Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

February 7, 2008

Northern Notes: Manager goes above and beyond

Betsy Mackey of Traverse City is very grateful for the help she received on Jan. 27 when she took her 94-year-old mother to Red Lobster for her birthday dinner.

Anyone who has ever had to help someone from a car into a wheelchair knows that the maneuver has to be well-coordinated or there is danger of the person slipping or falling. This is what happened to Betsy as she was helping her mother out of the car and into her wheelchair. Betsy was able to stop her mother from falling by gently pinning her against the car and then called for help. A couple responded by getting the hostess, who realized that she didn't have enough strength to help and got manager Josh Oberschmidt. He helped get Betsy's mom into the wheelchair and into the restaurant, where the mother and daughter enjoyed a nice birthday meal. Betsy said that when they were ready to leave, Josh went out with them and got her mom back into the car.

"It was a big thing to me and Josh saved the day," Betsy said. "Thank God for angels."

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Joe Kuncaitis' wife, Claudia Joy, passed away on Dec. 8. Funeral arrangements had been made for visitation on Dec. 14, with the funeral on the following day and the intent was to hold the Celebration of Life service at Williamsburg United Methodist Church. During the week, it became clear many more friends and family members were planning to attend than the church could accommodate. The Rev. Jerry Micketti, pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme, heard about the family's problem and offered the use of Christ the King Church for the service and funeral meal.

"Father Jerry's offer became a godsend as nearly 500 family members and friends did indeed attend the service," Joe Kuncaitis wrote. "This showing of community awareness and Christian love turned a time of great concern into a very memorable part of the celebration of the life of my wife of 45 years. The Kuncaitis family wishes to publicly thank Father Jerry Micketti and his staff for their help and concern during that time."

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