Thane Gerard Wernette
Thane Gerard Wernette, 85, of Midland, passed away at his home, Oct. 14, 2020. He was born Nov. 27, 1934 in Remus, son of the late Roy and Nilah (Nichols) Wernette. A graduate of Ferris State College School of Pharmacology in 1956, Thane was an active pharmacist for 58 years, taking every opportunity to witness his faith to coworkers and customers alike. He was a compassionate man, often paying a bill for someone who couldn't. Thane served in the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division having received the coveted Letter of Commendation for Outstanding service. On May 14, 1960 he married his Polish princess Rita Reder in Bay City and they enjoyed 60 years of marriage. They experienced many exciting travels throughout the U.S. and Europe including numerous cruises with family members. Thane served on the Board of Pardee Cancer Treatment Fund as the treasurer for 43 years. As a member of Blessed Sacrament Church, he volunteered in numerous service groups and was an integral part of a spiritual outreach program called Faith & Fellowship. Thane lived to love and serve others. Many will remember Thane on his bicycle as it was his favorite mode of transportation. One of his happy places was the blueberry patch. He gifted berries to those who couldn't pick for themselves. Thane had a warm heart for children, babysitting for moms in the MOPS program and Christian Mothers groups at various churches. He was in his element when he was holding a baby. He had a gift for bringing joy to children and carried matchbox cars wherever he went, seeking children to bless. The smiles he received in return made his day. His weekly gathering at Big Boy with retired buddies was fondly referred to as "the meeting of the mindless."
Thane's love for his family was evident to all. He poured wholeheartedly into his children and grandchildren. He was completely hands-on and engaging, sharing his faith, his quirky sense of humor and his many outlandish stories. He was happiest when surrounded by his family, eager to attend all their events. He was very aware of how God had blessed him with his faith, family and friends. Thane will be greatly missed but we rejoice in knowing that he is with his Savior!
Thane is survived by his wife, Rita Wernette; six children, Gerald (Cheryl) Wernette, Gregory (Patty) Wernette, Carolyn (Ted) Knapp, Steve (Sherry) Wernette, Scot (Hitomi) Wernette, and Andrew (Lisa) Wernette; 18 grandchildren, Jessica (Alex) Brideau, Christopher Wernette, Brandon (Becca) Wernette, Courtney (Adam) Dresden, Natalie (Timothy) Cannata, Katie (Samuel) Mallory, Sara, David, and Jack Knapp, Alexandra (Brad) Vermurlen, Alyssa (Kyle) Handrich, Danielle (Drake) Rider, Cameron, Kara and Nyla Wernette, Emma, Lilly and Gabriel Wernette; three great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Steven and Hunter; brother, Gary (Carol) Wernette; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Thane was preceded in death by siblings, Leroy, Alfred, Imelda and Marilyn.
The funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 3109 Swede Ave. with Father Rob Howe officiating. Entombment will follow in New Calvary Mausoleum. Thane's family will receive friends at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and at the church on Friday from 12 p.m. until the time of the Liturgy. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Pardee Cancer Treatment Fund of Midland County, 4201 Campus Ridge Drive, Suite 1275, Midland, MI 48640; the Capuchin soup kitchen of Detroit; and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church youth group. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Directors.