Obituaries

Mark D. Barnebee, 58, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 6, 2021. Mark was born on Dec. 26, 1962 in Kalamazoo, the son of James and Judith (Olin) Barnebee. Mark graduated from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1981. On July 25, 1998 he married Dawn Griffith and together they had one daughter, Ashley. For the past eight years Mark has worked for Pfizer as a chemical operator, and prior to that he worked at Harborlite Corporation. In his spare time he enjoyed grilling, playing golf, going to the casino, and spending time with family. He followed University of Michigan sports, the Dallas Cowboys and the Red Wings. Mark is survived by his wife, Dawn; daughter Ashley Barnebee of Portage; and one grandchild on the way. He is also survived by his mother, Judith Barnebee of Portage; brother Scott (Jenifer) Barnebee of Vicksburg; and several nieces and nephews. Mark will be cremated, and due to COVID restrictions, a gathering to honor his memory is being planned for a later date. Visit Mark’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Association or Generous Hands.

Joyce Elizabeth Blodgett, 82, Schoolcraft, passed away at her home Feb. 23, 2021. She was born on Sept. 6, 1938 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Lester and Helen (Wright) Ryskamp. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1956. On Sept. 7, 1957 she married the late Andrew D. Blodgett. They were married for 33 years and raised their family in Schoolcraft. Andy and Joyce opened the first Blodgett family business, Green Acres, in 1967, and later Andrea’s Flower Shop located on US-131 in Schoolcraft. She worked over 20 years at Hudson’s and retired from Macy’s. She was preceded in death by her son, Andrew G. Blodgett; granddaughter Paige Bilicke; and brother Lester Ryskamp. Surviving are her children Terry W. (Cindy) Blodgett, Robin L. (Avery) Delaney, Kevin S. Blodgett, Pam (Jerry Jonckheere) Blodgett, Tony (Kristy) Blodgett; younger sister Carol (Sam) Pilat and her baby sister Linda (Mike) Dunphey; 25 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Assembly of God, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or sent to Pam Blodgett, 220 Lyon St., NW – Suite 540, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Randall (Randy) John Frakes, 66, Panama City Beach, Fla., formerly of Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 9, 2021, after a long illness. Randy, born on March 28, 1954, was a talented artist, and had a passion for cooking and entertaining. Wherever his home, it was a gathering place full of good times and friends. Even during his illness, he would prepare delightful dinners for guests. He was a nurturer of all, forever taking in stray cats, feeding and caring for them as well. During his earlier years, he enjoyed hunting, especially squirrel and deer with members of the family. It was a must to be in Sidnaw, Mich. on Nov. 15 for the opening of deer season. Randy is survived by his partner of 25 years, Richard King, sisters Barbara (Ted) Sanger and Karen (Steve) Marshall, sister-in-law Cyndi Frakes, niece Heather Frakes, nephews Jason (Missy) Sanger, Kell (Brittany) Sanger, Jonathan (Michelle) Frakes, Ben, Jake and Matthew Marshall, several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Marjorie (Baldwin) Frakes, and brother John L. Frakes. Donations may go to their local humane society in his name.

Barbara Jean (Munn) Griner, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 6, 2021. Barbara was born June 6, 1922, the daughter of Mercer and Florence (Godshalk) Munn. Growing up in Vicksburg, Barbara’s early life centered on family, the community, and her church. She graduated from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1942, then attended business college and worked for her father’s insurance business. This business suited her well, and she eventually worked for Schuring Insurance, retiring in 1990. Friends introduced her to Donald Guy Griner, and they were married on May 15, 1946. They settled in Vicksburg and raised their three daughters, Lynn, Beth, and Karla. She encouraged all of her girls’ endeavors, often volunteering her time and talents. The family looked forward to their traditional events, including trips to their cabin in Lovells, Michigan, and attending the St. Joseph County Fair. Barbara enjoyed time spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Donations may go to Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Visit Barbara’s page please at mccowensecord.com.

Carol Ann Henderson, 80, Scotts, passed away Feb. 10, 2021. She was born May 3, 1940 in Parchment, the daughter of Peter and Ethel (Morris) Fish. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1958. Following graduation, she married the love of her life, Richard Henderson, on Dec. 6, 1958. They were together for 62 years, and together raised three wonderful children, Rebecca, Bradley, and Brent. She retired from Fidelity after 17 years of service and enjoyed traveling south during the winter months. She also loved camping, fishing, mushroom hunting, travelling to Canada and spending time with her grandchildren and her many cats. She was preceded in her passing by her parents. Carol is survived by her husband Richard; children Rebecca (Jerry) Dunklee, Bradley (Vonda) Henderson,and Brent (Joan) Henderson; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

John Albert Hodgman, 77, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 19, 2021. John was born on Jan. 31, 1944 in Kalamazoo, the son of Albert Theo Hodgman and Ruth Agnes (Kaiser). He was a lifelong resident of Vicksburg, graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1962. He honorably served the United States Armed forces until his discharge in 1965. His mother introduced him to the love of his life, Jacque, and they were married on April 1, 1966. John was employed with National Waterlift/Parker Hannifin from 1965 until his 2004 retirement. He was a man of few words who loved his family, friends, all things Harley Davidson and racing related, as well as the Detroit Lions and Tigers. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Lila Burgess and Joyce Phelps; and brothers George Hodgman and Roy Hodgman. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jacqueline (Havinga) Hodgman; children Cindy (Mike) Waldon and John (Martha) Hodgman; grandson Mike Waldon; sister Claudia Burgess; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held on a later date. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and Senior Services Meals on Wheels. The family is being assisted by Avink Funeral Home and Cremation Society, Schoolcraft.

Jerry Houser, 93, Vicksburg, passed away Feb, 1, 2021. Jerry was born on Jan. 26, 1928 in Pontiac, the son of George and Ruby (Martin) Houser. Cremation has taken place per Jerry’s wishes. The family is being assisted by McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel.

Robert “Bob” D. McCowen, 74, Clark Lake, Mich., passed away in Fort Myers, Fla. Jan. 31, 2021. Bob was born on Jan. 21, 1947 in Kalamazoo, the son of Robert H. and Vivian J. (Smith) McCowen. Bob graduated from University High in Kalamazoo with the class of 1965. He went to Michigan State University where he earned a degree in management. He got a degree in accounting at Western Michigan University and became a CPA. On May 21, 1994 he married Sue McCowen. He is survived by his wife Sue; children Steve (Jenny) McCowen, of Schoolcraft, Jeff (Melanie) McCowen of Virginia, Heather Cordell of Jackson, Michelle (Reggie) Chapa of Texas, and Andy (Kristen) Cordell of Kalamazoo; grandchildren Mackenzie, Joey, Stephen, Nicholas, Katherine, Morgan, Madelyn, Nathan, Dylan, Emma and Evan. He is also survived by his mother, Vivian McCowen, of Kalamazoo; sister-in-law Rose McCowen of Georgia; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert H. McCowen and brother Tom McCowen. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, clarklakespirit.com.

Joseph E. Olney III, 66, Vicksburg-Schoolcraft area, passed away at home Feb. 12, 2021 of congestive heart failure/COPD. He was born Nov. 6, 1954, to Joseph E. Olney II and Patricia (Cousins) Olney-Ross. He was raised in the Fulton area and worked most of his life as a machinist/welder with various companies, retiring eventually on disability due to problems with heart and spina bifida. He married Christine Ludwig-Rodriquez in 1989 and helped raise her two daughters. He was an avid morel mushroom hunter and fisherman and loved cars. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, a step-granddaughter, and a niece and nephew. Surviving are step-daughters Wendy and Heather Rodriquez; step-grandchildren Caleb Sugden, Jace and HarLeigh; step great-grandson Leigham Sugden; brother Michael (Kim) Olney; sisters Judy Noel, Beverly (Thomas) Compton, and Deborah (Charles) Rife; and step-brothers Terry (Karin Thorne) Ross and Thomas Ross. Donations may go to Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Sue A. Ripley, 78, passed away Feb. 6, 2021. Sue was born on June 16, 1942 to Lawrence and Elizabeth (Strait) Miller. Sue is survived by her sister, Jodie (Terry) Cripps; son Brian (Tamela) Campbell; daughter Kris Campbell; and grandchildren Brenda (Jim) Backoff and Rich Campbell. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother and sister-in-law Michael (Mick) and Caroline Miller; and her husband, Robert (Bob) Ripley. After graduating with the Central High School class of 1960 in Muncie, Ind., Susie attended Ball State University, earning her associate degree as a secretary. She worked as an HR technician for more than 25 years at the Upjohn Company. There she met Bob; they were married in 1988. Sue and Bob shared many interests including a love of water and boating, socializing with friends, traveling to warm, sunny destinations, and watching sports. Sue’s deepest happiness came from being surrounded by her family and the people she loved. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Terry Marshall Smith, 68, Portage, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away on Feb. 4, 2021. He was born to Belmonte and Gloria (Gilley) Smith on Feb. 22, 1952, in Kalamazoo and grew up in Fulton. He was a 1970 graduate of Vicksburg High School, where he enjoyed playing sports, excelling in football and track. He also joined a band with some fellow classmates, playing the bass guitar. During the spring of his senior year in high school, he suffered a horrible head injury while pole vaulting. He dealt with the after-effects of that injury and many more physical ailments the remainder of his life. Through it all, he rarely complained and truly was, in his own words, “tough, just plain tough.” He worked at the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for 30 years, and his family was a great source of pride to him. Terry is survived by his three children, Jeff (Erin), Ben (Michelle) and Andrew; 14 grandchildren; and siblings Dan (Vicki) Smith, Steve (Judy) Smith and Donna (Dwight) Blodgett. He was preceded in death by his parents. Services have been held. Donations may go to the Vicksburg High School Athletic Boosters.

Ronald John Spiker, 83, Schoolcraft, passed away at Bronson Hospital Feb. 1, 2021 after sustaining injuries from a tractor accident on his farm. Ron was born and raised in Kalamazoo and was a graduate of Kalamazoo Central’s class of 1955. Ron joined the Navy and was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, from 1955-1958. Ron worked as an air traffic controller with the FAA until 1981, forming many lifelong friendships. He worked in many busy control towers, including Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Hawaii and Oklahoma.  Ron was a proud member of the Operating Engineers Local 324 from which he retired in 1999. Ron enjoyed family, being outdoors, gardening, hunting, and Tiger baseball. Ron is survived by his children, John (Barbara) Spiker and Susan (Neil) Farrell; grandchildren John (Camilla) Herron, Myra (Nathan) Delaney, Jessica Farrell, Christina (Michael) Dimovski; and great-grandchildren Katelynn Delaney, William Delaney, Aleksandar Dimovski, Ivan Dimovski and Saoirse Herron. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Stella (Fus) Spiker.

Richard Wayne Tully, 79, Schoolcraft, passed away Feb. 11, 2021. Richard was born June 24, 1941 in Charleston, West Virginia. His family moved to Mt. Pleasant, where he met Barbara Kay Johnston. They were married July 1, 1961. He joined the U.S. Army, serving from 1961-1964. He was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. The young family moved to Albion and eventually settled in Schoolcraft, where Richard started a driving career, hauling liquid oxygen for AGA Burdox (Gases), retiring in 1998. Richard was a devout Christian and loved music. Richard was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, Barbara Kay Johnston; daughter Dyana Lee Johnson (Brett); granddaughter Eliya Monet Rain Hayward; parents Silas Edgar and Rebecca; and brother David Tully. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in law Angie (Russell) Hayward of Mattawan, Becky (Nathan) Volker of Allegan, Cindy (Bill) Hetrick of Vicksburg and Brett Johnson of Portage; grandchildren David (Katie) Hayward, Kerigan Hayward, Cole (Kate) Hayward, Molly Hayward, Seth Hayward, Randi (Frank) Salisbury, Jordan (Carissa) Hayward, Ben Hayward, Leah Hayward, Tatum Hayward, Daniel (Rochelle) Stroud, Jimmy (Deziree) Page, Bridgette (Gideon) Page, Emmaline (Kyle) Harvey, Jeremiah Johnson, Zechariah Johnson; and 21 great-grandchildren; brother Daniel Tully; sister Gloria Murphy; and many nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Assembly of God Benevolent Fund. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Joel Lynn Ulsh, 73, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 17, 2021. He was born Aug. 27, 1947 in Kalamazoo, the son of Eldon and Arlene (Richards) Ulsh. Joel attended Vicksburg High School before finishing his GED while serving in the United States Army. He moved from Michigan to California in the 1980s and began his lifelong passion of working with cars. One of Joel’s favorite hobbies was to track his family’s genealogy. He was very proud of following his family tree all the way back to 1300s Germania. He was preceded in passing by his parents; siblings Bill, Eldonna, and two baby brothers. Surviving are his wife of 35 years, Louella (Baptista) Ulsh; children Joel, Tracy, Toni, Jason, and Cassidy; siblings Don and Jerry; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In accordance with Joel’s wishes, cremation has taken place, and he will be laid to rest with his father and grandparents at Beard Cemetery. While visiting Joel’s tribute, please take a moment to light a candle and share a memory. The Ulsh family is being assisted by McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes.

Charles Van Ostran, 85, Climax-Scotts area, passed away Jan. 29, 2021 at Hospice of Kalamazoo. Charles was born Dec. 17, 1935 in Traverse City to Charles and Marie Van Ostran. Charles met his wife, Deanna Jean Brown, in high school. Charles proposed to Dee at the Cheery Bowl Drive-In Theater, and they were married on Oct. 19, 1954. They moved to Kalamazoo, where he worked for Rex Paper Company. Then in 1965, Charles was hired by General Motors, where he spent 30 years as a journeyman tool and die maker. He retired in 1995 and moved to Climax-Scotts where he enjoyed gardening, sports, fishing, and vacationing in Traverse City with Kathy and Neil. Charles is survived by his wife of 66 years, Deanna; brothers Bert (Pam) and Lyle; sisters Doris (Ed) and Ruth; sons Charles (Nancy), Scott (Carmin) and Doug (Dee); several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Charles was preceded in death by his mother and father, his son Terry and his granddaughter Jennifer.

Michael Gale Voss, 54, Marcellus, passed away at home Jan. 26, 2021, surrounded by his family. Michael was born in Kalamazoo on May 2, 1966, the son of Gale Alden Voss and Patricia Ann Wdowicki. On Mar. 28, 1992, in Paw Paw, he married DeeAnn (Melville) Voss, who survives. Michael was a lab technician, working for many years at J. Rettenmaier USA of Schoolcraft. He also enjoyed his seasonal time working at Melville’s Campground in Marcellus. Michael most enjoyed spending his time outdoors fishing, boating and camping. Michael is survived by his father, Gale Voss of Schoolcraft; wife DeeAnn (Melville) Voss; brothers Brad (Korey Flick) Voss of Vicksburg and Jeff (Irene) Voss of Plainwell; sister Joni Voss of Kalamazoo; daughter Abigail Voss; and sons Alex (Kristi) Voss and Austin (Emily Nettie) Voss, all of Marcellus. Michael was preceded in death by his mother. Services have been held. Donations may go to West Michigan Cancer Center or to Elara Hospice Care. Visit his page at materralstonfuneralhome.com.

Marilyn June David-Irwin-Wilson, 90, went to be with her Lord on Feb. 11, 2021 at Country Living of Hillsdale. She was born in Mason on August 8, 1930, to William and Mary Benham, who predeceased her. An in-person and virtual memorial service was to be held at the Hillsdale Church of the Nazarene on Feb. 20 with Rev. Mike Prince officiating. The family is encouraging friends and family to join virtually in celebrating her life. Due to COVID-19 and family health conditions, the family is requesting all who attend in-person to wear a mask. Marilyn has been interred at Vicksburg Cemetery beside her first husband, Royal David. Marilyn had a passion for mission work. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hillsdale Church of the Nazarene to be used for missions. Please make checks payable to Hillsdale Church of the Nazarene, 208 N West St. Hillsdale MI 49242. A full obituary can be viewed at http://www.mccowensecord.com.

Obituaries

Rev. Harold Brown, 85, Vicksburg, died peacefully Jan. 16, 2021. Harold was born March 6, 1935 in Akron, Ohio, the son of Gerald and Margaret (Boger) Brown. While working at General Motors in Mansfield, Ohio, Harold’s destiny was changed by Cook Road Baptist Church, which encouraged him to pursue the ministry. Harold graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. in 1968. He pastored a few churches in the greater Kalamazoo area and started the Kalamazoo Baptist Church. Harold loved to laugh and never passed up a good buffet. Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Nora, and siblings Mary Moats, Ronnie Brown, and David Brown. He is survived by his children, Terry Brown, Danny Brown, and Dale Brown; grandchildren Jennifer, Allyssa, Russell, Melinda, Crystal, Ashley, and Ty; great-grandchildren Hunter, Evan, and Drake; siblings Joe (Nancy) Brown, Bill (Lydia) Brown, Donald Brown, and Susan Sauer; and many nieces and nephews. Services have been held. Visit his page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Maranatha Bible Baptist Church.

Jack A. Brown, 91, Portage, formerly of Plainwell and Vicksburg, passed away on Jan. 25, 2021. Jack was born on July 24, 1929 in Dayton, Ohio. He was the son of Sabert and Leslie (Truitt) Brown. On January 4, 1949 Jack married the love of his life, Ethlyn Miller and together they had three children: Janet, Lois, and Bill. Jack worked for over 40 years in Parchment for KVP as a machinist. He loved to fish, bowl, golf, and hunt. He was loving, mellow, humble, social and friendly. Jack and Ethlyn have had a special friendship with Bud and Marilyn Bekken for over 70 years. Jack is survived by his wife of 72 years, Ethlyn; three children: Janet (Warren) Wright, of Vicksburg; Lois (Derry) Sanford, of Vicksburg; Bill (Cindy) Brown, of Plainwell; six grandchildren: Laura (Mike), Doug (Chad), Thomas (Beth), Jacob (Bethany), Jodi (Dennis), Chad; 10 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and one brother. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Raylan Eugene Cubic, passed away on Jan. 24, 2021 after battling a severe congenital heart defect. Raylan was born on Dec. 28, 2020 to Thomas and Rachel Cubic of Vicksburg. Raylan faced these challenges with a resilience and fortitude that inspired all who knew his story. Raylan is survived by his parents, his twin sister, Lillian Michaela, and a host of family and other loved ones. A private service will be held, followed by interment at Harrison Cemetery where Raylan will be laid to rest among family. In lieu of flowers, Raylan’s family asks that donations be given to the family c/o Shirley Mroczek to be used to purchase small comfort items for other children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Rodney Clair “Rod” Decker, 59, Schoolcraft, died Jan. 4, 2021 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He was born in Vicksburg Nov. 23, 1961, the son of Allan R. and Geraldine M. (Spealman) Decker. He was a lifetime resident of Kalamazoo County. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1979 and later attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College. As a young man, he engaged in general farming and later worked at Portage Steel. For the past 25 years he had been employed at TDA Buddy in Kalamazoo. Rod was a member of the NRA and enjoyed target shooting. He was a MOPAR car enthusiast and looked forward to trips north for ice fishing and snowmobiling. Rod was married to Christine Shelton Sept. 23, 2016. She survives, along with sons Timothy Harger of Schoolcraft, Christopher Harger of Portage, and Aaron Harger of Schoolcraft; grandchildren Nathaniel, Ian, Avery, Joel, and Livia; sisters Tammy Decker and Karla (Bill) Hodge; brother Mark Decker; nephew Thomas (Rebecca) Decker; niece Jessica (Jeremy) Shepherd; and best friend Brian (Dorothea) Williams He was preceded in death by his parents. Visit his page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Myrna Lee Forsythe, 84, Vicksburg, died peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice on Jan. 2, 2021. Myrna was born December 3, 1936 in Reynolds, Ill., the daughter of Dale and Marian (Hahn) Wynn. She graduated from Reynolds High School in 1954, where she met Delano “Del” Forsythe. They were married July 16, 1955, in 1966 moving to Vicksburg, where they raised their family. Both Del and Myrna enjoyed traveling and the company of friends and family. Myrna was a talented cook and seamstress, and she always kept busy crafting and letter writing. She was a member of the United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women. Myrna is survived by sons Dennis (Kathleen) Forsythe and Douglas Forsythe of Vicksburg; grandchildren Nicole Rayburn, Amanda (Matthew) Nixon, Elizabeth (George) Palat, Andrew Forsythe; great grandchildren Tyler Deau, Morgan Rayburn, Allyson Rayburn, Caleb Nixon, Chloe Nixon and one on the way. She is also survived by brother-in-law Charles (Kay) Dooley; sisters-in-law Paulita Forsythe and Sharon Wynn; daughter-in-law Gloria Forsythe; several nieces, nephews, cousins; and special friend Barbara Swarthout. Myrna was preceded in death by her husband; sons Allan Forsythe and a baby boy; her parents; brother Kelly Wynn; sister Joyce Wynn Travis; and brothers-in-law Dennis Dooley, Earl Dooley, and Gary Travis. Visit Myrna’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan c/o Rose Arbor.

Dave Morris French, 78, passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo Jan. 24, 2021 after a brief illness. He was a 1960 graduate of Schoolcraft High School where he played football as a left guard. After graduation, he joined the Navy and had a tour on the USS Constellation. He then met and married Joyce Ann Comstock in 1968. He worked for General Motors BOC stamping plant for 27 years and then worked for Western Michigan University, retiring after 10 years. After retiring, he enjoyed going to Bonita Springs, Fla. in the winter. Dave was a Mason and a 55-year member of the Kalamazoo Corvette Club. He loved old cars, car shows, road trips and garage sales. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Joyce; children David (Kathy) of Saline, Mich. and Dawn (Paul) Knieriem of Livonia, Mich.; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild; brother Larry; several nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Ron, and his grandson, Andrew Knieriem. Donations may go to American Heart Association.

Gary Glenn Hammel, passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with glioblastoma on Dec. 24, 2020. Born in Kalamazoo on Jan. 20, 1951, Gary grew up working alongside his siblings and parents in the family’s multiple businesses, including Hammel Concessions. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1969 and later attended Western Michigan University. A natural athlete and outdoorsman, he enjoyed many sports, including golfing, fishing and hunting. In 1970, Gary joined the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. He began his career as a patrol officer and was promoted to sergeant of the S.I.U from 1987 to 1990. In 1990, Gary became sergeant of the Criminal Investigation Division. Gary retired from law enforcement in 1997 after 27 years of service. In 1999, Gary and his wife relocated to Fort Collins, Colo., where they owned and operated their small business. Gary loved spending time with his family, hiking in the mountains and biking the trails. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Robert C. Hammel and Eleanor R. Hammel. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Judi. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother, Gary is lovingly remembered by his daughters, Lauri Berry (James and Jamie Culver (Matthew), stepdaughter Stacie Barrett (John), stepson Ryan Gaudie (Amy), sister Lin Hammel, brother Richard Hammel (Theresa), and grandchildren Clara, Joseph, Mitchell, Mara, Samantha, Brooke, Lux and Jovi. Loved by his family and friends, Gary will be remembered for his calming presence, kind soul, keen sense of humor and impressive golf game.

Bruce W. Hedges, 62, Fulton, passed away Jan. 6, 2021. He was born April 30, 1958 in Allegan, the son of Chester and Ellen (Wright) Hedges. Bruce attended Allegan and Otsego schools. On May 20, 1975 he married Sue Leonard, and together they raised two children. He enjoyed riding his Harley and spending time with his family and friends. He could always be seen at his grandchildren’s sporting events and was their biggest fan. For 15 years he owned B&S Auto in Vicksburg. His family will remember him as being strong-willed and having a heart of gold. Bruce is survived by his wife of 45 years, Sue; children Mike (Melisa) Leonard of Vicksburg and Melissa Yant of Fulton; grandchildren Cody Leonard and Brandin Yant; siblings Donna (Mike) O’Connell of Allegan, Dave Hedges, Jr, of Plainwell, and Donnie (Clara) Hedges of Allegan; and several nieces and nephews. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, David Hedges Sr. and Ellen Hedges, and brothers Chuck and Terry Stratton. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Ann June Jung, 74, Scotts, formerly of Brown Deer, Wis., passed away Jan. 10, 2021. Ann was born on June 1, 1946 in Shorewood, Wis., the daughter of William and Ida (Burnside) Gschwind. She was a 1964 graduate of Granville High School. Ann married Clifford Jung Oct. 18, 1969 and together they raised three children. Ann enjoyed fishing, boating, shopping, baking and especially spending time with her family and grandchildren. She also enjoyed spending time with her friends watching Packer games at Spanky’s in Mequon, Wis. Ann is survived by her husband Clifford; children Brad (Beth) Jung, of Washington, Amy (Mike) McConnaghy of Portage and Andy (Carrie Ann Jung), of Wisconsin; and grandchildren Grace, Kate, Nick, Hailey, Lacey, Nolan, Spencer and Sydney. Ann will be laid to rest next to her parents at Resurrection Cemetery in Mequon. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

David E. Landrum, 79, Vicksburg, passed away unexpectedly Jan. 17, 2021. He was born Sept. 7, 1941 to John C. Landrum, Sr. and Donna (Shrock) Landrum in Elkhart and graduated from White Pigeon High School in 1961. While serving in the army in the state of Washington, he met his wife, Lorna. They moved their young family to Michigan, where they remained. Dave worked 25 years at General Motors (Fisher Body) in Kalamazoo, and after his retirement, held various positions in the Kalamazoo area. He volunteered with the Wakeshma Township Fire Department in Fulton. He enjoyed camping with their close friends, the Happy Campers, as well as fishing, especially with his grandchildren. Surviving Dave is his wife of 59 years, Lorna; children Lisa (Ed) Robleski of Little Elm, Texas, Rod Landrum of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Lauri (Kevin) Wiessner of Kalamazoo and Rick (Kay) Landrum of Portage. He will be dearly missed by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren Amanda, Danielle, Travis, Zach, Grace, Michael, Abel, Theo, Juliet and Phoenix.

Lee F. Phelps, 82, Schoolcraft, passed away Jan. 12, 2021. He was born May 8, 1938 in Schoolcraft, the son of Leon and Phyllis (Hice) Phelps. He grew up on the family farm, graduating from Schoolcraft High School. He honorably served his country from 1959 until 1961 as part of the 82nd Airborne Division and was stationed at Fort Bragg. While in the military he was very proud to play on the baseball team. Lee and Kay Sprowl were married June 15, 1963, in Colon United Methodist Church. They raised their sons on the farm they purchased in 1969, growing it from 80 to 440 acres. Lee leaves behind a legacy of faith, hard work and integrity. Lee was a member of the Edwards Corner Bible Church. He is survived by Kay, his wife of 57 years; Larry (Dawn) Phelps of Vicksburg; Buzz (Kristina) Phelps of Nappanee, Ind. and Kurt (Rachel) Phelps of Schoolcraft; grandchildren Andrew, Aaron, Adam, Jacob (Heather), Justin, Micah, Kayson, Gracie, Gentzen, Mark, Halle, and Stephen. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Phyllis Phelps. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com. Donations may go to Edwards Corner Bible Church Building Fund.

Dena Julene Piper, 72, Schoolcraft, passed away on Dec. 31, 2020 in Kalamazoo. She was born in Kalamazoo on June 6, 1948, the daughter of LaVerne and Julia (Smith) Brown. She was preceded in passing by her parents, stepfather Harold Bent and brother Dale Brown. Left to cherish Dena’s loving memory are her husband of nearly 52 years, Terry Piper; children Eric (Heidi) Piper, Jared (Mary) Piper, and Dawn (David) Beltz; 12 grandchildren; two great grandchildren; siblings Verna (Phil) Maughan and Darl (Shirley) Brown and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and close family friends. Donations may go to St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Dennis J. Pound, 65, Vicksburg, passed away Jan. 8, 2021. Dennis was born on Feb. 1, 1955 in Kalamazoo, the son of Guy Douglas and Jean (Mandigo) Pound. Dennis is survived by his wife of 41 years, Diane; daughter Kimberly Pound; son Jay Pound; brother Doug Pound; sister Deborah Dornbos; and many nieces and nephews. Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, two nieces and a nephew. Dennis graduated from Vicksburg High School and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. A private family graveside service will be held at a future date. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Ronald E. Sheely, 75, Portage, passed away Jan. 3, 2021. Ron was born on Jan. 5, 1945 in Camp Shelby, Miss. He was the son of Merritt and Viola (Carey) Sheely. Ron was a road inspector for the Michigan Department of Transportation. On June 6, 1987 he married his wife, Betty. He enjoyed watching the Detroit Lions. He will be remembered by his family for having a generous heart, independent spirit and strong-willed. Ron was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and a granddaughter, Jennifer Hodgman. Ron is survived by his children, Michael (Elizabeth) Sheely, of Otsego; Keith Sheely, of Illinois; and Anthony (Tina) Sheely), of Grand Rapids; stepchildren Marty O’Brien; Clark O’Brien; March Wegeler; and Doni Anderson; many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Jeanne A. Tindall, 92, passed away with her family by her side Jan. 14, 2021, from COVID-19. She resided at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo and formerly lived on Indian Lake in Vicksburg. Jeanne was born March 24, 1928 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of the late Ralph and Gladys (Bollinger) Keller. Jeanne grew up in Kalamazoo with three siblings, the late Barbara (Otto) Hood, Jack (Kathy) Keller and Marian (Don) Scheid. On June 18, 1949, she married James L. Tindall. She received her Bachelor of Music from U of M in 1952. After Jim’s passing in 2011, she had a special friend, the late Dr. John Sinclair. Jeanne is survived by her children, Nancy (Thom) Jones of Kalamazoo, Ken Tindall (Beth DeWaters) of Kalamazoo, Scott (Shelley) Tindall of Vicksburg and Marilyn (Ken) Weichhand of Vicksburg; grandchildren Carrie (James) Langley, Paul Gerts, Steve (Sara) Weichhand, Lisa Weichhand, Timothy Tindall, Brad Tindall, Shawn Tindall, Luke (Eunice) Tindall; great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; a brother-in-law, sisters-in-law and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Donations may go to Ministry with Community.

Obituaries

Patricia Rene Aldrich, 92, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully Dec. 4, 2020 at White Oaks Assisted Living Center. Patricia was born Sept. 13, 1928 to Emerson and Bernice Houts. She was married to Neal C. Aldrich Sept. 24, 1948. Pat grew up and lived in Schoolcraft her whole life. She loved her little town and being active in her community. She retired from Kalamazoo County State Bank after 30 years, and worked at Norma’s Antiques for 25 years. For many years, she enjoyed volunteering at the Schoolcraft Community Library and was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Pat loved music and ballroom dancing with her husband. Her family includes her children, Timothy Aldrich and Larry (Patsy) Aldrich; grandchildren Amy (Jeff) Triplett, Gabriel (Kari) Aldrich, Benjamin (Lisa) Aldrich and Jeremy (Kelly) Aldrich; great grandchildren Zackary Triplett, Henry Aldrich, Mason Aldrich, and Maylee Aldrich; sister Norma Whybrew; sister-in-law Jeanette Houts and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Emerson and Bernice Houts; her husband of 55 years, Neal Aldrich; her daughter-in-law, Elisabeth Aldrich; and her brother, Errol Houts, Sr. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Community Library or to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Visit Patricia’s page at mccowensecord.com.

Julia (Julie) Susan Beran, 77, Schoolcraft, passed away Dec. 14, 2020. She was born Sept. 1, 1943 in Kalamazoo to Louis C. and Camilla A. (Hatley) Berky. Julie met John Beran, the love of her life, before her senior year in high school. They were voted “Couple Most Likely to Stay Together” and they did for over 60 years. She was a loving wife, mother and grandma and enjoyed preparing holiday meals at her house and surprising everyone with a handmade felt ornament each Christmas. She also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, word searches, gardening, bird feeding and her grandchildren’s school functions. Julie was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers. She is survived by her husband, John; daughters Diana Beran, Kathy (Kevin) Richards, and Cindy Beran; and grandchildren Emily (Cody) Marshall, Alysia Stozicki, Ethan Richards and Nicholas Richards. Visit Julie’s page at avinkcremation.com.

Steven L. DeHaan, 70, Schoolcraft, passed away at home on Dec. 27, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. Steve was born in Kalamazoo, a son of Steven and Laura (Kannegeiter) DeHaan. He graduated from Parchment High School, served in the US Army and was a deputy with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department for 37 years. On July 1, 1988, he married Debbie (Adams) DeHaan, who survives. Also surviving are his children, Zach (Robin) DeHaan, Stephanie (Jeff) Blaskiewicz, Megan (Josh) Knight and Alan Cherette; grandchildren Lauren, Morgan, Gracie, Tyler, Adelih, Sophia; great-granddaughter Alaïa; brother and sisters Kathy Hoeksema, Pat (Ed) Doorlag, Larry (Ruth) DeHaan and sister-in-law Cheryl DeHaan; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dave and Dawn Llewellyn and sister-in-law DeAnn Adams; as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Steven and Laura DeHaan, brother Jack DeHaan, brother-in-law Edwin Hoeksema and mother-in-law Helen (Wylie) Adams. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Cheryl Ann Derrick, 72, passed away Nov. 14, 2020. She was born in Kalamazoo July 30, 1948, the daughter of Loyd and Loyola Wilson, and was a lifelong resident of the Kalamazoo area. She married the love of her life, Donald Derrick, Jan. 20, 1968. They raised two wonderful sons that she was immensely proud of, David (Kim) and Matthew (Shelly) Derrick. She leaves behind grandchildren Dillon Smith, Jenna Derrick, Bailey Ann Derrick, Nathan and Morgan Jackson,and Kelsey and Max Meyers; and four great grandchildren. Cheryl was an advanced antique collector and dealer; she always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt for the next prize. If you ever met Cheryl, she would never forget your face or your name and you were friends for life. Due to COVID concerns, a memorial service to celebrate Cheryl’s life will be held on a later date. The family asks that when you are having a cocktail on the back porch, patio, deck, fire pit, dock or the pontoon boat to raise your glass in remembrance of Cheryl. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Paul “Champ” Eisenhardt, 80, formerly of Scotts, died Nov. 21, 2020. Champ was born in Kalamazoo and raised in Comstock, where he graduated in 1958, receiving awards in track, football, basketball, and baseball. In adulthood, Champ played fast pitch softball, bowled, and fished with his buddy, Jimmy Vanloo. Champ retired from General Motors after 30-plus years. Champ loved spending time with his family in Bradenton, Fla. Champ will be dearly missed by Sharon, his wife of 38 years; children Catherine (Ed) Nyberg, James Dekker Jr. and Julie Dekker, all of Michigan, Scott Eisenhardt of Florida; grandchildren Amber (Ben) Hammon, Shalyn (Jordan) Bourdo, Rachel Nyberg, Kyle Nyberg, Emilee (Devon) Jones, Chelsea (Jesse) James, Mareea Dekker, and James Dekker III; great grandchildren Nolan, Madysen (Payton), Holland, Everly, Julianah, Carson, Brecken, Wyatt, Dakota Rose, Matthew and Baby Jones, due in 2021; sister-in-law Pat DeBoer and brother-in-law David Leedy, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia and Paul; siblings David, Bob and Ruthann; nephews David and Jeff; niece Rhonda; daughter-in-law Tracy Dekker and brother-in-law John DeBoer. Visit Paul’s page at mccowensecord.com.

James Edward Fess, Jr., Scotts, passed away Dec. 19, 2020. Jim was born on Nov. 21, 1955 in Vicksburg, the son of James Sr. and Kathryn Jean (Jennings) Fess. Jim graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1974 and participated in football, shot put, and choir. After high school he joined the U.S. Navy. He married Sharon Darling in 1980 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Together, they raised two sons, Robert and Matthew. Jim retired in 2012 after working over 30 years at Upjohn/Pfizer. Jim had the natural ability for building things “correctly” and was always there for his sons to help them with projects. He enjoyed ice fishing, softball and bowling. He loved the Detroit Lions, car shows, going to the races with his friend, Virgil Hopwood, and traveling with Sharon. Jim was preceded in death by his mother, a sister, a brother and his special dog, Rufus. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sharon, and their sons, Robert Fess of Scotts and Matthew (Brittney) Fess of Vicksburg; granddaughter Clara Marie Fess; and his cat, Fluffs. Also surviving are his father James Sr. (Diana) Fess of Vicksburg; sisters Pat, Nancy, and Melanie; and several nieces and nephews. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the American Cancer Society.

H. Arlene Forsythe, 83, Vicksburg, was called home to join her Lord and Savior Dec. 19, 2020 at The Laurels of Coldwater. She was born May 6, 1937 in Bancroft, Michigan, the daughter of William E. and Estella May (Morgan) Self. Her early life was spent in Corunna, where she was a 1955 graduate of Corunna High School. On Aug. 17, 1957 she married Richard Forsythe. She worked at Redmond Motors in Owosso, managed the Hallmark House in Midland, was the librarian at John Wesley College in Owosso, and was a pastor’s wife. Arlene resided in Vicksburg for the past 26 years, retiring from the Michigan District office of the Church of the Nazarene in Vicksburg following many years as office manager. She enjoyed cooking, sewing and playing the organ. Arlene found the most joy when she was surrounded by her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Richard; daughters Sheryllynn (Roger) McBride of Brighton and Teresa (Rod) McBride of Rockford; son Richard Forsythe of St. Augustine, Florida; grandchildren Mark, Jeff, Amanda, Brooke, Joshua, Clorissa and Elizabeth; six great grandchildren and expecting her seventh; sister Lila Wright of Owosso and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters and one brother. Donations may go to Sturgis Church of the Nazarene. Visit her page at hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.

Etta Josephine Gould, 100, Vicksburg, passed away surrounded by her loving family Dec. 21, 2020. She was born in Kalamazoo on July 21, 1920, the daughter of Charles Gleason and Gertrude May Truax. She married the love of her life, Bramwell Kenneth Gould, on November 15, 1940. Together they raised six children in the Vicksburg area. She devoted her entire life to the care of others and spent 20 years working as a home health aide before embarking on her nursing career at Bronson Methodist Hospital as an LPN, retiring in 1995 after 35 years of service. During her retirement, she spent time traveling with her son, James, and her daughter, Wanda, until James passed away in 2010. She was preceded in passing by her husband; children James, John and Bonnie; siblings Perry, Harold and Dora; and her parents. Left to cherish her loving memory are her children, Wanda, Marvin and Betty (Lee) Hambright; four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, two great great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Donations may go to Elara Caring Hospice, Senior Services or the American Cancer Society. The family would like to thank both Elara and Senior Services for the care and support they provided. Visit Etta’s page at mccowensecord.com.

Joyce D. Hoeksema, 83, Portage, passed away Dec. 6, 2020. Joyce was born May 19, 1937 to Raymond and Lettie (Canavan) Snook. She graduated in 1955 from Vicksburg High School. She married Jim Hoeksema on June 29, 1956, and they became partners in the family business, Jim Hoeksema Greenhouses. As hard as the family worked, they always made time to travel as a family. In retirement, Joyce and Jim enjoyed traveling, especially to golf destinations. She also followed baseball and was engaged in politics. She is survived by three daughters, Kathy Hoeksema-Aivars of Schoolcraft, Cindy (Andy) Medema of Mattawan and Lori Hoeksema of Schoolcraft; grandchildren Andrea Medema, Nathan (Jamie) Medema, and Bailey (Jeffrey) Witt; great grandchildren Andrew and Lily Medema, Peyton and Gage Witt. She is also survived by sisters Rayletta Boone and Jeanne Watson; brother John Snook; brothers-in-law Don (Nancy) Hoeksema, Dale (Marilyn) Hoeksema, and Harold Vlietstra; sisters-in-law Sue Snook, Nancy Snook, Kathy Hoeksema, and Carol Hoeksema. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers Emanuel, James and Eugene Snook; sister Marveta Calhoun; sister-in-law Doris Vlietstra; brothers-in-law Gerald Hoeksema, Carl Hoeksema, Ed Hoeksema, Orville Boone and Paul Calhoun. Services have been held. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Barbara Jean (Dorey) Kissinger, Kalamazoo, passed away Dec. 11, 2020 at home. The daughter of Marvin and Betty (Weinberg) Dorey, she was born April 21, 1958 and grew up in Vicksburg, graduating in 1977. When Barbara was in high school, her 7-year-old nephew Peter Leja passed away from cancer, influencing her decision to go into the medical field. She became a certified nurse’s aide and devoted 42 years of working in nursing homes, adult foster homes, and for the last 15 years in the homes of patients with brain injuries. On Sept. 18, 1982, Barbara was married to Timothy L. Kissinger, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in passing by her parents. Barbara was a past member of Mid-Lakes Chorus of Sweet Adelines International. and a member of St. Monica Catholic Church. Barb loved to travel. She is survived by her siblings Walter (Patricia) Dorey, Darlene Leja, LouAnn Laurence, Maxine Haywood; sister-in-law Christina Dorey; in-laws Sharon (Greg) Kilburn and Susan VandenBerg; and many nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by a brother, Robert Dorey; brothers-in-law Henry Leja, James Laurence and David Haywood; nephew Peter Leja and great niece Alexis Peterson. Donations may go to West Michigan Cancer Center, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or St. Monica Catholic Church.

Clare Gene Seaburg, 93, Schoolcraft, passed away on Dec. 15, 2020. Clare was born on March 16, 1927 in Cassopolis, the son of Frank and Aletha (Sutherland) Seaburg. He graduated from Hartford High School and served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He married Yvonne “Tee” Avery on Sept. 15, 1950, together raising three children, Cherie, Cindee and Ty. Clare owned and operated Hydraulic Concrete Corp and enjoyed fishing, bowling, playing cards and helping others. Clare was a member of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church, Shriners, the Kalamazoo County Masonic Lodge and the West Street Poker Club. Clare and Tee spent 24 summers at Gravel Lake and traveled to Arizona for the winters. Clare was preceded in death by his wife; siblings Harry Seaburg and Ruth Klein. He is survived by his children Cherie (John) Thorp and Cindee (Garry) Moore of Gobles and Ty (Missy) Seaburg of Schoolcraft; 11 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren with one more on the way. He is also survived by his sister, Linda Miling of Comstock Park, and numerous nieces and nephews. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com. Donations may go to Schoolcraft United Methodist Church and/or Elara Caring Hospice.

Jack Charles Smith, 69, died Oct. 26, 2020 after an eight-month battle with cancer. He was born Jan. 18, 1951 to Jack and Betty Smith of Portage. On Oct. 28, 1972 he married Gretchen Klauss. Jack was employed Upjohn/Pfizer for 32 years as a journeyman pipefitter. After retirement, he worked at Vicksburg Hardware as the Stihl mechanic. Jack was an avid sportsman looking forward to hunting season each fall. He took much pleasure in retelling his hunting escapades. He also enjoyed fishing and time spent with his hunting and fishing buddies. He was admired by many and passed on his knowledge to all who showed interest. His biggest delight was his family. Jack and Gretchen were married 48 years and were devoted to each other. He was proud of daughters Regan (Pete) and Lauren (Jesse) and delighted in his grandchildren, Claire, Willem, Charlie and Alora, and step grandchildren Tucker and Annabelle. His greatest heartache was that he would not be here for them as they grow up. He is also survived by his sister, Diane. Visit Jack’s page at langelands.com.

Ruth Anna Smith, 78, Vicksburg, went home to be with her Lord unexpectedly yet peacefully Nov. 13, 2020. She was born to Harville and Leona (Kuenke) Campbell Oct. 29, 1942, in St. Louis, Mo. She was united in marriage to Carl Joseph Smith June 18, 1960, and soon began a family of seven children. Ruth and Carl were married for 54 years. She was a grandmother to 21 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and an aunt to several nieces and nephews. Ruth’s biggest joy was spending time with her family. She is survived by her children, Angela (David) Wilson of Scotts, Deborah Smith of Galesburg, Carl “Sonny” (Jamie) Smith II of Jackson, Karla (Bill) Vroman of Vicksburg, Darla (Jack) Smith-McNett of Vicksburg, Merton Smith of Vicksburg and Wendy (Terry) Smith-Walker of Galesburg; siblings Tom (Diane) Campbell, Marge Lamb, Francis Pennington and Martha “Marty” Thompson, 20 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, beloved husband, a brother, four sisters and a granddaughter. Visit her page at whitleymemorialfuneralhome.com.

Obituaries

Marilyn E. Baird, 83, Fulton, passed away Oct. 4. Marilyn was born Sept. 30, 1937, in Vicksburg, the daughter of Pete and Bernice (Weimer) Holt. Marilyn enjoyed music, graduating from Vicksburg High School where she met David Baird. Married April 22, 1955, the couple created a home and raised four children. Marilyn’s sewing and crafting interests complemented David’s skills in woodworking, leading to their participation in many craft shows. She was a longtime member of the Prairie Baptist Church. Marilyn is survived by her husband of 65 years, David; children Stephen (Mary) Baird of Coopersville, Joan (Bob) Huffman of New Mexico, Thomas Baird of Florida, Ellen (Mike) Ashbee of Missouri; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; two great great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ted Holt, Don Holt and Tom Holt; and sister Elizabeth Ann. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Rural Bible Missions rbmministries.org/donations or mail directly to RBM Ministries c/o Amy & Paul P.O. Box 128 Plainwell, MI 49080.

Newell Burson Dean, 84, Schoolcraft, passed away Oct. 1 at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He was born at the Burson family homestead north of Schoolcraft Feb. 28, 1936, the son of Leslie Newell Dean and Alice Mae (Burson Dean) Schug. Newell was raised in Portage, graduated from Portage schools, and received his degree in agriculture from MSU in 1956. Newell married Ruth Ellen Garlic March 23, 1956. They moved to the Carl Abel farm in Cedar Springs. He accepted an offer to manage the Allan Milham farm in Portage in 1957. In 1964, he purchased the Maynard Jeffries farm in Schoolcraft, where he and Ruth raised their family. He was a member of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church for 52 years, and active in leadership of Farm Bureau, Prairie Ronde Township, Kalamazoo County, Lawton Board of Education, Lawton Athletic Boosters and the Van Buren County Youth Fair-Junior Livestock Producers. Newell was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Ronald Zentz; sister-in-law Diana Dean; granddaughter Kendra Dean; and great grandson Paul Dean Rozeboom. He is survived by his wife; children Julia (Paul) Rozeboom, David Dean, Bruce (Therese) Dean and Gary (Wendy) Dean; sister Millicent Zentz; brothers James Dean and Duane (Sharon) Dean; 13 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; and numerous brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Visit Newell’s page at avinkcremation.com. Share memories with the family at RememberingNewell@gmail.com. Donations may go to Schoolcraft United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.

David Marion Huntington, 71, passed away Sept. 26. He was born to Marion and Theresa Huntington April 24, 1949, in Vicksburg. He was a Vietnam veteran. He was joined in marriage to Linda Louise Loosier April 28, 1973, and later welcomed one son, David. David loved camping at Leidy Lake Campground with his wife, Linda and son, Davie. They had many great years there and made many friends. Throughout his career, David worked at Gibson Guitars and Mead Paper. He was a hard worker and always did whatever he could to take care of his family and help his friends. David was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Linda, his parents and brothers-in-law John Overton and Jarry Loosier. He survived by his son, David (Brandi) Huntington; brother, Leslie Huntington of Vicksburg; sisters Marilyn (Ed Sr.) Miller of Coldwater, Rosemary (Raymond) Weller of Coldwater, Alice (Mike) Bockstanz of Portage, Lori Overton of Three Rivers, and Brenda (Bob) Piper of Vicksburg; grandchildren KJ, Alyssa, Noah and Eveah. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews that he loved very much. Services will be announced at a later date.

Thomas L. Karns, 58, Vicksburg passed away Sept. 25. Tom was born March 18, 1962, in Marshall, the son of Thomas and Eleanor (Napientek) Karns. Tom graduated in 1980 from Marshall High School. He proudly served in the United States Army 101st Airborne from 1980 until 1989. It was during his time in the service that he became a nurse. When he returned home, he worked at the State Hospital for over 10 years. On July 2, 2004, he married Theora Edwards. He was preceded in death by his wife and parents. He is survived by children Tyson (Melanie) Souza of Oregon and Trina (Carlos) Sanchez of California; their mother, L.J. Souza of California; step-children Tonya (Andy) Taylor of Scotts, Lyndie (Brian Tassell) Wall of Fulton, Conor (Jenny) Schaub of Schoolcraft; father and mother-in-law Linden and Lois Edwards; grandchildren Lea, Neil, Vincent, Kasey, Morgan, Gracie Lue, Eric Thomas, Wyatt, Isla and Oliver. He is also survived by brothers Larry (Julia) Karns, of Battle Creek and Michael Karns, of Texas; sisters Donna (Dennis) Wintersteen of Marshall and Becky (Rich) Simpkins of Mississippi; sisters-in-law Pam (Jeff) Foy of Climax and Jenny (Chan) Edwards of Vicksburg; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Geno. Tom will be cremated and his ashes will be interred in a private ceremony at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

James (Jim) Mendocha, 68, passed away peacefully on Oct. 18. The youngest of five children, Jim was born Dec. 4, 1951 to Frank and Wanda (Zoilkowski) Mendocha. He was a graduate of WMU with a bachelor’s degree in art. On Oct. 1, 1994, he married his soulmate and the love of his life, Janet Prosser. Their family quickly grew with the addition of their two wonderful sons, Matthew and Michael, whom he adored. Jim lived an adventurous early life. He lived all over the country. His mother often said he was born with a gypsy heel. His travels frequently coincided with various occupations, from being a stenographer at the Pentagon while in the army to owning his own candle making store in Estes Park, Colorado, to finally helping his wife run The Fulton Little Store. Jim enjoyed playing and listening to all kinds of music. He was known for his sense of humor, story-telling, and spending time with lifelong friends, Mark Weeks and Eric Matthies. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Wanda Nash. He is survived by his loving wife, Janet Mendocha; sons Matthew and Michael; brother Jack Mendocha; sisters Carol (Arthur) Pollari, lovingly referred to as Spud and French Fry, and Sally Mendocha; and several nieces and nephews. A gathering of friends and family will be scheduled for a later date. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice or West Michigan Cancer Center.

Robert “Bob” Peck, 83, passed away peacefully Sept. 29, 2020, in his hometown of Campton, Kentucky. The son of the late Henry and Ellen Banks Peck, he was born in Campton Jan. 22, 1937. Bob moved to Kalamazoo in the 1950s, finding his niche as a drywall hanger and finisher for his former brother-in-law Jim, owner of Burns Drywall in Portage. Bob did countless jobs for Martz Home Builders, Louis Roberts Home Builders and other side jobs for folks who requested his work. He was a regular in the “drywallers’ corner” at Derk’s Restaurant in Portage, before retiring to Kentucky. Bob was a talented guitarist and enjoyed riding his motorcycle. He is survived by his wife, Mary Burrow Peck of Campton; son Bill (Melissa) of Warren, Michigan; daughters Cathy Conner of Winchester, Kentucky, Missy (Lee) Noel of Portage, Colleen (George) Ogan of Kalamazoo, and Christine (Gary) Allen of Vicksburg; 17 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; brother Woodrow “Sam” Peck of Campton; sister Dixie Peck of Campton; and special friend Anna Tate whom he called “his bingo wife.” He was preceded in death by daughter Geri Docsa; a grandchild; and sister, Berneda Swim. Bob was laid to rest in Campton.

K. Mark Pedler, 60, of Three Rivers, formerly of Elkhart, Indiana, passed away Oct. 11. He was born Dec. 30, 1959, in Elkhart. He graduated from Concord High School in Elkhart and was a journeyman tool and die maker for 25 years. Mark was preceded in death by his wife of 26 years, Diane. He is survived by daughters Kristine Smithers of Three Rivers and Kelly Pedler of Galesburg; grandchildren Kaleb, Kadin, Emileigh, Ethan, Adleigh and Kensley; brother Kim J. Pedler of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; niece Chelsea Pedler; nephew Jordan Pedler; and mother Karen Lemon of Elkhart. Condolences can be sent to Avink Funeral Home. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Bonnie Lynne (Wedel) Russell, of Kalamazoo, passed away Oct. 18, with family at her side. Bonnie was born to George and Joyce (Christensen) Wedel May 29, 1969, in Kalamazoo. When she was a year old, the family moved to Scotts, where she grew up enjoying animals and the outdoors. Bonnie loved music, eventually sharing her talents with the praise band at Country Christian Evangelical Free Church. Bonnie was also a talented designer, managing the flower shop at Wedel’s Garden Center. Bonnie was a loyal member of the Republican Party for 20 years and attended the 2016 National Republican Convention. She and Rich were engaged at Little Sable Lighthouse near Silver Lake Oct. 26, 2018, and traveled extensively. She enjoyed being mom to Rich’s kids Bryan, Matt and Nicole and grandma to their children. Bonnie leaves behind her beloved husband, Rich Russell; his parents Bill and Ruth Russell and Bill and Kathy Runkle; siblings Terrie (Dana) Schwartz and Andrew (Danielle) Wedel; her special niece Andrea (Gary) Truax; nephews Nathan (Lindsey) Schwartz, Nicholas Schwartz, Zachariah Wedel, Caleb Wedel and Eli Wedel; and grand nieces and nephews Dylan, Jackson, Alaina and Callen Truax and Stella Schwartz. Services will be held at a later date. Visit Bonnie’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and Country Christian Evangelical Free Church.

Alan Paul Stanton, 66, of Constantine Township, passed away Oct. 14, 2020. Alan was born July 21, 1954, in Battle Creek to Gerald and Ruth (Wing) Stanton. He grew up in Fulton on the family farm, attending and graduating from Athens Area Schools. On April 24, 1993, he married the former Theresa Stark. They relocated to Constantine Township in 1994 and have resided there since. Alan was employed as a forklift operator by White Pigeon Paper Mill. He was a hard worker, a storyteller and an outdoorsman. He attended Factoryville Bible Church and Bethany Chapel. Alan is survived by his wife of 27 years, Theresa; children Sandy McCausland and Bill (Teri) Bambrick, both of Constantine; grandchildren Joe McCausland, Brittany Bambrick and Katelyn McCausland; great-grandchildren Grady, Piper and Stefan Criddle and Rose Carr; siblings Bethel (Joe) Halladay of Belgrade, Montana, Leta Gould Stanton of Yoakum, Texas, Carlena Hacker of Mendon, Joel (Marlene) Stanton of Liberal, Kansas, and Lois Stanton of LaGrange; many nieces and nephews, numerous friends and his best furry buddy “Mike.” He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Ardis Hall. Services have been held. Memorial contributions are suggested to the family to establish the Gerald and Ruth Stanton Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to an academically average college-bound student who shows financial need. Please visit www.lighthousefuneral.com to share memories, pictures and videos with the family.

Pamela J. VanWeelden, 63, of Portage, passed away Sept. 28 from heart complications at Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids. Pam was born Feb. 1, 1957 in Kalamazoo, the middle child of Fred and Ester Drenth. She spent 43 wonderful years married to her husband, Dennis VanWeelden. The couple was later blessed with their son, Jeremy VanWeelden. Family and friends were especially important to her, and she always made time to help care for them when needed. Pam is survived by her loving husband, Dennis; son Jeremy; brothers Douglas and Randy Drenth; sisters Terri Veildman and Jennie Drenth; and sisters-in-law Cindy Boven and Linda Moed. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Celebration of Life service will be postponed until spring 2021. The celebration will take place at her home on Austin Lake. For those who wish to attend the celebration, please send a note to Dennis VanWeelden at 2363 Woody Noll Drive, Portage, Michigan 49002 for date and time confirmation. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Obituaries

Charles “Charlie” Bartholomew, 74, Vicksburg, died June 26. The son of Henry and Mary (Hacker) Bartholomew, Charlie was born in Kalamazoo on January 4, 1946. He attended Otsego High School and MSU. On June 24, 1967 he married Judy, his high school sweetheart. He was preceded in death by his parents. Surviving are his wife, Judy; children Charles (Susan) Bartholomew Jr., Julia (Matthew) McKee, and David Bartholomew; grandchildren Courtney, Kyle, Emily, Madeline and Colin; a brother, Henry Bartholomew III; and nephews Henry (Tracy) Bartholomew IV and Phillip Bartholomew. Visit his page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Gary Dean Carpenter, 77, Vicksburg, passed away July 24. Gary was born on March 2, 1943 in Vicksburg, the son of Leslie and Glenna (Lamerson) Carpenter. He graduated from VHS in 1961. He was a skilled carpenter and golfer. Gary is survived by his children, Jill (Tony) Lindsley and Jason Carpenter; grandchildren Austin (Marcie Reynolds) Keiser, Madison (Scott) Krieger and Bella Carpenter; great grandchildren Kaiden Keiser and Avery Reynolds. Gary is also survived by his sister, Nancy (Craig) Miller; lifelong friends of over 70 years Rob and Dan Stroud; and nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Roger Johnson, and niece, Diane Coville. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Deborah Rial Eckert, 70, died June 26. The daughter of Carmelita Carpenter and Robert Rial, Debbie was born in Battle Creek on August 29, 1949. During her primary years, she attended a one-room schoolhouse at Ellis Corners in Calhoun County. She graduated from VHS in 1967. She married Stuart Eckert in 1967 at Chapman Memorial Nazarene Church. She worked many years managing the cafeteria at James River. She loved living on Indian Lake and had many hobbies, including mushroom hunting, writing, painting, traveling, and vacationing on the motorcycle. Debbie is survived by her husband, Stuart Eckert; children Teresa and Troy Eckert; and grandchildren DJ and Devin Hettinger, Parker Essex, Auston Martin, and Amber and Trevor Eckert.

Margaret May McClish, 90, Portage, passed away June 27. Margaret was born on January 21, 1930 in Kalamazoo. Margaret graduated from Portage schools in 1948. She was married 60 years to her high school sweetheart, Maurice “Maury” McClish. She is survived by her children Mike (Doris) McClish and Matt McClish of Vicksburg and Mary (Robert) Ryan of Delton; grandchildren Ben (Lisa) McClish and Maria (Tony) Wharton of Vicksburg, Liam (Margo) McClish of TN, Thomas McClish of IN. and Michelle McClish, of IL.; great-grandchildren, and brother Max Crawford. She was preceded in death by husband, Maurice, brother David Crawford, and sister Louise Heller. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Robert H. Merrill, 93, Vicksburg, passed away July 12. Robert was born on May 18, 1927 in Vicksburg, the son of Burl and Clara (Herrmann) Merrill. He graduated in 1945 from VHS. After graduation, he enlisted in the navy and attended MSU. He married Margaret (Peg) Rawlinson in 1951, and eventually owned and operated Rawlinson Appliance. He was a founding member of the Vicksburg Lions Club. He is survived by daughters Gwyn (Larry) Grubka of North Carolina, Beth (John) Foster of Portage, Sue (Dan) Cooley of Schoolcraft, Jeanne Sears and Julie Merrill, both of Vicksburg; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his companion, Norma Simmons of Vicksburg; sisters-in-law Rita Brown of Portage and Elizabeth Parker of Arizona; and nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his wife Margaret “Peg” Merrill; grandson Eric Sears and brother-in-law Charles Rawlinson. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to South County Community Services, American Diabetes, Vicksburg Historical Society and/or Vicksburg Lions Club.

Joseph Aaron Miller, 62, Schoolcraft, passed away unexpectedly July 6. He was born in Kalamazoo on May 5, 1958, the son of Glaydon and Lois Miller. Joseph graduated from Portage Northern. He was preceded in death by his father, Glaydon Miller. He leaves behind his mother, Lois Miller and a brother, Timothy (Angie) Miller, his niece, Barbara (Josh) Dunn, great-nephews Glaydon and Deacon Dunn and great-niece Josie Dunn. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Timothy E. Price, 41, Vicksburg, passed away June 13 from cancer. Tim was born March 14, 1979 in Kalamazoo to Robert E. and Lynne M. Price. He married Jennifer A. Glaser November 15, 2019. Tim was a 1997 VHS graduate. He served in the Marine Corps, enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, bonfires, and PBR. Tim is survived by his wife, Jen, his children, Ryan Price-Salazar and Paris Price, and his stepchildren, Delaney Glaser and Raymond Glaser, his parents, Robert and Lynne Price, a brother, Daniel (Trish Baker) Price, a sister, Genevieve (Jamie) Carter, his paternal grandmother, Katherine (Price) Finch, great aunt Nancee (Terry Newell) Beach, as well as many special aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. Tim was preceded in death by his paternal grandfathers, Robert Price Sr. and Harry Finch, and his maternal grandparents, Merlin and Faye Hines. Donations may go to Glioblastoma Foundation or to Jen for an educational fund for the children.

Patricia Ross, 85, Vicksburg, passed away at home with family by her side June 29. Pat was born on June 9, 1935 to Wallace & Maxine (Stauton) Cousins. Pat was artistic and enjoyed sewing, lunches, and movies. Pat’s family includes her children, Michael (Kim) Olney, Judy Noel, Beverly (Thomas) Compton, Joseph Olney, Deborah (Charles) Rife, Terry Ross and Thomas Ross; 13 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; siblings Larry (Barb) Cousins, Allen (Betty) Cousins, Dennis (Lee) Cousins and Roberta Casselman as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy; her parents, grandson Christopher Shipley and her granddaughter Gretchen Olan; brothers Donald Cousins and Kenneth Cousins. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

James H. Simonds, DPM, died June 29 with his family around him. Jim was born in Kalamazoo on November 28, 1930, the son of Walter and Eloise (Gay) Simonds. He was a graduate of St. Augustine High School, WMU, and Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. He was an army veteran. Jim owned Simonds Foot & Ankle Clinic, where he practiced for over 60 years. He was a member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. Jim was an Eagle Scout, hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman. Nothing made him happier than time with family, a completed to-do list or a day on his tractor. He was inducted into the Hackett Athletics Hall of Fame and held many leadership roles. Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Shirley Ferrara, and his brothers-in-law Bud Ferrara and Art Redmond. He is survived by his wife Mary; sister Barbara Gay Redmond; the mother of his children, Elizabeth Simonds; children Nancy (Terry) Haas, Jim (Mary) Simonds Jr., Dave Simonds, John (Anita) Simonds, and Mary (Kent) Matthews; step-children Donald (Ann) Ulsh, Scott (Tesa) Ulsh and Lisa (Eugene) Lehman; grandchildren Justin (Rikki), Sara (Chad), Derek, Jack, Kevin, Dan, Shelby, Matthew, Aleks (Hunter), Erika, Luke, Jake, Elizabeth, Emily, Hunter (Brooke), David (Cassie), Rachel (Jacob), Melanie, Jonathan, Ella Grace, and Liam; great-grandchildren Nora, Landon, and Mason; and many nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Hackett Catholic Prep Athletics (women’s basketball, volleyball, and soccer programs), St. Martin of Tours, or St. Edwards of Mendon.

Kathryn (Kitty) Mariel Starbuck, 90, died June 27 of COVID-19. The youngest daughter of Forrest and Fannie (Rifenberg) Shick, Kitty was born July 9, 1929 and raised on the family farm. Kitty graduated from VHS in 1946. She met the love of her life, Marvin, at a dance hall in Glendale and wed October 23, 1950. They built their new home next door to the house Kitty grew up in, living there for 60 years. Her claim to crafting fame was the manufacture of toy dinosaurs for the Field Museum in Chicago. Kitty served as editor-publisher of two monthly geological publications for 40 years. Kitty was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Marilynn Shick and Marian Sperry. She is lovingly remembered by her husband Marvin; children Kay (Lynn) DeMoss and Dennis (Terri) Starbuck; grandchildren Nikki (Mike) Schnelle and Sara Folck; great-grandchildren Madalyn, Chandler, Stella, and Lilah; nephew Bob (Marcie Brown) Sperry; great-nephew John (Caitlin) Sperry. Dan, Jen, and Delaney VanderPloeg and Jeff, Heidi, David and Drew DeMoss join them in grief. Donations may go to Vicksburg United Methodist Church.

Howard James Steffey Sr., 77, Schoolcraft, passed away July 24. Howard was born on December 22, 1942 in Kalamazoo, the son of Harlow and Dorothy (Marlette) Steffey. Howard graduated from Loy Norrix High School in 1961. He served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam. On October 10, 1964, he married Sally Frazier. Together they raised their three children, Howard Jr., Bob and Susan. He worked for over 35 years as an electrician for Georgia Pacific. He loved to watch old western movies and singing along to a nice country song. Howard is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sally; children Howard Steffey, Jr, of Kalamazoo, Bob Steffey, of Vicksburg, and Susan Elhart, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Bryan Woodward, of Battle Creek, Austin Steffey, of Kalamazoo, and Elysa Elhart, of Vicksburg; great grandchildren Abigail and Bentley. He is also survived by his sister, Gail Leggett, of Kalamazoo. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Harlow and Douglas Steffey. Howard has been cremated and at this time no services are planned. Visit his page at avinkcremation.com.

Todd Harold Weinberg, 51, Scotts, passed away July 11. Todd was born April 12, 1969 to Mel and Jo Weinberg and grew up on a farm in Scotts. He graduated with honors from VHS in 1987 and was a drummer in the “Big Red Machine.” Todd was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 5. At 44, he had a double lung transplant. Four years later, he got cancer. He continued farming, reluctantly retiring this year. He is survived by his mom, Jo Weinberg, sister Molly (Weinberg) Schake of Mililani, Hawaii, a brother, Chad Weinberg of Alexandria, Va.; brother-in-law, Mark Shake; and sister-in-law, Therra (Ebwe) Weinberg. He was uncle to Ryna Weinberg, Corban Weinberg, Phoebe Weinberg, Emily Schake, Wendy (Schake) Lyons, Daniel Lyons, Nathan Schake, and Brooke Schake. Todd was preceded in death by his father, Milford “Mel” Weinberg. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Carol A. Wunderlin, 86, of Portage, died June 29, 2020, at Rose Arbor Hospice, Kalamazoo, following a battle with dementia. The daughter of Milton and Pauline (Denner) Hillsburg, Carol was born September 28, 1933 in Kalamazoo. Carol attended St. Joseph Elementary and St. Augustine High School and Parsons Business College. On June 4, 1960, Carol married Walter Wunderlin. Carol was preceded in death by siblings Joan Haas and Robert Hillsburg. Surviving are her husband of 60 years, Walter Wunderlin; daughter Michelle Buist; grandsons Tanner (Amaira) Buist and Carter Buist; great-grandchildren Axel and Rebel; brother John (Jean) Hillsburg; and many nieces and nephews. Services have been held with burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visit her page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Association of Southwest Michigan or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Obituaries

Donald Carl Ampey, 61, Vicksburg, passed away June 8, surrounded by family. Don was born on March 5, 1959 to Donald and Linda (Moon) Ampey. Don worked for a number of years at Allied Paper in Kalamazoo and also at Ampey Buffing and Polishing. Don is survived by his wife of 41 years, Bonnie (Yerge) Ampey: children Christina (Bill) Hearns, Andrea (Kevin) Kavlock, and Greg (Anne) Ampey: and grandchildren Ashley, Katherine, DJ, Melissa, Brittany, Savannah, Cloey, and Charlotte; siblings Patty, Francine, Robert, and Rick and many nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Linda Ampey. Per Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Terry Coburn, 76, Mattawan, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on March 30. Terry was born October 13, 1943, the son of the late Richard Edward and Muriel Marie (Oldacre) Coburn. Raised in Fulton, Terry graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1961. In 1964, Terry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, beginning his training in San Diego. It was there he met Sally Ann Bruggema, the love of his life. During his deployment to Vietnam from 1966-1967, Terry and Sally wrote letters. They began dating when he returned and were married February 23, 1968, settling in Fulton. Terry worked for Rieth Riley Asphalt and Krum’s Chevrolet before earning his associate’s degree from KVCC. He was employed by KVCC for 38 years as a supervisor of media services and as a part time faculty member, teaching applied electricity. Terry loved to serve his community, as best demonstrated by his 43-year commitment to Vicksburg Little League. He began by coaching, helping the grounds crew, and serving on the board. Terry found his passion in umpiring softball. He umpired many local, district, regional and state games as well as the Big-League Softball World Series games. He served on various boards and participated in many umpiring clinics. He enjoyed teaching and always tried to be fair. Terry was an active, loving father to his two children, Scott Edward and Kathleen (Katie) Ann Coburn, and adored his grandchildren. Family was the most important thing to Terry. He is survived by his wife, Sally; son Scott (Jennifer) Coburn and daughter Kathleen (Katie) Coburn; and grandchildren Aubrey and Ashlen Coburn. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 8, at the Vicksburg Little League fields, a fitting tribute to Terry’s many hours and interactions there. Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by a memorial at 1 p.m., with lunch afterward. Those attending are encouraged to wear bright clothing.

Mary Ann Collier, 84, Schoolcraft, passed away June 6. Per her wishes, she has been cremated and no services are planned.

Janet V. Griffith, 84, Vicksburg, passed away June 4. Janet was born April 22, 1936 in Peoria, Ill., the daughter of Glen and Ruth (Smith) Pease. Jan worked in various places over the years; but most of her employment was with the City of Eureka, Ill., working with the mayor and the Eureka Police Department. She sang in numerous groups and choirs, and was an incredible soloist. Prior to moving to Michigan, Jan was a member of the Eureka United Methodist Church. Jan attended Cross Community Church of the Nazarene in Portage. She was an avid collector of antiques. She loved spending time with her husband, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family members and many friends. On August 10, 1957, she was united in marriage to her loving husband, Richard (Dick) Griffith, who survives. Also surviving are her daughters, Deb (Jim) Hinze, Dawn Griffith; t grandchildren Kristen Simpson, Ashley (Joe) Renie, Austin (Haylee) Griffith; great-grandchildren Ryan, Brooklyn, Camden, Noah, Brayden, Cayden, and Jonah; a sister, Elnor Stevenson; nieces Maralee Malingowski and Teresa Cottrell, and several other nieces and nephews. There will be two Celebration of Life services, one in Michigan and one in Eureka, to be announced. Donations may go to Indian Lake Nazarene Camp in Vicksburg, Michigan. Visit her page at langelands.com.

Phillip M. Hinson, 56, Schoolcraft passed away June 2. Phil was born on July 30, 1963 in Anderson, Ind., the son of Archie and Joyce (Langford) Hinson. He graduated from Climax-Scotts High School with the Class of 1981. When he was 18, he got a job at Stewart Sutherland, and worked there ever since. On June 30, 2007, he married Pam in Kalamazoo. His hobbies included his love for the outdoors by trail riding on an ATV or deer hunting with a bow or gun. He will be remembered by his family as big hearted, logical, loving the Lord, being a good provider and very family-oriented. Phil is survived by his wife of 12 years, Pam; son Noah and stepdaughter Emily Hayner, all of Schoolcraft. He is also survived by his mother, Joyce Hinson, Scotts; a brother, Troy Hinson, of Texas; brother-in-law Ronald (Kelly) Schneider, of Portage; niece Cristra (James) Brown; nephews Zachary Hinson and Devin Schneider; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the ALS Foundation at alsa.org.

Suzanne Laymon, 67, Schoolcraft, passed away June 11. Suzanne was born on July 5, 1952 to Charles and Mary Hulbert in Kalamazoo. Suzanne enjoyed scrapbooking and camping. She can be described as honest, humorous and sarcastic. She and her husband Harold were married for 47 years. She is survived by her husband; children Stacy (Jason) Fulbright and Jim (Robin) Laymon; grandchildren Ethan Laymon, Byron Fulbright, Latreece Thomas, Cobie Thomas, Maky Thomas, Camded Thomas, Ashley Laymon, Tiffani Laymon, Sam Ferrer, Camellia Ferrer and Angelica Ferrer; and great grandchildren Dexter Bell, Amelia McCormick, Nolan McCormick and Lynden McCormick; siblings Cindy, Maryann, Charles and Kim. She was preceded in death by her brother, Bill, and her parents. Donations may go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Marihelen Niskala, 91, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully May 28 at Wings of Hope Hospice in Allegan. Per Marihelen’s wishes, she has been cremated and no service will be held. Visit her page at avinkcremation.com.

Steven Michael Simon, 69, Vicksburg passed away June 25. Steve was born on May 23, 1951 to Elmer and Valeria (Osworth) Simon. Steve could usually be found at Angel’s Crossing Golf Course with his friend, Dave. Steve is survived by his wife of 40 years, Linda (Buytendorp) Simon; children Lane (Julie) Terrell and John (Francie) Terrell; grandchildren Cuyler, Mariah, and Becca (Randy); great grandchildren Laurel and Oliver; and a sister Lydia. Steve was preceded in death by his parents. Cremation has taken place, a memorial service to follow at a later date.

Robert Soter, 68, Vicksburg, passed away June 19. Robert was born on April 29, 1952 to Samuel and Tina Soter in Buffalo, N.Y. Bob was a drummer for 59 years, as he started to teach himself to play the drums at 9. His older sister purchased him his very first drum set for his 12th birthday. While still in Buffalo, Bob belonged to two bands, the Nightwalkers and the Nighthawks. More recently, he was in a group called the Backroads Band. Bob was a man with many skills and he especially loved working in the automotive industry. Throughout his life he worked for GM. Next, he was a custom car painter and was a condition reporter for Schoolcraft Auto Auction before he retired. Soon after retiring, Bob found himself bored and needed a way to spend his time. He began working at Shaffer’s flowers and enjoyed every minute of it. Bob’s favorite part was dropping off flowers for someone and saying “Somebody loves you!” He will always be known as an amazing father and partner. He loved his kids and his wife of 19 years, Rebecca. Bob will be remembered as an amazing husband and a hard worker who would do anything for his daughters. Bob is survived by his wife, Rebecca; daughters Kate (Soter) Selvidge, Lindsay Soter, Maya (Soter) David and Jillian Soter; his sister, Marge Soter; grandchildren Cheyanne, Isabella, Tate and Dylan; and great grandchildren John Albert and Everly. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Anthony and Fatina (Neenos) Soter, his sister, Elana Soter, and the mother of his children, Vickie Lehto and stepson Daniel. 
Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.


Della Mae Spencer, 71, Gobles, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away June 22. Della was born on March 18, 1949 in Vicksburg, the third of four children of Harry and Mary (Viro) Spencer. She graduated from Vicksburg Schools in 1968. Della was born again and baptized at the Journey Family Church in Gobles. She was outgoing, outspoken, and loving. She loved saving animals. She is survived by her daughters, Heather Gause of Florida, Mary Burgoyne of Decatur; grandchildren Joplin and Sirius Burgoyne of Decatur; a sister, Leota (Linda Jones) Michielson, of Lawton. She is also survived by her special companion of over 40 years, Stanley Chaney of Gobles. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the Journey Family Church Building Fund.

Elmer “Walt” Ellis Walters Jr., 89, Scotts, went to be with the Lord on May 30. “Junior” was born on the family farm in Jones, Mich. He began a long career in the paper mill industry as a teen. He was a veteran of the Korean War, (1954-1956). Known more as “Walt” in his later years, he was manager of shipping and receiving at Quality Farm and Fleet for 20 years and also worked at Advanced Molding Innovations. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and tinkering with his tractor at his farm in Scotts. Elmer was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Clara Walter, a sister, Betty (Bud) Jensen, and his beloved daughter, Arlene Walter Moord. Surviving are his brother, Fred (Lorna) Walter, his wife of 30 years, Sandi Walters, stepdaughter Melanie (Quentin) Witkowski, granddaughters MaRinda (Mac) Stamp, MaHaley Moord, Hadley and Sutton Witkowski, great grandchildren Cameron, Brixton and Ellis Stamp, stepdaughter Ardell (Alvin) Bontrager and their three children, and cousin Doug Bouwman. Elmer has been cremated and per his wishes will be interred at Poe’s Cemetery next to his daughter. Donations may go to Ascension At Home Hospice and Scotts United Methodist Church.

George Eugene Wedel, 81, Scotts, passed away June 21. George was born June 16, 1939 to Harley and Isabelle Wedel and grew up in Kalamazoo with his brothers, Harley and Richard, both deceased, and Roger, who survives. He met his high school sweetheart, Joyce Christensen, at Kalamazoo Central. They were married January 31, 1959. George and Joyce had three children, Terrie (Dana) Schwartz, Andrew (Danielle) Wedel, and Bonnie (Richard) Russell. Their grandchildren are Nathan (Lindsey) Schwartz, Andrea (Gary) Truax, Nicholas Schwartz, Zachariah Wedel, Caleb Wedel, and Eli Wedel and great grandchildren Dylan, Jackson, Alaina and Callen Truax and Stella Schwartz. George’s father started Wedel’s Nursery, Florist & Garden Center in 1946 in Kalamazoo. Joyce, Terrie, Andrew, Bonnie, and Andrea, Zachariah, and Caleb have all worked at Wedel’s Garden Center. Donations may go to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, Forgotten Man Ministries or Country Christian Evangelical Free Church.

Michael Lewis Yeager, 52, Vicksburg, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on June 12. Mike was born on September 26, 1967 to George and Roxanna Yeager. He was a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School and attended Berkeley School of Music in Boston and the Guitar Institute in Hollywood. He was a member of the bands P-Brain TV and LO-FI Scorpio. He enjoyed singing on the praise team at Westwood Christian Reformed Church. Mike loved fishing and spending time with family and friends. Mike was preceded in death by his father, George Yeager and is survived by his mother, Roxanna Yeager; his wife, Kristi Yeager; children Jake Andrews and Adrianna (Jon) Boyd and grandson Ryder Michael Boyd. Private services will be held for Mike at Westwood Christian Reformed Church and his interment will take place at Vicksburg Cemetery. Donations may go to Westwood Christian Reformed Church or the West Michigan Cancer Center. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Obituaries

George Bowling, 75, Vicksburg, passed away May 6. George was born on December 29, 1944 in Wheeling, W.Va. He was the son of Bane and Eunice (Rose) Bowling. George proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corp during Vietnam from 1964 to 1965. George retired from tool manufacturing after 25 years from Clausing Corp. George will be remembered by his family for being strong-willed but very friendly. George is survived by his two children, Maria (Mick) McCallister, of Parchment and Kevin Bowling, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Terra (Taylor) McCallister, of Portage; Miranda McCallister, of Florida; Karissa (Zach) McCallister, of Kalamazoo; Caden, Connor and Carson Bowling, of Vicksburg; and six great grandchildren. George’s ashes will be buried with military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery at a later date. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Talons Out Honor Flight talonsouthonorflight.org.

Scott Alan Brock, 42, Vicksburg, passed away May 4. Scott was the son of Paul and Brenda (Wood) Brock. He was born on April 28, 1978 in Kalamazoo. He grew up in Vicksburg and attended school there. He worked for a few companies in Kalamazoo and Allegan County. He enjoyed visiting his family at mom’s house, especially for Sunday dinners, and learned to play the guitar a little over the years. In the last year, Scott started attending One Church in Kalamazoo and grew especially close to Pastor Scott and his wife. Though he had health problems in the last six months, he was formulating plans to help charities in the Kalamazoo area. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Brenda Brock, and his oldest brother, Gary Alvord. He is survived by his brother, Andy Brock, and sister-in-law, Amy Brock, of Scotts, and his sister, Melanie Brock (Mike Stephens), of Portage. He is also survived by nephews Jacob Ross, of Kalamazoo, and Kurt (Alex) Koller, of Battle Creek; nieces Emma Brock of Kalamazoo, Maggie Brock of Scotts, and Leia Mullen of Portage, and a grand-nephew, Oliver Koller, born this April. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Beth Haines, 66, Adrian, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away May 1. She was born March 1, 1954 in Vicksburg, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Lowe. She grew up in Vicksburg and graduated from Vicksburg High School, then Kellogg Community College. Beth enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She also enjoyed relaxing in her pool, reading books, crafts, her annual 4th of July party, and especially the holidays. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard F Lowe, and her son, Jason D Haines. Beth is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Lowe of Vicksburg; children, Jared A. Haines of Adrian; Jordan A. (Amanda) Haines of Highland; daughter Lauren E Haines of Westland; grandchildren Caleb, Emma, Eli, Zoey, Sawyer, Cole, and Jordynne Haines; a brother, Rick (Kim) Lowe of Three Rivers; nephew Corey Aukerman of Three Rivers; niece Kelly Aukerman of Vicksburg; great nephew, Dawson Aukerman of Three Rivers, and great niece Abigail Braat of Vicksburg. Donations may go to InterAct of Michigan. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Dwight Haines, 56, Vicksburg, passed away May 10. Dwight was born on February 20, 1964 in Benton Harbor. He was the son of Clarence and Margaret (Sutcliffe) Haines. Dwight graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1982. A fun-loving, outgoing and caring individual, Dwight had a deep love for music that he shared through playing piano and violin, and frequently partaking in the entertainment scene of downtown Kalamazoo. He will always be remembered for the laughs and love he brought to his family and friends. Dwight is survived by his mother, Margaret; a sister, Brenda (James) McCallum, of Galesburg; niece and nephew Nicole (Tim) Wilson, of Galesburg; and David (Tara) McCallum, of Galesburg; four great-nephews, Nathan, Elijah, Ryan and Eric. He was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Haines, in 2016. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com.

Louis D. Malito, 80, a resident of Arbor Terrace in Naperville, Ill. and a former longtime resident of Vicksburg, passed away April 20. He was born on February 13, 1940 in Chicago. Lou is survived by his beloved wife, Elizabeth “Beth” Malito; his loving children, Leah (Michael) Malito Vinik, Dean (the late Lisa) Malito, Darla (Scott) Malito Caputo, Holly (Steve) Malito Pickens, Daniel Malito of Vicksburg, David (Michelle) Malito formerly of Vicksburg, Jesse Malito, Anna Malito, Katrin Malito, along with 13 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dominick and Mary (née Falbo) Malito and infant son, Dominic. Lou was a member of U.A. Plumbers Local 130 in Chicago and continued in this trade through Plumbers Local 333, working for Kellogg Corporation after moving to Vicksburg. While living in Country Club Hills, Ill., Lou was also a volunteer fire fighter and became part of the first paramedic team in Country Club Hills. Throughout his life, he was a football coach, baseball coach, softball coach and player, bowler and always a gardener. Most of all, he was a loving father, a caring neighbor and good friend. Lou enjoyed spending time with his ever-growing family, each summer at Pine Lake Cabins in Wellston, Mich., where he found peace, enjoyed fishing and spent time hanging around the campfire with his crazy large family.

Jo Anne McCrumb, 73, Kalamazoo, formerly of Vicksburg, died May 25. She was born to Donald and Helen (Miller) McCrumb on December 5, 1946. She attended Grand Ledge Public Schools and participated in 4-H, rode rodeo, showed horses. The family later moved to Vicksburg, where Jo played clarinet in the high school marching band, pitched for the softball team, and, even though she was only a Bulldog for a year, was elected Fall Homecoming Queen in 1964. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1965, then attended Western Michigan University, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She worked for several companies including ROLM communication systems and Western Michigan University, installing phone systems and trained employees to use them. She retired from WMU. She attended Vicksburg United Methodist Church, and Unity of Kalamazoo when she moved to the city. She met her husband, Jeff Smith, through church. Jo was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Amy Piper. Surviving are her son, Troy (Shannon) Smith; grandchildren Alex and Faith; siblings Jock McCrumb, Jed (Linda) McCrumb; and nieces and nephews. A private gathering will take place with burial at Vicksburg Cemetery. Visit Jo’s page at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may go to Unity of Kalamazoo.

Ryan C. Miller, 43, Vicksburg, passed away May 22. He was born on June 4, 1976 to Timothy and Deborah (Frye) Miller in Kalamazoo. Growing up in Vicksburg, he was a talented athlete and musician. He played soccer and golf in high school as well as the tuba in the Big Red Machine marching band, graduating in 1994. He received an associate’s degree from Ferris State University and entered the heating and cooling industry as a pipefitter. After 9/11 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his first tour in Iraq in 2002, followed by two other tours of duty in Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon returning home he married his high school sweetheart, Kristine Spiegelberg. When he needed some time to relax and collect himself, he turned to the solace of nature, the garden, or his barn. He loved tinkering on tractors and growing food to feed his family. He also enjoyed the fresh air of a campsite as well as the breeze while riding his Harley Davidson over the years. Ryan grew his strong faith by leaving his fingerprints on many aspects of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Ryan is survived by his wife of 12 years, Kris; children Anna Lynn, Anthony Ryan, and Liam, all of Vicksburg; his parents, Timothy and Deborah Miller of Vicksburg; and siblings Scott (Kathy) Miller, of Vicksburg and Todd (Mandy) Miller, of Vicksburg. He is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, Deb and Wayne Spiegelberg, of Vicksburg; sisters-in-law Brandy Thomas of Vicksburg, Sara Spiegelberg of Springfield, Bonnie (Blake) Osborn of Grand Rapids, and Barbie (Jason) Masternak of Dorr; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Ryan was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bob and Kay Miller, Jim Frye, and great grandma, Lur Dumas. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Wounded Warrior Project or USO Military Lounge.

Sue Clark Moore, 82, Vicksburg native, activist and editor-publisher of the South County News, died at her home Wednesday, May 27. Sue grew up in the newspaper business. She was the daughter of Meredith and Bernice Clark, who owned the Vicksburg Commercial Express. Sue wrote and edited for that newspaper over two decades. She attended Michigan State University, was on the cheerleading squad, and began a 66-year streak of attending MSU-UM football games. Although she lived in Vicksburg for most of her life, she lived at times in Seattle and Springfield, Ill. In Vicksburg, she served on the Board of Education and promoted community-changing efforts. She helped push for creation of the Community Foundation and the Farmers Market. She worked on the program and fundraising for the Rotary Club Showboat, now the Showcase. Her parents’ newspaper had been taken over by the Kalamazoo Gazette, and ceased publication in 2012. In 2013, with a nudge from Village Council President Bill Adams, Sue and others in the Schoolcraft-Vicksburg area began to publish the weekly South County News, credited by many as a “glue” that continues to hold each community together. Sue is survived by her two sons, Scott (Lynda) Moore, of Portage and Chris Moore, of Seattle, and grandchildren Zachary, Austin and Meredith Moore. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Sandra Kay Miller. Due to COVID-19 concerns, a public visitation for Sue was scheduled by appointment June 1 at McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel in Vicksburg. A more public gathering to honor and celebrate Sue’s life will be held at a future date when current restrictions are lifted. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the non-profit South County News.

Joseph L. Reynolds, 86, Delton, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away suddenly May 15. Joe was born in Kalamazoo on October 3, 1933, the son of the late William and Lila (White) Reynolds. He was a longtime resident of Vicksburg before moving to his dream home at Shelp Lake in Delton. Joe served in the National Guard with the 126th Infantry as a combat engineer and sharpshooter from 1955-1958. He retired from the Upjohn Company and then worked for the Kalamazoo Greater Auto Auction. He also ran his own janitor business. He earned seven varsity letters from Portage High School in football, baseball, basketball, and track. He also held the school record for running the mile. Joe graduated from Portage High School in 1951. He managed Vicksburg Merchants Men’s Fastpitch softball team and the Vicksburg Fastpitch Tournament and was known as “Coach Grandpa” within Vicksburg Little League. Joe played on various softball teams well into his 80s and won back-to-back gold medals in the Senior Softball USA Tournament of Champions in 2016 and 2017. He enjoyed camping, fishing, kayaking, cards and cribbage, his grandkids, being silly, and propagating flowers that he snuck out of other people’s yards. Joe also enjoyed orioles and hummingbirds and loved spending time with his family and at his winter home in Naples, Fla. On June 27, 1953, he married the love of his life, Dorothy J. (Marble) Reynolds. She preceded him in death on July 3, 2013. He was also preceded in death by his son, Timm E. Reynolds; brothers Lawrence, William and John and sisters Lila, Larene and Lyleen. Joe is survived by his children, Joseph (Joy Herson) Reynolds, Todd (Jody Sukup) Reynolds, Diana (Craig) O’Dell, Jennie (Rick) Holmes and Sean Reynolds; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; his dear friend and companion, Marlene Warren and numerous nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Southwest Michigan Miracle League. Visit his page at joldersma-klein.com.

David Rhoda, 81, Schoolcraft, passed away peacefully at home May 11, under the care and love of his children and grandchildren. David was born in Schoolcraft on May 6, 1939, the son of the late Lawrence and Flora (Bingham) Rhoda. After graduating from Schoolcraft High School, he proudly served his country as private first class in the Marines Corps until being honorably discharged in 1960. He returned to make Schoolcraft his home and was always proud of his community. David had a kind heart and was always generous. He loved delivering his homemade salsa and pickles to friends, neighbors, family and his doctors and nurses. David had a wonderful smile and personality which made him a joy to know. Nothing made him happier than when his children and grandchildren would visit. He especially loved taking his grandchildren fishing and on John Deere “Gator” rides down the trails and back roads. He is survived by his children, Dennis (Karen) Rhoda, Don (Lorri) Rhoda, Larry (Missie) Rhoda, Steve (Tammy) Rhoda, Kim (Jim) Hamilton; grandchildren Trevor, Alyssa, Adam, Kyler, Macayla, Gabe, Halie, Trae, Jadyn, Bailee, Gavin and Olivia; siblings John Rhoda, Albert Rhoda, Nancy Fellner, Ruth (Larry) Cowan; and Gayla Sager, a very special friend and companion with whom he spent the last 10 years. Due to the current health crisis, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, c/o the funeral home. Visit his page at joldersma-klein.com.

Nancy Louise Roelof, 79, Portage passed away peacefully in her home with family by her side on Tuesday, May 12. Nancy was born on October 22, 1940 in Smithers, W.Va. to Troy and Violet (Feathers) Brown. On August 11, 1967, Nancy married Henry “Hank” Roelof Jr. in Parchment. He preceded her in death on November 21, 1995. She was also preceded in death by both of her parents, her sister Alice (Harley) Gettig, and her brothers, Johnnie, Arnold and (Troy) “Junior”. Nancy is survived by her children, Jerry (Shoni) Harris of Portage, Mike (Margaret) Harris of Comstock and Deborah (Morris) Giddings of Vicksburg; 11 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; three of her four sisters, Carolyn (Curly) Turrentine, Linda (Joe) Cronk, and Pamela (Danny) Long; two of her five brothers, Mike(Colleen) Brown and Billy (Rosita) Brown; and her best friend, Martha (David) Pride. Nancy has been cremated. A celebration of her Life will be held at a later date. While at Nancy’s webpage at http://www.mccowensecord.com, please take time to sign her guestbook by lighting a candle and sharing a memory with the family. Nancy’s family is being cared for by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Obituaries

Larry Oliver Briggs, 77, Mendon, died April 20 at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He was born in Kalamazoo on Sep. 24, 1942, the son of the late Oliver and Jessie (Evans) Briggs. He graduated from Vicksburg High School and first worked at Tibbots as a welder and then Simpson Paper Company. Larry spent most of his working life at American Axle in Three Rivers. He coached Mendon Rocket Football and Little League Baseball and enjoyed building things in his workshop, especially swing-sets. Larry is survived by his wife, the former Evelyn Sue Hines; sons Kurt (Olga) Briggs of Fishers, Indiana and Kevin Briggs of Mendon; grandchildren Mischa and Allison Briggs and Austin, Connor, Coleton, Ashton, Carter, and Kaylena Briggs; siblings Gene, Connie, Virg, Diana, Ronnie, and Gary; and nieces and nephews. In keeping with his wishes, cremation has been conducted and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Assistance was provided by the Eickhoff Funeral Home of Mendon. Memories and condolences may be shared at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Thelma Louise (Parsell) Buckham, 90, passed away unexpectedly in her home on April 18. Thelma was born in St. Clair Shores, Mich. on April 15, 1930, the youngest of eight children. On April 30, 1949, she was united in marriage with George Kingsley Buckham and moved to Buckham Farms in Oshtemo, where they worked the farm with their four children and George’s twin brother, Fred. Her gentle and work-worn hands delivered triplet lambs, canned bushels of peaches, kneaded bread dough, sowed seeds, and sewed sheep blankets and party dresses for her granddaughters. She was actively involved in the Oshtemo 4-H Club and Kalamazoo County 4-H for over 70 years. Thelma is survived by her children, Gail (Carl) VanderKolk of Dorr, George (Kathy) Buckham of Schoolcraft, Jeff (Julia) Buckham of Schoolcraft and Brian (Susan) Buckham of Richland; 19 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Private burial has taken place in Genesee Prairie Cemetery. A service to celebrate Thelma’s life will be held later this year. Services are entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, Kalamazoo. Visit her page at langelands.com.

Stephen Joel Crane, 82, Battle Creek, formerly of Scotts, passed away April 18. Stephen was born on June 23, 1937 in Detroit and was the only child of Leland and Cecilia (Lenaham) Crane. In his younger years he enjoyed playing baseball. After high school he proudly served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He worked as a pallet maker for Rock-Tenn in Battle Creek. Stephen was a member of the VFW Post 1527 and the Kalamazoo County Masonic Lodge. On November 10, 2001 he married Norma Jean Olson. Stephen is survived by his daughter, Denise Crane, of Kalamazoo; stepchildren Ronnie (Brenda) Olson of Kalamazoo, Denny (Karen Nay) Olson of Vicksburg, David (Kim) Olson of Vicksburg, Karen (Tom) Dillon of Galesburg, Brenda (Joel) Nelson of Vicksburg and Jack (Dawn Waldron) Olson of Vicksburg; 14 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Jean Crane, in 2012. Stephen is being cremated and will have a military burial of his ashes at Fort Custer National Cemetery once it can be held publicly. Visit his page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Talons Out Honor Flight talonsouthonorflight.org/donate.html.

Helen I. Meeuwse, 88, Vicksburg, died April 8. Helen was born February 24, 1932 in Kalamazoo to Edward and Edna (Miles) Stacey. On February 19, 1949, she married Engbert Meeuwse. Helen worked for the Gibson Guitar Company for 17 years. She was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening and weeding. Helen is survived by her children, Kay (George) Kucinich, Brenda (Mike) Hills and Jerry (Karla Derington) Meeuwse; grandchildren Melissa McGuire, Anne (Paul) Bowgett, Duane (Emily) Kucinich and Miles Meeuwse; two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Engbert, brothers Charles, Loyal, Ralph, Miles and Arnold Stacey and sisters Elizabeth Harden, Meda Ruse and Loraine Martin. Due to the COVID-19 virus, a service will be held later when it is safe for Helen’s family and friends to be together and celebrate Helen’s life. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Visit her page at farleyestesdowdle.com.

Stuart Renwick Molineaux, 84, Battle Creek, passed away peacefully in his sleep April 12 at Care Community. He was born on August 23, 1935, the only son of Grace and Forrest Molineaux of Vicksburg. He is survived by sisters Sharon Rutz of Marcellus; Debbie Molineaux and Sue Molineaux, both of Green Valley, Ariz.; Jeanne Molineaux, Penn Valley, Calif.; nephews Casey Hulse of Vicksburg, Steve Rutz of Silver Springs Md., Chris Rutz of St. Joseph, Bryan Graybill of Gladwin, Mich; and many cousins. Stuart was predeceased by his oldest sister, Pam Hulse. Stuart was raised in Crystal, MI. He was a marine and then practiced law. Stuart was physically assaulted in the mid-1990’s with resulting brain damage and moved to supported living. Visit Stuart’s page at avinkcremation.com.

Diane Kay Reece, 80, Kalamazoo, died April 27 at Friendship Village. She was born on Sept. 4, 1939 and raised on the family farm in Fulton, the daughter of Forrest and Ruth (Harrison) Snyder. Diane graduated from VHS in 1958. On June 21, 1959, she married Ron Reece, whom she had known since kindergarten. He preceded her in death on October 18, 2006. Diane is survived by her three children, Jeff (Katie) Reece of Ann Arbor, Tammy Patterson of Portage, and Jenny (Bryan) Taffee of Portage; grandchildren Morgan (Ryan) Szumski of Kalamazoo, Mackenzie (Nam) Le of Portage, and Mallory (Greg) Waddell of Kalamazoo, Jordan Taffee of Portage, and Carson Taffee of Portage; great grandchildren Carter and Collins Szumski, and Indie Le; sisters Joyce Francisco of East Naples, Florida, and Vera (Chuck) Walker of Portage; brothers-in-law Gordon Mitchell of Fulton, Richard Portinga of Portage, Tom (Sandy) Reece of Chicago, John (Lori) Reece of Ann Arbor, and Dave (Kathy) Reece of Portage; sister-in-law Janet Reece of Chicago; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, Diane was preceded in death by her father- and mother-in-law, Paul and Beulah Reece; brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Iva Snyder, Stewart and Maxine Snyder, Leslie and Rowene Snyder; brother Lee Snyder; sister Mildred (nee Snyder) Mitchell; sisters and brothers-in-law Alice (nee Snyder) and Dana Fry, Peggy (nee Snyder) Hollenbeck-Portinga and Gary Hollenbeck; and brothers-in-law, Sam Francisco and Jack Reece. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Bok Tower Gardens. Visit her page at hohnerfh.com/diane-reece/.

John Franklin Sturgeon, 87, Vicksburg, passed away April 8 at his home. John was born December 23, 1932 in Flint, the son of Jonathan Martin and Ida Mae (Goode) Sturgeon. He graduated from Dye High School in the class of 1953, attended Owosso College and proudly served in the Michigan National Guard. John was an active member of both Owosso and Vicksburg Nazarene churches where he sang bass in the church choirs for the past 40 years, along with serving on calling teams and the church board. He married Shirley Mae Shoup in Owosso on February 13, 1970. John retired from General Motors after 42 years of service. John is survived by his wife; children Mark (Sherri) Sturgeon of Mattawan, Paul Sturgeon of Henderson, Nev., Karen Lewkowski of Lakeland, Fla., David (Sue) Stanton of Sturgis, Johnna Sturgeon (Kevin Maves) of Vicksburg, Joanna Sturgeon (T.J. Sibert) of Vicksburg; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; other loving family members and friends. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers Albert and Martin Sturgeon. A private family graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens and a public celebration will be held at a later date. Donations may go to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Online condolences may be sent to the family at Nelson-House.com.

Julius William Weessies, Jr. “Bill”, 80, passed away April 16. He was born June 16, 1939 in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Julius and Irene (Frakes) Weessies, Sr. Bill grew up in Vicksburg and graduated from Vicksburg High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force, returned to the Kalamazoo area and resumed working as a technician for Western Electric and its successor companies, retiring in 1994. Bill was a longtime fan and supporter of WMU Hockey and enjoyed cruising, powerboating and auto racing. On March 11, 1961, Bill married the former Judith A. Ryder who preceded him in death on February 20, 1994. He was also preceded in death by his parents. Bill is survived by his son, Greg Weessies of Schoolcraft; his companion, Carolyn Kirkpatrick of Portage; brothers Jim and Bob Weessies; several nieces and nephews; and many close friends. Private graveside services will be held in the Schoolcraft Village Cemetery. Donations may go to Bickford of Portage Assisted Living & Memory Care. Visit his page at langelands.com.

Pastors, Funeral Directors Face Challenges Amid COVID-19

By Sue Moore

Pastor Dave Downs, Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene

“We are not able to visit our folks who are confined to nursing home and hospitals.

“However, I did record a video Bible study this past Wednesday that was used at the Bickford Senior Living facility in Portage. Also, last Sunday my sermon was recorded in my office and posted to our Facebook page and website. This Sunday we are starting to use Facebook live for our morning worship service. These will be live on Facebook each Sunday at 10 a.m. until further notice. We will have very limited music. And no one in attendance.

“Our children’s director, Kelly Downs, is communicating with the children via Facebook and encouraging them with activities they are able to do at home with their families.

“Our youth pastor, Brian Robbins, is communicating his weekly message to our middle and high school students via Facebook. Our young adult pastor, Rob Lash, is also staying in touch with our young adults via Facebook.

“Our senior adult pastor, Wes Bittenbender, is communicating regularly with our elderly folks. When they have needs, we have people ready to respond. People have offered to pick up groceries and prescriptions if needed.

“We have also reached out to our schools and Generous Hands. Our people responded this week to some pressing needs at Generous Hands. Superintendent Keevin O’Neal told us he would reach out to us with ways we can be of assistance when something comes up.

“These are very trying times as we are social people. We love to be together! Thankfully, we are also hopeful people. We know that one day we will again be able to meet together. We trust these days to God and pray for healing!”

Pastor Ed Schmidt, Lakeland Reformed Church

Historically churches were designed to respond to humanity’s need to be “social” – be part of a family, community, social distancing in many ways fractured our attachments. But it also forces us to become creative for the “family of God” to remain connected. So Social media – using the internet through emails, Facebook & Facebook Live, Skype, and other platform have emerged as essential to sustain our connections. We are also encouraging a “re-emphasis” by connecting through one on one phone conversations, or walk over and give a greeting with a post it note on your neighbor’s window. Individuals have started calling each other, maybe one a week or every other week because they missed seeing each other at church. When our leadership is calling the members we are asking for what do you need? And what can you give/do?

For most churches I heard the Sunday connection for worship was through a log-in worship through Facebook Live or a recorded message on YouTube. I know of a church who used a phone “party line” or conference call connection for members to dial up the Pastor and 9 others in the sanctuary to share their prayers of joys and concerns.

No great insights or unusual examples. But something we are all trying to learn from one another and apply as we are able. But as churches we will keep working through this new normal, because Church operations “sure aren’t the same as they used to be.” But we will continue to figure out how to share our good news of comfort, hope and faith to a community that’s anxious, afraid and uncertain. It’s still down to showing God’s love to our neighbor.

Pastor Greg Culver, United Methodist Church of Vicksburg

“I think the thing for the church is that while our people experience social distancing, we do what we can to make sure the feeling doesn’t digress into social isolation. For many legacy (aka elder) members, the church is their primary connection with others. The church is also highly symbolic in that it represents Christ to many people – and as pastor, that makes my role symbolic as someone who will keep steady hand on the keel of the ship. People need to hear from their church family and their pastor. I email frequent pastoral messages to be of encouragement. The congregation has been included in the caring. Everybody in our email database was forwarded an up-to-date church directory inviting them to make at least three contacts daily with someone else – not necessarily someone they know well. Never underestimate the offering of ‘small-talk.’

“An order of worship for the missed Sunday is sent out along with a prepared manuscript of the pastor’s sermon as a witness that, yes, the pastor is discerning Scripture on their behalf. We’re moving into video-production to put worship on our website as well as utilizing our social media (Facebook and Instagram).

“Coronavirus social distancing will probably extend beyond Easter. The church has never experienced anything like this and we anticipate contingencies in our approach to ministry. Mortality, viral or not, and how to care for folk in the face of death raises some questions. We might end up “live-streaming” a funeral or two.

“What an under-appreciated blessing we had when we were able to physically gather together. A more robust understanding of gratitude could come from it being taken away by circumstances beyond our control.

“All in all, I think that our people are coping well, thus far. It’s gonna take a lot of Jesus to get us through, but He’s totally faithful even in the difficult times.”

In his letter to the Catholic faithful, Bishop Paul J. Bradley of the Diocese of Kalamazoo has temporarily suspended all public Masses effective Friday, March 20 through Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020. Additionally, the annual Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 7th has been relocated to St. Augustine Cathedral, Kalamazoo, and will be limited to attendance by priests only. The Mass will be live-streamed and details will be posted on the diocesan website. The Diocesan Pastoral Center will be closed to the public from March 20th through April 5th; employees will be working remotely. In his letter, Bishop Bradley wrote:

“Being unable to come to Mass and receive the Gift of the Eucharist is a huge sacrifice that we must make to protect the health and well-being of all those with whom we come in contact. While this restriction is temporary, and I pray, short-lived, our faith life continues. We must stay strong in the practice of our faith through our individual times of prayer, as well as increased family prayer times; our own spiritual reading and reflection on God’s Holy Word; the praying of the rosary, and other important devotions and spiritual practices. I have asked our priests to keep our churches open/unlocked as much as possible during this time of crisis, and I invite you to come to spend time of prayer and reflection with Jesus Present in the Blessed Sacrament, following all the other proscribed precautions of social distancing. I also want you to know that all our priests will continue celebrating Mass every day privately; I have asked them specifically to offer Masses regularly for the intentions of the Faithful of their parishes and our Diocese, especially those who are sick, alone, and suffering in other ways during this time of crisis.”

Dale Eickhoff, owner of Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon

“Funeral homes have always practiced universal precautions, since we are confronted with some type of outbreak or epidemic every five to 10 years. Infection control is nothing new for us. What is new are the restrictions on the size of any gathering – currently limited to 50 people –, by the Governor. Suggesting that we limit attendance to 50 family members is going to be a challenge. In small rural communities, we are all related! At this point we are forced to have a small intimate ceremony (perhaps by invitation only) with the hope of having a larger gathering or luncheon when restrictions have been lifted.”

Steve McCowen, co-owner of McCowen & Secord Funeral Home

“The funeral industry is unique because we handle every deceased person with Universal Precautions and treat as if everyone has a contagious disease. We have training with our staff annually to make sure they are on top of the care for themselves as well as the people we bring into our buildings. I always like to tell the staff to remember if they don’t protect themselves they put their family and our staff at risk. So, I live my life this way every day. I’ve always probably been seen as a germophobic person but I was just always taught to wash my hands a ton in our profession with all the people we come in contact with. My first year as a funeral director I was sick nonstop.

“As far funerals for the public knowledge, we are business as usual. The CDC has guidelines that our National Funeral Directors Association sent out this past week. So, we can make sure our embalmers like myself understand the illnesses like this one and others we could be facing. It also lets us know what extra precautions to take when handling a deceased. This illness doesn’t seem to stay with the body after death like some. At least not what they have found so far. We trained our staff that goes to the hospital and homes what to expect and how to handle this situation and others.

“We have asked all of our staff, much like we do during cold and flu season, to stay home if they have any symptoms. We understand we work with the ‘at-risk’ community on a daily basis.

“We do have extra hand sanitizers at our locations and it’s really hard not to shake a hand but I noticed today people were cautious at the service [we just had]. I don’t live my life in fear, maybe because of all the diseases I’ve had to work around in my career. It also says in my faith 365 times in the Bible to ‘Fear Not’. So, I still give hugs to those that need one and offer to help families when they need someone. It’s what we do. I’m don’t fear getting sick and if the good Lord ask me to come home today I have no fear in that either.”

Obituaries

Ronald (Ron) Bruce Avis, 84, Vicksburg, passed away March 7. Ron was the son of Donald “Bud” and Wenona “Nona” Avis and was born on September 19, 1935. Ron was a Cedar Springs High School graduate and received his electrical license by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Chicago. He joined the army and served during the Korean War. He married Nelly Sweet June 28, 1959 right after Nelly graduated from MSU. They resided in Chicago while she taught and he finished electrical school. They then moved to Vicksburg, becoming lifelong residents. He served on the Schoolcraft Township Planning Commission for many years and was a member of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. He was most involved in the Kalamazoo County 4-H Horse Project. His favorite thing in life was to watch children blossom through their 4H projects. He was also a Freemason and a member of the IBEW Local 131. During Ron’s time as an electrician and project manager for R.W. Leet Electric, a sub-contractor of the Upjohn Company, he was in the lead on many projects. He is survived by Nelly Ann Avis after 61 years of marriage, daughters Amy Avis, Portage and Molly (Kevin) Ball of Carmel, Ind. and grandchildren Lucas, Lauryn and Griffin Ball; a brother, Norwood (Janet) Avis of Cedar Springs and several nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Generous Hands of Vicksburg, generoushands.org or the Vicksburg United Methodist Church.

Anna Burson, 94, Schoolcraft, peacefully passed away March 21 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Anna was born on August 17, 1925 to Kenneth and Irene (McClain) Nichols. She is survived by her children, David (Linda Sue) Burson of Schoolcraft, Vikki (Denny) Plothow of Portage, Stephen (Linda Jean) Burson of Schoolcraft, Jeff Burson of Schoolcraft; grandchildren Tammy (Todd) Thayer, Todd (Melissa) Burson, John Burson, Melissa (Chris) Carpenter, Kathy Jako, Joshua (Mary) Burson, Lance (Gail) Strome, Tracie Burson, Tina Burson, Michael (Mimi) Burson Jr., Billy Burson and Candy (Paul) Graham; 20 great grandchildren; 6 great-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Anna was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Max; her children, Ronald, Michael Sr. and Theresa and her six brothers and a sister. Visit mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Rose Arbor Hospice.

Sue Ann Hanna, 66, Scotts, passed away March 20, surrounded by family. Sue was born to George and Betty (Leversee) Srackangast on January 18, 1954. Sue is survived by her husband, Colin Hanna; children Christopher (Kelly), Dennis, and Kyle (Holly); grandchildren Nate, Ally, and Isabella; siblings Jim Srackangast and Beth Jackson; and several nieces and nephews. Sue was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Sharon Kooyers. Sue has been cremated and a service may be held at a later date. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Talons Out Honor Flight.

Theresa (Coffinger) Huntington, passed away March 20. She was born to Ernest and Marilda (Hopkins) Coffinger on May 22, 1924. At the age of 18, she was joined in marriage to Marion (Babe) Huntington on April 24, 1943. They later welcomed nine children. Theresa loved crocheting Christmas ornaments, and making quilts for her family and friends. She spent countless hours enjoying nature and feeding the birds. Family was very important to her. Over the years the staff at the West Michigan Cancer Center had become a beloved part of her family. Theresa was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Marion Huntington, on December 21, 1979; infant daughters Sharon Lee in 1946 and Edith May in 1959; her parents; a brother, Norman Coffinger; sisters Sally Terry and Dora Roberts; daughter-in-law Linda (Loosier) Huntington; son-in-law John Overton; and grandson Ed Miller Jr. Surviving are sons Leslie (Angel) and David Huntington of Vicksburg; daughters Marilyn (Ed Sr.) Miller of Coldwater, Rosemary (Raymond) Weller of Coldwater, Alice (Mike) Bockstanz, of Portage, Lorie Overton, of Three Rivers and Brenda (Robert) Piper, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Shannon (Mike) Lashbrook, David (Brandi) Huntington, Raymond Weller Jr., Theresa (John) Cleckner, Jessica (Hunter) Weller, Alicia (Ron) Crandall, Michelle (Brian) VanderBor, John (Sarah) Overton, Mike (Lisa) Overton, Steve Overton, Sierra (Eric) Piper and Natalie (Jesse) Piper; great grandchildren Eddie, David and Jonathan Miller, Tyler Weller, Lindsey, Logan and Ashlyn Cleckner, Yazmene and Trenton VanderBor, Collin Crandall, Hannah and Mackenzie Overton, Camron and Jordan Overton, Laine, Aubree and Addison Overton, and James Vance. Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center.

James (Jim) Lafler, passed away March 13. He was born on Sept. 12, 1935, in Leonidas. He was raised and attended school in Fulton and Vicksburg. Jim resided in Vicksburg and Portage. He worked as a lumberjack, enjoyed fishing, hunting, and catching snapping turtles. Jim was also known for hauling junk and scrap metal and cleaning out apartments and homes. Jim married Theresa Weinberg, with whom he had five children. Jim has two stepdaughters with his partner of 51 years, Beverly Ridenour. He was preceded in death by his parents, James Lafler Sr. and Neva Lafler, sons James Lafler III and Jack Lafler, brother Tom Lafler, and sister Joann Sleeman. He is survived by Beverly Ridenour, his children Rita (Doug) Diamond, Dale (Junita) Lafler, Scott (Amy) Lafler, Linda (Warner) Connor-Offord, Vickie Muncy, brother Willard (Mazy) Lafler, brother Butch (Robin) Lafler, several grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at the Word for Life Church of God at a future date. Officiating at the service will be Pastor Jeffery McNally.

Marjorie June (Peggy) Zonyk Lambert, 91, passed away February 3 in Mecosta, Mich. She was born in Battle Creek on June 26, 1928, the eldest child of Raymond and Ethel (Daniels) Brown of Vicksburg. Peggy graduated Vicksburg High School in 1945. She received a certificate in medical dictation from Elkhart Business School. Peggy went to work as a clinic secretary at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. On July 7, 1948, Peggy married Joe Zonyk. She served as the Brady Township treasurer. Her last job was with Gilmore Advertising in Kalamazoo. She retired in 1988. She also enjoyed old sayings she collected and eventually published them in a book she called “Grandma’s Sayings.” That book has been sold in every state in the U.S. On July 14, 1983, Peggy married John (Jack) Lambert. They were married for 27 years. Peggy is survived by her children, Dan (Caryn) Zonyk of Vicksburg and Susan (Ron) Reardon of Canadian Lakes, Mich. She is also survived by her step-children, John (Lisa) Lambert of Carmel, Ind. and Nancy Lambert, Arcadia, Kan. She was a proud and loving grandmother to her grandchildren, Angela Verwey of Plainwell, Michael (Melissa) Zonyk of Grand Rapids, Michelle (Dave) Malito of Portage, Joshua (Emily) Reardon of Shelby, N.C., Jeffrey (Lauren) Reardon of Westland, Mich., Jeff Lambert of Denver, Col. and Ryan Lambert of Indianapolis, Ind. Peggy was also blessed with seven great-grandchildren. She leaves behind two siblings, Kay Warner of Warren, Mich. and Ray Brown of Three Rivers as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents and spouses. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Royal View Assisted Living. Staff there considered her part of their family for the last 10 years of her life.

Kathleen Ruth Lange, 78, Vicksburg passed away March 22. Kathy was born on September 22, 1941 in Allegan. She was the fifth child of eight to Theodore and Josephine (McGeath) Lange. She graduated from Allegan High School with the class of 1959. Kathy completed beauty school and enjoyed being a beautician for many years. Later on, her love for flowers lead her to design floral arrangements for Shafer Flowers in Kalamazoo, and she also for a period of time had her own business called Silk Creations. Her hobbies included working in her flower garden and painting. She raised her children on Long Lake and enjoyed the lake life with pontoon rides, fishing, and many sunsets. While her children were younger, she was a leader for both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and active in the Vicksburg Athletic Boosters. While her boys were in high school, she organized spaghetti dinners for the football team that is now a tradition in the community. Most important to Kathy was her faith and her family. She loved when her family was all together and supported her children’s and grandchildren’s many endeavors. She will be remembered by her family for being giving, helpful, generous, spunky, faithful, strong willed, and very family-oriented. Kathy is survived by her three children, Kelly (Dan) Oswalt, of Vicksburg; Scott Swope, of Vicksburg; and Matt (Debbie) Swope, of Vicksburg; grandchildren: Megan (JT Neel) Oswalt, Emily (Andy) Foster, Katie (Derek) Debiak,  Amanda Swope and Nick Swope, all of Vicksburg; great grandchildren Grady and Addy Foster, both of Vicksburg. She is also survived by her brother, Thomas Lange, of Allegan; sister Gretchen (Ron) Wedge, of Allegan; brother-in-law Ken Washburn, of Hopkins; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her great granddaughter, Josie Neel; siblings Grace Ann (Gerald) Richardson, Sue (Joe) Huguelet, Barbara Jo Washburn, Mary Joan Lange, Ted (Wanda) Lange; special cousin Edna “Skip” McDonough; and sister-in-law Sue Lange. Kathy will have a Celebration of her Life on her birthday, September 22, 2020 from 5-8 p.m. at R&R Weddings and Events. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Birch Meadows.

Rose Elizabeth Moore, 104, Vicksburg passed away March 24. Rose was born on November 13, 1915 in Leonidas, MI. She was the daughter of Earl and Nora (Lunger) Lash. Rose married Floyd Moore on December 21, 1960. She worked as a cook for over 25 years at the State Hospital before retiring. Her hobbies included cooking and crocheting. Rose will be remembered by her family and friends as: amazing, fun to be around, loving, caring, giving, and having a joyful heart. Rose is survived by her husband of 59 years, Floyd; five grandchildren: Robert R. (Diana) Siscoe, of Albion; Floyd A. (Stacy) Siscoe, of Mattawan; Craig Siscoe, of Bronson; Elizabeth A. (James) Moore, of SC; Vicky Muncy, of Kalamazoo; and many great and great great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, June Potter, of Vicksburg, and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her son: Robert E. Siscoe. Rose has been cremated and no services are planned at this time. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com.

Virgene Rae Price, 79, Portage, formerly of Vicksburg, passed away March 17. Virgene was born on January 14, 1941 in Weidman, Mich. She was the daughter of Clare and Ruth (Hart) Oberlin. On December 17, 1988 she married Leonard Price and blended their families together. Virgene is survived by her children, Lori (Allen) Shedd; Mark (Melissa) Kuepfer; Paul Kuepfer; Kristin (Scott) Watkins; and 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by siblings Richard (Carol) Oberlin and Sharon (Orlo) Johnson and by her husband, Leonard Price. A memorial service will be planned for a later date at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage. Please continue to check Virgene’s webpage at mccowensecord.com where you can get updated service information, sign the guestbook, and share a memory with the family. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Julia Marie Smith, 53, Vicksburg, passed away March 18. Born to William and Phyllis (Watson) Smith on May 24, 1966, in Vicksburg. She was the older of two as she was joined in her family by her brother, Jeff. She attended local schools including Vicksburg High School. There, Julia was an avid softball player, was in track, and also played the clarinet in the marching band. She was thrilled to welcome three children, Adam, Stephanie, and Makenna, into her heart and home. Later, she was blessed to add two grandchildren, Sophia and Mia, into the family. It was easy to see that Julia’s granddaughters were her greatest source of pride and joy. For more than 20 years, she was blessed with the companionship of Chris Pillars after meeting him at a New Year’s Eve party. She spent more than 16 years working at Linden Woods Dental, and she also worked at Main Street Pub in Vicksburg for over 10 years. Julia loved Keno and traveling, and when at home she loved a good Lifetime movie. Julia is survived by her companion of 20 years, Chris Pillars; three children: Adam (Ryan) Phillips, of Canton; Stephanie (Michael Alexander) Phillips, of Kalamazoo; Makenna Pillars, of Vicksburg; two grandchildren: Sophia and Mia Alexander, of Kalamazoo. She is also survived by her mother: Phyllis Smith, of Scotts; and brother Jeff (Kim) Smith, of Vicksburg. She is preceded in death by her father, William Smith; grandparents: Edward and Betty Smith and Richard and Evelyn Watson. A memorial service is being planned for a later date. Visit her page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the family c/o Stephanie Phillips.

Doug Truckey, 80, Vicksburg, passed away with family by his side on March 1. Doug was born on February 15, 1940 to Francis and Helen (McElevain) Truckey. Following his wishes, cremation has taken place. Doug is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jan; his children, Scott (Susan) Truckey, Jeff (Jean) Truckey, Brian (Karen) Truckey and Lori (Jacob) Bittle; 14 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren with 3 more on the way, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Dennis, his brother, Frances Jr., and his sister, Sandra. Doug enjoyed woodworking and watching westerns on TV. He loved spending time with his family and lived for his grandchildren. He enjoyed farming, hunting and fishing as well as trap shooting. Doug retired from Fox River Paper Company after 17 years. He served his country proudly in the United States Air Force for 6 years. He was very patriotic all his life. Please visit Doug’s memory page at mccowensecord.com where you can leave a memory for his family.