Holy Cow, Kitty's 50!!

The signs are up all over proclaiming that Kitty McNamara is now 50. Actually she doesn't look too bad for such an advanced age and she still is rather spritely and doesn't need a walker yet.. although she may by 60. She was caught on camera as she headed off to school this morning and later on someone captured a nice close up (click on the photo below). Congratulations, Kitty! Aren't you glad this happens only once?

Gary Comer: 1927 - 2006

Best known and widely admired as the innovative founder of the Lands' End clothing empire, Gary Comer was a most self-effacing billionaire whose largesse will have a lasting impact on Chicago and Beaver Island.

A Depression-era child of the South Side, Comer never forgot his humble beginnings and he shared his success, funding all manner of endeavors.

Comer, 78, died Wednesday in his Gold Coast apartment after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was surrounded by his family.

"Gary's drive to succeed in business was only surpassed by his deep commitment to Chicago's children," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "His generosity was boundless. He knew firsthand the importance of hard work and excellence, and he devoted his later life to instilling those values in others."

A few months ago, as Comer toured the nearly completed Gary Comer Youth Center, a new $30 million building not far from his childhood home in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, the effects of his illness were apparent. He looked frail, but traveling by wheelchair through the building seemed to brighten his spirits.

"Isn't this going to be the greatest thing for the kids?" he said, a smile crossing his face.

Gary Campbell Comer was the son of a railroad employee and a homemaker. "I used to use nearby Oak Woods Cemetery as a playground," he once recalled.

He was an indifferent student at Paul Revere Elementary School and Hyde Park High School. He learned to sail at a Chicago Park District beach house. A few years later, he was a world-class sailor, winning a number of competitions, including the North American Championships and a bronze medal in the Pan America Games.

With no money for college, Comer went to work, toiling at odd jobs before landing a position at the advertising firm of Young & Rubicam in 1950.

In 1960, he quit and headed to Europe, where he spent a year traveling. He returned to Chicago and met Francie Ceraulo when she was on a date with another man. He asked for her phone number, which she wrote in lipstick on a napkin.

He called and in 1962 they were married. He had already started a business, selling sailboat equipment, hardware, duffel bags, rain suits and a few items of clothing. He called his new company Lands' End because, he said, "It had a romantic ring to it, and conjured visions of a point to depart from on a perilous journey."

Eventually he bought out two partners and in 1975 printed his first catalog. Two years later, the company was selling only clothing and moved its headquarters to Dodgeville, Wis.

Comer took the company public in 1986 and Lands' End became one of the most innovative and largest mail-order businesses in the world.

1986 was also the year that Comer gave the island a give of $174,000 towards a new library facility on an island in the middle of northern Lake Michigan where he had a summer home. In the fall of 1988 ground was broken on the Donegal Bay Road for a new building designated to become the Beaver Island District Library which held a grand opening in July of 1989.

In 2002, Sears, Roebuck and Co. purchased Lands' End for $1.9 billion. "He was genuinely grateful that he was able to give jobs to people," said Comer's daughter Stephanie, a photographer and author who administers the Comer Foundation with her mother. "I think what made Lands' End so successful was that he cared."

In addition to his home in Chicago, Comer had a home in Maine, and a farm in Wisconsin. He had his own plane and a boat named Turmoil, which he took on trips around the world.

"There was nobody like Gary, and it wasn't about money, about the numbers," said Lois Weisberg, the city's cultural affairs commissioner and a close friend of the family. "Gary's contributions to this city will be felt for generations. He wanted the best and he had the power and the passions to get what he wanted."

The Comers have given away millions of dollars. For his old grammar school he bought computers, an air-conditioning system, uniforms and promised 8th graders that he would pay college tuition for any who graduated from high school.

He funded CITY 2000, a yearlong photo project that has yielded 500,000 photos and a book. The couple has donated more than $80 million to the creation and expansion of the Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago; funded the South Shore Drill Team; built homes for people in the Grand Crossing neighborhood--the list is a long one.

"We loved each other and we loved this city," said Francie Comer. "We never imagined the success that we would have. Gary was poor and at one point realized he had as much money as he would ever need and also realized that there was so much he could do to help others."

"My dad's legacy will be his humanity," said Comer's son Guy, a former commercial airline pilot who now operates the Comer Science and Education Foundation.

On Sept. 19, Guy's wife, Courtney, gave birth to a baby boy.

"It came two weeks early," said Guy. "I think he just wanted to get a chance to meet my dad."

The baby's name is Gary Campbell Comer II. In addition to his wife, son and daughter, Comer is survived by son-in-law Rob Craigie and two other grandchildren, a girl Sienna and boy Luca.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Comer family who will always be remembered for their generosity to Beaver Island.

Services will be private.

5th Annual Bite of Beaver Island and the Island Boodle

Tie on your walking/running shoes and start Saturday, October 7th by doing the Island Boodle, a 5K walk/run at 10 a.m. in front of the Shamrock. There is an entry fee so get there early and sign up. Contact Gail or Mike Weede for more information or go to www.beaverisland.org and get an entry form.

Once you've worked up an appetite, check out the Bite of Beaver Island from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross Parish Hall. For more information contact either Jean Carpenter (448-2893) or Steve West (448-2505) or go to www.beaverisland.org and get an entry form.

Calling All Great Pie Bakers!

Plan to enter the upcoming Apple Pie Contest at the Bite of Beaver Island Festival on October 7th. Bring your entry to the Hall kitchen between 11:00 and 1:00 p.m., and put your name on the bottom of the pie tin. Emcee John Fiegen will announce this year's 1 st and 2 nd place winners at 3:30 p.m., with last year's Pie Queen, Betty Scoggin, to crown the winner. Prizes from Montaage and Whimsy go to the first and second place winner and the top two pies will be auctioned, with the proceeds to go to the bakers' favorite Island charity/organization. Questions: please call Elaine West at 448-2377.

Islanders Clip Bobcats

Story and photos by Frank Solle

Once again the Beaver Island Islanders proved to be too much for their Northern Lights League soccer opponent, as they easily clipped the Bobcats of Munising Baptist last weekend 7-1 and 8-0.

The wins improve the Islanders to 8-0 on the season with a final home series coming this weekend, Oct. 6-7 and a campaign-closing trip to Grand Marais Oct. 13-14.

Brenden Martin kicked off the Islander scoring fest against the Bobcats with an unassisted goal at the 4:12 mark of the opening half Friday. That goal was quickly followed by a smart header from Jared Wojan off a corner kick by Dereck McDonough just two minutes later.

A minute later the scoring spree was kept going by Saygan Croswhite with a little help from David Bousquet.

Bousquet waited six minutes before adding the next Islander score, with Croswhite adding his second goal six minutes after that.

Freshman Alex Kuligoski netted the final Islander goal of the first half as the period wound down. 

The Islanders pushed their lead to 7-0 midway through the second half as Martin scored his second of the game.

The Bobcats lone goal came at the 30-minute mark off a direct kick from just outside the penalty area. The Islander defense created a wall to stop the kick, but the ball snuck both around the edge of the barricade and just past the reach of goalkeeper Brenna Green.


Saturday's game was played in a drizzle that steadily gained strength with each Islander goal.

McDonough scored the first Islander goal off a long throw-in by Wojan, who hurls the ball from the sideline like an arcing corner kick, giving the powerful Islander offense an added weapon.

Wojan then added a goal from the left side of the penalty box, with a rocket of a shot past the Bobcat keeper.

Croswhite and Martin each added goals in a five-minute span midway through the first half before Maeve Green got in the scoring column as she stayed with her initial shot and booted in the rebound for a 5-0 Islander lead.

Following early second half goals by Tony Bousquet and McDonough, Martin put the mercy in the mercy rule with a goal at the 16:11 mark of the second half, sending the crowd and players scurrying for cover.

Munising drops to 2-6 with the pair of losses.


The Islanders will travel to Cooks on Oct. 16 for their opening district game, which will be part of a double header at Big Bay de Noc High School. Times and opponent will not be selected until the week prior to the tournament.  Grand Marais, Mackinac Island, and host Big Bay complete the tourney field. The district final is set for Friday, Oct. 20.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net