Marie Herter, 88, Was Known for Work Ethic

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 03/26/2018 - 21:58

Marie Caroline Kuebler Herter was born January 9, 1930, in Saline Township, the daughter of Paul and Olga (Finkbeiner) Kuebler.

Marie passed away on Friday, March 23, 2018, from debilitating Alzheimer’s disease. Marie attended Macon’s one-room school (a Henry Ford School) until eventually graduating from Saline High School in 1949. While living with three friends in their singles Ann Arbor apartment, Marie worked for a couple years as a bank teller. She then met and married Paul Herter on August 25, 1951 at Bethel United Church of Christ in Manchester, Michigan; she has remained a member of Bethel since that time.

After 54 years of marriage, Paul preceded her in death in 2005. Marie and Paul have four children: Jean (Robert) Martin, David (Kimberly) Herter, Dale (Scott Koziol) Herter, and Judy (Patrick) Laberdee. Marie’s pride and joy, however, were her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren are: Jackelyn (Jason Smith) Martin, Joshua (Lauren McGaw) Herter, Jacob Herter, Amanda (Dean) Eisenmann, Jamie (Garron) Rorick, and Jason Laberdee; and her beloved “sweetie” granddaughter Holly Martin, who welcomed her at Heaven’s gate. Her great-grandchildren are Zoe and Callen Rorick.

Marie gladly attended several grandchildren activities – t-ball, Sunday School programs, 4-H fairs, water polo matches, band concerts, fiddler concerts, and dance recitals. She held lambs and chased steers for her grandchildren, doing so with a smile and words of encouragement. She was also the one who spent many long days, and nights, entertaining the sick or hospitalized grandchild. Marie will also be missed by her patient four-legged companion, Sassy.

Surviving Marie are her sister-in-law Felicia Kuebler, her brother-in-law Robert Mast, and several nieces and nephews, all whom she adored. In addition to her husband and parents, Marie will be joining her sister Katherine Guenther, brother Walter Kuebler, brother-in-law William Guenther, and sister-in-law Selma Mast – all waiting to play a round or two of Euchre. Kate and Marie will keep the games lively!

Marie’s life was not easy, nor always fair, but she persevered. At the age of 11, Marie’s mother died in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. Marie was a passenger in the car and suffered a severe fractured leg, leaving her with a limp and daily reminder of the accident. She farmed with her husband for many years. She could often be found at the Saline or Bridgewater grain mills, hauling in truckloads of grain. She spent many hours a day tending her chickens, gathering, cleaning, and then grading the eggs, later selling them to various downriver Detroit customers. It was not unusual to find her caring for newborn lambs or baby pigs that were brought in the house to “warm-up”, often warming up in the oven! She also appreciated her many canine companions throughout the years. Although she claimed she “never really liked cats”, she would nurse them with eye droppers, and cuddle them in her lap.

Marie drove tractor for baling, unloaded hay and straw, cooked many meals for hungry sheep shearers, and, of course, the monthly sauerkraut and knoepfle dinner. Her homemade German pretzels were regularly shared with family and friends. Many summer nights Marie found a bit of peace and quiet on the old cultivator tractor, straw hat firmly in place, slowly and cautiously running between the rows. Marie spent many years working at the Ann Arbor News as an “inserter” – putting in the multiple loose ads and/or comics and coupon fliers in the newspaper. She enjoyed this job, making new friends and taking pride in her work.

Marie’s work ethic, whether at the News or on the Farm, was strong, committed, and driven, and this was passed on through the generations. Marie was a woman committed to her faith and to her church. She worked tirelessly at Bethel UCC Ice Cream Socials and church functions, usually baking an infamous hickory nut cake (or two). She was a quiet presence, but always present in the pews and behind the scenes. Keeping four children quiet and complacent during sermons was accomplished with pen and paper, and always gum (although the grandchildren got candy!). Marie’s passion and pride were her gardens; vegetable and flower gardens flourished under her care. She often shared the bounty of each summer’s yield with family and friends, and canned a multitude of produce. Hoeing in the garden was routine for Marie, and her free laborers (her children and grandchildren!) provided weed control. Her beautiful flower gardens were admired by many as they passed by the family farm.

Marie and Paul enjoyed various social outings with several friends, especially summer Saturday evenings at German Park. Euchre games, Farm Bureau meetings, local fairs, and New Year’s Eve celebrations were special for Marie. In Heaven, Marie now joins special friends Glen and Lucille Feldkamp. If four people could make something out of nothing, it was Paul, Marie, Glen and Lucille, enjoying short and long trips to anywhere and everywhere. Heaven will never be the same! As Marie advanced in years, her gardens were tended a little less immaculately, and sauerkraut dinners were a joint family affair, but her spirit (and sometimes stubbornness) was ever present. Even when Marie moved to Brecon Memory Center and then to EHM Senior Solutions, her one-liners brought smiles and laughter from caretakers.

Special thanks to her caretakers at both locations – your concern and care of Marie was greatly appreciated.

Please join the family as they celebrate Marie’s life. Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 27, 2018, between 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline, MI. The Celebration of Life Service will take place at Bethel United Church of Christ, Manchester, Michigan, on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 11:00 A.M., with visitation beginning at 10:00 A.M. at the Church. The Reverend David Bucholtz will officiate at the service. Memorial contributions may be made to EHM Senior Solutions for Staff Appreciation, or to Bethel United Church of Christ. To leave a memory you have of Marie, to sign her guestbook, or for more information or directions please visit

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