Bernadine A. Dosch, age 92, died Thursday, September 21, 2023, in Farmington Hills. Bernie was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1931, to Ben and Ann (Pashakarnis) Loetz. In 1952, Bernadine graduated from Mundelein College in Chicago and married Dr. Paul A. Dosch. She was a resident of Grayling since 1956.
Bernie was an active promoter of the Grayling community, served on the Crawford County Arts Council, helped establish the AuSable Artisan Village, and served on its board. Children’s education was near and dear to her heart. She recognized the importance of early childhood education, served on the boards of the Crawford-AuSable School District for 17 years and the C.O.O.R. Intermediate School District for 23 years. She traveled to Lansing and Washington D.C. to advocate for educational funding, and received the Master Platinum Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards, acknowledging her initiative in taking classes to become a more effective leader and board member.
As a basketry artist, she traveled the country selling her baskets at juried art shows, attended basket making classes in England and Japan, taught basket and jewelry making in her studio, and received many awards including the Exceptional Merit for Art Award from the Association of Michigan Basketmakers, one of her four wins. She was invited to make an ornament for the White House Christmas tree that is now in the Smithsonian Museum’s permanent collection. She was featured in the Country Folk Art Magazine, the Crawford County Avalanche, and the Crawford County Commission on Aging Newsletter. Her tiny wax linen baskets were featured on Martha Stewart’s website. In 2021, she received the Crawford County Avalanche Reader’s Choice Award for outstanding service in the Artist/Artisan category.
She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church and the Association of Michigan Basketmakers. A political activist and intrepid traveler to more than 32 countries, she was a proud Lithuanian and undisputed ten-time winner of the International Kugelis Grand Champion trophy. Friends and family will recall the good times sitting at the big round table telling stories and jokes.
Bernie is survived by her son Michael (Chris) of Grosse Pointe Park, daughters Michelle Fisher (Bill Crow) of Bellingham WA, Ann Berglund of Seattle, Paula (Robert) Dosch-Haworth of Phoenixville PA, and Karla (Don) Fisher of Farmington Hills; sister Patricia Jensen of Atlanta GA; grandchildren Katie Barclay of Chicago, Mary (Tom) Smale of Royal Oak, Paul (Maria) Dosch of Madison Heights, Anthony (Parul Raj) Fisher of Redmond WA, Anya Persson of Bellingham WA, Luke, Alex, and Elizabeth Fisher of Farmington Hills; great grandchildren Henry, Michael, and Saachi; in-laws Lynn Loetz, Pat Dosch, George Dosch, and Monica (Joe) Tumeo, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Paul, her parents, brother Donald Loetz, and son-in-law Dr. Vic Berglund.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Bernie’s life on October 7, 2023, at St. John Lutheran Church, 710 Spruce St, Grayling. Guests are welcome at 10 am with service at 11 am and luncheon following. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the AuSable Artisan Village at 219 Michigan Ave, Grayling 49738 or the C.O.O.R. ISD Bernadine Dosch Memorial Fund for scholarships to tuition-based pre-school programs (Attn: Kurt Loll, 11051 N Cut Rd, Roscommon 48653).