Charles A. Axtell, 66, Vicksburg, passed away at home surrounded by his family September 22, 2022. He was born in Kalamazoo on April 22, 1956, the son of Charles and Dolores (Ludwig) Axtell. Charles graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1974 and remained a lifelong resident of Vicksburg. He met Shirley Jenks in high school, and they were married on March 11, 1974. He worked in the gas department for Consumers Energy for many years. Charles had many hobbies including farming, hunting and football. He loved his grandchildren, and they talked on the phone for hours, spent entire summers together, and loved to ride with him on the tractor. Charles never missed one of his grandsons’ football and baseball games. One of his proudest moments was watching his grandson, Timmy, play football at Kalamazoo College. Charles is survived by his wife, Shirley Axtell; children Alicia Axtell (Jason VanderStratten), Charles (Amy) Axtell, Robert Axtell and James Axtell; grandchildren Timothy Axtell, Logan VanderStratten and Charlie Axtell; sister Cheryl Axtell; and his best friend since childhood, Miles Breece. Charles was preceded in his passing by his parents. Donations may go to Lung Cancer Research Foundation.
Doris Burr, 102, passed away peacefully September 22, 2022 at the Birch Adult Foster Care Home in Leonidas. She was born in Brady Township, Michigan on March 3, 1920, the daughter of the late Henry and Bertha (DeHoff) Metty. She attended the Harper, Carney, and Bond Country Schools, and graduated from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1938. While the family was share-cropping at the Oswalt farm on 37th Street, she met her future husband, Merle Burr. They fell in love and were married on May 1, 1943. They purchased a farm in 1948 where they raised their three sons and continued to farm for the next 40 years. She enjoyed canning, sewing, playing the piano and singing gospel music. Doris is survived by her sons, Delbert (Terry) Burr, Frank (Sharon) Burr and Roy (Kathy) Burr; grandchildren Allen (Sara) Burr, Wendy Burr, Matt Burr, Tracy (Mark) Thomas, Debbie (Ryan) Kemppainen, Ron (Amy) Vaughn, Julie (Jesse) Rose, and Jennifer (Kip) Vaughn; and 19 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Earl Metty; and by her husband, Merle in 2004. Services have been held. Donations may go to Kindred Hospice. Visit her page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.
Robert L. Cooley died suddenly September 2, 2022, surrounded by his wife and children. He was born June 21, 1950, to Charles (Jack) and Thelma Cooley at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Vicksburg. Bob grew up on his family farm in Vicksburg and graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1968. He married Judy Miller on November 27, 1971, and shortly after, they purchased their own small farm to raise their family. After many years of hard work and determination, Bob and Judy were able to build their dream home. Family meant a lot to Bob; some of his greatest memories were being able to go fishing in the backyard ponds with his grandkids. Bob enjoyed hunting with his friends and his sons and going to the cabin in Baldwin with Judy. Bob had many co-workers he considered dear friends and spoke of them often. Bob was preceded in death by both of his parents and his brother: Richard Cooley. He is survived by his wife, Judy; children Michael (Wanda Manson) Cooley, Christine Bailey, Chad (Jen) Cooley; sister Phyllis Taylor; grandchildren Breanna, Johnathan, and Owen Bailey, as well as Kendra, Madison, and Austin Cooley. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Ronald Charles Feist, 82, Vicksburg, went home to his Lord on September 4, 2022. Ron was born on July 29, 1940, in Grand Rapids, the son of Charles and Louise (Damstra) Feist. He earned the honor of Eagle Scout and followed these values throughout his entire life. Ronald went to Creston High School and graduated with the class of 1958. He later earned an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Junior College. He married Gloria Fortuna on April 22, 1961. They eventually lived on Indian Lake where they enjoyed fishing, boating and water skiing. Ron worked for 40 years with General Motors. He also raced boats for nearly 12 years and in 1966 won 2nd place in his boat class at the U.S. Nationals. Ron and Gloria loved to travel and in later years they enjoyed going to the casinos. They were also active at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Ron’s family includes his children Ron (Robin) and Tim (Laurel); siblings Larry (Maryann Fortuna) Feist, Sue Luurtsema, and Nancy (Allan) Brown; brother and sisters-in-law Henry (Mary) Fortuna and Marcia Fortuna; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Gloria, his wife of 57 years, parents, daughter-in-law Kathy Feist, and his brothers-in-law Joey Fortuna and Bob Luurtsema. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.
Matthew Lee Hammer, 44, Scotts, passed away September 4, 2022. Matt was born April 30, 1978, in Superior, Wisconsin. He resided there until he moved to Michigan in 1999. Matt worked as a millwright for most of his professional career, working mostly in nuclear power plants all over the country. When he was not working, he enjoyed spending time working in his barn. He was always there to help others, and he enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Matt is survived by his parents, Bonnie Frisinger (Hendricks) and Bradley Frisinger; his older brother, Jason Hammer; his younger sister, Bobbi Coppock (Tom Coppock); and his son, Mason Nicholas-Hammer, and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father Donald Hammer and his grandparents. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Tom Ivens, Vicksburg, passed away on September 3, 2022. He was born in Worton, Maryland, son of the late Roger J. and Ula M. (Armstrong) Ivens. In 1945, his family moved to Kalamazoo, and Tom graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1947. He worked for the Sutherland Paper Company and in 1993 retired after 46 years. On August 27, 1949, he married the love of his life, Ardis (Munson) Ivens. Along with Ardis, he is survived by his children, Gayle (Vince) Penar, Thomas (Bonnie) Ivens, Ronald (Christine) Ivens; grandchildren Stephanie Dunnick, Angela Griffin, Jack Griffin, Rodney Ivens, Tori Monroe, Mandy Slusher, Melissa Snyder, Shaina Ivens and Joshua Ivens; and 20 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way. He is also survived by sisters Ellen Havens, Cissy DeHaan and sister-in-law Liddy Ivens; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Tom was preceded in passing by his parents, brothers Elmer and Alvin Ivens; mother and father-in-law, Helen and (Harry) Vernon Munson and several brothers and sisters-in-law. Tom had a very close bond with his patient and helpful nephew, Doug Ivens. Donations may go to charity.
Larry C. Knowlton, 75, Vicksburg, passed away at his home on September 21, 2022. Larry was born March 12, 1947 in Allegan, the son of Johnie and Mary (Stoneburner) Knowlton. Larry graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1965. While in high school he played football, track, and basketball. Larry served in the US Army during Vietnam. He worked at Houghton Manufacturing. In the late 1990’s he purchased the business from his father-in-law, Glenn Houghton, and worked there until the end of his life. He married Linda Houghton on October 26, 1968. He had a passion for cars and also enjoyed watching NASCAR and football. Larry Knowlton is survived by his wife, Linda; sons Andy (Heidi) Knowlton of Zeeland and Doug (Michele) Knowlton, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Drew Downing and Waylon, Danica and Jocelyn Knowlton. He is also survived by his sister Susan Burns of Indiana and numerous nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law. Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Glenn and Ruth Houghton. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Dolores Joan (Holroyd) Lash, 87, Vicksburg, passed away on September 27, 2022. She was born in Kalamazoo on January 23, 1935, the daughter of Samuel and Marie (Dewey) Holroyd. She grew up on a farm in Mendon and graduated from Mendon High School in 1954. She worked at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals as a quality control inspector specializing in penicillin for 25 years. She married James Lash on November 26, 1976. Dee and Jim loved to travel on their motorcycle. She enjoyed knitting hats and blankets. Dolores was preceded in her passing by her parents and brothers Ronnie, Donnie, and Dan. She is survived by her husband, James Lash; children Jody Maher, Debra (Charles) Peterson, Shelly (Craig) Stevens, Victor Lash, and Jeffery Lash; grandchildren Chelsea (Jarrett) Cupp, Betsy (Troy) Huckendubler, Danielle (Marshall) Henschel, Jeffery (Melissa) Lash, Tommy Lash, and Kassi Lash; siblings Duane (Florence) Holroyd and Marsha (James) Beardsley; four great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of her life will be held at Faith Fellowship Church on Saturday, October 8 at 11 a.m. Donations may go to Faith Fellowship Church’s Missionary Ministry. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Rebecca Mohney. If you asked my mother, she’d tell you she lived an extraordinary life. She was delivered by a midwife in a tent in the pouring rain on June 5, 1929. Her mother died when mom was nine, and she was shuffled from relative to relative until she was seventeen and landed in Kalamazoo, where she worked at Sutherland Paper Company. That’s where she met my dad, and Rebecca Ward became Rebecca Mohney in October of 1947. Then, three weeks before I was born in 1948, my parent’s farmhouse burned to the ground. They brought me home to live in the barn until the new house was built. My parents brought my sisters, Barbara Mohney and Janet (Scott) McCarty and me, Judy Mohney, now Judy Mohney-Jergens, to that new house where we grew up, and where my dad, Edwin, died in 1992. Mom loved Jesus, my dad, her girls, and her grandkids. If you asked, she’d say she lived a wonderful life. Mom passed away suddenly on September 3, 2022, in the loving arms of her friend Debbie at her home at The Birches in Leonidas. Mom has been cremated, and a celebration of her life is being planned. Donations may go to Leonidas Bible Church. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Donald Eugene Overbeek, 93, Long Lake in Pavilion Township, Michigan, passed away September 10, 2022, at Glenn Arbor Hospice. Don was born October 18, 1928, to Walter C. and Fannie (Workman) Overbeek. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, got a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College, and master’s, doctoral and law degrees from the University of Michigan. Don opened a general law practice in Portage, which he maintained for more than 40 years. Don enjoyed hunting in the Upper Peninsula. On June 6, 1953, Don married Mary Ellen Weessies, who survives. Also surviving are children, Todd Overbeek, of L’Anse, Michigan, Lori Overbeek, of Kentwood, Michigan, and Jill Sparacio, of Downers Grove, Illinois; grandchildren Aaron Overbeek, Jenna (Quinton) White, and Timothy Sparacio; great-grandchildren Tyler Overbeek, Christian Overbeek, Sadie Olznoi and Brooks White. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Peter, Clarence and Howard; sister Ardith Riley and son-in-law, Robert Sparacio. A memorial service will be held on October 8 at 1 p.m. at Bethany Reformed Church. Donations may go to Loaves and Fishes or Bethany Reformed Church. Visit his page at joldersma-klein.com.
Diane G. Parsons, 78, Vicksburg, passed away on August 30, 2022. Diane was born on June 17, 1944, in Kalamazoo. She was the daughter of Clinton and Freda (Wisser) James. Diane attended Kalamazoo Public Schools and Loy Norrix High School. She married Lloyd Parsons on February 21, 1966. Together they had four children, Lisa, Missy, Melanie and Tim. Because Lloyd worked hard to support his family, Diane was able to stay at home and raise their children. They enjoyed taking the children camping at local campgrounds. Sunday dinners were spent together as a family, and they all enjoyed Diane’s fried chicken. She will be remembered by her family as quiet, caring and selfless. She is survived by her children, Lisa (William Brockway) Cardiff of Three Rivers, Missy (Robert) Good, of Eaton Rapids, Melanie (Brian) DeMink of Vicksburg, and Tim (Sabrina Healy) Parsons of Mendon; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Joan Moran of Plainwell and Larry James of Kalamazoo; and several nieces and nephews. Diane was preceded in death by husband Lloyd in 2014 and her sister, Helen Schuiteboer. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Eric Earl Skidmore, formerly of Vicksburg, died June 7, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. He was born in Vicksburg to Milo and Maxine (Packer) Skidmore August 27, 1947. He graduated with honors from Vicksburg High School in 1965. He played the clarinet and won the John Phillip Sousa Band Award. Eric performed an unforgettable version of the Battle Hymn of The Republic during a Vicksburg Showboat. He was an outstanding cross country and track runner and held the Vicksburg High School 1/2-mile track record for several years. Eric graduated from Michigan State University majoring in music and minoring in archeology. In 1970, Eric joined the Peace Corps in South Africa. Afterward, Eric arrived in Alaska spending time on the Yukon River traveling by canoe from village to village. He settled in Alaska with a career in surveying. Eric kept up his love for running most of his adult life. He won many prestigious races in Alaska including winning the famous Alaskan Equinox Marathon in 1977. He was once considered the best runner in that state. More recently, Eric studied and learned the Dena’Ina local tribe language and was a finalist in 2016 in Alaska’s Got Talent by playing the concertina and singing “I’ve Been Everywhere” in Dena’Ina. Eric was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Tina Hayward.
Clyde Springer, 94, Schoolcraft, died September 8, 2022. Born August 25, 1928 in Lansing, he was the son of H. Gail and Jessie (Hicks) Springer. Clyde and Lois, his wife of 68 years, raised their children in Schoolcraft. He was a member of the Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church and the Lions Club. The family moved away in 1968, and after 30 years Clyde and Lois came back to the community they loved so much. Clyde was vice president of Michigan Farm Bureau and a senior leader of the American Egg Board. After he retired, he started Country Queen Foods, maker of pre-cooked eggs for wholesale use, and Festida Foods, maker of tortilla chips. In retirement, Clyde and Lois traveled extensively. He enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard as a private in 1946 and retired as a major after 22 years of service. From 1964-1966 he was the Commander of B Company, 246th Tank Battalion in Three Rivers, and received the Draper Award, bestowed on the best tank company in the state. Clyde was a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and the Portage Chapter of the Eagles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois (Miller), son Steven, and sister Carolyn Knibbs. He is survived by a sister, Shirley (Robert) Azelton of Holt; children Jeff (Kathy) of Bel Air, Maryland and Laurel (Arthur) Andonian of Mattawan; and grandchildren Steven Springer of DelRay Beach, Florida, Lindsey Springer of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Alex (Teresa) Andonian of Novi, Michigan and McKenna Andonian of Charlotte, North Carolina. Services are pending. Donations may go to the Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church, Tunnels to Towers, or Centrica Care Navigators.
Marjorie Wahley, 93, Vicksburg, passed away on September 26, 2022. Marjorie was born to Guin and Gladys (Lyon) Sherman on July 14, 1929. She is retired from the Compliance Department of the Department of Agriculture. In her spare time, she liked to garden and take care of all her bird visitors. Margorie is survived by her son, Rodney (Marianne) Wahley; grandchildren Michelle (Clinton) Hostettler, and Nickolas (Jennifer) Wahley; great-grandchildren Olive, Milo, Lola, and Colton; and sister, Fern Skrzpek. Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Wahley; brothers Stanley Sherman and Karle Sherman. Visit her page at www.amsfuneralhomes.com.
Jacqueline “Jacque” M. Waldron, 65, Vicksburg, passed away on September 2, 2022. Jacque was born on May 28, 1957, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Clifford and Geraldine (Zieler) Raifsnider. She graduated from Climax-Scotts High School. She became the mother of four children: Jamie, Erin, Travis and Barry. Jacque enjoyed sewing, crafting, reading, and bird watching. Her family will remember her as tenacious and caring. Jacqueline is survived by her children, Jamie (Rusty) Bennett of Vicksburg, Erin Matlock of Decatur, Travis (Faith) Baughman of Climax, and Barry Raifsnider-Waldron of Vicksburg; grandchildren Kohl, Noah, and Tessah Matlock and Haley, Madison, Alex, and Emma Moss; and great granddaughter Marie. Jacqueline is also survived by sisters Connie (Ed) Sturm of Scotts, Mary (Mike) Dee of Vicksburg, Donna (Jay) Nelson of Scotts, Diane (Mike) Stafford of Vicksburg and Karen (Bill) McGruder of Lawton. She was preceded in death by her husband, Michael Waldron and her parents, Clifford and Geraldine Raifsnider. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to South County Community Services.
Jane Yaple-Möller died August 6 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She was born March 12, 1945, in Vicksburg, the daughter of Henry and Pauline Yaple, and graduated from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1963. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hans. She is survived by a son, Derek Yaple-Schubert and a brother, Henry Mack Yaple of Washington.