Tharel T. 'Dutch' Kanitz Died November 24, 1999 TRAVERSE CITY
Tharel T. "Dutch" Kanitz, 91, of Traverse City, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 1999, at 8 p.m. at Munson Medical Center. He was an educator and an athlete, an avid sports fan, an exemplary neighbor, and a loving, generous father and grandfather.
He was born Dec. 16, 1907, in Douglas County, Ill., the ninth son of Charles and Sarah (Smith) Kanitz. He graduated from Milan High School in 1926, and from the University of Michigan in 1930. At the university he played on the varsity basketball team, and was proud to have been a member of the 1929 Big Ten Championship team. On June 27, 1931, he married Marian Geib of Grand Rapids.
Dutch was a career teacher, with a total of 42 years in the classroom in both Iowa and Michigan. He taught and coached football, basketball and track in Big Rapids from 1933 to 1942. For 28 years he taught at Traverse City Central Junior High and was also head football coach, with three championships, from 1942 to 1947, a baseball coach from 1948 to 1951, and he also coached golf for one year in Traverse City.
He was a faithful member of the First Congregational Church, where he especially enjoyed the fellowship of working in the kitchen. He was a member of the Traverse City University of Michigan Club, the U of M Alumni Association, and a lifetime member of the M Club for U of M lettermen.
He is survived by his wife, Marian; a son, James (Emilie) Kanitz of Saginaw, daughter, Nancy (Richard) Steiger of Traverse City; five grandchildren, Kristin Kanitz (Michael Wygocki) of Madison, Wis., Daniel Kanitz of Sterling Heights, Laura Steiger (George Gillespie) of Delray Beach, Fla., Thomas Steiger of Seattle, Wash. and Jana Steiger of Washington, DC; and two great-grandchildren, Austen Wygocki and Dylan Gillespie. He was preceded in death by his parents and eight brothers, Walter, Clarence, Elby, Frank, Sylvan, Arthur, Loyal and Joseph Kanitz.
A memorial service will be held late in December near Christmas. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the First Congregational Church.