Linda Kay (Arnold) Cleveland, 71, Vicksburg, passed away on March 24, 2023. She was born in Kalamazoo on January 17, 1952, the daughter of Olin and Evelyn (Curry) Arnold. She graduated from Portage Northern High School in 1970, and following graduation attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College and graduated with a secretarial degree. She made a career working in accounting and retired from Total Plastics Inc. in 2019. Linda enjoyed making baskets and jewelry. She loved spending time with her grandsons, and they would frequently hunt for lost golf balls; together, they managed to collect thousands. Linda was very active as a member of United Methodist Women, helping with the church bazaar and rummage sale. She had a passion for animals and would always spoil her pets. She will be fondly remembered. Linda was preceded in her passing by her parents. Left to cherish Linda’s memory is her husband of 50 years, John Cleveland; children Matthew (Colleen) Cleveland, Kathleen (Michael Mann) Cleveland, Holly (Joe) Boers; grandchildren Xavier and Gabriel Cleveland; and brother Phillip Arnold. Services have been held. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Kurt Paul Deaner, 84, Zephyrhills, Florida, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away August 31, 2022, after a long illness. Kurt was born August 20, 1938 to Paul C. Deaner and Cleo (Schriener) Deaner in Kalamazoo and was the oldest of six. After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School, Kurt worked for Bell Telephone, Kal-Litho Kalamazoo, and Kite Decorating until he opened his own business, Deaner Decorating. On November 21, 1959, Kurt married Nancy L. Comstock at United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. They enjoyed entertaining, parties, playing cards, and watching sports. In 2005, Kurt and Nancy moved to Florida. Kurt was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Craig, William and Doug; sister Christine Johnson; father-in-law Lester Comstock; mother-in-law Florence Comstock; and son Timothy Deaner. Kurt was survived by his wife Nancy for five months before her own death in early February. He was also survived by daughter Karen Deaner Thomas; daughter-in-law Kristine Deaner; grandsons Dustin (Kristin) Gilmore, Andrew (Erica) Gilmore, Matthew (Lydia) Deaner; granddaughter Stephanie Deaner; seven great-grandchildren; sister Nancy (Ken) Brightwell; sister-in-law Janet Saddler; sister-in-law Lori Comstock; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Nancy Lee Deaner, 82, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away on February 4, 2023 in Dunedin, Florida. Nancy was born May 4, 1940 to parents Lester and Florence Comstock in Kalamazoo. Nancy graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1958. After graduation, she worked for Gibson Guitar Company, then worked at Meijer for 25 years. She was most proud of being the vice principal/lead secretary at Kalamazoo Central High School. On November 21, 1959, Nancy married Kurt Paul Deaner at United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. She was cheerful, kind, inquisitive, and caring. She was an excellent seamstress, was active in the Red Hat Society, and led in country line dancing three times a week for over 15 years. In 2005, Nancy and Kurt moved to Florida. Nancy was preceded in death by her husband, her parents; father-in-law Paul Deaner; mother-in-law Cleo Deaner; brothers-in-law Craig, William and Doug; sister-in-law Christine; and son Timothy Deaner. Nancy is survived by her daughter, Karen Deaner Thomas; daughter-in-law Kristine Deaner; grandsons Dustin (Kristin) Gilmore, Andrew (Erica) Gilmore, Matthew (Lydia) Deaner; granddaughter Stephanie Deaner; seven great-grandchildren; sisters Janet Saddler and Lori Comstock; sister-in-law Nancy (Ken) Brightwell; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Paul Edwin Frey, Schoolcraft, passed away March 22, 2023. He was born December 7, 1934, in Kalamazoo to the late Romeo and Anna (Cooley) Frey. He was a graduate of Schoolcraft High School. He married Nancy (Johncox) Frey on September 30, 1955. An avid builder, he was able to turn his passion into his own business, Paul Frey Builders, constructing many homes and various projects around the greater Kalamazoo area before settling into retirement. However, his passion for building never ceased. Whether it was something for himself or Nancy, or a close friend or family member, you could always find Paul working in his shop. In earlier years, his greatest hobby was general aviation, building and piloting many of his own biplanes, and flying throughout the Midwest. Paul was preceded in death by his loving wife, Nancy Mary Frey; his parents; a sister, Esther Brush; brothers-in-law Daryl Brush and Gary Steeby; and sister-in-law Sandra Frey. He is survived by his children, Kris Frey, Jeff (Julie) Frey, and Lisa (Mike) Jarrett; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and siblings Joyce Steeby, David Frey, and Phyllis Frey. Visit his page at langelands.com.
Bert Hovenkamp, 75, Mattawan, passed from this life on March 17, 2023 after a long illness. He was born in the Netherlands on August 28, 1947 to Chris and Antonia Hovenkamp. The family came to the United States in 1949, and eventually purchased a farm in Lawton. He attended Decatur Public Schools and Kalamazoo Christian School. Bert began in automobile work and dreamed of owning his own salvage yard and auto parts business. He worked for several businesses and joined the Automotive Recyclers Organization of Michigan. In 1974, he bought Liberty Auto Parts and then built Eagle Auto Parts in Three Rivers. He made it a “state of the art” salvage yard, one that received many commendations from the Automotive Recyclers Association. Facing health issues, he retired and sold his business. He had a fun, prankster personality and made many friends over the years. He leaves behind his wife, Cheryl; sons Brian and Kevin Hovenkamp; stepson Andy (Heidi)Truitt; sister Anne McNulty and brother Ken Hovenkamp; and his beloved dog, Hachi. His grandchildren include Elise and Mckenzie Hovenkamp, Mason Landon, Gage Hovenkamp and Wyatt and Sawyer Truitt. He is also survived by some wonderful nieces and nephews. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Youth for Christ.
Marjorie Mae McCauley, 91, Shawnee, Oklahoma, formerly of Vicksburg, died on January 17, 2023. She was born on September 18, 1931, at Indian Fields, Kalamazoo, the daughter of Francis and Bessie (Lemon) Woodhams. Marjorie grew up on Austin Lake and graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1950. She worked as a dietitian at Munson Medical Hospital in Traverse City. Marjorie was a talented quilter and made many quilts. She made many quilted sleeping bags for the homeless while in Traverse City. She moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma to be with her son, Wm. Joseph Rowden. She is survived by sons Wm. J. (Robin) Rowden of Shawnee, Robert L. (Maria) Rowden of Bulverde, Texas, and Roger D. (Suzanne) McCauley of Traverse City; grandchildren Wm. Jacob and Daxon Rowden, Devin, Joshua and Nicolus McCauley, and Jennifer (Joe) Christian; great-grandchildren Grayson and Nolan Christian; siblings Mary Ritter, Elizabeth Shearer, Joyce Hamming, James (Margaret) Woodhams, and Linda (Dan) Garrett; and several nieces and nephews. Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents; sister Beverly Haynes; brother Charles Woodhams; and nephews P. John Hamming and Wm. Haynes. A memorial service will be held on May 20, 2023, in Kalamazoo.
Mary Esther Rasmussen, 80, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away at Medilodge of Portage on March 18, 2023. Mary attended Vicksburg Elementary School before graduating from Nazareth Academy in Kalamazoo. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Nazareth College and a master’s degree from Northern Michigan University. After graduation, Mary taught in Northern Michigan. She enjoyed sharing her artistic talent by gifting people and organizations with paintings, which often had a Van Gogh or Picasso flavor or were symbolic of her Savior’s love for the world. Mary attended Milwood Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Leo and Esther Rasmussen of Vicksburg, and her younger brother Richard of Kalamazoo. She is survived by older brother Leo B. Rasmussen, his wife Erna, and their daughters, Amanda and Christina of Alaska, as well as her nephews Leo and Richard Rasmussen, sons of the late Richard, and several cousins. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.
Helen Sue Rishel, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at her home March 16, 2023. She was born November 2, 1942, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of the late Leroy and Alice (Boss) VanMaanen. Helen loved her Lord and Savior and lived her life to honor Him. Helen built her business with her love and talent for sewing. She would spend her days caring for her family and then head to her sewing room, sometimes sewing all night. More than anything, Helen loved John and her four girls. Her love grew with 14 grandchildren and one great grand baby. Helen was preceded in death by her infant son, Mark John Rishel; son-in-law Thomas Geyer; grandson Kenneth Duchene, Jr.; and siblings Leroy, Jack, and Sonnie VanMaanen. On June 18, 1963, Helen married John W. Rishel, who survives. Also surviving are her children, Sherri (Michael) Barwegen, Victoria Geyer, Alana (Matthew) DePriest, and Christina (Kenneth) Duchene; grandchildren Abrahame (Rachel) Barwegen, Solomon, Elizabeth, and Nathaniel Barwegen, Isabel, Lily, and Abby Geyer, Daniel DePriest, Anna, Gracie, Emma Rea, Zachary, Hannah, and Alice Duchene; and great-granddaughter Noel Barwegen. Services have been held. A private committal service will be held in Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Donations may go to the family. Visit her page at langelands.com.
Jay Franklin Smith, 84, Vicksburg, passed away on March 9, 2023. He was born in Huntington, Indiana, and was the sole child of Claude W. and Elizabeth (Keifer) Smith. He grew up in Jackson, Michigan and Kalamazoo. He moved to Barton Lake in the Vicksburg area in 1993. Jay was a 57-year member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 357, until he retired in 1999 from Mall City Mechanical. Jay was an avid fisherman, both on ice and water, and loved to bass fish. He also loved woodworking and any project he could get his hands on. He was a sports fan, enjoyed watching University of Michigan football and watching women’s softball. Jay was a member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law, Dan Ramlow. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Anne (VandeMaele); children Tammy Ramlow of Scotts, Laurie (Mike Fortuna) Smith of Mesa, Arizona, Christopher (Mary) Smith of Schoolcraft, Bonnie (Bill) Loveland of Plainwell, and Kelly (Mike) Hinga of Portage; grandchildren John Ramlow, Susie Bauman, Jason Smith, Nichole Kladder, Megan Danks, Mark Loveland, Matthew Loveland and Lydia Hinga; 12 great-grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Jake. Services have been held. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.
William “Bill” J. Stephens, Sr. of Battle Creek, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away February 17, 2023, at home. Bill was born October 4, 1965, in Kalamazoo, the son of William and Lois (Ballinger) Stephens. He was a graduate of Vicksburg High School and a U.S. Army veteran. Bill was employed as a construction worker and enjoyed building, fishing and hunting. He was united in marriage to Cathy (Greene) Stephens who survives. Also surviving are a son, Brad Stephens; granddaughter Allie Stephens-Gilkey; siblings Terri (Jim) Campbell, Cheryl (Thomas) Garbe, Carrie Laplante, Mike Stephens; special friend Tina Sturgeon; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, William Stephens, Jr. Arrangements by Redmond Funeral Home, Kalamazoo. http://www.redmondfuneralhomes.net.
Pearl G. (Modert) Westfall, 96, Schoolcraft, passed away March 2, 2023 at Kairos Dwelling, surrounded by her family. She was born on August 7, 1926 in Burr Oak, Michigan, the daughter of Jesse and Marie (Pinney) Modert. Pearl married Rolland “Stub” Westfall on June 9, 1945. They were married for 74 years until his death in 2019. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, the 40 years they lived on the farm, bowling, and working at Norma’s Antiques in Schoolcraft. Pearl is survived by her son, Warren (Diane) Westfall of Schoolcraft; daughter Janice (Jim) Altimus of Three Rivers; grandchildren Jon (Jennifer) Altimus, Judy (Steve) Rupp, Jeffrey (Daniele) Altimus and Shawn (Nicki) Westfall; great-grandchildren Emilie (Ryan), Elaine, Ethan, Harrison, Zacherie, Serenity, Faith and Keaton; great-great-grandchildren Miller, Boston, Kanon, Konner, Rosie, Dean, and Storm. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Hubert McDonald, and a close group of special nieces, nephews and their families. Pearl was preceded in death by her parents and husband; granddaughter Robin Westfall; great-great granddaughters Samantha and Elizabeth; two brothers and three sisters. A Celebration of Life will be held at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 11 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, Kairos Dwelling and the South County Firefighters Association.
Billie G. Zimmerman, 84, Vicksburg, passed away on March 12, 2023, surrounded by family at his daughter’s home in Plainwell. Bill was born November 8, 1938, in Girard, Kansas, the son of James and Bonnie (Keigley) Zimmerman. He enlisted in the United States Navy for two years in the Fighter Squadron, then served in the Navy Reserves with the Seabees. In 1959, Bill married Joyce Merriam, who preceded him in death in 1994. He is survived by children Julie (Rick) Muller and Gary Zimmerman; granddaughters Jessica Pero and Holly Muller; great-grandchildren Mason and Julia Pero; siblings Tom (Judi) Adams, Gary (Cathy) Adams, Betty (Louie) Switzer, and Helen (Dick) Francisco. Bill’s passions in life were his family, riding motorcycles, gardening and spending winters in Florida. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Ken and Keith Adams, Frank and John Fornoff; and sisters Catherine Adams and Fran Therkildsen. In keeping with Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2023, at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene. Visit Bill’s page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators.