Alfons A. Verwilst, 90, of Bertrand Township

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Born: Dec. 29, 1922

Died: Sept. 17, 2013

Alfons A. Verwilst, age 90 years of Bertrand Township, Michigan died at 2:25 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at West Woods of Niles following a brief illness.



He was born on December 29, 1922 in South Bend, Indiana to Alfons and Emerance (duPont) Verwilst, Sr. and was graduated from Washington High School in South Bend. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the United States Army Air Corps as a radioman/gunner, stationed in England. He was the co-founder and past president of Attco Machine Products, Inc. in South Bend.

Alfons was a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles.

On June 7, 1947 he married the former Catherine DeKe who preceded him in death on November 16, 1962.

Later, on June 18, 1966 at Saint Anthony’s Parish in South Bend he married the former Joan (Weaver) Howells with whom he celebrated last June the forty-seventh anniversary of their marriage.

Alfons and Joan built a new home in rural Bertrand Township, Michigan where they raised their blended family of eight children.

He is survived by his wife, Joan and children, Carol (Virgil) Coker of Antioch, Illinois, Michael (Jody) Verwilst of Rochester Hills, Michigan, Jane (Daniel) Heman of West Lafayette, Indiana, Richard (Janice) Verwilst of Niles, David (Terri) Howells of South Bend, and Nancy (Charles) Caldwell of Canton, Georgia; grandchildren Todd (Christina) Eckstein, Brett (Stephanie) Eckstein, Lee (Katie) Eckstein, Alex Verwilst, Jason Heman, Christy (Dylan) Reynolds, Ann (Daniel) Driscoll, Laura Verwilst, Andrew Verwilst, Hannah Howells, Tommy Howells, Michelle Queen, and Kevin (Jasmin) Queen; and four great-granddaughters.

In addition to Catherine, he was also preceded in death by his parents, by two children, Deborah Howells in 1981 and James Howells in 1972; and by a brother, Rene and sisters, Rachel and Dorothy.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Alfons A. Verwilst will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 20, 2013 at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles by the Rev. Bradley Metz, C.S.C., rector of Fisher Hall at the University of Notre Dame. Committal Rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Niles, and will conclude with Full Military Honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan

The family will receive relatives and friends from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with an Evening Prayer Service at 7:30 p.m. Contributions in memory of Alfons may be made to Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI 49085; or to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001; or to the donor’s choice.