Obituaries


James “Jim” Barrett, passed on June 23, 2021, after a long battle with dementia. Jim was born on September 27, 1938, to Delbert J. and Mary A. (Clancy) Barrett in Kalamazoo. Jim attended St. Augustine Elementary, Milwood Junior High and graduated from Portage High School in 1956. In February 1960, he married Sharon Golyar and had three children. Jim retired after 36 years with the Upjohn Company. In October 1989, he married Phyllis Norris. They had 32 years of marriage together. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, football, baseball and bowling. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Eleanor, Jack, Bob Pat, Dennis, and Gerry; and special friend Ed Hageman. He is survived by his wife Phyllis; children Phillip (Deb) of Scotts, Monica (Paul) of Delton, and Chantal (Jack); brother Nick; and stepchildren Julie (Gary), Jerry, Shelley (Lou), and Steve. A memorial will be held on Friday, July 2, at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church with a visitation at 10 a.m. and a mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Vicksburg Cemetery. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice or a charity of one’s choice. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Elsie L. (Wolthuis-Desness) Carvell, 92, passed away peacefully June 1, 2021 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Elsie was born February 24, 1929 in Vicksburg, the daughter of John R. and Myrtle (Hendricks) Wolthuis. Elsie grew up on the family farm on “Dutchman’s Road” with her five siblings. Elsie graduated from VHS in 1947, married Willis R. “Bill” Carvell on June 28, 1947, and raised three sons. Bill died in 1956. Elsie married William A. “Bill” Desness on June 7, 1961. They retired from Upjohn and became snowbirds, living between Kline’s Resort and Stuart, Fla. When Bill died in 1993, Elsie settled near Lawton before a final move to Amber Place. Elsie is survived by sons David (Karen) Carvell of Portage and Richard Carvell of Kalamazoo; daughter-in-law Catherine Carvell of Goodlettsville Tenn.; six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; siblings John Wolthuis, Betty Wheeler and Bill Wolthuis. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, her son Michael and siblings MaryAnn Klimek and Louis Wolthuis. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice or the charity of one’s choice. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

William A. “Bill” Couchenour, 87, Vicksburg, passed away at his home on May 11, 2021. Bill was born in Uniontown, Pa. on August 5, 1933, the son of William and Gladys (Waltonbaugh) Couchenour. He was a member of Saint Petersburg High School’s State Championship basketball team and graduated in 1951. He served in the US Army for two years. He then attended Eastern Nazarene College where he met Ruth Andrews. They married in Royersford, Pa. on August 31, 1957 and raised five children: Diane, James, William, Kathleen and Kenneth. Bill is survived by his wife, Ruth; children Diane Bosworth of Vicksburg, Jim (Dixie) Couchenour of Eaton Rapids, Rev Bill (Rhonda) Couchenour of Sterling, Colo., Kathy Demaray of Mason, Mich., and Ken (Cheryl) Couchenour of Mason; grandchildren Briana (Dustin), Brooke, Tyler (Julienne), Austen (Melanie), Kaylee (Kamron), Jonathan, Will, Rachael, Christina, Joshua, Michael (Bansari), Daniel, Caleb, McKenna; 10 great grandchildren with one on the way; his brother, Jim Couchenour of Columbiana, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Melvin Couchenour, sister Gladys “Sis” Hofacker; sisters-in-law Pat and Betty Couchenour; brother-in-law Chauncy Hofacker; and grandson-in-law Caleb Starr. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the William A. and Ruth Andrews Couchenour Scholarship Fund at Olivet Nazarene University.

Ronald L. Eaton, 74, passed away with his son by his side on June 1, 2021. Ron was born January 28, 1947, to Kenneth and Dorothy (Born) Eaton. Ron married the love of his life, Karen Oswalt, September 25, 1971. Ron served his country proudly along with his brother as a Navy corpsman, acquiring the nickname “Doc”. He served in Vietnam and was awarded two purple heart medals. Ron retired from the Post Office after 30 years as a letter carrier. He had a passion for softball and golf, and he began building golf clubs. Ron loved his family and adored his cat. He was a huge Notre Dame and Cubs fan. He was a gifted storyteller. He is survived by his son, Jason (Tracy) Eaton; grandchildren Shan (Mollie Hageman) Pileri, Taylor (Emily Nachtegall) Misel, Brooke (Chase Fricke) Misel, Jarrett Eaton and Jaden Eaton; great-grandchildren Brenden and Noah; siblings David (Viola) Eaton and Robert (Sue) Eaton; several nieces and nephews and his favorite cat, Millie. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Karen. Donations may go to Give Kids the World in honor of Cambri Dorko or Section 1776 in honor of veterans. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Harold Heikes, 96, Kalamazoo, died on May 29, 2021. He was born on August 1, 1924, in Vicksburg, the son of Harry and Esther (Dalton) Heikes. He graduated in 1942 from VHS and served in the US Army Air Corps. He was a top gunner on a B-25, serving in the south Pacific. He began work as a millwright at the paper mill and retired after 38 years. He married Eleanor Woodhams on November 29, 1968, and her five children became his own. The family enjoyed many holidays together on Pine Lake. Harold and Eleanor enjoyed dancing and traveled extensively. Since Eleanor’s death in 2013, he focused on hobbies and family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Members of Harold’s family include children Terri (Scott) Dunlop, Gary Heikes, and Bonnie Heikes; and grandson, Brian. In addition to his children, he is survived by Eleanor’s children: Ronald Woodhams, Alan (Cynthia) Woodhams, Barbara (Gregory) Deibert, and Robert (Margaret) Woodhams; 10 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. Besides his wife, Eleanor, he was preceded in death by his brother, Everett, and stepson, Michael Woodhams. Visit his page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.

Marilyn J. Kozar, 85, Schoolcraft, passed away June 6, 2021, at Rose Arbor Hospice with her family by her side. Born November 30, 1935 in Kalamazoo, she was the middle child of George and Gladys (Werner) Kozar. She married Edwin David Wood. She was preceded in death by her husband; son Michael Wood; parents Gladys and George Kozar; and sisters Geraldine Povenz and Shirley Heuser. Marilyn leaves behind children Eddie Wood, Jennifer (Wood) Duff, and Wendy (Wood) Boutell; grandchildren Edwin (Woody) Wood, Matheson Wood, Alex Andrea (Wood) Bond, Zachary Wood, Jenny (Duff) Dines, Lauren (Chapman) Bienemann, and Shannon Chapman; and many great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind Russ Povenz, who was married to Geraldine, and John (Jack) Heuser, who was married to Shirley. Marilyn was a longtime member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Vicksburg. Her Catholic religion was an important part of her life, and she was looking forward to being reunited with her family in Heaven. Donations may go to the American Cancer Society. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Rusty Wire Shelburne, 61, Scotts, formerly of Rochester, passed away June 11, 2021 from injuries sustained in a fall at home. Rusty was born in Noblesville on August 3, 1959, the son of Howard Dale and Rebecca Jacquelyn “Jackie” Wire Shelburne. He graduated from Rochester High School in 1977. Rusty married Laurie Drenth on June 3, 1978, in Kalamazoo, and they shared 43 years of adventures. Rusty earned an associate degree in law enforcement from KVCC and began a nearly 40-year career with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department. His badge #131 was retired in October 2018. Since retirement, he wintered near Apache Junction, Ariz. where he and Laurie could be near their son, Derek, and the grandchildren. Rusty enjoyed riding his motorcycle, racing his remote-control car, golfing. Rusty is survived by his wife Laurie, of Scotts; son Derek Shelburne of Phoenix; grandchildren Devereaux, Deklan, Audriana and their mother, Juanita; sisters Tammy Shelburne-See of Rochester, Betsy Shelburne of State College, Pa., Misty (Timothy) DePoy of Rochester, and Mindy (Hector) Navarro of Rochester; brothers Jeffery (Jeanie) Shelburne of Rochester, Rodney (Darla) Shelburne of Warsaw, Randy (Carol) Shelburne of Rochester, and Barney (Lorraine) Shelburne of Stillman Valley, Ill.; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, many friends, as well as his Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department Family. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Gary D. Shelburne and Scott B. Shelburne. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Caroll Emaline Wise, 94, Scotts, died June 11, 2021 at her home. She was born in Wibaux, Montana on Nov. 2, 1926, the daughter of Hezekiah and Laura (Harkins) Keller. After graduation from high school, she went to cosmetology school. She worked briefly as a hairdresser in Athens, and for over 34 years at Margo Shick’s Salon in Vicksburg. Caroll and her late husband, George, operated a dairy farm in rural Vicksburg and were active at the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph County Grange Fairs. She enjoyed square dancing, gardening and playing cards. Many enjoyed her homemade pies and peanut brittle. Caroll is survived by her son and daughter in law, Richard (Carolyn S.) Wise of Scotts; grandchildren Scott (Jill) Wise and Shellie (Bill) Gibson, both of Battle Creek, and Alisha Wise of Climax; great-grandchildren Gavin and Allison Wise and Grace and Emma Gibson; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George Wise; daughter, Carolyn L. Wise; two brothers and four sisters. A memorial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 10 at the Prairie Baptist Church followed by a luncheon. Donations may go to the St. Joseph County Fair, Dairy Department. Visit her page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

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