BARBARA’S BOOK

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Tinka Falconer: Her Ninety-Three Years

Tinka Falconer on beach at Pentwater, MI, 1982. PHoto by BF Newhall

My mother in 1982. I like this picture because I took it, so she’s smiling at me. Photo by BF Newhall

Here’s a copy of my mother’s obituary. The whole family traveled to Michigan in July for a memorial mass and burial  next to my father in the Pentwater Cemetery. Life feels strange without her. — BFN

Catherine Falconer, 93, passed away on December 18, 2010, in Palo Alto, California. Tinka, as she was affectionately known, was born in 1917 to Florence “Toto” Mortimer and John Marshall Dickinson of Chicago. In 1935, she graduated from Mt. St. Mary-on-the-Fox Academy, a Catholic boarding school in Saint Charles, Illinois, run by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Her maternal grandmother, Georgia Bosworth Morrison, and her step-grandfather, Arthur S. Morrison, operated the Camp Morrison resort on Bass Lake, near Pentwater, Michigan. It was there, when she was 16, that Tinka met a local boy, David Bishop Falconer, at a square dance that was no doubt called by her talented grandfather Morrie.

tinka-falconer-in-1940-photo-by-DB-Falconer

Tinka Falconer ca. 1940 Photo by DB Falconer

David was the son of David Falconer and Ruth Bishop Falconer of Scottville, Michigan, the brother of Emma, Jesse, Ruth, Wallace (Polly), Grace and Lawrence (Squawk) Falconer, and the grandson of Emma Littlefield Bishop Loomis, who built one of the first houses in Scottville.

Dave and Tinka married June 11, 1938, in the chapel at what was then Michigan State College, where Dave had been an agriculture student and a member of A.G.R. fraternity.

The couple had three children and eventually settled in Birmingham, Michigan, where they were members of the First Presbyterian Church and Oakland Hills Country Club.

Tinka and her first great-grandchild, Ella. 2009 by BF Newhall

Dave was a member of the Detroit Athletic Club and worked for the Sealtest division of National Dairy and for ARA Services. Tinka considered loving motherhood her most important calling in life, and she took great pride in her children’s successes. A member of the Village Women’s Club, Tinka volunteered at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and enjoyed golf, bowling, gardening and bridge with her many friends, who knew her for her warm and quick wit and her ability to pinpoint the best in anyone. Her motto was, “You can only kid a good thing.”

The family spent many summers at the Falcon cottage on Bass Lake not far from what is now Ferwerda’s resort (originally part of Camp Morrison).

When Dave and Tinka retired they enjoyed winters at their house on Wintu Way in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix and summers at a cottage – the “Chalet” – on Lake Michigan near the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. Most recently, Tinka resided in Redwood City and Belmont, California.

Tinka, Belmont, California, 2010 . By BF Newhall

Tinka was preceded in death by Dave, her beloved husband of 53 years, and her sister Mary Helen “Dickie” Daggett of Pentwater.

She is survived by son David G. Falconer (Bonnie Ellested) of Menlo Park, California; daughter Barbara Falconer (Jon) Newhall of Oakland, California; son Jim (Birte) Falconer of Seattle; six grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; numerous Dickinson and Falconer nieces and nephews; a half-brother, John (Carol Jo) Dickinson of Western Springs, Illinois, and a sister-in-law, Grace Falconer Kleis of Scottsdale, Arizona.

A Memorial Funeral Mass followed by a reception will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at St. Vincent Catholic Church, 637 East 6 Street, Pentwater, Michigan, 49449. Internment will take place at Pentwater Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Vincent’s Church or to Adrian Dominican Sisters, Development Office, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221-1793. Condolences can be mailed to Newhall, Box 237, 6114 La Salle Ave., Oakland, CA 94611, or posted here.

More about my mother at “My Mother’s Goneness.” 

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Comments

  1. Kathy daggett says:

    Barbara, thank you for sharing this with everyone.
    God Bless
    Kathy and John Daggett

  2. Margie Bowman says:

    Barbara, no wonder you have such a bright and beautiful smile….you either inherited or learned it from your mother. Thanks for sharing her biographic information with your readers. Now we await your and her stories. That’s the fun part. May God bless your parting.

    Love, Margie

    • Margie Bowman says:

      Dear Barbara, no wonder you have such a bright and beautiful smile….you either inherited or learned it from your mother. Thanks for sharing her biographic information with your readers. Now we await your and her stories. That’s the fun part. May God bless your parting.

      Love, Margie

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