Obituaries

Janet A. Beals, 87, Schoolcraft, went to be with the Lord October 9, 2022. Janet was born September 13, 1935, in Schoolcraft, the daughter of John “Gordon” and Waive Arda (Westveer) Forsyth. Janet graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 1953 and was a lifelong resident of Schoolcraft. Janet married Robert Lawrence Borger on May 1, 1955. Together they raised four children and parented several foster children. During her lifetime, she worked as a cashier at Harding’s Market in Schoolcraft, was district manager of Studio Girl Cosmetics, drove a school bus for Schoolcraft Schools, was a certified nursing assistant and factory worker as well as working as a tailor/seamstress from the basement of her home. She also owned a small convenience store in Lilley, Michigan. Janet enjoyed crafts, the outdoors, riding snowmobiles and motorcycles. She was the organist at Trinity Bible Church in Marcellus. Janet is survived by son Rodney Borger, of Vicksburg; daughters Wendy (Borger) Zimmerman of Schoolcraft, and Laurie (Borger) Conklin of Big Rapids; son-in-law Scott Conklin of Big Rapids; nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren; as well as two great-great-grandchildren. Janet was preceded in death by three husbands, Robert Borger, Frank Beals and Fred Hans; son Timothy Borger; her parents; brother Marvin Forsyth; daughter-in-law Pamela (Sinkler) Borger; and nieces Ronda Armstrong and Cindy Chapman. Services have been held. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators.

Linda Sue Burson, 70, Schoolcraft, passed away October 14, 2022 at her home. Linda was born December 10, 1951 in Bridgeport, Alabama, the daughter of Robert and Louise (Coffman) Hicks. On August 24, 1968, she was united in marriage to David Burson at the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church. Linda was a drive-thru teller at Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft for over 15 years. Linda is survived by her husband of 54 years, Dave Burson; children Tammy (Todd) Thayer, Todd (Melissa) Burson, and John Burson; many grandchildren and great grandchildren; and two sisters, Annette and Pam. Donations may go to Abbott Medical (formerly St. Jude).

Richard Lee Flinn, 87, Vicksburg, passed away October 5, 2022. Richard was born October 30, 1934, in Grand Rapids, the son of Theodore and Ethel (Rohr) Flinn. Richard graduated from Schoolcraft Schools in 1952. He went to work for Simpson Paper for over 25 years. He then worked for over 10 years at Hydra-Matic. Richard loved classic cars and driving his Model A. Richard is survived by his wife, Beverly Gilchrist-Flinn; son Danny Flinn of Vicksburg; stepsons Jerry (Linda) Gilchrist of Lawton and Doug Gilchrist of Portage; grandchildren Tracie (Matthew Roberts) Hunt of Florida and Renee (Mark) Wilson of Vicksburg; great-grandchildren Adele, Clare, Luke and Corinne. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Norma; son David; and two brothers, Kenneth and Duane. Visit his page at amsfuneralhome.com. Donations may go to Generous Hands or Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.

MaryAnn (Linton) Hayward passed away October 21, 2022. She was a teacher in the Portage Public Schools. She loved traveling and learning about people, languages, cultures, and places. She was a woman of faith, played bridge, volunteered at the library, pursued genealogy, and enjoyed reading and writing. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Robert “Bob” Neil Hayward; daughter Darcy Ann (Stephen) Staley and son Trenton Robert (Cindy) Hayward; grandchildren Darby Rae (Andy) Disselkoen, Emma Quinn Walhout, Alexander Peter (Sabrina) Walhout, Megan (Levi) Unema, Macy Kristina Hayward, Samuel Roman Staley, and Isaac Joseph Staley; great-grandson Elias Drew Disselkoen; and cousins JoAnn Wells, Fran Bruni, and Pete Matz. She was preceded in death by her father, Clayton “Whitey” Linton, and mother, Ann (Matz) Linton. A visitation will be held at Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home on Sunday, November 13, from 5-7 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at Lakeland Reformed Church on Monday, November 14, at 11 a.m. Donations may go to South County Community Services. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Leslie Eugene “Luke” Huntington, 75, Vicksburg, went to be with the Lord October 8, 2022. He was born July 23, 1947, the son of Marion (Babe) and Theresa (Coffinger) Huntington. In 1967, Leslie graduated from Vicksburg High School. He was a Vietnam veteran and worked at Arco for 44 years. Leslie loved Kwame Hooker and Glen and Breon Batten as if they were his own sons. He is survived by sisters Marilyn (Ed) Miller, Alice (Michael) Bockstanz, Lorie Overton, and Brenda Piper; brother-in-law Raymond Weller; nieces Theresa (John) Cleckner, Shannon (Michael) Lashbrook, Alicia (Ron) Crandall, Michelle (Brian) VanderBor, Sierra (Eric Vance) Piper, Natalie (Jesse) Richards, and Jessica (Hunter) Frantom; nephews Raymond Weller, David (Brandi Hansen) Huntington, John (Sarah) Overton, Steve Overton, and Mike (Lisa) Overton; as well as many great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in passing by his parents; brother David Huntington; sisters Rosemary Weller, Edith, and Sharon Huntington; brothers-in-law John Overton and Robert Piper; sister-in-law Linda Huntington; nephew Edwin Miller Jr.; and good friend Jack Whitney. Donations may go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Maxine Marie Johnson, Three Rivers, passed away peacefully on September 9, 2022. Maxine was born on March 30, 1927 to Walter and Goldie Riddle in Vicksburg. She grew up in the Vicksburg area and attended Vicksburg High School. As a young woman, Maxine met and fell in love with Floyd Johnson. They were married within a year and had three daughters: Sharon Miller of Centreville, Deanna Scott of Schoolcraft, and Noreen Sears from Three Rivers. Maxine was preceded in passing by her loving husband, Floyd, and eldest daughter, Sharon. Maxine adored her family and was a proud grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother to many. She took great pride in her flowers. Maxine loved spending time in her kitchen and loved canning her special dill pickles. A talented baker, her homemade bread and donuts were always a favorite. Faith was very important to Maxine, and she was a longtime member and board member of the Vicksburg Assembly of God. Maxine will forever be remembered as a beloved mom, grandmother, aunt and friend.

Eli M. Lewis, 88, Vicksburg, passed away October 20, 2022, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. Eli was born to Clayton and Edith (Plummer) Lewis in Athens Township, Michigan, on September 28, 1934. He graduated from Athens High School in 1952, where he was the salutatorian. Eli joined the Army in 1955 and served for two years. He married Judith Kay Switzer on August 30, 1958. Eli worked at Simpson-Lee Paper Company for 30 years and worked for the past 25 years at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. Eli and Judy discovered a wonderful life in Jesus Christ and were very involved in the churches they attended. He enjoyed working in the yard, writing poems for family and friends, and spending time with family. He was a quiet and humble man with a great sense of humor, and he was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Eli is survived by his wife, Judy, their children Polly (Jeff) Preston, Tim (Gail) Lewis and Dan (Patti) Lewis, all of Vicksburg; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; his brother, Glenn (and Nancy) Lewis of Florida; and many nieces and nephews. Eli was preceded in death by his daughter, Shellie Lewis Bladen, grandson-in-law Ethan Leasure, his sister, Lois Lewis, and his parents. Donations may go to the American Kidney Fund. Visit his page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Dana Louise Marshall (Begg), 79, Vicksburg, passed away September 10, 2022. Dana was born May 22, 1943 in Battle Creek, the daughter of George and Marian Begg (VanSycle). She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1960. She married Richard Freeman Marshall in 1968, moving to Vicksburg in 1978 to raise their children. Dana was employed by Vicksburg Community Schools as a custodian and recess supervisor for nearly 30 years. Dana enjoyed her lunch and garage sale outings with her closest friends. Dana especially loved watching the television show “How I Met Your Mother.” Neil Patrick Harris was one of Dana’s favorite actors, and she received an autographed script and a picture as a gift. Dana is survived by her children, Kati (Tim) Mitchell, Heather (Adam Gimbel) Marshall, Stephanie (Jason) Rahn, Andy (Jessica) Marshall, Ben (Misty Reid) Marshall, and Dan Marshall; grandchildren Abby, Zach, Lark, Killian, Kendall, Sammy, Josh, Calvin, and Kellianne; a sister, Nancy Begg Daning; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her cat, Moose. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard, and older brother Gary Begg. Donations may go to Generous Hands.

Sanford “Sam” L. Miller, 96, Vicksburg, died peacefully at his home with family by his side on September 29, 2022. Sam was born in Butler, Indiana and together with his wife, Geraldine, made a home in Vicksburg starting in 1952. He was a lifelong member of Lakeland Reformed Church, and his family and faith were the center of his life. Sam passed along his values and faith to all he knew and met and was truly a man who lived his life to the fullest. Despite his health challenges over the past couple of years, he always put others first and accepted his path in life as part of God’s plan for him. Sam was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine, sons Steve and Mark, and daughter Margaret. He is survived by his children Brian (Sandy) Miller and Dave (Kim) Miller; granddaughter Rhonda Roelofs; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and numerous other relatives. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Mary Justine Scott, Lake Leelanau, formerly of Vicksburg, died October 9, 2022, from complications of a fall. She was born September 6, 1938. Mary graduated from Muskegon High School in 1956, and University of Michigan in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She later earned a master’s in educational leadership from WMU. Mary worked as a hospital nurse in San Francisco, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo. She was a KVCC nursing instructor and was appointed the director of its nursing program. She was later hired by Borgess Hospital as director of nurse recruitment and retention until retiring to Lake Leelanau in 1998. She worked at Leelanau Memorial Hospital until it was sold to Tendercare. Mary is survived by her husband, John Alfred Scott; sons Michael John Scott (Carla Burns), and Andrew Mac Kirdy Scott (Heather Scott); grandsons Cullen Mac Kirdy Scott and Duncan Curry Scott; great-grandson Jackson Anthony Scott; and sisters, Nancy Brouwers McNiff and Elizabeth Ann Brouwers. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the Old Art Building of Leland. Donations may go to Munson Medical Center. Visit her page at martinson.info.

Doreen Henrietta (Dibble) Swim, 79, passed away peacefully October 6, 2022. She and her brother, Charles Dibble, were raised and loved from an early age by their father, Elwood L. Dibble, and stepmother, Betty J. Dibble. Both preceded her in death. She is survived by her half-brother, Gary Yerden of Kalamazoo, and her favorite cousin, Joyce Heath of Portage. From her first marriage to Jack D. DeCamp, Doreen was a beloved mother of Kimberly (Dave) Castagnetta of Minnesota, Jack DeCamp of Bloomingdale, Cary DeCamp of Paw Paw and Rhonda (Kevin) Nordstrom of Vicksburg. She married William (Bill) E. Swim in 1972 and leaves stepchildren Bill (Kim) Swim of Comstock, Becky (Mark) Smith of Tennessee, Chuck (Melanie) Swim and Jodi (Richard) Hammock of Tennessee. Doreen and Bill celebrated their 50th anniversary on September 26, 2022. She loved her family, friends and community. She extended her home, belongings, and time to those in need. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Vicksburg Family Home Care and Centrica Care Navigators.

Darin Jay Watkins, 61, Byron Center, passed away October 16, 2022 at Trinity Health-St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He was born May 29, 1961, in Kalamazoo, the son of David and Della (Hollestelle) Watkins, of Vicksburg. Darin was a 1979 graduate of Three Rivers High School. He was a truck driver for Spartan Nash for 36 years. Darin rode his Harley to Sturgis, South Dakota many times. He was proud of his t-shirt collection that numbered in the hundreds representing all the places he visited. He also enjoyed deer hunting and fishing. Darin is survived by his parents, David and Della; aunts and uncles Dawn and Roger Bower and Wayne and Melody Anguilm; and numerous cousins. Donations may go to Eversight of Michigan.

Marion L. Wilkins, 81, Vicksburg, went to be with her Lord and Savior October 22, 2022. Marion was the daughter of Lester and Helen Sheppard of Bay City. Marion had a deep, personal faith in Jesus Christ that influenced all that she did. In addition to being a wife, raising her own family, and serving as a pastor’s wife in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, she and her husband served as foster parents for almost 50 years. Marion is survived by her husband of nearly 58 years, Rev. Donald Wilkins; children Michael (Lynn) Czap, Jennifer (Robert) McNab, Christina (Daniel) Ray, John Wilkins, and Frederick (Crystal) Wilkins; grandchildren Justin, Ryan, Matthew, Josilee, Andrew, Juliana, Katie, Aaron, Preston, Jennica, Nathan, Jadelyn, Kearstin, Trenton, Brycen and Benjamin; great-grandchildren Ashton, Carter, Connor and Carissa; brothers Norman Sheppard, Charles Sheppard and Richard Sheppard. In addition, Marion was a mom to many through foster care and home day care. She was preceded in death by her parents, as well as her brother, Howard Sheppard. A memorial service is to be held November 1, 2022, at 2 p.m. at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Obituaries

Charles A. Axtell, 66, Vicksburg, passed away at home surrounded by his family September 22, 2022. He was born in Kalamazoo on April 22, 1956, the son of Charles and Dolores (Ludwig) Axtell. Charles graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1974 and remained a lifelong resident of Vicksburg. He met Shirley Jenks in high school, and they were married on March 11, 1974. He worked in the gas department for Consumers Energy for many years. Charles had many hobbies including farming, hunting and football. He loved his grandchildren, and they talked on the phone for hours, spent entire summers together, and loved to ride with him on the tractor. Charles never missed one of his grandsons’ football and baseball games. One of his proudest moments was watching his grandson, Timmy, play football at Kalamazoo College. Charles is survived by his wife, Shirley Axtell; children Alicia Axtell (Jason VanderStratten), Charles (Amy) Axtell, Robert Axtell and James Axtell; grandchildren Timothy Axtell, Logan VanderStratten and Charlie Axtell; sister Cheryl Axtell; and his best friend since childhood, Miles Breece. Charles was preceded in his passing by his parents. Donations may go to Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

Doris Burr, 102, passed away peacefully September 22, 2022 at the Birch Adult Foster Care Home in Leonidas. She was born in Brady Township, Michigan on March 3, 1920, the daughter of the late Henry and Bertha (DeHoff) Metty. She attended the Harper, Carney, and Bond Country Schools, and graduated from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1938. While the family was share-cropping at the Oswalt farm on 37th Street, she met her future husband, Merle Burr. They fell in love and were married on May 1, 1943. They purchased a farm in 1948 where they raised their three sons and continued to farm for the next 40 years. She enjoyed canning, sewing, playing the piano and singing gospel music. Doris is survived by her sons, Delbert (Terry) Burr, Frank (Sharon) Burr and Roy (Kathy) Burr; grandchildren Allen (Sara) Burr, Wendy Burr, Matt Burr, Tracy (Mark) Thomas, Debbie (Ryan) Kemppainen, Ron (Amy) Vaughn, Julie (Jesse) Rose, and Jennifer (Kip) Vaughn; and 19 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Earl Metty; and by her husband, Merle in 2004. Services have been held. Donations may go to Kindred Hospice. Visit her page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Robert L. Cooley died suddenly September 2, 2022, surrounded by his wife and children. He was born June 21, 1950, to Charles (Jack) and Thelma Cooley at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Vicksburg. Bob grew up on his family farm in Vicksburg and graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1968. He married Judy Miller on November 27, 1971, and shortly after, they purchased their own small farm to raise their family. After many years of hard work and determination, Bob and Judy were able to build their dream home. Family meant a lot to Bob; some of his greatest memories were being able to go fishing in the backyard ponds with his grandkids. Bob enjoyed hunting with his friends and his sons and going to the cabin in Baldwin with Judy. Bob had many co-workers he considered dear friends and spoke of them often. Bob was preceded in death by both of his parents and his brother: Richard Cooley. He is survived by his wife, Judy; children Michael (Wanda Manson) Cooley, Christine Bailey, Chad (Jen) Cooley; sister Phyllis Taylor; grandchildren Breanna, Johnathan, and Owen Bailey, as well as Kendra, Madison, and Austin Cooley. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Ronald Charles Feist, 82, Vicksburg, went home to his Lord on September 4, 2022. Ron was born on July 29, 1940, in Grand Rapids, the son of Charles and Louise (Damstra) Feist. He earned the honor of Eagle Scout and followed these values throughout his entire life. Ronald went to Creston High School and graduated with the class of 1958. He later earned an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Junior College. He married Gloria Fortuna on April 22, 1961. They eventually lived on Indian Lake where they enjoyed fishing, boating and water skiing. Ron worked for 40 years with General Motors. He also raced boats for nearly 12 years and in 1966 won 2nd place in his boat class at the U.S. Nationals. Ron and Gloria loved to travel and in later years they enjoyed going to the casinos. They were also active at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Ron’s family includes his children Ron (Robin) and Tim (Laurel); siblings Larry (Maryann Fortuna) Feist, Sue Luurtsema, and Nancy (Allan) Brown; brother and sisters-in-law Henry (Mary) Fortuna and Marcia Fortuna; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Gloria, his wife of 57 years, parents, daughter-in-law Kathy Feist, and his brothers-in-law Joey Fortuna and Bob Luurtsema. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

Matthew Lee Hammer, 44, Scotts, passed away September 4, 2022. Matt was born April 30, 1978, in Superior, Wisconsin. He resided there until he moved to Michigan in 1999. Matt worked as a millwright for most of his professional career, working mostly in nuclear power plants all over the country. When he was not working, he enjoyed spending time working in his barn. He was always there to help others, and he enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Matt is survived by his parents, Bonnie Frisinger (Hendricks) and Bradley Frisinger; his older brother, Jason Hammer; his younger sister, Bobbi Coppock (Tom Coppock); and his son, Mason Nicholas-Hammer, and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father Donald Hammer and his grandparents. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Tom Ivens, Vicksburg, passed away on September 3, 2022. He was born in Worton, Maryland, son of the late Roger J. and Ula M. (Armstrong) Ivens. In 1945, his family moved to Kalamazoo, and Tom graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1947. He worked for the Sutherland Paper Company and in 1993 retired after 46 years. On August 27, 1949, he married the love of his life, Ardis (Munson) Ivens. Along with Ardis, he is survived by his children, Gayle (Vince) Penar, Thomas (Bonnie) Ivens, Ronald (Christine) Ivens; grandchildren Stephanie Dunnick, Angela Griffin, Jack Griffin, Rodney Ivens, Tori Monroe, Mandy Slusher, Melissa Snyder, Shaina Ivens and Joshua Ivens; and 20 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way. He is also survived by sisters Ellen Havens, Cissy DeHaan and sister-in-law Liddy Ivens; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Tom was preceded in passing by his parents, brothers Elmer and Alvin Ivens; mother and father-in-law, Helen and (Harry) Vernon Munson and several brothers and sisters-in-law. Tom had a very close bond with his patient and helpful nephew, Doug Ivens. Donations may go to charity.

Larry C. Knowlton, 75, Vicksburg, passed away at his home on September 21, 2022. Larry was born March 12, 1947 in Allegan, the son of Johnie and Mary (Stoneburner) Knowlton. Larry graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1965. While in high school he played football, track, and basketball. Larry served in the US Army during Vietnam. He worked at Houghton Manufacturing. In the late 1990’s he purchased the business from his father-in-law, Glenn Houghton, and worked there until the end of his life. He married Linda Houghton on October 26, 1968. He had a passion for cars and also enjoyed watching NASCAR and football. Larry Knowlton is survived by his wife, Linda; sons Andy (Heidi) Knowlton of Zeeland and Doug (Michele) Knowlton, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Drew Downing and Waylon, Danica and Jocelyn Knowlton. He is also survived by his sister Susan Burns of Indiana and numerous nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law. Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Glenn and Ruth Houghton. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Dolores Joan (Holroyd) Lash, 87, Vicksburg, passed away on September 27, 2022. She was born in Kalamazoo on January 23, 1935, the daughter of Samuel and Marie (Dewey) Holroyd. She grew up on a farm in Mendon and graduated from Mendon High School in 1954. She worked at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals as a quality control inspector specializing in penicillin for 25 years. She married James Lash on November 26, 1976. Dee and Jim loved to travel on their motorcycle. She enjoyed knitting hats and blankets. Dolores was preceded in her passing by her parents and brothers Ronnie, Donnie, and Dan. She is survived by her husband, James Lash; children Jody Maher, Debra (Charles) Peterson, Shelly (Craig) Stevens, Victor Lash, and Jeffery Lash; grandchildren Chelsea (Jarrett) Cupp, Betsy (Troy) Huckendubler, Danielle (Marshall) Henschel, Jeffery (Melissa) Lash, Tommy Lash, and Kassi Lash; siblings Duane (Florence) Holroyd and Marsha (James) Beardsley; four great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of her life will be held at Faith Fellowship Church on Saturday, October 8 at 11 a.m. Donations may go to Faith Fellowship Church’s Missionary Ministry. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Rebecca Mohney. If you asked my mother, she’d tell you she lived an extraordinary life. She was delivered by a midwife in a tent in the pouring rain on June 5, 1929. Her mother died when mom was nine, and she was shuffled from relative to relative until she was seventeen and landed in Kalamazoo, where she worked at Sutherland Paper Company. That’s where she met my dad, and Rebecca Ward became Rebecca Mohney in October of 1947. Then, three weeks before I was born in 1948, my parent’s farmhouse burned to the ground. They brought me home to live in the barn until the new house was built. My parents brought my sisters, Barbara Mohney and Janet (Scott) McCarty and me, Judy Mohney, now Judy Mohney-Jergens, to that new house where we grew up, and where my dad, Edwin, died in 1992. Mom loved Jesus, my dad, her girls, and her grandkids. If you asked, she’d say she lived a wonderful life. Mom passed away suddenly on September 3, 2022, in the loving arms of her friend Debbie at her home at The Birches in Leonidas. Mom has been cremated, and a celebration of her life is being planned. Donations may go to Leonidas Bible Church. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Donald Eugene Overbeek, 93, Long Lake in Pavilion Township, Michigan, passed away September 10, 2022, at Glenn Arbor Hospice. Don was born October 18, 1928, to Walter C. and Fannie (Workman) Overbeek. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, got a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College, and master’s, doctoral and law degrees from the University of Michigan. Don opened a general law practice in Portage, which he maintained for more than 40 years. Don enjoyed hunting in the Upper Peninsula. On June 6, 1953, Don married Mary Ellen Weessies, who survives. Also surviving are children, Todd Overbeek, of L’Anse, Michigan, Lori Overbeek, of Kentwood, Michigan, and Jill Sparacio, of Downers Grove, Illinois; grandchildren Aaron Overbeek, Jenna (Quinton) White, and Timothy Sparacio; great-grandchildren Tyler Overbeek, Christian Overbeek, Sadie Olznoi and Brooks White. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Peter, Clarence and Howard; sister Ardith Riley and son-in-law, Robert Sparacio. A memorial service will be held on October 8 at 1 p.m. at Bethany Reformed Church. Donations may go to Loaves and Fishes or Bethany Reformed Church. Visit his page at joldersma-klein.com.

Diane G. Parsons, 78, Vicksburg, passed away on August 30, 2022. Diane was born on June 17, 1944, in Kalamazoo. She was the daughter of Clinton and Freda (Wisser) James. Diane attended Kalamazoo Public Schools and Loy Norrix High School. She married Lloyd Parsons on February 21, 1966. Together they had four children, Lisa, Missy, Melanie and Tim. Because Lloyd worked hard to support his family, Diane was able to stay at home and raise their children. They enjoyed taking the children camping at local campgrounds. Sunday dinners were spent together as a family, and they all enjoyed Diane’s fried chicken. She will be remembered by her family as quiet, caring and selfless. She is survived by her children, Lisa (William Brockway) Cardiff of Three Rivers, Missy (Robert) Good, of Eaton Rapids, Melanie (Brian) DeMink of Vicksburg, and Tim (Sabrina Healy) Parsons of Mendon; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Joan Moran of Plainwell and Larry James of Kalamazoo; and several nieces and nephews. Diane was preceded in death by husband Lloyd in 2014 and her sister, Helen Schuiteboer. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Eric Earl Skidmore, formerly of Vicksburg, died June 7, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. He was born in Vicksburg to Milo and Maxine (Packer) Skidmore August 27, 1947. He graduated with honors from Vicksburg High School in 1965. He played the clarinet and won the John Phillip Sousa Band Award. Eric performed an unforgettable version of the Battle Hymn of The Republic during a Vicksburg Showboat. He was an outstanding cross country and track runner and held the Vicksburg High School 1/2-mile track record for several years. Eric graduated from Michigan State University majoring in music and minoring in archeology. In 1970, Eric joined the Peace Corps in South Africa. Afterward, Eric arrived in Alaska spending time on the Yukon River traveling by canoe from village to village. He settled in Alaska with a career in surveying. Eric kept up his love for running most of his adult life. He won many prestigious races in Alaska including winning the famous Alaskan Equinox Marathon in 1977. He was once considered the best runner in that state. More recently, Eric studied and learned the Dena’Ina local tribe language and was a finalist in 2016 in Alaska’s Got Talent by playing the concertina and singing “I’ve Been Everywhere” in Dena’Ina. Eric was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Tina Hayward.

Clyde Springer, 94, Schoolcraft, died September 8, 2022. Born August 25, 1928 in Lansing, he was the son of H. Gail and Jessie (Hicks) Springer. Clyde and Lois, his wife of 68 years, raised their children in Schoolcraft. He was a member of the Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church and the Lions Club. The family moved away in 1968, and after 30 years Clyde and Lois came back to the community they loved so much. Clyde was vice president of Michigan Farm Bureau and a senior leader of the American Egg Board. After he retired, he started Country Queen Foods, maker of pre-cooked eggs for wholesale use, and Festida Foods, maker of tortilla chips. In retirement, Clyde and Lois traveled extensively. He enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard as a private in 1946 and retired as a major after 22 years of service. From 1964-1966 he was the Commander of B Company, 246th Tank Battalion in Three Rivers, and received the Draper Award, bestowed on the best tank company in the state. Clyde was a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and the Portage Chapter of the Eagles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois (Miller), son Steven, and sister Carolyn Knibbs. He is survived by a sister, Shirley (Robert) Azelton of Holt; children Jeff (Kathy) of Bel Air, Maryland and Laurel (Arthur) Andonian of Mattawan; and grandchildren Steven Springer of DelRay Beach, Florida, Lindsey Springer of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Alex (Teresa) Andonian of Novi, Michigan and McKenna Andonian of Charlotte, North Carolina. Services are pending. Donations may go to the Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church, Tunnels to Towers, or Centrica Care Navigators.

Marjorie Wahley, 93, Vicksburg, passed away on September 26, 2022. Marjorie was born to Guin and Gladys (Lyon) Sherman on July 14, 1929. She is retired from the Compliance Department of the Department of Agriculture. In her spare time, she liked to garden and take care of all her bird visitors. Margorie is survived by her son, Rodney (Marianne) Wahley; grandchildren Michelle (Clinton) Hostettler, and Nickolas (Jennifer) Wahley; great-grandchildren Olive, Milo, Lola, and Colton; and sister, Fern Skrzpek. Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Wahley; brothers Stanley Sherman and Karle Sherman. Visit her page at www.amsfuneralhomes.com.

Jacqueline “Jacque” M. Waldron, 65, Vicksburg, passed away on September 2, 2022. Jacque was born on May 28, 1957, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Clifford and Geraldine (Zieler) Raifsnider. She graduated from Climax-Scotts High School. She became the mother of four children: Jamie, Erin, Travis and Barry. Jacque enjoyed sewing, crafting, reading, and bird watching. Her family will remember her as tenacious and caring. Jacqueline is survived by her children, Jamie (Rusty) Bennett of Vicksburg, Erin Matlock of Decatur, Travis (Faith) Baughman of Climax, and Barry Raifsnider-Waldron of Vicksburg; grandchildren Kohl, Noah, and Tessah Matlock and Haley, Madison, Alex, and Emma Moss; and great granddaughter Marie. Jacqueline is also survived by sisters Connie (Ed) Sturm of Scotts, Mary (Mike) Dee of Vicksburg, Donna (Jay) Nelson of Scotts, Diane (Mike) Stafford of Vicksburg and Karen (Bill) McGruder of Lawton. She was preceded in death by her husband, Michael Waldron and her parents, Clifford and Geraldine Raifsnider. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to South County Community Services.


Jane Yaple-Möller died August 6 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She was born March 12, 1945, in Vicksburg, the daughter of Henry and Pauline Yaple, and graduated from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1963. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hans. She is survived by a son, Derek Yaple-Schubert and a brother, Henry Mack Yaple of Washington.

Obituaries

Barbara Ann Adams, 83, Vicksburg, died August 3, 2022 at Glen Arbor Hospice in Battle Creek. She was born in Clinton, Illinois on January 3, 1939, the daughter of Floyd and Opal (Mills) Miller. The family moved to the Vicksburg area in 1953, and Barbara graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1957. She married Billy Ray Adams on February 22, 1958. She worked briefly at the Upjohn Company, the Vicksburg Hospital, and for her father at the Texas Corners Hardware Store. Barbara loved to sew and quilt for family and friends. She visited many area craft shows with her Appliqués by Barbara. She and her husband enjoyed travelling the country to NASCAR races, going to the casino, and camping. They spent their winters in Port Lavaca, Texas. Barbara is survived by her husband of 64 years, Billy Ray Adams; brother Robert Miller; sister-in-law Sally (Tom) Reed; nephews Michael Miller and Chris, Aaron, Joe, and Matt Reed; niece Lindsey (Tom) Den Harder and their children, Blake and Luke. She was preceded in death by her son, Bradley Ray Adams in 2017. Cremation has been conducted. Her life will be celebrated at an open house on September 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Kline’s Resort Clubhouse. Donations may go to charity. Visit her page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Barry A. Bly, 75, Vicksburg, passed away August 18, 2022. Barry was born on November 26, 1946 in Flint, the son of Cleo “Van” and Pearl (Kelley) Bly. Barry’s dad was a traveling sales rep for Eckrich Meat and because of that he did a lot of traveling. This caused Barry to go to many schools and move around a lot. Barry always looked for the positive and enjoyed the experiences traveling provided and loved his childhood. He graduated from Kalamazoo Loy Norrix High School with the class of 1964. After high school, he graduated from Michigan State University with a business degree. He was employed with General Motors, and then worked for over 20 years at Borgess Hospital. He married Angel Kellogg on June 12, 1982. He enjoyed watching sports, playing golf, hunting, and fishing. His family will remember him as quiet, gentle, and witty. Barry is survived by his wife Angel; children Shannon Bly, Joe (Abby) Franklin-Bly of Kalamazoo, Matt (Jenn) Bly of Texas; grandchildren Kevyn, Pascal, Jordan, Caeleb, Daisha, and Ezra. He is also survived by his brother, Randy Bly, of Portage. Barry was preceded in death by his parents. Barry has been cremated. His ashes will be buried at the Vicksburg Cemetery. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Francis Bruystens, 87, Three Rivers, passed away August 1, 2022. Francis, “Fritz”, was born on July 20, 1935 in Chicago, the son of Herbert and Johanna (Gerritsen) Bruystens. Fritz loved the challenge of putting a puzzle together and owned a large collection of puzzles. Fritz also loved to go fishing, campin and work in the yard. He worked at Simpson’s Paper Mill in Vicksburg and other shops in the area. He was preceded in passing by his parents and siblings Olga Crossman and Charlie Bruystens. Francis is survived by his children, Mark Bruystens and Diane (Daryl) Grofvert; grandchildren Josh (Rebeca) Bruystens and Shelbe Bruystens; great grandchildren Jackson and Clarity Bruystens; siblings Herbie Bruystens and Carl (Judy) Bruystens; and many nieces and nephews. In accordance with Fritz’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Visit his page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Harriet Louise Burch, 101, Schoolcraft, passed away on August 5, 2022. Harriet was born December 7, 1920 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Roy and Maude (Null) Cobb. She graduated from Schoolcraft High School and married Uroyal “John” Burch. Harriet retired from Portage Public Schools as a transportation secretary and school bus driver. She was member of the First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft and Eastern Star. She was strong-willed and enjoyed needlework. Harriet is survived by her daughters-in-law Jackie Burch of Illinois and Betty Burch of Schoolcraft; grandchildren John (Kay) Burch of Schoolcraft, Mark (Karen) Burch of Arkansas, Tammy Rice of Schoolcraft and Roy (Connie) Burch of Illinois; great grandchildren Renee (Scott) Bragagnini of Schoolcraft, Blaine (Lia) Burch of Kalamazoo, Raygen (Jared) Knee of Schoolcraft, Rylee (Hannah) Rice of Three Rivers, Brooke (Kelson) Gettel of Battle Creek, Travis Burch of Colorado and Tyler (Elizabeth) Burch of Illinois; and great great grandchildren Lio, Lilliana, Remi, Ellexi, Callon, Mackenzie, Harrison, Weston, Blakely, and Barrett. Harriet was preceded in death by her husband and sons Dan and Jerry Burch. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com. Donations may go to First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft.

Velma I. Cannell, 93, Vicksburg, passed away August 10, 2022. Velma was born January 6, 1929 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada to Harold and Gladys (Younger) Boles. She married Arthur F. Cannell on July 29, 1950. Because of Art’s employment, the young family relocated to the United States, and raised their family in St. Clair Shores. Following their retirement in 1983, they spent time in North Carolina and Florida before moving to Vicksburg, where she loved living. She was an avid reader and took great pride in winning one of Vicksburg District Libraries Summer Reading Program contests. Following the death of her husband Art in 2013, she lived in her own home, with family nearby. Velma was a very private person who lived an honorable life. She will be missed by family and friends. Velma is survived by sons Stephen (Marie), Donald, and Larry (Lori Heiden) Cannell; grandchildren Lisa (Kyle) Nirginakis, Emily (Raymond) French, Jonathon (Kate) Cannell, Marilyn Cannell, and Natalie Cannell; great-grandchildren Tory French, Kaylin, Lucas, Lily and Kevin Nirginakis, and Sean Cannell. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Kenneth C. Gorsline, 84, passed away on August 20, 2022. Ken was born in Vicksburg on December 18, 1937, the son of Carl Kenneth and Mindy Mabel (Smith) Gorsline. He graduated from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1956. Ken proudly served in the US Marine Corps. He worked at Kalamazoo Manufacturing and in 1988 started his own business, Ken Gorsline Welding. For 44 years he was a volunteer with South County EMS. He enjoyed bowling, dancing, hunting, and his horses. Ken was a member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. On May 13, 1961, he married Geraldine “Jerri” Ottney, who survives. Ken is also survived by his children, Theresa Gorsline, Kenneth Charles (Renee) Gorsline Jr., Julia (David) Markle and Jonathan (Jamie) Gorsline; grandchildren Paul (Miranda) Duis, William Gorsline, Angellea Gorsline, Samuel Herring, Darrell Markle, Holley Markle, Jared (Lauryn Mohney) Gorsline, Jordan Gorsline, Jonathan “JJ” Gorsline; great-grandchildren Amalia, Alaric, Natalie, Parker, Johnny, Emma; and several nieces and nephews. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, Carl Paul Gorsline, and a brother, Carl Junior Gorsline. Donations may go to Centrica Care Navigators or St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

Juanita May Gregg, 91, Kalamazoo, passed away July 27, 2022. She was born in Kalamazoo February 15, 1931, to Leonard Ernest and Emma Arlene (Eastman) Goble. Juanita graduated from Galesburg High School in 1949 and KVCC. She worked as an accountant and at Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. She is survived by her husband of 72 ½ years, Harry Lewis Gregg; daughters Judy Smith, Deborah (George) Goodsell, Patricia (James) Madison, and Dyrinda Voss; granddaughter-in-law Nancy Smith; grandchildren Jeffrey (Rene) Smith, Patrick (Lisa) Smith, Sarah (Peter) Ellis, David (Laurel Yoder) Goodsell, Joshua (Haley Newburry) Madison, Sergey (Taylor Fowler) Madison, Michael (Emily) Voss, Michelle Voss, and Brianna Dompke; great-grandchildren Katlin, Colton, Bryana, Hadlee, Hudson, Blake, Cora, Dean, River, Vera, Grace, Kennedy, Aiden, and Grayson; great-great-granddaughter, Piper; “sister” Mae Cutler; brother-in-law Roger Gregg; sister-in-law Joyce Adkins; and several nieces and nephews. Juanita was preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law Richard Voss; grandson Bryan Smith; and many siblings. Donations may go to American Heart Association or Shriners Hospitals.

Daniel Stephen Hendrick, 61, Three Rivers, died August 22, 2022 at Edgewood Manor where he has resided since 2008. He was born in Vicksburg July 28, 1961, the son of William John and Mary Frances (Mattheis) Hendrick. He graduated from Vicksburg High School with the class of 1979, then joined the U.S. Air Force serving in both Italy and Korea. Daniel worked at Summit Polymers and Kalamazoo Manufacturing. He was an animal lover and enjoyed arts and crafts, gardening, and hunting. Dan is survived by sisters Denise (Morris) Ballman of Three Rivers, Danine (Robert) Trattles of Kentucky, Debra (Curtis Holden) Hendrick of Arizona, and Delinda (Walter McDonald) Hendrick of Gun Lake; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, David Hendrick. Visit his page at eickhofffuneralhome.com.

Janet Noel, 89, Vicksburg, passed away on September 1, 2022. Janet was born November 13, 1932, to Theodore and Iva (Welch) Zimmerman. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1950. Janet worked in benefits for the paper mill and then Upjohn. She married Vernon Noel in 1950. Janet golfed and bowled. She liked outdoor games and just about any card game. She quilted, sewed, and loved to spend time with her family. She was a long-time member of Vicksburg United Methodist Church. She enjoyed traveling and visited many states and countries. She will be deeply missed. Janet is survived by her husband of 72 years, Vernon; children Walter Noel, Wayne Noel, Terri Solomon, Sherry (Kevin Chesser) Shoemaker and Steve (Gaylee) Noel; nine grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and five siblings, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings. Services are scheduled September 7 at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Donations may go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation. Visit her page at amsfuneralhomes.com.

Debora Shelton, 68, Vicksburg, passed away August 18, 2022 with her family by her side. She was a very special woman who was loving and devoted to her family. She was outspoken, hardworking, proud, and genuine. Debora was preceded in death by her father, Darrell Hayden Bryant, and her brother, Darrell Bryant. She is survived by her mother, Audrey Bryant; sister Dawn (Rod) Bell; children Russell Shelton (Stacey Smith) and Amber Shelton (Raymond Taylor); grandchildren Ty Shelton, Skiy Ewing, Logan Ewing, Gage Shelton, several bonus grandchildren, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Life in Debora’s honor on September 24, 2022, at 2 p.m. at 15905 Portage Road, Vicksburg.

Robert Lee Sinclair, 95, Vicksburg, passed away July 30, 2022 at the Bowman Place in Three Rivers. Bob was born on Feb. 7, 1927 in Hannibal, Missouri, to Ernest and Etta (McNeal) Sinclair. He learned to work hard on the farm and graduated from Tilden High School in 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Feb. 27, 1945. Bob was honorably discharged at the end of World War II, reaching the rank of Seaman 1st Class V-6. He married Mary Callis on Sept. 29, 1950 in Rockford and moved to Vicksburg. Bob worked at Simpson Lee Paper Company for more than 30 years. He loved gardening, bird watching, auctions, history, country music, games, and traveling out West. Survivors include his wife, Mary; children Robert Jr. (Barbara) of Vicksburg, Brenda (Donald) Creager of Three Rivers, and Stephen (Mary Brown) of Katy, Texas; grandchildren Suzanne, Donald Jr., Stephanie, Robert III, Dawn, Adam, and Arden; 16 great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Floyd Sinclair, Ernest Eugene Sinclair, Russell Sinclair and James Sinclair; and sisters Rosetta Sokol and Kathryn Jennings. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Assembly of God or to Wounded Warrior Project.

Polly Laurene (Reed) Youngs, 88, passed away peacefully on August 4, 2022. Polly was born June 10, 1935. She married James O. Youngs on January 11, 1954, and they celebrated 58 years together. They had two sons, Reed and Greg, and adored their three grandchildren, Amy, Megan and Jim. Polly was employed in the transportation field for over 40 years. She was Jim’s biggest supporter during his county clerk campaigns. They enjoyed their time on Mackinac Island at the Governor’s Conference and yearly Michigan County Clerk’s Association Conferences. Polly will be remembered for her Christmas Open Houses, her wonderful cooking, and her generous spirit. She was a volunteer for the Vicksburg Lioness’ Club and South County Community Center, and she enjoyed her time with the Vicksburg Ladies Library. A celebration of life was held on August 18th, 2022, at the Zhang Senior Community Center in Portage. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vicksburg District Library, Zhang Senior Community Center or Hospice (Centrica Care of Southwest Michigan).