Clarence Stortz

BIG BAY, MI – Clarence B. Stortz, 89, of Big Bay, passed away on Sunday, August 7th, 2022, at his home surrounded by his loving family and under the care of Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice.

Clarence was born on July 23rd, 1933, in Marlette, Michigan, a son of the late Henry and Queena (Meidlein) Stortz. He graduated from North Branch schools and then attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where he received an undergraduate degree in mathematics. Returning to North Branch, Clarence taught in his old high school.

On June 30th, 1956, Clarence married the former Yvonne Wilcox, in Imlay City, Michigan. Shortly after that, the couple moved to Coral Gables, Florida, where Clarence enrolled in the University of Miami, where he received a Master’s Degree in mathematics. Clarence and Yvonne eventually moved to Ann Arbor, where he continued his education at the University of Michigan, receiving a doctorate in mathematics.

He taught in the mathematics department at Northern Michigan University from 1963 until his retirement in 1997. Early in his tenure at NMU, Clarence taught at the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in a bunker during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1987 through 1988, he taught in Malaysia, providing his family the opportunity for extensive world travel.

After retirement from NMU, Clarence and his wife, Yvonne, owned and maintained vacation rental homes on Lake Independence for 20 years where they met people from all over the world. Another fond activity in retirement was genealogy, where he uncovered family history back to the 1400’s. He also enjoyed sitting in his chair overlooking the lake, bird watching and playing Sudoku.

A farm boy at heart, Clarence enjoyed time spent on his tractor mowing his lawn, enjoying sweet corn and tinkering in the garage. He was a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Association, Marquette Rotary Club and Community Presbyterian Church of Big Bay.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Yvonne of Big Bay; four children, Kevin (Julee) Stortz of Rochester, NY, Lisa (Edward) Churnetski of Knoxville, TN, Julie (Edward) Wnuk of Telford, TN, and Carey (Hope) Stortz of Prior Lake, MN; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Velma Kastner of Clearwater, FL, also several nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death besides his parents was a son, David Stortz in 2000; also a sister, Viletta (Wayne) Size and brother-in-law, Frank Kastner.

The Stortz family will greet relatives and friends on Friday, August 12th, beginning at 1 p.m., at Community Presbyterian Church of Big Bay. A service will be conducted in the church at 3 p.m. Friday, with the Rev. Sudi Layraman officiating. A luncheon will take place in the church hall. Private family burial will take place in the Powell Township Cemetery.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Community Presbyterian Church of Big Bay Roofing Project or the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Dr. Stortz’s memory.

Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the Stortz family, where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com.