Donald J Weeks
He was a successful entrepreneur who, with his wife Joan, operated the Camelot Inn in Elk Rapids since they acquired it in 2002. In Elk Rapids, he was active in the Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club. He also was active in the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association, serving on its governmental affairs committee. When living in St. Ignace, he served in local government on the planning commission.
In recent years from the Camelot Inn, Don operated kayak excursions on the Chain-of-Lakes in cooperation with other hospitality services. He took pride in encouraging Up North “silent sport adventures.”
In 1994, Don was editor and co-owner of the Peninsula News weekly in Houghton, and earlier had brief stints at Interlochen Public Radio and TV9-10. He was creator and producer of the syndicated Michigan Memories audio series, operated the Great Lakes Book Club, was contributing author of books on Michigan governors and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and most recently was editor/distributor of the syndicated weekly Michigan Politics newspaper column written by his father.
Journalism was in his blood. His grandfather, Don C. Weeks, was city editor of the Traverse City Record-Eagle during the early 20th century era of editor Jay Smith (from whom Don got his middle name).
In his early years, Don greatly enjoyed hiking, skiing and other activities on the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and in recent years was devoted to activities with his grandchildren. As his illness rapidly progressed, he said, “My great regret is not being able to see my grandchildren grow up.”
Don, who grew up in East Lansing, Northern Virginia and Glen Arbor, is survived by his wife Joan Marie (Schaaf), formerly of Hancock; parents Mollie and George Weeks of Glen Arbor; sister Julie Weeks and brother-in-law Walter Hoegy of Empire; daughter Robin Montero and grandchildren Jenna and Max Montero, and son Lukas (Amanda) Pearson and grandchildren Ron Hosking, Donovan Pearson and Alexandra Pearson, all of Pellston.
Cremation has occurred. At his request, there will be no funeral. Memorials may be directed to the Leelanau Conservancy, PO Box 1007, Leland MI 49654 (or online at theconservancy.com); or to the Elk Rapids Area Community Endowment Fund at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, 250 E. Front St., Suite 310, Traverse City MI 49684 (or online at gtrcf.org).
Kindly share your memories with the family on their online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com ?The family is being served by The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Traverse City.