Barbara June Whitehouse, age 85 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 10:05 a.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019 with family gathered around at Woodland Terrace at Longmeadow in Niles following an extended illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and capable care offered by the staffs of Woodland Terrace and Caring Circle Hospice at Home.
She was born on August 22, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan to Francis and Ethel (Hudson) Graessle. She was graduated from Alpena (Michigan) High School, and earned an Associates degree at Oakland Community College. She was employed for several years in the offices of the Catholic Social Services in Royal Oak, Michigan. She has lived in Niles since 1993, coming from Hazel Park, Michigan.
Barbara was a member of the Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles, and of its Serenity Sisters ladies’ fellowship, and volunteered at the Cass County Council on Ageing. She was a musician, proficient on the hammered dulcimer and the piano, and enjoyed crochet. She also enjoyed cooking and baking, especially baking birthday cakes for her family – often her famous chocolate mayonnaise cake.
On August 30, 1952 in Detroit she married Howard Whitehouse. In 1971, Howard was ordained by the Catholic Archdiocese as a Deacon, and he served several Detroit area parishes before retirement in 1993. Deacon Whitehouse and Barbara celebrated the remarkable sixty-second anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on July 22, 2015. Barbara was also preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings, Ethel “Dolly” Nault, Frank Graessle, Jr., Katherine Mandziara, Margaret Knoff, Lillian Wright, and Jim Graessle.
Surviving family includes her children, Gayle (& Bruce) Forbes of Roseville, Michigan, Dale Edward (& Lynda) Whitehouse of Chandler, Arizona, Les (& Denise) Whitehouse of Chesterfield, Michigan, Kelly (& Robert) Nightingale of Niles, and Tracy (& Michael) Padalino of Sterling Heights, Michigan; nineteen grandchildren and twenty-eight great-grandchildren; and Barbara’s sister, Mary Lou (& Steve) Laske of Elberta, Michigan, sister-in-law Frances (Mrs. Jim) Graessle of White Plains, New York; and many nieces and nephews.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Barbara Whitehouse will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at Saint Mary Catholic Church, 205 South Lincoln Avenue in Niles by the Rev. Christian Johnston assisted by Deacon Roger Gregorski, both of Saint Mary Parish. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, with the Scriptural Prayer Service at 7:30 p.m.
On Thursday, the family will receive relatives and friends from 10:00 a.m. until Noon at the Kaul Funeral Home, 27830 Gratiot Avenue in Roseville, with a time to share memories and honor her life at Noon led by the Rev. Rick Horn of Stony Creek Church in Utica. Committal Rites will be read privately on Thursday afternoon at the Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Michigan by Deacon Daniel Darga of Our Lady of La Salette Roman Catholic Church in Berkley.
Contributions in memory of Barbara may be made to Saint Mary Catholic Church, https://www.stmarysniles.org/ ; or to Caring Circle Hospice at Home, https://www.lakelandhealth.org/caring-circle/hospice-at-home-cares/hospice-at-home-cares .