Obituaries

Florence Evelyn Belden, 92, Vicksburg, died Dec. 10. Florence was born February 9, 1927 in Manchester, Tenn., the daughter of Elmer and Mary (Frizzel) Reynolds. After marrying her adoring husband, Milford, in 1951, the family settled in Vicksburg. The small town suited her well as Florence never learned to drive or even ride a bicycle. She enjoyed playing Bunco, bowling, and making an endless amount of popcorn balls for trick-or-treaters. Perhaps nothing brought her more pleasure than cooking and baking all sorts of yummy delights for her family. Florence was preceded in death by her husband; siblings Nola Thomas, Allene Ferrell, George Reynolds, and Beverly Lloyd. Surviving are her children, Gary (Linda) Belden, Duane (Bonnie) Belden, Jack Belden, Paul (Pat) Belden, Carl Belden, Delores Germain and Denise (George) Esman; 18 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Visit her page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Fulton Christian Church or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

William Robert (Bill) Cohrs, formerly of Vicksburg, died Jan. 21. His warm smile, gentle nature, steady temperament and dry sense of humor were appreciated by all who knew him. Bill was born in Vicksburg, on February 8, 1950 to Fred Robert and Maxine Muir Cohrs. Bill loved sports at an early age and was a star athlete at Vicksburg High School, where he excelled in basketball, football and track and field. Prior to his graduation in 1968, he set a state record in the high jump. Bill earned his undergraduate degree as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University. He was a forward for the Spartans basketball team and held a life-long sports allegiance for his alma mater. Bill went on to earn his juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia in 1980. Bill enjoyed a highly successful professional life as a trademark and copyright attorney which began in Atlanta with the firm of Hurt, Richardson, Garner, Todd & Cadenhead. After six years with King & Spalding, Bill spent the majority (and remainder) of his career with Exxon-Mobile at its world headquarters in Irving, Texas. The international nature of his responsibilities afforded Bill an opportunity to visit many parts of the world. He retired after 22 years with Exxon in June, 2012. Bill met the love of his life, Susan Blakemore, when they were employed by the same firm in Atlanta. They married on June 20, 1981. They moved to Coppell, Texas in 2005 and grew to love the community and its people. Bill and Susan were both “doers” and actively contributed to various community organizations as well as their church. Bill was an election judge since 2012, a member of the Coppell Republican Club, where he most recently served as treasurer, and attended the Coppell Citizens Police Academy. As member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bill served in varied capacities including the coordination of clean-up efforts for those affected by tornadoes in Canton, Texas, and Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Fred (97) and Maxine (94). He is survived by his wife; sons David, Matthew and Luke; grandchildren Thomas Beach, Genevieve Fonov, Darby Adams, Timothy Adams, Gary Adams and Grace Olivia Adams); great-grandchild Luka Fonov; and siblings Fred, Dan, Maryann Cohrs Weaver, Nancy and Tim. Donations may go to the Salvation Army.

Dorothy Dailey, 81, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 20. Dorothy was born on October 2, 1938, to Isaac and Mary (Parsons) Dubbeld. Dorothy’s family includes her children, Loren (Krista) Dailey, Sharon Alstrom and Daniel Dailey; siblings Alice, Mary, Bonnie, Suzy, Jim, Richard, Daniel and Ronald as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Laverne, and siblings Walter, Betty and Donna. Dorothy enjoyed cooking and taking care of her flower garden and was an avid birdwatcher. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the American Diabetes Association.

Del “Dean” Forsythe, 84, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 8. He was born in Jerome, Iowa on November 22, 1935. Del provided for his family through his work as a tool and die supervisor at GM. With wife Myrna at his side, Del created a home rooted in honesty. In 1966, Del transferred to Kalamazoo, and the family settled in Vicksburg. In 1967, they joined Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Del was an active member of the local Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose. He also worked with the Vicksburg Ambulance Service. Upon retiring from GM after 37 ½ years of loyal service, he and Myrna got to travel. He is survived by his wife of 64 years; sons Dennis Lee (Kathleen) Forsythe, of Vicksburg and Douglas Eugene Forsythe, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Nicole Lee Rayburn, of Tennessee; Amanda Marian (Matthew) Nixon, of Michigan; Elizabeth Anne (George) Palat, of Arizona; Andrew Dennis Forsythe, of Michigan; great-grandchildren Tyler James Deau, Morgan Lee Rayburn, Allyson Nicole Rayburn, Caleb Nixon, and Chloe Nixon. He is also survived by a brother, Charles (Kay) Dooley, of Iowa; a daughter-in-law, Gloria Forsythe, of Kalamazoo; sisters-in-law Paulita Forsythe and Sharon Wynn; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Del was preceded in death by sons Allan Dean Forsythe and a baby boy; brothers Dennis Dooley and Earl Dooley; brothers-in-law Kelly Wynn and Gary Travis; and sister-in-law Joyce Wynn Travis. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Vicksburg United Methodist Church and Rose Arbor.

Michael D. Hadley, 71, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 15. He was born to Dr. Alonzo L. Hadley and Hattie Evelyn Cunningham in Williamsport, Ind. on October 3, 1948. He and his wife, Judy, graduated from WMU in 1971 with teaching degrees. They moved to Vicksburg in 1972, where Mike had been hired to teach 8th grade general science and 7th grade math at the Junior High. He stayed for 31 years, retiring in 2003. He was science department chair for 20 years. He completed his master’s degree in middle school education in 1979. After retirement, he spent eight years as a part time instructor in the WMU working with intern teachers. Mike was recognized as a “Significant Educator” twice by a graduating VHS senior and appeared in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers four times. He was Vicksburg’s Teacher of the Year in 1996. He played the trombone for many years in the Kalamazoo Concert Band and for students in the hallways on special occasions. Mike was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December of 2009 and spent all the time from then to his death fighting this disease. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Judy, and his daughter, Sarah (Marvin) Taylor. Michael was preceded in death by his parents. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Judy Hadley for an endowment scholarship fund being set up at Southwestern Michigan College.

George W. Hodgman, Sr., 84, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 16. George was born on October 14, 1935 in Kalamazoo. He was the son of Albert and Ruth (Kaiser) Hodgman. On February 14, 1959, he married the love of his life, Margie Keyes. He was selfless, caring, and a handy craftsman. George worked for the Vicksburg Department of Public Works for over 35 years. He enjoyed horses and racing stock cars. George is survived by his wife of 60 years; children George (Carolyn) Hodgman, Jr. of Florida and Ruth Polmanteer of Vicksburg; four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, John (Jackie) Hodgman, of Vicksburg and Claudia Burgess, of Vicksburg and his mother-in-law, Veronica Keyes, of Portage; and several nieces and nephews. According to George’s wishes, he has been cremated. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Yoko (Sato) Lewis, 90, Portage, formerly of Vicksburg, died Dec. 21. Yoko was a descendent of the Samurai Tadanobu Sato, an elite warrior of the 12th Century (1180) and commander to the very first shogun, a feudal warlord. Born in Kobe, Japan on February 22, 1929, Yoko came to the US as a Japanese war bride. She met and fell in love with a U.S. Army medic, Cpl. Lawrence R. Lewis of Vicksburg, during the Korean conflict. They were married for 27 years and then divorced; he survives her. Yoko leaves to cherish her memory a daughter by that marriage, Linda Hartley (Daniel). Yoko was preceded in death by her infant child, Carol Lewis (4 days old), her parents, and seven older brothers and two older sisters. Other survivors include nieces and nephews of the Lewis and Maskus families. A magnet to children and animals alike, Yoko flitted through life like a butterfly. Donations may go to National Alliance on Mental Illness. Cremation has taken place. A graveside memorial will be announced this spring. Visit her page at langelands.com. Mail expressions of sympathy to 7709 Innisbrook Dr, Portage, MI 49024.

Nancy I. Mikle, 79, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 27. Nancy was born on March 24, 1940 in Bronson, the daughter of Omer and Ruby Sanders. On January 12, 1957, she was married to the love of her life, Donald Mikle. She enjoyed crocheting and when she was younger, bowling in leagues. But most important to her was her family. She is described by her family as loving, amazing, kind and selfless. She was preceded in death by her son,Donald, Jr; daughter, Deborah; parents and sister Barbara Rantz. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Donald; sons Dan and David Mikle, both of Vicksburg; three grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Jane Cartwright, of Allegan and numerous nieces and nephews. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Sally Miller, 72, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 24, peacefully surrounded by family. Sally was born October 9, 1947 to Albert and Erma Herwick. Sally worked for Upjohn for 34-plus years in many capacities. Sally is known for her love of bowling, fishing on her trips to the Florida Keys, and spending time at the cabin in Bitely, Mich. Sally is survived by her husband, Bill Miller; children Rich (Linfang) Pearson and Laurie Pearson; grandchildren Dustin Pearson, Joshua Cranmore, Raieen Pearson, and Raisen Pearson; siblings Phil (Pam) Herwick, Roger (Jean) Herwick and Nancy Cole; sisters-in-law Sharon (Bob) Allison, Sandy Dewar and Scott Seekman; a cousin, Bev Herwick; and many nieces and nephews. Sally was preceded in death by her parents and a cousin, Jerry. Cremation has taken place per Sally’s wishes. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Robert S. “Bob” Munn, 71, Vicksburg, died Jan. 21, at home following a long illness. He was born in Strauburg, Germany on Aug. 4, 1948, the son of the late Stanley J. and Margarete Ann (Selonke) Munn. After graduation from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1966, Bob joined the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam, where he was awarded several combat medals. Upon returning home, he worked briefly at the Kalamazoo Post Office. He was the coordinator of the warehouse for Simpson Lee Paper Company for most of his working life, and for the last 15 years at Upjohn Pharmacia. Bob’s hobbies included metal detecting, woodcutting and attending stock car races. He especially looked forward to trail riding and vacations up north. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Bob was married to Theresa Ann Waldron in Las Vegas on Aug. 18, 1998. She survives along with sons Randy (Gina) Munn of Mattawan and Andy (Chaundra Hart) Munn of Plainwell; a daughter, Dawn (Jack) Waldron; stepchildren Melissa (Doug) Vrba of Mattawan, Tabitha Sehy of South Haven, and Matthew (Kelley) Sehy of Independence, Ky; grandchildren, Dustin, Joseph, Lauren, Madison, Jacob, Danielle, Ethan, Tyler, Bryce, Graham, Sophia, Addison, Dylan, and Nick; great-grandchildren Aryia, Aniyah, and Emma Jay; a sister, Jane Crist of Vicksburg; brother, Jim (Sheri) Munn of Mendon; and nieces and nephews. Donations may go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Visit his page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Grace Rayman, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully Jan. 9, surrounded by family. Grace was born December 2, 1923 to C.B. and Grace (Mendenhall) Patty. Grace is survived by her daughters, Barbara Townsend, Diane Ford and Joyce (Dave) Alling, grandchildren Jon Townsend, Jill Townsend Palmer, Brian Ford, Stephanie Ford, Justin Weinberg and Julie Weinberg; great grandchildren Hayden Palmer, Hannah Palmer, Blake Ford, Brandon Ford, Brielle Ford, Ava Weinberg, Madelyn Grubaugh and Luther Rice. Grace was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Douglas Rayman, and her sister, Virginia Patty. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Norma Jean Schmidt, 72, Portage, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away Jan. 24. Norma was the daughter of John and Helen Schmidt. She was a member of the Schoolcraft High School class of 1965. She later retired from the United States Postal Service. She loved to go on drives, visiting family and friends, and hunting for mushrooms. She was active in helping with her class reunions and monthly lunches with her retiree friends. She volunteered with Loaves and Fishes and the Kalamazoo Senior Center, driving seniors to get groceries and doctor appointments. Norma is survived by her sisters, Joan Stiver and Linda (David) Krum, nieces and nephews Debbie Stiver-King, Jeff (Kathy) Stiver, Darcy (Eric) Krum-Bolles, Denise Krum, Dean (Ashley) Krum, Mike (Sandy) Fitzstephens, Daniel Fitzstephens, Timothy Fitzstephens, David Fitzstephens, Scott Fitzstephens and Melinda (Rob) Schmidt-Blahl and many great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bernard, sister Joyce Fitzstephens; and brother-in-law Harold (Bob) Stiver, and sister-in-law Thelma Schmidt. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, and Kalamazoo Senior Services.

Christine Mary Sehy, 57, Kalamazoo, formerly of Scotts, passed away peacefully Jan. 18. She was born March 13, 1962. Christine was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Special Olympics were a big part of Christine’s life. She won a gold medal in the frisbee throw and several ribbons in other events. Bowling was a favorite of hers and if they gave medals for the slowest-rolling bowling ball, Christine would have had another gold! Christine was baptized into the Catholic faith, was confirmedm and continued to worship in Friendship class. The last 26 years of Christine’s life were spent with her sister Helen, who loved her dearly. Christine was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Esther (Commissaris) Sehy and a brother, Andrew Sehy. She is survived by her siblings, William (Jean McNett) Sehy, Schoolcraft; Mary (Bruce) Bowersox, Alabama; Eleanor (Bruce) Firlik, Wayland; Edward (Susan Hitzman) Sehy, Scotts; Margaret (Jack) Cesar, Alabama; Marie (David) Hartman, Walhalla and Arizona; Paul (Dorothy Hitzman) Sehy, Ohio; Frances Goebel, Kalamazoo; Anna (Fred) Cagney, Florida; Joan (Mike) Kowalski, Rudyard; Henry (Anne Shekleton) Sehy, Vicksburg; Helen (Dave) Kidder, Plainwell; Patricia (Jim) Hathaway, Holland; Thomas (Theresa Carra) Sehy, Sturgis; Katherine Johnson, Ohio. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and Adult Down Syndrome Center, or an organization of your choice.

Taylor Alan VanSchoick, 29, Kalamazoo, passed away surrounded by family Jan. 18. Taylor was born on October 10, 1990 in Kalamazoo. He was the son of Jerry and Patsy (Evensen) VanSchoick. Taylor graduated from Vicksburg High School in 2009. After high school he completed his paramedic courses and graduated from the Fire Academy to become a firefighter with South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority. After five years of service at PrideCare EMS, Taylor started working on diesel engines. He moved to Lisle, Ill. and attended Universal Technical Institute to become a diesel technician. Taylor was most recently employed at Freightliner of Kalamazoo. Taylor loved playing golf with his family, and working on his home. He also enjoyed snowmobiling and camping. He was a Detroit sports fan and loved following the Tigers and Wolverines. Most important to him was following the sports that his brother Mitch played. Taylor battled health issues with bravery and with a positive attitude right up to the final hour. Taylor is survived by his parents, Jerry and Patsy VanSchoick, of Scotts; a brother, Mitch VanSchoick, of Kalamazoo; grandparents Carol Davison, of Vicksburg and Kenneth and Letha Evensen, of Vicksburg; aunts and uncles Peggy and Todd LaPorte, of Scotts; Laura and Bill Sandahl, of Scotts; Jon and Gerri VanSchoick, of Marcellus; and Jim VanSchoick, of Grandville. He is also survived by his cousins, Kelli and Phil Campbell, Kimberly VanSchoick, Steven VanSchoick, Sarah VanSchoick, Tyler Sandahl, Kelsey Sandahl, Alex LaPorte, Aaron LaPorte and Reese Taylor Campbell; and his special golden retriever, Cal. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Dick VanSchoick. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Make A Wish.

Michael Charles Waldron, 64, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at Glenn Arbor Hospice. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Jacque Waldron, and his two children, Michael J. Waldron and Amanda Raifsnider-Waldron. In addition, he is survived by his siblings, Diana (Alan) VanOrnam, Christina (Randy) Mohney, and Steve (Kathy) Waldron, and many nieces and nephews.

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