My Life Story

as narrated by Mary Angeline Sortman Kruise

My father's name was Arthur Franklin Sortman, my mother's, Anna Hanora Simons Sortman. They were married April 3, 1901. My mother's parents, Andrew and Maryellen (Maley) Simons, had six daughters. Their names were Maryellen (Aunt Pearl), Anna (my mother), Esther, Caroline (Aunt Carrie), Catherine (Aunt Dolly), and Eleanore (Aunt Norie). They also had two sons, Harry and Charles.








Larry Jr. got all the spankings because he was the oldest and ring leader. He was in the Navy, and missed his family. Now he is working hard for his family. He always said "you don't appreciate your family until you have kids of your own". He has a good job at Ford Motor Company as an electrician. He has a beautiful loving wife, Karen Stewart, and four children: Carol, Robert, Nicole, and David. We have wonderful get togethers at their home in Milan, Michigan, they are great hosts.

Shirley is an accomplished artist and Teacher. She is divorced with two adult children - Steve and Debi, and has five beautiful grandchildren.

Karen is a loving daughter, being helpful in any way she can. She married Fred Loos, and had three daughters and a son. Sheryl, Kelley, Michelle, and Brian. Kelley succumbed to leukemia in 1983. She (Karen) has five lovely grandchildren.

Maryellen (Mecki) married Dave Viall, and they had two children, son Scott, and daughter Dawn. Dave worked for the Ford Motor Company before he retired. They are enjoying his retirement by traveling in their fifth wheel.

Jim is in partnership with Charley at their father's collision shop in Detroit. He married Cathy Tomassi and they have three children: Jennifer, Jimmy and Jason. They are a wonderful couple and everyone loves them.

Kay married Don Beaulieu and has two daughters: Tracey and Heather. She works in the enrollment office a Macomb Community College. Don works for the Budd Company as a systems analyst. Kay loves the family and does what she can to make everyone happy like playing Santa at Christmas, and dresses as a clown for the local grade school near her home where she has been a volunteer in the media center for sixteen years. Now if we could only get the bunny suit for Easter for the kid, wouldn't that be something!

B Charles married Maxine Banaczyk and they have a son named Brandon. Charley is in partnership and works at Kruise Collision with his brother Jim. Maxine works in an office and teaches piano lessions in their home. She has a degree in music. They are busy with their jobs and Brandon's sports activities.

Linda is in the choir and busy working with the children. She married Allen Pierce and they have two daughters, Laura and Hannah. She is busy taking care of her family and me. I know I am an extra burden but she does fine taking care of all my needs. Allen works right along with her besides working at National Bank of Detroit.

This is my family and I love each and every one of them.


All my brothers and sisters were born at home. When Phyllis was born, they laid her on the bed, and we counted all her fingers and toes.

My Dad used to make the best taffy.

When Marge and I had diptheria, they put two twin beds in the front room. I was delirious with fever when I saw fluttering wings and felt a warmth come over me. We were quarantined and Dad had to stay next door at Aunt Anne's for a couple of weeks. No one else in the family got it.

All my children went to Gabriel Richard Grade School and had Mrs. Maxey for kindergarten. She also taught Sunday school at Messiah and was a good friend through the years. She was at all the weddings and doings.

We lived on Hickory in Detroit, Michigan for 48 years. When Larry died on July 13, 1987, we continued to live there for another year. We then moved to the house on Thomas in Warren, Michigan. Linda married Allen in 1989, and we moved to Mavis in 1992, and have been there ever since.

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