Roman G Lautner

January 8th, 1933 to December 24th, 2015
Roman G. Lautner, age 82 of Marysville sailed peacefully into heaven, following a brief illness, on December 24, 2015. He was surrounded by his family at the time. Roman came into the world on January 8, 1933 in Minden City, the youngest of four children born to the late Carolina and George Lautner. On January 3, 1956 he married Myrtle Lemanski.

At the age of 19, Roman decided to swap out his life on the rolling farm hills of Michigan’s thumb for the rolling waves of the Great Lakes, to crew on the “Iron Boats.” Roman sailed for the Great Lakes steamship company for eight years, serving on eight different ships. His first ship was the John Sherwin where he worked in the boiler room as a coal-passer. For hours, he and his crewmates shoveled the coal that fueled the huge boilers that drove the ship. During his service on the Lake’s, Roman advanced in his crew positions to become an engine oiler. He later attended the Lake Carrier’s School in Cleveland Ohio, where he earned his engineer’s license and the rating of Third Engineer. The last ship that he sailed with was the Frank Armstrong in 1960.

He delighted us all with his stories of serving on those iron giants; the winter storms where he would watch the ship twist its huge body as walls of “green water” crashed over the ship, or when he would jump from the ship as it entered the Soo Locks to retrieve the waiting mailbags and then have to run the length of the locks to jump back onboard the ship as it entered into the lower Lakes, or how he watched his daughter, Ralene, run around the icy decks of the ship he tended during their winter berth in Buffalo New York.

In 1960 he made the decision to “move to the beach” and begin a life that allowed him to spend more time with his family that had grown to four. He went to work in Port Huron starting at Prestolite, then later he took the job as stationary engineer with the Mueller Brass Company’s power plant where he retired after 32 years of dedicated service, but he never forgot his days on the lakes and spent many days driving down to the riverbank to watch the great ships pass bye. Roman and Myrt retired in 1996 and shared homes in Port Huron and West Palm Beach.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father and his friend and companion of fifty three years, Myrt, who died in 2013. Roman is survived by his daughters, Ardith (Joe) Hayes Port Huron, Ralene (Jim) Carmody, Wyoming, MI, his sons Mark (Leisa) Lautner Wake Forest, NC and Paul (Cindy) Lautner, New Ipswich, NH. Brother Clarence (Dorothy) Lautner, Port Huron, Sister Margaret Schock, Port Huron and Sister Doris Deo, Pontiac, MI. Roman will be sadly missed by his twelve grandchildren, eleven great- grandchildren and his very special friend Lynn Bowman.

A Mass of Resurrection will be held at St. Stephen Catholic Church, in Port Huron on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM with Father Brian Cokonougher officiating. Internment will take place at 2:00 PM in the St. Patrick Cemetery, Palms, MI. Visitation will take place at Karrer Simpson Funeral on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 from 4:00PM to 9:00PM and from 9:00 AM until the service time Wednesday at church.

Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice; the family would like to recognize the Boy Scouts of America, Blue Water Hospice and the Hunter Hospitality House.

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