RACHEL DOROTHY MURRAY CELMER
Rachel Dorothy Murray Celmer, 100, of Prescott Valley, Ariz. died Jan. 1, 2018. She was born July 22, 1917, the daughter of Willard Edmund and Ocie Davis Murray on her Grandmother Davis’ farm in LaGrange County, Ind. She graduated from Scott High School on April 20, 1934. On July 14, 1934, she and Henry S. Celmer were married in LaPorte, Ind.
In 1959 she and her husband moved to California when Henry accepted a position with Rocketdyne in Canoga Park. Rachel worked six years with Union Bank. In 1970 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with honors from California State University, Northridge, Calif.
In 1972 they moved to Iowa where Henry was employed with Farm Services in Coralville, Iowa and Rachel taught school. In 1977, they both retired and moved to Sun City, Calif. In 1988 they returned to Michigan. They were members of Immaculate Conception Church in Three Rivers. On July 22, 2003, they celebrated their 69th Wedding Anniversary. Henry passed away suddenly on Aug. 12, 2003.
Rachel has written a book on Scott High School and the one-room schools in Van Buren Township in LaGrange County. She was the author of an article about Chief Shipshewana in the booklet for the Shipshewana Centennial in 1989. Both of Rachel’s maternal great-grandparents, Abraham Summey and Hezekiah Davis were founders of the town and named the town in honor of Chief Shipshewana. Also Rachel and Henry wrote a book, The 40th Anniversary of St. Joseph Catholic Church in White Pigeon.
Rachel was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved to read, write books and letters, travel and spend time with her family and friends.
She is survived by her son, Stan Celmer and wife Paula; three grandchildren, Kristin (Michael) Meyers, Stephen Celmer and Monica (Greg) Purkey. The four great-grandchildren are Kendall and Jacob Meyers and Kristina and Charlotte Purkey. Also a half-sister, Roberta Markley and step-brothers, Brice Weddle and two step-grandsons, John and Robert Piper and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; her parents; two sisters, Vera B. Knowles and infant Pauline Ellen Murray; and three brothers, Rosco D. Murray, William E. Murray and Willard Murray, Jr.
Viewing will be at Eickhoff Halverson Funeral Home in Three Rivers on Thursday, Jan. 11 from 5-7 p.m. and Memorial Mass will be at Immaculate Conception Church Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers. Memorials may be directed to Immaculate Conception for Mass Intentions.