Obituaries – July 23, 2009



 Mrs. Ardith J. Merren, age 76, of Cannon Township, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 18, 2009.

She will be greatly missed by her husband of 56 years, Jack; their children, Kevin (Debra) Merren, Cherry (Dan) Alexander, Kathy (Glenn) Gorton, Amie Merren and her special friend Jeff Traynor; grandchildren, Chris Merren, Chad Stephens, Aaron Alexander, Christi Alexander, Kevin Drumm, Lee Drumm, Kayla Gorton, Alex Gorton; eight great-grandchildren; sister, Darlea (Wesley) Stump; and sisters-in-law, Mrs. Barbara Voogd and Mrs. Helen Lane.

Ardie was an avid square dancer, and enjoyed gardening and country living. She treasured her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends. She took pleasure in planning, hosting and socializing at family gatherings, parties and events.

The service for Ardie was Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 310 E. Division St., Rockford, with Pastor Mark Love officiating. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Memorial Fund at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.



Mr. Maynard Engebretsen, age 86, of Rockford, devoted father and grandfather, parted from this life on Thursday, July 16, 2009, to be reunited with his beloved wife of 63 years, June, who preceded him in death.

Born February 13, 1923, on the family farm in Winfield Township, Mich., he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, First Air Transport Squadron during World War II, serving in Okinawa.

Maynard was the son of Benjamin Engebretsen and Alta Mae Knapp Engebretsen, and was one of three children. He is survived by his children, Douglas (Mary Beth) Engebretsen of Kalamazoo, Thomas (Bonnie) Engebretsen of Rockford, and Kimberly Engebretsen of Baldwin; four grandchildren, Ursula, Michael, Cecilia, and Peter. He was preceded in death by sister, Myla Beth; brother, Kenneth; his son, Steven; and his grandson, Joseph Gabriel.

Maynard received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Michigan State University. He worked as an engineer for many years and was head of safety and security at Lear Siegler Inc. when that company supported instruments for the lunar module and stealth technology.

Maynard was a lifelong Republican and told a favorite story of driving then-congressman Gerald Ford in an old beat-up Ford because that vehicle was more secure. He is remembered as a brilliant problem-solver, hard worker, Porsche fanatic, skilled carpenter, and good provider. Self-deprecating, fiercely independent, highly literate, financially astute and always generous, he endured countless hardships and suffering in his life without complaint, always embracing life with joy and optimism. He lived for his family, taking his greatest joy in their accomplishments. His grandchildren were the light of his life. His most heroic act, so typical of his selfless nature, was in caring for his wife June at their home until her death of Alzheimer’s two years ago.

The mass of Christian burial for Mr. Engebretsen was offered on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Rockford. Military honors were under the auspices of the U.S. Army with interment at Amble Cemetery in Amble, Mich. The Rosary was prayed on Tuesday evening at 8:00 p.m. in the funeral home.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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