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Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries Archives for 2016-11

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


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.  


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.


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.


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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