December 7, 2019

Myra L. Juhnke

Died May 2, 2019


Myra Lane “Mike” Juhnke, 76, passed away peacefully May 2, 2019, for reasons known only to her.

An aficionado of natural health and clean living, she refused medical intervention of any kind her entire life, excepting the very end where she briefly embraced the wonders of modern-day illicit drugs. She was a career smoker until nearly the last day, and as she predicted, retained remarkably perfect lungs, heart and mind. She is now shouting “I told you so” from somewhere in the fourth dimension through a cloud of American Spirits.

She was born June 11, 1942, in Detroit, to Myron and Dorothy Scott. Born as Myra Lane Scott but known to all as “Mike,” she touched many lives with her challenging zest for debate, esoterica and controversy. She raised brothers Randy and Jeff Scott and sister Tracey (Scott) Benoit until, at age 20, she married her one and only love, David Willard Juhnke, after picking him out of the choir and predicting their entire life while only 17. Mike was a woman who always knew who she was and what she wanted.

She is survived by her husband, David Juhnke of Plymouth and Luzerne; her daughters, Elizabeth (Jeffrey) Gatt of Tampa, Fla., Jennifer (David) Thimm of Plymouth and Stephanie (Michael) Dougherty of Bloomfield Hills. She is also incredibly missed by the grandchildren who loved her as “Mimi,” Stefan (Suzanne) Gatt of Deerfield Beach, Fla., Joshua (Melissa) Gatt of Altach, Austria, Aidan Thimm of Grand Rapids, Elana Thimm of Savannah, Ga., Rowan and Daphne Dougherty of Bloomfield Hills; and great-grandson Austin Gatt, age 1, of Deerfield Beach, Fla. This large and boisterous brood were all present at her wake, which she attended a few weeks before her passing, where she enjoyed wine and tomahawk steaks (even if just a little…), and a spring sky listening to Johnny Mathis and Elvis.

She is eagerly greeted with kisses and eggs benedict at the Rainbow Bridge by her beloved Belgian Malinois, Samantha.

Mike was a friend and mentor, and always made the time for anyone wanting a challenging discussion, a golf lesson, fly-fishing pointers or just some personal confessions, of which she famously had no memory. She helmed J&J Machine Products Co., Inc. of Redford for 30 years — one of the first woman-owned businesses of the area. Every employee or vendor in the area will attest to the life-changing conversations had at J&J. A student of life, she studied the works of Edgar Cayce, “A Course in Miracles” and Adele Davis (“Let’s Have Healthy Children”). Mike read every book known to mankind, favoriting “Atlas Shrugged,” “Beauty’s Daughter” and her favorite, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Many of us have needed dictionaries to piece together both the compliments and insults from her.

We will forever miss her chicken and dumplings, pizza on the Green Egg up north, peach cobbler, apple pies, shrimp salad, Texas sheet cakes and toad-in-the-holes, brownies and lemon bars, onion and mushroom canapes, fried chicken, chicken pot pie, strawberry salad and poached lobster. We will forever value her love of salt and butter. We will all try to live up to her pound cake recipe that she passed on from her grandmother Inez “Nannie” Chandler.

In the last months we have enjoyed sharing the memories of her life that touched so many with laughs, travels, rounds of golf and love.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together … there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you.” — A.A. Milne.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that tributes be made in her memory to the Eton Academy Scholarship Fund, To share a memory, please visit


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