Obituaries

Jill Stacy (Puvogel) Adamski, 53, Hickory Corners, died Nov. 11, after a courageous battle against cancer. Jill, the daughter of Jeffrey P. and Jane C. (Lundy) Puvogel, was born in Royal Oak August 13, 1965 and was a 1983 graduate of Vicksburg High School. She graduated from MSU’s James Madison College in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Jill was the Membership Director for the Sherman Lake YMCA beginning in 2008, she embodied the YMCA’s mission for supporting the community and particularly enjoyed coordinating the Y’s annual event “The Shermanator.” Jill served on the Gull Lake School Board from 2003 until 2014 where she was a past president and as a member of the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation board from 2014 until recently. She worked tirelessly to ensure the most recent school bond issue passed. She was a proud supporter of Gull Lake athletics and never missed an opportunity to watch her kids play or to drive half the team to practices. Jill had also been a member of the Gull Lake Area Rotary Club and was a proud card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. Jill married David E. Adamski in Kalamazoo on June 26, 1991. Surviving are her husband of 27 years, Dave; two daughters, Haley J. Adamski (Mitchell Hickman) of Hickory Corners and Kelsey J. Adamski (Emily Lindsey) of Kalamazoo; their son, Jeffrey D. Adamski of Royal Oak; her parents, Jeff and Jane Puvogel of Vicksburg, her sister, Jennifer J. (Gregg Baustian) Puvogel of Maple City, MI. Donations may go to the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation or the Sherman Lake YMCA. Visit her page at farleyestesdowdle.com.

Barbara Jean Bell, 92, formerly of Mendon and Vicksburg, died Nov. 20, at Sue’s Loving Care Home in Kalamazoo. She was born in Three Rivers on July 10, 1926, the daughter of the late John Henry and Zella Blanchard (Avery) Fenwick. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1944 and attended Western Michigan University and the Bronson Hospital School of Nursing. She was a nurse for over 40 years, working mostly at Vicksburg’s Franklin Memorial Hospital. Barbara was married to Richard Duane Bell on Feb. 16, 1947 in Three Rivers. She enjoyed crocheting and sewing and raised chickens every spring. She was a 4-H Leader for many years when her children were young. Barbara especially enjoyed camping and travel. She and her family were able to travel to all 50 states, Australia, and New Zealand. Barbara is survived by sons Darrell Bell of Mendon, Bruce (Bonnie) Bell of Portage, Duane Bell of Mendon, David (Kathy) Bell of Mendon, and Terry (Diane) Bell of Mattawan; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren and a sister, Nancy Fenwick of Vicksburg. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard; two grandchildren, Kimberly and Adam Bell; great-grandson Joshua Little; daughter in law Linda Bell; and her favorite pet, Rastas. Donations may go to Sue’s Loving Care. Visit her page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Eleanor “Jeanne” Bogard, 94, Vicksburg, passed away Nov. 11. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Vicksburg VFW Post 5189.

Samuel “Joe” Brockway, 82, Vicksburg, passed away November 23. He was born to Samuel and Julia (Everett) Brockway on April 5, 1936. He was raised on the Brockway Historical Farm in Brady Township. He attended local schools, graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1954. He was active in FFA and agricultural activities. He began working for American Wire Cloth Company in Parchment, supplying wires for machines used for the manufacturing of paper. He assisted in the invention of an ultrasonic welder to patch screens on paper machines. Joe continued working at American Wire Cloth Co. until 1989 when he bought the company and then continued to own and operate the business for 12 more years. The only time Joe set his work aside was to serve in the Army when he was drafted during the Korean Conflict, serving in that country. He spent his lifetime caring for his farm and tending to the needs of his cattle. Aside from farming, Joe’s passion was basketball. He coached junior basketball for four years and enjoyed seeing the athletes develop through their years on the varsity team. Joe and Maxine could frequently be found at many school activities, especially basketball games and band concerts when the grandchildren were involved. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Maxine; daughter Anne (John) Boers; grandchildren: Joseph (Holly) Boers; Amanda (Kevin) O’Malley; great grandson: Henry O’Malley and another one on the way. He is also survived by his sister, Judy Foote and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Connie Welcherand and a brother, Milo “Pete” Brockway. Please visit Joe’s page at mccowensecord.com. Those who wish may make contributions to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and the Vicksburg Foundation.

Theora “Teddy” D. Karns, 61, Vicksburg, passed away October 27. Teddy was born on June 27, 1957 in Grundy, Va., and graduated from Loy Norrix High School in 1975 after her family relocated to Michigan. She was the daughter of Linden and Lois Edwards. On July 2, 2004, Theora married Thomas Karns. She worked for over 15 years at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital as an LPN. She was especially known for her arts and crafts. She is survived by her parents, Linden and Lois Edwards; her husband of 14 years, Thomas; children Tonya (Andy) Taylor, of Portage; Lyndie (Brian Tassell) Wall, of Fulton; Conor (Jenny) Schaub, of California, and their father, Terry Schaub; grandchildren Kasey, Morgan, Gracie Lue, Eric Thomas, Wyatt, Isla, and Oliver. She is also survived by sisters Pam (Jeff) Foy of Climax and Jenny Edwards of Vicksburg; brothers-in-law Larry (Julia) Karns, of Battle Creek and Michael (Ann) Karns, of Tekonsha; sisters-in-law Donna (Dennis) Wintersteen, of Marshall and Becky (Rich) Simpkins, of Mississippi; nephew Brendan Foy, of Climax and niece Alyssa (James) Green, of Vicksburg, and their children Jaxon and Jayne; many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends; and a very special companion: her beloved dog Geno. Visit Theora’s page at mccowensecord.com.

Elaine Leitch, 67, Vicksburg, passed away Nov. 22, after a large and enjoyable family Thanksgiving celebration. Elaine was born on May 29, 1951 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of James and Maxine (Eaton) Bacon. Elaine was a fun-loving person. Elaine enjoyed cooking, reading and gospel music. A cherished moment with her young children was turning down the lights, tucking them in bed and singing gospel songs until they drifted off to sleep. On April 12, 1969 in Vicksburg, she married John Leitch, who preceded her in death in 2015. Elaine will be sadly missed by her children, Kimberly (Christopher) McClain of Colon, Tracie Leitch of Portage and James Leitch of Vicksburg; seven grandchildren; three great grandchildren, sister Patricia (Walter) Dorey, Vicksburg, and brother Rocky Bacon, Vicksburg. Elaine will be forever remembered by her numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends. Besides her husband she was preceded in death by her parents, her son, Charles “Chuckie” and her sibling Sharon (Bacon) Gregg.

Allen Frank Middaugh, passed away Nov. 8 in Kalamazoo, surrounded by his family. Allen was born on February 14, 1948 in Vicksburg to Walter and Ellen (Allen) Middaugh. He was an engineer who installed sprinkler systems for industries. He is survived by his wife, Patty (Myers) Middaugh, his children, Angela Middaugh and Audrey Burton, step-children Terri (Mike) Lewcun of Texas and Rob (Charlotte) Meyer of Oklahoma, sisters Betty Witcher of Kalamazoo, Vicki (Jim) Worthington of Vicksburg, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Allen was preceded in death by his parents.

Sharon K. Philipp, Vicksburg, died Nov. 13. Sharon was born Aug. 2, 1941 in Kalamazoo, a daughter of Edward and Leora (Whitlock) Kuiper. She was a former member of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. She was loved by the children she took care of in her licensed daycare home. She often played the role of Mrs. Santa for Vicksburg’s Christmas gathering. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, David Kuiper, a daughter, Becky Jones, and a granddaughter, Allison Sharon Jones. On September 9, 1967, she married Robert J. Philipp, who survives. Also surviving are a son-in-law, Greg Jones of Kalamazoo; five grandchildren; three sisters; a brother, Harvey (Susan) Kuiper of Vicksburg; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Donations may go to Kairos Dwelling or St. Andrews Community Church. Visit her page at langelands.com.

Donna Robertson, 84, Kalamazoo, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away Nov. 28 with her family by her side. She was born to Harry and Hazel VanPutten on May 14, 1934. Donna and Carl Robertson were married on February 19, 1955. Since Carl worked as a carpenter, they built a few homes and moved around quite a bit. They spent some time living in a home he built on Crooked Lake in Mattawan, and when he built a home in Schoolcraft they moved there. Donna is survived by her children, Barb and Norm Constant, Deb Mathews, Brenda and Perry Stermer, Craig and Becky Roberston, Cathy and Bob Carey and Diane and Anthony Felicijan; 18 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren. Donna was preceded in death by her loving husband of 30 years, Carl Gene Robertson; a son, Steve Robertson and brother and sister-in-law, Thomas and Evelyn VanPutten. Visit Donna’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Beechwood Hills Christian Camp.

Bryan M. Smith, Vicksburg, died Nov. 13. Bryan was born November 30, 1987 in Kalamazoo, the son of Robins and Kimberly (Parisi) Smith. During the Afghanistan War, he served with the U.S. Marines. He had been a lifelong Kalamazoo area resident and was employed with B&T Farms in Fulton. On August 6, 2016, he married Rachel J. (Smith) Smith, who survives. Also surviving are his parents; a sister, Rachel Smith of Lawton; a brother, Kyle Smith of Vicksburg; his in-laws, Douglas and Rhonda Smith (Rasler); and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorials may be directed to the family. Visit Bryan’s page at langelands.com.

Steven Ralph Smith, 67, Scotts, passed away Nov. 26. Steve was born on March 11, 1951 in Kalamazoo, the son of Ralph and Marjorie (Morse) Smith. Steve was hardworking, social, caring, loving and dedicated. Steve worked for the Pavilion Township Fire Department for 45 years and served as fire chief for 23 years. Steve is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sandy; children Shannon (Abe) Northup, of Portage; Shaun Smith, of Scotts; Stuart Smith, of Scotts; Spencer Smith, of Scotts; and Stacia (Matt) Weaver, of Portage; grandchildren Christopher Smith, Tristin Northrup, Trinity Northup, Zackary Weaver and Phoebe Weaver. He is also survived by siblings Alan and Jane Smith. He was preceded in death by a son, Scott Smith, and his parents. Visit Steve’s page at http://www.mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Pavilion Township Fire Dept.

Kirby Sean Steil, 47, Marcellus, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away Nov. 20 after a valiant battle with cancer, with his loving family and pastor at his side. Kirby was born to Lynn and Michael Steil in Kalamazoo on Sept. 16, 1971. At Schoolcraft High School, Kirby learned public speaking, history and drama – foundations for his career – from his father, who was on the faculty. He also honed his leadership skills as co-captain of the 1989 Schoolcraft state championship football team. A walk-on at Central Michigan University, he left football after an injury to focus on a communication major. Kirby was president of his fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, in his senior year, graduating in 1995. As a vice president of Insight Global working out of Chicago and Grand Rapids, he trained hundreds of people in leadership and sales. An avid power lifter and member of Triple River CrossFit, he lifted with his son, Tyson New, and helped coach the Three Rivers High School power lifting team to regional and state titles. Kirby lived on Cedar Lake, Marcellus, with his wife, Missy (Wiseman) Steil. In addition to his wife, his four children and parents, Kirby is survived by three sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his brother, Michael. Donations may go to the American Cancer Society, Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene or Gilda’s Club, Grand Rapids. Online condolences may be left at materralstonfuneralhome.com.

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