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 Cecile Gay <I>Upham</I> Bliss

Cecile Gay Upham Bliss

Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA
Death 12 Jul 1975 (aged 76)
Niles, Berrien County, Michigan, USA
Burial Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section D, Lot # 211.
Memorial ID 13498690 · View Source
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Cecile is the daughter of Clarence Upham and his wife Cleta "Cleo" Dragoo, of  Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan.
Note: PLEASE, do NOT transfer this
memorial to other web sites.
Thanks, Nancy (Letcher) Heib.
Cecile is listed as "Female" Upham on her "Certificate of Birth". At the time of her birth in 1899, Cecile's parents were living on East Fourth Street, in Mishawaka, Indiana.
An article published in the "South Bend Weekly Tribune", in South Bend, Indiana, on May 27, 1899, page 12, states:
Social and General News.
A daughter was born Monday to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Upham, of East Fourth Street.
Cecile had one adopted brother. Cecile was 9 years old when her parents adopted baby Raymond. Cecile and her parents were living at 316 West Seventeenth Street, in Mishawaka, Indiana when they adopted baby Raymond in Jan. of 1909.
They later moved to Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan in 1911, when Cecile was about 12 years old.
Cecile "possibly" attended the old 3-story high school in Buchanan, MI, which was nicknamed "Fort Sumter' by the students (which was used from about 1871 to 1922).
Cecile was married to Lloyd Feather Bliss on Nov. 4, 1916 in St. Joseph, Berrien County Michigan, by W. H. Camfield, Clergy (per their marriage certificate). (Note: Both of their obituaries have the wrong date and place of marriage listed).
Lloyd is the son of Milton James Bliss and his wife Julia M. Feather. Lloyd and Cecile were "possibly" married at the Berrien County Court House, in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Note: The Berrien County Court House in St. Joseph, Michigan was given the name of "Cupid's Haven", and "Cupid's Headquarters", because there was no waiting period required there, at that time (from when they obtained their marriage licence, to the time of the marriage ceremony). Since St. Joseph was a resort town located on Lake Michigan, with ample hotels (and not too far from South Bend, IN and Chicago, ILL), young couples were encoraged to get married there.
Cecile and Lloyd Bliss have lived at:
1. Portage St., in Buchanan, Michigan.
2. On Geyer Road (then part of Niles
township, later part of Buchanan township),
N.-N.E of Buchanan, MI
(next to his parents).
3. 26575 E. Main St. Edwardsburg, MI
(from 1925-1931).
4. and again on Geyer Road, in Niles Twp.
(N.-N.E of) Buchanan, MI (on the farm
where Lloyd was born and raised).
The 1920 census shows Lloyd, age 24,
and Cecile, age 20, living with their
one-year-old daughter Thelma, in
Niles (township), Berrien County Michigan
(and "renting" their home).
After Cecile's husband Lloyd died in 1938, her parents helped her move with her children, from the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, into town in Buchanan, to a home at 417 Moccasin Ave. (which she probably rented), which is where Cecile's 9-month-old baby son Gordon died on March 5, 1939.
Cecile then moved to a home (purchased with the help of her parents), at 119 South Cayuga Street, in Buchanan, Michigan (about 1939-1940), which is where Cecile's daughter Mary Louise died on June 25, 1941.
Cecile lived in this home at 119 South Cayuga Street, in Buchanan, Michigan for "about" 32 years (from about 1939 or 1941, until it was sold in 1972, about three years before Cecile died).
Note: The 1938 directory lists
a Edward Bischoff as living
at 119 South Cayuga Street.
The 1940 census shows Cecile Bliss living in the City of Buchanan, Michigan with her daughters: Marguerite, Barbara, Frances, and Kathryn Bliss.
In her later years (late 1950's or early 1960's), Cecile worked at the dine store in Buchanan, Michigan.
Before Cecile went into the nursing home, she had lived in a senior's apartment at 251 Cass St., in Niles, Michigan.
Cecile died in the Paul Stephan Nursing Home, located at 1211 State Line Road, in Niles township, South of Niles, Berrien County Michigan. She died of cardiac arrest, due to cardiovascular disease (which she had for 20-25 years). She also had diabetis for 9 years. Cecile also had suffered from a hip fracture in May of 1975, about two months before her death. She died at the age of 76 (per her death certificate). Cecile was a very gentle, soft-spoken woman.
Cecile's obituary was published in the "Niles Daily Star" newspaper, in Niles, MI on Mon. July 14, 1975, page 2. It reads as follows:
Cecile Gay Bliss. Niles - Graveside services for Cecile Gay Bliss, 76, of 251 Cass St. [in Niles, MI], a former Buchanan resident, were held at 1:30 p.m. today at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, [MI]. She died Saturday in the Paul Stephan Nursing Home after an illness of 11 months. Mrs. Bliss was born May 23, 1899 in Mishawaka, [IN]. She married Lloyd F. Bliss on Nov. 4, 1917, in Buchanan, ["should" say Nov. 4, "1916" in "St. Joseph", Berrien Coumty Michigan, per their marriage certificate]. He preceded her in death. Survivors include five daughters, Mrs. Paul (Thelma) Letcher of Jones, [MI], Mrs. Ray (Marguerite) Crocker of Niles, Mrs. Tom (Barbara) Huff of Union Pier, Mrs. William (Frances) Batchelor of Port Salerno, Fla. and Mrs. Jack (Kathryn) Clemans of Buchanan: a half-brother ["adopted" brother], Raymond Upham of LaPorte, [IN], 17 grand-children and 19 great-grandchildren. The Rev. Mark Graham of Wesley United Methodist Church officiated at the services. Arrangments were handled by the Swem Chapel of the Swem-Smith Funeral Home at Buchanan.
The seven children of Lloyd Feather Bliss
and his wife Cecile Gay Upham are:
1. Thelma Celestia Bliss. (Thelma's middle name was taken from Cecile's Grandmother, Celestia Dragoo). b. Aug. 13, 1918, in the town of Buchanan, Michigan ["before" they moved to Geyer Road]. [The 1917 Berrien County Directory shows Thelma's parents living on Portage Street in Buchanan]. The 1920 census shows them living in Niles (township), Berrien County Michigan (on Geyer Road). m. Aug. 14, 1935 in South Bend, Indiana to Paul Anthony Letcher, the son of Alois Letcher and Alice Ketchum. They had six girls and one boy. d. July 26, 1978 in Three Rivers, MI of heart disease. Her obituary was published in the Three Rivers, Michigan newspaper. Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery in Buchanan, Michigan (in Section B, lot # 88).
2. Mary Louise Bliss. (Birth record lists her as "Louise Mary", but she always went by "Mary Louise"). b. July 18, 1921, on the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, N.-N.E. of Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan. (Birth record gives date-of-birth as July 18, 1920: it should say 1921. See her obit). d. Wed. June 25, 1941 (unmarried), at 119 S. Cayuga St. Buchanan, MI. Mary Louise died age 20 years, 11 months and 7 days, of anasarca (the massive swelling of tissues, and kidney degeneration, caused by bad blood cells). Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, in Buchanan, Michigan (in Section A, lot # 33). The obituary for Mary Louise was published in the "Niles Daily Star" in Niles, MI on June 26, 1941,
page 2.
3. Marguerite Gay Bliss. b. July 2, 1924, on the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, N.E. of Buchanan, MI. m. Aug. 29, 1942 in Niles, Michigan to Isaac Rayford Crocker (known as "Rayford" Crocker), the son of John "Thomas" Crocker Sr. and Sara "Madge" Haley. They had one girl and three boys. They lived in Niles, Michigan. She worked as a telephone operator in Niles, Michigan. They retired to Sebring, Florida in 1987. d. March 16, 1988 at Walker Memorial Hospital in Avon Park, Florida, from bone cancer, age 63. Buried: Mission Hills Memoral Gardens, Niles, Michigan (in Garden of "Time", Lot # 9, Space # 1), located N.-E. of Niles, MI on Hi-way 51 (near Sumnerville). The obituary for Marguerite was published in the "Niles Daily Star" newspaper in Niles, Michigan on March 18, 1988, page 2.
4. Barbara Cleo Bliss. (Barbara's middle name was taken from Cecile's mother, Cleo Upham). b. July 31, 1927, in Edwardsburg, Cass County Michigan. m. June 26, 1948 in Buchanan, MI to Thomas F. Huff, the son of Leslie Miller Huff and his wife Myrtle Fowler. They had two girls and one boy. (One of their daughters, Koren Jane Huff, was born July 25, 1955 in Jackson, Michigan, and died July 4, 1956, in Niles, MI, at 11 months of age). Koren's death notice was in "The Niles Daily Star", newspaper on July 5, 1956, page 2. [See Koren's bio on this web site]. Tom and Barbara were later divorced. Barbara later lived in Grand Ledge, MI. d. March 26, 2001 in the Central Michigan Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, of coronary artery disease, age 73.
Buried: Barbara was cremated.
5. Frances June Bliss. b. June 16, 1934, on the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, N.-N.E. of Buchanan, Berrien Co. Michigan. m. Aug. 1, 1954 in Buchanan, Michigan to William H. "Bill" Batchelor, the son of Herbert N. Batchelor and Marjorie Kool. They had two daughters. Frances worked as a telephone operator in Niles, MI before they left Michigan, and moved down south. They later divorced. Frances then lived with her two daughters in Englewood, Florida. d. Frances died Dec. 02, 2007 in the "Punta Gorda Elderly Care Center", in Punta Gorda, Florida, age 73. Buried: Frances was cremated. Her death notice, which was published in the Herald Tribune, on Dec. 5, 2007, reads as follows: "Frances June Batchelor, 73, Englewood, [FL] died Dec. 2, 2007. Lemon Bay Funeral Home handled arrangements. Survivors include a daughter,  B. J. [Billy June Batchelor] of Englewood, [Florida]".
Note: She also had a daughter named
Barbara Anne ("Bobbie") Batchelor.
Frances's cremains, and those of her daughter Billy June, were later buried next to her mother Cecile, in the Oak Ridge cemetery, in Buchanan, MI.
6. Kathryn Ann Bliss (born as "Florence Mae Bliss"). Her father named her. Her mother did not care for that name, and later renamed her Kathryn Ann [per Kathryn]. b. Nov. 6, 1935, on the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, N.-N.E. of Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan.
She graduated from Buchanan High School in 1954. m. June 19 (or 9), 1954 in the Church of Christ in Buchanan, Michigan to Jack Louis Clemans, the son of Donald Dean Clemans Sr. and his wife Daisy Dale Snyder (of 716 Polis St., Buchanan), by Rev. Robert Palmer. (Engagement announcement published in "The Herald-Press" newspaper, St. Joseph, Michigan, on Sat. Jan. 2, 1954, page 5). (Marriage announcement published in "The Herald-Press", in St. Joseph, Michigan, on Mon. June 21, 1954, page 11). They had two daughters. Kathryn worked as a telephone operator for the Michigan Bell telephone company in Niles, MI. They lived in Buchanan, Michigan.
Kathryn died in the Royalton Manor nursing home in St. Joseph, Berrien County Michigan, on Aug. 26, 2012. Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, Michigan.
7. Gordon C. Bliss. b. May 22, 1938, on the Bliss family farm on Geyer Road, N.-N.E. of Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan (on the same farm his father was born and raised on). d. March 5, 1939 at 417 Moccasin Avenue, in Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan (in a home his mother probably rented, after his father died). Gordon died of influenza, age 9 months, and 13 days. Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery in Buchanan, Michigan (in Section A, lot # 33). An obituary for Gordon was published in the "Niles Daily Star" newspaper in Niles, Michigan on March 6, 1939, page 3.
Note: Son Gordon was born two months "after" the death of his father Lloyd. Lloyd never got to see his only son.

After Cecile's husband Lloyd died on their farm on Geyer Road, in March of 1938, Cecile moved her family into town, in Buchanan, Michigan. Gordon died (in the home they probably rented), at 417 Moccasin St. in March of 1939 and Mary Louise died in June of 1941 in the home Cecile's parents bought for her at 119 S. Cayuga St. (near the high school), in Buchanan, Berrien Co. Michigan (Lot 41 in the High School Addition). Cecile's father Clarence Upham later left her this home in his will. Cecile lived there until she had to move to a "senior's apartment" at 251 Cass St., in Niles, Michigan (about three years before her death). (Cecile's home on S. Cayuga Street was sold to a Genevieve Schwertz in 1972). Cecile then moved to the Paul Stephan Nursing Home, at 1211 State Line Road, South of Niles, Michigan, where she died in 1975.
Another obituary for Cecile was published in the "Berrien County Record", newspaper in Buchanan, Michigan on Thursday, July 17, 1975, page 12-1B, Column 2. It reads as follows:
Mrs. Cecile Gay Bliss. Graveside services were conducted Monday afternoon for Mrs. Cecile Gay Bliss of 251 Cass Street, Niles, [MI], who died at Paul Stephan Nursing Home Saturday morning. A former Buchanan resident, she was born in Mishawaka [IN], May 23, 1899. In 1917 at Buchanan she married Lloyd F. Bliss, who preceded her in death. [This last sentence is incorrect. They were married in St. Joseph, Berrien Co. Michigan on Nov. 4, 1916, per their marriage certificate]. Survivors are five daughters, Mrs. Jack (Kathryn) Clemans of Buchanan, [MI], Mrs. Ray (Marguerite) Crocker of Niles, [MI], Mrs. Paul (Thelma) Letcher of Jones, [MI], Mrs. Tom (Barbara) Huff of Union Pier and Mrs. William (Frances) Batchelor of Port Salerno, Florida: a half brother [should say "adopted" brother], Raymond Upham of LaPorte, Indiana. 17 grand-children and 19 great grandchildren. Rev. Mark Graham of Wesley United Methodist Church, Niles, [MI], officiated at the services at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Swem Chapel of Swem-Smith Funeral Homes handled the arrangements.
At the time of Cecile's death, all the spaces were taken in the "Bliss family Plot" of the cemetery, so Cecile is buried near her parents Clarence and Cleta "Cleo" Upham (and her adopted brother Raymond Upham).
Her headstone, located in
Section D, Lot 211, reads:

May 23, 1899
July 12, 1975
Note: See "Upham" genealogy listed under her father Clarence Upham of Michigan, and "Bliss" genealogy listed under her husband Lloyd Feather Bliss of Michigan, on this web site.
Note: See the memorials for her family,
on this web site:
Paternal Great Grandfather,
Albert T. Upham.
Paternal Great Grandmother,
Elizabeth (Wells) Upham.
Paternal Grandfather,
Theodore Albert Upham.
Paternal Grandmother:
Isadora N. (Kizer) Upham.
Maternal Grandfather,
Liberty U. Dragoo.
Maternal Grandmother,
Celestia A. (Hunniker) Dragoo.
Father, Clarence Upham.
Mother, Cleta "Cleo" (Dragoo) Upham.
Adopted Brother, Raymond Upham.
Husband, Lloyd Feather Bliss.
Daughter, Thelma (Bliss) Letcher.
"ALL" of Buchanan, Michigan.
Note: Cecile Gay Bliss, is my Grandmother.
Nancy (Letcher) Heib.
Click on photos to see enlargements,
captions, and additional photos.
See the memorial for her brother
Raymond Upham, to see more photos
of Cecile and Raymond.
Also, see the memorial for her daughter
Thelma Letcher, to see more pictures
of Cecile's family.
Click on: "Find all Bliss'es in Buchanan"
(in the lift column).

Family Members






  • Created by: Nancy Heib
  • Added: 2 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13498690
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Cecile Gay Upham Bliss (23 May 1899–12 Jul 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13498690, citing Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Nancy Heib (contributor 46828360) .