Marilyn J. Butler, 86, Portage, passed away peacefully with family surrounding her on Tuesday, July 16. Marilyn was born February 24, 1933 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Norman and Margaret (Sullivan) Thiel. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central in 1951. When her children were young, she was the church secretary at Westminster Presbyterian Church and then worked at Consumers Energy as a customer service representative. On June 1, 1951, she was united in marriage to Roy Douglas Butler who proceeded her in death on January 3, 1999. Marilyn was also preceded in death by her parents; her stepmother, Thelma Thiel; stepfather, Don Masera, her sister, Madelyn McGuffin, in 2016; and her great grandson, little Vimmer, in 2014. Surviving are her daughters, Debbie (Mark) Lettow, Chonie (Robert) Kirkendall and Lori (Henry) Meier; grandchildren Wendy, Matthew (Nikki) Piper, Adam (Rachel) Meier, Robert Kirkendall, Jamie Kirkendall, Patrick (Jessica) Kirkendall, Meghan (Tim) Bullis, Jordan (Morgan) Meier, Jennee (Vincent) Krell, and Max Meier; 17 great grandchildren; five nieces and two nephews. A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 20, at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel. Visit her page at Donations may go to Southern Care Hospice, Portage.

Bernice King, 94, Portage, passed away on July 1. Bernice was born on April 3, 1925 in an old farm house in Bloomfield Hills. She spent her career as a bookkeeper for various churches over the years. Bernice moved to Portage after retiring in December of 1992. She spent her time as a member of the Eastern Star, Portage Senior Center and traveling with friends and family. The past 10 years were spent playing hand chimes weekly at the Portage Senior Center. Bernice is survived by her daughter, Vicki (Charles) Bailey; granddaughter, Shannon Melvin; and great-grandchildren Tiffany and Logan Melvin. Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon King, and brother, Leonard Brandt. A memorial service was held on Monday, July 15 at McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes (Avink Funeral Home and Cremation Society). Please visit Bernice’s page at where you can sign the guestbook, share a memory, or archive a photo. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Portage Senior Center.

Karen (Hatfield) Sabin, 64, died of a pulmonary embolism on July 19th in Three Rivers. Karen was born in Vicksburg on December 8, 1954, the daughter of George and Ethel (McElvain) Hatfield. Karen was living on the family farm with her parents and six brothers and sisters until 1965, when her father passed away. They sold the farm and moved to Vicksburg. While moving in, her mother sent the 11-year-old to the neighbor’s house to use the phone. Upon returning home, Karen declared that she would marry the boy that lived across the street. They grew up together as high school sweethearts. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1973. On September 21, 1973 she married Timothy Kevin Sabin at the Wakeshma Baptist Church. Karen is survived by her children, Jennifer (Arthur) Roberts and Justin (Hope) Sabin; grandchildren Arthur, Carson, Addison, Jeremy, Alyssa, Sissa and Vanessa; brothers and sisters and their spouses Roy and Alice (German) Hatfield, Judy (Meyers) Hatfield, Don and Judy (Erskin) Hatfield, Doris (Hatfield) Tyler, Mike and Sue (Brookman) Hatfield, Cathy (Queen of the no-bakes) Hatfield, Lloyd and Claudia (Sabin) Jackson and Scott and Cathy (McKinnon) Sabin. She was preceded in death by her parents and son Jeremy; her in-laws Milford and Norma (Hardwick) Sabin, a brother, George Hatfield II; nephew George Hatfield III; and brother in law Walt Tyler.

Max Ray Spealman, 82, Scotts, died July 21 at Kairos Dwelling in Kalamazoo. He was born in Fulton on May 9, 1937, the son of Gerald J. and Fay (Waits) Spealman, and was a lifetime resident of the area. He graduated from Vicksburg High School and served in the Army National Guard. Max was married to Sheila A. Moored on Feb. 19, 1956 in Vicksburg. Max was the head of maintenance for KVCC and later for the Hinman Company of Kalamazoo, and was known to be able to fix almost anything. He enjoyed travelling, camping, bowling, and golf in his spare time. Max is survived by his wife, Sheila; daughters Janice Glenn of Kalamazoo and Judy (Andrew) Radtke of Traverse City; grandchildren, Kristen (Joey) Hall, Melissa (Brent) Wheat, Douglas (Piper) Radtke, Karrie Glenn, and Jeremy Radtke; great-grandchildren Job, Silas, and Sophie Hall, Zachary, Reagan, and Evan Wheat, Corban, Declan, and Adelaide Radtke, and Maxxwell Glenn; a sister, Maxine Irving; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jerry Spealman; and sisters, Jean Homan, Geraldine Decker, and Joyce Lewis. Donations may go to Crossroads Missionary Church or to Kairos Dwelling. Visit his page at

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