Category Archives: Obituaries


Mary Lou Adams, 81, of Indian Lake, Vicksburg, died March 17 at Rose Arbor Hospice. She was born June 4, 1937 in Hopkins, the daughter of Vernon and Maxine (Marron) Weick. Mary Lou was a 1955 graduate of Hopkins High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Western Michigan University. After several substitute teaching positions, she found her career at UpJohn Company working in interlibrary loans, retiring in 1996. On July 4, 1960, Mary Lou married George D. Adams. They were members of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Parish, where she served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was a gifted crafter, including knitting, cross-stitching and quilting. She is survived by her husband, George Adams; children Dan (Sandy) Adams, Philip (Mary) Adams, and Mary Beth (Jim) Kelly; grandchildren Janae, Matt, and Joey Adams, Abby Adams (Ryan Meddaugh), Kyle, Sean, and Brendan Kelly; a brother, Bill Weick; sister Laurie Weick-Wood; sisters-in-law Gloria Shoemaker and Barb Adams; her brother-in-law Earl Bensinger; and several nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice of Southwest Michigan. Visit Mary Lou’s page at

Robert “Bob” Arndt III, 46, Vicksburg, passed away March 12. He was born on November 6, 1972. He grew up in Schoolcraft and was proud to join his father and uncle at the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority, serving for 19 years. By 2011, his dream job came up: He left his job as a factory worker to drive a semi-truck for Steve Smith of SSS Farms. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Dawn; children Cody (Devin Uren-Price) Arndt of Westland and Natalie Arndt of Vicksburg. He is also survived by his parents, Robert J. Arndt of Schoolcraft and Karen Korakas of Toledo, Ohio; siblings Tara (Gregg) Leavell of Battle Creek; Kim (Steve) Shafer of Decatur; Brad Hull of Leonidas; and Bryan (Tim Vancha) Hull of Zephyrhills, Fla.; nieces and nephews Dante Leavell, Drew Leavell, Tagan Pollock, Trent and Nicole Marnell, Stephen Hull, Josh Hull, Hannah Hull, and Katelyn Hatfield; mother and father-in-law Donald and Judith Hatfield, of Galion, Ohio; sister-in-law Melissa Hatfield, of Galion, Ohio; brothers-in-law Eric (Rick Fournier) Hatfield, of Mansfield, Ohio, and Kevin Hatfield, of Marcellus; and special cousin Jodi Campbell, of Schoolcraft. He was preceded in death by aunt Nancy and uncle Tim-Tom Campbell, and uncle Jerry Burch. Visit Bobby’s page at Donations may go to Heartland Hospice and South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority.

Thomas Baker
, 75, Vicksburg, died suddenly on March 16. He was born in Flint Sept. 9, 1943, to Fred and Martha June Baker, and grew up in Kalamazoo. He attended Kalamazoo Central High and went on to Western Michigan University, where he studied business. He was hired by GM, one of the first hires at its Sprinkle Road plant and worked there until it closed in 1999. Tom married the love of his life, Denise Hames, in 1974. The couple had two children, Lindsay and Zachary. In retirement, he was caretaker for properties near Pretty Lake. He could fix anything, loved to play with the grandkids and fishing on Barton Lake. Tom is survived by his wife, Denise, children Lindsay Baker and Zachary (Heidi) Baker, grandchildren Alexandra and Simon, a sister, Betsy Baker, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Victoria Baker. Visit his page at Donations may go to the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.

Lori May Blakely, 37, Vicksburg, passed away March 16. She was born Dec. 15, 1981, to Robert and Elizabeth “Liz” Pierson. She attended Vicksburg schools and began dating her future husband, William Blakely, a classmate since middle school, in her senior year at Vicksburg High School. An avid reader, she also enjoyed gardening and spending time with friends and family, especially her beloved sons, Brendan and Connor. When she wasn’t deep into a novel, she was listening to her favorite country artists or 90s music. She is survived by her husband, William, sons Brendan and Connor; and siblings Jerry and Jimmy Pierson. Visit Lori’s page at Donations may go to the family.

Wesley “Jack” Buckallew, 75, Vicksburg, passed away March 17. He was born Nov. 28, 1943, to Gerald and Florence Buckallew. Jack graduated from Vicksburg High School and attended KCC. He met his wife-to-be, Cynda, in the college cafeteria and married her in June, 1964. The couple raised two sons, Jeff and Mark. Jack was a Cub Scout leader and attended all of his boys’ sporting events. He was a Sunday School teacher at Vicksburg United Methodist Church and a member and past president of the Lions Club. He is survived by his wife, Cynda, sons Jeff (Kim) and Mark (Mary) and grandchildren Jordan (Lindsey), Chris, Daniela, Jason, and Braiden Buckallew. Jack was preceded in death by his parents, twin brother Joe, sisters Beverly Schuring and Alice Dibble and grandchildren Micah and Jacob Buckallew. Visit Jack’s page at Donations may go to the American Diabetes Association.

Cathy Sue Farrel, 66, Schoolcraft, passed away March 22. Cathy was born on January 26, 1953 to Carrol and Jacqueline (Simpson) Syers. Cathy’s family includes her husband of 26 years, Bill; her children, Melissa Morgan, Nichole Bruner, Derek (Jessica) Farrel and William Farrel III; a sister Lorie (Bernie) Smith; grandchildren Katlynn, Bradley, Beth, Bryon, Lila, Jamie, Monica, DJ, Adi and Harper; great-grandchildren Makayla and Emma as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Ron Syers. Cathy was a great mother who loved her family dearly. A memorial service is being planned.

Marilyn Marie (Mason) Keene, 88, of Kalamazoo, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at Friendship Village March 7, with her family by her side. Marilyn was born on June 5, 1930 in Kalamazoo. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1948 and attended Western Michigan University where she met her husband, James Terrell Keene. On July 27th, 1951 they were married. Marilyn worked as a nursery school teacher, 4-H leader and enjoyed her time as a local garden club member. She taught ceramics and started a successful floral business that specialized in providing silk flowers for weddings. She enjoyed writing poetry and stories for her grandchildren, painting beautiful watercolors and researching her family history. She is survived by her husband, daughters Suzanne (Brian) Rucker, Lori (Floyd) Phalen; grandchildren Lindsey Rucker, James (Maggie) Rucker, Emily (Kyle Waite) Rucker; great grandchildren Marilyn Waite and Max Rucker; a sister, Janis (Jack) Loomis and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Beulah (Loomis) Mason and Alton Mason, a sister, Barbara Vanden Akker, a brother and sister in law, Richard and Avis Keene, nephews Ronald Keene, Brian Loomis and Robert Vanden Akker, and nieces Diane Burhans and Sharon Loomis. A celebration of life will be held on April 27 at 11 a.m. at Schoolcraft United Methodist Church, followed by visiting and fellowship at the church. Private burial services will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Allegan. Donations may go to Doctors Without Borders. More information is available at Avink Funeral Home.

Timothy L. Lafler, 54, Fulton, passed away March 19. Tim, the son of Willard and Maysie Lafler, was born on Oct. 23, 1964 in Kalamazoo. Tim was fun, caring, and strong-willed. He loved to tinker with cars. He is survived by sons Jacob Lafler of Flint and Nick Lafler of Mendon; his parents, Willard and Maysie Lafler, of Fulton; a brother, Willard Lafler; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and his special dog, Chopper. He was preceded in death by his brother, Edward Lee Lafler, and sister-in-law Tori Lafler. A memorial gathering for Tim will be held April 13 from 12 to 3 p.m., at the Fulton Christian Church. Visit Tim’s page at Donations may go to Generous Hands.

Judy Ann (Dolhay) Lem, 74, Vicksburg, died March 18, surrounded by family. Judy was born November 13, 1944 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Louis and Carolyn (Stewart) Dolhay. On May 31, 1961, she was married to Jack Lem Sr. Judy worked at WMU for over 15 years retiring in 2001. Judy is survived by her husband, Jack; sons, Jack Lem Jr. and Patrick (Kimberly) Lem, a daughter, Robin Lem; grandkids Jack Lem III, Elizabeth Lem, Anthony Gauna, Joe Gauna, Brie Gauna, Zachary Lem, and Alyssa Lem; great-grandkids Mickey Lem, Morgan Lem, Mason Wolfe, her little Johnny Northrop, with whom she had a special bond; and brothers Rick Dolhay, Steven “Bud” Dolhay, John (Patti) Dolhay, Joe Dolhay; sister Susie (Mike) Birkhold; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Todd, her parents, her brother Robert Dolhay, sister Carol “Lynn” Converse, nephews John Paul Converse and Tim Birkhold; and great-nephew Eric Hartwell. Judy loved Myrtle Beach, shopping, arts & crafts, bowling, cookouts, and going out with her WMU girlfriends. Donations may go to the Eric Hartwell Foundation, Visit Judy’s page at

Phyllis J. Minnis, 84, Fulton, passed away March 3. She was born to Forrest and Grace (Marble) Moored on November 1, 1934. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1952, where she met Robert Minnis. They married in 1956. Phyllis had fantastic skills in the kitchen and was known for her blueberry buckle and blueberry and cherry pies. Phyllis was an avid golfer and spent many years playing on a golf league until arthritis kept her from being able to play. She then took up aerobics, continuing until two weeks before her death. She was a diehard Detroit Tigers fan. Phyllis is survived by her children, Karen (Joe) Austin, Alan Minnis and Linda (Dan) Colter, all of Fulton; grandchildren Kathy Austin, of Fulton; Brad (Kayla) Minnis, of Vicksburg; Brandon (fiancée Heather Norton), of Three Rivers; Josh (fiancée Darcy Simmons) Gilkey, of Mendon; Audrey (Cody) Smith, of East Tawas; and Collin Colter, of Fulton; Kevin Colter, of Kalamazoo; and Daniel Colter, of Kalamazoo; and many great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Sheila (Max) Spealman, of Scotts; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 2001; and grandsons Brian Minnis and Kurt Austin. A funeral service was held on March 7 at the Wakeshma Community Church, Fulton, followed by burial at South Fulton Cemetery. Visit Phyllis’ page at Donations may go to Wakeshma Community Church.

Richard Eugene Nielsen, loving great-grandfather of sixteen, grandfather of seventeen, father of five, and husband of one, went to be with his Savior at the age of 82 on Saturday March 30. Richard was born on July 6, 1936 in Vicksburg and graduated from Vicksburg High School and Western Michigan University.  He taught business at Vicksburg High School, was Dean of Business at Glen Oaks Community College, and served as Assistant Superintendent of Business for the Vicksburg school system.  He moved to Reston, Virginia in 1984 to help pastor a church.  He used his business and fatherly skills to counsel countless people in both finances and life.  He was a member of the Vicksburg and Reston Rotary Clubs for 45 years, and led teams of Rotarians on several medical trips to help the people of Haiti.  On September 4, 1954 he married Ardith Barnes, a marriage that lasted 56 years until Ardith’s passing in 2011.  They raised two daughters and three sons. Richard loved to travel, and visited many countries across the globe.  He frequently visited his out-of-state children and grandchildren. He hosted many guests in his Washington DC area home, some for months at a time.  He loved to eat, and he loved his desserts.  Of utmost importance to Richard was his faith.  He leaves a great spiritual legacy, as his children and grandchildren love the Lord. Richard was proceeded in death by his wife, Ardith, and his grandson, Benjamin.  He is survived by his five children, Rodney (Jeannie), Cindy Champion (Bruce), Bradley (Tonya), Deanna Sturgeon (Craig), and Kent, his sister Sandy, his niece Michelle, and nephew Daniel.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 27 at Agape Christian Church in Kalamazoo, 609 Cherokee St., Kalamazoo, at 11:00 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, Richard has requested any donations be sent to KARIS ( at 10521 Judicial Drive, Suite 204, Fairfax, VA  22030.

David B Palmer, 54, Vicksburg, passed away March 10. David was the son of Robert and Norma Palmer. He graduated from Vicksburg High in 1983 and worked for more than 25 years as a lab technician for Rx Optical. He was described as a gentle person who enjoyed helping others, enjoyed golfing and as an avid bowler scored a couple of perfect games. He is survived by his mother, Norma, a brother, Douglas (Sue) Palmer of Arkansas, a sister, Deborah (Chris) Wedel of Mendon, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father. According to David’s wishes, he was cremated. A memorial gathering will be held at a later time. Visit David’s page at Donations may go to Generous Hands.

Tim Shook, 63, Miami, Florida and formerly of Fulton, died unexpectedly March 21. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by the Eickhoff Funeral Home of Mendon. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Raymond L. Snyder
, 81, passed away peacefully at his home in Holland, MI March 20. He was born on October 9, 1937, in Fulton, the son of Harry and Laura Snyder. Ray graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1956 and immediately began working in retail sales. He had a long and storied career with W. T. Grant Company. He was the owner of The Country Squire Men’s and Ladies Clothing Store in Flora, Illinois through 1989. He officially retired in April 2018. Ray loved working with his flowers and plants and spent many hours arranging and rearranging them until they were exactly right. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Harriet Ryder, and brother, Willard Snyder. Ray is survived by his wife, Jane, and their daughters, Susan Taylor and husband, Mike, of Charleston, Illinois, and Laura Prior and husband, Ed, of Princeton, Indiana. Ray has three grandchildren, Christopher Scaggs (Jessica); Courtney Finley (Daniel); and Kaitlyn Taylor (fiancé Albert Adkins). He has a great granddaughter, Natalie, and two great grandsons, Bentley and Mason. Also surviving are a brother, Robert (Mildred) Snyder of Holland; sister, Ruth (Jay) Hartgerink, of Portage; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service honoring Ray’s life will be held Saturday, April 6, at Third Reformed Church in Holland. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations and memorials be made to Hospice of Holland.

Robert Michael Steffler (Bob), 60, Schoolcraft, passed away at home March 16, with his wife, children and parents by his side, just 21 hours before his 61st birthday. Bob was diagnosed in February, 2017 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and fought this with courage, never giving up. Bob was born on March 17, 1958 in Kalamazoo to Robert and Jane (Brady) Steffler. Bob grew up in the Milwood neighborhood, graduating from Loy Norrix High School in 1977. He went on to graduate from Denver Automotive College in 1978. From there he began a lifelong career in the automotive field. He first work at Daleiden’s Auto body, then worked the next 34 years at Morrison Industrial Equipment. Bob met the love of his life and best friend, the former Ann C. Loy. They were married May 9, 1987 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. They resided and raised their family in Schoolcraft. Bob loved the game of golf. For many years he played every Friday from June to October with his dad. He always flew the Notre Dame flag on game days. Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Ann, his daughter and son-in law, Katelyn and Chase Jones, of Middlebury, Ind.; his son, Matthew Steffler, of Schoolcraft; his grandchildren, Alexi Ann and Mason Micheal; his parents, Robert and Jane Steffler of Kalamazoo; brothers John (Barb) Steffler, Parchment; Mike (Tracy) Steffler, Kalamazoo and Dan (Stacy) Steffler, Portage, and his sister Susan (Ben) Peterson of Portage; many nieces and nephews and his mother-in-law, Madelyn Loy, Schoolcraft. His father-in-law, Millard Loy, preceded him in death. Memorials can be made in Bob’s name to St. Catherine of Siena, Simply Cremations, 4500 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Kentwood MI 49508.

Frederick Max Streeter, 73, Kalamazoo and Zephyrhills, Fla., passed away unexpectedly March 9, in Wesley Chapel, Fla. Fred was born February 22, 1946 in Kalamazoo, to Max and Eleanor Streeter. After graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1965, he was drafted into the Army. When he returned, he was united in marriage to Jacqueline (Brotherton) on September 4, 1970, his soulmate for 48 years. Fred was a Mason and Past Master with the Masonic Blue Lodge in Mattawan. He was a member and past president of the Justin Morgan Horse Association and involved in 4H. For years he owned Fred’s Hardware Store and was known as the man who could fix anything. Fred later retired from Consumers Concrete where he worked as a dispatcher. Fred spent the last 10 years living in Zephyrhills and made friends with everyone he encountered. Fred is survived by his wife, Jacqueline; a daughter, Shannan (Brendon) Frank; a son, Jason (Lyndsey) Streeter; granddaughters Taylor, Jayley, Ella, Alyssa, Sydney and Savannah, and ßa brother, Tom (Kathy) Streeter. He was predeceased by his parents. A celebration of life will be held in Kalamazoo at a date to be determined. Visit Fred’s page at

Valeria Thrasher, 92, Mason, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away on March 14. Val was born on December 16, 1926. A graveside service was held on Thursday, March 21 at Maple Grove Cemetery in Mason. Val’s family includes her children, Steve (Linda) Simon and Lydia Thrasher; grandson Nathan as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Henry Thrasher. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert Durham Chapel.


Danny Lee Castle, was born April 30, 1953, in Kalamazoo, the son of Glenn and Irene (Cothran) Castle. He graduated from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1971. Danny liked to tell folks he studied at the University of Honky-Tonks, Dives and Biker Bars, where he could often be found playing as a member of the band. Music was Danny’s language, his vocation and his greatest joy. He played in several regional and local bands throughout the years including North Country, Upland Express, Barker’s Castle, and JAG Band. In 1974, Danny composed the song, “Michigan Again,” which was recorded by Rutzy Leonard and the Morrow River Gang on WOW records in 1978. On his 65th birthday, Danny was diagnosed with a very rare type of bile duct cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. He fought hard to enjoy the remaining days of his life – far exceeding the short life expectancy he had been given. Danny’s legacy will be the many ways he showed his family and friends the value of living life on your own terms, keeping a song in your heart and demonstrating that love and kindness are by far the most important and richest traits a person can possess. Danny began his celebration in the afterlife on Feb. 24, reuniting with his parents and brothers, William Castle and Carl “Butch” Castle. Danny is survived by his loving wife, Dana Hetrick Castle, and children Angela (Kevin Dockerty) Peck, of Schoolcraft; Elizabeth (Tyler) Cheesebro of Virginia Beach, Va. and Jake (Haley) Ross of Ooltewah, Tenn. He was affectionately known as Grampy to Rilley, Lillian and Serie Briggs; Mason and Peyton Ross and Graham and Fynn Cheesebro. Danny is also survived by three siblings, Larry Castle of Florida, Susan (Robert) Eaton of Portage, Mary (Bruce) Edmonson of Parchment; sisters-in-law Janis (John) Castle-Dodge of Mason, Mich. and Linda Castle of Galesburg; a very special cousin, Colleen (Dennis) Ocker of Grand Rapids; several special nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as a large circle of friends. A memorial gathering was held on Saturday, March 2 at the VFW in Augusta. A memorial wake will be held later this summer. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Lee A. Coville, Sr., 91, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 4. Lee was born Aug. 12, 1927 to Harold and Luvera (Verrill) Coville. Lee was a lifelong farmer who also enjoyed dancing, singing karaoke, bowling, and his family. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1947. Lee leaves behind his wife, Lori Ann (Bacon); a son, Lynn (Stacey) of Vicksburg; a daughter, Beth Marie (David) Davis, of Dowagiac; and a stepdaughter, Molly Beale (Dan) of Vicksburg. Lee also leaves behind 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Lee is survived by his brother, Wendell (Linda) Coville; daughter in law, Karen Coville; and several other brothers and sisters in law. Lee was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn Marie (Brown); a son, Lee Albert Jr.; a sister, Annabelle Scheibner; a brother, Harold (Barney) Coville; and a nephew, Thomas “Jeffrey” Brown, whom he raised. Donations may be directed to the Coville family to cover expenses.

Janet Ellen Doorn, 71, Scotts, passed Feb. 2. She is survived by daughters Michael (Chris) Schoultz of Scotts and Deanne (Jeremy Crabtree) Doorn of Portage; siblings Carol (Ken) Stuart, James Nelson; sister in law Linda Hinds; grandchildren Andrew, Olivia, and Jaxson as well as several special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Amy Bartolameolli; parents Ed and Anne Nelson; siblings Rick, Tom, and Barbara; as well as Don Doorn. Please visit Janet’s page at Donations may go to the family.

Max “Mike” Eberstein, 76, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 3. He was born Dec. 1, 1942, in Vicksburg,to Max E. and Marie (Stevens) Eberstein. He is survived by his wife, Jill Eberstein; his children, Scott (Linda) Eberstein, Sherry (Ivan) Riddle, Kevin (Lisa) Eberstein, and Tammy (Tom) Parsons; 19 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Due to Mike’s wishes the family will be having a private memorial service. Donations may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or the West Michigan Cancer Center. Please visit Max’s page at

James E. Erskine, Scotts, passed away Feb. 7. He was born to Ernest and Marcella Erskine on June 11, 1946. After graduating from Vicksburg High School, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1968. He worked at General Motors for 33 years. One of Jim’s highlights was the annual pig roast that he hosted for 30 years. One of his favorite things to do was to head up north to his deer camp near Escanaba. Jim’s family includes his wife, Bonnie Erskine; daughters Shelly Hirdning and Stacy Erskine; step-children Maria (Mick) McCallister and Kevin Bowling; granddaughter Shelby Hirdning; step-grandchildren Terra McCallister, Karissa McCallister, Miranda McCallister, Caden Bowling, Conner Bowling and Carson Bowling; great-granddaughter Paisley Bunch; siblings Virginia Schuring, Judy (Don) Hatfield, and John Erskine. Jim also leaves behind numerous close friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Robert Schuring and granddaughter Stephanie Hirdning. Jim will be buried with military honors at the Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit Jim’s page at Donations may go to Heartland Hospice.

Linda Gail Gerow, Schoolcraft, died peacefully Feb. 16 at Rose Arbor Hospice. She was born to Clayton and Twilah (Huss) Stevens on December 17, 1950. She graduated from Portage Central in 1969. Surviving are her husband, Kim; children Sarah Gasper, Jeff (Deanna) Gerow, and Mandy (Ryan) White; grandchildren Cory, Derek, Bailey, Clayton, Brennan, Savannah, Irelyn, Lindsay, Chelsea, Brooke; five great-grandchildren; father-in-law Raymond Gerow; and many nieces and nephews. Linda was preceded in death by her parents. Services were held Thursday, Feb. 21. Burial will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Linda’s page at Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dr. John Michael “Mick” Hanley, 73, of Scotts, passed away Feb. 11. He was born September 26, 1945 in Butte, Montana to the late John and Elizabeth (Harrington) Hanley. Mick earned his B.A. in English from the University of Montana-Dillon. He taught high school English and coached for three years. He then earned his M.A. in speech-pathology and audiology from the University of Montana and practiced in public schools until 1974. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in speech hearing and science from the University of Iowa, where he served as a faculty member from 1977-1980 before joining the faculty at Western Michigan University. In 1990, Mick became the chair of Western’s Speech Pathology and Audiology Department and served in that position for 17 years. Mick’s areas of expertise included research, training, and clinical emphasis on the communication disorder of stuttering. During his years at WMU, Mick won the WMU Distinguished Service Award as well as the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders Distinguished Service Award. In 2006, the John “Mick” Hanley Endowed Scholarship was established at Western. Mick enjoyed golfing, skiing, reading, and camping. He was married to his best friend, Sherry Matson, on Aug. 10, 1968. Mick was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Kevin Sean Hanley. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sherry Hanley; son, Keith Michael (Lisa) Hanley; grandchildren, Brady John and Brody Michael Hanley; sister, June (Joel) Berry; brother, James Hanley; and numerous nieces and nephews. Donations may be made to the Dr. John M. Hanley Endowed Scholarship at Western Michigan University or the American Cancer Society.

Fred Kohler, 71, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 10. He was born Sept. 20, 1947 to Arnold and Maxine Kohler. Fred’s family includes his former wife, Cynthia Wolf; children Arnie (Melissa) Kohler, Bradley Kohler and Pamela Grgrich; grandchildren Devon, Jordan and McKenzie; siblings Tom (Brenda) Skelton, Mike (Marsha) Skelton and Dennis (Joan) Humphrey and many nieces and nephews. Fred was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Nancy Shutes. A memorial service for Fred will be held at a later date to be announced. Services are being handled by McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg. Fred will be buried with military honors at the Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit Fred’s page at Donations may go to Disabled Veterans.

Marjorie “Margie” Luther, 87, Vicksburg, passed away unexpectedly January 28. She was born to the late Melba Mueller Hoger and Elmer “Mac” Hoger on August 27, 1931. Margie spent her early years on Throop Street in Chicago. Margie married in 1960 and divorced after 14 years. After that, she lived and worked independently in Brookfield, Ill. She retired from Allied Products as assistant to the president in 1997. Margie inherited her parents’ lakeside home in Vicksburg, a place familiar from her childhood. The home was built on Indian Lake in 1911 by her maternal grandfather, Charles Mueller. It was a family summer cottage and has remained in the family for over a century. Margie had it renovated and retired there in 1998. Margie is survived by her first cousins, Dorothy Brown of Midlothian, Ill., Warren Hoger of Wheaton, Ill.; Chuck Hoger of Anaheim, Calif.; and Patti Pigney of Palm City, Fla.; other family members (especially Beth Hoger, and Patti and Pete Koelle), kind neighbors (especially Jon and Kitty Kachniewicz), and her church family (especially her Bible study group and Pastor Joan). Donations may go to Lord of Life Lutheran Church or South County Community Services. Margie’s life will be remembered on March 26 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Margie’s remains will be interred at a later date at Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Ill. Arrangements by Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home.

Robert E. Smith, 67, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 3. He was born to Sidney and Dawn (Horning) Smith on July 15, 1951, the oldest of seven children. He graduated from Comstock High School in 1969 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for 12 years. Bob loved selling his pumpkins at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market. He later learned to make and sell delicious homemade jams and maple syrup. Bob had a knack for making others feel special. He was a former president of the Vicksburg Historical Society, a member of the Farmers’ Market Board, and helped with the advertising of the South County News when it was first starting out. He was especially proud of his involvement with the Harvest Festival. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; a son, Brandon Smith, of Vicksburg; and a stepson, Johnathan Donlin, of Kalamazoo. Visit Bob’s page at Donations may go to Generous Hands.


Janet L. Brinkert, 83, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully Jan. 15 surrounded by her family. Janet was born Oct., 19, 1935 to Walter Jennings and Ruth Sandell. After graduating from high school, she worked for the Schoolcraft school system in her younger years before moving on to Kalamazoo County State Bank where she retired after 23 years of service in 2001. She was a member of the Jolly Doers Ladies Club as well as a member of the Schoolcraft Ladies Library. She was also active with the Schoolcraft Ambulance Service and a board member of the Schoolcraft Library. Janet will always be remembered for being independent, caring, and always being active in the Schoolcraft community. Janet’s family includes her children, Steven (Peggy) Brinkert, Chris (Susan) Brinkert, Deborah (Alan) Sorenson, Mark (Tiffany) Brinkert; nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren; sisters Alice Jennings and Mary Padilla. Janet was preceded in death by her parents as well as brothers Walter Jennings and Kenneth Jennings. Visit her page at

James A. Dent, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 21. He was born to Porter and Eloise Dent on September 4, 1940. Throughout his life, Jim was someone who was always doing something. He has been called the galloping gourmet as his cooking skills were remarkable. For a time, he had worked as a short order cook at a little restaurant in Leonidas. Everything Jim made was pretty fantastic, but his specialties were his bean soup and chili. His fishing buddies always looked forward to his chili as he made it for them every year. Jim especially loved cookouts. He was an avid fisherman who loved going up north fishing. Jim also got into woodworking and made many birdhouses and feeders. He also enjoyed working on stock cars with Joe Brockway. To support his family, Jim worked in a variety of jobs as a delivery driver. Jim is survived by his loving wife, Ardith Dent; children Terri (Jeff) Stuck, Louann (Andy) Coon, and Carol Dent; grandchildren Justin, Danielle, Chelsea, Morgan and Zach; and several great-grandchildren. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Sueann Howes; siblings Gerald Dent, Marie Baker and Bill Dent. Visit Jim’s page at Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo.

Dr. Arvid L. Erlandson, Portage, passed away Dec. 31. He was born on Sept. 26, 1929 in Norway, Mich. He was Director of Microbiology and Virology at Bronson Hospital. He also did some work for Upjohn Company out of the country setting up medical labs and taught at KVCC as an adjunct professor. Arvid’s family includes his wife, Grace; children Paul (Jan) Erlandson, Kathy (Peter Sternisha) Chuhran, Terri (Kerry Getman) Negri who is a teacher in the Vicksburg school system, Mark (Alice) Erlandson, and Susan (Bryan) Duff; grandchildren Erin Warnez and Chris Erlandson, Brandon, Jesse and Megan Chuhran, Tyler and Melyssa Negri, Maddie, Emma and Claire Erlandson, and Andrew, Austin and Allie Duff; and many great-grandchildren. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes or Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.

Gerald Howard Flach, Scotts, died Jan. 7, at Borgess Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was born to Clarence and Anne (Filey) Flach on Jan. 12, 1930 in Kalamazoo. He grew up on the family farm in Scotts. He served in the United States Army, becoming a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was on active duty from Jan. 5, 1951, through December 19, 1952, working on testing the atomic bomb in Nevada. He worked at American Tool and then left to become co-owner of Kalamazoo Tool Co. for 20 years. The final years of his career were spent at Micro-Machine. He was an avid hunter and trapper and loved fishing, gardening, camping, boating, and riding his four-wheeler every day. Jerry’s family includes his wife, Dorothy Flach; children Robert (Dawn) Flach, Dennis (Donna) Flach, David Flach, John (Pam) Flach and Steve (Susan) Flach; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings Helen (Lawrence) Fleck, Marian (Marvin) Woodin, and Donald Flach; brother-in-law Bruce Fleck and many nieces and nephews. Jerry was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary Flach; siblings Marcelline Fleck and Fr. LaVern Flach, O.S.A. Visit Jerry’s page at Donations may go to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Midwest Augustinians c/o Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel.

Shirley Fuller Smithe, died at her home in San Fernando, Calif., Dec. 7. Shirley was born at home on a farm in Avoca, Mich., June 6. 1935. She was a graduate of Schoolcraft High School and Bethel College in Indiana. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Francis, Gerald, Ralph and Harvey, half-sisters Louella and Ester, her stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister. She is survived by her son, David Smithe, and grandson, Nevada Smithe, brother Calvin (Leona) Fuller and sister Margaret (Irvin) Chapin and several nieces and nephews. Shirley taught school to handicapped students in the Los Angeles California school district for 47 years. Her class size averaged nine students and she was helped by two assistants. In those 47 years, Shirley received seven Certificates of Excellence in teaching and several prodigious Gold Apple awards.

Kenneth J. George, Kalamazoo, died Jan. 18. Ken was born January 26, 1931 in Kalamazoo, the son of William and Evelyn (Lewis) George. He had been a lifelong Kalamazoo/Vicksburg area resident and was employed with several paper manufacturing companies including Simpson Paper, for over 20 years as an accountant before retiring. Ken was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Julane George in 2008; and brothers Dave and Harold George. He is survived by sons Brad (Beverly) George of Columbus, Ohio and Brian George of Kalamazoo; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Rosemary Herrick of Redding, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Private services and burial will be held at a later date. There will be no visitation. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Donald P. Linders, 79, Vicksburg, died peacefully Jan. 20. He was born on Feb. 10, 1939 to Gerard and Mary (Louis) Linders in Kalamazoo. When Don finally retired from his years of banking in 1995, he turned to many of his special interests. He found great pleasure in tending to his vegetable garden. He was known to grow an abundant supply of tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, green peppers and raspberries. A lover of the great outdoors, a perfect day for Don included fishing in the morning and playing tennis in the afternoons. His winter retreat to Gulf Shores, Ala. also afforded him the opportunity to visit many different restaurants where he would often try to replicate the dishes when he returned home. Remarkably, he and his wife Judy went to the Iowa nationals for square dancing! They both loved the dancing as well as the lasting friendships they made over the years. Surviving Don are his loving wife, Judy; their children Lori (Kevin) VanDyke, Dave (Laura) Linders, Mike (Donna) Linders, and Dan Linders; grandchildren Ashley (Leland) Lickfelt, Jordan (Katelyn) VanDyke, Matthew (Kristina) VanDyke, Zackery Linders, Joshua Linders, Chelsea Linders, Kylie Linders and Jeremy Linders; siblings Howard Linders, Richard (Nancy) Linders, Karen (Bill) Kannegieter; sister-in-law Ruth Linders; and many special nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Gerard and Mary; siblings Jack Linders, Mary-Beth Wyant, Judy Smith, sister and brother-in-law Marilyn and Herb Roseboom sister-in-law Leatha Linders; and granddaughter Kara Linders. Visit Don’s page at Donations may go to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or the First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft or other charity of your choice.

John Herbert Lynn Sr., 76, Vicksburg, passed away doing what he loved, traveling the country, Dec. 27. He was born to Wayne and Maxine (Phelps) Lynn on Oct. 9, 1942. He is survived by a brother; Richard Lynn, children Shelly Jo Lynn, John (Diane) Lynn Jr., Lorri (Terry) Hutchins, Suzie (Jason) LaMere; grandchildren Joseph, Scott, Sarah, Emily, Samantha, Parker; three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife; Vicki E. (Galbreath) Lynn, his parents and his sister, Pat Schultz. He graduated with an agricultural degree from MSU and was proud to have served his country in the Marine Corps. The family plans to have an informal memorial at a later date. Condolences can be sent to

Raymond E. Poulsen
, 96, Schoolcraft, passed away Jan. 7 with his family by his side. Raymond is survived by his son, Jack (Patti Baggett) Poulsen, of Schoolcraft; grandchildren Chad Poulsen of Vicksburg; Andy (Daniall) Poulsen, of Vicksburg; Michelle Will Hodgman, of Schoolcraft; Joe (Jenny Lage) Poulsen, of Vicksburg; great grandchildren Kendalynn, Gracie, Easton, Jocelyn, Hailey, Davis, Sophia, Jace, Daniel, David, and Carmen. He was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta; sons Raymond and Bruce Poulsen; grandson Michael Musselman; great granddaughter Kenzie Joy Musselman. Visit Raymond’s page at Donations may go to Vicksburg VFW Post #5189.

Mary Elizabeth Zonyk-Wagar, 89, Palmer, Alaska, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home Jan. 24. She was born to Walter S. Shepard and Evelyn (Farnham) Shepard in Flint on March 26, 1929. When her children reached their teenage years, Mary set off to earn her GED. She then pursued her bachelor of science degree in education. Accepting a position with the Three Rivers District at Moore Park, Mary began a remarkable 30-year career. When her daughter, Christine, earned her bachelor’s degree, Mary was right there walking beside her onstage receiving her master’s. Mary is survived by her children, Patricia (Dorman) Wilson, Christine Zonyk and George (Linda) Zonyk, grandchildren Marlo Adams, Denise (Dewayne) Wolf, Holly (Brett) Gibbens, Danielle (Travis) Wolf, Alex (Kathy) Mendiola and Jenny (Dennis) Rose, and 19 great-grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of more than 56 years, George Zonyk; her second husband, John Wagar; sister, Barbara Rybitsky and brother, David Fultz. The family will receive friends at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Burial will be at the Vicksburg Cemetery following mass. The date of this event will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Visit Mary’s page at Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church or the Alzheimer’s Association.


Mary Elizabeth Anderson, 94, (née Thornton), formerly of Vicksburg, died Dec. 28 in Grand Rapids. She is survived by her son, Robert (Juliane) Anderson of Ada; her daughter, Susan (Stephen) Marston of Edina, Minn.; grandchildren, Becca Anderson, Christopher Marston and Elizabeth (Todd) Hallack; and great grandchild, Samantha. Liz, or Butch, as she was known to her many Air Force friends, was born in Jonesboro, Ark., to the late Reverend Doctor Robert Andrew and Ivah (Sharp) Thornton in 1924. In 1945, while Rev. Thornton was preaching in Artesia, Miss., Liz met 2nd Lt. Joseph Anderson of Kalamazoo. They were wed in October of that year and moved to Michigan after his discharge. Several years later, Joe was recalled into the United States Air Force and they moved around the country and the globe. After Joe retired from the Air Force, they settled into a beautiful home on Sunset Lake in Vicksburg, where they joined and were active for many years in the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. They frequently traveled to the family cabin on the Manistee River. After Joe passed in 2012, Liz moved to the Clark on Keller Lake Retirement Community in Grand Rapids. Interment was next to her beloved Joe at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta. Donations may go to the Vicksburg United Methodist Church, earmarked for “Missions”.

Janet Kay Buck, passed away on January 2, at New Friends where she had been a resident for two years. Janet was born May 3, 1944 in Vicksburg to Paul and June Tackaberry. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1962 and then attended South Bend College of Commerce in Indiana. After moving back to Kalamazoo, she married Richard Buck. They both worked in the Printing Business for many years in Kalamazoo. When they retired they moved to Leisure Time Condominiums. Richard passed away in 2013. Janet is survived by her sister Berneice Hunt, Kalamazoo, step-son Bradley Buck, Angola, Indiana and many cousins and all of their families. Private burial will be at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park beside her husband.

Norman Joseph Collins, 69, Schoolcraft, passed away Dec. 21, after a heart attack. He was born October 24, 1949 in Kalamazoo, the son of Elmer and Genevieve (Skoglund) Collins. Surviving are his wife, Tena Ross-Adams Collins, step-sons Nickolaus (Katarina), Timothy, Nathanyell (Kimberly) and Brandon and step-grandson Elliot Farrell. He was preceded in death by brothers Woodrow Collins and Howard Collins, and sister Dyane (Collins) Wildig. Norm worked at Stryker for 46 years, one of the longest employees on record. He and Tena were regular supporters of the Gospel Mission in Kalamazoo, enjoyed attending Earth, Wind and Fire concerts and vacationed in Mexico every year. Norm was a generous person, frequently helping those in need and had a great sense of humor. Funeral services were held on Dec. 28 at Avink Funeral Home in Schoolcraft. Burial was at Schoolcraft Cemetery following the service. Donations may go to the Gospel Mission in Kalamazoo. Visit his page at

John Davidson, 69, Scotts, passed away on Dec. 1, with family at his side. John was born in Kalamazoo on May 25, 1949, the son of the late Arthur and Shirley (Gettys) Davidson. He was also preceded in passing by two siblings, Richard and Donald Davidson. On March 27, 1969, he was drafted into the army to serve in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in April 1971 and worked for Georgia Pacific Paper Company. He later retired from ICM Products. He enjoyed traveling and took many memorable cross-country trips and cruises with his family. On December 18, 1971, he married Peggy (Reaume) Davidson, who survives. He is also survived by three children, Lewis (Treasa) Davidson II, Tina (Scott) Eager and Rebecca Powers; an honorary daughter, Samantha (Sam) Gannon and her three children, Jacob, Max and Miah; grandchildren Kassandra Kloth, Alexandra (Aaron) Flood, Lewis John Davidson III, Marina Davidson, Jonathan Eager, Collin Eager, Emily “Toby” Powers, Kaya Powers, Levi Eager; an honorary granddaughter, Sarah (Donqual) Smith-Johnson and their daughter, Lashay; great-grandchildren Lilliana, Arayah, Adestria, Felicity, Ozïl; siblings Myra (Donald) Psalmonds, Susan (Kenneth) Cross, Arthur Davidson, Brenda (Arthur) Austin, Denise Zirkelbach, Dale “Barney” Davidson, Peggy (Mark) Slater; a sister-in-law, Rose Davidson; a special niece, Yvonne Reaume; and several nieces, nephews and friends. Donations may go to St. Joseph Catholic Church or the Hospital Hospitality House.

Marcella “Bid” C. Erskine, Schoolcraft, passed away Jan. 1. She was born to James and Neta (Smith) Mears on Jan. 11, 1926. Bid was a wife, mother and grandmother, worked at nursing homes, and cooked at restaurants, including Arlene’s Truck Stop and Marjo’s. Marcella is survived by Virginia Schuring, of Muir; James (Bonnie) Erskine, of Scotts; Judy (Don) Hatfield, of Ohio; John Erskine, of Kentucky; 12 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren; a sister, Bertha May “Midge” (Al) Engelman, of Portage; and numerous nieces and nephews. Bid was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest; a daughter, JoAnne Erskine; a grandson, Greg Schuring; and a great granddaughter, Stephanie Hirdning. Visit Bid’s page at Donations may go to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Daniel P. Fearn, 91, Vicksburg, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Jan. 3. He was born June 16, 1927 in Jackson to William and Lavina (Brassmer) Fearn. In the Korean War, Dan’s regiment received two Presidential Unit Citations. One for the Battle of Twin Tunnels and the other at Chipyong-ni, where he got two Purple Hearts. His wounds sent him to the hospital ship Constellation and on to the Tokyo General Army Hospital. He was also a member of the Arbor Day Society, Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.), Military Order of the Purple Heart, USFA (United States Forces Austria Association) and the Second Division Association Korean Branch. He was a charter member of the Warren Woods Nazarene Church and an active member at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene. He is survived by his wife, Lois, of 66 years, daughters Danise Fearn, of St. Clair Shores and Diane Hurst and her husband, Larry, of Bourbonnais, Ill.; grandsons Jared (Kari) Whitlow, of Illinois; Jeremy (Michelle) Whitlow, of Oklahoma; Justin Whitlow (Emily), of Illinois; and granddaughter, Emily Hurst, of Illinois. He is also survived by stepgrandsons Nicholas (Kate) Hurst, of Wisconsin; Andrew (Rebecca) Hurst, of Alabama; Adam (Lauren) Hurst, of Wisconsin; great-grandchildren Liam and Harper Hurst, Atley Hurst, Isacc Hurst, William Whitlow, and Zoe Whitlow; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson Joshua Whitlow; granddaughter Janelle Whitlow; brother, Lyle Fearn; sister, Dorothy Fearn Adler; and son-in-law, Patrick Whitlow. Dan will be buried with military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit his page at Donations may go to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.

Carla Jo Glidden, Vicksburg, died Dec. 2 at home in the loving care of Lee, her husband of 62 years, and her children, Cindy (Lou) Moratti, Roger (Toni Strong) Glidden, Bruce (Yolanda) Glidden and sister Mary Reynolds. She was born Feb. 25, 1939. Carla loved spending time with her 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, quilting, spending time at the family cabin in Baldwin and creating crafts with Lee. Donations may go to Hospice of Southwest Michigan or West Michigan Cancer Center.

Dr. F. Claus Globig, born April 9, 1928 in Stuttgart, Germany, died peacefully and without pain on Nov. 28, at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo. Claus was the third son of Florence and Rosa Globig. While his father and two older brothers served with distinction and honor during WWI and WWII, Claus was 16 when he defended Berlin against the oncoming Russian army by engaging in anti-aircraft and other underground activities. After the war, Claus met the love of his life, Rose-Marie Kanter, born in Lugnitz, Germany, after she and her family had fled from the Russians in the eastern part of the country, now Poland. They completed high school and college together. Claus completed his doctoral degree in chemical engineering, and they wed in Darmstadt, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1953. They emigrated to Michigan in 1959 where Claus worked at Simpson Lee Paper Company for 35 years with great dedication and distinction. Among other products, his team developed archival papers for artists and photocopy papers for Polaroid and Xerox. The couple were highly interested in and active in the arts, and he was president of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts three years in a row. Claus’ love for Mozart was almost legendary, and his presence at the Kalamazoo Symphony was mandatory. At Claus’ request, he will be cremated and his ashes combined with his beloved’s to be strewn in the Atlantic Ocean, the waters they crossed 59 years ago, at Singing Beach, Mass. Dr. F. Claus Globig is survived by his son, Claus-Stefan Globig and his girlfriend, Teresa Scholten, of Kalamazoo; his daughter, Susanne Globig, of San Francisco; his daughter, Dr. Isabel Neff ,and her husband, Dr. Frederick Neff, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., and their children, Greg Neff, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Nicole Neff, of Nashville, Tenn.; and Dr. Harry-Max Kanter and his children Nils and Silke, who reside in Germany.

Milton Bruce Harvey, 77, Fulton, died Dec. 31, at Medilodge of Portage. He was born in Detroit on Nov. 13, 1941, the son of Milton Albert and Frieda Elizabeth (Scatlos) Harvey. He graduated from Detroit Pershing High School and later from Michigan State University. Bruce was employed at Simpson Lee and later Fox River Paper Company in Vicksburg for over 36 years. Following the closure of the plant he worked at Finlaw Refinishing in Schoolcraft and the Meijer Store on Beckley Road in Battle Creek. He attended the Fulton Christian Church, and later the Factoryville Bible Church. Bruce was a volunteer firefighter for Wakeshma Township. He enjoyed reading, watching old western movies, puttering in his garage and listening to his Christian CDs. He especially looked forward to the annual trek to Cadillac hunting for mushrooms on Mother’s Day weekend. Bruce was married to Helen A. Coburn on Nov. 25, 1960 in Fulton. She survives along with three children, Kimberly (John) Bennett of Mendon, Timothy (Kimberly) Harvey of Vicksburg, and Susan Winchester of Sturgis; six grandchildren, Leslie Bennett of South Africa, Michaela Bennett of Portage, Maeve Bennett of Mendon, Kaytee Harvey and Taylor Harvey of Vicksburg, and Shelby (Aaron) Carlton of Battle Creek; one great-grandchild on the way; a sister, Judy (Ross) Bricker of Macomb County; a brother, Richard (Darlene) Harvey of Farmington; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Nadine Hebert; and a brother, Roger Harvey. In keeping with his wishes, cremation has been conducted. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, January 12, at the Factoryville Bible Church, 33650 Factoryville Road, Athens. A private interment of his cremains will take place later in North Fulton Cemetery. The family suggests that memorials be directed to either Great Lakes Caring Hospice, or to the Factoryville Bible Church. Visit his page at

Kathryn F. Holland, 83, Scotts, passed away January 4. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 11 at 11 a.m. at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. A gathering for friends will be held one hour prior to the service at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Entombment will be held at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery. Visit her page at Donations may go to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Home, Vicksburg.

Phyllis Stephens, 84, Vicksburg, passed away Dec. 9. She was born to Vernal and Maxine Ash on May 29, 1934 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. She moved to West Lake in Portage in 1977 where her husband, Chuck, started Quality Air Service, a business they later sold to their son, Gale. Their final years together were in a home they built together in Vicksburg. She is survived by children Gale Edward (Anne) Stephens of Portage and Craig Alan (Sabine) Stephens of Portage; grandchildren Michael James Stephens and Lisa Ann Jepkema, both of Portage; great-grandchildren Ava, Anna, Isaac, Ryker and Skyla. Phyllis is also survived by her sister, Charlotte (Bob) Middleton of Florida, her brother James Alan Ash of Indiana and several nieces and nephews. Phyllis was preceded in death by her loving husband, Chuck Stephens in 2012 and her daughter, Susan Kaye, in 2007. Visit Phyllis’ page at Donations may go to Generous Hands.

Justin Storey, 21, Scotts passed away Dec. 2. He was born on March 27, 1997 to Thomas and Jennifer Storey at Borgess Hospital. Justin Storey was a free spirit who lived every moment he was given as a gift to be treasured. With a heart that knew neither stranger nor enemy, Justin never hesitated to extend a warm welcome or lend a hand to a person in need. Justin loved children, animals, and the simple pleasures of being outdoors with those he loved. As a youth, he played rocket football, which he continued to play through middle and high school in Vicksburg. He also ran track and cross country. He began working in final assembly on trim presses at Metal Mechanics in Schoolcraft. Justin is survived by his parents; brothers Jesse, Tommy, and Trevor Storey; grandparents Naomi (Howard) Storey-Barnes, Joseph (Carmen) Morrow, and Lenora (Michael) Storey and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Justin was preceded in death by great grandmothers Imogene Herrington and Mary Ann Nichols. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main Vicksburg. The family will greet friends an hour prior to the service from 10-11 a.m. Please visit Justin’s webpage at to share a photo or memory, sign the guest book, and read his life story. Donations be made to the Kalamazoo Humane Society or Gryphon Place.

Marcia (Axtell) Waldron, 81, formerly of Schoolcraft, died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 12 at Grace Healthcare in Three Rivers. Marcia was born Sept. 4, 1937, in Kalamazoo. She was predeceased by her parents, Everett and Olive (Bremer) Axtell of Schoolcraft and her former husband, Edwin Waldron, of Oshtemo. Marcia was the youngest of Everett and Olive’s 13 children. Marcia spent her early childhood in Kalamazoo with her 12 siblings. In the 1950s she moved to Schoolcraft with her parents, graduating from Schoolcraft High School in 1957. Here, she made many friends, including her dear, lifelong friend Jackie (Maile) Skinner. Survivors include her children, Steven (Kathleen) Waldron of Schoolcraft and Patricia (Walter) Ruszkowski of Schoolcraft; grandsons Michael (Andrea) Ruszkowski, DDS, of Hudsonville, Samuel Waldron and Jack Waldron; and great grandchildren Scott and Josie Ruszkowski. Marcia leaves behind several nieces and nephews; including her nephew, “Butch”, with whom she grew up and maintained a close relationship throughout the years. Per Marcia’s wishes, she will be interred in Kalamazoo’s Riverside Cemetery with her parents. A private family service will be held at a later time. The family expresses its gratitude to those who provided day-to-day support for Marcia as she struggled with the lingering effects of a stroke in her final years at Schoolcraft’s Cedar Park Senior Center as well as at Grace Healthcare. Memorial donations may be made to Cedar Park Senior Center or to Schoolcraft Community Library.


Jill Stacy (Puvogel) Adamski, 53, Hickory Corners, died Nov. 11, after a courageous battle against cancer. Jill, the daughter of Jeffrey P. and Jane C. (Lundy) Puvogel, was born in Royal Oak August 13, 1965 and was a 1983 graduate of Vicksburg High School. She graduated from MSU’s James Madison College in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Jill was the Membership Director for the Sherman Lake YMCA beginning in 2008, she embodied the YMCA’s mission for supporting the community and particularly enjoyed coordinating the Y’s annual event “The Shermanator.” Jill served on the Gull Lake School Board from 2003 until 2014 where she was a past president and as a member of the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation board from 2014 until recently. She worked tirelessly to ensure the most recent school bond issue passed. She was a proud supporter of Gull Lake athletics and never missed an opportunity to watch her kids play or to drive half the team to practices. Jill had also been a member of the Gull Lake Area Rotary Club and was a proud card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. Jill married David E. Adamski in Kalamazoo on June 26, 1991. Surviving are her husband of 27 years, Dave; two daughters, Haley J. Adamski (Mitchell Hickman) of Hickory Corners and Kelsey J. Adamski (Emily Lindsey) of Kalamazoo; their son, Jeffrey D. Adamski of Royal Oak; her parents, Jeff and Jane Puvogel of Vicksburg, her sister, Jennifer J. (Gregg Baustian) Puvogel of Maple City, MI. Donations may go to the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation or the Sherman Lake YMCA. Visit her page at

Barbara Jean Bell, 92, formerly of Mendon and Vicksburg, died Nov. 20, at Sue’s Loving Care Home in Kalamazoo. She was born in Three Rivers on July 10, 1926, the daughter of the late John Henry and Zella Blanchard (Avery) Fenwick. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1944 and attended Western Michigan University and the Bronson Hospital School of Nursing. She was a nurse for over 40 years, working mostly at Vicksburg’s Franklin Memorial Hospital. Barbara was married to Richard Duane Bell on Feb. 16, 1947 in Three Rivers. She enjoyed crocheting and sewing and raised chickens every spring. She was a 4-H Leader for many years when her children were young. Barbara especially enjoyed camping and travel. She and her family were able to travel to all 50 states, Australia, and New Zealand. Barbara is survived by sons Darrell Bell of Mendon, Bruce (Bonnie) Bell of Portage, Duane Bell of Mendon, David (Kathy) Bell of Mendon, and Terry (Diane) Bell of Mattawan; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren and a sister, Nancy Fenwick of Vicksburg. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard; two grandchildren, Kimberly and Adam Bell; great-grandson Joshua Little; daughter in law Linda Bell; and her favorite pet, Rastas. Donations may go to Sue’s Loving Care. Visit her page at

Eleanor “Jeanne” Bogard, 94, Vicksburg, passed away Nov. 11. Visit her page at Donations may go to Vicksburg VFW Post 5189.

Samuel “Joe” Brockway, 82, Vicksburg, passed away November 23. He was born to Samuel and Julia (Everett) Brockway on April 5, 1936. He was raised on the Brockway Historical Farm in Brady Township. He attended local schools, graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1954. He was active in FFA and agricultural activities. He began working for American Wire Cloth Company in Parchment, supplying wires for machines used for the manufacturing of paper. He assisted in the invention of an ultrasonic welder to patch screens on paper machines. Joe continued working at American Wire Cloth Co. until 1989 when he bought the company and then continued to own and operate the business for 12 more years. The only time Joe set his work aside was to serve in the Army when he was drafted during the Korean Conflict, serving in that country. He spent his lifetime caring for his farm and tending to the needs of his cattle. Aside from farming, Joe’s passion was basketball. He coached junior basketball for four years and enjoyed seeing the athletes develop through their years on the varsity team. Joe and Maxine could frequently be found at many school activities, especially basketball games and band concerts when the grandchildren were involved. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Maxine; daughter Anne (John) Boers; grandchildren: Joseph (Holly) Boers; Amanda (Kevin) O’Malley; great grandson: Henry O’Malley and another one on the way. He is also survived by his sister, Judy Foote and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Connie Welcherand and a brother, Milo “Pete” Brockway. Please visit Joe’s page at Those who wish may make contributions to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and the Vicksburg Foundation.

Theora “Teddy” D. Karns, 61, Vicksburg, passed away October 27. Teddy was born on June 27, 1957 in Grundy, Va., and graduated from Loy Norrix High School in 1975 after her family relocated to Michigan. She was the daughter of Linden and Lois Edwards. On July 2, 2004, Theora married Thomas Karns. She worked for over 15 years at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital as an LPN. She was especially known for her arts and crafts. She is survived by her parents, Linden and Lois Edwards; her husband of 14 years, Thomas; children Tonya (Andy) Taylor, of Portage; Lyndie (Brian Tassell) Wall, of Fulton; Conor (Jenny) Schaub, of California, and their father, Terry Schaub; grandchildren Kasey, Morgan, Gracie Lue, Eric Thomas, Wyatt, Isla, and Oliver. She is also survived by sisters Pam (Jeff) Foy of Climax and Jenny Edwards of Vicksburg; brothers-in-law Larry (Julia) Karns, of Battle Creek and Michael (Ann) Karns, of Tekonsha; sisters-in-law Donna (Dennis) Wintersteen, of Marshall and Becky (Rich) Simpkins, of Mississippi; nephew Brendan Foy, of Climax and niece Alyssa (James) Green, of Vicksburg, and their children Jaxon and Jayne; many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends; and a very special companion: her beloved dog Geno. Visit Theora’s page at

Elaine Leitch, 67, Vicksburg, passed away Nov. 22, after a large and enjoyable family Thanksgiving celebration. Elaine was born on May 29, 1951 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of James and Maxine (Eaton) Bacon. Elaine was a fun-loving person. Elaine enjoyed cooking, reading and gospel music. A cherished moment with her young children was turning down the lights, tucking them in bed and singing gospel songs until they drifted off to sleep. On April 12, 1969 in Vicksburg, she married John Leitch, who preceded her in death in 2015. Elaine will be sadly missed by her children, Kimberly (Christopher) McClain of Colon, Tracie Leitch of Portage and James Leitch of Vicksburg; seven grandchildren; three great grandchildren, sister Patricia (Walter) Dorey, Vicksburg, and brother Rocky Bacon, Vicksburg. Elaine will be forever remembered by her numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends. Besides her husband she was preceded in death by her parents, her son, Charles “Chuckie” and her sibling Sharon (Bacon) Gregg.

Allen Frank Middaugh, passed away Nov. 8 in Kalamazoo, surrounded by his family. Allen was born on February 14, 1948 in Vicksburg to Walter and Ellen (Allen) Middaugh. He was an engineer who installed sprinkler systems for industries. He is survived by his wife, Patty (Myers) Middaugh, his children, Angela Middaugh and Audrey Burton, step-children Terri (Mike) Lewcun of Texas and Rob (Charlotte) Meyer of Oklahoma, sisters Betty Witcher of Kalamazoo, Vicki (Jim) Worthington of Vicksburg, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Allen was preceded in death by his parents.

Sharon K. Philipp, Vicksburg, died Nov. 13. Sharon was born Aug. 2, 1941 in Kalamazoo, a daughter of Edward and Leora (Whitlock) Kuiper. She was a former member of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. She was loved by the children she took care of in her licensed daycare home. She often played the role of Mrs. Santa for Vicksburg’s Christmas gathering. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, David Kuiper, a daughter, Becky Jones, and a granddaughter, Allison Sharon Jones. On September 9, 1967, she married Robert J. Philipp, who survives. Also surviving are a son-in-law, Greg Jones of Kalamazoo; five grandchildren; three sisters; a brother, Harvey (Susan) Kuiper of Vicksburg; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Donations may go to Kairos Dwelling or St. Andrews Community Church. Visit her page at

Donna Robertson, 84, Kalamazoo, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away Nov. 28 with her family by her side. She was born to Harry and Hazel VanPutten on May 14, 1934. Donna and Carl Robertson were married on February 19, 1955. Since Carl worked as a carpenter, they built a few homes and moved around quite a bit. They spent some time living in a home he built on Crooked Lake in Mattawan, and when he built a home in Schoolcraft they moved there. Donna is survived by her children, Barb and Norm Constant, Deb Mathews, Brenda and Perry Stermer, Craig and Becky Roberston, Cathy and Bob Carey and Diane and Anthony Felicijan; 18 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren. Donna was preceded in death by her loving husband of 30 years, Carl Gene Robertson; a son, Steve Robertson and brother and sister-in-law, Thomas and Evelyn VanPutten. Visit Donna’s page at Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Beechwood Hills Christian Camp.

Bryan M. Smith, Vicksburg, died Nov. 13. Bryan was born November 30, 1987 in Kalamazoo, the son of Robins and Kimberly (Parisi) Smith. During the Afghanistan War, he served with the U.S. Marines. He had been a lifelong Kalamazoo area resident and was employed with B&T Farms in Fulton. On August 6, 2016, he married Rachel J. (Smith) Smith, who survives. Also surviving are his parents; a sister, Rachel Smith of Lawton; a brother, Kyle Smith of Vicksburg; his in-laws, Douglas and Rhonda Smith (Rasler); and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorials may be directed to the family. Visit Bryan’s page at

Steven Ralph Smith, 67, Scotts, passed away Nov. 26. Steve was born on March 11, 1951 in Kalamazoo, the son of Ralph and Marjorie (Morse) Smith. Steve was hardworking, social, caring, loving and dedicated. Steve worked for the Pavilion Township Fire Department for 45 years and served as fire chief for 23 years. Steve is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sandy; children Shannon (Abe) Northup, of Portage; Shaun Smith, of Scotts; Stuart Smith, of Scotts; Spencer Smith, of Scotts; and Stacia (Matt) Weaver, of Portage; grandchildren Christopher Smith, Tristin Northrup, Trinity Northup, Zackary Weaver and Phoebe Weaver. He is also survived by siblings Alan and Jane Smith. He was preceded in death by a son, Scott Smith, and his parents. Visit Steve’s page at Donations may go to Pavilion Township Fire Dept.

Kirby Sean Steil, 47, Marcellus, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away Nov. 20 after a valiant battle with cancer, with his loving family and pastor at his side. Kirby was born to Lynn and Michael Steil in Kalamazoo on Sept. 16, 1971. At Schoolcraft High School, Kirby learned public speaking, history and drama – foundations for his career – from his father, who was on the faculty. He also honed his leadership skills as co-captain of the 1989 Schoolcraft state championship football team. A walk-on at Central Michigan University, he left football after an injury to focus on a communication major. Kirby was president of his fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, in his senior year, graduating in 1995. As a vice president of Insight Global working out of Chicago and Grand Rapids, he trained hundreds of people in leadership and sales. An avid power lifter and member of Triple River CrossFit, he lifted with his son, Tyson New, and helped coach the Three Rivers High School power lifting team to regional and state titles. Kirby lived on Cedar Lake, Marcellus, with his wife, Missy (Wiseman) Steil. In addition to his wife, his four children and parents, Kirby is survived by three sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his brother, Michael. Donations may go to the American Cancer Society, Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene or Gilda’s Club, Grand Rapids. Online condolences may be left at


Kenneth Allen Fowler, 68, Ft. Myers, FL, formerly of Schoolcraft, died August 9. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1967. He played many sports, but football was his favorite. After graduating, Ken attended a year of community college, and then enlisted with the Army Reserve in 1969 and was honorably discharged May 19, 1975. He purchased the Snow’s IGA store in Vicksburg and renamed the store Fowler’s Grocery. The previous owners, the Mattimores, were like family to Ken, and they served as a mentor to him. He sold Fowler’s grocery in 1985 and purchased the Tastee Freeze in Mendon that same year. He owned the Tastee Freeze for two years, and then sold it, and purchased a restaurant in Vicksburg in 1987 called Marjo’s. Eight years later he purchased a second restaurant in Schoolcraft and called it Marjo’s West. He sold both restaurants in 2005 and moved to Florida. Ken loved to watch his boys play football for the Schoolcraft Eagles, and although he was proud of all of his boys’ accomplishments, he was especially proud of the 1988 State Championship, when his son Adam played on the team. He organized many golf leagues, and for several years held a Fowler Open tournament. He is survived by his three children, Eric David Fowler, and Adam Scott Fowler (Tammie) of Schoolcraft, and Joshua Mark Fowler of Saginaw; and a sister, Suzie (Dennis) Fitzgibbon of South Haven. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, a great grandchild and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Dorothy June (Karl) Smith, and his father, Brenton Dodge Fowler; and a brother, Brenton Donald Fowler. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Eagles Football Fund.

Bernadine “Sally” I. Inman, 94, Vicksburg, passed away October 11. Sally was born March 9, 1924 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of James and Neta (Smith) Mears. She is described as strong-willed, a little feisty, and very independent. Sally enjoyed her walks and was known for walking six miles a day. Sally is survived by sons, George (Juanita) Inman, of Vicksburg; Marvin (Linda) Inman, of Vicksburg; Rich (Myra) Inman, of Vicksburg; four grandchildren and many great grandchildren. She is also survived by her two sisters, Bid Erskine, of Schoolcraft and Midge (Skip) Engelman, of Portage. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Katherine Cook; brothers James “Dune” Mears, Justin “Sonny” Mears, and William “Big Bill” Mears and her longtime special friend, DeVerne Wallace. Visit Sally’s page at Donations may go to South County Community Services.

Phillip R. Mott, 82, Vicksburg, passed away Oct. 3. He was born to Harry and Jessie (Dalton) Mott on September 5, 1936 in Dowagiac. His father gathered holly in the wild and would be considered to be a wholesale florist in today’s world. Phil started off working at service stations and in auto repair at a young age, continuing in that field until 1990. As a young man, he was in the Air National Guard for six years. In the early 70s Phil began learning to cultivate his own variety of holly in addition to working at the gas stations. In 1990, Phil went back full time to his family roots and into the nursery business. He and wife, Mardee, became the first holly cultivators in the country for Michigan winterberry. They went on to become the largest grower of Michigan winterberry in North America. The family Christmas Barn and tree farm were also well known among families in southwest Michigan. He flew both planes and helicopters, was a deer hunter, and an avid sports fisherman. He also owned a sprint car and enjoyed watching races. Phil is survived by his wife, Mardee; children, Michelle Mott, of Portage and Michael (Kathleen) Mott, of Kalamazoo; a sister, Janet Knox, of Indiana; and several nieces and nephews. Phil was preceded in death by five siblings. Visit Phil’s page at Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center and American Red Cross.

Jack L. Wiley, 66, Vicksburg, passed away September 27. He was born to Artemus “Art” and Bettie Wiley on February 5, 1952. As a student at Vicksburg High School, he was a state champion wrestler in 1969 and 1970. He was inducted into the Vicksburg High School Sports Hall of Fame. Jack started in excavating right out of high school when his first project was excavating the last nine holes at Olde Mill Golf Course in Schoolcraft. In 1983, Jack started his own business. His last project before retiring after 21 years was Angels Crossing Golf Course in Vicksburg. Jack also used his excavating background to work maintaining the grounds at the Vicksburg Cemetery and Schoolcraft Cemetery for Schoolcraft Township. Over the years, many families were comforted by seeing him at services for family members and knowing he was taking care of burying their loved one. Jack was involved in the St. Joseph County Fair for 31 years. He also volunteered for the Vicksburg Ambulance service in the early to mid-eighties. He is survived by his wife, Julie; children Jack Jr. (Joanne) Wiley, of Vicksburg and Kris (Jamie) Barga, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Michael, John, Dustin, Ally and Torie. Jack is also survived by siblings Jean Stinson, of Decatur; Steve (Penny) Wiley, of Marcellus, and several nephews. Visit Jack’s page at


William “Billy” Michael Bolton, 28, Vicksburg, passed away August 25. He was born to Stanley and Kathy (Giem) Bolton on May 31, 1990. Billy attended Vicksburg schools as well as Sulphur Rock and Viola High School in Arkansas. He loved animals and had a witty sense of humor. Billy’s family includes his mother, Kathy Bolton, of Portage; his father, Stanley (Dawn) Bolton, of Climax; sisters Nickole “Nicki” (Scott) Berger, of Portage; Renee (Adam Clark) Storm, of Tennessee; and Gloria (Adam) Wicks, of Florida; paternal grandmother Violet (Stan) Skrzypek, of Three Rivers; maternal grandmother Peg Giem, of Portage; cherished uncle Donny Bolton, of Three Rivers; and nephews Steven Giem and Luke Clark; brother-in-law Jake Kellogg, of Three Rivers; best friend Thomas “Will” Wyatt, of Vicksburg; and many great aunts and uncles. Billy was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Don Bolton and Seth Giem; great uncle Robert Noel and great-grandmother Beverly Waldron. Visit his page at Donations may go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dennis “Denny” Boyle, 87, Scotts, died Sept. 11. He was born October 22, 1930 to Edwin and Eleanor Boyle. Denny graduated from Milford High School in 1948. Denny earned a master’s degree at EMU. He taught at Milford High, coached basketball and led his team to the state finals. He married Yvonne Engel in 1951 and moved to Vicksburg to work as registrar at WMU for almost 30 years. Denny served as a member and president of the Vicksburg School Board. He was also president of Vicksburg Rotary and the Vicksburg Village Council. He was the longest-serving general chairperson of the Rotary Showboat. Denny is survived by his children: Katherine (Jay) Crouch, of Niles; Colleen Boyle, of Vicksburg; Audrey Boyle, of Minnesota; Patricia (Scott) Cline, of Schoolcraft; Dennis (Georgia) Boyle, of Portage; Trina (Gary) Boyle-Holmes, of Vicksburg; Tobias (Robyn) Boyle, of Portage; Timothy (Pierina) Boyle, of Missouri; Kevin Boyle, of Vicksburg; Kelly (Didik) Soekarmoen, of Vicksburg; Mary (Jack) Paulsen, of Battle Creek; Maureen (Rob) Brown, of Portage; 31 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings: Patricia Wilbur, of South Carolina; Eleanor “Tommy” Doonan, of Texas; and Milly Webb, of Colorado; a sister-in-law, Audrey McKeon, of Troy; a brother-in-law, Don Butler, of Arizona and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne, in 2013; his sister, Joan Butler; and his grandson, Dennis Boyle-Holmes. Visit his page at Donations may go to Vicksburg Foundation, Vicksburg Rotary and St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

Edith May Bradshaw, Schoolcraft, passed away Sept. 7. She was born September 1, 1921. Edith May grew up on the Clark Farm outside Schoolcraft. She was raised by Helen and Alvin Forsyth. She attended the one-room grade school nearby and graduated from Mattawan High School in 1939. She moved to Kalamazoo and married Robert A. Bradshaw on March 1st, 1944. In 1958, she and Bob moved back to Schoolcraft where they lived until 2002. Bob preceded her in death on March 31, 2003. Edith May was a wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, and bookkeeper. She is survived by her daughter Esther (Jerry) Wiles of Galesburg and son Oliver D. Bradshaw of Richmond, VA, grandsons Christopher A. Bradshaw of Jackson Heights, NY and W. Gregory Bradshaw of Richmond, VA, and many nieces and nephews. Visit her page at

Joseph A. Caporossi, 35, Schoolcraft, passed away unexpectedly at home Sept. 6. Joseph was born in Kalamazoo on December 25, 1982, the son of Patrick A. and Cathy R. (Rhoades) Caporossi. He graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 2001 and attended KVCC. Joe worked at Tile Mart for seven years and then at PNC Bank for ten. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his siblings, Michael (Annie) Waterman, Lisa (Billy) Lynch and Tony (Katherine) Caporossi; nieces and nephews Riley and Spencer Waterman, Arrianna Ring, Vinny Caporossi, Mose Lynch and Kami Caporossi; grandmothers, Lenore Stair and Donna Rhoades; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins and his dog, Petunia. Joseph was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Raymond Rhoades and Dino Caporossi and step-grandfather, Edward Koperdak. Visit his page at Donations may go to SPCA of SW Mich.

Robert L. Cook, 81, Scotts, died July 30 at Rose Arbor Hospice, where his wife Helen had died six days before. Robert was born and raised in Allegan. He served in the Marines from 1957-60. Afterward, he mentored Marines in Kalamazoo. Robert helped create the Rose Park Veteran’s Memorial. He worked in the packaging industry for 58 years. He was co-founder of Arvco Container Corporation, retiring in 2003. He then formed Speciality Packaging. He was past president of Jaycees, charter president of Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary, longtime member of Kalamazoo Rotary Club. He is survived by daughters Sally (Carl) Barber of Plainwell; Carrie (John) Hine of Wayland; Rhonda (Steve) Broekema of Schoolcraft; Patti (Scott) Sampley of Kalamazoo; and Robin (Brian) Wicker of St. Michael, Minn.; 12 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren and several beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert B. Cook and Donna (Pierce) Cook; sisters Barbara Jean Gilpin and Patricia Whitney; brothers-in-law, Dick Gilpin and George Whitney; and son-in-law Mike Irwin. Donations may go to Young Marines of Kalamazoo or VA Medical Hospital Palliative Care Unit. Visit his page at

Fredericka “Freddi” Coppes, 90, Vicksburg, passed away on Sept. 3. Freddi was preceded in death by her husband, Richard “Dick” Coppes. She was born at home on Patterson Street in Kalamazoo, on May 10, 1928. She was the daughter of Edward and Theresa (Holtman) Mastenbrook. Freddi attended Woodward Elementary School and Kalamazoo Central High School, graduating in 1946. She was a varsity softball player. Freddi retired from Michigan Bell around 1966 to become a farmer. She and Dick bought an 80-90 acre farm in Vicksburg to raise cattle. They bought bull calves at auction, named them, and kept a book on each one, buying 50 new calves per year. She was a founding member of the Ladies Stock Club studying stocks and investing successfully. For years she designed and created special costumes for the featured performers of the Rotary Showboat and helped organize and cook the Thursday night pre-show dinner. She was awarded the distinguished “Red Rose Award” for outstanding support of Rotary projects by a non-member. She was also known for her landscape paintings. She designed the quilt square, representing love of land and country, hanging on the old red barn at the farm. She enjoyed sewing, oil painting, bowling and volunteering for the Vicksburg Ambulance Service. She was a strong supporter of FFA and 4H. Sadly, dementia stole much of the “real” Freddi for the past five years. Visit her page at Donations may go to the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (c/o Vicksburg DDA/VCAC) or the South County Community Services.

Jean A. Fleck, 80, Coralville, IA, formerly of Vicksburg, died peacefully Sept. 6. She was born on March 9, 1938 to Chester and Alice (Johnson) Dalman. Jean was a talented musician. By her early teens, Jean provided the organ music at two local churches. She was awarded an organ scholarship to WMU. Jean played trombone in the Vicksburg High School marching band. Music continued throughout her life with dancing, piano and guitar playing, and organized singing (Sweet Adelines). Jean is survived by her husband, Arthur, of Coralville and their three daughters, Elizabeth DeLuca of Matamoras, PA, Julie (Byron) Tabor of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Nicole (Marcus) Fleck-Tooze of Lincoln, Neb.; her grandson, Arthur DeLuca and her sister, Jacqueline Wetmore. Jean was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Gary. Visit her page at

Herbert Mallory Goodwin, 84, Vicksburg, passed away Sept. 22. He was born on February 16, 1934, a son of the late Herbert and Sara (Dustin) Goodwin and was a lifelong area resident. Herbert joined the US Navy in 1955 and was honorably discharged in 1957. He worked for the Kalamazoo County Parks Department as a foreman for 32 years and was honored with a resolution upon his retirement in 1995. Herbert was a member of the Kal-Val Saddle Club and earned numerous awards over his 64 years there. He was an extremely enthusiastic barrel racer and had a passion for his horses. Herbert also took great pride in taking care of the grounds at Kal-Val. He was also a proud member of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Mounted Division. Herbert is survived by his loving wife, Beverly Goodwin; a daughter, Brenda Goodwin of Vicksburg; three stepsons, Curt (Shelly) Pryor of North Carolina, Eric (Amy) Pryor of Kalamazoo and Dave (Gwen) Pryor of Kalamazoo; eight grandchildren; a sister, Georgia Piper of South Carolina; and many nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Country Christian Evangelical Free Church. Visit his page at

Louise Heller, Vicksburg, passed away August 23. She was born Oct 7, 1933 in Kalamazoo to Helen and Lewis Crawford. As a loving mother, wife and friend, she loved cooking, baking and everything outdoors. She loved teaching her children the many secrets of nature and if you ever needed to know how to spell a word, she was like a walking dictionary. She is survived by her son, Jim, and his wife Renée, five grandchildren, four great grandchildren and the extended family of Bob and Jane Hedges. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Susan, husband, Jess, and brother, David.

Dale “Nikki” Kuhn, 65, Schoolcraft, died suddenly Sept. 14. She was the daughter of Arthur W. Fowler, Jr. and Beverly (Weber), who preceded her in death. Nikki graduated from Bishop Foley High School and Glen Oaks Community College. She worked as an R.N. for Three Rivers Manor, Bronson Hospital and was currently at Renal Care, Fresenius Health Care. On October 8, 1978, Nikki married Terry Kuhn in Sturgis and they shared many beautiful years together serving the Lord. They were ordained together in 2015 with the Christian International Apostolic Network. Together they raised and showed Shetland sheepdogs, and cared for them like children. Under her guidance, many of them became champions and grand champions. Nikki was also preceded in death by her sister, Christine, and her brother, Arthur Fowler III. She is survived by her husband, Terrance Kuhn, of Schoolcraft; her sister, Eileen (Keith) Swanson of Romeo; her nephews, Keith Swanson, Jr. of Memphis, Kyle (Rachel) Curtiss of Howell, and Kevin Curtiss of Delton; and her sister-in-law, Carol Satterly of Hastings. Donations may go to the Kalamazoo Alzheimer’s Association or the Gospel Mission. Visit her page at

Gloria L. Manuszak, 78, Portage, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away Sept. 20. She was born to Stephen and Elizabeth Esther (Vliek) Bella August 20, 1940. She waitressed at area restaurants including Greco’s and the Beacon Club. With the kids grown, Gloria’s 30-year marriage ended. She began her own home-flipping business, Restorations by Gloria. Gloria is survived by her children, Barb Manuszak, of Mendon; Bill (Tiffiny) Manuszak, of Vicksburg; Greg (Kelly) Manuszak, of Grandville; Steve (Stacy) Manuszak, of Arizona; and Whit (Tara) Manuszak, of Arizona; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her two siblings: Georgia Bella, of Indiana and David (Connie) Bella, of Paw Paw. She was preceded in death by her parents and her grandson, Alec Manuszak. Visit her page at Donations may go to Habitat for Humanity.

Ronald Addison Martens, Fulton and Gun Lake, died Sept. 16. He was born December 14, 1929 to Harold and Cora DeYoung Martens. He was valedictorian at Athens Agricultural Schools in 1948. Ron won a Regents Alumni Scholarship to U of M, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1952 and a master’s in 1954. In 1956 he joined the US Civil Service Commission. Ron moved to Defense Property Disposal Service in 1980, retiring in 1986. He was an initial donor and board member of Cedar Park Senior Housing and a board member of South County Community Services. A botanist, his passion was growing fruits, vegetables and flowers. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois, in 2010; his parents; his brother, Richard in 2016. Survivors include his children, Alan (Cheryl) Martens of Holland; Camille (Martin) Subject of Leslie; Nathan (Wendy Rice) Martens of Galesburg; grandchildren Jasen (Christine) Rademacher; Sarah and Matthew Subject; Emma, Samuel, Elizabeth “Betsy” and Nicholas Martens; great grandchildren Gracelyn, Luke and Beckett Rademacher; a sister, Shirley Martens of Carlton, OR; an aunt, Lucille Marusek of Bradenton, FL.; his in-laws, many cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Richland on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow in the Gull Prairie Room. Donations may go to the Caregivers Conference at the Transformations Spirituality Center or the First Presbyterian Church of Richland. Visit his page at

Iris T. McGahan, 88, Vicksburg, passed away Sept. 28. Iris was born August 12, 1930 in Newberry. She was the daughter of Elmer and Nellie (Hetric) Fritz. She graduated from Newberry High School in 1948. She married the love of her life, Edwin McGahan, on June 18, 1948. Iris McGahan worked as the Director of Food Service for Vicksburg Community Schools for over 23 years. She is survived by her four children: Dennis (Sandy Robinson) McGahan, of Vicksburg; Keith (Jacki) McGahan, of Richland; Kathy (Gary) Bragg, of Three Rivers; and Darlene (Duane VanderPloeg) Wiborn, of Martin; nine grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin; a daughter-in-law, Christine McGahan; a grandson, Michael Edwin McGahan; and six siblings. A funeral will be held Oct. 3 at Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Visit her page at Donations may go to Great Lakes Caring Hospice.

Harriet Lavonne (Groen) Pruitt, Vicksburg, passed away Sept. 8. Born May 18, 1941, she was the oldest daughter of Cornelius and Gertrude Groen. She married Bill D. Pruitt on Dec. 26, 1959. Her children are Linda Mickel, Bill Pruitt Jr and Chad Pruitt. Her seven grandchildren include Danielle Reynolds, Matthew Reynolds, Michael Reynolds, Bill Pruitt III, Drake Pruitt, Allison Pruitt and Casen Pruitt and great grandchildren Caleb Nettles, Evan Nettles and Gavin Reynolds. She and Bill shared 50 years of marriage before Bill passed suddenly. Harriet came from a very large, loving family. Her brother and sisters include Gerrit Groen, Betty Achterhoff (deceased), Joyce Smeenk, Glenda Miller and John Groen.

Michael Redmann, 42, Schoolcraft, died Sept. 14. Michael was born Sept. 4, 1976 in Grand Rapids to Mark and Marcia (Jensen) Redmann. Michael loved spending time with his friends and family as well as fishing in all seasons. He also loved Notre Dame football, Detroit Tigers baseball and had the musical interest and talent to hear, enjoy and play a wide variety of music. His sense of humor, compassion and love for others, and his intelligence made Michael the son, brother and friend that we will all miss forever. Survivors include his mother, Marcia Redmann; brother, Matthew Redmann; and nephew, Ayden.

LaVon Mae Rolfe, 93, passed away Sept. 20. LaVon was born in Iowa, June 22, 1925 to Ralph and Irene Miller (Dunham). She graduated from Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville, IN. LaVon was a medical professional in the office of Dr. August Fath after her marriage to Clarence “Larry” Rolfe in 1946, but her path veered to raising children and the bookkeeping of Larry’s music store. LaVon was also an Avon sales representative for over 30 years. LaVon lived at home until recently, thanks to occasional assistance from her friend and caregiver, June French. A fall on Sept. 7 led to emergency back surgery and a stay at the Bronson Commons rehabilitation facility, where she peacefully passed away. LaVon was preceded in death by her husband, Larry, and by her big brother Ralph Jr., and brother-in-law Stanley, several years ago. Her first-born child, Kevin, died several days after birth, but was never forgotten. LaVon is survived by her other children: Craig Rolfe, Kirk Rolfe, Tamra (Randy) Stafford, and Bruce (Crystal) Rolfe; and by grandsons Nicholas (Lisa) Stafford, and Jaron Rolfe and Alexander Rolfe, as well as their respective soon-to-be spouses, Abbie Pressley and Michelle Walters. Donations may go to Residential Opportunities, Inc. of Kalamazoo. This organization has assured Kirk a safe and contented life for decades.

Fred Simkins, 79, Vicksburg, died Sept. 6. He was born April 25, 1939 to Marcus and Alice Simkins. Fred served in the Army for three years, mostly stationed in France. He always appreciated the beauty of the land and dreamed of going back to visit. Fred worked as a tool and die maker as well as a supervisor at Checker Motors. Fred’s family includes his wife of 14 years, Joyce; his children, Dwight (Donna) Blodgett, John (Liubov) Blodgett, Andrew (Joni) Simkins, Tina (Chris) Hondzinski, Melanie (John) Kelly, Rebecca (Randall) Hoogstraton; siblings Jean, Mike, Tom, Jerry, Rose, Cheryl, Carol, Reva; grandchildren Cassandra, Jessica, Max, Allison, Megan, Andelyn, Alex, Connor, Somber and Tannen; a great grandchild, Escher, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Pat, and his second wife, Linda. Visit his page at Donations may go to the National Kidney Foundation or Glenn Arbor Hospice.

Harriett Jeanne Swartz, 81, Schoolcraft, died Sept. 4. The daughter of Donald and Mary Jane Swartz, Harriett was born on December 29, 1936 in Chicago. Upon graduation from Schoolcraft High School then WMU, she taught at Milwood Elementary School in Kalamazoo for 41 years – all but one year in the same room. An educator, historian, author and gardener, she was immersed in her community. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Schoolcraft Historical Society, and the Ladies Library of Schoolcraft. Still, her greatest joy was her large family and many friends. She is survived by brothers Donald, Michael (Sandra) Swartz, sister Nancy (Richard) Rafferty; nephews Richard (Mary) Rafferty, Donald (Janice) Rafferty, James (Toni) Rafferty, Scott (Andrea) Swartz; nieces Kathleen Dixon, Michelle (Mark) Romstadt, Jennifer (Dan) Sielaff, Jennifer (John) Kalleward, Cindy (Chris) Ballosh, Jacque (Scott) Wilcox; great nieces and nephews Dianna (Chad) Coley, Samuel (Angela) Kalleward, Cullen and Cormac Dixon, Andrew and Bradley Romstadt, Jack and Ian Rafferty, Nathan and Samuel Sielaff, Bryson and Caleb Swartz, Jozie and Drew Rafferty, Jackson and Lucas Kalleward, Henry Wilcox, Hayden Ballosh, Kylie and Kinsley Dixon. Donations may go to First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft, Ladies Library Association of Schoolcraft, Schoolcraft Historical Society or a charity of one’s choice.

Ellen Palmer Uithoven, 89, Vicksburg, passed away surrounded by family Sept. 9. Ellen was born on Dec. 27, 1928 to Earl and Helen Hitchcock. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central and KVCC. She enjoyed theater, acting in high school plays and later in the first Barn Theatre production. She was in many Civic productions and also directed plays at KVCC. She worked as a telephone operator, a mail carrier, and did food service at Upjohn and KVCC. She was a worthy matron of the Eastern Star, Lotus Lily chapter. Ellen raised Labrador retrievers and had several show dogs. Ellen’s family includes her children, Rod Palmer, Rick (Wendy) Palmer, Randey (Karen) Palmer; grandchildren Ann (Stephen) Jacobs, Sean (Jennifer Priest) Palmer, Emily (Doug) Lovell, Jesse (Jennifer) Palmer, Stacy (Andrew) Wood and Maddie Eves; 17 great grandchildren as well as three nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Alfred Burton Palmer, her second husband, Robert Uithoven and siblings William and Delores. Visit her page at

Bryan Wines, 70, Kalamazoo, passed away at home on August 24. Bryan was born September 26, 1947 in Mount Clemens, attended Dearborn High School and was a 1969 WMU graduate. He taught high school math in the Vicksburg and Kalamazoo Public School districts. He retired in 2014 after teaching at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. In 2002, Bryan was named the Michigan Alternative Education Teacher of the Year. Bryan was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Fern Wines and is survived by his sister, Kari Bricker, Westland, Mich. and a brother, Roger Wines, Canton, MI. Donations may go to Hospice of SW Michigan or the West Michigan Cancer Center. Visit his page at

Jack L. Wiley, passed away Sept. 27. He was born February 5, 1952 in Kalamazoo. He was the son of Artemus and Bettie (Rockelein) Wiley. Jack was a graduate of Vicksburg High School. He was a two-time state champion wrestler in 1969 and 1970. Jack retired as a self-employed excavating contractor. He married Julie Batten on August 14, 1971. Jack is survived by his wife Julie, children Jack Jr (Joanne) Wiley and Kris (Jamie) Barga all of Vicksburg. He loved his five grandchildren: Michael, John, Dustin, Ally and Torie. Visit his page at