Joan Merchant, 88, of Cass City, died Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in Northwood Meadows Medical Care Unit, Cass City. She was born October 28, 1929 in Cassopolis the youngest of two children born to Joseph D. and Lucille Evelyn (Harmon) Sommers. She married Stuart William Merchant June 26, 1949 in the former Trinity United Methodist Church in Cass City. He died June 12, 2011.
Joan graduated from Cass City High School in 1947. She attended NE Business School and then worked for the Nestles Plant for a short time. She worked for General Cable for five years. Joan, along with her husband Stu, owned and operated Sommers Bakery in Cass City for thirty years taking over from her parents who had also owned the bakery for 30 years. Early morning hours often found Joan “making the donuts” for locals to enjoy. Many village and world issues were talked about in their café (which was added in 1975) over a cup of coffee, a sandwich and a donut. Joan was a member of the former Trinity United Methodist Church now Cass City United Methodist Church singing in their choir for over 50 years. She was the church organist for 45 years. Joan also sang in the Tom Thumb Singers for many years.
Joan participated with the TACA Theatre group for four years acting in: Sound of Music, Arsenic and Old Lace, Cinderella, and On Golden Pond. She also performed in 3 productions of the Windy Hill Players of Cass City United Methodist Church. Joan was a life member and past Worthy Matron of the O.E.S. Joan traveled to West Berlin to visit Les, to Israel and Egypt in 1986 and many trips to Florida. Joan was an avid reader. She loved books, even continuing this love through books on tape in later years. Joan was crafty in many ways. She enjoyed crocheting and made all the family afghans. Crewel was her needlework of choice and made many beautiful wall hangings. Joan was also a card warrior, remembering many birthdays, anniversaries, and holiday events with a card. Most of all, Joan was proud of her children and grandchildren. Her whole family meant the world to her and she loved every one.
Joan is survived by her children: Dennis “Joe” Merchant of Cass City, Leslie (Marcia) Merchant of Cass City, Evelyn (Glen “Mic”) Miracle of Merritt Island, FL, Lola (Bruce Miller) Flores of Cass City; daughter-in-law, Barb Merchant of Cass City; grandchildren: Christopher (Daniell) Osentoski, Whitney Osentoski, Brice (Melissa Biskner) Osentoski, Kristy (Scott) Merchant Hale, Lori (Ruben) Hernandez, Stephen (Alicia) Miracle, Rachel (Curtis) Duff and Sarah (Cristian) Aguirre; great grandchildren: Seth, Cole, Kaitlyn, Austin, Caleb, Connor, Chris, Jamison, Donavan, Landynn, Allison, Annabelle, Olivia; sister-in-law, Janet Sommers; nieces: Johna and Alexis; nephew, Joe. Joan is preceded in death by her brother, John Sommers.
Funeral service held 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 21, 2018 in Cass City United Methodist Church with Rev. Jackie Roe officiating. Interment will be in Elkland Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Muscular Dystrophy Association or Cass City United Methodist Church. Pallbearers for Mrs. Merchant: Christopher Osentoski, Whitney Osentoski, Brice Osentoski, Kristy Merchant Hale, Rachel Duff, Austin Hale, Kaitlyn James, Cole Osentoski, Jamison Kruse. Family and friends may share memories, prayers and stories with the family at www.kranzfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City
2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2018 at Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City
10 to 11 a.m. Monday, May 21, 2018 at Cass City United Methodist Church
Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City, Michigan
Debra L. Kranz, 989-872-2195