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Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries Archives for 2016-10

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.  


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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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