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Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries

Kathleen Theresa (Martin) Blackburn, 48, of Big Rapids

Kathleen Theresa (Martin) Blackburn, 48, of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, January 29, 2017.
 
She was born October 23, 1968, in Manchester, CT, the daughter of Clifton and Kathleen (Edgar) Martin, and graduated from high school in Havre, Montana in 1986.  In 1989, she married Howard Blackburn, and they moved to Big Rapids in 1997.
 
Katie was currently employed in sales with the Pioneer Group of Big Rapids and she was very active with Stage-M.  She enjoyed antiquing and going to flea markets, and loved reading and a “proper cup of tea”.
 
Katie is survived by her three sons, Spc. Aaron (Emily), U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Drum, NY, Benjamin and Callum of Big Rapids; their father Howard Blackburn of Grand Rapids; her parents of Missoula, MT; siblings Christeen Maddi of Medford, OR, James Martin and Judith Martin of Missoula, Ewan Martin of San Diego, CA, Alice (Derrek) Larson, and Tim Martin-Bramsen (John) of Missoula; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Katie was preceded in death by her brother Clifton Martin III.
 
A celebration of Katie’s life will be 5:00 p.m., Saturday, February 4, 2017, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Rev. Jerena Keys officiating.  Katie’s family will greet friends at the funeral home beginning at 4:00 p.m.  Memorial contributions in her name may be made for Stage-M or the Special Olympics, with envelopes available at the funeral home.

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Sally A. Weipert, 51, of Miller Missouri, formerly of Big Rapids

Sally A. Weipert, 51, of Miller Missouri, formerly of Big Rapids passed away on Thursday, January 19, 2017.  She was born on October 26, 1965 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Tom and Sue Weipert.
 
Sally graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1983.  Prior to moving to Missouri, she had worked at Walgreen’s in Big Rapids for 18 years.  She had participated annually in the Relay for Life.  Sally was a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Her wish was to participate in the Gift of Life program upon her death.
 
She is survived by her father Tom; one brother Jim (Paula) Weipert of Big Rapids; one niece Elizabeth Weipert; one nephew Thomas Weipert; and her close friend Theresa Livingston.  Sally was preceded in death by her mother Sue in 2006.
 
A memorial mass celebrating Sally’s life will be announced for a later date.

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Gordon Roy Ellis, 74, of Hawkins, passed away on January 21, 2017

Gordon Roy Ellis, 74, of Hawkins, passed away  peacefully on Saturday, January 21, 2017. 
He was born on September 6, 1942 in Cadillac, Michigan, the son of  Richard C. and Donna Jean (Becker) Ellis. 
Gordy graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1961.  He married Beverly Kay Graham in 1964.  Gordy had worked at Garner Denver and Federal Screw Works in Big Rapids.  He married Sandra L. (Hatchew) Johnson in 1989.  Gordy enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.
 He is survived by his wife, Sandra and his two children, Sherry (Loren) Merklinger of Reed City, Mike (Erin) Ellis of Lansing, is daughter, Candace Mayer of Big Rapids, three grandchildren, Jake, Marissa and Danielle Ellis and three step grandchildren, Kali Johnson, Heaven and David Mayes.  Also surviving are sister, Nancy Wittemore of Daytona Beach, FL and brother, Richard (Sue) Ellis of Kingman, KS.
Gordy was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services for Gordy will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Kim DeLong officiating.  Visitation will be Tuesday at the funeral home from 6-8:00 p.m.
 Interment will be at Martiny Cemetery in Rodney.
Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Rescue Coalition (ARC).

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Paula Jo Boochard, age 57, of Big Rapids passed away Monday, December 26, 2016

Paula Jo Boochard, age 57, of Big Rapids passed away Monday, December 26, 2016.  She was born September 15, 1959 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Robert and Marjorie “Peg” (Eastman) Boochard.

 

Paula graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1977.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ferris State College in 1981.  Paula was employed right out of college by American National Resources (ANR), now Trans Canada Pipeline, where she was still employed at the time of her death.  Paula was an avid bowler.  She was very interested in and volunteered for Veteran’s Affairs.  Paula’s nature was very positive.  She always looked for the “good” in every situation.

 

She is survived by her father, Bob; one sister, Robin (William) Fitzgerald of Traverse City; one niece, Breanna (Kyle) Soli and nephew, Neal Fitzgerald all of Traverse City.  Paula was preceded in death by her mother, Marjorie.

A memorial service for Paula will be at 1:00 p.m., Friday, December 30, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Reverend Kaye Patton officiating.  Her family will greet friends beginning at 12:00 noon until time of service.

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Violet Irene Cour, 83 of Big Rapids

Violet  Irene  Cour, 83, passed away on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at the home of her daughter, Cindy Jones, in Big Rapids.  She was born on July 22, 1933 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, the daughter of  Albert L. and Deretha (Wing) Durfee.
 
Violet is survived by her children; Linda (George) Novotny of Valparaiso, IN, David (Cathy) Hardy of Durand, MI, Patricia (Mark) Fribley and Cindy (Bill) Jones of Big Rapids; her step-daughter, Kathy (Ron) DeMott, step-sons, Arthur (Pam) Cour, all of Mecosta and Terry (Lynn) Cour of Evart, and 15 grandchildren and many great grandchildren plus several nieces and nephews.
 
Violet enjoyed playing dominoes and cards, making handmade crafts, crocheting and spending time with her family.
 
Violet was preceded in death  by her husband Art, her parents, brothers, Berdette and Boyd, sisters: Bonnie Welch Behrenwald   and Virginia Welch Kappler and her great granddaughter, Kyla Holt.
 
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Charles Hewlett officiating.  Visitation will be Monday from 4-7 p.m.  Interment will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mecosta.  Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice
 

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Ann Ruth (Tetzlaff) Westart, 77, of Big Rapids

Ann Ruth (Tetzlaff) Westart, age 77, of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, November 14, 2016.  She was born on April 11, 1939 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Arthur L. and Emma Marie (Swanson) Tetzlaff, Sr.

 

Ann graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1957 and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1975 and master’s degree in 1993 in accounting from Ferris State.  

 

Prior to college, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1958, serving until 1961.  While in the Navy she won the All Navy Women’s Tennis Championship, having her picture taken with General , later President, Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Ann worked in the accounting department at Ferris from 1987, retiring as Senior Staff Accountant in 2005. She volunteered in many capacities at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, her favorite being MOPS.

 

Ann stayed active in retirement participating in senior games, swimming, tennis and yoga.

She is survived by one daughter, Rhonda, of Henderson, NV; one granddaughter, Natasha (Art Tierce) Westart of McMinnville, OR; nine brothers and sisters, Jim Tetzlaff of Twin Falls, ID, Tom (Nancy) Tetzlaff of East Lansing, MI, Karin (Steve) Poulos of Deerfield, IL, Neil (Lillian) Tetzlaff of Reed City, MI, Ted (Carol) Tetzlaff of Grand Island, FL, Terry (Phylis) Tetzlaff of Clearwater, FL, Mary Kellogg of Gardner, KS, Art (Peggy) Tetzlaff of Big Rapids, MI, and Lynn (Terry) LeGrow of Ronan, MT; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents and John L. Westart, the father of her daughter.

A memorial service for Ann will be at 12 noon, Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating.  Her family will greet friends beginning at 11:00 a.m.  

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Frances V. Spencer, 86, of Big Rapids

Frances V. Spencer, age 86, of Big Rapids passed away Thursday, October 20, 2016. 
 
Celebration of Life will be held at the AMVETS  POST #1941 in Big Rapids on Saturday, November 19th from 1-3 p.m.
 
 
 Memorial contributions may be made to Big Rapids AmVets Post 1941.

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John Ray Wright "Jack", 87, of Big Rapids

John Ray Wright “Jack”, age 87, of Big Rapids, went to be with his Lord, Monday, October 31, 2016.
 
Jack was born in Detroit on May 19, 1929, the son of George and Rose (Lavallee) Wright.  He was a U.S. Army Korean War veteran, and a lifetime member of the Big Rapids VFW Post 4102.  Jack retired after 39 years at Wolverine World Wide.
 
In June of 1953, Jack was married to Roberta Hoffman.  He will be greatly missed by his wife; their children, Ricky Wright of Hudsonville, Scott Wright, Denise Frye, Dianna (Jerry) Frye, Deb (Bill Spicer) Wright; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and sister, Florence Elliot. He was preceded in death by his parents, 5 brothers, and two sisters.
 
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Reverend Charles Hewlett officiating.  Burial will be in the Whipple Cemetery in Newaygo County. Jack’s family will greet friends at the funeral home from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, and prior to services on Thursday.  Memorial contributions in his name may be made for the Big Rapids AmVets Post 1941, and may be left in care of the funeral home.

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Elinor Olive (Wenzelburger) Kirk, 94, of Big Rapids

Elinor Olive (Wenzelburger) Kirk, age 94, passed away peacefully at Royal View in Mecosta, MI on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 after a long illness.
 
She was born June 27, 1922 to Sara Olive (Confer) and Alfred Gottlieb Wenzelburger in Pittsburgh, PA.  Elinor met and married Frank Kirk in Pittsburgh on October 13, 1945. Frank and Elinor had a beautiful marriage and made many wonderful friends as they made homes in Pittsburgh, PA, Trenton, NJ, Minneapolis, MN, Merrillville, IN and Big Rapids, MI.  
 
Elinor was a valued employee of the Merrillville School Corporation for more than 10 years. She served as a secretary, office manager and a friend to the young students in the school. Elinor never met a stranger and she kept in close contact with her cherished friends throughout her long life. She led Boy Scout and Campfire Girl groups, was involved with church activities, led neighborhood women’s groups and loved having friends over for coffee or dinner.  
 
In the past few years, Elinor made her home at Royal View Assisted Living Community in Mecosta where she enjoyed the atmosphere, the caring professional staff and friends. Elinor was preceded in death by her parents and husband.  She is survived by her 2 children, Donald (Cathy) Kirk of Connersville, IN and Marilyn (Gregg) Shewan of Big Rapids; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and brother, Harold (Pat) Wenzelburger of Paso Robles, CA.
 
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2016 at Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Big Rapids with Pastor Ken Krause officiating.  Visitation with the family will be from 9:30 a.m. to the time of the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice of Big Rapids or Fellowship Christian Reformed Church. Envelopes will be available at the church. Arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home of Big Rapids.  

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Ila May Smith, 88, of Lawrence, formerly of Big Rapids,

Ila May Smith, 88, of Lawrence, formerly of Big Rapids,passed away Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at her residence.

 

She was born November 16, 1927, in Comstock Park, the daughter of Sidney and Bessie (Sheldon) Showers. 

 

Ila was raised near Big Rapids by her adoptive parents, William and Maude Stanslowski, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1945.  She lived in various places, returning to Big Rapids in 1995 until ill health forced her to move to Lawrence to be near her daughter in 2012.

 

Survivors include her daughter, Sandra Stine of Lawrence; 2 sons, Joseph Smith of Ohio and Samuel Smith of Big Rapids; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; a brother Earl Showers of Lansing; and several nieces and nephews.

 

Ila’s family will greet friends on Monday, October 31, 2016, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Burial will follow in the Highland View Cemetery.  

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Corinna J. Hankins, 54, of Hersey

Corinna J. Hankins, 54, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

 

She was born on October 29, 1961;  the daughter of Larry and Virginia (Warner) Hankins.

 

She is survived by her parents, daughter, Kandice Kidle and granddaughter, Jenna Kidle, her sister Lisa Brown of Clarkston, her brother, Scott Hankins of Waterford and niece; Charity Brown, nephews; Kevin and Edward Brown, all from Waterford, MI.

 

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

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J. Billy Draher, 58, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on October 16, 2016

J. “Billy” Draher, age 58, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at The McBride of Barryton Home, where the staff provided excellent care for over six years.  

 

Billy worked for the former University Chevrolet, then Gary Trimarco for many years as a detail man.  

 

He enjoyed gardening, and his computer. Billy is remembered as a “nice” person who never spoke negatively about anyone.

 

He is survived by brothers and sisters and extended family.

 

A memorial service for Billy will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, October 27, 2016 at Trinity Evangelical Free Church at 220th and Perry in Big Rapids.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan.

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Gary D. Shellenbarger, of Big Rapids

Gary D. Shellenbarger, age 79, of Big Rapids passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, October 9, 2016 surrounded by his loving family.
 
He was born on July 14, 1937 in Saranac, Michigan.  He is the son of Claude C. and Phyllis (Lowrey) Shellenbarger.
 
Gary is survived by Gloria (Stovic) his wife of 53 years; two children, Tedd (Annette) Shellenbarger and Tracy Shellenbarger; 5 grandchildren, Shane (Maria), Sommer, Michael, Alex, and Kayleigh.  Also surviving are two sisters, Linda (Stewart) Travis and Diane Duflo.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Greg Shellenbarger; and a niece, DeAnn (Hamp) Bautista.
 
Gary married Gloria in 1963 in Riverside, California.  He served 30 years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 1985.  Following his military career, they moved to Big Rapids where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Heavy Equipment Technology Education.
 
Gary loved sports.  He was a golden glove boxing champ at age 17, an avid football player in high school and the military and played until he was 40 years old.  He played hockey until he was 75 years old.
 
A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 13, 2016 at Rogers Heights Christian Church at the corner of Northland Dr. and Park Rd with Pastor David Watkins officiating.  Gary’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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Ralph L. Morey of Big Rapids

Ralph L. Morey, age 76, of Big Rapids, met with Jesus on October 9th, 2016.
 
He was born October 23, 1939, in Remus, the son of Dale and Helen (Shadell) Morey, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1957.  Ralph served his country with pride in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he retired as a tradesman from Ferris State University, where he was employed for 30 years. 
 
Ralph loved the outdoors, and especially enjoyed hunting, biking, and being around and in water.  Even more, he loved to work, and it was the working that he put to use in Godly service of people, ministries, and relationships around the Mecosta County area for the better part of his retired career. 
 
On April 20, 1963, he married his one and only love, Linda (nee Wilkinson), who survives.   Also surviving are their children, Lesley (Matt) Zainea, John (Roxanne) Morey, and Jim (Brandi) Morey; 13 grandchildren; his brother Richard (Norita) Morey; and several nieces and nephews.  Ralph was preceded in death by two sisters, Shirley Waite and Sharon Burden.
 
A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2016, at Trinity Fellowship Evangelical Free Church, 15085 220th Avenue in Big Rapids, with a dinner to follow.  Memorial contributions in Ralph’s name may be made to Cran-Hill Ranch, 14444 17 Mile Road, Big Rapids, MI  49307. 
 

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Ronald W. "Butch" Zuern of Big Rapids

Ronald W. “Butch” Zuern, age 48, passed away on Saturday, October 8, 2016.  
 
He was born on September 2, 1968 in Big Rapids, the son of Ronald D. and Roselea E. (Foust) Zuern.
 
Butch was employed as a general foreman for the Hydaker Wheatlake Company in Reed City.  He loved the outdoors and being with his family.
 
Butch is survived by Tara, his wife of eight years; seven children, Luke Van Alstine, Lauren Hutchinson, Keaton, Harlee and Ciara Zuern, Deziree Shaw, and Christopher Zimmer; plus, four grandchildren, Riley, Logan, Charlotte, and Elliana.  Also surviving are his parents, Ronald Zuern and Roselea Zuern; two sisters, Ronda (Sam) Macias, and Tina (Tim) Minkel; one brother, Wade (LeeAnn) Zuern; several nieces and nephews, plus special uncle, Paul Zuern, and cousin Doug Sharp.
 
A celebration of Butch’s life will be held from11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Big Rapids Eagles Aerie 2535, 18361 16 Mile Rd., Big Rapids, MI.

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Ruth Ann Troff of Big Rapids

Ruth Ann Troff, 82, of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, October 3, 2016 at Altercare of Big Rapids.

 

She was born April 12, 1943, in Battle Creek, and moved to Big Rapids in 2009.  

 

Ruth Ann was very active with the Mecosta County Senior Center. Surviving are her sister, Mary Sautter of Big Rapids; her niece Deborah (Greg) Allen of Reed City; and her nephews Jack and David Childs.

 

Family graveside services and interment will be in the Hicks Cemetery near Battle Creek.  Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Senior Center, or Spectrum Health Hospice, with envelopes available at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

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Frank J. Tilmann, 63, of Big Rapids, passed away September 25, 2016

Frank J. Tilmannage 63, of Big Rapids, passed away September 25, 2016, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

 

He was born January 31, 1953 in Reed City, the son of Carl A. and Doris A. (Schafer) Tilmann, and graduated from Reed City High School in 1971.  Frank earned his Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan in 1975, and then graduated with a Master’s degree in education from Eastern Michigan University.

 

Frank was an outdoorsman who loved to spend time at his cabin.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and an enthusiastic U of M football fan.  Most of all, Frank loved his family.   He attended the First United Methodist Church of Big Rapids.

 

Frank worked at various jobs, mainly in the building and construction trades.  For several years he taught for the Kent County Intermediate School District, and more recently, he retired from teaching at the Wexford – Missaukee Intermediate School District in 2013.  Frank formerly served as the secretary and treasurer for the Michigan Construction Teacher’s Association, and was also vice-president and treasurer for the local Michigan Education Association ISD.  Frank was a professional carpenter, and always had a project in the works.

 

In 2008, Frank married Julie Martin, who survives.  Also surviving are his children, Saul of Chicago, Sally (Eric) Fennessy of Belvidere, IL, and Scott (Eliese) of Sand Lake; 2 step-daughters, Kari Martin of Bozeman, MT, and Marilynn (Tony) Collette of Ypsilanti; 5 grandchildren, Abbigale, Allivia, Rebecca, Ethan, and Izzy; 2 brothers, Robert (Bobbi) of Jackson, MS, and Michael (Carol) of Hamilton, GA; 2 sisters, Alice (David) Jacobs of Hersey, and Martha (Tania Beliz) of El Granada, CA; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Frank was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Father Delvin Tilmann, and an infant brother and sister.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 29, 2016, at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids, with Pastor Rebecca Morrison officiating.  Frank’s family will greet friends from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, and after 10 a.m. on Thursday at the church.  Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the church, or to the Renucci Hospitality House at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, with envelopes available at the funeral home.

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Jackie Sue Rae of Big Rapids

Jackie Sue Rae, 58, of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, September 18, 2016, at her residence.

 

She was born September 13, 1958, in Lansing, the daughter of Clarence and Josephine (Zubovich) Crouch.  On August 3, 1991, she married Robert E. Rae, and they moved to Big Rapids in 1995, where she had lived since.

 

Surviving are her husband Rob; 2 daughters, Sara of Big Rapids, and Katie of Mt. Pleasant; her siblings, Pat Kuheana, Nancy Matalski, Tim Crouch, and Jane Crouch; and several nieces and nephews.  Jackie was preceded in death by her parents, he sister Cindy Green, and her brother Larry Sanford.

 

Private family memorial services have taken place.  Arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

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Chuck V. Prill of Mecosta

Chuck V. Prill, age 61 of Mecosta, passed away Sunday, September 18, 2016 at home surrounded by family. A celebration of Chuck's life will be held Saturday October 1st from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at his home in Mecosta (386 S. Cass St., Mecosta, MI 49332).

Chuck was born November 15, 1954, the son of Charles and Sally (Chrochere) Prill. He enjoyed gardening, landscaping and simply being outdoors. He was a great builder and delighted in all sorts of projects from remodeling to building sheds and everything in-between. He would often help his children with their home improvements as well as doing his own. Chuck always considered himself to be "old school", valuing family time (especially with grandchildren) and having a strong work ethic.

Friendly with a crooked sense of humor could describe Chuck in a nutshell. He had many people come to him when they needed to talk about something since he always had an ear to lend.

He will be greatly missed by his wife, Monica Prill; mother, Sally Drake; children, Jennifer (Richie) Vorhees, Joshua (Courtney) Prill, Jesse (Amanda) Prill, James (Shannon) Prill, Jason Prill (Kristy), Justin Prill and Julian Prill; siblings, Debra Scherbinski, Dawn Duley, Donald Drake and Jenny Clemmons and 16 grandchildren.

Chuck was preceded in death by his father and sister Lynn Kilts.

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Stephen A. 'Steve' Pyrett of Chippewa Lake

Stephen A. “Steve” Pyrett, age 62 of Marion, Ohio formerly of Chippewa Lake, passed away Friday, September 16, 2016.  He was born July 25, 1954 in Frankfort, MI the son of Jacob and Thelma (Lynch) Pyrett.  Steve graduated from Chippewa Hills High School in 1972 and married his high school sweet heart and the love of his life, Roberta Squires from Barryton.  They began their married life in Big Rapids, then moved to Grand Rapids where Steve graduated in Bio-med Technology.  After graduation, his career was in management and most recently as a crane inspector. 

 

Steve was a devout Christian and family man. He was always cheerful, smiling and quite the practical joker. He would help anyone in need. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed being outdoors.  He enjoyed spending time with family, especially his children and grandchildren, whom he loved dearly.

 

Steve was a man of many talents.   He was known as “Mister Fix It”. He was a licensed ham radio operator. Steve had a love for music and was a bass player in various bands.

 

He is survived by his beloved wife Roberta of Marion, Ohio; four children,  Holly (fiancé John Cardinal) Sabo of Cleveland, Jacob Pyrett of Cincinnati, Stacy Geers of Kentucky and Beth (Adam) Fontanez of North Carolina; grandchildren Allie and Nick Sabo; Dustin and Zachary Geers; Nathan and Kayla Fontanez; his mother and step-father, Thelma and Orval Reed of Weidman; sister Karen (Joe) Donovan of Mt. Pleasant; step-sisters, Kathryn (Sylvester) Miranda of California, Linda (Darin) McGregor of Chippewa Lake, and Elizabeth (Wayne) Gorby of Coral, and many nieces and nephews. 

 

Steve was preceded in death by his father, Jacob Pyrett in 1969.

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Friday, September 23, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids MI with Pastor Ken Krause officiating.  The family will have visitation hours at the funeral home two hours prior to services, from 11:00 a.m. to service at 1:00 p.m.

 

Burial will be at the Chippewa Lake Cemetery.  Memorial contributions in Steve’s name may be made to donor's charity of choice.

 

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Frances L. Odiorne of White Cloud

Frances L. Odiorne, age 79 of White Cloud formerly of Comstock Park, passed away Monday, September 19, 2016 at her daughter’s home.  She was born February 9, 1937 in Barryton, the daughter of Harrison and Beulah (Williams) Gardner.  Frances graduated from Barryton High School in 1955.  She married Robert Lindquist in 1957 at the Barryton Church of Christ and together they raised their daughter in Comstock Park.  Frances was employed by Home Insurance Company for 15 years until Robert passed in 1977. 

 

In 1980 she married Dean Odiorne and moved to Arizona.  Frances worked in the office of River Medical Inc., for 13 years and was a life member of the Parker Dam VFW Woman’s Auxiliary Post 10726.  Dean passed in 1987 and she moved back to Michigan in 2002 after her retirement.  At this time she volunteered at the Veteran’s Home in Grand Rapids for 13 years and was an active member at the North Park Presbyterian Church where she had served as an Elder.  Frances enjoyed reading, jigsaw puzzles, card games and attending Bible Studies.

 

She is survived by her daughter Wendy (Jack) Meeuwes of White Cloud; four grandchildren, Kerri Meeuwes, John Jr. (Sarah) Meeuwes, Barnaby (Roxy) Johnson, and Anthony (Angela) Johnson; eight great-grandchildren; brother, RJ (Nina) Gardner of Barryton; two sisters-in-law, Dorothy Gardner of Barryton and JoAnn Gardner of Chicago; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

 

Frances was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Robert Lindquist; second husband, Dean Odiorne; three sisters, Evelyn Hatfield, Maxine Crawley, and Arbelle Archer; and three brothers, Harry, Harrison Jr., and Freddie Gardner. 

 

Funeral services will take place 11:30 a.m. Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the North Park Presbyterian Church, 500 N. Park St. NE, Grand Rapids, with Pastor Helen Havlik officiating.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service (at 10:30 a.m.).  She will be laid to rest at Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Park Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or Hospice of Michigan.         

 

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. 

 

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John D. 'Jack' Spedoski of Stanwood

John D. “Jack” Spedoski, age 87 of Stanwood, passed away Monday, September 19, 2016 at Sweet Water Creek Adult Foster Care in Branch.  He was born January 28, 1929 in Grand Rapids, the son of Marks and Bridget (Whalen) Spedoski.  Jack graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1947 and began his lifetime career as a dairy farmer with his father and brother, Donald.  He was drafted into the United States Army, serving during the Korean War.  Jack was honorably discharged in 1952 and returned home to help on the farm.
 

He married Marianne Adams in April of 1975 and together they made their home near the family farm.  When Jack was younger, he was a catcher for Emmons’ Dairy fastpitch softball team.  Following retirement, Jack and Marianne enjoyed traveling to different countries.  He was a lifetime member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids. 

 

He is survived by his wife, Marianne Spedoski of Stanwood; two stepchildren, Walter Adams of Peoria, Illinois and Belinda (Tom) Welch of Stanwood; three grandchildren, Nichole and Joshua Adams and Ilsa (Mark) Dean; six great-grandchildren, Gabriella, William, Alexandria, Kaleb, Logan, and Liam; sister, Noreen Gondre of Howard City; sister-in-law, Leona Spedoski of Stanwood; brother-in-law, Jack Hoisington of Stanwood; many nieces and nephews. 

 

Jack was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Marguerite Hoisington and Dorothy Spedoski; two brothers, Donald and Marks Spedoski.      

 

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 10:30 a.m. Monday, September 26, 2016 at the St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids with Father Douglas Braun officiating.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the Mass at 9:30 a.m. at the Church. 

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Michigan Parkinson Foundation, or the Charity of the Donor’s Choice.

 

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Edwin MacDonald Gault of Big Rapids

Edwin MacDonald Gault, age 86, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans on Sunday, September 18, 2016.  He was born on July 17, 1930 in New Brighten, PA, the son of Wesley and Lillian Isabel (Russell) Gault.

 

Edwin served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA and an MBA from Wharton University, PA.

 

His career included working for IBM, Remington-Rand, Honeywell, American Motors, and Oakland
University.  Edwin enjoyed being a church pianist/organist and playing for groups.

 

He is survived by his children’s mother, Yvonne Sara Kilbourne of Big Rapids; four children, Theodore Gault of Evart, Jean (Mark) Griffiths of Columbus, OH, Elizabeth (Michael Burdick) Morningstar of Big Rapids, and Dr. Judith (Karl Liedtke) Morse-Gault of Aurora, CO; plus, six grandchildren, Cory and Caitlin Griffiths, John Morningstar, and Erin, Julia, and Amanda Liedtke.  Also surviving are one niece, Dr. Laura Gault; two nephews, David and Kevin Gault; and great nieces, Sarah and Elena Bryden.

Edwin is preceded in death by two brothers, Peter and Thomas Gault.

 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Reverend Jerena Keys officiating.  Edwin’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m.

 

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Nicole Lee Hudson of Rodney

Nicole Lee Hudson, age 37, of Rodney, passed away Friday, September 16, 2016, at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.  She was born on July 15, 1979 in Saginaw, the daughter of Ronald S. and Cynthia Marr Jr.

 

Nicole graduated from Big Rapids High School and earned an associate degree in nursing from Baker College.  She worked at local nursing facilities and for the American Red Cross.  She was a member of Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.  Nicole’s life was about helping others.  Upon her death she helped another person with the gift of sight.

 

She is survived by her parents; Ronald (Carol) Marr of Rodney, Cindy (Jeff) Baugh of Rodney; two children, Courtney and Caleb Hudson; one step son Ben Hudson; two brothers, Gary and Eric Marr, and her fiancée, James Hatchew.  Also surviving are her grandmother Esther Ball and 9 step brothers and sisters; Chris, Ryan, and Jordan Baugh, Genesis, Jan, and Christopher Dart, Jennifer (Chad) Gunn, Rebecca (Dan) Vallad and Susan (Brandon) Parsley.

 

Nicole was preceded in death by a son Zachary Hudson, and grandparents Fred Ball, Ron and Arlene Marr.

 

A celebration of Nicole’s life will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., October 9, 2016 at the Big Rapids Eagles.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to her family.

 

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Mercy Jean Hazen of Barryton

Mercy Jean Hazen, was born 15 November 1931 in Merrill, Michigan, daughter of Paul and Clemence (Martens) Stenke, died Saturday, 17 September 2016 at her home in Barryton, Michigan.

 

Jean was raised in a Christian home and lived that faith every day of her life. She was a talented artist and shared her beauty with every life she touched.

 

Jean lived in Merrill, Ypsilanti, and Sandusky, where she met and married Donald Roy Hazen. They spent 61 years together, raising their children, including 40 foster children, and farming in Sandusky, Marlette, Grand Blanc, Shephard, Eaton Rapids, and Barryton.

 

Services will be held on Thursday, 22 September 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Lighthouse Free Methodist Church, 4395 20 Mile Rd, Barryton, MI, with Pastor Darwin Mowat officiating.

 

Visitation will be at the church, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 from 3:00 PM until 8:00 PM and Thursday at 12:00 PM until the time of the service.

 

In lieu of flowers, Jean asked that donations be made to the OLAH (Osceola League for Arts and Humanities) in Evart, Michigan, towards a scholarship or to the Lighthouse Free Methodist Church.

 

Jean leaves her Children: Ronald and Roberta Hazen, Deborah and Delbert Erwin, Michael and Terry Hazen, Fred and Kathy Hazen, Dawn and Dale Barber, Vicki Nun, Susie and Dick Goodman; 25 Grandchildren: Theresa Jewell, Carrie and Tracy Lowe, Jessica Roberts, Nate and Amy Hazen, Sam Hazen, Jane Boyden, William and Courtney Erwin, Rebecca and Tyler Flachs, Levi and Kay Hazen, Luke and Samantha Hazen, Ashley and PJ Doerr, Jennifer Hazen, Melinda and Ron Haines, Erik Barber, Melissa and Todd Jewell, Barbi and Greg Shock, Debbie and Ron Anderson, Mike and Kerri Bryant, Scott and Shannon Nunn, Allison and Tristan Trudel, Rhonda and Brad Holden, Ken and Michelle Goodman, Chris and Bev Diehl, Christy and Mark Hulker, Mariah and Rob Naples; 48 Great Grandchildren; 14 Great-Great Grandchildren; Sister Rebecca Schirmer; and Special Niece Joy.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband Donald; infant son, Mitchell; parents, Paul and Clemence Stenke; brother, William Cullen; infant grandson, Paul; and son-in-law, Jerry Nunn.

 

Graveside services will be held on Friday, 23 September 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Moore Township Cemetery, Moore Road, Snover, Michigan.

 

The Family wants to thank the very loving caregivers from Hospice of Michigan: Teresa, Nancy, Burt, Donna, and Sue. Their love and support helped all of us through these last few months.

 

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Charity (Bunker) Simpson of Luther

Charity (Bunker) Simpson of Luther went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. She was 100.

 

Charity was an employee of Stanley Home Products for over 50 years and also served as a waitress for many years. She enjoyed cooking and socializing with family and friends. She loved spending winters in Lake Wales with Roscoe, her husband of 50 years, who preceded her in death. Charity is survived by two sons, Denton of Luther, MI and Gary of Ravenna, MI, grandchildren Michael (Brenda) Grimm, Scott (Michelle) Grimm, Brian (Elizabeth) Grimm, Jacinda (Gerald) Reyers. Also surviving are 15 great grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Roscoe and her granddaughter Rebecca Grimm.

 

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City. The family will receive relatives and friends 12:00-1:00 until the time of services. Burial will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

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Boyd James Buerge, 73, of Colorado passed away July 21st.

Boyd James Buerge 73, of Aurora Colorado, son of the late Daisy Bell (Buerge) Hurst and Boyd John Buerge, passed away on July 21st, 2016 at the Parker Adventist Hospital in Colorado following a short illness.

 

He was preceded in death recently by his loving and devoted wife Joyce L. Buerge (June 20th 1941-August 13, 2015). Boyd was born in Reed City Michigan and attended Reed City High School, Ferris State College, and the University of Albuquerque.

 

Boyd married his high school sweetheart Joyce McChesney in 1962. They moved their family to Albuquerque NM in 1970 and to Denver CO in 1977. Boyd had a long and successful sales career working for Triangle Auto Sales in Big Rapids, Dunn & Bradstreet in Albuquerque NM, and the US T obacco Co. in Denver CO. Boyd was passionate about cars and sports. His hobbies included restoring cars, particularly Pontiac Firebirds, cataloging parts for cars, and watching the family’s favorite team, the Denver Broncos. Boyd eventually came out of retirement to work as an auto consultant at Walmart. Boyd is survived by his daughter Dana Buerge Peterson, son-in-law Todd Peterson and grandchildren Kyle and Jamie Peterson. His son Steven Buerge, daughter in-law Melissa Buerge, and grandchildren Benjamin, Ryan and Caroline Buerge all of Colorado. He is also survived by his sister Helen Hurst Johnson of Germfask MI, and brother Michael Hurst of Reed City MI.

 

A service for both Boyd and Joyce will be held at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Reed City on Friday September 23rd, 2016 at 2pm. A gathering for all will follow at The Depot located at 200 N. Chestnut St. Reed City MI 49677.

 

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Boyd and Joyce’s name to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association. 

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Ronald Jay 'Bub' Orvis of Evart

Ronald Jay “Bub” Orvis, 59, walked on to his heavenly home on August 20, 2016 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital after a hard fought battle with cancer. He was born June 26, 1957 in Mt. Pleasant.

 

He married Margaret Marr on September 1, 1990. He resided in Evart with his wife. He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Orvis. He is living on through his wife Margaret, Mother Joyce Sandell, Brother and sister-in-law Robert Dean and Glenna Orvis; his children, daughter Susan Hartnett, son Jamie Marr and fiancée Brooke Paul, son Christopher Orvis and girlfriend Mary Eymer, daughter Tonya Petri; grandchildren Mark Hartnett, Madison Hartnett, Danielle Hartnett, Dakoda Paul-Marr, Carter Orvis, Brycen Orvis, and great granddaughter Zoey Hartnett. Ron was a loving, generous soul that lived his life for his family, especially his grandchildren.

 

He enjoyed going for rides with his brother Dean. He loved his pets, Minka his cat and Penny his dog. He had a great soul that always provided for his family and anyone else in need. He was a proud member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Mt. Pleasant.

 

There will be a memorial service for family and friends at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10 at McDowell Funeral Home in Reed City, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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John Gerald Nee of Canadian Lakes

John Gerald Nee, loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle, passed away Friday, September 2, 2016 at home in Canadian Lakes, MI at the age of 77. A memorial mass will be held in his honor September 23, 2016 at St. Michael Catholic Church in Remus, at 11:00 AM, with Fr. Tom Boufford as Celebrant.


John was born March 28, 1939, in Beloit, Wisconsin, the son of John and Doris (Hansberry) Nee. John graduated from Beloit Catholic High School, and subsequently earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He completed his Doctorate of Education from the University of Minnesota in 1973.
 

On February 4, 1967, John married his beloved wife, Kathleen Mary Walsh, and over the next few years, they added to their family with the birth of their two daughters. Throughout his life, John had an unwavering sense of responsibility for his family and in 1975, John and Kathy moved their family to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan where John began work as a Professor within the Department of Industrial Engineering Technology at Central Michigan University. John enjoyed a long and respected career, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2008. His work and his students were both very important and he took great pride in the successes of his students upon their graduation and stayed in touch with many of them throughout the years.
 

In 2003, John and Kathy moved to Canadian Lakes, where they enjoyed the beauty of the woods and water and the camaraderie of many new friends.
 

Along with a love for his work, John enjoyed many other hobbies, including riding and refurbishing motorcycles. Friends, neighbors, and students could often find him in his workshop or garage working on making what was old, new again. His final and much loved acquisition was a 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency. He enjoyed sharing the Oldsmobile at car shows and touring around West Michigan with his wife and friends as part of the Canadian Lakes Car Club.
 

John is survived by his wife of 49 years, Kathy; children Christine (Richard) Bradley, Lynn (Rikk Kolacz) Nee; grandson Nicholas Kolacz; brother Tom (Judy) Nee; many loved nieces and nephews; and good friend Dennis Parent. He was preceded in death by his parents.
 

In lieu of flowers and if so desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice and Palliative Care [The Spectrum Health Foundation, 100 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503] or to the Patient Access Network Foundation [Patient Access Network Foundation, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 975, Washington, DC 20004].

 

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David Lubbinge of Chippewa Lake

David Lubbinge, age 57 of Chippewa Lake went to be with his Lord on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.  He passed away unexpectedly, with his wife of 27 years, Shelly (Austin) Lubbinge by his side. 

 

Dave graduated from Grandville H.S. and Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.  David worked for Central Michigan Mental Health in Mt. Pleasant.

 

David was dedicated to his work and his family and enjoyed many years of outdoor activities with his wife and many special friends.   The one thing that anyone who knew him could agree on was that he was one of the very nicest men they had ever met.

 

David is survived by his wife Shelly, his sister, Rolinda (Dale) Baareman of Drummond Island, MI, his brother, Steven (Glory) Lubbinge of Grandville, his brother-in-law Charles (Julie) Austin, of Chippewa Lake and his sister-in-law Patricia Austin Davis also of Chippewa Lake.  His, Uncle Chris (Marilyn) Siebers of Caledonia and his Aunt, Martha Nydam of Hudsonville and his Step-Mother Jennifer Lawrence of Elk Rapids.

 

David and Shelly had no children of their own but have many nieces and nephews and very special cousins that were just as precious as children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to them.  Shannon, Debbie, Tucker, Peaches, Josh, Brianna, Jason, Kayla, Kevin, D.J., Charlee, Adam, Audra, Dick, Gavin, Grady,  Mike, Charlie, Mikey, Edie Moe, Joe, Will, Cierra, Aaliyah, Cody, Megan, Mark, Helen, Tehya, Mark, Norma, Josh, Julia, Jacob, Christopher, Tonya, Bryan, Sues, Brett and Katie.

 

David will be greatly missed by his family and friends.  He was preceded in death by his father, Roland Lubbinge, his mother Thelma Lubbinge and his beloved, Sammy.

 

There will be a celebration of David’s life at the Barryton Community Building on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Memorial contributions in David’s name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

 

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Leon J. Maxwell of Big Rapids

Leon J. Maxwell, age 60 of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, September 5, 2016 at Spectrum Health Meijer Heart Center.  He was born July 24, 1956 in Clare, the son of Patrick Sr. and Marcella (Bailey) Maxwell.  Leon attended Chippewa Hills High School.  He farmed his entire life on the family farm.  Leon enjoyed always having a dog, playing bingo, and visiting with his friends.
 

Leon is survived by his four brothers, Patrick II (Marilyn) of Canal Fulton, Ohio, Duane (Sheryl) of Spring Hill, Florida, Eugene (Janice) of Midland, and Randy (Sandra) of Rodney; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and numerous friends.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Jeanette Maxwell; niece, Sheri Maxwell; and nephew, Patrick Maxwell III. 

 

A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Leon’s name to the Chippewa Hills FFA Alumni, 3226 Arthur Road, Remus, MI, 49340. 

 

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Betty Mae Lewis of Big Rapids

Betty Mae Lewis, 92, of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, September 3, 2016 at the Boardman Lake Glens Assisted Living Facility in Traverse City in the presence of her loving family.


Betty was born June 7, 1924, the daughter of Guy and Mae (Fitzgerald) Robison in Big Rapids.  She grew up in Big Rapids, where she graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1942.  Upon graduating, Betty worked at Hanchett Manufacturing. 
 

Betty married Jack Lewis in 1946.  Following retirement, Betty and Jack enjoyed winters in Largo,

FL.  They also were both very involved in community and civic activities.  Betty was very active in the Mecosta County Genealogical  Society and the Mecosta County  Historical Museum,  Mecosta County Fair and Ferris State Alumni Association.
 

She is survived by her daughtes, Mary Mieler (Jud Whitnell) of Tucson , AZ, Nancy (Jim) Schroeder of Traverse City, Linda Hood of Kent City;  5 grandchildren; Jacki (Rusty) Lenners, Emily Mieler, Jake (Kerra) Schroeder, Abby (Cory) Paquette, Hannah (James) Westphal, and  6 great grandchildren; Taryn and Josh Lenners, Keely and Wyatt Paquette, Bailey Westphal and Ethan Bowman. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law;  Shirley Totten and Ann Haight plus many cousins, nieces and nephews.


Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jack and siblings; Harley Robison, Edna Sigsby, Lois Robison, Fern Lane and Lawrence Robison.
 

A memorial service for Betty will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Mohkne Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Reverend Jerena Keys officiating. Interment will take place at Pine Plains Cemetery.

 

Betty's family would like to express their appreciation to Hospice of Michigan and the entire staff at the Boardman Lake Glens Assisted Living Facility for the wonderful care she received during her time there.
 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mecosta County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box1068, Big Rapids, MI 49307

 

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Dennis William Biller of Mecosta

Dennis William Biller , of Mecosta, passed away Monday, September 5, 2016 at home surrounded by his loving family.  Dennis was born on January 6, 1951 in Big Rapids, the son of Richard and Barbara (Cady) Biller.


He lived in the area his entire life.
 

Denny married Nila in 1986 and work for many years for MEAD MASONARY (Weidman).
 

He loved music and  playing the lead guitar.
 

He was preceded in death by his father.
 

Denny is survived by his mother, Barbara Biller and his wife, Nila, his children; Wayne (Teresa) Biller, Tracy (Rob) Wilber, Shawna (Frank) Miller, all of Mecosta, John (Bonnie) Cour of Lakeview, step children; Jim (Stacey) Thompson and Leon (Annie) Shaner, also surviving are 18 grandchildren and 1 great grandson, his brothers; Bob (Sherry) Playes, Dickie (Marilyn) Biller, Roger (Kathy) Biller and sisters; Vicky (Bill) Dexter and Christy Denslow, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
 

A celebration of life will be  1:00 p.m.,Sunday, September 18, 2016, at the Mecosta VFW Hall.

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Denny's name to Hospice of Michigan.

 

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Lois M. Hatfield of Big Rapids

Lois M. Hatfield, 73, of Big Rapids, passed away  Monday, August 5, 2016, at the Brook of Big Rapids.

 

She was  born March 12, 1943 in Big Rapids, the daughter of  Edmund and Marquerite (Kietzmann) Ellefsen, and was a lifelong  Big Rapids resident.    In 1961, Lois graduated from Big Rapids High School, and continued her education as a graduate of the Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing and St. Joseph's College in Maine.
 

Lois was employed by Mecosta County Medical Center for 35 years, beginning as a Registered Nurse and ending as a consultant for the Birthing Center and Rehabiliation Center,and the Medical Arts building.
 

Her home was always open to family and friends.  Lois loved to travel, and had been to 46 states and most of the Canadian Providences with her late husband, William.  They traveled with a 5th wheeler on back roads to enjoy the countryside and many interesting people.  Their other retreat was a cottage they built where they spent hours on the water with friends.  For 30 years Drummond Island was their fall destination for several weeks of perch fishing with the  usual group of friends up there.
 

On March 31, 1962, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Big Rapids, Lois married William P. Hatfield, who preceded her in death on May 17, 2005.  She is survived by a son Mark and his wife Carla, 2 precious grandchildren, Chelsea (Joshua) Richardson, and Christina Hatfiled; 2 great-grandchildren, Colton and Kennedy Richardson; her sister -in-law, Alice Grosebeck;  nephews Matt and Mike Grosebeck; and brother-in-law, Bob Hatfield. Several cousins also survive as do  special friends, Norm  Kailing and Netty Cove, special neighbors Jim and Sandy Bowen and Eleanor and the late Jim Spedowski.  Lois was also preceded in death by an infant brother Gary and brother-in-law Merle Grosebeck
 

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 10,  2016 at St. Peter's Lutheran Church  in Big Rapids,with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating.  Burial will be in the Highland View Cemetery.  Lois' family will greet friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Friday, September 9, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, and at the church after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to St. Peter's Lutheran Church, or a charity of choice,  with envelopes available at the church or funeral home.  

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Trixie Carol Shepherd of Reed City

Trixie Carol Shepherd of Reed City passed away at her home Tuesday, August 31, 2016. She was 79 years old.

 

She was born July 9, 1937 to Frank and Vernie (Strait) Ziemba in Muskegon and was raised in White Cloud and attended White Cloud area schools. She was employed as a hairdresser in the Detroit area before moving to Lewiston where she owned and operated a handmade crafts store for 17 years. Trixie moved to the Reed City area after her retirement in 2000. In her youth, Trixie travelled with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a Hula dancer with other members of her family. She was a lifetime member of the Dearborn Heights VFW Post #78 Women’s Auxiliary and also a lifetime member of the Lewiston Moose Lodge #2495. As an avid fan of music, she loved to sing and was a self-taught player of numerous instruments including the guitar, organ, and accordion. Trixie was committed to helping returning members of the armed forces, and with help from sister members of the auxiliary, she constructed thousands of bookmarks and knitted afghan’s for wounded veterans for many years.

 

She is survived by her son Ivan Youngs, adopted daughter Amber, and foster children April, Diana, and Coral, sisters Rosalee (James) Armour, Kay (Paul) Bittner, Pat (Mike) Ensing, and Nola Green, brother Eddie (Barbara) Booker, grandchildren Sebastian and Lillianna, and her sister-in-law Marilyn Booker. She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Vernie Ziemba, and her brothers Jerry Booker and James Booker.

 

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Friday, September 9, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Debra Stern officiating. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. until the beginning of services.

 

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Gerald O. 'Jake' Stout of Morley

Gerald O. “Jake” Stout, age 69 of Morley, passed away peacefully Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids surrounded by his family.  He was born January 26, 1947 at home in Cedar Springs, the son of Bernard and Ruby (Bonnter) Stout. 


Jake graduated from Rockford High School.  He was drafted into the United States Marine Corps, serving during the Vietnam Era until his honorable discharge in 1967.  Jake returned to Cedar Springs and began his 35 year career at Michigan Wheel in Grand Rapids.  He also established “Jake Stout Propeller Repair” a shop he operated at his home for over 20 years.  He was very well known for the high quality work he took such great pride in. 


Jake married Judy Thompson on July 16, 1966 in Morley; they happily celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. 


Jake was a member of American Legion Post #554 of Morley, the River Valley Car Club, he was the Chief Union Steward at Michigan Wheel for many years and had attended the Northland United Methodist Church.  He enjoyed years of deer hunting with friends and family, but especially loved hunting with his two sons.


Jake is survived by his beloved wife Judy; two sons, Jeffery Stout, Jason (Heather) Stout all of Morley; a brother George (Sandy) Stout of Pierson and many special nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandson, Jacob Stout, a sister, Lil Lanning; three brothers, Don, Chuck and Gene Stout and his mother and father-in-law, Beulah and Virgil Thompson.


Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Gary Bondarenko officiating.  The family will greet friends at the funeral home two hours prior to the funeral on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Memorial contributions in Jake’s name may be made to the Northland United Methodist Church in Stanwood.

 

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Darwin 'Cush' Leo Cushman of Barryton

Darwin “Cush” Leo Cushman, passed away on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at his home in Barryton at the age of 82. On October 12, 1933 he was born in Calhoun County to the late Leo and Lottie (Gibbie) Cushman. Darwin was raised in Olivet and graduated from Olivet High School in 1951. He entered the United States Army and was honorably discharged following the Korean Conflict.

 

Darwin married Grace (Syer) Miller on August 30, 1969 in Jackson, MI where he was a firefighter for 25 years. Upon retirement they moved to their home in Barryton where he was instrumental in maintaining the channels of Lost Lake. Darwin was a member of the Weidman American Legion, the Evart Eagles, and the last living charter member of the Barryton Road Runner Men’s Club.

 

Darwin is survived by the family he loved; his wife of 45 years, Grace; sons, Brian (Jeanne) Cushman, Michael (Barbara) Cushman, Charles Miller and Thomas (Lynn) Miller; twelve grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many extended family and friends he’s met along the way.

 

Per his wishes cremation has taken place and no services will be held at this time. In his memory donations to the Barryton Road Runners Club would be appreciated. Arrangements and care have been entrusted to the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.

 

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Justin Gerard Wernette of Remus

Justin Gerard Wernette, our loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Midland, MI at the age of 90. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, September 2nd, at 11:00 AM, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Remus. Visitation will take place at the church on Thursday evening from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a Rosary Service at 7:30 PM. Burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery will follow the funeral service on Friday.

Justin was born October 6, 1925, in Remus, MI, the son of Michael and Antoinette (Schoner) Wernette. After being locally educated through Remus High School, Justin proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946 in Europe during WWII. He married the love of his life, Violet U. Stine on May 14, 1949, and together the two grew their family to include five children.

Justin enjoyed canning vegetables with his wife, restoring old cars and babysitting. Children were his favorite and he enjoyed every busy minute of watching them with his wife. He also loved deer hunting; Justin even shot a deer last fall at the age of 90. The proud veteran he was, Justin was a very involved member of the Mecosta VFW. He was the chairman of their BINGO for 30 years, and cracked many eggs in their kitchen during the numerous breakfasts they hosted. Justin felt very fortunate to have been a part of the 2014 Honor Flight to Washington D.C. After being talked into going, it became a favorite trip of his.

Outgoing, caring, compassionate and religious were all words used to describe Justin. He was known to be a social butterfly that always had a story to tell.

His good sense of humor and loving nature will be greatly missed by his wife of 67 years, Violet; children, Janet (Robert) McCall, Roger (Michelle) Wernette, Randy (Julie) Wernette, Dennis (Kristine) Wernette and Darwin (Linda) Wernette; 16 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Julius and Durward Wernette; sisters, Ruth Lapham, Doris Marks, Rose Daniels and Patricia Smith; grandson, Brandon McCall and great-grandson, Lincoln Larrabee.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society or to God’s Helping Hands. Envelopes will be available at the church.

 

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Joseph Michael Norbeck of Canadian Lakes

Joseph Michael Norbeck, age 72 of Canadian Lakes, MI, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on the evening of Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.

Joseph was born November 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA; the son of Helen and Joseph (Thornton) Norbeck. He was the oldest of six children.

After graduating from St. James high school in Folcroft, PA, Joseph went on to proudly serve his country in the United States Air Force from October of 1961 to October of 1965. He then married the love of his life, Sharon Kay Davis in 1965, renewing their vows to one another in 2012. Joseph received his PhD in Chemistry in 1972 from the University of Nebraska. He then spent one year in Sheffield, England and one year in Madison, WI before he took a job as a research scientist with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, where he would work for 18 years. Joseph then took a job with the University of California - Riverside teaching both environmental and chemical engineering to undergraduate and graduate students. He was the founding director of the College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) from 1992 to 2005, as well as the founding director of the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) from 2005 to 2011. Joseph decided it was time to retire in 2011, but he still remained a member of numerous advisory committees. Once retired, he and Sharon lived in Palm Desert, CA in the winter and Canadian Lakes, MI during the summer months.


Joseph loved to fish and golf, which he did plenty of during his 28 years as a Canadian Lakes resident.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 50 years, Sharon; children, Jason (Jenny) Norbeck and Allyson (Michael) Samborn; brothers, William and Robert (Ruthann); sisters, Helen (Greg) Uff and Maribeth (Wes) Payne; grandchildren, Warren, Max and Jackson Norbeck and Ariadne Samborn and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Thomas Norbeck.

Cremation will take place with a memorial service to follow at the Antler’s Fireside Grill in Canadian Lakes on September 24, 2016 at 2 pm.

Because education was so important to Joseph, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to his grandchildren’s education fund. Donations can be sent to the family directly or to the Joseph Norbeck Memorial Fund at Isabella Bank 8351 100th Ave. Stanwood, MI 49346. Or, because his family was so appreciative of the Renucci Hospitality House at Butterworth Hospital, donations may also be sent to them at 290 Ransom St. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

 

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Nancy M. Hyder of Remus

Nancy M. Hyder, 67, passed away unexpectedly at home in Remus, Thursday, August 25, 2016. She was born on July 13, 1949, in Mt. Pleasant to Albert and Marjory (Diehl) Hyder. She grew up in the Remus area, graduated from Mecosta-Remus High School in 1967 and was employed at McClaren Central Michigan where she was a housekeeper for 38 years before retiring in 2015.

 

Nancy was a hard and willing worker. She enjoyed fishing, bicycling, walking, and crafts. She volunteered at Woodland Hospice for 35 years and was part of the Red Cross Clown Core.

 

Nancy is survived by the family she loved spending time with; her mother, Marjory of Remus; two sisters, Cathy VanOrden of Mt. Pleasant and Emily (Ken) Wolfe of Bronson; sister-in-law, Ilene Hyder of Millbrook; and numerous, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends who will continue to hold the memories they have close to their hearts.

 

Nancy was preceded in death by her dad Albert; brother, Allen and brother-in-law, Clinton VanOrden.

 

A memorial service was held at 11 AM, Saturday, August 27th at New Hope United Methodist Church (7296 9 Mile Rd.) Mecosta, with the family greeting friends one hour prior, 10 AM – 11 AM at the church.

 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Woodland Hospice or New Hope United Methodist Church, where she attended.

 

Arrangements entrusted to Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.

 

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Mary Joanne Steeno of Big Rapids

Mary Joanne “Mary Jo” Steeno, 73, of Big Rapids went to be with God after fighting a valiant 5-year battle with breast cancer on August 26, 2016.

 

Mary was born on April 1, 1943 in San Francisco, CA to John and Wenonah “Nonie” Shea.  It was during WWII, and her parents were stationed there.  Her father, John, was a Naval officer and attorney, and her mother, Nonie, was a hospital volunteer and Grandmother Extraordinaire.  After the war, the Sheas lived in Hancock, MI, where Mary spent most of her childhood.  She grew up the oldest of two and often cared for her sister, Kathleen, who is 9 years her junior.  In her senior year of high school, the Sheas moved to Detroit.  After graduating, Mary, a devout Roman Catholic, went to Fontbonne College and convent in St. Louis, MO.  While there, Mary was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 8 years, receiving her degree in English and Philosophy, and taught elementary education classes..  After determining that she would serve God in other ways, Mary left Fontbonne for Michigan State University, where she acquired her Masters in Counseling.  It was there she met and later married the love of  her life, David Steeno.  They were married on August 7, 1971 in a small family ceremony in Midland, MI.  While David completed law school, Mary worked as a school counselor in various Michigan towns.  In 1986, Mary and David moved to Big Rapids with their two children, Karen and John.  They both served the Catholic Church and students at Ferris State University, together for many years thereafter.

 

Mary was the Educational Counselor for the School of Allied Health Sciences and Ferris State for 22 years.  She was passionate about providing quality education, serving others and football.  During college football season, it was rare to see Mary anywhere other than in front of a television cheering Notre Dame and Michigan State while making appetizers and homemade chili for family.  She and David attended many Green Bay Packers games at Lambeau Field and enjoyed spending time near the water. Mary was a lifelong learner, deeply spiritual, and a faithful friend.  She enjoyed ice skating, water skiing, and art of any kind, especially painting.  As a wife, sister, mother, nana and friend, she was loving and generous.

 

She is survived by her husband, David of Big Rapids, her spouse of 45 years; her daughter Karen (Kyle) Oberhill, and granddaughter, Grace of Kalamazoo; her son John (Chelsey) of Madison, WI, her sister, Kathleen (John) Reding and a host of family in Kokomo, IN.  Mary’s family will receive visitors at Mohnke Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 30th from 5-7:00 p.m., Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m.  A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at St. Paul’s Chapel with Father Tom Page celebrant.  Interment will take place at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Association, envelopes available at the funeral home.

 

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Glenn P. Holt of Rodney

Glenn P. Holt, age 88 of Rodney, passed away Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at home surrounded by his family.  He was born September 18, 1927 on the family farm in Rodney, the son of Benjamin and Velma (Louckes) Holt.  Glenn graduated from Barryton Agricultural High School in 1946.  He enlisted into the United States Army, honorably serving his country during the Korean Conflict. 

 

On June 20, 1959 he married Carol Cox at the Church of God in Big Rapids and together they raised their family on the farm in Rodney.  Glenn was employed by Austin Gas Fields for 33 years before he retired.  He was a member of the Chippewa Lake Community Church, the Mecosta VFW Post 2335, and the Big Rapids Masonic Lodge #171.  Glenn loved to work on the farm and in his barn, ride the tractors, and take care of his crops.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and collecting hammers. 

 

Glenn will be greatly missed by his family and friends.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Carol Holt of Rodney; three children, Glenda (Jim) Montague of Canadian Lakes, Terry (Bonnie) Holt of Reed City, and Laurie (Doug) Walsh of Mattawan; eight grandchildren, Sarah, Kurt, Summer, Robert, G’ne, Corey, Nina, and Mara; eight great-grandchildren, Michael, Daniel, Shelby, Zander, Holli, Lily, Embry, and Grady; a sister-in-law, Gloria Holt of Illinois; and several nieces and nephews. 

 

Glenn was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Marge (Paul) Johnson; brothers, Tom Holt and Jack (Phyllis) Holt; son, Steven Holt; and grandson, Andy Holt.

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Roger Bennett officiating.  The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 26th at the funeral home.  Glenn will be laid to rest at Highland View Cemetery in Big Rapids.    

 

Memorial contributions in Glenn’s name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

 

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Ronald J. Orvis of Evart

Ronald J. Orvis, 59, of Evart, passed away Saturday, August 20, 2016 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids.

 

A memorial service is being planned for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 10 at McDowell Funeral Home, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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Donald W. Dunn of Big Rapids

Donald W. Dunn, age 70, of Big Rapids passed away Monday, August 22, 2016 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.  He was born on April 17, 1946 in Big Rapids, the son of David W. and Rose Ella (Alger) Dunn.  Don graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1964.  He retired after 30 years from ANR Pipeline.  Don enjoyed hunting and sporting events with his grandchildren.

 

He is survived by three sons, Brian Dunn of Hope, MI, David (Kimberly) Dunn of Howard City, and Daniel (Melanie) Dunn of Howard City; eight grandchildren, Devin, Bryce, Keegan, Karlyn, Keeayra, Mason, Dawson, and Pierson.  Also surviving are three sisters, Betty Goldhammer, Nancy Fairman and Linda Mann.

 

Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Bonnie (2013), and one son, Kurt.

 

Funeral services for Don will be at 11:00 AM, Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating.  Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Interment will be at Highland View Cemetery.

 

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Robert Henry 'Bob' Romine of Paris

Robert Henry “Bob” Romine, 75, of Paris, passed away Monday, August 22, 2016, at Presence Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

 

He was born June 18, 1941, in Big Rapids, the son of Henry and Beulah (Montague) Romine.  Bob is survived by Sandra (Halladay), his wife of 39 years; 5 children, Sherri Reynolds, Scott (Tina) Lackney, Debra (Bobby) Marsh, Stacy (Lyn) Lackney, and Connie (David) Babbitt; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; his sister Barbara J. Waldron; and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister and another sister Shirley Dennis, a stepson Steven Lackney, and a grandson Shawn Lackney.

 

Bob drove truck for many years.  Besides family, his passion was farming.  He was an easy-going man who brought joy to all who knew him.  He was greatly loved and will certainly be missed.

 

A private family gathering will be held in Bob’s memory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Susan Wheatlake Cancer Center in Reed City.

 

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Carol Jean Young of Reed City

Carol Jean Young of Reed City passed away Saturday, August 20, 2016 at her home surrounded by her family. She was 69.

 

There are many people who come and go in our lives. A few touch us in ways that change us forever, that make us better for knowing them. Carol made a difference and for this we are very grateful. She will be truly missed. Carol is survived by her daughters Brenda Lee Young and Debra (Mark) Upson, sisters Lola Beyer, Elaine Galvanek, Nancy Eckholm, and Linda Block, grandchildren: Amber Phillips, Ashley Wood, Jessica Stansky, Mitchel Upson, and 12 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Russell Young, her parents Clarence and Grace (Lucas) Rothig, and her brothers Gerald and Clarence Rothig.

 

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Pastor Dan Pflug officiating. Visitation with the family will begin at 12:00 P.M. There will be a funeral luncheon at the Reed City Moose Lodge #705 following services. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Spectrum Health Hospice.

 

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Jack L. Fetterley of Big Rapids

Jack L. Fetterley, age 80 passed away peacefully, surrounded by his four daughters, on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at his home.  A lifelong resident, Jack was born in Big Rapids on April 15, 1936 the son of Otto and Vesta (Kershner) Fetterley.  He graduated from Big Rapids High School and served in the United States Airforce until his honorable discharge.  Jack was employed by Giant Supermarkets for over 30 years and later by Carters Grocery until he retired.

 

Jack served as a volunteer for the Big Rapids Fire Department for several years.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He enjoyed many years of camping, bowling, being in the sun and spending time with his daughters (Jack’s Girls).

 

Jack will be sadly missed by his dear friends at Szots in Big Rapids and forever loved by his family of four daughters, Shelly (Art) Sullivan of Iowa, Leanne (Bob) Souter of Sparta, Jackie (Brian) Bennitt of Grant, Dionne (Jeff) Berenbrock of Kent City; nine grandchildren, Nicole, Ashley, Alexander, Erika, Sasha, Cody, Courtney, Allie, Abbie; seven great-grandchildren and two nieces.  Jack was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Gertrude Terwillegar, Juanita Brockelbank, Maxine Williams and one nephew. 

 

The family will greet friends on Tuesday, August 23rd from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  A memorial service will take place 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 24th also at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Reverend Kaye Patton officiating.    

 

Memorial contributions in Jack’s name may be made to Hospice of Michigan.

 

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Monique McDiarmid of Big Rapids

Monique McDiarmid age 57, passed away Friday, August 19, 2016 following a long battle with cancer, she was surrounded by her loved ones. Monique was born on January 8, 1959 in Saginaw Michigan the daughter of William and Doris (McFarland) Clark. 

 

Monique enjoyed the simple things in life.  Summers at the family farm and being surrounded by her loving family was what brought joy to her life.  Most importantly, Monique always made sure her daughter and husband were well taken care of.  Her hope was to inspire others as she showed amazing courage during her battle with cancer.

 

Monique was a one-of-a-kind woman that was wonderful at making memories with those she loved. She was a devout Christian and a member of the Church of the Nazarene.

 

She was preceded in death by her beloved mother, Doris Clark in 2003. 

 

Monique will be greatly missed by those she leaves behind, her daughter, Megan; her husband Tim; her father William Clark; brother Jerry; step-son, Brian; step-daughter, Brenda; nieces, Lindsey, Leah, Jacquelyn; nephews, David, Jeremy, Jonah and many other loved ones. 

 

Funeral services will take place 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 25th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Harold Gilkerson officiating.  The family will greet friends on Wednesday, August 24th from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.  Burial will be at East Lawn Memorial Gardens in Saginaw. 

 

Memorial contributions in Monique’s name may be given to her family.

 

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Reuben Earl Cook of Reed City

Reuben Earl Cook 6/19/1948 of Reed City MI, formerly of Burton, MI, passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday August 14, 2016 surrounded by his family.

 

He was a beloved husband; father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Reuben was born June 19, 1948 to William and Lillian Cook in Flint, MI where he graduated from Bentley Senior High School. Soon after graduation he joined the Army where he served as a mechanic in Germany. After he was honorably discharged from his service he began work at Fisher Body and was employed at the facility until its closure. He then began employment with General Motors of Flint until he fully retired. Upon his retirement he pursued his dream of moving to Reed City with the love of his life Carolyn (Jaco) Cook.

 

He truly loved his family, friends, being surrounded by nature and life. Reuben was deeply loved by his wife Carolyn, his family, friends and all those he touched in life. Reuben is survived by his wife Carolyn Cook, 6 children, 13 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren 1 brother, 3 sisters and many nieces, nephews and friends. Reuben was preceded in death by his son Raymond Earl, his father William Julius Cook and his mother Lillian Pauline (Haase) Cook.

 

A memorial service to celebrate Reuben's life will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 3pm at Charity Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Jude's Children’s Hospital.

 

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Lucille M. Rugg of Reed City

Lucille M. Rugg, 88, of Reed City, passed away Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

 

She was born March 15, 1928 in East Grand Rapids and attended Grand Rapids area schools, graduating from South High School in 1946. She then attended Western Michigan, receiving her teaching degree. Lucille married Rodney Rugg on August 19, 1950. He survives. Also surviving are her daughter Marta (Steve) Hammond of Billings, Missouri; 1 son, Raymond (Kathleen) Rugg of Eagar, Arizona; and 2 grandchildren, Royal (Amanda) Rugg and Maya Rugg. She was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law Betty (Ed) Spomer. Rod and Lucille were residents of Reed City since 1964.

 

She had worked at the Ferris State University bookstore for 30 years. She was an active member of the Reed City United Methodist Church and the Womens' groups of the church. She had also been a member of a 4H extension group.

 

Funeral services for Lucille will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 20 at the Reed City United Methodist Church with Rev. Kathy Cadarette officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, August 19 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at McDowell Funeral Home, and from 10:00 a.m. until services Saturday at the church. The family requests memorials be made to the United Methodist Church.

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Roy Dale Shananaquet of Big Rapids

Roy Dale Shananaquet, age 49, of Big Rapids passed away on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at his residence after battling a long illness.

 

He loved being with family and friends, and was a member of The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.

 

Roy was preceded in death by his mother, Yvonne Holdman.

He is survived by John Curtice (Lisa Miller), Bill Curtice (Amy Barrat), Becky Shananaquet (Bill Kaiser), Chris (Angelia) Shananaquet, and extended family.

 

Funeral arrangements are pending at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Bette M. Howe of Morley

Bette M. Howe age 92, a longtime resident of Morley, passed away Sunday, August 14, 2016, at Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids. She was born August 19, 1923 in Lansing, the daughter of Claude and Beulah (Berkhousen) Taber.

 

Bette was actively involved in her community.  She was member of the Mecosta County R.S.V.P. and a member of the Luther Bible Chapel of Morley.

 

Bette is survived by three daughters, Susan Dulaney of Morley, Victoria Butler of Stanwood, Brenda Smith of Howard City; two sons, Ed Howe Jr. of Howard City, Bill (Sandra) Howe of Stanwood;  17 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; four sisters, Alice, Deanna, Marlene, Christine; several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, a great-granddaughter, three sisters and one brother. 

 

Cremation has taken place and there will be a memorial service 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 19, 2016 at the Luther Bible Chapel in Morley with Pastor David Bongard officiating.

 

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to “R.S.V.P.” (Retired Senior Volunteers Program) at 14485 Northland Drive, Big Rapids, MI  49307

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Edward J. 'Jim' Wieland of Stanwood

Edward J. "Jim" Wieland, age 75 of Stanwood, passed away Saturday, August 13, 2016 at his home. 

A memorial service will take place 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the Church of the First Born in Reed City.

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Robert Roy Smith of Reed City

Robert Roy Smith of Reed City passed away Thursday, August 11, 2016 at his residence. He was 84 years old.

 

He was born June 27, 1932 in Luther to Samuel and Vietta (Fralick) Smith and was raised in Reed City. He was a 1950 graduate of Reed City High School. On February 9, 1951 he was married in Reed City to Helen Louise Hoogerhyde who survives him. Robert was employed for 39 years with Tubelite Corp. until his retirement in 1992. He was a wonderful grandfather and father and he enjoyed gardening. He is survived by his wife Helen Smith, children: Linda (Kenneth) Mom, Robert Smith, and Gary (Judy) Smith, 17 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren, brother-in-law Pete (Marilyn) Hoogerhyde, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Samuel and Vietta Smith, his brothers Ralph, Howard, and Byron Smith, and his daughter Karen Bartels and son Terry Smith.

 

Funeral services will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Rev. Glen Robinette officiating. Burial will be at Woodland Cemetery in Reed City. Visitation with the family will be from 10:00 A.M. until the beginning of services.

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Dolores A. 'Robin' Thon of Morley

Dolores A. “Robin” Thon, age 67 of Morley, passed away Friday, August 12, 2016 at her home.  She was born September 13, 1948 in Greenville, the daughter of Robert Sr. and Marian (Rickard) Gray.  Robin married Timothy R. Thon on November 18, 1988; she wanted all to know he was the best friend and husband anyone could ask for.  She enjoyed the outdoors; golfing, fishing, camping and gardening.  Robin also liked to travel, quilt, knit, and making stained glass art. 

 

She is survived by her beloved husband of nearly 28 years, Timothy R. Thon; son, Randy Allen (Stephanie) Rogers; three step-sons, Jeff (Kristen) Thon, Jason (friend Jessie) Thon, and Rick (Rhonda) Thon; six grandchildren, Avery and Blake Rogers, Hunter, Savannah, Emily, and Nichole Thon; twin sister, Doris L. (Richard L.) Schroeder; brother, Robert O. Jr. (Mary) Gray; several nieces and nephews.

 

Robin was preceded in death by her parents and her infant son, Rex Matthew Rogers. 

 

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Bruce W. Nordland of Big Rapids

Bruce W. Nordland, age 62 of Big Rapids, passed away Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at the Spectrum Health Reed City Skilled Nursing Facility.  He was born February 2, 1954 in Big Rapids, the son of Dwight and Betty (Skeoch) Nordland.  Bruce was raised in the Chippewa Lake area and attended Chippewa Hills High School.  He enlisted in the United States Army serving during the Vietnam War before he was honorably discharged.

 

Bruce owned and operated C & B Linen in Evart for many years.  He enjoyed the outdoors; hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and boating.  Bruce was a member of the VFW, Big Rapids Eagles Aerie 2535, and the National Rifle Association.   

 

He is survived by his three children, Millisa (Denny) Getgood of Midland, Scott (Amanda) Nordland of Big Rapids, and Bret (Maria) Nordland of Vermontville; seven grandchildren; one brother; one sister; many nieces and nephews; and the mother of his children, Connie Nordland. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents.

 

A celebration of life will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 26, 2016 at the Clear Lake Golf Club in Big Rapids.

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Bruce’s name to Hospice of Michigan in Big Rapids; envelopes are available at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Darwin Laverne Lattimore of Rodney

Darwin Laverne Lattimore, 81 of Rodney, passed away on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 with family by his side.


Darwin was born on March 26, 1935 in Barryton to R.J. and Neva (Branson) Lattimore.


He graduated from Barryton Rural Agricultural School in 1954 and went to work at Buick in Flint.  Darwin married Carol Jayne Toogood on June 11, 1955.  Later he worked at MichCon, Wolverine, Shaw’s Pipeline and was a Dairy Farmer for 18 years.  In 1973 he established Lattimore’s Mobile Home Sales.  He was known as the king of mobile homes in Mecosta County.  His father R.J. was a great supporter through all of his life endeavors.  He loved his work and all the people he met around the State of Michigan.  Darwin believed in treating everyone fairly.  Darwin was a huge supporter of the Chippewa Lake Community Church (formerly Chippewa Lake Methodist Church.)  He purchased church yard sticks and would go door to door inviting everyone to church.


Darwin is survived by his wife Carol of 61 years, three sons, Dennis (Kathy), Dean (Cindy), Andy (Katey), grandchildren, Katie Lattimore, Seth (Tiffany) Lattimore, Natalie (Joe) Aguirre, Darla (Calvin) Zimmerman, A.J. (Melissa) Lattimore, Amber (fiancé Gavin Erbes) Lattimore, and Ty Lattimore; great-grandsons, Hudson and Madox Zimmerman, and 2 great-grandchildren on the way; sister Marlene (Bruce) Cummings; sister-in-law Margie (Dennis) Randolph; nieces and nephews, Tammy and Darin (Lisa) Cummings, Jeff (Sharon) Toogood, Judy (Mike) Reynolds, Karen Toogood, Dale Eric Toogood, Kim (Brad) Toogood Ross, Carl, Kyle (Tammy), Brian (Karla) Randolph, and many great nieces, great nephews and cousins. 

 

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents R.J. & Neva Lattimore, in-laws Carl & Selma Toogood, grandson Evan Lattimore, brother-in-law Dale Toogood, nephew Dave Toogood and sister-in-law Nancy Toogood Sharp.


Darwin loved his family, friends, church and helping others.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


The family will greet friends from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday August 14, 2016 and one hour prior to services on Monday, at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Funeral service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with the Rev. Roger Bennett officiating.  Burial will follow at the Martiny Township Cemetery.


Memorial contributions may be made in Darwin’s name to the Chippewa Lake Community Church or Heartland Hospice of Fremont.

 

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Ronald Steve Eichenberg of Mecosta

Ronald Steve Eichenberg, 48, of Mecosta, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 in Paris, MI. Ronnie was born on March 4, 1968 in Big Rapids to Ronald and Allie (Meloche) Eichenberg. He graduated from Chippewa Hills High School in 1986 and started logging for his dad before working as a bulldozer operator. Ronnie will be remembered for helping others, having a good time and spending time with family and friends. 

 

He is survived by the family he loved: his father Ronald (Betty) Eichenberg of Reed City; two sons, Dylan and Josh Eichenberg; two cherished daughters; sisters, Wilma (Don) Mekkes of Rodney, Linda (Dar) Wernette of Remus, Sue (Jay) Snavley of Mecosta, Joyce Eichenberg-Oakley of Mecosta and his half-sister, Marcia (Dan) Jasperse of Hudsonville, whom he recently became acquainted with; his girlfriend, Deb Wible and many extended family members and friends. Ronnie was preceded in death by his mother, Allie; grandparents, uncle and nephew.

 

Celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Pine Park in Mecosta (by the baseball diamond).

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Ronnie’s name can be given for funeral expenses. 

 

Arrangements were entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Earlaine K. Brantman of Stanwood

Earlaine K. Brantman, age 63 of Stanwood, passed away, Tuesday, August 9, 2016.  She was born September 25, 1952 in Reed City, the daughter of Earl and Lorrene (Youngs) Hoffman.  Earlaine graduated from Reed City High School in 1971.  She married Chuck on August 5, 1972 at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City and together they raised their family in Stanwood.  

 

Earlaine was employed by Ferris State University as a custodian for 18 years before she retired in September of 2014.  She volunteered at the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital the past year and was known as the “cookie lady”.  Earlaine enjoyed boating and riding motorcycles.  She and Chuck traveled through 48 states on their motorcycles; some of the trips were along with her parents. 

 

Earlaine loved her family and her granddaughter.  She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Chuck Brantman of Stanwood; two children, Dustie (Tony) Kropf of Rockford and Jamie Brantman of Big Rapids; granddaughter, Kaiya Kropf; three sisters, Arlene (Andy) Haiduck of Cleveland, Ohio, Cheryl (Gary) Nurmikko of Kent City, and Shelly (Neal) Wekenman of Reed City; and many nieces and nephews. 

 

Earlaine was preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Lila Karrip.

 

Cremation has taken place and there are no services planned at this time.      

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion; 145 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan  49503; envelopes are available at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. 

 

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Richard H. Karsten of Sears

Richard H. Karsten, 85 of Sears, passed into glory on Monday, August 8, 2016 in Grand Rapids. He was born on January 27, 1931 in Rogers City, MI to Herman and Grace (Noffze) Karsten. Dick graduated from Rogers City High School in 1947 and went on to get a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Michigan Tech. While in college he entered into the ROTC and later enlisted into the United States Air Force. He was honorably discharged after serving during the Korean Conflict.

 

On July 11, 1959 he married Mary M. Vanhala in Southfield and they made their home in Berkley, MI where he was a bank manager throughout the Detroit area and retired to his current home on Merrill Lake in 1997.

 

Richard was an active member of the Barryton Lions Club, Chapel of the Lakes Lutheran Church and God’s Helping Hands in Remus. He also loved to fish.

 

Richard leaves behind his beloved wife of 56 years, Mary; three sons, Eric (Patricia) of Brighton, Hans (Stephanie) of Midland and Peter (Kristina “Tina”) of Clarkston; eight grandchildren, Ashley, Beth, Lauren, Nathan, Bridget, Bryce, Mackenzie and Lucas; one great-granddaughter Ella, and another one on the way; two sisters, Anita Augsburger and Carleen (Ken) Buchler; and many extended family members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Paul, Edmund and Donald.

 

A celebration of Richard’s life and military honors will take place at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 13, 2016 at Chapel of the Lakes Lutheran Church (9407 90th Ave., Mecosta, MI). Memorial donations in Richard’s name can be made to God’s Helping Hands, Juvenile Diabetes Association or Chapel of the Lakes. Envelopes are available at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.

 

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James Leonard Myers of Big Rapids

James Leonard Myers, age 93 of Big Rapids, Michigan, went to be with his Lord Sunday, August 7, 2016 peacefully with his family by his side.  Jim was born in New Paris, Indiana on August 29, 1922.  He graduated from Goshen Indiana High School in 1940.  Jim honorably served our country overseas during WWII with the United States Army.  Upon returning from service, he married Pauline Delores Whirledge on September 8, 1946 in Millersburg, Indiana.  They would have celebrated their 70th anniversary in September.
 

Jim received his Bachelors in Animal Husbandry, followed by a Masters in Agriculture Management at Michigan State College.  Jim’s career moved his family to the Big Rapids area where he raised his family and served the community for over 60 years.  He served as a 4-H Agent, Extension Director and Farm Management Agent in northern Michigan for 30 years.  In retirement Jim served as FHA Farm Recovery Agent and assisted many Agri-Business with taxes and estate planning. He was an active member of the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church and Tinkerin T’s Model T Club.

 

Jim is survived by his wife, Pauline Myers; brother, Dave Myers; son, Randall (Deborah) Myers; daughters, Roberta (Denny) Pennock, Brenda (Dennis) Stein; grandchildren, Jacob (Maggie) Myers, Joseph (Amanda Murillo) Myers, Amy (Phillip) Martin, Wendy Pennock, Nicole (Andy) Brown, Kristen Stein, Stephen Pennock, Daniel (Jessica) Pennock; five great-grandchildren and one due in December; and many nieces and nephews.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents, James “Roy”and Miriam Myers; sisters, Barb Ganger, Kate Stutsman, and Emma Mae Bates; and brother, Wilbur “Pete” Myers. 

 

Jim’s “Leonard’s” greatest love was his family, church, and helping others.  He was a faithful servant to his Lord and Savior.  Jim will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

 

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 12, 2016 at the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church with Reverend Rebecca Morrison officiating.  The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, August 11th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church. 

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name to the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church Memorial Garden.

 

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Gary Lee Bishop of Big Rapids

Gary Lee Bishop, 59, of Big Rapids, passed away Friday, August 5, 2016.

 

Gary was born on December 20, 1956 in Big Rapids, the son of Allen and Elizabeth (Morton) Bishop.

 

He is survived by his companion of 18 years, Theresa L. Karkula, one sister; Lenore (Kent) Shipley of St. Joseph , MO, two brothers; Steven (Ruth) Bishop of Mecosta and John (Diane) Bishop of Remus and his two children; Kenny Bishop and Lindsey Bishop, plus many nieces and nephews.

 

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Walter and David Bishop.

 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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Gary Rex Munger of Blanchard

Gary Rex Munger, 74 of Blanchard, passed away Thursday, August 4, 2016.

Gary grew up in Edmore, eldest son of Rex and Dorothy (Wheeler) Munger. He married Betty Ann Decker September 17, 1960, daughter of Robert and Helen (Dargity) Decker of Blanchard. Four children were born to this union; Bradley Rex (Debbie) of Edmore, Brian (Kelly) of Zebulon, NC, Becky (Jade) Goodrich of Riverdale and Brenda (Stephen) Lint of Blanchard. Gary was a devoted Green Bay Packers Fan and it made his day when he watched his team beat Detroit at Lambeau Field from a sky box. Whatever Gary’s passion, building dune buggies from old Corvairs, restoring old Ford tractors, woodworking or fishing, he was in it all the way always explaining to Betty, “it only costs a little more to go first class.”

Gary will be greatly missed by his wife of 56 years, Betty; his children; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and brother, Dennis (Kim Swan) Munger of Freeland.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Michael Munger of McBride, and sister, Karma Jean Petersen of Rockford.

Cremation will take place with a private family gathering to follow.

Gary’s family would like to thank those who aided in his care and rehabilitation this past year. A special thanks to the staff and doctor at The Laurels of Carson City as well as his many friends who phoned and visited.

 

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Jerry Allen Quick Sr. of Barryton

Jerry Allen Quick Sr., 65, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, August 5, 2016 in Grand Rapids. He was born on April 20, 1951 in Lakeview, MI to Eugene and Erabelle (Morse) Quick. Jerry graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1969 and on June 12, 1976 married Penny Polzin in Saginaw. Jerry worked in the oil fields when he was younger, was an iron worker for numerous years and recently retired from Fluid Routing Solutions in Big Rapids. Jerry was a member of Tops Chapter MI 1805 of Lake George.

 

His beloved wife of forty years, Penny; six children, Sherry (Charles) Mangrum of Chatanooga, Jerry (Tanis) Quick Jr. of St. James City, FL, Heather (Robert) Kage of Morley, Joey (Allen) Martin of Mt. Pleasant, Rodney of Barryton and Justin (fiancé Kaitlyn) of Barryton; ten grandchildren, Scott, Grant, Jacob, Katie, Jade, Emmy, Shyann, Devin, Kylie, and Lukey; two great grandchildren Adam and Cam and baby Lane on the way; one brother Charles (Joyce) Quick of Washington and many treasured extended family and friends will continue to hold the memories they have close to their hearts.

 

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Roger, Kathryn Brewer, and LaVern.

 

The family will greet friends on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  and two hours prior to the funeral on Thursday, August 11th at the funeral home.

 

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Daggett Funeral Home with Pastor Jerry Lovett officiating.

 

Due to Jerry’s unexpected passing the family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made for funeral expenses.

 

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Donna Mae Voelker of Big Rapids

Donna Mae Voelker, age 90 of Big Rapids, went to be with her Savior on Friday, August 5, 2016.  She was born May 3, 1926 in Hersey, Michigan, the daughter of Dan and Ruth (Thiel) Sengelaub.  Donna graduated from Reed City High School.  She married John S. Voelker in 1951. 

 

Donna was employed by Michigan Bell Telephone prior to starting their family.  Her joy in life and greatest accomplishment was being a homemaker and mother to her family of five children.  Together, Donna and John traveled the United States, Germany, Jamaica, and South America. 

 

She was a faithful and active member of the Big Rapids First Baptist Church; serving as Deaconess and Flower Chairman.  Donna also belonged to an Extension Group for many years.  She had a wonderful group of friends that met every week for coffee or lunch.  Donna enjoyed taking care of the yard and her flowers.  She loved to cook and entertain family and friends. 

 

Donna is survived by her five children, Bill (Kerry) Voelker, Steve (Sheral) Voelker, Mary (Mike) Davison, Tim (Jeanette) Voelker, and Joe (Lisa) Voelker; ten grandchildren, Jeff, Megan, Sherra, Michael, Sandon, Erica, Eric, Kyle, Lauren, and Brooke; two great-grandchildren, Braden and Benjamin; brother, Wayne (Marilyn) Sengelaub; sister, Maxine Bloom; and numerous nieces and nephews.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband John Voelker, brother-in-law Bill Bloom, and brother and sister-in-law Charles and Helen Massey.

 

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at the Big Rapids First Baptist Church with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.  The family will greet friends from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 9th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the Church.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Donna’s name may be made to the Wycliffe Bible Translators, Jim and Cathy Metzler, P.O. Box 628200, Orlando, Florida 32862-8200.

 

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Reverend Leonard J. Skodak Sr. of Big Rapids

Reverend Leonard J. Skodak Sr., age 94 of Big Rapids, went to be with his Lord Thursday, August 4, 2016.  He was born October 20, 1921 in Mauston, Wisconsin, the son of Joseph and Katherine (Lipar) Skodak.  Leonard quit school after the 8th grade to work on the family farm.  He then enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed in Providence, Rhode Island where he met his future wife, Mildred Marshall.  Leonard and Mildred married on December 5, 1942 after five short weeks of dating and were blessed with nearly 60 years of marriage and four children.  Leonard was honorably discharged after serving during World War II.    

 

Together their family moved to Bourbonnais, Illinois where he attended Olivet Nazarene University and achieved his bachelor degree in ministerial studies.  Leonard and his family relocated to Wisconsin where he was ordained as a reverend of the Church of the Nazarene.  He began his pastoral career in Portage and Laona, Wisconsin before they made Big Rapids their permanent home in 1966.  There, Leonard pastored at the First Church of the Nazarene and was the Director of the Nazarene Daycare with Mildred.  Leonard also started the Fremont Church of the Nazarene, where they stayed for nearly eight years.  Most recently he was a member of the Reed City Church of the Nazarene. 

 

He is survived by his four children, Leonard J. (Mary) Skodak Jr. of Oklahoma City, OK., Joyce E. (Paul Jr.) Hutchings of Smyrna, GA, Edward John (Marlene) Skodak of Reed City, and Juanita J. (Duane) Smith of Forrest, IL.; nine grandchildren, Leonard J. “Lee” Skodak, Loren J. (Bridgett) Skodak, Nicholas Hutchings, Kendra Sue (Joseph) Quales, Aaron Joseph Skodak, Carrie Ann (Ryan) Rafferty, Jennifer Lynn (Justin) Snell, Aaron Jesse Smith, and Joshua Joseph (Kirsten) Smith; nine great-grandchildren, Tyler, Megan and Owen Rafferty, Kaya and Thomas Coleman, Toby Snell, Brailynn Smith, Braydon Quales, and Jacob Christian Skodak; sister, Elsie Webster of Twin Lakes, WI; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

 

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mildred on January 4, 2002; brother, Edward John Skodak while serving during World War II; sister, Evelyn Bradley; and an infant sister.

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at the Reed City Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Austin Hill and Pastor Harold Gilkerson officiating.  The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday, August 8th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the Church.  Leonard will be laid to rest at Mauston Cemetery in Mauston, Wisconsin.

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Leonard’s name to the Nazarene Compassionate Ministry.  Make checks payable to Global Treasurer and mail them to Global Treasury Services, Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 843116, Kansas City, MO 64184-3116. 

 

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Nicole LeAnn Neitzel of Big Rapids

Nicole LeAnn Neitzel, 36 of Big Rapids, Michigan passed away on Monday, August 1, 2016 surrounded by her loving family and close friends at Grand Rapids Metro Health Hospital. She was born March 31, 1980, in Big Rapids, the daughter of Philip and Janet (Besonen) Neitzel.

 

Nicole was a soft spoken woman who always had a smile on her face and a great sense of humor.  She loved to travel and in particular with her family throughout the great lakes region.  Visiting family in the Upper Peninsula often and exploring Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Muskegon’s Michigan Adventure and Hershey Park, Pennsylvania amongst other destinations.  She was an avid NASCAR fan and looked forward to annual trips to the Michigan International Speedway with her sister Katina each August.  She enjoyed Packer Backer trips with her father Phil to Lambeau Field, visiting Door County and relatives in Wisconsin.  In her youth she made an epic camping trip to Alaska with her Uncle David, Aunt Joanne and Katina.  She loved good books and movies, cowboy boots, camping, swimming and saunas.  She was a lover of bright colors and “bling”, jewelry, pedicures and manicures.  She loved all animals and her beloved cat Gizmo, dogs Gracie and Max will miss her.

Nicole graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1999 and attended Ferris State University pursuing a degree in elementary education.  She worked at Walmart as a sales associate since 1999 and was a former child care provider and also volunteered as one at St Peters Lutheran Church where she was a member.

 

She is survived by her beloved parents Philip & Janet (Besonen) Neitzel, and her sister and best friend Katina of Big Rapids.  Uncles Kenneth (Jennifer) Neitzel, David (Barbara) Neitzel, Douglas (Vicki ) Neitzel, Daniel Neitzel, David (Joanne) Besonen and Donald (Nancy) Besonen.  Step-Uncles John (Maxine) Kallies, Doug (Charlene) Kallies.  Aunts Deborah (Al) Quast, Joan (Anthony) Haigh, Gail (David) Meinert and Pamela Besonen.  Step-Aunts Alice Kallies, Karen (Bob) Young and Mariette (Joe) Piencikowski and many cousins.  She is also survived by her close friends Sarah Thompson and Ronda Taylor. Nicole is a special aunt to Reese Thompson and Avery Slendebroek. 

 

Nicole was preceded in death by her infant brother Greg, Grandparents Martin and Evelyn Neitzel (Kallies) and Waino and Alice Besonen, step-Grandfather Lawrence Kallies, Uncle Gordon Neitzel and step-Uncle Leonard Kallies.

 

You are invited to join in celebrating Nicole’s life by joining her friends and family at Mohnke’s Funeral Home for visitation on Friday, August 5th from 4 to 7 p.m. and again at 10 a.m. on Saturday.  Nicole’s Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, August 6th at 11 a.m. at St Peters Lutheran Church in Big Rapids with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating.  Burial will be in Highland View Cemetery with a luncheon following in the church fellowship hall.

 

Nicole had a lot of Finnish SISU and German spunk which helped her throughout and in particular with her lifelong battle with Diamond Black Fan Anemia and since March with esophageal cancer. 

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the following:  Diamond Black Fan Anemia at DBA Foundation PO Box 1092, West Seneca, NY 14224 or dbafoundation.org  or Smile Train PO Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090-2631, secure.smiletrain.org /donate

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Oneta Elgene Donders of Barryton

Oneta Elgene Donders, passed away peacefully at her home, near Barryton, on Sunday, July 31, 2016, at the age of 90. She was born at home on Eight Point Lake, Isabella County, to Jack and Josephine (Cook) Scott on June 29, 1926. Oneta attended the one room school house in Lake Station before attending Barryton Rural Agricultural School. After marrying Robert B. “Toad” Donders, they made their home near Barryton where they have resided since.

Oneta was very talented and resourceful, with numerous interests: an avid reader, rock hound, and collector. She was an original subscriber to prevention magazine, organic gardening and supporter of herbal and alternative medicine, and one of the very early recycle/reuse advocates. Oneta was a true outdoorsman with a deep love of nature and all it provided. Oneta and Toad taught their children how to live off of the land by hunting, trapping, fishing, gardening and canning. Her actions and way of life taught all how to appreciate and respect what nature provides.

She is survived by her fishing partner and husband Robert; sons, Duane of Sun City, AZ and Dennis of Remus, MI; daughters, Marcia (Arthur) Machado of Crockett, CA and Christina (Randy) Reisig of Saginaw, MI; two step-daughters, Kayla (Lyman) Richter and Shirley “Cookie” (Larry) Squires; a daughter-in-law Linda Donders; seventeen grandchildren, many many great and great-great grandchildren and many extended family and friends who will not forget knowing her nor the things they learned from this remarkable woman.

Oneta was preceded in death by her son Leonard, three sisters and two brothers.

The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 7th at the funeral home with Pastor Dar Howard officiating. Interment will follow at Garfield Township Cemetery in Lake.

 

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Glen W. Rehkopf of Reed City

Glen W. Rehkopf, 81, of Reed City, passed away Saturday, July 30, 2016 at his home.

 

He was born August 23, 1934 in Osceola County to Lewis and Viola (Stevens) Rehkopf, and attended Morris school. Glen married Pearl Shady on May 25, 1964. She survives. Also surviving are his children; Paula Greenfield. Kimberly Rehkopf, and Lewis Rehkopf; 2 brothers, Spencer Burr and Roger Rehkopf; 2 sisters, Saralee Rehkopf (John), and Blanche (LaVail) Erickson; 6 grandchildren, and 1 great granddaughter. Glen was preceded in death by his siblings, Alice Tetzlaff, Robert Burr, Art Burr, and Phyllis Mund. Glen worked for the Big Rapids Box factory for 20 years, and also farmed much of his life.

 

A memorial luncheon will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 13 at Liberty Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to the family.

 

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Linda Kathleen (O'Hearn) Bulkowski of Canadian Lakes

Linda Kathleen (O’Hearn) Bulkowski of Canadian Lakes, MI, formerly of Grand Rapids and Kentwood, age 74, passed away on Tuesday, August 2, 2016.

 

She was born to Robert and Kathleen (Finkler) O’Hearn, on November 3, 1941, whom she has joined in Heaven together with her grandparents, many uncles, aunts and brother and sister-in-law, Walter and Lorraine Kalinowski. She is survived by her loving husband of 55 years, James; children, Daniel, David (Melissa), Richard (Isabel), Walt (Karen), William, Kathryn (Donald) Kowalewski and sister, Carol Ronk. She is also survived by 19 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law, John and Joan Clark; special aunts, Esther Sanborn and Esther Finkler, and many nieces and nephews.

 

Linda spent her childhood in Marne, MI; before her family moved to Grand Rapids where she graduated as valedictorian from Mount Mercy Academy. She attended Aquinas College from 1959-1960. In 1960, she met James on a blind date and the two were married on June 24, 1961. During her lifetime, Linda was a very devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. Honoring Linda’s wishes, cremation has taken place.

A memorial service celebrating Linda’s life will be held at St. Anthony’s Parish, 2510 Richmond St. N.W., Grand Rapids, on Saturday, August 6th, at 11:00 AM with Reverend Mark Przybysz as celebrant. Family will greet guests an hour before mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Spectrum Hospice.

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Roy Holsworth Jr. of Mecosta

Roy Holsworth Jr. passed away Friday the 29th of July at Altercare after a long fight with lung cancer.

Roy was born in Pontiac Michigan in 1931 to Roy Henry and Maude Holsworth.

He served proudly in the Unites States Navy for four years during the Korean war aboard the USS Achernar AK-53.

He was a member of the VFW post2335 in Mecosta where he served as post commander from 1976-1977.

He was a stone mason for over 60 years as well as a musician with his own country band.

He cherished his time with Joyce, his wife of 60 years, his children, grand children, and great grandchildren.

Roy lives on through his four children, Debbie, of South Bend, Mark(Amy) of Rodney, Chris of Beal City, Aaron(Janelle) of Rodney


Grandchildren, Chris (Courtney),Caleb, Marielle, Tyler,(Amanda), Brandon, Courtney, Roy, Matthew, and Kellie, and great grandchildren, Blake, Jake and Luke.

He is also survived by many lifelong friends and relatives.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife Joyce, Parents, Roy and Maude, Siblings, Ray, Bob, Mack, Dick, Jean, Bonnie, Jerry and Betty.

A private service for family will be held at the Martiny Township cemetary on Friday, August 5th at 10:00 A.M.

 

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Raymond M. Daso of Big Rapids

Raymond M. Daso, age 86 of Big Rapids, passed away Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Metron of Big Rapids.  He was born on June 21, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Earl and Lottie (Trimner) Daso.

Raymond is survived by his daughter, Laurie Daso of Colorado. 

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

 

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Patricia C. Owens of Big Rapids

Patricia C. Owens, age 89 of Big Rapids, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday July 30, 2016.  She was born March 17, 1927 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania the daughter of Robert and Anna (Poppelreiter) Everly. She married Rex G. Owens Sr. on April 29, 1944 in Detroit and they made their home in Dearborn for many years. Pat worked at Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum for over 16 years as a tour guide. Following their retirement in 1981, Pat and Rex moved to the Big Rapids area to make their home.   

 

Pat was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Big Rapids where she enjoyed singing in the choir; she had been active in the Mecosta County RSVP and taught several classes at Ferris State University.

 

Pat is survived by her two daughters, Susan Owens of Grand Rapids, Sheila (Rick) Shetter of West Minster, Colorado; daughter-in-law, Susan R. Owens of Big Rapids; nine grandchildren, Erika, Kristen, Karl, Tera, Erin, David, Isaac, Kati, Hannah; 15 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Dee Peron, Alda Ernst, Nancy (George) Cini  and many nieces and nephews.

 

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Rex G. Owens Sr. on June 13, 1994, son, Rex G. Owens Jr. in 2005, infant son, Robert Owens, two brothers, Paul Kirchner, Ronald Kirchner and three sisters, Norma Bavol, Bernice Valimaki and Anna Mae Powell.

 

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Father Michael Burt officiating.  The family will greet friends on Tuesday, August 2nd at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a 7:30 time of sharing.  The family will also greet friends one hour prior to Mass on Wednesday at the church.

 

Burial will be at Crapo Cemetery in Green Township, Paris, MI.

Memorial contributions in Pat’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or The Brook of Big Rapids.

 

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Carlene Jean Church of Luther

Carlene Jean Church of Luther passed away Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Newaygo. She was 72.

 

She was born September 2, 1944 in Grand Rapids to Robert and Bessie (Bandsma) Mulford and attended Central High School in Grand Rapids. On July 20, 1974 she was married in Grand Rapids to Mr. Duane Church who survives her. She was a graduate of the Cadillac School of Cosmetology and was employed with the Flair for Hair salon in Baldwin until she started the Carlene’s Creative Cuts salon in Luther where she was the owner and operator until her retirement in 2010. Carlene was a longtime member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Baldwin where she served as a member of the altar guild and as the church custodian with her husband Duane. She enjoyed gardening, ceramics, and baking.

 

She is survived by her husband Duane Church, children: Steven Church, Sid Church, Donna (Ray) Chelbana, Dora (Randy) Willison, William Engstrom Jr., and Karlene Church; 8 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; siblings: Donald Salisbury and Joyce Towne; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Bessie (Bandsma) Mulford, and her step-father Ted Cross.

 

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 P.M. Saturday, July 30, 2016 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Baldwin with Rev. Daniel Fienen officiating. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. Saturday at the church until time of services. A memorial contribution may be made in her name to Hospice of Michigan.

 

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Michael James Cody of Canadian Lakes

Michael James Cody “Mike”, age 87 of Canadian Lakes, passed away on the morning of Tuesday, July 19, 2016. A Memorial Mass will be held in his honor Tuesday, July 26th at 11:00 AM, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church – Remus. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 AM to the time of service on Tuesday. Because Mike was such an animal lover, family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the ARC of Mecosta County. Envelopes will be available at the church.

Mike was born August 19, 1928 in Quebec, Canada. He worked for Chrysler Corporation in Highland Park for 16 years before designing Apache trailers for Vesley Manufacturing in Lapeer. It wasn’t long before Mike was offered a position with Milton Bradley (the toy manufacturer) as product manager of their Whiting craft division in East Longmeadow, MA. He eventually worked for Prince Company in Holland, Michigan for approximately ten years before retiring in 1993.

After his retirement, he and the love of his life, Dorothy, enjoyed traveling to many different places frequently hauling their camper behind their pickup truck. The couple moved to Canadian Lakes in 1990, then to Gulf Shores, Alabama in 2000, and back to Canadian Lakes in 2005. Throughout his life Mike delighted in hunting, camping, playing cards and bowling.

He had a very dry sense of humor, often making his neighbors laugh. Frugal, soft spoken, down to earth and humble were all words used to describe Mike.

He will be greatly missed by his children, Patrick (Carol) Cody and Nancy Trotter; grandchildren, Patrick, Stephen, Malia, Jennifer, Michael, Kevin, Bill and James, and six great-grandchildren.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Kitty Cody; his wife of 62 years, Dorothy in 2014; son, Dennis in 2004 and infant daughter, Kathy in 1959.

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