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

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Van Assche, Geraldine

Written by David Green.

Geraldine May Van Assche, 85, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., and formerly of Fayette, Ohio, died July 22, 2011, at her house surrounded by her loving family.

She was born May 14, 1926, in Fayette to the late Tom and Nettie (Freiss) Merillat. She married T. James Van Assche on Oct. 28, 1942, and they celebrated 68 years of life together before he preceded her in death Feb. 21, 2011.

Gerri grew up on a farm near Fayette and assumed many responsibilities in the family upon the passing of her young mother when Gerri was 13. The family later moved to Dearborn, Mich., her father seeking employment with Ford Motor Company, and it was there that Gerri met the love of her life, Jim, and began raising her own family.

In 1974, Jim and Gerri moved back to rural Fayette, where they made their home until May 2009. She was a stoic and faith-filled person who was skilled in painting on various materials, and enjoyed gardening, sewing, crocheting and knitting. She was an avid volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Bryan, Ohio, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society in Fayette. She was active at her home parishes of St. Sebastian Church in Dearborn, and Our Lady of Mercy Church in Fayette.

Geraldine is survived by her seven children, Betty (and Frank) DeMilde of Dearborn Heights, T. James (and Kathy) Van Assche, Jr., of Romulus, Mich., Robert (and Barbara) Van Assche of Dearborn Heights, Judith Collins of Dearborn Heights, Donald (and Sandy) Van Assche of Dearborn Heights, Geraldine (and Brad) Rupp of Quincy, Mich., and Paula (and Glennis) Ferguson of Fayette; five sisters, Arlene Eczar, Beverly (and Peter) Gentelia of White Lake Twp., Mich., Micki Stachurski of Canton, Mich., Arlene (and Don) Ruffatto of Maui, Hawaii, and Carol (and Paul) Stockburger of Fayette; 36 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren.

Besides her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, Tom Merillat, and a son-in-law, Michael Collins.

A Mass of Christian Burial is planned at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, at St. Sebastian Church in Dearborn, with Father Aaron DePeyster as celebrant. Interment will follow a 1:45 p.m. graveside service at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield. Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Hackett-Metcalf Funeral Home in Dearborn, with a Rosary at 7 p.m.

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