Memorials and Tributes
Commemorate a significant occasion or honor a special person
Some people leave lasting impacts on our lives – impacts that inspire us to pour into other people’s lives. You can make a gift in memory of or in honor of an individual who inspired you to give to St. Louis Center’s mission.
May 10, 1937 – December 20, 2023
Frank Pignanelli passed on to his eternal home on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, at Chelsea Hospital with family members by his side. He was born on May 10, 1937, in Dearborn, Michigan to immigrant parents. He graduated from Fordson High School in 1955. His parents, Battista and Rose (Iaquinta) Pignanelli were thrilled when their only son was accepted at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. It was at UofM that he met his future wife and fellow student, Sharon Lee McKay. Upon her graduation in 1961, they were married at St. Clement Church in Dearborn. They had two children, Lisa Marie Pignanelli (Ivey), born at Ireland Army Hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1963, near the end of his military service, and John Christopher, born in Ann Arbor. Lisa and Clark Ivey in turn gifted him with three beloved grandchildren, Brett, Megan, and Trent. He returned to civilian life in 1964 and worked at Cunningham Drugs. His long career in retail pharmacy concluded with his retirement from Rite Aid in 2000. His pharmacy career left little time for volunteer activities, so once retired, Frank began making up for lost time. For several years, he was in charge of many projects for the Knights of Columbus Council #3092. The St. Louis Center Golf Outing also enjoyed his volunteer organizing efforts.
Make a gift in memory of someone or in honor of a special person or occasion.
Giving in Memory or Tribute
Remembering an important person or honoring a special occasion in your life with a gift to St. Louis Center is a great way to make a personal and lasting tribute. Just note on your check or the online form that your gift is in memory or in honor of someone you care about.
St. Louis Center will send a letter to the honoree or family of the deceased to notify them of your gift, without stating the amount. If you would like this notification to be sent, please provide the notificant’s name and address in the appropriate field when you make your gift online or in a note when you send a check to St. Louis Center, 16195 Old US 12, Chelsea, MI 48118.
Who can I speak with about donating to St. Louis Center?
St. Louis Center’s Development Department staff would be happy to speak with you about your giving options and to answer any questions you may have about the Center, its programs, and its vision for the future.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734-475-8430 x260.
Or, we invite you to visit St. Louis Center to see our facility and the good work we do. Schedule a visit today!
An acknowledgment will be sent to you for your tax-deductible gift.
If you check the box “Show my support by making this a recurring donation” you may choose to receive a book about Blessed Clare Bosatta and recognition on our website. Learn more here…
We welcome your help in keeping the 64 residents at the Center clothed, fed, and engaged each day, and to provide a safe, clean and cheerful environment. We rely on a wide variety of in-kind donations. Learn more here…
There are many ways to make a lasting gift or to have your support go further, including employer match programs, pledges, gifts of stock, IRA distributions, planned gifts and bequests, or real estate. Learn more here…
If you are interested in any of these forms of support, please contact the Development Department.
St. Louis Center is thankful for your support!
Remembering Our Supporters
January 3, 1938 – September 25, 2023
Mary Galasso was born on January 3, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan to Raymond and Catherine Doemer. She met Mario, the love of her life at an early age at the five and dime and they fell in love. and later married on October 6, 1956, at St. Rita’s Catholic Church. After starting their family, Mary and Mario moved away from Detroit to the suburbs to make Livonia their home where they established a network of friends that remain close and connected. Mary was the first and only female President, to date, of the Italian American Club in Livonia. Mario and Mary were lifetime members. Mary gave her time, talents and treasure by leading the committee for the Guardian Angel fundraising event which is held at the Italian American Banquet Center to benefit St. Louis Center. She was committed to serving individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. Mary was the epitome of a caregiver; it was who she was. She faithfully devoted herself to Mario’s health and care. She was a friend to everyone she met; and was always there to check in on you.
Dominic Samuel Bommarito
April 12, 1946 – August 16, 2023
Dominic was an active member of the Italian American Delegates. He helped the organization raise funds for charities throughout the Detroit area through their annual Wild Game Dinner and the Golf Outing. Dominic also helped to organize the St. Louis Center Car Show that was held on the Center’s campus. Dominic supported the St. Louis Center in many ways. He passed away on August 16, 2023 in Clinton Township at the age of 77. He will be greatly missed.
Dr. William Ashbaugh
Antonio “Nino” Randazzo
Arthur Tremper, DVM
William “Bill” Shurtliff
April 24, 1947 – July 5, 2023
Bill Shurtliff, dearly beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was born to eternal life on July 5, 2023. He was a much-loved Ann Arbor artist. Bill was born April 24, 1947, to Lewis William (“Bill”) and Evelyn (Byrd) Shurtliff, in Ann Arbor. Following his service in the US Army in the late 60s, Bill attended UofM. While in college he married his wife Janet, and together they raised their family and developed a business based on Bill’s talents, including drawings of St. Louis Center. Bill had a deep love for the “guys” he cared for in the late 90s and early 2000s at the Center. Read the full obituary here…
John “Jack” Dunn
October 22, 1934 – May 22, 2023
John Dunn age 88, of Chelsea, MI, passed away on May 22, 2023 at his home at Cavanaugh Lake. “Jack” was born on October 22, 1934 in Ann Arbor, MI to John F. and Eva H. (West) Dunn. Jack was a long-time resident and business owner in Chelsea. He married the love of his life and best friend, Nancy (Luhrs), on July 21, 1956, and they enjoyed 65 years of marriage until she passed away in 2021. They grew up as best friends, married, and together built a family, a business, and raised three children in Chelsea: Kathy Dunn Finger, Kimberly S. Tapping, and John F. Dunn.
Douglas Wayne Connelley
John De Rose
John “Jack” Dunn
Arlene L. Grau
William “Bill” Shurtliff
June 6, 1929 – February 23, 2023
George Merkel died Thursday, February 23, 2023, at Chelsea Retirement Community. George was born on June 6, 1929, to Joseph and Florence (Latreille Doll) Merkel in a farmhouse across from the present-day Chrysler Proving Grounds. In 1948, he married Nancy Ellen Clark, a union that lasted for 62 years, until death separated George from the love of his life. Together, they raised seven children. George began life as a farm boy, but tried his hand at many occupations over the years. George hauled milk, drove a semi, owned a service station, owned a bar, and eventually returned to farming, which he enthusiastically continued until a stroke forced him into retirement at the age of 88. Years after his stroke, although he was completely bed- bound, he spent his time dreaming of the crops he’d plant “next spring”. He was proud to be named as the Farmer of the Year at the Washtenaw County Agriculture Banquet in 2018. The same year, he received a Recognition Award from St. Louis Center.
June 7, 1947 – October 12, 2022
Helen Marie Boyea
Maryan “Myron” Czubko Jr.
Dante Di Gaetano
Marilyn Sally Fett
Fr. Ray Goehring
Sr. Helen Hankerd
Joseph “Joe” Joseph
Robert “Bob” Munie
Frank Spagnuolo Sr.
Michael T. Trese, MD
Antoinette “Toni” Walker
September 3, 1940 – May 8, 2022
Sr. Margaret Mary Schissler
June 13, 1954 – January 18, 2022
The world is definitely a better place because of the life of Sr. Margaret Mary Schissler, known as “Peg’’ to her family and “Sr. M&M” to all. Born June 13, 1954 in Evergreen Park, IL to Joseph and Margaret Schissler, the third of three children, ‘Peg” was a gregarious and happy child. She was drawn to active religious life with the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence because of her encounters with the sisters who cared for her own sister, Mary Agnes, a resident at St. Mary of Providence in Chicago. September 8, 1977, Margaret Mary became a Postulant at St. Mary’s in Chicago. She coined a phrase that has become synonymous with her smile and wit, and still serves as a strong motto and motivation, “It’s great to be a DSMP!” Sr. M&M made her Perpetual Profession on August 15, 1985. Sr. M&M served in different capacities for the Congregation including at Our Lady of Providence in Northville and as Pastoral Associate at the Pious Union of St. Joseph from 2009-2013. Sr. M&M died quietly on January 18, 2022 at Mt. St. Joseph, Lake Zurich.
Dr. Irving Feller
Richard “Dick” Lutovsky
Nancy Townsend Reynolds
Dr. Jerry Waldyke
James “Jamie” Bollinger
Rev. John R. Morris
Elizabeth “Liz” Hollo
January 21, 1945 – December 29, 2021
Tilde Elsa “Margherita” Mucci
August 20, 1938 – October 10, 2021
Dudley K. Holmes II
Stephen A. Krupnik
Roy Dechert Jr.
Rev. David Hudgins
Mary Ann Peterson
Deacon Richard Shaneyfelt
April 17, 1952 – August 30, 2021
August 20, 1931 – May 31, 2021
Dr. Costas Kleanthous
Rocco Anthony Ruggirello
Dr. Bruce T. Stubbs
May 11, 1939 – May 29, 2021
February 4, 1941 – February 20, 2021
Dr. Bruno Borin
Anthony “A.J.” Franklin
Michael C. Iannuzzi, Jr.
Sr. Helen Laier
Wesley Marvicsin Jr.
Roger Reid Sr.
Margaret Jane Smith
Peter Stumpo, Sr.
Dr. John W. Thomas
April 24, 1921 – November 11, 2020
January 12, 1935 – July 27, 2020
James & Rosemary Nagy
Robert James Conlin
Carlo Corsetti, M.D.
Thomas Anthony Waling
February 17, 1928 – May 20, 2020
Mary Ann Merkel
December 4, 1928 – November 14, 2019
Donald “Butch” Laier
Joseph Anthony Vitale (former resident)
Vera Mae Buckner Bond
Archbishop Alexander Brunett
Kris Elaine Folske
Harold James Heberts
Dr. Walter Niemann
Deacon Paul Ellis
Remembering Our Residents
September 5, 1941 – July 14, 2022
Thomas Schumacher was born to Stephen and Stephanie Schumacher on September 5, 1941, in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the Lenox Center for years with other disabled young adults. After his parents passed away, his care fell under the responsibility of his sister, Dorothy Thompson. He moved to the Lansing area and worked for several businesses, including Peckham Inc. Tom also lived in Ann Arbor for several years and worked for Chi-Chi’s and Kroger’s. Once he “retired,” he attended an adult day program called The Oaks. In 2018, Tom moved to St. Louis Center where he resided for the last four years. He enjoyed the activities, shared meals, programs, attended Mass, and delivered Meals on Wheels with the other residents. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Stephen and Stephanie, and his brother-in-law, John Thompson. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy, two nieces, one nephew, four grandnephews, and several cousins. The Center has quickly filled the niche for older adults with I/DD who are in need of a ‘forever home.’ A forever home provides peace of mind for people who wonder who will care for their loved ones if something happens to them. St. Louis Center is there not only for persons with I/DD, but for their families as well.
February 6, 1965 – November 30, 2021
Dawn Dietrich was a gift to all who knew her. She was the only child of a mother who taught her the true meaning of love and self-sacrifice. Dawn was born with Down Syndrome and her mother, Judi Black, was her constant advocate ensuring that her needs were always met. Judi spent every bit of her energy to provide Dawn with the best care possible leading to her placement at St. Louis Center in November 2006. Throughout her years as a resident of SLC, she taught others around her what it means to love. She loved music, her friends (who were known as her ‘soul sisters’), and she especially loved her ‘Mama Judi.’