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).

My payoff for patience

By Marilyn Jones, Schoolcraft’s Poet Laureate

By my back door, a tiny garden stands
On legs, so rabbits can’t get at it,
I kept watering two broccoli plants
They grew huge leaves, bit by bit.

I was discouraged as I could be
My son said, “Be patient, Mom, you’ll see,”
Sure enough, green plants appeared one day
Nestled among the leaves, and I thought, “Hooray!”

I watched them grow awhile
Very proud of my efforts and
Anticipating the results with a smile.

On Saturday I cut one plant
Then rinsed it at the kitchen sink,
Cooked it with a little butter and salt
The best broccoli I’ve tasted, I think.

So Monday I decided to have another treat
Cut the other plant, wishing I had more,
After rinsing it well, I boiled it
With butter and salt, just as before.

Yummy, it was delicious
I would enjoy the last, big bite,
Picked it up with my fingers
Saw something, it was a worm alright!

It was the same shade of green, an inch long
With little ridges, but I saw two tiny eyes,
Was on the verge of popping it in my mouth
Yuck … I don’t like this kind of surprise.

If I were stranded on a desert island
I’d be happy to gulp it right down,
Not today — I wonder if there were others
I scraped that camouflaged critter
Into the garbage can … with a frown!

Gardener’s gift: Local gardener’s labor of love

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

There are people who commit to making a difference, often quietly working behind the scenes. One such person is Roger Northrup, Schoolcraft resident and avid golfer and gardener, who lovingly tends a garden to welcome visitors to the Dome.

Roger has been a golfer his entire life and became acquainted with the Dome years ago through owners Erica and Dieter Valk. The Valks began a flower garden adjacent to the driving range near the back of the property, and the plot caught Roger’s eye. He decided to offer his time and gardening skills, and so began his volunteer efforts nearly 15 years ago. When current owners Josh and Amber Baird acquired the property, Roger’s care and commitment went right along with it.

There are many things Roger enjoys about tending the garden, which he visits twice a day—morning and night. He says there are many surprises — and occasional “beautiful accidents”— that go along with gardening the same piece over many years. Sometimes wildflowers and unplanned plants appear which can add to the beauty. Sometimes he moves plants to a more suitable section. Sometimes the sunrise or sunset illuminate the blossoms in a new way. And sometimes, as all experienced gardeners know, he battles invasive species and various beetles and pests.

He enjoys it all.

He says the garden is a peaceful and calm place, full of wildlife: rabbits, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and various songbirds visit regularly. Roger’s wife and daughter have also begun helping him, and he claims he couldn’t maintain the garden “without his team.” He has added roses over the years, which are often cuttings from his home garden. “The roses have been exceptional this year and have bloomed all season.” What plant wouldn’t thrive under his gentle care?

Why does Roger continue this time-consuming project? “Well, I just love how people appreciate this garden and tell me so. That means a lot to me.”