John E. Walheim

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John E. Walheim

May 12, 1927 - August 03, 2018

John E. Walheim John Eugene Walheim, 91, passed away peacefully on Aug. 3, 2018 at his home in Suttons Bay. He was born on May 12, 1927 in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, to the late John I. Walheim and Bessie G. (Hill) Walheim. He was one of three children and spent the majority of his life in his beloved Pennsylvania.
In many ways, John lived the American dream, enlisting to serve his country at the age of 17 in 1945, as a radio operator in the United States Coast Guard. Upon his return, John used the benefits of his GI Bill to earn his associate's degree from York Junior College and his bachelor's from Gettysburg College. He then worked full-time and put himself through night school to earn his law degree from Temple University.
In 1947, he met a young art student who was to be his future wife, Camille (Evarian). Together, they had many adventures, including "road rallies" in their favorite cars and traveling along the east coast. They had three children together. They divorced in 1969 and he married Janet Sussman in 1972.
John built his law practice in Philadelphia - his life as a Philly lawyer came with many colorful stories and characters, often joking that his life was a combination of Mad Men, American Hustle and Casino. His specialty was eminent domain law.
In 2002, he moved to Suttons Bay to be closer to family. He developed a love for card-playing, especially Texas Hold Em' poker, and it was at the card table where he received the nickname "Gator" from opponents. He penned two books on poker and blackjack as part of his "Gator's Guide" series.
John loved photography, keeping up with new tech, and jazz music. He was also incredibly passionate about keeping up with current events, with MSNBC playing at almost every hour of the day. He was progressive in his views and was hoping above all else, to make it to the voting booth this November - he would encourage all to exercise their right to vote in his absence.
John is survived by his three children, Matthew Walheim, of Suttons Bay, Erica Szilagyi-Norgart (Mitchell), of Naples, Florida, and Lisa Walheim-Seymour (Ronald), of Acme; along with his eight grandchildren, Katrina, Natalie, John, Chloe, Jack, Julia, Millie and Trixie. He is also survived by his sister, Jeanne Hamm, 97, of Radium Springs, New Mexico.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's name to the ACLU of Michigan, 2966 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201.
Please share condolences with John's family at
Arrangements are with Martinson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on August 8, 2018
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