BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Ian C. Tracey, 38, and Michael Biven, 20, both of Clarkston, will be remembered as heroes after drowning during a rescue attempt of two co-workers in trouble on Hidden Lake in Green Oak Township.
“He was trying to save the life of another and lost his life in the process. Our future is so unclear while we struggle with the harsh reality. He was our rock in life,” said Kerri Spangler, Tracey’s wife, on a GoFundMe page set up for his family.
Tracey and Biven were part of an end-of-season maintenance crew on the lake, removing buoys, when their co-workers’ boat capsized at around 7:22 p.m., Oct. 28.
The co-workers, both 20, called three fellow work crew members, telling them they were in the water and in distress, due to the cold temperature.
Tracey and Biven went into the lake to provide assistance while the third remained on shore. One of the men in the capsized boat managed to swim to shore on his own while the second was rescued by a Hidden Lake resident driving another boat.
During this time, Tracey and Biven disappeared from view. Livingston County dive team members conducted an underwater search and located the two men in water about 10 feet deep, at about 8:30 p.m. The divers began resuscitation efforts and Livingston County paramedics took them to the University of Michigan Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Police said there was a rapid increase in depth just off shore, the water was cold, and none of the men involved used or had access to personal flotation devices.
Tracey, formerly of Royal Oak, was the husband of Kerri Spangler; father of Ethan, Leif and Oliver; son of John and Sandy; brother of John “Jack” (Jill), Sean (Kara Upperstrom) and Evan; uncle of John; son in law of Debbie (late Don) Willson.
Ian owned and operated IC Waterfalls where he was a Master Builder and Designer of custom waterfalls. Friends may visit at Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Clarkston, Wednesday, 3-9 p.m. with a scripture service at 6 p.m.
Funeral Mass is Thursday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. at St. Daniel Catholic Church, Clarkston. In lieu of flowers, any donations to the family will be used toward the future care of his sons. Online guestbook, www.wintfuneralhome.com.
Visitation for Biven will be at Temrowski Funeral Home, 500 Main Street, Fenton, on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m.. Funeral will be on Thursday at 11 a.m. Pot Luck Luncheon will be at the American Legion hall on Mary Sue in Independence Township at 1 p.m.
Fund raisers set up for Tracey and Biven’s families are at www.gofund me.com/burial-fund-for-michael-biven and www.gofundme.com/ian-tracey-in-honor-of-his-family.
“My friend Sandy West lost her 20 year old son, Michael Biven, in a horrible drowning accident on Friday. I’m trying to raise money to help with his funeral/memorial and burial, to help Sandy out,” said Donna Jean Long-Greer of Ortonville on Biven’s GoFundMe page. “Please wear pajama pants to the funeral if you can, to honor Michael’s love of wearing pajama pants.”
“I’m asking for your help and I just can’t put a price on things right now,” Spangler said. “Thank you. I know that Ian has an amazing group of supporters and anything donated will be used to take care of his life’s wishes.”
BY PHIL CUSTODIO