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By mail from John and Jane Salcau

October 9, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Dear Tom and Susan and family,

Please accept our condolences on the death of your father. Both he and your mother were good friends of our during their years in Ypsilanti. Your father was my boss when he was superintendent and he appointed me to my first principalship at Erickson School in 1957.

I always had the highest respect for him and valued our friendship very much. Please extend our respects to Jim and family.

John and Jane Salcau

NOTE: When Slim was superintendent of schools in Ypsilanti he had many employees and "lieutenants" that were very steadfast. John Salcau was among the most fiercely loyal. He later became assistant superintendent, himself. (Slim "knew how to pick 'em.") Slim was always very pleased to hear of John's progress over the years... as one of his finest "protégés."

By mail from Helen Davidson

October 9, 2002
Naples, Florida

Tom & Susan,

I am so sorry about your father's death. Harry and I enjoyed your parents friendship so much when we were in Battle Creek. Harry died 3 years ago. Thinking of you at this time of sorrow.

Helen Davidson

By email from Dr. Albert Milford III

Fri 10/11/2002 7:35 PM
Flossmoor, Illinois

Dear Jim, Patty, Tom, & Susan,

I want to thank you for your kindness in sharing your sad news with me. We will all miss Slim very much. I am not sure if you knew, but my wife Lisa and I kept in touch with Slim and Dorothy over the years. Lisa and I were married 6/17/'72. (That was the exact day of the Watergate Break In!!) Slim and Dorothy were at our wedding. It was a very happy day. When we started sending out Christmas Cards, we started exchanging them with your parents also. We traded Christmas cards and photos of our children, Albert lV, and Amy every year. They were always very interested in how they were doing. Albert is now a mortgage banker in Chicago. Amy is an Attorney in Washington, DC. My mom and dad always felt that Dorothy and Slim were the finest couple that they ever knew, and considered them as their very closest friends. On every Christmas card that they sent us, they would always include a special note on how much they missed my mom and dad. I can never express to you how much that meant to me. Our friendship over the past 50 years has been very special. I also exchanged a few letters and emails with your dad since Dorothy died. I can never begin to tell you how much I will miss hearing from them again. Your dad had a great sense of humor, and was an excellent writer. I hope that someday, I can see all of you again. It was 40 years ago that Patty and I graduated from good 'ole RHS. I am still in contact with many of our classmates. Especially in the last few year. Again, I will miss both Slim and Dorothy, very much. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Very Truly Yours,


NOTE: Al grew up with Slim's kids in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His father, Albert Jr., was the family's primary care physician. Al's mom, Beth, was one of Slim's board members when he was superintendent of the Ypsilanti Public Schools.

By email from Lucille Walker

Fri 10/11/2002 11:53 PM
Irvine, California

My deepest sympathies to you, Tom, Jim, and all the family on the loss of your dear Dad. He was a shining example of a "good neighbor" in every sense. I knew he and your Mom since they moved into Woodbridge in 1982. He dedicated so much of his time to working on our behalf as a member of the Association Board of Directors. Every day he would ride around the neighborhood to see if everything was in good order and was always asking if there were any problems he could deal with.

I have no doubt he is in a better place with your dear Mom. We are all happy he was in our lives for as long as he was. The flag at Lynnbrooke which he helped dedicate to your Mom will always remind us of the Ardis family.

Best wishes,

Lucille Walker

NOTE: Lucille and her husband Tom were neighbors of Slim and Dorothy in the old neighborhood in Irvine. Tommy Walker was drum major at USC and later band director there. He went on to have a very interesting career in theatrical and musical production. He produced the halftime show at Super Bowl VII on January 14, 1973. The University of Michigan Band performed with Woody Herman under the theme "Happiness Is." Miami beat Washington, 14-7. The following is from the USC web site at...


"The trumpet 'Charge,' now heard far and wide at athletic contests, was composed by a post-World War II USC student named Tommy Walker. As a member of the Trojan Marching Band, he became 'Tommy Trojan' and, as a member of the football team, he would kick the points after touchdowns. Upon graduation in 1948, he was hired by the university to direct the marching band. He created the coordinated card-stunt/music production and won a Freedom Foundation medal for his 1952 Rose Bowl half-time show. He later became the first entertainment director at Disneyland and went into business for himself as one of the world's leading creators of show business spectacles, among them several half-time shows at the Super Bowl and ceremonies at the Olympics. At the 1984 Los Angeles games, he was creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies, and he performed a similar function for the Statue of Liberty restoration ceremony. Walker died in 1986."

By mail from Marie Van Aken

October 9, 2002
Montgomery Village, Maryland

Dear Tom,

My condolences to you and your brother and your families at the death of your father Slim Ardis. Slim and Dorothy were a couple my husband and I enjoyed knowing both professionally and socially for many years in Michigan.


Marie Van Aken

By mail from John Wharton Milford

October 8, 2002
Pinckney, Michigan

Dear Jim, Patti, Tom & Susan --

I want to thank you for your kindness in sharing your sad news with me.

It was with deep feeling that I learned of Slim's passing. Please accept the united sympathy of all The Milfords. The end of a 50 year devoted friendship between our parents.

With appreciation...



NOTE: John is Albert Milford's (above) younger brother.

By mail from Maxine & Charles Brooks

October 9, 2002
Lakeland, Florida

Dear Tom and Susan

Special thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with you in your sorrow, May you know the Peace that only God can give! Fondly and with Prayers,

Maxine (Ardis) & Charles Brooks

Tom, I went into the WWW site, and found a bit of information. Neat --

We lived at Bellville, just off of Beck Road, for three and 1/2 years during WW2. Charles was a riveter on the B24's at Willow Run, until we went into Mission Work, and moved to Ingraham County, just south of Lansing. Never knew that your Dad was that near! You are in our Prayers, Maxine & Charles.

NOTE: Maxine is Slim's cousin. Maxine & Charles are the parents of William ARDIS Clan genealogist Ronald Brooks.

By mail from Mark Carlson

October 9, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

To the Ardis Family --

Although I arrived in town too late to know your father, I understand they (your parents) were strong supporters of the Gilbert Residence as well as the whole of Ypsilanti. We are thankful for them, their strong community service, and their involvement with our community mission. Our prayers go with you.

Mark Carlson, Executive Director
and the entire Gilbert Residence Board, Staff & Residents

By mail from Dr. Marshall Grossman

October 9, 2002
Irvine, California

Extending our sincerest sympathy to you and your family at this time of sorrow.

Dr Grossman, Tish, Lynn, Kay, Jana, Sandra and Traci

Slim was a pleasure to know. I've enjoyed seeing him as a patient. We will miss him dearly. Our sympathy is with your family.

Marshall Grossman

NOTE: Marshal Grossman was Dad's Internist from around 1982. Dorothy was his "7th patient" when he was just starting out. Dad came over a little while later, but apparently was not "assigned a number." Slim and Marshall were both alumni of Northwestern University, so they always had something other than medicine to talk about.

By mail from Harry Terpstra

October 9, 2002
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dear Jim & Pat and Tom & Susan and families,

We are sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. We always looked forward to getting cards from him after their move to California. I was Slim's assistant at UofM. His personal and professional style of management and leadership were a great example for me throughout my career. I always respected him for that. His dedication to UofM and his career was very evident. He will be missed. He spoke highly of his family and was proud of their accomplishments. You and your families are in our prayers.


Harry & Joelsie Terpstra

By mail from Joe & Jean Zapytowski

October 9, 2002
Punta Gorda, Florida

Dear Tom & Susan,

Jean and I offer our most profound condolences on the death of your father.

We often think of him and of the many times we spent together as colleagues and friends.

He was an exceptional human being, as you well know. I loved visiting with him and always dropped by his office when I was in or near Ann Arbor.

We remember the football games and visits to your home in Ypsilanti. We remember his visit to Fairfield, Connecticut, his unfortunate experience with the less honorable element of Fairfield and our attendance at a Phyllis Diller show. We always had a great time with the two of them. We remember the many professional kindnesses that your dad extended to me in my professional career. Most of all we remember the two of them as friends.

We will miss them.


Joseph S. Zapytowski

NOTE: Joe was one of Slim's "corporate recruiters" that would visit his office at UofM. I'm not sure what the "unfortunate experience" in Fairfield, Connecticut was... it may be Slim and Dorothy having their motel room broken into. Phyllis Diller was originally from Ypsilanti... just thought you might like to know.

By mail from Kitty Anderson

October 8, 2002
Trenton, Michigan

Dear Tom & Susan,

Thanks so much for the write-up about your Dad, Tom & Susan. Thanks so much too, for having your Mom [Susan's mom, Joan Barber] call me last week.

Andy and I had many wonderful times with Slim & Dorothy. Andy died 19 years ago & I lost my son Gary 13 years ago. He had taught in Dexter for 17 years.

I always ask about you [with Susan's parents] & always love the pictures. Know your daughter will be a beautiful bride.

Again thanks for the great write-up.


Kitty Anderson

NOTE: Kitty's husband, Andy Anderson, was a great friend to Slim and a fellow Michigan school superintendent. Kitty remains a close friend with Susan's parents, Ray and Joan Barber, of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

By mail from Bill & Millie Audas

October 10, 2002
Norman, Oklahoma

Dear Tom & Susan,

Slim was such a great friend, leader, mentor, and boss! Thanks for sharing your loss with us. We will sure miss Slim!

Bill & Millie Audas

NOTE: Bill was assistant director to Slim at The University of Michigan and went on to be placement director at The University of Oklahoma. Millie was international student administrator there.

By mail from Carl & Dorothy Arvin

October 8, 2002
Melbourne, Florida

Dear Tom & Susan,

Thank you for letting us know about your father.

We always looked forward to hearing from him at Christmas. We know he wasn't well, but were saddened to hear that he has passed away.

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.


Carl & Dorothy Arvin

NOTE: Carl was a community leader and manager of the AAA office, first in Ypsilanti and then in Ann Arbor. Carl and Dorothy are the parents of Bob and Dave Arvin, boyhood friends of Jim and Tom Ardis, growing up in Ypsilanti.

By mail from Dr. Robert Willoughby

October 5, 2002
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Tom,

I certainly offer my sincere condolences as to you and your family. I heard about your loss this morning.

He was not only a good friend of mine, but my parents as well when they were alive. He will be missed by many in Ypsilanti.


Bob Willoughby

NOTE: Bob was Slim & Dorothy's friend... and "foot doctor" (mine too). He is the son of long-time Ypsilanti shoe merchants and father of Tom's boyhood friend, Dr. John Willoughby.

By mail from Lucille & Raymond Warren

October 7, 2002
Pinconning, Michigan

Tom & Susan,

We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your father.


Cousin Lucille & Raymond Warren

NOTE: Lucille is the daughter of Dorothy's oldest sister, May Schurman, and her husband Ford Finkel... Slim's niece and a first cousin to Jim and Tom.

By email from Bob & Judy Vokac

October 12, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Dear Jim, Pat, Tom and Susan -

Judy and I were very saddened to receive your message several days ago regarding the passing of one of our most distinguished educators - Slim Ardis. He truly led a charmed life and had that most enduring quality of reaching people and making them feel special and important. His magnificent contributions will stand as a monument to his special niche in our society.

We will always remember Slim and Dorothy in our prayers and thoughts.

Judy and Bob Vokac

NOTE: Bob worked with Slim's son Tom at The University of Michigan-Dearborn and was a fellow placement director with Slim.

By email from Simone Taylor

October 14, 2002
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Tom, Jim & Families,

I would like to let you know what a privilege it was to know and work with and for Slim. As a new professional to the world of career planning in the '70s, Slim served as a grandfatherly leader with all the wisdom and humor that traditionally comes with that role. I will always remember passing him in the hallways each day: regardless of the weather, he'd greet me with "beautiful day." When I once paused, early on, to say "Dr. Ardis, there's a major snowstorm out there right now, how can you say it's a 'beautiful day"?", he told me that any day that he was alive made it a beautiful day to him. Trust that this example illustrates the wisdom and humor I saw in him regularly. When I eventually went on to assume the directorship in the '90s, Slim wrote me a generous letter of congratulations, providing me with the history of those who had come before me in this role and conveying the sense of legacy I had inherited in the role. I have always remembered these kind moments; Slim has left an indelible mark in my professional career. Know he will be missed by many and I wanted you to know that he had made a difference in my life, as well. My thoughts are with the family--I hope there is some comfort in knowing the many people he touched in his lifetime in big and small ways. Simone

Simone Himbeault Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Director of The Career Center
Adj. Assistant Professor, CSHPE

NOTE: Simone worked for Slim in the Bureau of Career Planning and Placement at The University of Michigan. She is now Director of that same office, since renamed The Career Center.

By email from Chally & Marian Chalberg

Mon 10/14/2002 9:11 AM
Santa Barbara, California

Dear Jim/Pat and Tom/Susan:

We have just received your communication, telling us of the death of your Dad, whom everyone knew affectionately as "Slim."

I had the good fortune of meeting your Dad when I was Placement Director at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and he was similarly employed at the University of Michigan. In fact, both of us had the honor of serving as president of ASCUS (Association for School, College and University Staffing). I held the office in 1966-67 and "Slim" was the chief mogul in 1968-69.

After "Slim" and Dorothy moved to California in 1982, my wife Marian and I saw them a couple of times when we drove from Santa Barbara to Chula Vista to visit my sister. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see them in their retirement home in Irvine, all because we haven't been doing much driving/traveling lately.

We moved into Vista del Monte, a retirement home here in Santa Barbara, on April 1 of this year -- exactly 47 years to the day that we had moved into our home at 3076 Calle Mariposa in 1955. Talk about "downsizing" -- we didn't do half the job that we should have done. Needless to say, we're still looking for things that we are sure we brought with us to Vista del Monte. But we love it here -- no one talks of their aches and pains, and heaven knows there are plenty of them with us old geezers.

We were so pleased to read that a magnet elementary school has been named for "Slim." But we were sorry to learn that he suffered some increasingly serious health problems. I had my right hip replaced December 6 of last year, but I was back on the golf course in record time, according to my surgeon. I golf three times a week now -- Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I am now 83 years old and I have had nine major surgeries in my lifetime. Two lung surgeries have left me with only 60 per cent of my lungs. So, if you're smoking -- quit now!!

It was so kind of you folks to let us know of "Slim's" passing. Our prayers are with you and your families. Kindest regards,

Chally and Marian Chalberg.

P.S.--Thanks for alerting us to the Web page for "Slim."

By email from Fritz Lehmann

Mon 10/16/2002 1:05 PM
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Tom and Susan:

Thanks for the note about Slim. I'm not sure that you and I have ever met, but it's possible at some time when your folks were in Ypsi.

My wife, Judy, and I were in your home a couple of times after 1953 when I came to the Univ. of Mich. after I left the State Department of Instruction.

We had first met your folks at various meetings of School
Superintendents in Grand Rapids, Mackinac Island, and Atlantic City. At any rate, we often had dinner together and
enjoyed each other so much. Of course, it helped that we both shared the proper political view.

Judy died seven years ago, so I had a real sense of Slim's feelings of loss and loneliness when Dorothy died. Your folks were two of the grandest people I ever knew.

Then, too, I got to see Slim more often when he came to the University. He was one of the "good" ones here--full of fun, reeking integrity, and always professional. I know how much you must miss him, and I just wanted you to know that as one of his long-time friends I, too, will have a hard time imagining him gone.

With kindest regards and sincere sympathy,

Charles F. Lehmann (known to Slim as "Fritz")

By mail from Ruth Michaelis

October 12, 2002
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Tom & Susan,

My sincerest sympathy to you for the death of your Dad. Evart was always a favorite cousin!

Mike and I both enjoyed socializing with Evart and Dorothy. They were very nice to us when we arrived in Ann Arbor -- inviting us to many U.M. affairs and also to your home in Ypsilanti to meet people.

We were invited to the dedication of the Ardis School. I remember Katherine [NOTE: Katherine Ardis Ux] was there, too, and it was so nice to see her.

Tom, I believe one of my boys worked with you one summer.

I still live alone in the home Mike and I bought when we moved to Ann Arbor. If you are ever in Michigan, please visit me. So many of my friends are gone now. April comes up every Monday & we go out to lunch & she helps me with shopping. I see the boys less often, but Jim's children help me with house & yard work.


Ruth Michaelis

NOTE: Ruth is Slim's cousin. Her late husband, Mike Michaelis, was the top Maytag Salesman in the country. He-he-he-he. That's a "Slim Joke." Uncle Mike actually worked for Whirlpool. Love you, "Cousin Ruthie."

By mail from Mike Burns

October 10, 2002
Phoenix, Maryland

Dear Tom,

I am deeply sorry to hear about your father's passing. I knew him for a half-century of our lives and he always seemed to be positive in his demeanor, even in trying circumstances. That is a remarkable thing to say of a man, but we know that your father was a remarkable individual. In the various stations of life that I encountered Slim -- school superintendent, counselor, relative, friend -- he was ever upbeat, a positive influence on people.

I regret that not having the opportunity to visit him in recent years, as we have not returned to California in some time.

I will be sending a gift to the school in Ypsilanti in your father's memory. I know he was proud of that memorial to his life's work in education. An I'm proud to have known him since my boyhood years in that town.

With sincerest condolences,

Mike Burns

NOTE: Mike is brother to Jim Ardis' wife, Patty Burns Ardis. He is a newspaperman in Maryland.

By mail from Austin & Dorothy Norton

October 15, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Thank you for the fondly written letter about the death of Slim. He faithfully sent us a Christmas card every year with a note enclosed, which we will miss. He was very well thought of by everyone.

We are sending a contribution to Ardis School in his memory.

Austin and Dorothy Norton

By mail from Linda & Jeff Schroeder

October 15, 2002
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Throughout this difficult time, may you also know the deep sympathy and concern that are felt for you and your family.

Linda & Jeff Schroeder

By mail from Bruce & Fran Nelson

October 15, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Dear Ton,

Thank you for your thoughtfulness in notifying us of your father's demise.

Slim and Dorothy were our treasured friends for many years. I recall your dad bringing a plate of your mother's cookies to our house when our son Scott was in critical condition following a toboggan accident in 1960. Slim and I were long-time members of the Twenty Club. We have kept in touch through Christmas letters, and visits, which we made to Irvine in later years. We also exchanged information on mutual health problems.

Fortunately, memories of your parents as good, gentle, gracious, generous friends are just a thought away.


Bruce & Fran Nelson

NOTE: Bruce Nelson is Professor Emeritus from Eastern Michigan University. He was with the College of Education,  as both professor and administrator, for many years. Eastern Michigan trains more certified teachers each year than any other institution in the country. Bruce was one of Slim's closest and most trusted friends... both personally and professionally. The Twenty Club referred to is an organization that continues to promote a close working relationship between the University and the business communities of Ypsilanti.

By mail from Ray & Joan Barber

October 12, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Dear Susan and Tom,

Enclosed are the two clippings from our local papers.

I gave your phone number to the Ypsilanti Courier, when they called for information. It's a weekly and comes on Thursdays.

We have nice memories of Dorothy and Slim. She brought me a large wooden plate, and another time a copper or brass corkscrew from Cost Plus in California. They would be surprised to know we have a Cost Plus out by Olive Garden in Ann Arbor now. I have these hanging in the kitchen and on shelves in the living room. They never forgot Joel, either. When he was little we had been to visit and I said upon leaving that we had had a wonderful time. "Not for me, it wasn't!" said Joel. Remembering that always made Slim chuckle.

We are losing many friends. We hardly have any couples left, but we do cherish many memories.

I know how you feel about now losing your father, Tom. I had these feelings when mine died. They both lived long lives. My dad was nearly 86.

We think of you both and your family and we will be eager to see you!


Mother & Dad B.

P.S. Thanks, Tom, for the memorial note you sent us. It is nice to keep.

NOTE: Ray & Joan Barber were long-time friends... and are the parents of Slim & Dorothy's daughter-in-law, Susan Ardis. Slim and Joan were classmates at Western Michigan University in the 1930s.

By mail from Bob & Pudge King

October 10, 2002
Hastings, Michigan

Dear Tom & Susan, We are so sorry to hear of Evart's passing. He was surely one of the most special people of our world.

When I was a kid (I'm 85, now!) our Southern Michigan relatives didn't come to see us often, because the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was a long drive in a Model T Ford or the like. But, I always loved it when Evart came -- he had such a good sense of humor & was so much fun to be around.

When we moved to Hastings some of our good friends had been raised in Freeport and attended school when Evart was there. They all respected and loved him. And one fellow told us he had learned a fun game at Evarts's apartment. A few years later he found out that fun game was poker!

Evart's contributions to Michigan's education system were great.

Please convey my sympathy to all your family. We were all blessed to have known him.


Bob and Pudge King

Real name, Frances, but I have been "Pudge" since having a book of a mischievous little girl by that name when I was three!

NOTE: Bob is a cousin to Slim, but I do not know the exact relationship. Hastings is right next to Freeport, where Slim began his career in education in 1935. I'm not sure exactly where they lived in the Upper Peninsula... but, it is not surprising that Slim would visit. He was up for a "driving trip" at any age... right up until the end.

By mail from Peg Fenker

October 9, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tom & Susan --

May it comfort you to know that we share your loss and deeply sympathize.

I have enclosed a copy of the very nice article in the Ann Arbor News.

We love you.

Cecile "Peg" Fenker & Family

NOTE: Peg is Slim's first cousin and taught for him in Ypsilanti. Peg's daughter, Barb, continues to work for the schools there.

By mail from Jean Johnsen

October 10, 2002
Salisbury, North Carolina

Dear Jim & Tom,

I knew when I saw the envelope sent by Tom that I would hear that your father was gone. Be thankful that he didn't linger after having such a big stroke. Now your Father and Mother are together in heaven -- I believe that completely.

My husband, Al, had three strokes. I know what the aftermath can be. I knew your Dad was younger than Al, who was 91 when he died.

After your Mother's very sad and traumatic death, your father seemed devastated. they had been so close for so long.

I have fond memories of our days in Ypsilanti when we became well acquainted with you and your family. Close.

I extend my most heartfelt sympathy to you all. He left you a great heritage.


Jean Johnson

NOTE: Al Johnsen was a long-time superintendent for the Willow Run Schools. Jean and Al retired to North Carolina to be near one (or, perhaps both?) of their sons, David and Eric. Al was a great educator, a very warm individual, and had a "big personality"... with "movie star" good looks to match. Jean, I'll bet you are still a "Babe," also. Love you! -- Tom

By mail from Deborah May

October 11, 2002
Bexley, Ohio

Dear Tom and Susan --

I was saddened to learn of Slim's death. When he hired me in 1976, and for the years thereafter that I worked for him (and got to enjoy his perpetual humor), I was always struck by his incredible and oft-proclaimed love for Dorothy, and for his children. He taught me the priority of family, in word and deed, and I know that family brought him great pleasure and reward in his lifetime. You all were a joy to him, as I am sure he told you. Please share my condolences with Jim and Pat as well


Deborah May

(We have lost a legend.)

NOTE: I believe Deborah became director of the "Career Center" at The University of Michigan, when Slim retired in 1982.

By mail from Delma Ardis

October 12, 2002
McBain, Michigan

Tom & Susan --

I was so sorry to hear about your Dad. You and your family will surely miss him.

Love & Sympathy--

Aunt Delma

NOTE: Delma is the wife of Slim's late brother, Burke Ardis, of McBain, Michigan. Uncle Burke ran the farm co-ops in McBain and Marion. Burke and Delma's son, Bill, lives in Ada, Michigan, where he is "creative director" for Amway. Aunt Delma, you are "the last of a generation." Love you!  -- Tom

By mail from Harold & Alice Goodsman

October 16, 2002
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Dear Tom & Jim,

Your father was a good friend and a fine person.

Harold & Alice Goodsman

NOTE: Harold Goodsman worked for Slim in Ypsilanti. He was Tom's principal at the (then) new West Junior High in 1962. Harold was a former FBI agent, so the kids knew they weren't going to put much past him. His niece, Sandy Goodsman, was in Tom's class. Her dad, Harold's brother, was an owner of Mellencamp's clothing in downtown Ypsilanti. Wonderful people, all... who made a big contribution of service to the community.

By mail from Lewis & Shirley Ann Finkel

October 17, 2002
Ionia, Michigan

Dear Tom & susan,

We were deeply saddened by the death of your father. he was a favorite uncle for many wonderful reasons. With him there was never a dull moment. As the years went by our love for him grew.

We know they were both ready to meet the Lord. We talked with them about Christian things quite often. So we look forward to meeting again.

Please give us a call or stop in for a visit if you ever travel this way. We'd really enjoy visiting with you.


Lew & Shirley Ann Finkel

NOTE: Lew is Dorothy's nephew, by blood, and is a dentist in Ionia, Michigan. Lew and Shirley Ann visited Slim and Dorothy a number of times in Irvine. Jim and Tom have probably not seen or spoken to 'Cousin Lewis' since their high school days... an oversight that needs to be corrected.

By mail from Joan (Ardis) & Jim Nummer

October 17, 2002
Ionia, Michigan

Dear Tom, Susan & Family,

So sorry to hear the news about your father... it's always hard to lose your parents, no matter what age they are. Since our folks and Aunt Katherine have passed away we don't hear much about your folks.

I am the youngest girl, number 5 of 7 children of Bernard and Bertha's clan. I'm sure you heard we lost Howard in February to lung cancer. He put up a good fight.

It would be nice to know more about you & Jim and your families, seeing we're 1st cousins.

Please know that our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.


Joan & Jim Nummer

NOTE: Joan's dad, Bernard Ardis, was Slim's younger brother. Bernard was much loved and greatly respected in his community of Ionia, Michigan... even through he was the local tax assessor-collector! That should be a lesson to us all... in terms of what you can do, if you put your mind to it. Bernard's kids were always close with Bernard and Slim's sister, Katherine Ux, in nearby Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. That could make me jealous, but it was always great to know that Katherine had attentive family close by, especially in her final years. Slim and Dorothy enjoyed a number of visits in Irvine from Joan's brother, John, who is a Catholic priest and runs the Paulist Center on Boston Commons. Love you, 'Joanie.'






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