In Memory

Carl D. Macpherson III VIEW PROFILE

Carl D. Macpherson III

Carl D. MacPherson III 

November 20, 2017

MACPHERSON, Carl D. III The family of Carl announces his passing on November 20, 2017. He's lovingly remembered by wife, Marcia; daughter, Heather (Patrick Lopez) and her children, Marcia and Marina; son, Carl IV (Catherine) and children, Carl V and Isabel. Carl was born in Detroit, MI and raised by loving parents, Carl Jr. and Jane. Carl was a successful lawyer and served as a Judge Pro Tem in the Pima Superior Court. He was a member of the AZ Bar, the 9th Cir. Court of Appeals in S.F., and the U.S. Supreme Court. Carl played hockey at Univ. of Michigan. GO BLUE! He was a member of the Tucson County Club and Indian River MI golf club. He won the 1988 AZ Net-Net Golf Championship, Mixed Doubles Championships, and the TCC Men's Doubles Championship three times. Carls great passions in life were: family, friends, summers in Michigan, UM football, tennis, golf, fishing, sailing, and photography. Carl was known for his optimism, enthusiasm, and love of life. Arrangements by HUDGEL'S SWAN FUNERAL HOME.



Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 3, 2017

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12/08/17 12:23 PM #1    

Peter M. Aronsson

Bon voyage Carl,

Great memories at GPHS, U of M, and Tucson.  We will miss your unique M Van in AZ.  Our best to you, Marcia.

Peter and Cheri Aronsson

12/08/17 07:50 PM #2    

Francis H. Whitton Jr.

Very sad to hear of Carls passing. We knew each other in high school, we joined the same fraternity and we were room mates. I have many fond memories, and am so sad that he is gone. He lived life to its fullest.


12/20/17 06:16 PM #3    

Mark Nyland

I have great Memories of Carl  from my last two years at GPHS. It was always fun on Friday or Saturday night when we had the big card games and we listened to Red Fox. Carl was fun and a bit crazy and there was never a dull moment when he was present. I saw him the last time in Tucson in 1991. He hadn't changed a bit.  God Bless Carl and his Family.

12/26/17 02:18 PM #4    

Holmes Brown

This may be my third effort to submit this text. I am displaying an embarrassing ineptitude at 21st century talents. In any case, disregard earlier  versions. Chuck and I worked on this jointly. Hope other friends of Carl's enjoy the reminders.


Chuck Dyer and Holmes Brown were among the many neighbors of the MacPherson family that played hockey during the winters of 1956 through 1960 on the MacPherson driveway and at other area venues.


For fellow participants, for those who were unaware of the experience in high school or for those who knew Carl later in life, we wanted to share some of the highlights of those years.


In this era of luxurious rinks, high-tech equipment and multiple teams spanning the continent, it’s hard to imagine the intense anticipation that greeted the coming of winter to Detroit in the late 1950s. The Red Wings were perennial Stanley Cup finalists, you could sit in the balcony at Olympia for a dollar, and the lakes and rivers would freeze. (Occasionally so extensively, you could walk across to Canada.)


But given the vagaries of winter weather, the erratic currents in Lake St. Claire, and the difficulty of corralling two full teams for a weekend scrimmage, backyard hockey promised the most convenient and competitive option.


The MacPherson family in Grosse Pointe Park was the most dedicated patron of the local game. They froze their driveway and welcomed (or at least tolerated) a parade of enthusiasts at all hours on the weekends. Most were Grosse Pointe High School students, but we were ecumenical in outlook, and several friends from nearby Catholic schools were regulars.


Once cold weather arrived, the driveway was frozen, and a regulation net installed in front of the double garage doors. Depending on the crowd, folks would take turns shooting on the goalie-guarded net, or alternatively a couple of defensemen would challenge the forwards.


We’d start Saturday morning when is was light enough to play. Carl soon installed a radio in the open kitchen window to accompany the sound of sticks and the raucous badinage (a John Mason word) of hockey players. Prevailing over everything else was the din of pucks hitting the metal doors. Given the radio blaring early rock and roll, the shouts of combatants and the reverberations of pucks on the garage, we presumed the neighbors were either deaf or had headed South for the winter.


With thousands of shots over the season, by March the door panels were bowed inwards several inches. We now suspect that the MacPhersons, pere et mere, replaced the doors on an annual basis, though we myopic hockey players never took note at the time.


Food was frequently passed out from the open kitchen to avoid a pause in the action. At some point lights were installed, so the revelry could continue long past dusk. If Sainthood is bestowed on hockey parents, the MacPhersons should now be sporting radiant haloes in Heaven.


The frozen driveway was not the only venue for the heroics of the usual gang. The Ice Flare was the closest indoor skating rink, and we both took lessons there and competed in the local league.


The best feature of the Ice Flare was Saturday morning coaching sessions with Marty Pavelich. Marty was a star with the Detroit Red Wings, but given NHL salaries in those days (average $5000—what an auto worker made annually), he taught youngsters for 2 hours for $5 a session and then played at Olympia that evening along with legends like Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuk.


Marty was invariably polite, kind and encouraging to all levels of talent.


His brother, Matt, was a linesman for the NHL. As a measure of how close Marty was with Gordie Howe, Howe’s two sons were named after the Pavelich brothers. We have heard that Marty and Gordie were involved in successful joint business ventures after retirement, and all of Marty’s former students who know of that arrangement are gratified that Marty has finally enjoyed the prosperity he so richly deserves.


The Ice Flare also hosted a league sponsored by local enterprises. Some of the MacPherson crew played for the Adlhoch Bakery team. One of us still has a team jersey and the Ice Flare Champs 1957-1958 trophy. A rival team was supported by the Cooper Brothers Mortuary.Their coach reputedly instructed his players before each game to create some business for the team sponsor.


In addition to Carl’s driveway and the Ice Flare, we’d head for Lake St. Claire when a stretch of cold weather produced smooth black ice. We always tested the ice before 12 or 15 of us would skate 50 yards off shore for a game.


(If any of us fell in and were swept away by the current from the initial break, we all imagined that we would, with sang froid, swim to safety like Tony Curtis did in the 1953 biopic of Houdini. In the movie, the chained Houdini drifted from the hole he jumped into off Detroit’s own Belle Isle Bridge. Freeing himself, he stayed alive by swimming from air pocket to air pocket under the ice till he found the original opening.)


On the lake, goal posts were a couple piles of snow or extra scarves or gloves. Boundaries were elastic and rules informal. The one certainty was that goalies were to stop any shot remotely close to the posts. We had all heard that a golf ball if hit on a perfectly smooth stretch of ice would go 5 miles. We never tested the range of a hockey puck, but errant shots went far enough to delay a game, so lake hockey net minding was closer to tending a soccer goal than hockey’s 6-foot width.


A few times we collected enough money to rent an arena during off hours. The most memorable was Windsor Area across the river in Canada by means of the Ambassador Bridge or Windsor tunnel.


Ice rinks found that the patrons who skated sedately in circles to organ music thinned out by 11 pm or so. The only fanatics that would stay up all night and pay for it were hockey players. A core of the MacPherson gang invaded Canada at least once. The arena, that hosted a minor league hockey team, had all the trappings of a professional stadium. We reveled in the bright lights, real lines and boards and regulation goal posts and nets.


High above the second deck, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II-- youthful in only her 6th year of rule--kept a benevolent eye the descendants of the upstart colonists from South of the border.


Ending at 6 am, fatigued and hungry, we hustled back to Detroit for sustenance. Stopping at the White Tower on Jefferson Avenue, we ordered Cokes, shakes and burgers. Mini hamburgers called “sliders” were twelve for a dollar. “Buy ‘em by the bagful” was the slogan.


Finally, we once rented the Michigan Fairgrounds arena. Since it was not regularly used, it was so cold that we didn’t return for a second time. The most memorable aspect of the Fairground foray was finding the entire abandoned parking lot (suitable for thousands of cars) completely glazed over. Given the opportunity, each of the five drivers would accelerate to 40 mph or so, then sharply lock the front wheels left or right and then proceed to spin out of control for a delirious minute or so.


That wraps up recollections of hockey in the MacPherson orbit from 1956 through 1960. It was a magical time of unmatched exertion, adventure, food and camaraderie.


We were all privileged to be part of it, and all who participated were at the time and remain deeply grateful to Carl and his generous and tolerant parents.







12/31/17 12:06 PM #5    

Richard D. Grow


I haven't heard anyone give Carl's nick name. "Spin" is the way I remember him.


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