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Makes You Feel at Home

Louis Motto

February 15, 1923 - March 15, 2015
Livonia, MI



Saturday, March 21, 2015
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 525-9020

Gathering only. No funeral services will be held.

Driving Directions


Tuesday, March 24, 2015
10:30 AM EDT
St.Patrick's Catholic Church
711 Rickett Rd
Brighton, MI 48116
(810) 229-9863


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Cardwell Florist
(734) 421-3567

Life Story / Obituary


Although he accomplished so many things of which to be proud, Louis Motto was a humble and generous man whose heart beat to care for others first and foremost. Deeply rooted in his Catholic faith, his life exemplified what it means to be a servant of the Lord he loved. Blessed to share the majority of his life’s journey with the love of his life, Louis and his wife were genuine partners, true companions, and best friends. Upon meeting Louis, it took only a couple of minutes to see that his warm heart and gentle yet nurturing touch were truly spectacular. He was a dear man to many, and his timeless legacy will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.

With the end of WWI in 1918, America was recognized as a world leader and poised for greatness. The 1920s came rushing in soon after, which brought innovation that was leading the way to new technologies that ushered in times of great prosperity. It was during this exciting time that Dominic and Maria Motto were pleased to announce the birth of the son they named Louis on February 15, 1923, in the small iron mining town of Negaunee, Michigan. He was the youngest of three children in his family and was raised alongside his sister, Natalie, and his brother, John, by his Italian immigrant parents in a home that had the Catholic faith as its foundation. The Motto family was surrounded by their large extended family that was rooted in old country language, foods, and traditions. In fact, it was as a student at St. Paul’s Catholic School that he gained a firm knowledge of the English language. In addition to attending St. Paul’s for his education, he was also an altar boy at St. Paul’s.

In many ways Louis experienced a typical upbringing. Their family weathered the storm of the Great Depression by having their own cow for milk and chickens for eggs, and they also grew the bulk of their own produce, only purchasing a few extras from Italian grocers. Louis’ father was a volunteer with the local police and fire department, and he also worked full-time as the chief of housing maintenance with the Mining Company. Louis collected scrap iron for pennies and was nicknamed the “shennie man.” As a teen he and his brother cut wood to heat their home during the winter on their property that was once a lumberjack camp with a well that was so cold the drinking water would create frost on a glass jug even in the heat of the summer! Winters found the boys skiing behind vehicles on wooden skies with a tow rope, and Louis also played basketball, earning two letters as a junior and senior.

After graduating from St. Paul’s High School in 1940, Louis was ready to embrace all that life had in store. For a short time he worked as an assistant shop teacher, but he soon left for Detroit with other young men from his town in search of a job in the auto industry. Louis soon found worked with the Joseph D. Lamb Company in Detroit. It was his personal life that soon became very exciting as he met the young girl with whom he would write a love story that would span more than 60 years. She was a girl named Virginia Beighel who lived with her family across the street from the boarding house where Louis lived on Burnette Street.

With the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, our nation was forever changed. He joined the Navy, which was his chosen branch of the military because accruing to Louis, they ate good! He was stationed in England where he supported the preparation efforts and eventual invasion of Europe on D-Day. He was not the only one in his family to answer the call to serve during this time, however, as his brother and several cousins were also fighting for the preservation of the freedoms that we still enjoy today. Louis was later honorably discharged as a Seaman 1st. Class, United States Navy Construction Battalion, 10th Specialist Stevedores.

With his military duties fulfilled, Louis returned home to the Upper Peninsula for a time, but he later came back to work in Detroit where he was reunited with the love of his life, Virginia. Deeply in love, they were married on May, 1950. The newlyweds lived in Detroit for short time before moving to the new suburb of Livonia in the early 1950s, calling 30605 Hathaway Street their home. Louis continued working in the automotive industry as a tool and die man, and together he and Virginia welcomed three sons, Michael John, Jeffrey Charles, and Martin James into their hearts and home. As a family they were members of St. Damian Catholic Parish in Livonia. They loved taking vacations back at home in the Upper Peninsula where they were surrounded by family members who lived there as well as other extended family members who returned for the summer to celebrate their heritage. Louis remained close to his cousin, John Torreano, who has survived him at age 94.

Louis made a career as a cost analysis engineer at the Ford Motor Company. He had great success there, too, as his suggestion on how to cut costs even won him a car on one occasion! After retiring in the the mid-eighties, Louis had more time for enjoying the things he loved. He and his wife vacationed to places like the Bahamas, on Caribbean cruises, and to Las Vegas as well as trips to visit family and friends in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and many other places within the United States. Louis and Virginia also traveled to warm weather destinations with their friends, Mary and Gene and Bob and Margret. In addition, they traveled annually with Rod and Jean and Bill and Nancy to Toronto and The Finger Lakes in New York State.

Throughout his life Louis was always busy. He was on bowling leagues from 1947 until suffering his stroke in October of 2014, and he also regularly played cards and golfed, especially after retiring. Louis was an outstanding handyman and craftsman with excellent mechanical and wood working skills. For years he met his daily coffee group at McDonald’s, he was a founding member of a longstanding stock club, and he always kept a garden, even after moving to Lake Edgewood Condominiums in Brighton in 1995. He was a die hard Lions fan, Michigan fan, and Michigan State fan, but only because Tom Izzo was from the UP.

All who knew Louis Motto would agree that he was a man of honor, integrity, and sound moral principle. He inspired others to do their best in everything while paying no mind to the things they can’t control. Louis cherished his family both near and far, and although he missed his beloved wife after her death, he continued to hold his family near and dear to his heart. His memory will be forever treasured, and he will never be forgotten.

Louis March Motto died on March 15, 2015. Louis’ family includes his children, Michael (Mary), Jeffrey and Martin (Sherry); grandchildren, Anthony, Morgan, Christopher, and Mallory. Louis was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia. Family will receive guests Saturday 1-5 p.m. at the Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (Between Middlebelt and Merriman). You may share a memory, upload a photo and sign the guest book at www.TurowskiLifeStory.com before arriving at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Heart to Heart Hospice 30800 Telegraph Rd. Suite 1850. Bingham Farms, MI 48025