Mary Prudence Christman, known to all as Prudy, 72, of Clark Lake passed away at her home on January 5, 2023.
Prudy was pure Clark Lake. She attended the small Clark Lake school, grades one through eight, with the same 11 children, most of whom have remained in the area as lifelong friends. She attended high school in Detroit. After graduation she worked there for a brief time before she returned to her true roots at Clark Lake.
As an adult she worked as an administrative assistant for Air Master Fan Manufacturing Company until her retirement. Prudy was born on October 13, 1950 to Marilou and Stephen Van Eisele in Jackson Michigan. Her main love was family and friends. She was quirky, energetic, and full of life. She was the glue that held many things together. In the last few years she was an integral part of a women’s group who exercised faithfully and who called themselves the “Fit Chicks”.
Prudy was highly involved in the Clark Lake community in every conceivable way. Before moving to their property on Jefferson Road, Prudy and her husband, Greg, lived on Clark Lake’s North Shore. Neighbors from that area held an annual gathering for several years. The most recent one took place at the Clark Lake Community Center in May.
You would also see Prudy and Greg at events like the Clark Lake’s Biggest Little Parade, held each Memorial Day at the head-of-the-lake. Here they are in 2021 just before the parade passed by.
Prudy took an interest in preserving Clark Lake’s past. Several years ago, this website published an article about tokens used at Clark Lake. It turned out Prudy was able to add context to this element of Clark Lake history. She, in fact, had one of these tokens, now displayed among other mementos on a wall in the Christman home. Prudy’s token was given to her by her father, Steve. Prudy said her grandmother, Alice Eisele, who was born in 1890, told her what they were used for. When someone arrived at Clark Lake’s west end railroad depot, a taxi would transport the travelers down Vining Street to a boat. The token was given to the captain of the steamboat to carry them to the Eagle Point Hotel. Presumably when reservations were made for the hotel, the person booking the reservation would receive a token for this part of the trip. Read more by clicking here.
Prudy will also be remembered with a smile for a story that appeared on this website on April 1, 2017. Greg and Prudy insisted they never fed the gator. To read more about this affair, please click here.
Prudy Christman was a generous friend to all and would go out of her way to help friends and strangers alike. One of her primary goals was to make you laugh.
Prudy is survived by her loving husband Greg of 27 years, children Leif and Ellen Christman, and brothers Marty and Steve Eisele. She will also be remembered and missed by numerous family members, friends and adopted love ones. A Celebration of Life is being planned at the Clark Lake Community Center in the early summer. Prudy was fond of a line in a poem written by Mary Elizabeth Frye which asks: “Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.”