Dancer, Flower laid to rest

By Genine Hopkins

Harrison is mourning the loss of two prominent citizens, Howard D. Flower and Willard Dancer.  The funeral for Flower took place on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at Stocking Funeral Home and for Dancer on Friday, July 19, 2013, at the First Congregational Church in Harrison.

Willard Duane Dancer, who founded Dancer & Sons Well Drilling in 1952, was born on August 2, 1918, in Wheeler, Michigan.  After marrying Ireta Woods on January 2, 1942, in Gladwin, Willard worked the oil fields for a decade.   Forming the family business allowed him to work side by side with his sons, something that he treasured.  He passed away at the Horizon Senior Living center in Gladwin this past Monday.

Mr. Dancer was also a founding member of the Harrison Sportsman’s Club and served on the Harrison City Council, Harrison Fire Department, and Michigan Water Well Drilling Association.  An outdoor enthusiast, he held a hunting license for almost 80 years, never failing to make deer season.  He was also an active member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Harrison, Lodge 2235, and the John J. Carton Masonic Lodge #436 of Harrison as a 32nd degree Master Mason.  During his lifetime he developed Dancer’s Subdivision, building over 25 homes.

Willard is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Ireta, his two children Dale of Clare and Lee Dancer of Harrison, grandchildren Terry Dancer, Jennifer Magnus, Steven Dancer, Teresa Humphres, Tony Dancer and Brian Dancer.  Willard and Ireta also have seven great-grandchildren: David, Danielle, Matthew, Jordan, Kathryn, Orion, Darren and one great-great grandchild, Anabelle, on the way.

Howard Flower was born on July 31, 1936, in St. Johns, Michigan.  He married his wife, Leilani Urban, on December 5, 1959, and the couple made Harrison their home.  Howard’s service to the community was commendable; he served as Superintendent of the Department of Public Works in Harrison, retiring from the city, and also as the Undersheriff for the Clare County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Ray Lippold.  Additional posts include a member of the Clare County Fair Board and was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post #404 in Harrison.  Like so many of us in Clare County, Howard was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing with a passion.

Howard is survived by his wife Leilani, his daughters Jennifer Holte, Jaclynn Heinz, Dyan Wood, and his grandchildren Jordyn, Hunter, Makenzie, Haleigh Holte, Sierra, Karesse, Ariah Heinz and Deaglan Wood.  He will be buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Harrison.

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