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In Memoriam: Brighton Paraprofessional Who Love Helping Children Learn

These obituaries were published on the websites of local funeral homes from Jan. 3 to Jan. 8.

Jennifer Boatwright

Jennifer passed away on Jan. 6, following an illness she had been fighting twelve days. She was born Sept 14, 1970 in Garden City MI to Joseph and Ann (Carnevale) Vella. On Nov. 13, 1993, she was married to James W Boatwright.

She enjoyed her work as a paraprofessional in Brighton Area Schools, helping children learn and improve their skills. She also loved working at Curtain Call Dance studio. She lives on in the memories of her husband Jim and daughter Katie. Memorial contributions in Jennifer's name are requested to be sent to Brighton Area Schools, care of Special Education.

Read full obituary here.

Frederick Bandkau 

Passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Saturday, January 4, 2014, at his home with his loving wife at his side. Fred was born January 11, 1938, in Owosso, Michigan. He graduated from Brighton High School in 1956. He married Janet Lanning on June 8th 1957, in Brighton, where they had so many happy times in their early married life.

Fred was a loving father to their three daughters. He was a heavy equipment mechanic at the Proving Grounds where he was involved with many interesting projects. Fred had very close relationships with his daughter Laura, grandsons Brian and Mitchell, and great-grandson Carter. They all feel profound sadness from their loss.

Honoring Fred's wishes cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Fred's Life with family and friends will be held at his home in the Spring when Fred's many special trees and shrubs are in full bloom. 

Read the full obituary here.

Ernst “Raven” Banfield

Ernst “Raven” Banfield, age 84, of Brighton, MI, passed away on January 3, 2014. He was born March 26, 1929, in Detroit, MI, to Ernest and Lorraine (Hazzard) Banfield. Ernst served proudly in the U.S. Marines.

On May 5, 1960, he married the love of his life, Phyllis Canale in Detroit, MI. He worked for the City of Detroit Public Lighting Commission as a lineman and was a member of IBEW local 17. Ernst was also a life member of the ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association), a VFW life member of post 4553 Detroit, and a life member of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans America.

Personal accomplishments included hiking the Appalachian Trail over a 6 month period, he helped write the first Union contract for PLC, and obtained land for the City of Detroit Veteran’s Park.

Read the full obituary here.

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