Obituaries

Connie Marie (Rizzo) Armstrong, 78, Vicksburg, passed away November 21. She was born January 20, 1941 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Peter Joseph and Mary (Millek) Rizzo, and had been a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo and Vicksburg. Connie was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Eugene Armstrong of Kalamazoo. She is survived by six children, William (Shelly)Cornell; Melody Meyer, Kalamazoo; Michelle (Robert) Myers, Texas; Connie Sanders, Gladwin, Mich; Mark Sanders, Oklahoma; Leon (Tammy) Hough, Holland, Mich.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is survived by siblings Sharon (Rick) Mahoney, Kalamazoo, Peter (Bonnie) Rizzo and MaryLynn Wilcox (Roger), both of Vicksburg. A Mass of Christian Burial took place on Wednesday, November 27 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Kalamazoo. Please visit mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Cornelia “Connie” Badham, 89, Schoolcraft, passed away November 20 in Three Rivers. Connie was born March 11, 1930 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Sake and Ricka (Dykema) Vander Veen. She was a lifelong area resident, employed for many years with Gibson Guitar and then General Motors until her retirement in 1993. She was a member of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church. Family was a very important part of Connie’s life. Surviving are three children, John (Audrey) Badham, Merrie Badham and Barbara Krizanic; five grandsons and several great-grandchildren. Connie was preceded in death by her daughter, Linda Reed, her parents and by all her siblings. Donations may go to Schoolcraft United Methodist Church. Please visit Connie’s personalized guestbook at langelands.com.

Donald George Braymer, 98, Vicksburg, passed away Oct. 31. He passed quietly of cumulative heart congestion with little pain and loving family members at his side. Don was born in Kalamazoo on May 5th, 1921 to George and Nelli Braymer. Don and his wife, Betty, lived the past 32 years on Sunset Lake in Vicksburg and resided the previous 28 years on Gourdneck Lake in Portage. They were married on August 8th, 1945 and were inseparable for nearly 74 years. Don was a loving husband and father, a friendly neighbor and was always willing to lend his considerable expertise to friends and strangers in need. Don grew up in the Kalamazoo area and joined the U.S. Navy shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II. Don spent time training at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois and in St. Louis, Mo., where he met the love of his life, Betty Jane Zausch. During World War II, Don served his country in the Pacific Theater as a naval airplane mechanic and saw action on several pivotal islands including Guadalcanal. After the war, Don returned to the States, married Betty, moved back to Kalamazoo and began a long career at the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company from which he retired in 1976. Don started in the mail room and worked his way up to become the head of the photography department. During his stay in the photography department, Don produced motion pictures for Upjohn. His team won recognition for several medical documentaries. Don and Betty belonged to a singing and performance group that visited the elderly for years until health issues prevented their participation. They were longstanding members of the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo and regularly attended services there over the years. Don was preceded in death by Betty, who passed away this spring. They had four children: Don Jr. (Carol) Braymer, David (Kate) Braymer, Kathy (Charlie) MacDonald and Bill (Susan) Braymer. David Braymer preceded Don in death as he passed away 13 years ago. Don is survived by 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Joyce Elaine Henderson, passed away peacefully on November 13 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Joyce was the daughter of Robert and Pearl (Rose) Nichols. She was born on August 10, 1936. Growing up, her parents owned the grocery store in Scotts. She married Jean Blodgett and together they had four children: Jeanine, Lori, Tracy and Brian. Soon after Brian was born, doctors discovered that Jean had a brain tumor. He passed away when all the kids were young. She worked many jobs to keep food on the table and provide for her children. Her favorite job was working at the greenhouses in Comstock. When Joyce met William Henderson, it wasn’t long before they were married. They enjoyed traveling together and fishing trips with friends. They purchased a travel trailer, as they both loved to camp, especially at Blue Lake in Climax. A lot of the Henderson family and friends gathered there. They called it “Hendersonville.” Joyce was a pretty happy person who only regretted one thing in her life – quitting school in 10th grade. She always said that she wanted to get her diploma, so she eventually went back and obtained her GED and graduated on the honor roll with all A’s and B’s and the highest grade in her class. Joyce is survived by her husband, William Henderson, and her four children, Jeanine (Al) Peake, Lori (Mark) Mastenbrook, Tracy (Ed) Blodgett, and Brian (Michelle) Blodgett. She leaves behind two step-grandchildren, Chris (Jim) Faas, Sarah (Dale) Olmstead and eight grandchildren, Samantha, Amanda, Brittany, Amber, Jamie, Trevor, Alecia and Abigail. She has one sister, Donna Gray. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice.

Carole Locey, Vicksburg, passed away November 15. She was born on October 27, 1939 to Daniel Sr. and Donna (Saye) Conway. She contracted polio as a young girl and the experience contributed to Carole’s strength and resilience for the rest of her life. Carole will be forever remembered by her children, Ellen Fillingham and David Locey; a granddaughter, Autumn Locey; brother, Daniel Conway, Jr.; niece, Kelly (Rich) Stack; nephews Scott (Stephanie), Christopher (Laura) and Brian (Jacqueline) Conway, and their children. Carole was preceded in death by her parents and her sister-in-law, Patricia Conway. Visit her page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Community Chorale or Hackett Catholic Prep Athletics.

Mrs. Mary M. Lowe, Vicksburg, died November 20. Mary was born May 21, 1948 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Donald and Margaret (Wolff) Phelps. She was a lifelong Kalamazoo area resident and was employed with Field’s Fabrics for over 15 years before retiring. On November 2, 1968, she was united in marriage to Ronald M. Lowe, who survives. Also surviving are a daughter, Michelle (Rob) Neville of Raleigh, N.C,; grandchildren Justin (Kasey) Lewis and Phebe Lewis and a great-granddaughter, Dakota. Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center. Visit her page at langelands.com.

Patricia Jeanette Weinberg, passed away peacefully November 13. She was born to John and Doris Goldsmith on February 18, 1933 in Vicksburg. Patricia worked for the Vicksburg schools as a bus driver. She also worked in hospital administration. Patricia was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle Weinberg. Patricia is survived by her five children, Daniel and Kathy Weinberg, Patricia and Robert Parker, Michael and Debra Weinberg, Melinda and Bill Kiewiet, Matthew and Eden Weinberg, 17 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Rolland “Stub” J. Westfall, 98, Schoolcraft, passed away Nov. 28. He was born January 8, 1921 in Newberg Township to Leo and Lila (Jones) Westfall. He graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1940 and married Pearl Modert June 9, 1945. Rolland is survived by his wife of 74 years, Pearl; son Warren (Diane) Westfall, of Schoolcraft; daughter Janice (Jim) Altimus, of Three Rivers; grandchildren Jon Altimus, of Arkansas; Judy (Steve) Rupp, of Kalamazoo; Jeffrey (Danielle) Altimus of Arizona; and Shawn (Nicki) Westfall, of Schoolcraft; great grandchildren Emilie (Ryan) Boatright; Zacherie Altimus; Elaine Altimus, Ethan Rupp, Harrison Rupp, Faith Westfall, Keaton Westfall and great great grandchildren Miller, Kanon, and Konner Boatright. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Hubert McDonald, of Three Rivers; nieces, and nephews. Rolland was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Evelyn (Lorraine) Rice and Lucille (Owen) Hoak; granddaughter Robin Westfall; great great granddaughters Samantha and Elizabeth. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Kairos Dwelling, Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, and South Kalamazoo County Fire Fighter Association.

Catherine Wurtzel, 84, Scotts, died November 15. She was born in Scotland to John and Catherine (Ellis) Friel on May 23, 1935. She came to the United States in 1957 and became the secretary to the vice president of Ford International. She met her future husband, Philip, and they were married in 1960 in Saginaw. Catherine’s family includes her children, Ann (Shawn) Gloden, Kathryn (Buck) Rauch, Philip (Darcye) Wurtzel, Steve (Angie) Wurtzel, and Ryan (Heather) Wurtzel; grandchildren Courtney, Nicole, Rebecca, Heather, Matthew, Jack, Liam, Maximus, Alexander, Madison and Mackenzie; a great-grandson, Jace; special friends Dr. Jim and Lori Stepanski, the Murray family, Paul and Mary Moscardini, Pete Noteboom and many wonderful nephews, nieces and friends. Catherine was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years; in-laws Mary (Sam) Healander, Fred Wurtzel, Alice (Frank) MacRae, Edmund (Sarah) Wurtzel, Arthur (Cile) Wurtzel, Bob (Kay) Kossak, Donald (Julie) Wurtzel, Dorothy (Joe) Murin, Joe (Patty) Wurtzel; and John (Jean) Murray – her Scottish family. Visit her page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to the Willis Foundation or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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