Chevrolet Engineering Retirees Club
2011 Death Notices cont.
Louis S Lowran, December 28,1937 - May 11, 2011
Loving husband, father, grandfather, and faithful US Marine.
At the time of his death Lou was married to Alice for 45 years. He is also
survived by his son Brad (Kathy Slusser) and daughter Janet (Jim Giszczak).
He was "Poppi" to his beloved grand children Libby, Sydney, Anna, Jack and
Casey Anne. Lou had one older brother, John, Jr. who was ten years his
senior. Lou always said he had two dads. John passed away in 1998 and Lou
has been "grandpa" to his niece and nephews and their children since.
He went to public schools in Detroit and "…walked miles and miles to school in
wind, sleet, snow and hail – uphill." While growing up he earned money tuning
cars, selling women's shoes and working at Chick's Deli at State Fair and John
R. He played football for Cass Tech and graduated in 1955. He was a really
good football player; just ask classmates Don Courtley, Ted Lanfranki and Al
Lou grew up hunting, fishing and camping with his dad and brother. He loved
playing sports, especially football, baseball and golf. In fact, he was so good,
that he always had advice for Sparky Anderson, Wayne Fontes and Scotty
After graduating from Cass Tech, Lou won a drafting competition sponsored by
Chevrolet Engineering and began his career there as a Drafting Apprentice in
Following in his brother John's and cousin Freddy's footsteps, Lou took a
military leave from General Motors and joined the Marine Corps in 1957. He
attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego and trained to be an Aircraft Radio
Technician. He served his tour at MCAS, El Toro, and was honorably
discharged in 1960. He returned home to Michigan and resumed his career at
The years between 1960 and 1965 were Lou's "bachelor years." He worked at
Chevrolet Engineering as a Body Designer, was an avid skier, played softball,
hockey, drank beer and chased skirts. He lived in Royal Oak in a house on
Northwood Blvd. with his buddies Steve, Rex, Ed and Jim. Because these were
hot young men, the fathers in the neighborhood would not permit their
daughters to walk in front of the house. They had to cross the street and would
cross back when they were past the house. It was during this time that the
mantra "you lie to and I'll swear to it" was born.
While away on a ski club weekend in January of 1965, Lou met Alice. He was
introduced to her as "Big John" because someone thought he looked like John
Wayne. She didn't learn his real name until their first date. Alice said "He had
shoulders that wouldn't quit." He said he saw her for the first time at a party two
weeks before that – and her slip was showing. They were married in October of
Lou and Alice bought their first home in Royal Oak in March of 1967. Their son,
Bradley, was born in August of 1967 and their daughter, Janet, followed in May
of 1969. They moved to Sterling Heights in 1973.
In 1975, Lou's health challenges began. Fibrous tumors were growing in his
feet. One surgery lead to another, followed by yet more surgeries. The physical
and emotional strain he endured was exceptional. Tragically, he would have his
hopes for an end to his torment dashed, time and again. The tumors kept
coming back; each procedure failed to give him relief. From his mid-thirties to
his death, Lou endured over 30 surgeries and suffered significant pain as a
result of the damage inflicted by the tumors, nerve damage and scar tissue. All
of this was complicated by a severe neuropathy.
In 1983, after 22 years of service and at the age of 46, Lou received a medical
retirement from General Motors. Despite the pain he pursued his interests and
hobbies including sailing, power boating, archery, and golfing at Burning Tree
Golf and Country Club where he and Alice were members for 16 years.
As the saying goes, "When one door closes, another one opens." While he was
retired, the Lord gave Lou the opportunity to serve as caretaker for both his
parents and Alice's for thirteen years. He was able to take them to doctor
appointments, sooth them when they needed solace and make them laugh
when they were down. He continued to help whomever he could whenever they
needed help. Reading this, his family realizes that there aren't words to
describe his value to all of us.
Lou was diagnosed in December, 2010 as having Amyotrophic Lateral
Sclerosis – ALS aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. This disease paralyzed him and
made him a painful prisoner in his own body. Eventually, he was unable to
move, eat or speak yet his mind remained sharp and alert. We know he is in
Heaven, probably has already made tee times and spoke with St. Peter about
improving the method for registering newcomers. Rest in peace, Poppi.
Visitation: Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 4-8 PM, and Sunday, May 15, from 2-8
PM at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road, Troy, MI
48084 (between Maple and Big Beaver Roads), with an evening Rosary
Sunday at 7 PM
Funeral Mass: Monday, May 16, 2011 – 11 AM at Sacred Heart Church, 3400
S. Adams Road, Auburn Hills, Michigan with Rev. Msgr. Michael C. LeFevre
officiating. Visitation at church begins Monday at 10:30 AM
The family suggests memorial donations to:
Capuchins (1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207)
Auburn Hills Firefighters Helping Hand Fund (1899 N . Squirrel Rd., Auburn
Hills, MI 48326)
USO (PO Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677)
Eugene "Gene" Gramzay, age 84, went to be with Our
Lord on December 24, 2011. Loving husband of Joene
(nee Connelly). Loving father of Steven (Marsi) Gramzay,
Janet (Mike) Bires, Gerald (Toni) Gramzay, Kathleen
Gramzay, Rob Gramzay, Lori (Steve) Vuljaj. Cherished
grandfather of seven. Uncle to many nieces and
nephews. Dear brother of Joan Benson. Gene was born
in Detroit, Mich on December 3, 1927 to Henry and Stella
Gramzay. He graduated from St. Catherine's High
School in 1946 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps,
serving for three years. He married Joene Connelly in
1950 and they enjoyed a loving and fruitful marriage that
lasted for almost 62 years and produced six children.
Gene graduated from the University of Detroit in 1963.
He worked at Chevrolet Engineering for 49 years and
was Director of Administrative Services when he retired in
1990. He was active in the Knights of Columbus, the
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and was a church usher
for 40 years. He enjoyed golfing, playing pool, listening
to music and dancing. He also had a great sense of
humor and loved a good joke. Visitation at S.K. Schultz
Funeral Home, 43300 Garfield (N. of 19 Mile) Clinton
Township on Wednesday, 2-9 p.m. with an evening
Rosary service. Additional visitation Thursday, 9 a.m.
until funeral Mass 9:30 a.m at St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic
Church, 41300 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township
with Fr. Ron Essman officiating. Direct memorial
donations to Capuchin soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott St,
Detroit, MI 48207. Share memories at