Houghton Lake Resorter

Edna Close

Former Pine Pantry owner and senior Olympian Edna Close, 87, Higgins Lake, died June 7, 2022, at home.

A memorial will be held for her and her husband, Jim, at Mel’s Pine Pantry Restaurant, Higgins Lake, July 3, from 3 to 6 p.m.

She was born Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1934, in Ferndale, the daughter of Edward and Mabel Hering. She had two older brothers, Don and Loyd.

She graduated from Lincoln High School in Ferndale and attended Albion College and Flint Junior College. She held several office positions in the Detroit area. Later, she became secretary for the dean of education at Ferris State University (FSU).

In 1957, she married James Close. The couple had two children, Dawn and John.

Mrs. Close had a long history at Higgins Lake. She came with her parents, who bought property, in 1938. She worked at Gyde’s Bakery, which later became the Pine Pantry.

After getting married and working at FSU, where her husband attended, she and her husband moved to Grand Rapids, where she was also a secretary. They then moved to Pinckney. Her husband worked in Dexter as a printer for 30 years, but they always came back to the lake.

She and her husband purchased the Pine Pantry in 1967 and she managed the restaurant for 28 years. Her claim to fame was her amazing pies.

Mrs. Close enjoyed physical activity, her favorite being swimming. After moving to Higgins Lake in 1976, she also started downhill skiing and had a membership at Skyline for 25 years. She made several trips to Big Sky, MT, and Park City, UT, to ski with friends and family. She also enjoyed cross-country skiing, golfing, biking, working in her garden and traveling.

After selling the Pine Pantry, she started swimming competitively. Over the course of 15 years, she won medals in four events at the Michigan Senior Olympics.

A charter member of Zonta Club since 1984, she enjoyed the connection and opportunities it had to offer in travel and meeting women from all over the world. She attended international conventions in Toronto, Detroit, St. Louis and Paris. She served as president, vice president, treasurer and board member. She also volunteered at Kirtland Community College activities, the Roscommon County Literacy Council and hospice.

Preceding her in death were her parents; siblings; and husband, Jim, in 2015.

Surviving are her daughter; Dawn; and son, John.

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