John P. Keusch, of Chelsea, died June 9 at the age of 103. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. He was predeceased in 2012 by his wife, Madeleine, to whom he was married for 72 years.
The Hon. Robert B. Webster, of Royal Oak, died May 15 at the age of 81. In addition to distinguished service as a lawyer and judge, Mr. Webster served as a major in the Michigan Air
After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1957 he clerked for Judge Ralph M. Freeman, U.S.
District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. In private practice, he specialized in civil litigation, family law and
alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, and brought his practical expertise to bear in his work as chair of the State Bar Committee on Civil
Procedure, and as the chairperson of the Committee to Revise and
Consolidate the Michigan Court Rules. He was a co-author of Michigan Court Rules Practice, Martin, Dean and Webster, West Publishing Company.
He was appointed an Oakland County circuit judge be Governor Milliken in 1973 and served until 1982, including service as chief judge. He was elected President of the State Bar in 1989. From his contributions
to the seminal work of the Commission on the Courts in the 21st
Century to his long years of leadership on the Judicial Qualifications
Committee, he contributed immeasurably and tirelessly to his
profession and to the improvement of the administration of justice in
Michigan. In 1993, the State Bar awarded him the Roberts P. Hudson
Award for outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State
Bar of Michigan, the legal profession, and public. The Hudson Award is
considered the highest award conferred by the State Bar.
Judge Webster is survived by his children Anne E. Webster Jacobs
and husband, Chris Jacobs; Allison D. Webster Giddings and husband,
Gavin Giddings; Peter H. Webster and wife Penny; James B. Webster; by their mother, Marilyn Hey Webster; and by his
grandchildren: Colin Jacobs, Samuel Giddings, Ethan Webster, Kyle
Jacobs, Glennie Webster, Alexander Jacobs and Sydney Giddings.
Visitation will be held at Sullivan Funeral Home in Royal Oak, Michigan,
on Tuesday, May 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. A Memorial
Service will be held Friday, May 31, at Birmingham Community House, 380 S. Bates, Birmingham. Memorials to Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and
Macomb Counties or the Crystal Lake and Watershed Association are suggested.
Thomas A. Warda, of Flint, died March 16th at the age of 47. He was a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law, and is survived by his parents, William Sr. and Hannah, and brothers, Michael,
David, Stephen, Robert, Jeffrey, Scott, and
William Jr. MLive published this appreciation of his life.
Robert J. Danhof, of Holland, died March 1 at the age of 87. He was a 1950 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. In 1960 he was named U.S. Attorney for the Western District, and at age 36 served as a delegate to the 1961-62 state Constitutional Convention, chairing the committee that drafted the judicial article, Article VI, of the 1963 Michigan Constitution. In 1962, Mr. Danhof joined Governor George Romney’s staff as legal counsel and was appointed to the new Court of Appeals in 1969 by the Governor. Judge Danhof was elected chief judge of the Court of Appeals in 1976 and served in that role until his retirement in 1992.
Chief Justice Robert P. Young called Judge Danhof a fine judge and a revered Michigan statesman, who in many ways was the architect of Michigan's judicial branch as it exists today. Court of Appeals chief judge William B. Murphy said Judge Danhof was a good and decent man, and a great leader who contributed enormously to the success of the Court of Appeals.
Judge Danhof is survived by his wife of 65 years, Peggy; their four children, William, Kenneth, Carol, and Linda; and three grandchildren, Angela Meyers, Brian Danhof, and Michael Danhof of Muskegon. Visitation is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th Street, Holland. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Hope Church, 77 W. 11th Street, Holland.
James P. Colbert, of Rochester, died February 12, at the age of 63. Mr. Colbert was a 1976 graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and a partner at Colbert, Shepard & Sadowski in Rochester. Visitation is from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, February 19 at Potere-Modetz Funeral Home, 339 Walnut Boulevard in Rochester. The service will be held at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, February 20 at the same location. Memorials to the American Heart/American Stroke Association are welcome.
William A. Porter, of Gaylord, died Feb. 7, at the age of 72. A 1968 graduate of Wayne State Law School, he had been elected Otsego County prosecutor and judge of the 87th district court before becoming judge of the 46th circuit court at the age of 32. Judge Porter retired from the bench in 1996. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughter, Jillian; son, William; and grandson, Andrew William.
Michael A. Novak, of Troy, died January 27, at the age of 57. A prominent entertainment lawyer, Mr. Novak was a 1980 graduate of Wayne State Law School. He is survived by his wife, Loretta Ames, of Plunkett Cooney. Visitation is 2-9 p.m. Thursday at the Verhyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park, and 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Paul’s on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m.
Raymond H. Dresser, Jr., of Sturgis, died January 25, at the age of 81. Mr. Dresser was a 1956 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Like his father, a past President of the State Bar, and his son John, with whom he practiced, Mr. Dresser was active in the State Bar of Michigan, serving as Treasurer as well as on the Board of Commissioners and Representative Assembly, and as chair of the Probate and Trust Law Section. In 1997, he was the recipient of the State Bar of Michigan's highest honor, the Roberts P. Hudson award. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Gretchen, son John, daughters Amy Dresser and Marcia Inman, six grandchildren, and a sister, Marilyn Callahan. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 P.M.Thursday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes–Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Rd., Sturgis, MI 49091. The funeral will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis.
Douglas L. Sweet, of East Lansing, died January 8, at the age of 84. Mr. Sweet was a 1957 graduate of the Detroit College of Law, and served as the director of research and development for the State Bar of Michigan for 26 years. He is survived by his wife Beverly; children David, Jonathan, Elizabeth, and Jason; and thirteen grandchildren. He was predeceased by their son Matthew. There will be a viewing from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on January 17 at Estes Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw, Lansing. Funeral services are on January 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Emmanuel First Lutheran Church, 101 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing, preceded by a viewing from 10:00 to 11:00.
Edmund M. Brady Jr., a past president of the State Bar of Michigan, died Friday at the age of 71. He was a graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, and was honored as its Alumnus of the Year in 2003. In addition to his presidency in 1997-98, Mr. Brady served in a number of other State Bar capacities, and was also president of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association (1990-1991), director of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (1980-1981), president of the Association of Defense Trial Counsel (1980-1981), a fellow in the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is survived by his wife Marie Pierre, children Edmund III (Holly), Meghan Hishmeh (Robert), Timothy (Michelle). He was predeceased by daughter Kathleen. He is also survived by grandchildren Blake, Brady, Alex, Hayden, Henry and Frances.
Visitation will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. (with visitation at 10 a.m.) Friday, Nov. 16, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 467 Fairford, Grosse Pointe Woods. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to: University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Office of Alumni Relations and Development 651 E. Jefferson Ave. Detroit, MI 48226 or St. John Health Foundation (Neurology Dept.) P.O. Box 673271 Detroit, MI 48267-3271.