John Elmer Duvernay (1926-2013)

John Elmer Duvernay
Uncle John
Born:6 Feb 1926 Petoskey, Michigan
Died:21 Apr 2013 Petoskey, Michigan
Father:John Elmer Duvernay
Mother:Anna Celina Sherman
SiblingsMarion Elizabeth Duvernay
John Elmer Duvernay
Ida Duvernay
Robert Duvernay
Married:19 May 1945 Petoskey, Michigan
Spouse:Patricia Ellen Price
Children:John Arthur Duvernay
Lee Ann Duvernay
Wendy Alain Duvernay
Thomas Alan Duvernay

Petoskey News-Review, April 25, 2013:

John Elmer Duvernay Jr. 87

John Elmer Duvernay Jr., 87, of Little Traverse Township, died April 21, 2013, at Bortz Health Care of Petoskey.

John was born at the old Petoskey Hospital on Feb. 6, 1926, the son of John and Anna (Sherman) Duvernay.

He grew up in the Indian section of Petoskey referred to as "Hungry Hollow" in the book of the same name, written by his childhood friend, Bill Dunlop. John was proud of his Odawa heritage and received his LTBB tribal name M'konimwewidam (Bear Who Goes Away Speaking) in a ceremony in August 2004. He designed the original PHS Northmen logo in 1966 for the ninth-grade cheerleaders to show a respectful image of his heritage, and he later approved the modified logo we see today.

John ran track and played football, and was a member of the Petoskey High School class of 1944. He left school to join the Navy and was in both the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He received his diploma along with the PHS class of 2003.

While working on the Petoskey High School production of "HMS Pinafore," John met Pat Price and they were married on May 19, 1945, in Petoskey.
His love for music and theater continued for the rest of his life. He sang in the First Presbyterian Church choir for more than 60 years, and was a member of the Little Traverse Civic Theatre for 30 years, continuing to provide props long after he retired from the stage (including the current production of "Clue"). John was a founding member of the Northern Michigan Chorale.

He sailed on the Great Lakes for many years, starting on the cement carrier the "J.B. John" in Petoskey and later sailed out of Alpena. Like his dad, he was a sign painter, operating Duvernay Signs for more than 30 years. He shared this artistic talent all of his life, making props for theater and Chorale, banners and posters for countless school, scouting and drum corps projects, among many others.

John was always a cheerful volunteer: Scoutmaster, Sunday school teacher, parade clown, museum board member, skydiving Santa Claus, and he collected food for the Manna Food Project. Piloting a small airplane was one of his favorite pastimes, second only to parachuting out of one.

John is survived by his daughters, Lee (Doug) Graham of Petoskey, and Wendy (Patrick) Morris of Harbor Springs; son, Thomas (Moon) Duvernay, of South Korea; sister, Ida Sminesvik, of Minnesota; grandchildren, Aaron (Laurie) Duvernay of Lowell, Mich., Rachel Planck and Abbey Graham of Petoskey, Ian Morris of Harbor Springs, Maari (Steve) Tally of Grand Rapids, and Nick Duvernay of South Korea; and by great-grandchildren, Emma and Hannah Duvernay, of Lowell, Mich.. and Veronica and Sadie Planck of Petoskey.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Patsy, in December of 2012; sister, Betty Friedli; brother, Bob; and his son, John Arthur.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey Memorial Fund, The Manna Food Project, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 5, at the First Presbyterian Church in Petoskey.

Arrangements are by the Stone Funeral Home of Petoskey.


*Interview with John Elmer Duvernay Jr., 24 April 1989:
               All kids were born in Little Traverse Hospital, Petoskey, Emmet Co., Michigan.
               John Arthur and Lee Ann's doctor was Dr. Aloicious Hegner
               Wendy's was Dr. Kathryn Weburg
               Thom's was Dr. Sanders Frye
               Wendy is divorced from her first husband Mr. Coveyou.
               Thomas and Moon married in Seoul, South Korea, 23 July 1984, and 3 Oct 1984 Presbyterian Church in Kyong Ju, and 10 Nov 1984 Presbyterian Church in Petoskey, Michigan, to be legal and so all family had a chance to attend.
               Wendy's husband Patrick Morris was adopted.

*Marriage: Emmet County, Michigan, Vital Records Search, Marriages:
                    Duvernay, John E., Jr. & Price, Patricia E.
                    Date of Marriage: 5/19/1945
                    Liber: 5
                    Folio: 76

*Death Notice: Petoskey News-Review, April 23, 2013

John E. Duvernay Jr., 87

John E. Duvernay Jr., 87, of Harbor Springs, died April 21, 2013, at Bortz Health Care of Petoskey.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, July 5, at the First Presbyterian Church in Petoskey.

A full obituary will follow.

Arrangements are being handled by the Stone Funeral Home in Petoskey.

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