VanZantwick Bartels Kammeraad Funeral Home of Grand Haven.