June 2019

Ute Bernicchi

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It is my honor to memorialize our dear Ute Bernicchi. Born in Baumholder Germany in 1956, Ute cherished her family and friends from the beginning.  At the age of 18, our paths crossed as I was stationed in Germany with the US Army.  Just 6 months later we were married and a year later headed to Chicagoland to build our dream. For the first nine years, Ute practiced her art of hair stylist.  In 1983, Ute took on the biggest job of all – staying at home and raising our family.  Andrea was born in 1983 and Andrew in 1986.  This kept her much busier than I have ever been, and the results of her efforts were incredible.  Our kids are wonderful people today with their own precious families.

Ute was passionate about bowling, music, her favorite slots, friends, and even other interests like ballroom dancing, painting landscapes, gardening, and me.  But, later in life, her biggest interest was our grandchildren Lily and Adalyn.

Ute had two bouts with cancer over the past dozen years.  The first time she beat it with a vengeance.  This last time, she fought with every ounce of energy, love, determination, will, and stubbornness. Victory wasn’t to be, but not from surrender. Ute taught us grit and positive attitude throughout the battle and we can take that as a lesson learned.

Married a short 43 years, I have been blessed to not only know Ute, but to be on the receiving end of her love, compassion, sense of humor, wit, great beauty, and touch. She will be missed by every person that has every met her.  We will move forward while always looking back at what we had.



April 2019

Jack and Joyce Miller

 Angels of Hope - New Hope Center for Grief Support - Jack_and_Joyce_Miller

This month of April marks what would have been my parents’ 68th wedding anniversary.  They met in their early teens and married very young.  My dad had been drafted in the army during the Korean War and wanted to marry her before he left for Korea in order to protect her should he not return.  It was tough in those years.  My sister and I were raised in a 950 sq ft home in Taylor, MI, and enjoyed our simply childhood years there.  My dad worked for Refiners Transport Company as a diesel gas truck driver until he retired in 1984 because of health issues.  My mom took good care of him until he passed from dementia  in 2002.  When I remember back, my mom didn’t really grieve my dad’s passing. I believe she grieved while he was sick during her care for him. When my husband, Bob passed in 2010, then the floodgates of her pent up grief for my dad came flowing out.  I was a little confused from this behavior until I learned about my own grief through the workshops and time spent with so many caring New Hope friends.  My mom has been gone since January 15, 2018.  I miss her every day and her unconditional love, conversations, and encouragement. I know I will be re-united with my parents and my husband someday.  This is the peace that passes all understand that flows from hope, healing, and new beginnings.  Thank you, New Hope Center for Grief Support.



December 2018

Ann Kalec

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From a childhood in which life was not always easy, Ann emerged a determined, intelligent, caring, and compassionate woman.  Professionally, she was an accomplished writer, a legislative aide to two Congressmen, a staff member to a United States Senator, an elementary school teacher, a school principal, and an advisor to many.

To colleagues she was a source of support, advice, and inspiration. Appreciative of all who had helped her, Ann always made time to mentor others knowing that she “could never pay back, but she could pay forward.” Extremely calm in a crisis, her motto “it is what it is” allowed her to focus solely on solutions to and resolutions of problems.

Ann was a kind, fun-loving, loyal, and generous friend; someone you couldn’t help but like immediately. A great judge of character, she nevertheless always looked for the best in everyone.  She had an incredible sense of humor and an infectious laugh. As comfortable in the presence of the President of the United States as she was with a frightened child on his first day of school, Ann’s warmth, sincerity, and grace were always present. An avid sports fan, she was loyal to her beloved Spartans, the Detroit Lions, and Detroit Tigers.

An adored sister, loving mother, and doting grandmother, Ann was the glue, the sinew, and the core of our family.

To me, Ann was my high school sweetheart, my first love, my college bride, the mother of our sons, and “my girls’” grandmother. For 43 years Ann was my best friend, my love, my soulmate, my inspiration, and my most ardent supporter – she was “the wind beneath my wings.”

Ann is greatly missed by those she touched and all who knew her.


August 2018

Robert Damesworth

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The month of August marks reflection and memories of the wonderful man I was married to for 36 years. Bob was a great husband, father, papa, son, brother, and friend and loved the Lord with his whole heart. He enjoyed playing his guitar, especially on the church praise & worship team, and he enjoyed most sports, especially golf & tennis. On August 9th, he had flown to Charlotte, NC, on business and was playing tennis when an aneurysm in his heart's aorta burst suddenly with no prior symptoms. He didn't suffer any pain, of which I am thankful. He was doing something he loved and was immediately in the arms of the Lord in Heaven. Bob is missed by many family & friends who love him, but especially our sons, Kevin & David and 3 of the 7 grandkids who remember him. 

I have no regrets, no words left unsaid, no doubts in my mind how much I was loved by him. The weekend before (Aug 6,7,8), we went to an outdoor jazz concert in South Lyon. Saturday & Sunday, he played in the annual Southfield Open golf tournament with a close friend. Then Saturday evening, we saw the movie Toy Store 3 and had dinner at Rocky's of Northville. We talked about his upcoming trip to NC and my birthday the following weekend. Tough having a funeral celebration the day before my birthday. 

August 14, 2010, was not your normal funeral service. Held at Harvest Christian Church, it was a celebration of my husband's life. We gave high praise & worship to our God and honored Bob's life. It was over 2 hours of praise music, testimonies of his life by my 2 brothers-in-law, one of his close friends, and 2 sons. Another close friend sang, "I Can Only Imagine", and I can only imagine how hard that was for him. I am truly thankful for these people. Pastor Robert King gave an amazing analogy of Bob’s life compared to the life of David as a Warrior, Worshipper, & Lover.  82 cars followed us to the cemetery where they gave me a US flag because Bob was in the army. Then back to the church for a wonderful luncheon prepared and organized by another dear friend.  For 45 minutes, 18 different friends came to the microphone and shared about Bob.  As I look back, I am totally blown away by such memories.  

Bob left me a legacy through a precious business that is thriving and more than tripled in the 8 years that he has been gone, and our 7 grandkids remind me of his love that resides in our hearts. Of course, I have to mention New Hope Center for Grief Support and the amazing friends that came into my life and continue to do so.  We helped each other survive that 1st year and a few more after that. Now, I give back by helping other early grievers and hope they will feel that their lives have been saved. 

My trust in Jesus Christ and faith in Him is the solid ground I stand on. No matter how much I hurt inside, as the pain at times has ripped me apart, I know that I know He loves me more and will never leave me or forsake me. Bob's passing was not the end of something good, it was the beginning of something new. I trust God as the Master Planner to give me hope and a future. My strength comes from being rooted in God's presence. 


July 2018

William and Margaret Jamieson

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I am privileged to have the opportunity to honor my parents William and Margaret Jamieson as Angels of Hope for the month of July.  Bill and Margaret were married June 1, 1945.  They met as young adults in Detroit.  Their parents had immigrated to the Detroit area from Scotland.  Bill served as a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy during World War II and the Korean War.  Margaret was a key punch operator during the war and a homemaker caring for their three daughters. Bill was employed as an electrician with Detroit Edison, until his death in 1982.  He was a 33rd degree Mason and a Shriner.  Margaret was a member of the Eastern Star.

I remember the loving Christian home they provided for us and the examples they set about serving the Lord and others.  My mom was often found in the kitchen at church preparing dinner for a special event or organizing a ladies function at church.  My dad was a trustee and held many different positions in the organizations he was a part of.  We saw that giving a part of oneself in service to others was expected and rewarding.

I have many fond family memories of going to the lake, trips on the Bob-Lo boat, and having bar-b-q’s, complete with s’mores.  I remember how much my parents loved to sit on the front porch and if a kid went by with a squeaky bike my dad would get out his WD 40 and oil it up!  I never did figure out if it was so he didn’t have to listen to the squeaks or if it was a gesture of kindness.  They both loved Christmas, my dad loved finding new decorations.  We had one of those aluminum trees with the color wheel – thankfully in the basement.  The real tree upstairs was often held up with a rope because the trunk was crooked, with tinsel hanging on it.  I could go on and on with great memories.

Margaret would have been 96 on July 1st and Bill would have celebrated his 99th birthday on July 16th.  My parent’s deaths were sudden and unexpected.  I am thankful every day that I do not have to question their love for me and know that they were well aware of my love for them.   My parents continue to be an influence in my life, even though they died 36 and 31 years ago.  I wish they could be here sharing and watching their grandchildren grow into wonderful adults.  I know they hold a special seat at every event in our lives.  

May they have wonderful birthdays together in heaven and know that they are never far from my thoughts.  I am thankful to have two Angels of Hope watching over our family.  I am so grateful for the examples they set and the home they provided.

Beth Voyles  



June 2018

Karen Rowland Keier


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Karen Rowland Keier, 78, of Novi MI, formerly of Southfield MI, passed peacefully with her husband and two children by her side on January 15, 2017. 

She was born on June 14, 1938 to the late Henry and Mildred Rowland in Gary, Indiana. She was the beloved wife of Richard Keier for over 48 years; loving mother of Kathryn Rios (Antonio) of Alexandria, VA and Gregory Keier (Lindsay) of Towson, MD; proud grandmother of Antonio, Isabel, & Sofia Rios and Simone & Genevieve Keier; sister of Barbara Martin (Larry) of Hobart, IN and the late Joan Pugh (the late Joseph) of Munster, IN; aunt and great aunt of many nieces and nephews. 

Karen received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from Indiana University. Her passion for teaching came from her family where her father was a principal and her sister Barbara was a teacher. Karen taught in the Birmingham Public Schools for 26 years, including Meadow Lake, Pembroke, and Harlan Elementary Schools as a remedial reading teacher and a first grade teacher. 

Karen was always involved in every aspect of their children’s lives. She served on the PTA, as a brownie leader, and as a Sunday school teacher.  Karen was an avid reader, loved knitting, enjoyed book club, traveling, and anything to do with her grandchildren. She served as a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, a member and officer of AAUW, Delta Kappa Gamma, Birmingham Senior Women’s and PEO.  

She and her husband traveled to most of the United States from Alaska to Key West and from Maine to Hawaii. They also traveled to Spain, many of the Caribbean Islands, Panama, and the San Blas Islands. They enjoyed a European River Cruise from Vienna to Amsterdam plus time with friends in Frankfurt Germany. Many of these trips were with lifelong friends. One of her favorite trips was a two week tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland with longtime friends from Southfield Presbyterian Church. 

Karen loved the annual summer vacations to Deep Creek Lake, MD with all 11 members of her immediate family where her favorite activities were reading in the sun and watching her grandchildren play together. She also had wonderful annual trips with friends to Bay View, Higgins Lake, and Tamarack Lodge on Grand Traverse Bay. For many years Karen and Richard were part of a Thursday night gathering of friends from Southfield Presbyterian Church. 

Her kind spirit and ability to make people smile made her many lifelong friends. She will be deeply missed by all who were blessed to cross her path.  


Brenda Kern


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Brenda was born in Massachusetts on May 12, 1959, and moved throughout the United States as a child. Her quick smile and warm personality allowed her to make lifelong friends at every stop along the way. Brenda and I were married in August 1982, and blessed with the birth of our daughter Kristen in 1984. Brenda suffered from Lupus, an autoimmune disease, for over 20 years, and was no stranger to doctors, tests, and hospitals over that time. An engineer by education, she was creative, artistic, and loved to work with children – in retrospect, she probably should have been a teacher. Her Lupus symptoms kept her from working full-time most of her adult life, but it did not slow her down from volunteering and serving in the community. She loved sports (especially the Detroit Tigers), played golf, enjoyed cooking, and had many cups of coffee with friends. She was always up for a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait! Brenda was an incredibly strong, brave, and positive person, and was always concerned with the needs of others. She was a wonderful mother, and would have loved to have been a Grandma to her 2 grandchildren. Brenda was a woman of strong faith, who loved Jesus with all her heart, all her mind, all her soul, and all her strength.


Brenda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May 2007. Brenda went through chemotherapy and was thought to be in remission in November of that year. Unfortunately, her cancer returned “with a vengeance” in January 2008. Brenda received a bone marrow transplant in April 2008, which had a “1 in 3” chance of success. She developed severe complications. After a nearly two-month struggle following the transplant, she passed away peacefully on June 14, 2008. She touched hundreds of lives during her time here on earth, and we are comforted knowing that she is at home with Jesus in heaven today.

With love,

Rich Kern and Kristen (Kern) Stoner



May 2018

Frank Joseph Swierlik

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My husband Frank was the man that everyone loved.  He was an incredible husband, father, and friend to all.  We shared 34 years of marriage and were blessed with our two sons, Ryan and Garrett.  Frank was always the life of the party and one of the kindest men you would ever meet.  Adventurous, loved travel. a prankster and a blessing to all who encountered him.  We miss his laughter, sense of humor and great insightful conversations every day.  Frank lived by the words "No Regrets".  His 58 years on this earth were way to short.

After graduating from Wayne State, Frank attended the police academy and became a police officer for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.  We married one year after his graduation.  Frank was a very hard working, extremely bright man.  After a few years on the force, Frank went into business for himself, a wonderful blessing for our family.  Frank was always intrigued with metals and the recycling business, he followed his passion into building his own family business.  He truly loved going to work every day.

Frank and I met on a coed volleyball team in the basement of Henry Ford Hospital.  35 years later, I lost Frank at the very same hospital to a freak slip & fall accident.  We almost lost him 6 ½ years earlier to a gunshot wound from an attempted robbery.  He then made it his mission to teach his sons to take over the business he worked so hard to build.  As awful as that shooting was, nothing went unsaid between us, knowing how quickly life can be taken from us.  Thankfully, God gave us those years together before his fatal accident.  

We love and miss you Frank  every single day, Kathy

December 2017

Stephen K. Rowley II

Angels of Hope - New Hope Center for Grief Support - SteveRowley

Born December 2, 1936, my father grew up in Bellaire, Ohio. He was the son of an engineer and school teacher, in a blue-collar part of Ohio. His mother and father divorced while he was still in middle school and he moved to Pompano Beach, Florida with his father, while his sister, Pat, stayed with his mother in Ohio. After high school he joined the United States Air Force to get college funding via the G.I. Bill. Steve attended Ohio University where he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. It was during this time that he met and married my mother, Joyce Ann. Steve was hired by Ford Motor’s Body Engineering division. He held this job until his retirement in 1994. He acquired a couple of patents for latch mechanisms – one of which I still see on current model Econoline van windows. He was a key player in development of Ford’s Electric “Moon Roof” programs. My father was at times fun loving, and other times a stern task master. When we were little, he loved to get down on the floor and let my sister and me climb all over him. He enjoyed driving cars and motorcycles fast, and in the 70’s he gave himself the CB handle “Lead Foot”! He was active in Cub Scouts and together we built many pinewood derby cars. He taught me a lot of woodworking and mechanic skills at an early age, which served me well in Jr. High Wood Shop, and has helped to make me “handy” throughout life. He was a perfectionist, who held himself to a high standard, and expected the same of his son. He taught me that it’s better to “keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, then to open it and remove all doubt.” This philosophy stuck with me and has served me well in my career. My father had many hobbies that he was deeply involved in. Most notably he was a numismatist – a collector and dealer of coins and paper money, a field he enjoyed success and recognition in. Coin shows became a staple of our family’s weekends for much of the 70’s and 80’s. His other hobbies included sailing, black powder guns, pocket knives, early computing (Commodore 64, etc.) and kites. Unfortunately, my father picked up one habit that would be his downfall – smoking. On various occasions he tried to kick the habit, but every time it got the better of him. For most of his adult life he smoked two packs of Pall Mall Reds a day. His retirement was primarily due to the difficulty he was having with Peripheral Arterial Disease (thank you American Tobacco Co.). On September 4, 1996 he died. With regret, he never had a chance to meet his grandsons, the first of whom was born in 1998.

November 2017

Linda Kartes

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Laughter and tears, joy and sorrow.

Anyone who has deeply loved someone who has passed, has experienced these emotions.

I met the love of my life, Linda Kartes, on a blind date.  We met in November, her birth month.  We celebrated the day we met as an important anniversary, for we both fell in love that night.

Linda was full of life, with this special, beautiful, welcoming smile and laughter.  You met her once and felt like you had known and loved her for years. 

We had a wonderful, fun, happy, marriage.  Years later, we realized she was ill the whole time.  Linda’s last four years were brutal, but she hung in, trying hard to get better.  Her disease eventually took everything but her love of me from her.

I thank God we had each other as long as we did.

Thank you to New Hope for this opportunity to honor my loving wife, Linda.

With love,
Alan Walthall

October 2017

Hannah Rose Doody

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Our daughter Hannah Rose Doody was a phenomenal child. In her short 7

years she made a huge impact on the world around her. She had a way of

making everyone feel special and she lived life to the fullest!

Hannah had a great love and passion for animals…you name it, she has

every type of stuffed animal and begged us to get a cat, a dog or even a

turtle, however we finally settled on bunny named, Snowball.

Hannah was very spunky and willing to try out any new adventure that came

her way. She loved gymnastics, soccer, dance and music and seemingly most things came natural to her.

Hannah knew how to love and made those around her feel very special. As a matter of fact, many of her classmates shared that Hannah was their “best friend” and her Kindergarten teacher commented that she could always count on Hannah for a BIG HUG.

Hannah’s love did not stop there, she loved the Lord! She was bold about her faith and enjoyed attending our church, singing in the choir and praying for her teachers, friends and family.

We miss Hannah tremendously but we know in her short years on this earth,

she embraced life to its fullest and helped us see life in a whole new light.

Hannah made us very proud and her spirit lives in our hearts forever.

With Love,

The Doody Family



June 2019- Ute Bernicchi 

April 2019- Jack and Joyce Miller 

December 2018- Ann Kalec

August 2018- Robert Damesworth

July 2018- William and Margaret Jamieson

June 2018- Karen Rowland Keier & Brenda Kern

May 2018- Frank Joseph Swierlik

December 2017 - Stephen K. Rowley II

November 2017 - Linda Kartes

October 2017 - Hannah Rose Doody