Eris D. Webb
MANISTIQUE – Eris Daphne Webb (Winandy), 90, of Manistique, Mich., passed away on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., after a sudden illness. Eris wrote the following in 2012.
Eris was born July 9, 1923, in Thompson, Mich., in the old hotel. Her parents were Kitibel Squires and Peter Winandy, her sister, two years younger is Winnie (Winandy) Blake. She lived in Thompson until she was five then they moved to Manistique and opened a grocery store in the Brazda building where Mr. Props had a hardware store in the same building.
Her dad extended a little too much credit in the depression so at the age of seven it was off to Chicago where he had a job with a wholesale grocery firm. At the age of nine, her parents separated, with dad returning to Manistique and mom and girls staying in Chicago. Eris and Winnie attended LeMoyne School and the Immaculata High School.
Eris’s first job was a cigarette girl at the Congress Hotel which the Army took over in the 1940s. Most of the people that worked there returned at the end of the war.
During the 1940s Eris was in show business, singing and dancing in clubs and theaters throughout Chicago and the Midwest. During the early 1950s she worked in clubs as a cigarette girl, check room girl, and camera girl. In the mid 50s she went back to school, earned a teaching certificate and began the career she had always dreamed of – teaching!
She became the nursery school teacher at St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum, a very well known orphanage in Chicago where she worked for 10 years teaching children of all races. In 1966, she opened her own nursery school, LePetit Village at Diversey and Narragansett, where she was owner, director. Those were the happiest, most satisfying, most rewarding years of her life. She loved teaching!
A heart attack caused her to retire early and she returned to her beloved U.P. as she always knew she would, in October 1977, bought the old Thorell house and began to love being a Yooper once again.
Eris became an active resident of our little town. She served for 25 years on the City Zoning Board of Appeals, 25 years as secretary, treasurer and president of the Manistique Senior Center Board, 25 years as a Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility volunteer and organist for weekly mass. She was a founding member of the Manistique Community Players, where she played a number of parts – dumb blonde in Laugh-In, Abby in Arsenic and Old Lace, Mike Flynn’s Jewish mother in Come Blow Your Horn, the foreign juror in Twelve Angry Men and her favorite – Mme Arcati in Blithe Spirit.
Eris served her beloved church, St. Francis de Sales as a commentator/ lector/Eucharistic minister. She trained and scheduled liturgical ministers for 20 years. She taught the kindergarten class during 11 a.m. mass for 10 years and taught first grade CCD class for five years. Eris was a founding member of the Resurrection Choir and served on the Liturgy Committee and was coordinator of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word Program and scheduling Passion Readers for Holy Week. Eris was also a proud member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
She is survived by her sister, Winnie; and two nephews, Brian Blake of Chicago, Ill., and Jeff (Barbara) Blake of California; also with Chris, Stephanie and Jack Blake, Heather and Drew Senner, Jim, Angela and Jimmy Blake and Jeffrey J-V Blake.
Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Messier- Broullire Funeral Home, 211 Arbutus Ave., Manistique. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church with burial to follow at Thompson Township Cemetery. All are welcome to attend a luncheon in the church hall after burial service.