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Obituaries

Delbert (Del) Charles Jr., 97, Three Rivers, passed away at Birch Meadows Senior Care Facility on February 23, 2022. Del was born on June 22, 1924, in Schoolcraft, the son of Delbert and Leitha Charles. After high school, Del joined the army and fought in WWII, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He retired from UpJohn in 1985 as a supervisor of security. Del enjoyed family time and attended many sporting events throughout the years where he proudly cheered on his grandchildren. Del is survived by his children, Rebecca (James) DeLaBarre and Bradley (Jodie) Charles; grandchildren Matthew (Allison) Charles, Andrew (Kristina) Charles, Trevor (Danielle) DeLaBarre, and Tyler (Bianca) DeLaBarre; seven great-grandchildren; and special friend, Jean Richardson. Del was preceded in his passing by his parents; wife, Phyllis; brother, Monte; and father and mother-in-law, Marten and Lillian Kersten. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Donations may go to Birch Meadows Senior Care, Schoolcraft American Legion Post 475, or Centrica Care Navigators. Please visit Del’s page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Robert E. “Bob” Hambright, 80, Mendon, died February 21, 2022, at his home. He was born in Kalamazoo March 27, 1941, the son of Ernal and Eleanor (Cushing) Hambright. He graduated from Portage Central High School in 1960. He worked briefly at the Kalamazoo State Hospital before going to work at the Fisher Body Plant in Kalamazoo where he retired after 34 years. He was married to the former Cheryl Noblock, they later divorced. Bob enjoyed bowling and rolled a 299 with a rented ball in 1962. He enjoyed golf, fishing, and deer hunting “up north.” He was a big Michigan State fan and attended many home games. Bob is survived by children Terry Lynn Asselin of Mendon, Robyn Hambright off Brownsville, Texas, Donna Marie Tool of Dallas, Texas, Stephen R. (Kathy) Hambright of Vicksburg, and Angela (Thomas) Gerrgye of Parkland, Fla.; grandchildren Layla, Heaven, Morgan, Parker, Jackson, Benjamin, Sydney, Allison, Jessica, and Grayson; and brother-in-law Bernie Foster. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Janet Foster. Visit his page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Alan L. Harris, 74, Vicksburg, died on February 12, 2022. He was born on July 27, 1947, in Kewanee, Ill., the son of Winston and Louise (Heneger) Harris. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1965. During the Vietnam War, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving two years. He returned home to Vicksburg and Simpson Paper Company, where he worked for 33 years. He eventually retired from Pfizer. Al married Wanda Gose on August 28, 1971, and together they raised their two children, Seth and Shayne. Al helped coach Shayne in hockey and soccer, and played adult hockey with Seth. He loved hunting with Seth during the winter season and spending time on the lake during the summer. The family spent a lot of time up north camping near Fountain, Michigan on Round Lake. During retirement, Al and Wanda enjoyed traveling. Al’s family includes his wife, Wanda Harris; his children Seth Harris and Shayne (Daniel) Schiedel; his mother, Louise Harris; his brothers and sister Morrie Harris, Carol (Bob) Gose, and Dave Harris; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Winston Harris. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Robert J. Holland, 88, Scotts, passed away February 20, 2022. Robert was born on February 12, 1934 in Paw Paw, the son of Glenn and Winnie (Gleason) Holland. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy. On October 5, 1957 he married Kathryn Mortellaro. Robert worked for the Upjohn Company for over 30 years before retirement. He enjoyed travel, yardwork, and caring for his family. Robert is survived by his children, Mark (Marion) Holland of Indiana, Annie (Joe Tsui) Mathis of Kalamazoo, and Judy Holland of Scotts; grandchildren Tara (Chris) Hebeler of Stevensville, Cassandra (Jon) Overstreet of Missouri, Travis Mathis and Hannah Mathis, both of Grand Rapids, Dylan (Stacey) Seymour and Alex Seymour, both of Portage; and great granddaughters Hailey Hebeler and Millie Hebeler. He is also survived by siblings David (Carol) Holland of Oklahoma, Richard (Jenell) Holland of Louisiana; brother and sisters-in-law Andrew (Barbara) Mortellaro of Kalamazoo, Frances (Diale) Taliaferro of Rhode Island, Bev Mortellaro of Detroit; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Kathryn; parents Glenn and Winnie Holland; brother and sister-in-law Charles (Kitty) Holland and brother-in-law James Mortellaro. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators.

Norman Kohler, 87, Vicksburg, died on February 11, 2022. Norm was born at home, June 6, 1934, to Harold and Mildred (Headley) Kohler in Augusta, Michigan. Shortly after graduating with the class of 1953 from Big Rapids High School, Norm was drafted into the United States Marine Corps. He later received a transfer to the Army, becoming a baker for a military police unit. He married Melva in 1958 and they raised four children. Norm worked as a mechanic for Cole Krum Chevrolet (Vicksburg) and later accepted a position as a forklift mechanic for General Motors. He enjoyed cars and traveling. Norm was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Clarence Kohler; and granddaughter, Alicia. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Melva; children Jan (Greg) Bierlein, Jim Kohler, Ruth (Dee) Kelly, and Michael Kohler; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, Ron Kohler; sister, Donna Crouch; and many nieces and nephews. Visit his page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Crossroads Missionary Church.

Timothy Alan Kosacek, 51, Sterling Heights, passed away on January 24, 2022. He was born in Kalamazoo on July 2, 1970, the son of David and Janet (Gardner) Kosacek. Tim graduated from Portage Central High School in 1988. He enjoyed music, especially playing guitar, and attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles following graduation. He later attended Davenport University and graduated with his degree in computer science. He worked in the Detroit area for VisionIT and Compuware. He loved dogs and owned several Irish setters throughout his lifetime. Tim will be remembered for his generous and kind heart, his love for cooking and trying new recipes, being an avid reader, possessing trivia knowledge, and his lifelong devotion to the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and Lions. He was preceded in his passing by his brother, Steven, and his grandparents. He is survived by his parents; brothers Mike (Angie) Kosacek and Joe Kosacek; aunt Gene Gardner; uncles Bill and Richard Gardner; niece and nephew Amanda and Alex; great nephew Leo Salas; and several cousins. In accordance with the family’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no public services will be held at this time. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue. Please visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Thomas C. Oliphant, 72, Schoolcraft, passed peacefully February 22, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. Tom was born December 1, 1949, in Kalamazoo, the son of Richard and Beulah (Adams) Oliphant. Tom graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 1968. He and Judy were married October 18, 1969. Tom served proudly in the U.S. Navy for four years. After an honorable discharge, he attended Davenport College. He worked at Quality Films for over 35 years and at Concept Molds until he retired. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, skiing, golfing, biking and bowling. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren, and he enjoyed the cabin on Drummond Island. Tom is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judy; children Sandra (Dave) Gray, Yvonne (Jason) Hoffman and Laura (Steve) Buford; grandchildren Emma, Elise, Lydia, Hannah, Rhet, Sam, Natalie and Aaron; siblings Sue (Jeff) Harris and Marvin (Deb) Oliphant as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was preceded in his passing by his parents and his father-in-law Ernest Shelley. Services have been held. Donations may go to Schoolcraft United Methodist Church. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Shirley Jane Shannon, 95, Vicksburg, passed away on February 14, 2022. She was born on May 3, 1926, in Battle Creek, the daughter of Lyle Adams and Edith Domke. When she was in 10th grade, she decided to leave school and enter the workforce. She began her career at Shakespeare Manufacturing, producing fishing equipment, before transferring to the Gibson Guitar company in Kalamazoo. Following that, she worked as a nurse’s aide at Harold and Grace Upjohn Nursing Home, retiring in the early 1990s. She will be remembered for her love of gardening, drawing, painting, crossword puzzles, and cats. She loved living out in the country. Shirley was preceded in her passing by her parents; sisters Lavern, Norma, and Betty; and son John Shannon. Left to cherish her memory are her children, Thomas and Donna Shannon; grandchildren Holly and John Shannon; and many nieces and nephews. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Association. The family would like to thank the Centrica Care Navigators Hospice Group and Fresh Perspective Home Care. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Maureen Therese (Shook) Simms, Milford, passed away on January 27, 2022 after a four-year battle with colorectal cancer. She was a lovely singer that played piano and violin. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1974, then studied music at WMU before starting a flight attendant career. Her beloved grandchildren called her “Nini.” Maureen is survived by her husband, David Simms; children Amanda (Victor) Princz, Eric (Christine) Simms, Kevin (Morgan) Simms and Abigail (Kyle) Kowalsky; grandchildren Gabriel (Amanda), Maxwell (Eric) and Warren (Kevin) and another on the way in June (Amanda). Maureen was raised on a 260-acre farm in Fulton. Her siblings include Lyn (Mike) Wilson, Chis (Katherine) Shook, Steve (Jo Ellen) Shook, Marianne (Joe) Kuiper, Larry (Darla Cook) Shook, Bob Shook, Pauline (Mark) Giacobone and Kathleen (Steve) Waldron. Maureen also has numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Maureen was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Adele (Hoy) Shook, and her brother, Timothy Shook. Donations may go to Karmanos Cancer Center towards colorectal cancer research.

Marshall Donald Whitaker passed away on February 11, 2022. Don was born June 13, 1937, in Caraway, Ark. to Marshall and Cora Hill Whitaker. He attended Caraway High School. The family moved to Michigan in 1953. Don met Nancy Bartelt and they were married in 1958. Don worked at Voice of Music, then at Du-Wel Metal Products in Bangor. In 1978, Don started the Overhead Door Company which is now run by his son and grandson. Don is survived by his wife Nancy Whitaker of Vicksburg; sons, David (Carla) Whitaker of Vicksburg and Jerry (Joyce) Whitaker of Portage; sister Lefty (Ralph) Russo; grandchildren Leah Bourdo, Aaron, David, Seth, Cole, Josh, and Kai Whitaker; and great-grandchildren Kennedy and Harper Bourdo and Cooper and Willow Whitaker, along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, eight brothers and sisters, infant sons James and John, a very tiny great-grandson, Isaiah Aaron Whitaker and a great-granddaughter, Nora Katherine Whitaker. Donations may go to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

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