The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Van Assche, James

Written by David Green.

Thomas James “Jim” Van Assche, 92, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., and formerly of Fayette, Ohio, died Feb. 21, 2011, surrounded by loved ones at his home.

Jim was born Nov. 2, 1918, in Dearborn to the late Albert and Anna (Ritterstorf) Van Assche. On Oct. 28, 1942, in Dearborn, he married Geraldine Merillat and she survives.

Jim spent his early life and raised his family in the Dearborn area, where he worked for Ford Motor Company, and later founded and operated Van Assche & Sons Construction. In 1974, he moved to rural Fayette, where he and Gerri made their home until May 2009.

He was an active and devoted parishioner of St. Sebastion Catholic Church in Dearborn and Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Fayette. He was skilled in woodworking and carpentry, enjoyed gardening, and was blessed with an ever-witty sense of humor that could always make a person smile.

Jim served his country as a member of the United States Army during World War II.

In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by three sons, T. James II (and Kathy) Van Assche of Romulus, Mich., Robert (and Barb) Van Assche of Dearborn Heights, and Donald (and Sandy) Van Assche of Dearborn Heights; four daughters, Betty (and Frank) DeMilde of Dearborn Heights, Judith Collins of Dearborn Heights, Geraldine (and Brad) Rupp of Quincy, Mich., and Paula (and Glennis) Ferguson of Fayette; a brother, Eugene (and Virginia) VanAssche of Dearborn; a sister, Marie AuBuchon of Apache Junction, Ariz.; 36 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Norbert, Andrew, and Robert; and a son-in-law, Michael Collins.

A Mass of Christian Burial is planned at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Dearborn, with Father Jeffrey Day as celebrant. Military interment will take place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield. Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday the Hackett-Metcalf Funeral Home in Dearborn.

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