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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2003

Village head helped with sidewalk plan

CEMENT CITY, Mich. - Hantzel D. Arnett, II, 53, former president of the Cement City village council, died Monday in Doctor's Hospital in Jackson, Mich., after suffering a massive stroke at his home.

Mr. Arnett served four years as president of council, helping develop a plan to have sidewalks installed in the village of 500 residents on the Lenawee-Jackson county line. He was the top village official. The village does not have a mayor.

“He wanted the kids to be safe, and kids can't be safe walking in the streets,” Sandy Rowland, his sister who also is village treasurer, said.

The project resulted in sidewalks being installed in more than half the village, Ms. Rowland said.

She described her brother as a hands-on leader. “Any time they had a snow storm or an ice storm, he was out there cleaning up,” she said. “He has just loved Cement City since he was a teenager. When he won, he put his heart into it. He didn't do things half way.”

Mr. Arnett's term ended in March when he was not re-elected.

Before his election, Mr. Arnett was a volunteer firefighter for the former Cement City Fire Department, serving several years as its chief. The department merged with the Addison Fire Department in the mid 1990s.

While in the department, he helped organize fireworks displays for Independence Day celebrations and planned ice cream socials.

Mr. Arnett was a heavy equipment operator for the Bendele Landscaping and Excavating Co., building seawalls for homes and cottages on lakes that dot the Irish Hills area.

Mr. Arnett was a member of the Irish Hills Eagles.

Surviving are his wife, Reta; daughter, Lisa Owen; parents, Hantzel and Charlene Arnett; brother, Rod; sisters, Sandy Rowland and Carolyn Basnaw, and a grandson.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home, Addison.



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