Media Partners Inc.
News Radio 1460 AM - 107.7 FM
Rewind 99.1
Y-102 WYBR
Big Country 100.9 WWBR
Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries Archives for 2016-09

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.


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.


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.


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.



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. 



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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. 


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.


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].



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.



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. 



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



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.



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.  


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.



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.



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.



Fox News
Visitor Polls
Do you like the new Big Rapids Daily News?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.