Chevrolet Engineering Retirees Club
2021 Death Notices
Vito (Bill) Messina, age 82 of Sterling Heights, passed peacefully in his sleep on
Sunday, January 17, 2021. He was born January 16, 1939 in Detroit, son of the late
Andrea and Maria Messina.
Beloved husband of Josie (nee Gerardi) and the late Josephine (nee Maiorana). Loving
father of Andrew Messina and Marisa (John) Baginski. Dearest grandfather of Debbie
(David) DeCoster and Alyssa Baginski, and great grandfather of Benjamin and Reagan.
Brother of Tony (Joyce) Messina; preceded in death by his siblings, Jack (Lori)
Messina. Brother-in-law of Marian Taylor and Daniela (Joe) Luna. Son-in-law of Pina
(late Nino) Gerardi. Beloved uncle to many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great
Vito graduated from Denby High School and in 1962, married the late Josephine
Maiorana, and moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia to serve in the United States Army.
After serving in the Army, Vito returned to Michigan and started working for General
Motors (GM) in 1965, where he worked as an engineer and enjoyed solving problems.
He spent much of his free time working at home in his garage as a mechanic, fixing cars
for many family members and friends.
In 1997, Josephine passed away from her battle with cancer. He found love again and
married Josie Gerardi in 2000. In 2002, he retired from GM after 37 years of dedicated
He enjoyed cars, photography, ice cream, the Detroit Tigers, bowling, golfing, doing
word searches, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, and being outdoors. His eyes
lit up at the sight of his great-grandchildren, and he adored their interest in the stories of
his life. He also loved spending time at the cottage he built in Lake George, where he
could be found grooming his property on his John Deere tractor or tinkering with his
precious 1986 Monte Carlo SS.
The longevity of Vito’s life is credited to his loving wife, Josie, who tirelessly cared for
him throughout their marriage and especially throughout his battle with kidney disease.
Josie was his cheerleader and his constant caregiver, many times at the expense of her
Private family visitation. Family and friends are invited to attend the funeral mass on
Friday, January 22 at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, 4571 John R., Troy,
Michigan. He will lie in state at 9:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral mass at 10 a.m.
Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.
Donations are preferred in lieu of flowers, and can be made to the American Diabetes
Association, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan or the Old Newsboy Goodfellows
Fund (Detroit). Share memories with the family at their "On-Line Guestbook" at
George Wayne Oliver; age 78 of Rochester Hills, formerly of Mesick and raised in Hazel
Park. Passed on March 16, 2021. Beloved husband of Margaret Metcalf Oliver and the
late Barbara S. Oliver; brother of Gail (Joel) Ozment, the late Sue Kuck, and the late
Shirley Pitlock; loving father of Matthew Oliver, Charlotte Oliver, Guy Oliver, Denise (Dale)
LePage, Daniel Metcalf, and the late Lehia Byrne; proud papa of Elizabeth (Ryan) Byrne-
Porterfield, Hope Lawrence, Ashley Lawrence, Daniel (Lindsay) Oliver, Tim MacLean,
Garrett (Shayna) Metcalf, Drew Metcalf and the late Samantha Byrne; great-grandpa of
Damion Byrne, Dolan Byrne, Landon Metcalf and Liam Metcalf; brother-in-law of Gary
Durham and Mark (Debbie) Durham; also survived by many nieces and nephews.
George was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He was an engineer at the GM Tech
Center and retired after 35 years. George was a terrific storyteller, and no challenge was
too big, even single handily building his own log home. He loved to bowl and the outdoors.
A public visitation will be held on Sunday, March 21, 2021 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at
Modetz Funeral Home, 100 E. Silverbell Rd., Orion. A private funeral and burial will take
place. Interment White Chapel Cemetery, Troy. Suggested memorials may be made to
Alzheimer’s Association, The Wounded Warrior Project, or charity of donor’s choice.
Funeral Service & Burial will be private. The service will be livestreamed on Monday, March
22, 2021 - 11 a.m.
Kenneth Eugene (Gene)Hewitt was born on February 26, 1927 in the town of Richmond,
Indiana to Donald and Mary Hewitt. He was the first of five children. He has always been
proud to be a Hoosier.
He served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific. He attained
the rank of sergeant. He was a member of the American Legion.
Ken (as he was known to friends and coworkers) worked for General Motors at the Tech
Center for 28 years. He worked his way up the ladder to 8th level Systems Analyst. He
retired at age 55.
Gene (as he was known to family) had his bride Virginia by his side for 73 years.
Amazing. They had two children Melodie (Lyle) Conley and Merrie Anne (Wayne)
Kassab. He was a doting grandpa to Tracy, Michele, Nicole and Stefanie. He was also a
great-grandfather to Zoey, Zane, Emilia and Luke Kenneth.
Gene loved playing golf, but never quite forgave Virginia for getting that hole-in-one.
Together they played more than 100 golf courses. He also enjoyed playing cards and was
still playing euchre until six weeks ago. He loved reading mysteries, music (Johnny Cash
was his favorite along with Leonard Cohen). He instilled the love of musicals in his
daughters who in turn passed it down to his grandkids. He was a pool shark and liked to
Gene attributed his longevity to a glass of Merlot wine and a piece of dark chocolate each