Leona LaFave

Leona Mary "Lee" LaFave (Himmel)

Saturday, March 6th, 1937 - Saturday, June 8th, 2019
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82,of Gagetown, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Hills and Dales General Hospital, Cass City. She was born March 6, 1937 at home in Sebewaing to Leo and Katherine (Klimkowski) Himmel. She married William James “Jim” LaFave March 2 ,1957 in Gagetown. He died January 2, 1986.

Lee graduated in 1955 from Owendale High School and was soon after crowned the local Dairy Queen. Lee and Jim enjoyed thirty years of marriage. Together they enjoyed many activities, especially playing golf. Lee had a special talent for golf and won many tournaments throughout the years. Later in life, she pursued a career in real estate. Lee worked as an agent for Osentoski Realty in Caro where the Osentoski family and co-workers soon became an extension of her family. Through her work in real estate, she met Donald Moore. He would accompany her for her remaining years. Together they enjoyed traveling, attending auctions and wandering through seas of potential Christmas trees. They participated in Duck’s Unlimited events and hosted countless family gatherings.

Lee was especially devoted to her children and grandchildren. They were blessed to learn valuable life lessons from her and to be loved generously by her. She had a healthy sense of humor and was quick to smile. Lee’s infectious laugh completely filled a room. She was charming and charismatic to everyone she met. Lee’s strength, just one of her many admirable qualities, will remain an encouragement to those who loved her.

Lee is survived by her children: Bill (Xan) LaFave of Gagetown; Cori Denay of Bay City; grandchildren: Laurel (Jarrett) Begick of Ann Arbor; Erin (fiancé, Ryan Decker) Denay of Kalamazoo; Leigha Drohn of Cass City; siblings: Maryann Darga of Laguna Beach, CA; Barb Finkbeiner of Sumpter, SC; Ronald (Chris) Weippert of Cass City; Carl (Janice) Weippert of Aurora, NC; Jan (Jim) Kuhner of Long Island, NY; Gail Groth of Cass City; many nieces and nephews, including Cheri Rice who remained a close friend throughout the years. She was preceded in death by her sister, Marge Warmbier; brother, Stanley Himmel.

Funeral service held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Our Lady Consolata Parish, St. Agatha Catholic Church, Gagetown with Fr. Dale Orlik officiating. Interment will be in St. Agatha Cemetery, Gagetown. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Family and friends may share memories, prayers and photos with the family at
Visitation: 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2019 in Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City
10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in church
Arrangements by
Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City, Michigan
Debra L. Kranz, 989-872-2195
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Kranz Funeral Home Cass City
    6850 Main St.
    CASS CITY, MI 48726
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
    St. Agatha Catholic Church
    4618 South St.
    GAGETOWN, MI 48735
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 11:00am
    St. Agatha Catholic Church
    4618 South St.
    GAGETOWN, MI 48735
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Fr. Dale Orlik
  • Interment

    St. Agatha Cemetery
    4816 S Street
    GAGETOWN, MI 48735
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Leann Rogers

Posted at 09:41am
So sorry I couldn't attend. Lee's funeral service. She was a very kind thoughtful person and such a pretty lady. I'm thinking and praying for all the family. Cori you are so much like your mother. Love and Prayers, May Ziehm

Lynn McPhail

Posted at 05:48pm
We loved Lee like family. She was always one of our favorite people. We were heartbroken to hear of her passing. She gave so much of her time and love to family and friends. God blessed her with many talents and she did them with passion. Christmas was her favorite time of the year. Her home was absolutely beautiful and reflected her soul. She will always be remembered with fondest memories. She was one of the most beautiful souls we have ever known. Our dearest sympathy goes out to Cory, Bill and family. Love, Lynn and Charles McPhail

Stacy McIntyre

Posted at 02:40pm
My fondest memories of Lee are those shared when we played on the Duffettes women's golf league at the Bay County Golf Course. Lee, Cori, Joan and I were often a foursome-having lots of laughs (and occasional swearing). She was an excellent golfer, putting many of us to shame as she effortlessly smacked the ball down the fairway. Lee was such a vibrant and dynamic person-beautiful inside and out. My sincerest condolences to Cori and family.
Stacy McIntyre

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:59am
With heartfelt condolences, Janet, Kathy, & Steve Auvil
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Nancy Barrios

Posted at 09:13am
My deepest sympathy to Bill, his family and the many dear friends that are mourning the loss
of the beautiful, loving, and talented woman that was such an integral part of their daily lives.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this most difficult time. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.


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