Category Archives: Obituaries


Loyd Babcock, 80, Vicksburg, passed away July 5 at Bronson Methodist Hospital after a long illness. Loyd was born on April 2, 1938 in Battle Creek to Clarence and Myrtle Babcock. He graduated from Battle Creek Lakeview in 1956. Loyd met his wife of 60 years, Wanda, in 1955 on a blind date. They were married in 1958. During that year, Loyd began working in road construction. Wanda and their children followed Loyd throughout the state of Michigan as he helped build many of the state’s current highways. Loyd also served in the Marine Corps Reserve for three years during this time. After eight years and 18 moves working road construction, Loyd and Wanda decided to settle their family in Vicksburg, where he found a job working for General Motors. Loyd had a strong work ethic and was always willing to help others out when there was a need. Loyd was also considered a craftsman by many. He had a creative mind and could build or invent anything once he set his mind to it. Loyd is survived by his wife: Wanda; children Cynthia Carpenter of Portage, Diana (Phillip) Haring of Vicksburg, Joseph (Loree) Babcock of Vicksburg; grandchildren Bethany, Brittany, Bailey, Zachary, Kyler, Quintin, Eric, Evan; and great-grandchildren Elijah, Adelaide, and Oliver. Loyd was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and a sister; son-in-law Richard Carpenter and grand-daughter Zoey Haring. Funeral services took place on Tuesday, July 10 at the Chapman Memorial-Nazarene Church in Vicksburg. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Heartland Healthcare Center in Three Rivers or to Chapman Memorial Church or Indian Lake Nazarene Campground. Visit Loyd’s page at

Jerry O. Burnham, 84, Vicksburg, passed away with his family at his side July 17 at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He was born March 17, 1934, in Calhoun County’s Burlington Township, the son of George and Lucille (Hanna) Burnham. Jerry was a longtime Battle Creek resident after graduating from Marshall High School with the class of 1952. He joined the United States Coast Guard following high school, serving during the Korean War. On June 21, 1957, he married Lorraine Noga, of Leonidas. Jerry was employed more than 30 years developing computer systems for Clark Equipment Co. of Battle Creek, later relocating with the company to Georgetown, KY. He was involved in real estate in the Lexington area after his retirement. He and his wife returned to Michigan in 1998, settling in Vicksburg. Never one to sit idle, Jerry worked part-time at Sears in Portage and later at Lowe’s, complementing his vast knowledge of power tools. He was also an in-store demonstrator for Dremel Tool Co. Jerry especially enjoyed the outdoors and had a hobby for every season. He was a skilled craftsman who enjoyed time in his workshop fly-tying, woodworking, and meticulously carving and painting ducks and fish. He was a member of Bass Casters of Battle Creek and served as a field tester for Strike King Lure Co. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, of Vicksburg; a daughter, Rebecca (Jeffrey) Rietsma, of Portage; granddaughter, Jessie Rietsma, of Portage; a grandson, Jordan Burnham, of Lexington, Ky.; 17 nieces and nephews; and his beloved granddog, Dora. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Sharon, in 2008; daughter, Michelle, in 1969; and son, Thomas, in 2007. In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A funeral Mass was held Saturday, July 21, at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Mendon. Military interment took place in St. Edward Catholic Cemetery. Donations may go to National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, or the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences can be left at

Gloria Feist, 76, Vicksburg, went home with her family at her side on June 27. Gloria was born on Oct. 31, 1941 to Henry and Joe (Sivak) Fortuna. A funeral mass was held on Monday July 2 at St. Martin of Tours. Gloria’s family includes her husband of 57 years, Ron; her children Ron (Robin) and Tim (Laurel); her siblings Henry (Mary) Fortuna and Maryann (Larry) Feist; her siblings-in-law: Marcia Fortuna, Sue Luurtsema, Nancy (Allan) Brown as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Joey Fortuna; daughter-in-law, Kathy Feist; and her brother-in-law, Robert Luurtsema. Visit her page at Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

Cindy Ann Graham, 64, Schoolcraft, passed away July 16 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Cindy was born May 14, 1954 in Muskegon, the only daughter of Albert and Ida (Laney) Rozeboom. After graduating from Nazareth College with a BSN in 1977, Cindy worked as a public health nurse for Kalamazoo County for four years. Following the birth of her son, Andrew, she was a stay-at-home mom until he began school. Returning to work in 1987, Cindy was a prevention program supervisor until 1991, when she was named executive director of the Family Institute, a position she held until 1999. Next, Cindy became the manager of corporate affairs for Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services. In 2003, she assumed the role of Grants/Community Planning Officer at Housing Resources Inc., a position she held until February 2018 when she retired. Additionally, from 1995 to 1998, she was selected as one of 20 persons in the United States to be an Active Fellow with the Kellogg International Leadership Program. Participating in this prestigious program allowed her to visit the Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe, Israel, and Scotland –including the Island of Iona – resulting in great personal growth and wonderful memories. In her private life, Cindy had a passion for gardening, crafts, bicycling, and especially for spending time with her beloved granddaughter, Olivia. On November 21, 1981, Cindy was united in marriage to her loving husband of 36 years, Michael Graham, who survives. Also surviving are a son, Andrew (Jodi) Graham; granddaughter, Olivia; mother, Ida Rozeboom; brothers, Gary (Marla) Rozeboom, Ted (Gloria) Rozeboom; nephews Nathan Rozeboom and Peter (Sherry) Graham; brother-in-law, Peter (Felicia) Graham; step-mother, Mary Rozeboom; step-sister, Beth (Dave) Steenwyk; step-brothers, Mark (Kim) DeVries, Phil (Kathy) DeVries, Joel (Andrea) DeVries. Cindy was preceded in death by her father, Albert, and her nephew, Christopher. Donations may go to the ALS Association. Visit her page at

Jason Haines, 43, Portage, formerly of Tecumseh, passed away June 24. Jason graduated from Tecumseh High School. He then attended Jackson Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College when he moved to the Kalamazoo area. Jason enjoyed spending time with family and was very close to his grandmother, who lived in Vicksburg.  Jason is survived by his daughter, Jordynne Haines, of Vicksburg; mother, Beth Haines, of Adrian; father, David (Kelly) Haines, of Tecumseh; grandmother, Elizabeth Lowe, of Vicksburg; siblings Jared Haines, of Adrian; Jordan (Amanda) Haines, of Milford; Lauren Haines, of Westland; Garrett and Catherine Haines, both of Tecumseh. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard Lowe and Charles and Joan Haines. Visit his page at Donations may go to establish a college fund for Jordynne Haines and/or InterAct of Michigan.

Barbara Jean Hansen, 76, Portage, passed away July 6. Barbara was born to Donald and Enid Crapo in Vicksburg on October 31, 1941. An informal gathering and celebration of life was held on Friday, July 13. Barbara was a graduate of Bronson School of Nursing and continued her long career in the health care industry, including 28 years as a surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, retiring at the end of 2017. Her passions were gardening, spending time with her grandchildren, and hosting family gatherings. Barbara is survived by her sons, Scott (Janene) Rawlinson of Mattawan and Jeff (Patricia) Hansen of Portage; siblings Donald Crapo of Fremont, Ind. and Sandy (Dan) Minger of Vicksburg; nephews Brian (Tonya) Minger, Brent Minger, Darryl Crapo, Greg Crapo and Christopher Martin; grandchildren Zachary Hansen, Tyler Rawlinson, Kyle Rawlinson, Ryan Hansen, and Julia Hansen; great-nieces Jose K. Martin; great-nephews Brendon Martin and Cole Martin. She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Enid Crapo, mother of many years, Maxine Crapo, and a beloved sister, Carol Ann (Crapo) Martin. Visit her page at Donations may go to the Bronson School of Nursing.

Steven Michael Hanson, 35, Vicksburg passed away July 17. Steve was born July 13, 1983 in Detroit. He is the son of Christian and Loretta (Cross) Hanson. Steve graduated from Vicksburg High School and served in the Army National Guard 101st Division from 2001 to 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree and his masters of business administration from Davenport College. Steve enjoyed working at the circulation desk at the KVCC Library. Surviving are his parents, Christian and Loretta Hanson of Vicksburg; his grandmothers Maryann Cross and Mary Hanson; his beloved dog Jake; several aunts, uncles, cousins and special friends. Donations may go to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Visit his page at

Janis “John” Jablovskis, 78, Schoolcraft, formerly of King George, VA, passed away June 15. Born in Latvia on September 21, 1939, he graduated from the University of Louisville and made his career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center as a mechanical engineer for over 30 years. It was there he met the love of his life, Beverly Zodrow. They were together for over 40 years until she passed away in 2006. John is survived by his beloved daughter, Karen Ann, her husband Steve Coleman, Steve’s brother Mark, granddog Nala and various cousins. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations may go to BARK, 12300 Farrington Rd., Ashland, VA 23005. Visit his page at

Albert E. “Al” Jensen, 86, Vicksburg, died June 30 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo. He was born in Chicago on Oct. 18, 1931, the son of Albert and Edna (Werthe) Jensen. The family moved to the Vicksburg area when Al entered the 5th grade. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1949. He worked briefly at Post Cereals in Battle Creek before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. After his military service, he returned to his job at Post where he retired after 37 years. He was married to Kathleen J. “Kay” Reilly on Aug. 31, 1957 in Kalamazoo. She preceded him in death on Oct. 20, 2010. Al was known to build, fix, or repair anything. He enjoyed camping and boating with his family up north and motorcycle rides with his buddies, Tom, Dick, and Larry. Al is survived by two sons, Richard D. (Heather) Jensen and Randall A. (Raquel) Jensen, both of Vicksburg; a daughter, Robin L. (Mark) Welch of Kalamazoo; grandchildren Haleigh, Jake, Miranda, and R.J. Jensen; great-grandchild Isaiah Nielsen; a sister, LaVern Barden, of Kingsville, Texas; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and a sister, June Meska. In keeping with his wishes, cremation has been conducted. Donations may go to charity. Visit his page at

Jerry L. Lovell, 77, Vicksburg, passed away June 28. He was born to Edward and Lucille (Jensen) Lovell on October 18, 1940. He graduated from White Cloud High School in 1959. He married Kathryn “Kathi” Jonaitis on October 7, 1961 and settled in Vicksburg in 1964. Jerry worked for Allied Paper and retired after 29 years. Jerry was a huge sports fan. All five of his children were athletes in high school. After high school, his sons played fast pitch softball and he and Kathi traveled all over to follow the team. The children also grew up following Jerry’s cousins fast pitch softball team. Until the last couple of years, Jerry would follow the grandchildren’s sports. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, and one of his favorite places was his property up in White Cloud. He helped establish the Little League fields in Vicksburg. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Kathi; children Jeff (Tracy) Lovell, of Scotts; Bruce Lovell, of Three Rivers; Brad Lovell, of Vicksburg; Amy (Randy) Miller, of Vicksburg; Doug (Emily) Lovell, of Schoolcraft. He is also survived by grandchildren Kyle (Sharon) Miller, Tyler Lovell, Amanda Lovell, Brenden Lovell, Hunter Lovell, Sydney Duong, Madison Lovell, Max Duong, Mitchell Duong, Zachary Lovell, and Bessie Stears; great grandson Mason Miller; brothers and sisters-in-law Judi (Terry) Richards, Dorothy Jonaitis, Ed (Margo) Jonaitis, Mary Lindquist, and Greg (Nancy) Folta, many close nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother-in law, Ray Lindquist. Visit his page at Donations may go to Kairos Dwelling.

James Raymond LeZotte, 46, Vicksburg, passed away July 8. Jim was born on May 23, 1972, the son of Martha and Raymond LeZotte. Jim is described by those who loved him as a very kind, honorable person, and had a great sense of humor. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, following sports, video gaming and he loved his two cats. He was a 1990 graduate of Vicksburg High School and then he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. Jim is survived by his parents, Martha and Raymond LeZotte, of Vicksburg; his sister Karen (Steve) Raffenaud, of Portage; niece and nephew, Addison and Evan Raffenaud and several aunts and uncles. Visit his page at

Bill Nichols, 79, Schoolcraft passed away June 25. He was born December 17, 1938, the son of the late Harold and Lillian Nichols. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sheila; his sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and David Hamman; his brother and his brother’s wife, Bob Nichols and Terry Furst; 12 nieces and nephews; and numerous great nieces and nephews. Bill was a 1956 graduate of Schoolcraft High School. He attended Western Michigan University and was a graduate of Coyne Electrical and Radio School in Chicago. Bill retired from General Telephone Company. He built a 33-foot trimaran and in 1992 he and Sheila sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and sailed back in 1993. He rode his bicycle across the United States once to the east coast and twice to the west coast. He and Sheila rode their bikes to New Orleans. He built his home, a gyroglider, a model train layout and repaired antique clocks and much more. Visit his page at Donations may go to Schoolcraft Historical Society and Schoolcraft United Methodist Church.

Patricia Louise Noel, 83, Vicksburg, passed away July 24 following a long illness. She was born in Schoolcraft on April 11, 1935, the daughter of Lawrence and Alice (Downey) Beebe. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1953 and continued her education at Parsons Business College prior to joining Ronningen-Petter/Dover Corporation as a secretary before moving into purchasing. Patricia enjoyed gardening and cooking for the many family meals and get-togethers. Watching wildlife come into her yard looking for the treats she had placed in a metal pan always brought a smile. Pat married Harold Noel on April 14, 1955. Together they raised three children, Lee, Cindi, and Randi. After graduation, all three kids played softball and Pat and Harold were always there for support. Pat is survived by sons Lee (Missy) Noel and Randi (Deb) Noel; grandchildren Brock Noel (Kristin, Logan, Lillian), Chad Overweg (Jackie, Nick), Shannon Boyd (Mike), Tricia Willy (Matt, Tyler); a sister, Shirley Sharp; brothers Carl and Gus Beebe. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alice and Lawrence Beebe; in-laws, Art and Pearl Noel; sisters Margaret Martens, Betty Harper, and Sandy Beebe; a brother, Lawrence; daughter and son in law, Cindi and Jerry Overweg. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Visit her page at

Robert Glenn Swinehart, born April 23, 1930, passed away peacefully in his sleep July 5. Surviving Robert are his son, Don, and daughter, Kathleen (Patrick) Meyers; grandsons Robert, Craig, Chris, and Brad, along with five great grandchildren. Robert was preceded in death by his wife Peggy, a son Douglas, and a grandson Nicholas. A memorial gathering is pending.

Jack Whitcomb, 93, died July 2 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence surrounded by his family. Jack was born on April 9, 1925 in Kalamazoo, the son of the late Arthur and Roselyn (Knarr) Whitcomb. Jack enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942 and served aboard the minesweeper USS Surfbird in the South Pacific. On August 20, 1948, he married Donna (Miles) Whitcomb, who preceded him in death November 4, 2014. He retired from Upjohn in 1983 after 34 years in the pipe shop. Jack enjoyed farming, building and flying experimental aircraft, making wine and beer, and time with family. Also preceding him in death were two brothers, Robert and Ralph Whitcomb. Surviving are sons, Kenneth (Sharon) Whitcomb, of Allegan, and Michael (Donna) Whitcomb, of Schoolcraft, five grandchildren and eight grandchildren. Donations may go to

Douglas George Zehner, 61, Vicksburg, passed away at home Wednesday, June 27. Doug was born September 13, 1956, in Flint. He was the son of Martin Zehner and Shirley Barnett. Doug’s family moved to Portage in 1965. He graduated from Portage Central, then attended Ferris State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. Doug worked at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Borgess Hospital, Fred’s Pharmacy, Vicksburg and Harding’s Pharmacy in Schoolcraft, and at Three Rivers Hospital for the past 10 years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, Red Wing hockey and boating on the lake with friends and family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patti Jones-Zehner; a son, Cody Zehner, his father, Martin Zehner and stepfather, James Barnett. He leaves behind a son, Kyle Zehner of California; a daughter, Katlyn Zehner, of Kalamazoo; a brother, Greg Zehner, of North Carolina; a sister, Cheryl Prather, of Kalamazoo; a sister, Kathi Peterson, of Minnesota; his mother, Shirley Barnett, of Bloomingdale, Mich.; a granddaughter, Mykah Zehner; a grandson, Brody Dixson; nephews Chad Zehner, Soren Peterson and Victor Peterson; and nieces Daphne Baker and Nicole Gardner. Doug had many friends and was always glad to help anyone who needed his help. Doug was a kind and gentle man. In lieu of flowers, spend time with your family. Doug would want you to do that.


Cindy Chapman, 52, Scotts, passed away May 28. Cindy was born on September 24, 1965 in Three Rivers. She was the daughter of Marvin and Millie (Brown) Forsyth. She is survived by her husband, Mitchell; children Stephanie Allgaier and Andrew Chapman. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life is scheduled for her; more information will be provided in the days to come. Visit Cindy’s page at Donations may go to her GoFundMe page.

Evelyn D. Chapman, 97, Schoolcraft, passed away June 10. Evelyn was born in Kalamazoo on November 22, 1920, the daughter of the late Carroll and Katherine (Beard) DesVoignes. Evelyn was also preceded in death by her step-mother, Mildred (Gish) DesVoignes. She was a kind and loving person whose gentle nature and warm smile made her a joy to be around. On August 14, 1943, she married the love of her life, Benjamin Chapman Jr., who preceded her in passing on January 25, 1985. In 2000, Evelyn moved to Schoolcraft, where she enjoyed working in her yard and spending time with her family and friends. She and her husband were long-time members of First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft. She was currently an assisted living resident of Heritage Community of Kalamazoo. She leaves to cherish her memory three daughters, Marilyn (Larry) Pierce, Ruth (Richard) DeVries and Linda (Kent) Bacon; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Norma Spicketts; sister-in-law, Phyllis DesVoignes; and several nieces, nephews, and great friends. Donations may go to the church c/o the funeral home. Visit her page at

Sharon Flickinger, Schoolcraft, died June 3. Sharon was born February 16, 1947 in Indianapolis, Ind., a daughter of Orval and Audrey (Russell) Rice. She was a Kalamazoo area resident most of her life and was employed with Western Michigan University for over 30 years, retiring in 2009. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents. On June 17, 1967, she was united in marriage to Thomas H. Flickinger, who survives. Also surviving are a son, Michael “Mike” (Jodi) Flickinger of Vicksburg; granddaughters Chelsea and Kaylee Flickinger; sisters Nancy Birch of Virginia and Debbie (John) Tucker of Colorado; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. A memorial gathering was held Saturday, June 16 at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel. Private burial will take place at a later date. Donations may go to Gift of Life or to the West Michigan Cancer Center. Visit her page at

Wendell L. Glidden, 78, Portage, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away June 9. Wendell was born on September 26, 1939 in Kalamazoo. He was the son of Lloyd and Camilla (Hulbert) Glidden. Wendell is described as happy, smooth and caring. He loved to sing and watch the Detroit Tigers. You could never fool him however, with what time the Tiger game was on. Wendell was cared for the past few years by the loving staff at the Schuring Road Adult Foster Care. Wendell is survived by his siblings, Ronald Glidden, of Florida; Lee (Carla) Glidden, of Vicksburg; Thomas (Sandy) Glidden, of Climax; Elwin (Diane) Glidden, of Tennessee; Dawn (Jack) Grosenbach, of California; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings Alice Hannar, Linn Glidden and Robert Glidden. A funeral service was held on Thursday, June 14 at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg, followed by burial at the Wildey Cemetery in Paw Paw. Visit his page at Donations may go to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Dave Haywood, 57, Vicksburg, passed away June 8 at home surrounded by loved ones. Dave was born July 30, 1960 to Roland Haywood and Judy (Haywood) Preston. Dave was a lover of all things outdoors. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, Maxine, spending time at their cabin up north snowmobiling, riding his Harley and most recently his boat in South Haven. Dave is survived by his mother Judy; mother-in-law Betty Dorey; his wife of 38 years, Maxine; children David Haywood (Tiffany) and Jennifer Caswell (Trevor); grandchildren Dylan Haywood, Isabelle Haywood, Victoria Haywood, Gavin Caswell, Gabrielle Caswell and many more extended family members. Dave was preceded in death by his father, Roland Haywood, and father-in-law, Marvin Dorey. Visit his page at

Phyllis M. Jungjohan, 86, Mendon, died May 29, at her son’s home in Milton, Fla. following a long illness. She was born in Three Rivers, on Nov. 9, 1931, the daughter of Ray and Ruby (Draime) Anderson. She graduated from Vicksburg High School and Wright’s Beauty Academy. She was the proprietor of Phyllis’ Beauty Shop in downtown Mendon for over 29 years. Phyllis was an active member of the West Mendon United Methodist Church, the Mendon Women’s Club and the Order of Eastern Star Chapter 154. She served as trustee for the Mendon Carnegie Library; and was a member of the Friends of the Library. She enjoyed travel, gardening, chocolate, and large fancy hats. She was married to Kenneth Leroy Jungjohan on July 15, 1950. They resided near Mendon until Kenneth’s passing in 2014. Phyllis is survived by sons William (Lana) Jungjohan of Mottville, Mich., Gordon (Denise) Jungjohan of Destrehan, La., and Kenneth Jr. (Liza) Jungjohan of Milton, Fla.; eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, three great great-grandchildren, brothers Ralph (Betty) Anderson and Martin (Diane) Anderson; sister-in-law Laverna Anderson; brother-in-law Jerry Crabtree; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Kenneth; daughter and son-in-law, Linda (Gary) Phelps; siblings Arthur Anderson, Janet Crabtree, Joan (Garold) Conine, and Ruth Ann Manion. Donations may go to Heartland Hospice, the West Mendon Community Church or Mendon Food Cupboard. Visit her page at

Marion Joseph (Skeeter) Pacukewicz, passed away on June 20. He was born in Mishawaka, Ind. on February 27, 1925 to Ludwig and Mary (Madjeda) Pacukewicz. His three older siblings did not approve of the name Marion, nicknaming him “Skeeter” after a comic strip character. Upon graduating from Mishawka High School in 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the European theater and with occupation forces in the Asiatic theater. Skeeter was discharged in 1946, and then attended Kalamazoo College on the GI Bill. While living in Kalamazoo, he met Thelma Potts. They were married on July 12, 1947. The newlyweds soon moved to Mishawaka where he was employed by the Studebaker Corporation. In the mid-50s, he got into the grocery business, training as a meat cutter in Berrien Springs. In 1965, he was transferred to Vicksburg to manage the Thriftway grocery store and moved to Barton Lake. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening. Skeeter was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Thelma; a daughter, Judi (Steve) Holton; a son, Gary Pacukewicz; a niece, Bernice McClure; sister in-law Betty Proovost; and several additional nieces and extended family. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Services were held Saturday, June 23 at McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Vicksburg. Visit his page at

Charlotte Rice, died June 6. She was born to Charles and Muriel Stuck on March 3, 1919. She graduated from Fulton High School in 1939. She went through the nursing program at the state hospital in Kalamazoo. She was married to Win Rice in 1941. He went off to war that year. When she was in her 50s, Charlotte started working at the Bronson Vicksburg Hospital. Once they retired, Charlotte and Win took at least one trip a year going to places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Disneyland, Disney World, the Canary Islands, and Europe. Charlotte was proactive into her 90s. Charlotte’s family includes her children, Sue (Roger) Lucas and Mike (Carolyn) Rice; a sister, Iva (Dick) Snyder; grandchildren Wendy (Steve) Caverly, Kim (John) Hayes, Tony (Vickie Mann) Wells, Angie (Paul) Rechlin, Jill (Dave) Partaka, John (Stacia) Lucas and Kathy (Jason) Hopkins; and great-grandchildren Joshua Benn, Katy Benn, Brooke Perry, Sarah Hayes, Ty Hayes, Austin Wells, Nate Rechlin, Emilee Partaka, Davey Partaka, Lucas Hopkins, Sidney Hopkins and Brody Hopkins. Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Winston Rice; siblings Milton (Ruth) Stuck, Polly (Perry) Barnes, Laura Groth, and Nora (Harold) Wise. Visit her page at Donations may go to Vicksburg United Methodist Church or Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, Florida.

Arthur Edward Shultz, 73, Vicksburg, passed away June 15. Art was the son of Kenneth and Lena (Hildenbrandt) Shultz. He graduated from Vicksburg High School and then went on to work for over 30 years as a forklift driver for the General Motors Fisher Body. On January 21, 1967, in Vicksburg, he married the love of his life, Helen Huntington. Art was a jokester, fun loving, and a wonderful husband. He loved to fish, hunt, and was a wonderful woodworker. Up until a few years ago the family had a cottage near Hardy Dam. At home, Art was always seen with his two boxers, Willie and Ozzie. Art is survived by his wife, Helen; children Brenda (Dale) Butcher, of Vicksburg; Jodie Shultz, of Vicksburg and Amy (Scott) Bell, of Mendon; grandchildren Tyler Shultz, of Mendon; Brittany Warner, of Vicksburg; Ryan Bell, of Mendon; and Kyle Bell, of Mendon. He is also survived by his four best friends: Art English, of Athens; Stan Gose, of Vicksburg; Ronnie Miller, of Vicksburg; and Jerry Parsons, of Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Lena Shultz. Arthur has been cremated and will be interred at the Vicksburg Cemetery at a later date. Visit his page at The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Phyllis L. Smith, passed away peacefully January 19, with her family and friends by her side. Phyllis was born July 22, 1935, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Merritt and Gertrude (Elgersma) Holt. She was employed at the Upjohn Company for 32 years before retiring. She was united in marriage to the love of her life, Roy Smith, on June 28,1955. Phyllis loved renovating the farmhouse she and her husband lived in near Vicksburg. She had a passion for creating beautiful flower gardens and she readily shared flowers from her own garden to help start others. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Roy Smith; a brother, Milan Robert Holt; a sister, Ida Mae Cutshaw, and a daughter, Nancy Worthington. Phyllis is survived by her daughters, Amy Smith and Karen (Ted) Hammond; grandchildren Abby Hammond, Lyndsay Hammond and Tyler (Jennifer) Worthington, and several nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice or the Ladies Library Association. Visit her page at

David A. Watkins, 66, formerly of Schoolcraft, passed away June 1, at IU Health Goshen Hospital. He was born in Schoolcraft September 12, 1951 to the late George and Colleen (Shearer) Watkins. He was preceded in death by his sister, Ann Watkins. David was a computer analyst for many years and was also a member of the Eagles Lodge. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing pool, taking care of his birds and spending time with his grandchildren. On December 10, 2016, he married Patty L. Castle; she survives along with one son, Bryon (Jennifer) Watkins, stepchildren Rhonda (Patrick) Potter, Jared (Christina) Myrkle, Jonathan (Cassie) Myrkle, Jessica (Marty) Clawson, Angel Myrkle, Karilynn Swiger, Amanda Linville, Sebastian (Samantha) Wolf and Jasmine Beatty. Also surviving are 30 grandchildren and brothers John (Leeanne) Watkins and Robert Watkins. A celebration of life gathering was held Saturday, June 9, at Sister Lakes Community Church, Dowagiac. Due to David’s love of birds, please send memorial contributions to A Place To Call Home Parrot Rescue & Adoption. Elkhart Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Walter E. Wedel, 89, Fulton, passed away June 4. He was born to Benjamin and Mabel (Reebs) Wedel on September 9, 1928. His father worked on the family farm that was established in 1876. Walt graduated from Athens High School in 1946, was drafted into the Army and served during the Korean conflict. Walt also served for three years as the president of the USA National Shuffleboard Association. Within his community, Walt served in local government, including all positions on the board in Wakeshma Township, and also served as a Kalamazoo county commissioner. Walt and his wife, Ann, were inducted into the Michigan Farmer’s Hall of Fame as well as the Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. He was also a member of Wakeshma Community Church. Walt was kind and soft spoken, and his wit made him a true charmer. Walt’s family includes his wife, Ann; children Benjamin Wedel, of South Carolina; Cyndi Frakes, of Vicksburg; Tim Wedel, of Kalamazoo; and Lori (David) Fry, of Fulton; grandchildren Jonathan (Michele) Frakes, of Portage; Heather Frakes, of Kalamazoo; Jessica (Randy) Bartholomew, of Fulton; Michael (Catherine) Fry, of Ohio; Travis (Vanessa) Fry, of Ypsilanti; Levi Fry, of East Lansing; 10 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Walt was preceded in death by his siblings, Wayne Wedel, Rex Wedel, and Anna Crotser; and son-in-law John Frakes. Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 9 at the Wakeshma Community Church, Fulton, followed by burial at North Fulton Cemetery. Visit Walt’s page at Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and Wakeshma Community Church.


Michael C. Auten, 70, Vicksburg, passed away May 10. Michael was born on May 10, 1948, in Marion, Ind. the son of Charles and Marjorie (Glass) Auten. He served in the United States Army for two years. On April 19, 1975, he married Mary Dubbeld. Michael worked for General Motors for over 30 years. Michael is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary; children Sherri Auten, of Vicksburg; Mike (Michelle) Auten, of Hastings; Candace Auten; grandchildren Nathan, Ashlynn, and Brooklynn. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Ellen (Ken) Griffin, of Georgia. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Jeremiah Auten, and a sister, Dixie Wadsworth. Mr. Auten will be cremated. No services are planned at this time. Visit Michael’s page at Donations may go to the American Heart Association.

John Zane Betts, 78, Portage, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away May 16. He was born to Louis and Delores (Miller) Betts on July 3, 1939. In 1962, John began his 42-year career working for Kalamazoo Container. In time, the company was bought out by Green Bay Packaging Inc. which ignited his passion for the Green Bay Packers. It didn’t take long for John to become an over-the-top, crazy Packers fan. His love for the team led to his claiming a room in his home as the Packer Den. For a combined 22 years, John honorably gave his time and energy to both the Otsego and Mattawan Fire departments. Fishing was another passion. He even enjoyed winning some bass contests sponsored by DNR Sports. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karen; children Christopher (Tracy) Betts, of Grand Rapids; Rick Betts, of Battle Creek; Brad (Jennifer) Betts, of Ann Arbor and Jason (Angie) Betts, of Plainwell; 13 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He is also survived by siblings Tryell (Jim) Handy, of Ithaca and Dennis Betts, of Bath; Celia Anderson, of Bath and several nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Taylor, and siblings Tom and Louis Betts. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, May 22 at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg. Visit John’s page at Donations may go to Generous Hands and KVD Foundation.

Merl Ambrose Burk
, Vicksburg, passed away May 17. He was born on August 26, 1921 to Emory and Ellen (Fuller) Burk and lived a Christian life full of love and integrity. He was a WWII Army Veteran who obtained the rank of Sgt and served in the South Pacific. Merl entered the tool and die industry after leaving the Army and went to work for Severance Tool in Saginaw. He eventually went to work for Johnson Carbide where he became an owner of the company before retiring to Florida in 1983. For the past few years he has lived on the grounds of Indian Lake Nazarene camp and enjoyed riding around on his golf cart, visiting with family and friends, sitting by the campfires and gathering at the snack bar to socialize and talk about the “good ole days”. He had plenty of stories to tell. He was an avid golfer and fisherman and loved having his family around. He leaves behind two daughters, Karen M. Wells (James), Susan J. Bliss (Thomas) and one son, Patrick J. Burk (Suzanne), 10 grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren. His wife Jean A. Burk predeceased him along with one grandchild and four great grandchildren. Burial with Military Honors was at Fort Custer. Donations may go to Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. Visit his page at

KC Burson, 68, Vicksburg, died May 7, at the Battle Creek Veterans Administration Medical Center-Hospice, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. KC, the son of Milton Terry and Doris Elaine (Williams) Burson, was born in Three Rivers on March 1, 1950. He was a 1968 graduate of Schoolcraft High School. He immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps, where he served during the Vietnam War as a private first class and was the recipient of a Purple Heart. KC worked for over 20 years as a sewer and water hook-up operator for the Scott W. Taylor Company of Galesburg. He enjoyed fishing, watching football, especially the Detroit Lions; and was an avid fan of watching NASCAR to cheer on Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Surviving are his wife of 42-plus years, Nancy; his daughters, Stacy (Andy) Helmboldt of Battle Creek and Autumn (Tommy) Dean of Vicksburg; three precious granddaughters, Taylor Burson, Grace and Libby Helmboldt; step-children, Laurie (Tim) Leonard of Kalamazoo, Cheri Puryear of Paw Paw, and Bill Puryear of Kirksville, Mo.; just as precious step-grandchildren, Alisha Queen, T.J. and William Leonard and Steve, Raymond and Jenavee Puryear; three sisters, Peggy (Tom) Baldwin and Marlene Burson, both of Lawton, and Terry (Richard) Burgess of Vicksburg; sister-in-law Pat Burson of Schoolcraft and many nieces and nephews. KC was preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother, Betty Burson; a sister, Louise Rhoda; a brother, Bob Burson, and a step-brother, Mike Hess. Interment was at Fort Custer National Cemetery with the US Marine Corps Honor Guard and the Fort Custer Honor Guard bestowing full military honors. Donations may go to the Battle Creek Veterans Administration Medical Center-Hospice or West Michigan Cancer Center. Visit his page at

Doug Gillespie, was born July 22, 1952 to Patricia and Herald Gillespie in Three Rivers and died unexpectedly on March 31, 2018 in Denver, CO, his longtime home, surrounded by loved ones. He is survived by his mother Patricia Gillespie Doak, his current wife Sandy, his two beloved daughters, Leslie Brooke Gallegos(Jeremy) and Michelle Blair Provenzano (Tony), as well as five grandchildren and three stepchildren.  He was preceded in death by his father. Doug lived the first part of his life in Vicksburg, where he met and married Suzan Olvitt Gillespie. He also lived in Texas and Arizona. He made his life in Colorado since the 1980s. He followed his dad’s example and worked as a lineman and later as a self-employed contractor.

Kathleen Mary Hageman, Schoolcraft, died May 12. She and a twin brother were born on July 22, 1949 to Edwin and Patricia Hageman. They were premature and weighed about three pounds each. The brother only lived four days. Kathleen thrived in an incubator and when she reached a “safe” weight was allowed to come home. Because she was premature, mentally she did not develop as her brothers and sisters did. When it was time for her to attend school, the school told the parents reluctantly that they could not handle her. She was slow and had seizures, but was willing to learn. In her late twenties, she became a part of McKercher Workshop. They had work for their attendees and paid them for it. Kathleen loved it! Kathleen left this life peacefully at Rose Arbor hospice after about 10 days. Kathleen was preceded in death by her father, Edwin; brother, John and brother-in-law Chris Renberg. She is survived by her mother, Patricia, siblings Colleen (George) Schwartz, Susan (Roger) Smith, Jill (Matthew) Anderson, Edwin (Kim) Hageman, Nell Renberg, Cyril (Teri) Hageman, Susan Kay (Jim) Ryan and numerous nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Residential Opportunities Inc., where Kathleen was allowed to live as independently as possible for over 30 years, or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan which made her last days comfortable and peaceful. Visit her page at Arrangements handled by Avink Funeral Home Cremation Society.

Brennan Scott Hamilton, 18, Vicksburg, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 27, due to injuries received in an automobile accident. Brennan was born in Kalamazoo on November 20, 1999, the son of Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton and the late Scott Hamilton. He recently graduated from Vicksburg High School, where he was in the school choir and was a member of the National Honor Society. Brennan had a great sense of humor. He enjoyed skiing, playing lacrosse, and was an avid music lover. He is survived by his mother, Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton; a sister, Payton Hamilton; grandparents, Gary and Phyllis Bartosiewicz and Michael and Lorraine Hamilton; great-grandmothers Verna Hamilton and Virginia Baynton; aunts and uncles, Jennifer (Ryan) Edlind, Lisa Bartosiewicz, Laura (Bryan) Boily, Jason (Melanie) Hamilton; cousins Liam, Tyler and Carter Edlind and Leslie and Alyssa Hamilton; and his best friend, Chase Young. He was preceded in death by his father, Scott Hamilton. Donations may go to the family to establish a scholarship in his name. Visit Brennan’s page at

Shirley Ann Hart, Vicksburg, passed away on May 26. She was born April 27, 1938 in Montcalm, WV, one of two children, and is survived by her elder brother, Lloyd Eller Jr. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Claude Ray Hart Sr., as well as great grandchild Ray Michael. Shirley is survived by sons Claude Ray Hart Jr., Mark David Hart and Brian Kenneth Hart, as well as her grandchildren, Brandy, Mark Jr, Breanne, Miranda, Teddie, Travis and Brent; and great-grandchildren Ellawyn, Aurora, Rayley, Benjamin. Shirley and Claude were married November 19, 1955 in Bluefield, WV while Claude was in his final year of his Navy commitment and Shirley was in her final year at Bramwell High School. Shirley and the family moved to the Vicksburg area in 1966. While Shirley was a “stay at home mom,” she kept the family busy with the garden and various livestock as well as preparing the harvest. Shirley began doing ceramics in the 1970s and in short order had her own kilns, molds and ceramic shop. She started at H&R Block in 2009 where she worked as a tax preparer and eventually office manager. Shirley continued at H&R Block on a seasonal basis until 2014. She started at the local Sam’s club shortly after it opened and was soon running the payroll and working with the HR department. Donations may go to Kairos Dwelling. Visit Shirley’s page at

Thomas Hastings Sr., 86, Portage, passed away May 28, surrounded by his family. Tom was born on July 13, 1931, to Aloysius and Margaret Hastings. Tom’s family includes his children, Tom (Sharon) Hastings Jr. of Alabama, Maggie (Tim) Corbin of Tennessee, Ann (Tom) Hahn of Lowell, Mich.; grandchildren Molly and Hannah Blatt of South Carolina; a sister, Karen Hastings; a cousin, Bruce (Joan) McPherson; and a close friend, Dick (Jean) Schmitt. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Hastings, who passed away this February, and a son, Timothy, who died at birth. Tom ran the Root Beer Stand in Kalamazoo for many years. Tom had a great sense of humor and was a very good tennis player. A celebration of his life is being planned for this summer. Visit Tom’s page at

Mason William Heikes, 2, Vicksburg, passed away May 9. He was born on August 26, 2015 to William and Kristen Heikes. He filled the hearts of those around him with unending love. Known for his bright smile and sparkling eyes, one could sense Mason’s warm soul. His young heart was pure and full of wonder. He loved to sit and cuddle, and with his chocolate milk in hand, he’d even check the bottom of the cup to make sure it was made with enough chocolate, or he’d send it back for more! He is survived by his parents, a brother, Carter; maternal grandparents, Dawn (David) Hamberg, of Vicksburg; paternal grandparents Burt (Penney Melchoir) Heikes, of Vicksburg; Candi (Clarence) Ewert, of Kalamazoo; Noreen “Noni” Heikes, of Vicksburg; great-grandma Bonnie Childers, of Alabama; great-grandpa Kenneth Heikes, of Vicksburg; Rick and Esther Randall, of Parchment; Nancy Lowe, of Portage; Pat Ewert, of Kalamazoo. He is also survived by aunts and uncles Kayla (Mickey McManus) Hough, of Vicksburg; Chris Hamberg, of Vicksburg; Cassandra “Cassi” (Wyatt) Taylor, of Lawton; Elizabeth Heikes, of Vicksburg; Chris (Shannon) Ewert, of Hastings; cousins Lexi Hough, and one on the way; great-aunts and uncles Lisa (Leroy) Heikes, of Plainwell; Michelle (Jason) Hall, of Paw Paw; Staci Randall, of Arizona; Chuck (Amy) Childers, of Alabama; Richard (Tiffany) Childers, of Alabama; Sandy Plowman, of Alabama; Lynette (Jay) Dolen, of Kentucky. Mason was preceded in death by his great-grandma, Sue Heikes; great-grandpa, Peter Lowe; great-grandma, Judy Hiatt; great-grandpa, Charles Childers; great great-grandma, Reba Baker; and great-uncle, Steve Randall. Visit Mason’s page at Donations may go to a memorial fund being set up at the Kalamazoo County State Bank.

Emily Keenan, 21, passed away unexpectedly May 10. She was born on October 2, 1996 to Chris and Stephanie Keenan, the year after their business, Kalamazoo Kingdom, was started. Her father introduced her to a soccer ball before she could walk. She had a true talent and love for the game. Her father built a special bond through soccer as he had the privilege to coach her during her club season at Kingdom Soccer Club. She had the unique gift of being able to shoot with both feet and her Dad described her left-foot shots as “an absolute rocket”. As with everything in her life, she threw her whole self into every game, so much so that it wasn’t unusual for her to have an injury afterward. Once she was finished with high school, she became a Certified Nurse Assistant. She loved caring for her elders and creating joy, laughter and a social life where there was often a void before. She adored finding ways to create new memories for her patients and often considered them dear friends. A few years ago, her family moved to Indian Lake where they discovered a love for lake life and a new lease on Keenan family life. Emily absolutely loved being in nature and took every opportunity to spend time on the kayak and to go swimming or fishing. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, May 15, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Portage. Visit her page at Donations may go to Gryphon Place.

Robert “Bob” J. Klein, 91, Schoolcraft, passed away at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence May 8. Bob was born in Mendon on June 4, 1926, the son of the late John and Elizabeth (Higgens) Klein. He owned his barber shop in Kalamazoo for many years. After retirement, Bob and his wife, Patricia, moved to Schoolcraft where he returned to his passion for farming and woodworking. Bob and Pat made life-long friendships with their Schoolcraft neighbors. He was known for his dedicated work ethic, was a “jack of all trades” and could fix or jerry-rig anything. Bob’s family was always at the center of his life and he was proud of his children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments. On February 18, 1950, he was united in marriage to the former Patricia A. Kirkendall, who preceded him in death on November 15, 2016 after 66 years of marriage. Bob was also preceded in death by two brothers and five sisters. He is survived by his children, Jim (Jennifer Roque) Klein, Pamela (Dr. Charles) Zeller, Kelley Hiemstra and Kathy Klein; grandchildren Joel (Jodi) Klein, Matthew Roque, Brendon (Rachel) Erickson, Erika (Dr. Daniel Krcelic) Steele-Krcelic, Jessica (Travis Hargrove) Hiemstra, Jennifer Hiemstra and Erik Eichorn; great-grandchildren Joelle, Isadora and Halle and sister-in-law, Kathleen Prochaska. In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family service will be held. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice Residence or the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. Visit his page at

Willard Minnis
, 77, Fulton, passed away May 16 at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Willard was born on March 1, 1941 to Robert and Cleo (Homan) Minnis. Services took place on Saturday, May 19. Willard’s family includes his wife of 57 years, Lois; his children, Willard Herbert (Cathy Bunce) Minnis, LouAnn (Forester) Prater; LeAnn Prater and Lori Grinage; grandchildren Sara, Brian, TJ, Amanda, Brady and Heather; 15 great grandchildren; his brother, Norman (Lois) and his sister in law, Phyllis, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Robert and Ronald, and his grandson, Matthew. Willard served his country proudly in the National Guard. Visit Willard’s page at Donations may go to the Wakeshma Community Church or the Humane Society of Kalamazoo.

Jay E. Rantz, 73, Vicksburg, formerly of Plainwell, passed away May 2. He was born to Clifford and Clarabelle (Holcomb) Rantz on June 11, 1944. Jay possessed a natural curiosity for how things worked. He was especially drawn to cars, speed and anything mechanical. A hands-on guy, Jay never feared exploring the inner workings of things, and loved the challenge of discovering a successful fix to a seemingly impossible problem. After graduating from Plainwell High School, Jay attended trade school for a year in Chicago. He returned to western Michigan, where he worked for many years as a machinist for a local tool and die company; Midwest Gage in Climax. Eventually, Jay formed his own company; J & J Machine. He is survived by his sweetheart of 21 years, Sandy; a daughter, Christine Rantz, of Kalamazoo; a sister, Patsy (Steve) Singleton, of Florida; stepchildren Scott (Kristy) Breed, of New Jersey and Beth Breed, of Kalamazoo; grandchildren Connor Jay, Aaron, Adam, Christian, Michael and Kaleb. He was preceded in death by two children: Kelly Rantz-Johnson and Sonya Rantz. Services were held at McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, Marshall-Gren Chapel, Plainwell on Monday, May 7. Burial was at the Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell. The procession was lead by his friends in the classic cars they all loved. Visit Jay’s page at Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center.

Wilma A. Sportel, Kalamazoo, passed away May 1. Wilma was born September 27, 1933 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of the late Steven and Adrianna (VanDyke) VanZanten. Prior to her retirement she was employed for several years with KVISD (KRESA) in the accounting department. She was a member of Second Christian Reformed Church. Wilma was preceded in death by her first husband, Nelson Groenheide, on September 1, 1953. On June 24, 1955 she was united in marriage to Adrian Sportel, who preceded her in death on December 13, 2003. Also preceding her in death was her sister, Carol Modderman. Wilma is survived by her children, Tom (Penny) Sportel, Teri (Mike) Benthin; grandchildren Shaun (Jenny) Sportel, Matt (Liz) Sportel, Tori Wellington; great-grandchildren Sienna, Sawyer and Mason; and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on Thursday, May 10 at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel. Private family interment was in Boughton Cemetery in Scotts. Donations may go to the Galesburg-Augusta High School and Schoolcraft High School Athletic Departments. Visit her page at


Dayton P. Baker, 83, Kline’s Resort, died April 3 at Borgess Medical Center. He was born in Lawton on Aug. 30, 1934, the son of Donald J. and Vera E. (Pierson) Baker. He was a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School. Dayton started his employment at Eckrich Meats. Later he joined the Upjohn company as a chemical operator, retiring after 27 years of service. After retirement, he went to work for his son, Jerry, at the Canopeum. Dayton was married to Betty Jane Allen on Aug. 27, 1955 in Oshtemo. Betty died in 1997. He married Maxine (Romer) Philbrick on July 25, 1998 in Englewood, Fla. They attended the Englewood Methodist Church, and Dayton enjoyed many rounds of golf in the winter months. He was a former member of the Mendon Kiwanis Club. Dayton is survived by his wife, Maxine; sons Gerald (Karen) Baker of Lawton, Michael Baker of Kalamazoo, and Randall Baker of Colon; step-children Russell (Melissa) Philbrick of Venice, Fla., Phillip (Melanie) Philbrick of Syracuse, N.Y., and Janet (Heath) Hedden of Kalamazoo; 13 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Craig Baker; and by siblings Eunice Baker, Pierson “Bud” Baker, Bonnabelle “Bonnie” Grate, Lura Vining, Donnadene “Donna” Bonnell, Donald J. Baker, Jr., Jack Baker, and Jacqueline “Jackie” Laymon. A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 14 in the West Mendon Community Church. A private interment of ashes will take place in Mendon Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to the family, or to the Englewood United Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed at

Elmer L. Baker, 89, Vicksburg, passed away February 26. He was born to Benton and Carrie (Orr) Baker on February 7, 1929. Like many young men, Elmer was drafted, where he fibbed on his birth-date and began serving in the U.S. Army. He served as a heavy-equipment operator in the years between World War II and Korea. Elmer worked as a machine tender for Simpson Paper for 36 years prior to retiring. Whether at work or within his community, Elmer was a man who could be counted on and trusted. At home with his family, he enjoyed all different kinds of animals including cows, ducks, geese, chickens, and even a pair of raccoons. He also enjoyed tending to his huge garden and had a love for hummingbirds and various wildlife. Elmer spent time tinkering here and there and could literally fix anything broken. When his wife, Marie fell ill and developed dementia, Elmer lovingly cared for her for 10 years until she sadly passed away in 2004. He is survived by his children, Tim (Carol) Baker, of Colon; Larry (Virginia) Baker, of Florida; Beverly (Jim) Currier, of Sturgis; Lana Koole, of Portage; Janet (Daniel) Reitz-Galo, of Portage; Donald Ely, of Portage; Susan (Dann) Louis, of Three Rivers; 13 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by siblings Larry (Dorma) Baker, of West Virginia; Marjorie (Floyd) McMinn; Mary Ann (Henry) Richards; Nancy (Brad) Crouse; Barbara (Phil) Tracy; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marie; siblings James Baker, Robert Baker, Wayne Baker; and Doris Jean Talkington; and an infant grandchild, Samantha. A memorial service was held Saturday, March 3 at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home. Visit his page at Donations may go to Generous Hands.

John R. Bonnema, Schoolcraft, passed away Friday morning, March 30. John was born December 16, 1927 in Kalamazoo to the late William and Anna (Kiel) Bonnema. John was owner and operator of Bonnema Masonry Construction until his retirement in 1993. He was a charter member of Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church, where he served as elder, deacon and Sunday School superintendent. He was also one of the founding members of the Singing Crusaders and served on the Board at both the Gospel Mission and South Christian School. John enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing with his grandchildren. On August 26, 1949, he was united in marriage to his loving wife of 68 years, Katherine “Kay” (Ritsema), who survives. Also surviving are his children, Robert (Beth) Bonnema, Don (Toni) Bonnema, Laurie (Dennis) Mulder, Joan (Tom) Brussee; 14 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his three brothers and two sisters. Services were held on Wednesday, April 11 at Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church. Private family interment will be in Schoolcraft Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church or the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. Visit his page at

Rex William Bragg, 88, Vicksburg, passed away April 12. He was born to John and Jenny (Weber) Bragg on February 6, 1930 in Greentown, Ind. Rex served in the military and was deployed to Korea during the Korean War. He worked as a tool and die maker for almost 32 years at General Motors. Rex began working at the Marion, Ind. Fisher Body Plant in 1954, and the Delco-Remy prior to that. In 1966, Fisher Body transferred him to the Kalamazoo area. There, he and his wife, Glory, set up roots and raised their family in a loving, close-knit home. He began a Boy Scout Troop in Fulton where he served as scoutmaster from 1967 to 1972, followed by a year in Vicksburg. In the late 1980s, Rex and Glory became members of Vicksburg United Methodist Church where they both grew in their faith. In 1985 they moved to Kline’s Resort. They were members of the Michigan Motor Home Club as well as the Happy Traveler’s Club. In addition, Rex was a member of the Vicksburg Lions Club, UAW Local 488, the DAV and a Masonic Lodge member. He also served his community as a Wakeshma Township firefighter. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Glory; children Gary (Kathy) Bragg of Three Rivers, Paula (Randy) Lee of Kalamazoo, Tonya (Robert) Weiandt of Portage; grandchildren Trisha (Joseph) Howard of Greenville, Dawn (Kyle) Rice of Three Rivers, Kristen (Calvin) Klinger of Vicksburg, Jeremy Lee of Kalamazoo, Nicholas (Kelsey) Lee of Parchment; Elizabeth Lee of Kalamazoo, Karl (Elysia) Armstrong of Three Rivers, Katherine (Khanh) Dang of Caledonia; great-grandchildren Emily, Riley, Addison, Nathan, Colton, Collin, Karlie, Izzabella, Caden, Ryan, and Micah. He was preceded in death by two great-grand angel babies and his seven siblings. Visit his page at Donations may go to South County Help A Vet Fund and Wreaths Across America at wreathsacrossamerica-braggfamily on Facebook. Arrangements by McCowen & Secord Family Life Story Funeral Home.

Anna Elizabeth Brown, 103, Vicksburg, passed away April 21. She was born Elizabeth Anna Multhaupt on December 8, 1914, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth (Banziger) Multhaupt. Her early education was in Oshtemo before she continued on to graduate from the Kalamazoo Central High School class of 1931. Anna attended the Oshtemo Methodist Church, where she met a young violinist named Ralph David Brown. They eventually married, settled in Vicksburg in 1941 and made a home there for 77 years. Anna was one of the founding members of the Vicksburg Ambulance Service along with her husband, Ralph, and several other community members. She was an EMT, and loved it until she retired at 76. She was always sewing and repairing clothes. However, her greatest love was gardening. Anna was very patriotic and always flew the American flag, even on her car. She loved parades. She served on the Village Council. She was a member of the Scotts Elmwood Chapter 88 of the Pythian Sisters, serving as Grand Chief of the State of Michigan in 1972-73. In 1976, as part of the bicentennial celebration, she was chosen as one of 150 outstanding women of Michigan. At the age of 100, she was recognized by the South County Emergency Medical Service when it named the classroom in her honor. Surviving are six loving children: Nancy (Otto) Decker, Vicksburg; Patricia (Paul) Weber, Kalamazoo; Ralph David (Wendy) Brown Jr., Bay City; Elizabeth (William) Bushouse, Helen (David) Horn, and John (Laurie) Brown, all of Kalamazoo; 19 grandchildren, several great and great-great grandchildren, a sister, Wilma Cooper, Kalamazoo; many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as many relatives in Germany and Switzerland. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph; a son, Robert; her parents; brother Arthur Multhaupt; sisters Cora Miller, Emilie Smith, and Mary Barnes; and grandchildren Sara Brown, Paul Decker and Diane (Bushouse) Evans. Donations may go to Hospice of Southwest Michigan or a charity of your choice. Visit her page at

Lyle R Davis (“Rube”), 91, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully in his home on March 20. He was born on July 12, 1926 to the late Charles and Verle (Dooley) Davis. Lyle lived his entire life in the Schoolcraft area and graduated from Schoolcraft High School. Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a union carpenter, building area schools and apartments. He eventually went into residential building for himself. Lyle is a WWII Navy veteran. Until his mid-eighties, he marched in Schoolcraft’s annual 4th of July and Memorial Day Parades with the Drill Team or Color Guard. Lyle was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Geneva (Lance) Davis. They were married on April 27, 1946. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, David and Roy Davis; a brother-in-law, Donald Patnoude; sisters-in-law Pat Davis and Helen Lance; great grandchildren Garrick Roemer and Onika, Talon, and Landon Kessler. Lyle is survived by his children, Kay (Lou) Scohy, Wanda (Walter) Scott, Rod (Cynthia) Davis, and Logan (Craig) Roe. He was the beloved grandpa of 12 grandchildren, and 20-plus great grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister-in-law, Charline (Lance) Patnoude; brother-in-law Lyle Lance; and several nieces and nephews. A graveside service for Lyle was held on April 21 in the Schoolcraft cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, Schoolcraft American Legion or the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan.

Virginia “Ginny” (Bent) Davis, 93, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully at home April 9. Ginny was born on January 13, 1925, the daughter of the late Albert V. Kimball, Sr. and Isabelle Ann (Stevens) Kimball. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Gerald Bent, whom she married in 1945, and her second husband, Ralph Davis, whom she married in 1972. She was also preceded by her brother, Albert V. Kimball, Jr. Ginny worked at the Upjohn Company for 15 years. Ginny is survived by a daughter, Cindy (Richard) Shattuck, and a granddaughter, Marcy (Michael) Charvat. Also surviving are great-grandchildren Carson, Gavin and Gabrielle Charvat; a sister, Mary Purdham; nephew Albert (Debbie) Kimball III; niece Deborah Linden; and a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Kimball. In accordance with Ginny’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Donations may go to the Animal Rescue Project.

Alan Grauman, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at his home April 16. He was born on August 24, 1948 to the late Allen and Mara (Morescalchi) Grauman. His parents met in Italy while his father was a young U.S. soldier following World War II. Alan attended school in Portage, Venezuela and Italy. He and his new wife Cecilia’s first home was on Main Street in Vicksburg, a home they purchased with another couple. A big old house, the other couple lived upstairs and they lived downstairs. In 1976 they moved into the rural area of Vicksburg making the country roads their forever home. Alan worked at Consumers Energy in engineering before transferring to the company’s IT department. Alan’s interests were far and wide, and after retiring in 2015, it gave him just the time he needed to enjoy them. He couldn’t resist anything that needed to be put together and programmed. He liked computers, and was good at working on them. Over the years he acquired quite a collection of used computer and electronic parts because he might have needed them someday. Alan’s family includes his wife, Cecilia (Reisterer); daughter Jaime (Chris) Payne; son Jesse Grauman; grandchildren Madeline, Linus, India, Amaya and Jesse; siblings Judy Grauman and Mila (Jim) Beck, and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on Friday, April 20 at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home. Please visit Alan’s personal web page at, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Gracie Harber, 93, Vicksburg, went to be with the Lord on March 24, at her home with her family at her side. Gracie was born on February 19, 1925 to James & Josie (McCullah) Stokes. Services were held on Monday, April 2 at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home. Gracie’s family includes her daughters, Sharon (Frank) Burr, Donna Cartwright and Vickie (Brian) Klassen; grandchildren Angela (Kristopher) Wilson, Joseph Cartwright, Wendy (Darin Frederickson) Burr, Tracy (Mark) Thomas, Scott (Nicole) Klassen, Lisa (Adam) Brewer; great grandchildren Stephen, Josh, Hannah, Sydney, William, Stevine and a baby on the way, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 50 years, George, and six siblings. Visit her page at Donations may go to Community Baptist Church of Vicksburg or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Andrew H. Lewis, Kalamazoo, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away at his home April 9. He was born on June 15, 1933 in Kalamazoo, a son of Gilbert and Bertha (Dykehouse) Lewis. He was a life-long area resident. Andrew entered the US Army just before his 20th birthday and served in the Korean War before being honorably discharged in 1955. He returned home and worked for the Upjohn Company until his retirement in 1990. Andrew was a member of Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church, a life member of VFW Post 5855 and a member of American Legion Post 207, Eagles Aerie 3531 and Moose International. Andrew was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Albert Lewis; a sister, Adeline Lewis; and a brother-in-law, Marvin “Luke” Lukomski. In 1962, Andrew married the former Marlene Lukomski, who survives. Also surviving are five children and their spouses: David (Candy) Lewis of Portage, Carolyn (Brian) Kitzmiller of Vicksburg, Diann (Jeff) Roodbergen of Vicksburg, Gary (Karin) Lewis of Wake Forest, N.C. and Daniel (Lynette) Lewis of Kalamazoo; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Lawrence (Beverly) Lewis of Vicksburg; sister-in-law, Patricia Lewis; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Princess. Cremation has taken place. Internment with military honors was held at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Donations may go to VFW Post 5855, Paralyzed Veterans of America or to the American Heart Association.

A memorial dinner will be held in honor of Marilyn Lindley at the
Scotts Community Center on May 6th from 1-4:30.

Ann Linton of Vicksburg will be honored with a memorial service to be held at Lakeland Reformed Church, 10442 Sprinkle Rd., Vicksburg, on May 19. Visitation with the family begins at 10 a.m. and the service is at 11 a.m. She turned 107 on February 14 and passed away on February 24.

Marcia C. Meyer, Schoolcraft, passed away April 18. She was born to Wendell Millard and Roberta “Bert” Arndt on July 22, 1975. Marcia attended school in Luther, Mich., where she played volleyball, and was also a member of the National Honor Society. After graduating from Pine River High School in 1993, she attended college in the Kalamazoo area. Throughout her life, Marcia was always busy. Marcia worked for 14 years at Summit Polymers, the last six years as a purchasing coordinator. Marcia absolutely loved taking pictures, and she also enjoyed traveling and snowmobiling. Marcia Meyer was one of the funniest people around. She loved making others laugh, and she was outgoing, giving, and friendly. Marcia’s family includes her husband, Terry; daughter Andrea; parents Wendell and Bert Millard, of Wisconsin; siblings Sondra Smith, of Schoolcraft, Beth (Mike) Dennison, of Indiana, and Denny Millard, also of Indiana. Services were held Monday, April 30 at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg. Burial followed at Schoolcraft Cemetery. Visit her page at Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center or Schoolcraft Schools.

Barbara Northam, 65, Scotts, died April 2. Barbara was born June 9, 1952 in Berwyn, Ill., the daughter of Michael and Betty Piotrowski. Services were held at on Wednesday, April 4 at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home. Visitation in Darien, Ill. took place on Friday, April 6 at the Modell Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, April 7 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Darien, with interment in Clarendon Hills Cemetery. Barbara is survived by her husband, Jim; children Matthew (Laura) Northam and Angeline (Matthew) Anderton. Other members of her family include grandchildren, Ella, Julia, Claire and Andrew; and sisters Sandra Chereshkoff and Debra (Randy) Kieras. Visit her page at Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Robin M. Shearer, Grand Rapids, died April 19. Robin was born on June 28, 1952 to Victor and Marjorie Girolami in Hamilton, OH. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Andrew F. Shearer, her son, Owen K. Shearer, and her parents. Robin spent her early childhood in Hamilton, Ohio and moved with her family to Michigan in 1965. She graduated from Vicksburg High School and attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She married the love of her life, Andy Shearer, on June 23, 1973. Robin and Andy helped run the Vicksburg Tastee Freeze for many years. Robin was very active in the Grand Rapids International Fellowship Church of the Nazarene. She is survived by seven siblings: Vicki Smith(Dan), Andrew Girolami (Rhonda), Chuck Girolami (Diana), Cathy Holden (Chris), Rick Girolami (Sandy), Lynn Baragar (Todd), and David Girolami. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and great-greats. There will be a memorial service May 15, at the Grand Rapids International Fellowship Church of the Nazarene at 6:30 p.m. Her cremains will be interred with her husband, Andy Shearer, and next to her son, Owen.

Norma Jean Suess (Switzer), 81, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in her sleep at her Fort Myers, FL, home April 8. Born May 16, 1936, to Alva and Helen (Hall) Switzer at their home in Kalamazoo, she was a 1954 graduate of Vicksburg High School and married Alan Suess of Plainwell on December 29, 1956. Her husband’s academic career took them around the Midwest, from the University of Illinois, to Ohio State University and finally to Purdue University in Indiana, where they raised their family.  It also took Norma around the world, living in India for a short stint and in Turkey for a few years, visiting a dozen countries in Europe and Asia in between. She owned her own interior design boutique for 30 years and was a lifelong painter in pastels, oil, and acrylics. She continued taking seminars at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in her retirement as she summered in Portage on West Lake. She formed several groups for golfing, going to movies, book clubs and an art guild. She was active to the end, golfing to the last day. Norma is survived by her children, Theresa, Matthew (Bonnie), and Eric (Kimberly) and grandchildren Deric and Derin, and by her sisters Judy Lewis (Eli), Fran Rigney (Carl), and Patricia Bittenbender (Milan). She was preceded in death by her brother, Alvin (Sonny), and her parents. A celebration of life service will be held July 14 at 11 a.m. at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene. The family will begin receiving friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Donations may go to the Alan Suess Scholarship at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute online at

Norma June Vargo, 79, Portage, passed away April 6. Norma was born on February 27, 1939 in Mishawaka, Ind. She was the daughter of Frederick and Irene (Landcraft) Boldt. On July 20, 1957, she married James Vargo at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. She owned and operated the Sale Barn in Schoolcraft. She is survived by her children, Mark (Mary) Vargo, of Three Rivers and Julie Shaffer, of Portage; granddaughter Jenna Courtney; siblings Fred (Marj) Boldt, John Boldt and MaryAnn (Art) Webber. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim Vargo, in 2005. A private entombment for Norma will be held at the Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Visit her page at Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home.

Lynn D. Whyle, Vicksburg, passed away April 16, at home. Lynn was born August 10, 1946 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of the late Charles and Evelyn (Swan) Senne and a lifelong resident in the Kalamazoo area. She was employed for 30 years with the Upjohn Company and enjoyed doing crafts which involved quilting and needlework. She also enjoyed spending time on the computer and doing volunteer work in Lake Placid, Fla. for five years, just after her retirement. On October 25, 1985 she was united in marriage to her loving husband, Robert “Bob” Whyle III, who survives. Also surviving are her children, Julie (Ben) Glazebrook, Stephen (Sarah) Bauserman; grandchildren Kelsey Emery, Carly and Alexander Glazebrook; step-children Deborah Waite, Carla Harrington, and Robert Whyle IV; brother, Richard Senne; and several nieces and nephews. Lynn was preceded in death by a sister, Patricia “Patti” Capman. Services were held on April 21 at the Langeland Family Funeral Home. Interment was at Riverside Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Grace Hospice.


Barbara Jane Ackerman, passed away peacefully Feb. 24, surrounded by family. Barbara was born in Grandville on March 9, 1935 to John and Freda Imanse. When Barb’s father started a business delivering home heating oil in 1945, the family moved to Vicksburg. Barb married her childhood sweetheart, Chuck (Charles), on October 7, 1952. Married for 65 years, and together for more, they shared a love of family and of sports, as spectators, but even more as participants. Barb and Chuck raised four sons who survive, Greg (Vicki), Rod (Sandy), Brian (Joyce), and Dave (Liz). They have 10 grandchildren, Kelly (John) Christiansen, Matt (Asmita) Ackerman, Jacob Ackerman, Amy (Doug) Collins, Adam (Kristen) Ackerman, Anna (Andy) Rosko, Allison (Josh White, fiancé) Ackerman, Audrey (Wesley) Cimmarrusti, Carley Ackerman and Cameron Ackerman. The family continues to grow with seven great grandchildren and one soon to join them in March. Barb is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Virginia and David Sargeant of Australia; brothers and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Charles, John (Sally) Ackerman, Denise (Doug) Parker, Bonnie (Tom) Ivens, DeWayne Bowen, Pat Imanse, Ron Boelman and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bruce Imanse, sister June Boelman, brothers-in-law Walt Ackerman and Gus Charles and sisters-in-law Culia Ackerman and Mary Bowen. Along with her parents, Barb and Chuck were founding members of Lakeland Reformed Church where her funeral service was held. Donations may go to the church and the National Alzheimer’s Association. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Homes, Vicksburg.

Leroy A. Bross, 91, passed away Feb. 11. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Shirley A. Bross (Ackerman), brothers Charles Bross, Richard Bross and his parents, August and Rose Bross. He was born in Porter, Ind. on Feb. 24, 1926. Surviving are his children, Richard Bross (Sue), Swartz Creek, Mich., Allen Bross (Nora) Nashville, Mich., and Pamela DeCuypere (Jeff), Vicksburg. He is also survived by six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, many friends, and special caregiver Patty DeCuypere. He quit school to join the navy, serving from 1943-1946, and the army, serving from 1948-1954. He was promoted to sergeant while serving in France. He was a mechanic with the zone’s 7805th Area Command in Orleans. He holds the American Theater Campaign medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater ribbon, Philippine Liberation medal, Good Conduct medal and Army of Occupation medal for service in Japan. After leaving the military, he went back to school to get his GED. From 1954 to 1960, he worked at Bilbia Marathon Station in Battle Creek. In May 1961, he went to work for the Department of Natural Resources, where he worked for 25 years. After the passing of his wife, he moved to Vicksburg to live with Pam and Jeff. He built a small cottage where he was able to watch wildlife at its glory. He was a founder of the Circle D Wildlife Refuge, responsible for a large part of the progress of the Refuge. Donations may go to Circle D Wildlife Refuge. He will be buried next to the love of his life at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta. Services will be held later in the spring, followed by a celebration of his life at Fort Custer Recreation Area.

Anna Marie (Matz) Linton, 107, Vicksburg, died Feb. 24. She was born February 14, 1911, to Pietro Mazza “Pete Matz” and Marietta “Mary Caterina,” who were children when they travelled to the United States from southern Italy. Ann grew up in an immigrant neighborhood south of Chicago known as “Hungry Hill.” The family moved to Vicksburg in 1923, where Pete and Mary started Matz’s Confectionery. As she grew up, Ann always helped her parents in the store. She graduated from Vicksburg High School and later from Western State Teachers College, the first in her family to complete both high school and college. Ann’s first job was teaching fourth grade in Vicksburg. Clayton Linton, a star athlete with James Dean looks, joined the staff as a teacher and coach. On June 15, 1940, they were married. Clayton joined the Navy and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands for the rest of WWII. After the war, Clayton became a principal at Vicksburg High School. Policy dictated that a husband and wife couldn’t teach in the same school system. Later on, Ann returned to teaching and taught first grade at Milham School in Portage. She also joined the teachers’ bowling and golf leagues, earning a few trophies. Ann and Clayton loved dining and dancing at the Elks Club and dining at the Beacon Club. She also volunteered at church, Borgess Hospital, and was an aide teaching reading at Sunset Elementary, where she received the Star Award. She went on a trip to Italy and Sicily when she was 96, visiting the towns where her parents and grandparents were born. Ann golfed until she was 93, and bowled until she was 100. At the age of 100, she left her home and spent the next seven years at Bickford Cottage of Portage. Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Mary Matz, her husband, Clayton Linton, and her brother, Joseph Matz, and his wife, Veronica. She is survived by her daughter, MaryAnn (Robert) Hayward; grandchildren Darcy (Stephen) Staley and Trent (Cindy) Hayward; and great-grandchildren Darby (Andy) Disselkoen, Emma Walhout, Alex Walhout, Megan Hayward, Macy Hayward, Samuel Staley, and Isaac Staley. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Lakeland Reformed Church in May. Donations may go to Lakeland Reformed Church, Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation (please designate student scholarships or teacher grants), or a charity of your choice.

Louise Claire Marks-Russell-Waldron, passed away March 7 at Fairview Nursing Home after several years of health issues. Louise was born on March 23, 1939 to Clair and Marion (McNett) Marks in Kalamazoo. When she was three years old, her mother married Maurice Russell, a military man. This gave Louise the opportunity to live in several states growing up. They moved back to Vicksburg to raise their family. Louise had eight brothers; Dan (Wendy) Russell, of Indiana, Tom and Judith Russell, of New Mexico, Joel Russell, Rick Russell, of Centreville, David (Kathy) Russell, of Portage, Ben Russell of California, Duane Marks, Clair “Bucky”, and a sister, Diane Marks. Louise had a fun-filled childhood with such a large family and lots of cousins to play with. She always had a fun filled spirit! In 1954 at the age of 15, Louise married Wayne Waldron of Vicksburg. They started a family right away. By the time she was 21 she had been blessed with four children; Michael Waldron, of Vicksburg; Steven (Kathy) Waldron, of Vicksburg; Diana (Alan) VanOrnam, of Vicksburg; and Christine (Randy) Mohney, of Schoolcraft. In 1979 she married Bruce Jones of Kalamazoo. They had several variety shops in Leonidas, Mendon and Centreville, which she loved. Louise loved being with people and loved being in retail. Louise was blessed with 15 grandchildren; Michael Waldron, of Saginaw, Amanda Waldron, of Vicksburg, Jesse (Susan) VanOrnam of Scotts, Nick VanOrnam, of Vicksburg, Shanna (Shawn) Herington, of Delton, Ben (Rebecca) Walters, of Vicksburg, Christina Markus, of Kalamazoo, Steven (Mary) Waldron, of Vicksburg, Sarah Waldron (Don Knowles), of Kalamazoo, and Callie Mohney, of Delton. Louise also had great grandchildren Logan, Keegan, Lilly, Zoey, Chloe, Charliegh, Isabelle, George, and Brinley. Louise was also a great great grandmother to Rieonta and Isabelle. Louise was preceded in death by her parents, Clair Marks, Maurice and Marion Russell and her brothers, Joel Russell, Clair “Bucky” Marks and her sister, Diane Marks. There was a graveside memorial to celebrate Louise’s life on March 24, at Factoryville Cemetery in Leonidas. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Larry Dale Parker, 81, a former resident of Schoolcraft and Crossville, Tenn. for the last five years, died on his birthday, March 28. Larry grew up on a farm in Winterset, IA. He would tell fantastic and funny stories about farm life. His childhood pastimes involved fishing, hunting, and playing pranks. Later in life, you could catch Larry almost every weekend at States Golf Course. One of the highlights of his life was getting a hole in one. Larry was the biggest fan of all six of his children, all athletes. He loved fishing with his kids, would take them camping, and enjoyed spending time playing cards or board games. He served in the Marine Corps. He worked for General Motors for over 40 years, first in a plant near Chicago and later in Kalamazoo. He was known for being a very talented tool and die maker and even was rewarded for inventing a new manufacturing process at GM. Larry will be especially missed by his wife, Joyce, and his children, Kirk (wife Silke), Tom (wife Cathy), Rich (wife Yuki), Scott (wife Katsuyo), and Mandy (husband Huw). Larry is also survived by 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Mabel, a brother, Loren, and son, Mark.

Phyllis Adele Roe, 95, Scotts, passed away March 25. She was born on March 7, 1923 in Redford. She was the daughter of George and Grace (Grady) Lobig. Phyllis graduated from Climax High School in 1941. On September 26, 1942 she married Tony Roe. She worked as a clerk at Sinclair Market in Climax. She liked to play golf and go fishing and was the best fish cooker around. She is survived by her three children, Danny (Robin) Roe, of Climax; Jack (Lynda) Roe, of South Carolina and Roger Roe, of Virginia; eight grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and three great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tony, sisters June Burgett and Josephine Wessel and brother Dale Lobig. A gathering will be held at American Legion Post 465 in Climax in April. Visit her page at Donations may go to Southern Care Hospice and/or American Legion Post 465. Family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel.

Morris ‘Ron’ Salisbury
, Scotts, passed away March 3 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Battle Creek. He was born on June 10, 1942 in Galesburg, the son of the late Morris and Alice (Scharping) Salisbury. Ron was employed by Kalamazoo County Road Commission for 37 years until his retirement in 1998. On October 27, 1962, he was married to Linda (Etter) Salisbury, who preceded him in death on March 10, 2013. Surviving are their daughters, Denise (David) Adams of Fulton, and Teri (Randy) Pack of Vicksburg; grandchildren David (Mary) Adams, Nina (Ian) Bostocky, Brittany (Randy) Pack, Angela (Markes) Prude, Lindsey (Kyle) Otis and Nicholas (Erica Dunham) Wolf; 10 great grandchildren; and a brother, James (Mary) Salisbury of Scotts. He was preceded in death by a toddler sister, Maureen Salisbury. Funeral services were held at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Climax Chapel. Interment followed in Boughton Cemetery. Donations may go to Grace Hospice or Brookdale Assisted Living, Battle Creek.

Steven Carl Woloszyk, died unexpectedly Feb. 23. He was born to Carl and Kathleen (Provost) Woloszyk on December 13, 1970 in Rogers City. His family included his wife, Dianne; stepchildren Nathan Thompson (Kristin) of Galesburg, Brandon Thompson (Angie) of Menifee, Calif. and Alyssa Thompson of Vicksburg; a brother, Brian, of Grand Rapids; grandparent Maxine Provost of Florida; an aunt, Diane (Terrence) Sheldon of Avon Park, FL, and Darlene (Richard) Lewandowski of Posen, Mich; a nephew, Joseph, a step-grandchild, Charlie Mae Thompson, and numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles from the Woloszyk, Provost, and Dianne’s families. Steven was preceded in death by three of his grandparents, aunt Jeanette (Duane) Maxwell; cousin Matthew Lewandowski and numerous aunts and uncles. Steven was a mortgage broker for 15 years. He was most recently employed for Prime Lending in Portage. He grew up and graduated from Grand Ledge High School. He completed a degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Finance from WMU. He enjoyed backpacking, running, traveling, deer hunting, reading, family and friends. Donations may go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kalamazoo or to the family.


Mary Evelyn Bell, 79, Vicksburg, passed February 19. She is survived by her sons, Thomas (Lisa) Bell of Yardley, Pa., Matthew (Jackie) Bell of Vicksburg, and James Bell of Armada, Mich.; and grandchildren Anthony, Dmitry, Joanna, Katie, Marlena and Zbigniew. She is also survived by siblings Farmer (Linda) Harris, of Canada and Marilyn (Roy) Puckrin, of Canada. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Frank Bell, in 2012; and a brother, Bill Harris. A memorial service was held on Saturday, February 24 at Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg. Please visit Mary Evelyn’s webpage at where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, and share a memory. Those who wish may make a contribution to the Vicksburg Library and Great Lakes Caring Hospice.

John L. Frakes
, 62, Vicksburg, passed away February 13. He was born to John C. and Marjorie (Baldwin) Frakes on November 4, 1955. John graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1973 and received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. Right out of college, he began working for the City of Marshall. From there, John worked for the City of Battle Creek and then for the City of Allentown, Pa. He and his wife, Cyndi, spent seven years living there before moving back to the Vicksburg area in 1988. He was employed as treasurer and assessor for the City of Parchment from 1990 until retirement after 25 years. John’s family includes his wife, Cynthia; children Jonathan (Michele) Frakes, of Portage and Heather Frakes, of New York; grandchildren Gianna, Brighton, Everett, Aneli and Maverick; siblings Barb (Ted) Sanger, of Jackson; Randy (Rick King) Frakes, of Florida; and Karen (Steve) Marshall, of Georgia. The family received friends on February 23. A memorial service was held Saturday, February 24 at Wakeshma Community Church, Fulton. Please visit John’s webpage at where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to the Wakeshma Community Church and Hospice care of Southwest Michigan.

Linda Sue (Bartos) (Clark) Harvey, 73, passed away February 8, in the loving care of her sons in Canton, OH, while she was visiting. She was born on April 2, 1944 to the late Elton J. (Al) and June L. (Adams) Bartos. She grew up in the Vicksburg area, graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1963. In 1968 Linda married Richard Lee Clark, with whom she had two sons. Later, she and her sons joined the family of Wilbur Duane Harvey and his three children when they were married in 1979. They enjoyed many happy years together until Wilbur’s death in 2008. Linda was a kind and loving person, willing to help her friends from the Hearthside II apartments. She always enjoyed playing bingo, cards and walking dogs for her friends. She is survived by her sons, Douglas Alan Clark and Michael Lee Clark, both of Canton, Ohio, step-children Gary (Joanie) Harvey, Danny and Dawn Harvey, all of Kalamazoo, grandchildren Douglas Jr. (Bubba) Clark, Jacob Clark and Kala Clark all of Ohio, great-grandchildren Noah and Amelia Clark of Ohio, sisters Margie (Robert) Goertler and Shirley (Gary) Meyle, nieces Carmon (Bill) Kammerer of South Bend, Ind., Shelly (Shannon) Burnett, Erin (Scott) Brown, and Lahni (Francisco) Tapia all of Kalamazoo, and several step-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren as well as cousins and friends. Donations may go to American Cancer Society or Aultman Hospice.

Dorothy Hastings, 87, Vicksburg, passed away February 8, surrounded by family. Dorothy was born on September 27, 1930 to Levi and Fanny (Johnson) Cox. Dorothy’s family includes her husband of 65 years, Tom; children Tom (Sharon) Hastings Jr., Maggie (Tim) Corbin and Ann (Tom) Hahn; grandchildren Molly and Hannah Blatt and brother Bill Cox of Miami, Fla. She was preceded in death by her parents; son Timothy, who passed away at birth; her sister, Jeannie Ladd, and her nephew, Jerry Lee Annis. Visit Dorothy’s page at Dorothy was a loving, sweet woman. She was devoted to her family who will deeply miss her. A celebration of her life is being planned for this summer.

Charles D. Hord, 92, Schoolcraft and Punta Gorda, Fla., passed away January 26. Chuck was born in Three Rivers, on November 20, 1925, the son of Clyde and Letha Hord. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Phyllis Hord; sister Arlene Hord Wells and brother-in-law Jan, son Charles D. Hord, Jr. and wife Frenchie, step-children Sue and Rod Eliason, Martha and Patrick Phelps, Bruce and Mickie Sweet, and Craig and Theresa Sweet, several grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a great great grandchild. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ethyl Hord; brother Bill Hord, son Robert Hord and grandson Charles D. Hord III. Chuck served in the United States Army during WWII in the European Theater. He had a 40-year career as a railroad engineer on the New York Central, Pennsylvania Central and finally Conrail lines. He was a member of the Retired Railroaders. Chuck was an active member of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church and Cleveland United Methodist Church in Florida and an avid golfer and member of the Deep Creek Golf Club. A memorial service will be held in Michigan in the spring. Contributions in his memory may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) program or a charity of your choosing. We remember Chuck’s famous advice to “keep your head down”, and his work ethic, devotion and love of his family and friends. Visit his page at

(Gerald) Jerry M. Kott, 82, Vicksburg, passed away February 19 at Borgess Hospital. Jerry was born on November 8, 1935 to Harlow and Grace (McNally) Kott. While growing up, Jerry was active in the Boy Scouts, and achieved the highest and most prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1954. From there, Jerry went on to Western Michigan University. With hard work, he also went on to get his certified life insurance underwriter’s license, which isn’t a license that is easy to get. Jerry was very successful in his career, and after many years he became vice president of Burnham and Flower Insurance Agency. He served as the Vicksburg Rotary Club president in 1976-77. Someone who lived life to the fullest, Jerry was truly one of a kind. He was a jokester with a great sense of humor and a fun-loving personality. Jerry had the amazing ability to get others to believe any story he told, and then in the end he almost always told them it was a joke. A funeral service was held on Monday, February 26 at Life Story Funeral Home in Vicksburg. Jerry is survived by his daughters, Diana (Hal) Blanchard and Ann (Rick) Hughey; a brother, James Kott; grandchildren Erin Courtney, Tiffany (André) Bouvrette, Allen (Dannette) Hughey and Kati (Matthew) Roberts; great grandchildren Rylie, Kamie, Lincoln, Kendall, Marshall and baby Delilah born on Feb. 21. He was preceded in death by his parents and his loving wife of 50 years, Carol. Please visit Jerry’s memory page at where you can read his life story, archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the Vicksburg Historical Society.

Glen Phillips, 91, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at home Feb. 14. He is survived by his wife, Connie (Kuivenhoven-Kreider) Phillips; a brother, Max (Stella) Ball; children Sheri (Jerry) VanAvery, Gale (Cindy) Phillips and Sue (Frank) Roberts; stepchildren Terry Kreider, Karen (Bill) Kreider-Sorensen and Kay (Mark Bissot) Kreider. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and six step great grandchildren, plus many extended families. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Clarissa (Schmitt) Phillips, a brother and four sisters. A funeral service was held on Monday, Feb. 19 at Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg with burial at Mount Ever-Rest. Please visit Glen’s page Donations may go to Hospice Care of SW Michigan, Loaves and Fishes, Boy Scouts of America and Juvenile Diabetes.

Linda Schuring, Vicksburg, passed away at home February 15. She was born to Daniel and Ramona (Murray) Moyle on July 20, 1942. She graduated from Mattawan High School in 1960. On Jan. 22, 1972, she married Jerry Schuring, who adopted her three children. She and Jerry were blessed with one son, J.J. In 1990, they established J.L. Milling Inc. together. She was an amazing cook who specialized in making olie cookins, which are a Dutch treat. Linda’s family includes her husband, Jerry; children Tim (Karen Furlong), Mike (Tracey), J. J. (Tracey DeVaney); grandchildren Sarah (Andy), Samantha (Adam), Timmy (Jessica), Shannon, Megan (Phil), Cassondra, Mikey, Shianne, Kody Bishop and Kaley Bishop; great grandchildren Tatum, Cohen, Peyton, Brooke, Alaina, Bentley, Emma S., Emma H., Ella, Delaney, Tensleey, Kimber, Jayce; brothers Danny (Barb) Moyle, David Moyle, Dicky (Sharon) Moyle; and her brother in law, Don Boven, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by parents, step-father Giles Wright; son Johnny; sister Mary Kay Boven. Visit Linda’s page at Donations may go to Mattawan Area Pantry or Animal Rescue Project.

Alasdair Matthew Shaw, Vicksburg, passed away at 4:38 in the morning of February 3. At 7 pounds 11.8 ounces, 20 ½ inches, Alasdair came into this world as a stillbirth. “Though we may never know why or what wrong, we will love you forever. This very short time is precious. Maybe something could’ve been avoided? Maybe it was just meant to be. Your mother and I may never get to see you grow, drop you off at school, watch your high school baseball games, but that will never change how much either of us love you. I wish we had answers, I wish we knew why. Watch over your mother, watch over your brothers. Your daddy loves you.” Alasdair means defender of mankind, a suitable name for God’s newest angel. Alasdair is survived by his two brothers, Aiden and Asher, as well as his parents, Grace and Alex. Visit Alasdair’s page at

Carolyn Lee Wise, 69, Scotts, passed away on February 21 at the Laurels in Galesburg. Carolyn was born March 4, 1948 to George and Caroll (Keller) Wise. Carolyn is survived by her mother, Caroll; her brother Richard (Carolyn Sue) Wise; one nephew Scott (Jill) Wise; nieces Shellie (Bill) Gibson and Alisha Wise; great nieces Grace Gibson, Emma Gibson and Allison Wise and great nephew Gavin Wise. Carolyn was preceded in death by her father, George. Carolyn worked many years for Dairy Herd Improvement Association. She grew up active in 4H and was involved in the Kalamazoo County Fair. Carolyn lived for her family that will deeply miss her. Visit Carolyn’s page at

Obituaries: September, 2013

Peggy Jean Swinehart, Vicksburg

Peggy Jean born January 22, 1933, died peacefully in her sleep September 18, 2013.

Surviving Peggy is her husband Robert, son Don, and daughter Kathleen (Patrick) Meyers. Grandsons Chris, Brad, Nicholas, Robert, Craig, along with four great grandchildren. Also surviving are brother Bill and Jack. Peggy was preceded in death by a son, Douglas. Services were held Friday, September 27 at Vicksburg United Methodist Church with Pastor Bufford Coe officiating. Arrangements by Avink Cremation Society.

Peter Frank Tindall, Vicksburg

Passed away September 11, 2013. Peter was born August 6, 1990, the son of Frank and Marianne (Salata) Tindall and had been a lifelong resident of the Vicksburg area. He was a 2008 graduate of Vicksburg High School.

Peter is survived by his parents, Frank and Marianne Tindall of Vicksburg: a daughter, Caroline Annabelle Tindall; a brother, David Theordore Lepak; his aunt, Pamela Alnutt; several cousins, including two very special cousins. Tim and Don Alnutt; and many close friends. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, September 16, at St. Martin’s Catholic Church with Rev. Fr. Chris Ankley, officiant. The family received friends at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes. Memorials may be sent to any PNC Bank, in the name of: “Marianne Tindall in the trust of Caroline Annabelle Tindall.”

Helen Melvin, Schoolcraft

Helen Melvin, of Schoolcraft, died on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. Helen’s family includes her three children: Jerry (Janet) Melvin, of Eastpointe; Robert (Judy) Melvin, of Portage; David (Linda Walsh) Melvin, of Schoolcraft; seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; and her siblings: Alice (Robert) Duncan, of Kalamazoo; Frank (Joyce) Hragyil, of FL; Nancy (George) Kolosar, of Paw Paw. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Melvin, Sr. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, September 10 at 11AM at St. Martin’s. Burial at Schoolcraft Cemetery.

Please visit Helen’s webpage at http://www.lifestorynet. com where you can leave a memory and sign the guestbook. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the D.A.V. Robert Potgiesser, Vicksburg

Robert A. Potgiesser, of Vicksburg, Michigan passed away on Monday, September 2, 2013 at the age of 71. Bob is survived by his daughter, April Potgiesser, of Vicksburg. He was preceded in death by his parents: John and Lucille Potgiesser. Funeral services were held on Friday, September 6, at Life Story Funeral Home, with Pastor Dave Downs officiating.

The burial took place at Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo. Please visit Robert’s webpage at where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook, and share a memory. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to The Nature Conservancy, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and/or National Wildlife Federation.

George A. Richardson, Vicksburg

George A. Richardson, 62, of Vicksburg, passed away August 28, 2013 after a battle with cancer. George was born October 20, 1950 in Kalamazoo to Bayard E. and Lillian Richardson. He spent his youth in the Kalamazoo area.

When he was 10 the family moved to Clearwater, FL spending several years there before the family returned to Michigan. He spent his teens in the Portage area. George had a real zest for life and enjoyed it to the fullest.

He is survived by his wife Cathy W. Richardson, his children Elizabeth Ophelia & William Ketcherside (Elloree, South Carolina) Barry & Melissa Richardson (Vicksburg), and Jonathan & Carolyn Richardson (Vicksburg) Grandchildren Vanesha, Ivy, Jenna, Kera & Bayard. His sister Elise Lehr of Kalamazoo, brother Bill (Sue)Richardson of Vicksburg, sister Barb (Paul) Romig of Three Rivers, and sister Phyllis (Tom) O’Keefe of Delton. His Southern Family along with tons of nieces, nephews and many special friends. He was preceded in death by a son, Christopher George, his parents and two brothers, James E.and Bayard E. Richardson. Internment will take place at a later date in Hardeevile, South Carolina. A memorial service held on September 6 at the United Methodist Church in Vicksburg. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice Care of SW Michigan, St. Judes Hospital or the SIDS Foundation.