FRANKFORT — LaVonne Marie “Vonnie” Griner, 75, of Frankfort, died Thursday, April 25, 2013, at home surrounded by her loving family. She was born Feb. 25, 1938, in Nessen City, the daughter of Francis “Pat” and Lena (Egan) Milliron.
Vonnie descended from a pioneer family. Her family came to Nessen City from Pennsylvania by covered wagon in 1864, and they were accompanied by the Griner family.
Vonnie graduated from Copemish High School, where she met her future husband, Roger.
Vonnie was an accomplished builder, developer and designer. Along with her husband, Vonnie launched and operated a number of Interlochen businesses, including Fun Country, Griner’s Food Market, Interlochen Shopping Plaza, EZ Storage and West Side Condos. She also found time each spring to assist with maple syrup production at the Griner Family Sugar Bush in Pomona.
Vonnie received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion and Marriage at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Copemish. She was a founding member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Grawn and a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Frankfort at the time of her death.
In her spare time she loved to quilt; she made many quilts for relatives and friends. She also loved to garden and preserve her rich family history. Vonnie was a talented woodworker, and she loved to bake cakes from scratch and make homemade ice cream for birthdays.
On Nov. 26, 1960, at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Copemish, Vonnie married Roger Griner, who survives her. She is also survived by her children, Linda (George) Bower, of Lake Ann, Mark (Ruth) Griner, of Lake Ann, and Scott (Jennifer) Griner, of Interlochen; her grandchildren, Alexandria Bower, of Traverse City, Kortney Bower, of Lake Ann, and Boyd Griner, of Lake Ann; her siblings, Marvin (Betty) Milliron, of Nessen City, Robert (Jan) Milliron, of Nessen City, and Rita Dinger, of Interlochen; her Silly Aunts, Laura (Charles) Milliron, of Nessen City, Edna Chandler, of Mesick, and Margaret Waters, of Frankfort; her mother-in-law, Beth Griner, of Interlochen; and many nieces and nephews.
Vonnie was preceded in death by her parents.
A Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 2, 2013, at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Copemish, with Monsignor Francis Murphy serving as celebrant. Interment will follow in the Cleon Township Cemetery in Copemish. A celebration of Vonnie’s life and a meal will follow at the Griner Family Sugar Bush. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at the Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah, where Prayers of the Holy Rosary will be said at 7:30 p.m.
During the last few years of her journey here on earth Vonnie was fortunate to have many wonderful individuals who went above and beyond their duties to provide outstanding care for her. The family extends their sincere appreciation to the professional and personal personnel for their assistance.
In lieu of flowers and to honor of the German Shepherds that served as her lifelong companions, memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County.
The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah is in charge of arrangements; www.bennett-barzfuneralhome.com.