They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion, and they will rejoice in the goodness of the Lord,
for the grain, the new wine, the oil, and the young of the flocks and herds. Their lives will thrive like a well-watered garden. They will not grow weak anymore. Jeremiah 31:12
Friends and family of Dorothy Joy Gerencser, 88, do rejoice that she is in God’s heavenly garden and is no longer subject to the frailties of this world. Born January 24, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois, to Chester and Camille (Meyer) Netwig she died in the early hours of Christmas Day, 2020, in South Haven, Michigan.
Known as Mickey to all, she moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1948 with her mother and stepfather Ted Streit, bringing with her a love of Chicago and especially of the Cubs, of whom she was a life-long fan. After graduating from Benton Harbor High School in 1950, she married Bill Gerencser in 1951 and the couple went on to have five children JoAnn, Susan, Elaine, John, and Steven. Initially Mickey and Bill farmed near Spinks Corners, MI, later moving to Benton Harbor and then Fairplain. Mickey’s name became well known locally when she and Bill first purchased the Anchor Inn and then, along with Anna and Jeno Bilicz, opened Mickey’s Place restaurant followed by Mickey’s Pub in St Joseph. She later established a women’s boutique in Saugatuck called Mickey’s Summer Place. Around that time, she renovated an old house in South Haven for herself and her pets and developed an amazing garden that was included on the South Haven Garden Club tour. Mickey became an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church and was involved with both the SH Scott Club and SH Garden Club.
Mickey was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather, brother Chester and sister Camille, and two daughters Susan and Elaine. She is survived by three children and their spouses: JoAnn (Ron) Klug of South Haven, John (Linda) Gerencser of Lititz, Pennsylvania, and Steven (Elaine Roth) Gerencser of Mishawaka, Indiana. She is also survived by her precious grandchildren: Samuel Fields, Michal (Dave) Frazee, Suzannah (Alexander) Deneau, Margrette (Jay) McWilliams, Lillie (Vinod) Ponnusamy, John (Tristan) Klug, Alexandra (Sergio) Ramos-Klug, Steven J. Gerencser, Susan Gerencser, and Nicholas Gerencser. Mickey’s adored great grandchildren are Koba Jaiser, Claire and Liam McWilliams, William Frazee, Carolyn, Vincent, and Carson Deneau, Jordi and Petra Ponnusamy, Wilder and Flora Klug, and Santiago Ramos-Klug. She is also survived by numerous dear nieces and nephews, and beloved cousins Anna and Jeno Bilicz and Robert Kish, Sr.
Mickey’s family wishes to thank South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Home and its staff for their indefatigable kindness and loving care extended to her for the last four and a half years. We are grateful for the compassionate consideration offered by Bronson South Haven Hospital during Mickey’s last hours. We thank Filbrandt Family Funeral Home for their assistance to the family. Cremation has taken place per Mickey’s wish.
A memorial service will be held January 8th at 10 AM at St. Paul Lutheran Church in South Haven, Pastor Stephen Daley officiating. The service will be live streamed and archived for virtual viewing at https://www.stpaulsouthhaven.com/ and the public is encouraged to make use of this alternative in consideration of the current health crisis. Condolences and memories may also be left in Mickey’s posting at https://www.filbrandtffh.com/.
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends sending memorials to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Benton Harbor where Mickey was a member for many years, St. Paul Lutheran Church, South Haven, or to Michigan Lutheran High School, St. Joseph.
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