Warner Norcross attorney, 2010 Leader in the Law honoree dies at 56

Michael Cruse died of cancer Aug. 3, 2012. He was 56.


Born Sept. 15, 1955, in Highland Park, Mr. Cruse, a Rochester resident, was a partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP’s Southfield branch, where he specialized in business reorganization, bankruptcy and debtor-creditor relations, commercial law and litigation.

He graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1985.

Prior to his legal career, Mr. Cruse served nearly 10 years as a police officer for Bloomfield Township, and stayed as a volunteer reserve officer with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department while a lawyer.

In 2010, Mr. Cruse was named one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 25 “Leaders in the Law.”

Outside of law, he founded the Embrace the Day Foundation, an organization to raise awareness and funds for the cure to pancreatic cancer. He also enjoyed long cruises on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Mr. Cruse is survived by his wife, Jane; two children, Aaron and Natalie; his mother, Mary; two brothers, Walter and Jeffrey; one sister, Elena Borrie; and extended family.

A memorial service was held Aug. 8 at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Rochester.

Memorial gifts may be directed to: Embrace the Day Foundation, 756 Loggers Circle, Rochester, MI 48307.


Former Vandeveer Garzia partner dies at 83

John M. “Jack” Heaphy, former partner at Vandeveer Garzia, P.C., died Sunday, March 6, 2011, in Skokie, Ill. He was 83.

Born in Escanaba, Mr. Heaphy was a Detroit-area resident for most of his life. He served in the Navy from 1945-46, after which he attended the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1950. He earned his juris doctorate at Wayne State University Law School in 1953.

After working in Washington, D.C., for several years, Mr. Heaphy returned to Detroit to join Vandeveer Garzia, where he worked for 35 in aviation litigation, including airplane crashes and airline liability. During the last several years of his career, he served as firm president.

Upon retirement, he moved to Tucson, Ariz., with his wife where they lived until moving a few years ago to Illinois to be closer to family.

Nephew William J. Heaphy Jr. of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said of Mr. Heaphy: “I’ve been a lawyer in this city for 19 years now, and I’m sure that a week hasn’t gone by where some lawyer or judge didn’t have something nice to say about him.”

Mr. Heaphy was known for his generosity, sense of humor, and love of dogs.

Survivors include his wife, Martha; son John; daughters Catherine and Barbara; a brother; two sisters, and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, at St. John’s Methodist Church in Oak Park, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Heaphy’s memory to: Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview, IL 60025.

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