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                                     Obituar
ies in 2004
                                                                     Hartford Michigan

           Click here to return to the to Obituary Index

Please email the webmaster if you have obituaries of people who have lived in Hartford Michigan, or was active in the Hartford community, at some time during their lives. To find a specific obituary, use the  Search Our Site  feature located on the left menu of every page.  The Obituary section was started January 30, 2008 and current obituaries will be posted as they become available.  Obituaries are from the local newspapers, unless otherwise noted.  If you have an obituary notice of a former Hartford resident from a newspaper away from the Hartford area, please send it.  Past obituaries will be added as time permits. 
Note:  if you have a good or different photo to insert with present or past obituaries for the History of Hartford website and email newsletters, please click here to email them unedited directly to the webmaster.  If you don't have a scanner, send photo by US Mail to Emma Thornburg Sefcik, 59320 62nd St., Hartford MI  49057.

Many requests are made for obituary notices and this would be a good genealogical resource, as well as providing obits to extended family members who may not have an original.  Searching for obituaries from previous years (mainly prior to 2003) requires a good deal of time.  If you have found this to be a valuable resource and would like to be a sponsor toward keeping the obituaries page updated, send donations to History of Hartford Obituaries, Emma Sefcik, 59320 62nd St, Hartford MI  49057.  Since the History of Hartford website is a voluntary effort, your contribution is much appreciated.

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Catherine R. Smith, 94, of Hartford died Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004, at South Haven Healthcare.
     Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Friday at Davidson Chapel, Florin Funeral Service, Coloma, where visitation began one hour prior to the service. Burial followed in Fairview Cemetery, Watervliet.
     Mrs. Smith was born July 8, 1910, in Miami, FL, to Carl and Catherine (O'Niel) Guttchen. She lived most of her life in that area. She loved to go flying in her friend's airplane.  They were in a club called the "Grasshoppers" and flew somewhere twice a month. She moved here in 1992 to live with her daughter.
     Survivors include: her two daughters -- Lois Vanette and JoAnn (Harry) Berg; one granddaughter, April Berg; and a great-granddaughter, Angela, all of Hartford.
     She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Hansel Smith.
 
Sandra Joann Drake Engle - BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP -- Sandra Joann Drake Engle, 57, passed on Thursday, Sandra Drake Engle d 12-16-2004Dec. 16, 2004, at the Hospice at Home, The Meadows, Buchanan.
     A memorial service will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the Van Buren County Intermediate School District's Tech Center, 250 South Street, Lawrence, Mich.

     A graduate of Central Michigan University, Sandra earned her bachelor of arts degree with a double major in journalism and library science. She retired from the Dowagiac Union Schools, where she taught for 28 years. Sandra served as K-6, K-4, 5-8 and 7-8 librarian. As library department chair for seven years, she either led or co-chaired the annual community book fair held at Southwestern Michigan College. A Junior Great Books advisor at Central Junior High, she was also a mentor in the at-risk program. Upon retirement, Engle received recognition for being the president of the Dowagiac Education Association for 21 years and 28 years as an association leader in a variety of local, regional, state and national positions.
     Engle was appointed to the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Professional Preparation and Certification Library Media Advisory Committee on Standards and Testing for 1997 to 1999. She also served on the school's district-wide professional development and school improvement committees and wrote publicity articles for the district for many years.
     She was a member of the Michigan Association of Media in Education and the American Library Association. She also served on the Dowagiac United Way Board of Directors for two years and on the LINK Teen Crisis Intervention Center board in St. Joseph for a year. Engle is a past secretary of the Sister Lakes PTO and was active in the Sister Lakes Athletic Association.
     Before beginning teaching, she was a staff writer for the Herald-Palladium newspaper, wrote for the Southwest Michigan Tourist Council and was director of public relations for Bronte Champagne and Wine Company.
     Survivors include her husband of 35 years, Bryce; two daughters, Tristan Engle-Maney (Michael) of Wilmington, Del., and Meghan Engle of San Francisco, Calif.; father, Charles William Drake (Barb) of Greenville, Ohio; half-sisters, Shannon Fleak of Delphos, Ohio, and Denise Drake of Las Vegas, Nev.; and half-brothers, Charles Drake of Pique, Ohio, and John David Drake of Cridesville, Ohio.
     Preceding her in death was her mother, Eleanor.
     In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the University of Chicago in care of Dr. James Mastrianni, CJD Research Project, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637; the Hospice at Home Inc., 4017 Chamberlain, Buchanan, MI 49107; or the Dowagiac Education Association Scholarship Fund, in care of Patricia Nawrocki, 575 Invicta Drive, Niles, MI 49102

NOTE:  Sandra was a 1965 Hartford High School graduate
Kenneth W. 'Casey' Carmichael, 69, of Hartford passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Dec. 12, Kenneth "Casey" Carmichael d 12-12-20042004, at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo.
     Ken was born Aug. 1, 1935, at Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor to Dean and Aletha Carmichael. His father passed away at an early age and Ken was raised by his mother and his stepfather, Cecil Carmichael, at their farm in Hartford.
     Ken retired from the trucking industry where he was a trucking terminal manager for JW Cartage in St. Joseph and more recently a truck driver for GraBell Trucking in Holland, Mich.
     He was a loving husband and father, enjoyed farming and the outdoors, and a very handy man of all trades. Ken was also a Christian man that enjoyed helping the needy by volunteering at the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Benton Harbor, and he contributed often to other charitable causes. He was dearly loved and respected and will be missed by many.
     The family received friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Services will be held at Hartford United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. today, Dec. 16, the Rev. Ron Hansen officiating. Burial will be in Hill Cemetery, Lawrence.
     Immediate survivors include: his wife, Joyce Miller Carmichael; mother, Aletha Carmichael; three daughters -- Rhonda Wilbur of Kenosha, Wis., Karen McClay of Portage, Mich., Anita Davis of Canton, Ga.; son, Kenneth C. Carmichael of Watervliet; stepson, Shane Empson of St. Clair Shores, Mich.; stepdaughter, Shannon Empson of Reno, Nev.; first wife, Shirlene Carmichael of Watervliet; grandson, Beau Shine of Kalamazoo; two brothers, Garland Carmichael of Huachuca City, Ariz., and David Falle of Lawrence; and sister, Joann Wainscott of Osprey, Fla. Additional survivors include three sons-in-law, Mike Wilbur, John McClay and Johnny Davis; brother-in-law, Chris Wainscott; sister-in-law, Jan Carmichael; nephew, Kevin Carmichael, and niece, Maria Duarte.
     Ken was preceded in death by his father, Dean Carmichael; and stepfather, Cecil Carmichael.
 
Mary Ann Shafer Munro, died Dec. 11, 2004 in Henderson, Nevada. Born Sept. 7, 1927, in Hartford, Mich., she was the sixth of seven children of Del and Ruth Mary Ann Shafer Munro d 12-11-2004Shafer. They were the prototype of a Midwest farm family.
     In 1947, she married Nat Munro, an adventurous World War II U.S. Army veteran, and left home heading west, where they eventually arrived in Henderson in early 1948.
     Mary Ann raised four children, and in addition, was the accountant for Nat's construction contracting business. She later worked in real estate and as a teaching assistant. She actively supported the activities of Special Olympics and Opportunity Village. She was proud of Henderson and Southern Nevada; the people, desert, mountains and history. Her lifetime spanned from the roaring 20's through the Great Depression, through World War II, then the birth and development of modern Henderson and Las Vegas, and into the 21st Century. Hers was a wonderful life.
     Mary Ann was vital and active right up until the final few weeks of her life when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During those final weeks, she was the definition of selflessness and courage. She is missed in every possible way.
     Mary Ann is survived by Nat, her husband of 57 years; and her children, Steve, Alick, Marsha and Bruce. She had six grandchildren, Lindsey, Mackenzie, Haley and Graham Munro, Cameron and Gabriel Hulsey. Her surviving siblings are, Robert, Steve, Naomi and Ellen.
     On Wednesday, Dec. 15, at Palm Mortuary, 800 S. Boulder Highway, a visitation will be at 1 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Opportunity Village or Special Olympics.

Note:
  Mary Ann was a 1945 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Myrtle Smith Squires, 95, of Hartford passed from her life on earth to eternity in heaven on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2004, at Rose Arbor Hospice House, Kalamazoo.
     Myrtle was born on May 17, 1909, in Chicago, the daughter of James and Annetta (Chenery) MacLeod Sr., both of whom precede her in passing. She moved to Hartford from Chicago as a little girl. Myrtle was a life member and a Worthy Matron of the Benevolence Chapter OES 256. She attended the Hartford United Methodist Church and was the organist and pianist for a number of years. She was co-owner of the Art Smith Paint and Appliance Store for many years.
     The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at the Hartford United Methodist Church, where an Eastern Star service will be held at 7:30 p.m.. The service to honor her memory will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at the church. The Rev. Ronald Hansen will officiate. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials may be made to Benevolence Chapter 256, the church or to donors' choice.
     Myrtle is survived by her children -- Myra (Gale) Weberg of Hartford, Sandy (Gary) Curtiss of Mattawan and Richard (Mary Jo) Smith of Lawrence; stepchildren -- Donald (Janet) Squires and Mildred (Bruce) Bradley; grandchildren -- Steven Smith, Nancy Baker, Mark Smith, Debra Kiser, Scott Weberg, Brian Weberg, Kevin Weberg, Sharyl Freeman, Judi Kingsbury and Steve Curtiss; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     Besides her parents, Myrtle was preceded in death by her first husband, William (Art) Smith in 1971; her second husband, Mackey Squires in 1982; a brother, James MacLeod Jr.; two sisters, Hazel Shymkus and Elizabeth (Bess) Barkell; and a stepson, James Squires.

Note:
  Click here to view photo of Myrtle when she worked at the Hartford Telephone Office in the early 1930s.

 

Gail Dankert Knapp died peacefully November 4, 2004 in Davis, California after a long illness.
Gail Dankert Knapp d 11-4-2004     She was proud to have been a successful secretary, first for Roosevelt's Emergency Relief Administration, then for Michigan Civil Service Commission, for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and, finally in the History Department of Central Michigan University for over twenty years.
     She was born on April 14, 1915 in Norwegian Tabitha Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Frank Dankert of Chicago and Sadie Dillman Dankert of Bangor, Michigan. An avid family genealogist and amateur historian, she liked especially to recall that she had sat on the knee of a man who was born when Andrew Jackson was President -- her grandfather, Adam Dillman. Her family moved frequently when she was a child, bringing her finally back to southwestern Michigan where her mother's family lived. She graduated as Valedictorian in a class of nineteen from Hartford High School in 1932. Certified by the Royal Typewriter Company, she began her life-long dedication to making offices run smoothly and efficiently by working for the Emergency Relief Administration. In the depths of the Depression, she supported her mother and siblings on the $60 a month salary.
     She moved to Lansing in 1937 to work for the new Michigan Civil Service Commission and there in 1941 she met Austin Knapp of Clare, Michigan. They were married in 1942 and remained devoted to each other for sixty two years. In 1946 they moved to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, where Austin had a position at Central Michigan University, there she made life-long friends among faculty and "faculty dames", as well as managing the History Department.
     She was a loving mother who always sought the best for her children. She is survived by her husband, two sons, Robert C. of Oakland, California and Charles W. of Carson City, Nevada; younger sister, Carol Kime of Battle Creek, Michigan; younger brother, Roger Dankert of Aurora, Colorado; two grandchildren, Abigail Knapp Cruz and Hannah Mary Knapp; and also five nieces and nephews.
     An avid reader all her life, her books were only slightly less dear to her than her family. She instilled in her children and her nieces a love of reading, one of her greatest gifts. After a brief family service, her remains will be laid to rest in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Clare, Michigan. 

 

James Leslie Colman passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004 at 5:55 p.m. Jim was born April 8, 1927, in Hartford, Michigan, the son of James Colman d 10-23-2004Franklin S. and Frances Colman.
     He was a 1944 graduate of Hartford High School, where he was active in sports and Boy Scouts, becoming one of Hartford's first Eagle Scouts. After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he went on to graduate from Western Michigan University and University of Michigan School of Law. While earning his degree at Western he, also served there as an instructor.
     Jim married Patricia B. Frazier, also of Hartford, on Sept. 23, 1950, in Keeler, Michigan. Following graduation from University of Michigan, Jim and Pat moved to a home on Paw Paw Lake, where they raised five children. Jim was Watervliet's only practicing attorney and an integral part of the Waterv1iet community for the next sixteen years. He was an active member of the First Methodist Church, Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge, of which he is a lifetime member. He was also a longtime member of the Waterv1iet Board of Education, serving numerous years as President and was instrumental in the creation of the present Watervliet High School and Stadium.
     After moving the family to Florida in the 1970's, Jim was able to return to his first love of teaching, serving as an instructor at Manatee Community College, University of South Florida and Jacksonville Community College.
     Following Pat's death in 1984, Jim was re-introduced to childhood mend and former Hartford resident Jeanette Morton Satterfield. They married April 1, 1991, and have made their home in Elkhart, Ind.
     Jim is survived by his wife Jeanette, children Patty Colman Ausdenmore of Seneca, SC, Jim Colman of Spring Hill, FL, Steve (Kitty) Colman of Satellite Beach, FL, Tom (Lori) Colman of Watervliet, MI, Mike Colman of Key Largo, FL, grandchildren David (Jenn) Colman of Satellite Beach, FL, Jennifer Colman of Tallahassee, FL, Caitlin Colman of Spring Hill, FL, great-grandson, Anthony James Colman of Satellite Beach, FL, Jeanette's children Jim (Doris) Satterfield, Dianne (Doug) Satterfield Osborne, Kathy Satterfield Dardis and Jeanene (Bud) Satterfield Konanz, all of Elkhart, IN, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Brothers Bud Colman of Hartford, MI, Clyde (Gail) Colman of Berrien Springs, MI, sister Margaret Colman Martens of Hartford, MI, brother-in-law Jack Treat of Grand Haven, MI, Art (Jan) Frazier of Eau Claire, MI, Penny Colman-Crandal of Brevard, NC, and many loving relatives also survive Jim.
     Preceding Jim in death were his parents, first wife Pat, brother Bob Colman, sisters Mabel Colman Nelson and Joan Colman Treat, sister-in-law Shirley Colman, brother-in-law Charles Martens and son-in-law Bill Ausdenmore.
     Jim was well known for his quick wit, wonderful stories, lively sense of humor and irrepressible spirit. All of those traits were in evidence at a recent reunion held October 10th at his home in Elkhart where many friends and relatives traveled to spend time with him. He was well loved and will be deeply missed but fondly remembered by those who were blessed to be a part of his life.
     In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to Elkhart General Hospice, 2020 Industrial Parkway, Elkhart, Ind. 46516. A graveside memorial service will be held in Hartford, MI at Maple Hill Cemetery on Nov. 13, 2004, at a time yet to be decided. Billings Funeral Home, Elkhart, Ind., is in charge of arrangements. Online memorials may be emailed to the family at www.billingsfuneralhome.com.
 

Donna L. Hoover, 69, of Bangor passed away Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004, at her home.
     The family will meet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bangor Chapel, D.L. Miller Funeral Home (www.dlmillerfuneralhome.com). Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bangor, with Pastor John Kenyon officiating. Interment will follow in North Shore Memory Gardens. The family suggest memorials to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church or South Haven Area Hospice.
     Donna was born June 27, 1935, in Watervliet, the daughter of Donald and Alice (Seibert) Rush. She had lived most of her life in the Bangor-Hartford areas and was a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Donna enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and shopping for her grandchildren, which were the highlight of her life; but first and foremost, she was always a lady.
     Surviving are her husband, Murl, whom she married Jan. 19, 1957, in Hartford; three children -- Diana (Bruce) Bagnell of Nashua, N.H., Gail (Randy) Gumpert of South Haven and Bruce (Ranee) Hoover of Stevensville; eight grandchildren; her mother, Alice Rush of Hartford; four sisters -- June Walker of South Bend, Ind., Jean Walker of Hartford, Ruth Malling of Temecula, Calif., and Denise Fuller of Hartford; and many nieces and nephews.
     She was preceded in death by a son, Mitchell; her father, Donald Rush; and a sister, Karen Rush.

Note:  Donna was a 1953 graduate of Hartford High School.
 

Robert S. Heuser, of Lawrence died suddenly on Oct. 15, 2004, in Grand Junction, Color., at the age of 70. 
           Robert was born on Jan. 25, 1934, to Eugene Jerome and Marjorie Pauline (Rush) Heuser in Hartford. He married Georgia Ann Sousley on Sept. 8, 1956.
           Robert is survived by his beloved wife Georgia; four children --Marjorie of Kalamazoo, Marcia (Gerold) Hoke of Lawrence, Bruce of Lawrence and Melanie Henderson of Lawrence; five grandchildren -- Meghan, Kristen and David Reed; Charles and Katlyn Henderson. Robert is also survived by brothers --Wallace (Laura) Heuser of Lawrence, Kenneth (Marqueda) Heuser of Kalamazoo, Earl Heuser of Hesperia; and numerous nieces and nephews.  Robert was preceded in death by his mother, Marjorie; his father, Eugene; stepmother, Pauline; a sister, Joan; and a brother, David.
           Robert graduated from Hartford High School in 1951, and Michigan State University in 1956, with a horticulture and wildlife management degree. He was active in the management of the family farm, Hilltop Orchards and Nurseries Inc. in Hartford.  Robert was also active in the Boy Scouts of America as scout master of troop 197 in Lawrence for 17 years and earned numerous leadership awards.  He also served as a school board member for the Lawrence Public Schools.  Robert was a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, past member of the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Club, was a supporter of many youth organizations and a member of the Hartford United Methodist Church. Robert recently received the first Mentoring Champion Award from the Van Buren Mentoring Roundtable for his contributions to youth in Van Buren County.  His passions included wildlife conservation, hunting, hiking and woodworking. He also loved spending time with family and friends.
         The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A celebration of Robert's life will be held at the Hartford United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, with the Rev. Ronald Hansen officiating. Burial will be in Hill Cemetery, Lawrence immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association; Lawrence Quick Response Team; Boy Scouts of America (Troop of your choice) or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
    

Raymond Theron Floate, 89, of Hartford, passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004, at Community Hospital, Watervliet.
     Raymond was born on Dec. 21, 1914, in Hartford, the son of William and Leila (Shafer) Floate, both of whom precede him in death. Raymond also was preceded in death by a sister, Freda Kime, and a brother, Walter Floate. Raymond married his wife of 63 years, Isabelle on July 11, 1941, and she survives along with a son, William (Carole) Floate of Lake Bluff, Ill.; a daughter, Paula (Zach) Holmes of Plymouth; a grandson, Zach G. Holmes of Colorado Springs, Colo., and a granddaughter, Christine Holmes of Richmond, Va.
     Raymond was an agricultural teacher in both the Allegan Public Schools and the Kaleva Public Schools and was the assistant Allegan County agent for the MSU extension services. Raymond retired from Michigan Fruit Canners in 1980 after 34 years of employment.
     The family will greet friends from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor his memory will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the Hartford United Methodist Church, of which he was a member. The Rev. Ronald Hansen will be officiating. Burial will follow the service at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Public Library or Hartford United Methodist Church.
Note:  Ray was a HHS 1933 graduate.
 

Fred Cade d 9-16-2004Frederick Mathew Cade, 83, of Hartford, passed from his life on Earth to eternity in heaven with his Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at his home.
     Fred was born on June 16, 1921, in New York, the son of the late John and Agnes (Fields) Cade, both of whom precede him in passing.
     Fred owned and operated the Shell gas station when it was located on Red Arrow Highway in Hartford for 20 years and then owned and operated the Sinclair/Arco gas station for another 28 years. Fred was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and a caring friend to many others. He served his country during World War II as a U.S. Marine.
     As to Fred's wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service to honor his memory will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Hartford Federated Church. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. Private burial with military rites will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Federated Church.
     Fred is survived by his wife, Frances, whom he married on Oct. 28, 1943; son, David (Susan) Cade of Hartford; daughter, Virginia Munro of Denver, Colo.; son, Michael (Janice) Cade of Coloma, and son, Christopher (Lisa) Cade of Glenwood Springs, Colo. Fred is also survived by six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a brother, John (Sherrie) Cade of Trenton, N.J.; and several nieces, nephews and friends.  Besides his parents, Fred was preceded in death by a brother, James Graves.
Note:  Fred was a 1940 graduate of Hartford High School.  Click here to view is military photo and profile. He was instrumental in the creation of Hartford's first tennis court in the 1960s(?) down near the old dump in Hartford.

 

James Thomas Kappler, aged 67, of Jackson, passed away on September 16, 2004 at W.A. Foote Memorial James Kappler - Principal HHS 1968-1977Hospital.  He was born on September 7, 1937 in Manchester, MI to Alvin and Hazel (Eckler)  Kappler.
     He was a 1959 graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. Jim began his teaching career at Grass Lake High School. After receiving his Master of Arts degree in education from Eastern Michigan University, he became the high school principal at Grass Lake. He then was principal at Hartford High School and Manchester High School. One of Jim's greatest joys was helping a troubled or underachieving student to succeed.
     Following a career in education, Jim began a second career as a travel consultant at Martha Cox Travel and for the past 15 years at Lee Bisbee Travel Service. Jim's clients appreciated his attention to detail and I ability to paint a verbal picture of their destinations. Jim's hobbies were reading and travel. He was an avid fan of the Detroit Tigers and Michigan Wolverines.
     He is survived by his sister, Barbara (John) Beck of Marshfield, WI; three aunts and several cousins.
     Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at Sherwood Funeral Home with the Reverend Gustav H. Kuether officiating, per his wishes, cremation will follow. Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Organization of Rare Diseases designated to the Polycythemia research fund.
   
Note:  James was principal of Hartford High School 1968-1977. 
 

Alice Meister Miller, 88, formerly of Hartford, passed away peacefully Friday, Sept. 10, 2004. She was born in Petoskey, Mich., on Jan. 18, 1916, to Justin and Elizabeth (Steffel) Meister.
     Mrs. Miller was a paralegal secretary for Olds & MacKinder law firm. She had been a member of the Southwest Michigan Legal Secretaries Association, serving as president and secretary. She supported her husband in establishing the chapter of the Hartford Lions Club, of which she was a member. She had been active in the Altar Society at Immaculate Conception Church of Hartford.
     They lived in Kalamazoo and Portage for several years. She attended Western Michigan University. They were volunteers at Bronson Hospital Senior Center and Portage Senior Center. Mrs. Miller had lived with her daughter, Joyce Carmichael at Shafer Lake, for the past three years.
     She will be dearly missed by all her children, Elizabeth (VonDean) Huddleston of St. Joseph, Carole Mayer of Ann Arbor, Herschel (Betty) Miller of Delton, Mich., and Joyce (Casey/Kenneth) Carmichael of Lawrence.
     The grandchildren she leaves are Michael Huddleston Sr. of Burnsville, Minn., Barbara Jenkins of North Ridgeville, Ohio, Phillip Huddleston of Reno, Nev., Bill Mayer and Robert Mayer, both of Ann Arbor, William Miller III of Byron, Ga., Jerome Miller of Wyoming, Mich., Shane Empson of Saint Clair Shores, Mich., and Shannon Empson of Oakland, Calif.
  She also leaves seven great-grandchildren; and a brother, Edward (Kathryn) Meister of Mount Pleasant, Mich.
     Mrs. Miller was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, William Herschel Miller; her parents; grandson, Stephen Huddleston, and granddaughter, Mary Miller; sisters, Mildred Brown, Ruth Lustig and Edith Brown.
     There will be no visitation, as cremation has taken place. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church in Hartford, Saturday, Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. Friends are invited to visit with the family and share lunch after the service, in the church hall.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Lions Club Scholarship Fund or the Immaculate Conception Church.
 

Richard C.  Robbins  - The loving family and many friends and acquaintances of Richard C. Robbins Jr., of Hartford, Michigan, were shocked and saddened to learn of his sudden passing on Sunday, August 29, 2004, at Community Hospital, Watervliet.
     Dick was born on August 14, 1940, to Richard C. and Velma (Newnum) Robbins Sr., in Arlington Township, Michigan. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1958 and served six years in the U.S. Navy, both on active duty and in the reserves.
     Dick married his devoted wife, Sharyn Michal (Keech) in 1961 and were subsequently the proud parents of Lisa (Tim) Morrow of Sawyer, Michigan and Richard "Gary" Robbins of St. Joseph, Michigan.
     In addition to his immediate family, Dick is survived by his mother Velma Robbins of South Haven, Michigan and step-mother, Danna Robbins of Hartford, Michigan. Dick will be dearly missed by the light-of-his-life, granddaughter Jayme Woodward of Sawyer, Michigan, a student at River Valley High School. Dick is also survived by two brothers, Thomas (Gail) Robbins of Zionsville, Indiana and Spence "Wally" (Anne) Robbins of Statesville, North Carolina, two brother-in-laws Jim (Ruth) Keech of Keeler, Michigan and Richard (Barbara) Keech of Berrien Springs, Michigan along with several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. His father, Richard Cecil Robbins Sr., preceded him in death in 2003.
     Dick spent most of his working career in the construction industry as both a driver and a master mechanic. He helped to set up the agriculture/diesel department of the Van Buren Vo-Tec Center and taught there for one year. Dick was an active member of the Hartford Fire Department for many years. He served the community of Hartford as a councilman and was currently a member of the Hartford Township Zoning Commission. Dick most recently retired and worked part time at Kellogg Hardware in Hartford.
     Dick's "farm" was his passion where he also collected antique farming equipment. He loved the country life as it afforded him many opportunities to feed and observe birds, deer and local wildlife. Dick was always ready to lend a helping hand to his many good friends and neighbors, putting to use his years of experience to fix what had been broken, and improve what was lacking.
     The family will receive friends from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. on Wednesday September 1 at the Calvin Funeral Home Hartford. The memorial service to honor Dick's memory will be held at 11 A.M. on Thursday at the funeral home. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate. Private burial of his ashes will be held later in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Those wishing to make a memorial in Dick's name may do so with the organization of their choice.
 

  James Z. Byers, 81, of St. Joseph, passed away Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004, at his home.
James Byers d 8-26-2004     A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green St., Benton Harbor, with the Rev. Douglas Petersen officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church. Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
     Mr. Byers was born Jan. 4, 1923, in Kalamazoo to George and Huldena (Krieger) Byers. He grew up in Hartford, graduating from Hartford High School in 1940. Jim was a retired USN Lieutenant, serving his country during World War II and the Korean War. He was an avid aviator for over sixty-five years and a charter member of the EAA. Jim was a flight instructor for over twenty years at Ross Field in Benton Harbor. Jim's trumpet playing was enjoyed by area music lovers for over three decades. On April 20, 1977, he married Virginia Glupker Ozeran in Benton Harbor. Jim was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph Elks 541, and VFW Post 1137 in Benton Harbor.
     Mr. Byers is survived by his wife of twenty-seven years, Virginia; two sons, Michael (Penny) Byers of Brockton, Mass., and Scott (Alice) Byers of Lower Burrell, Pa.; five grandsons; and a great-granddaughter, Sarah Ann Byers.
     He was preceded in death by his father, George Byers; and his mother and stepfather, Huldena and Edison Harley.
 
    Dale E. Kooi, Kalamazoo, died Sunday, August 22, 2004 at Borgess Medical Center.  He was born September 6, 1928 in Kalamazoo, son of the late Daniel Dale Kooi d 8-22-2004and Katie (Molhoek) Kooi.
     Dale graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.S. in music. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving in Hawaii and Salt Lake City, Utah. Following his military service, Dale married Jean Davis on August 8, 1958. He had a passion for music. Dale was employed as a band director for 35 years, working at both Hartford High School [1965-1968] and Delton High School, until his retirement. For 21 years, Dale and Jean would travel to Switzerland, where they would vacation for the month of August. He was also a member of the Kalamazoo Concert Band and the Singing Crusaders, where he sang and directed the orchestra. While in the Air Force, Dale was in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City.
     Surviving are one sister, Maurine (Jim) Wolford of St. Petersburg, Florida; one brother, Ray (Jane) Kooi of Dunedin, Florida; three nephews, Blair Kooi of Western Springs, Illinois, and Brian (Norma) Kooi of Palm Harbor, Florida, and James Wolford of Oakland, CA; and two nieces, Pamela (John) McLuckie of Jefferson, Maryland, and Bonnie (Greg) Buntz of Grinnell, Iowa.  Preceding him in death are his wife, Jean Kooi; and his parents, Daniel and Katie Kooi.
     Funeral services and interment for Mr. Kooi will be at 2 o'clock on Friday at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park, with Rev. Stephen M.G. Charnley, of Gull Lake United Methodist Church, officiating. Friends may visit on Friday from 1 p.m. until the time of services. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be directed to a charity of choice. The family is being served by Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick St.

Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette on 8/25/2004.

 
Donald Harvey Rhinehart, 74, of Hartford passed away unexpectedly from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Friday, Aug. 20, 2004, at his home.
     Donald was born on Dec. 28, 1929, in Watervliet, the son of Harvey and Bertha (McCombs) Rhinehart, both of whom preceded him in death.
     Donald served his country in the U.S. Army Air Force, was a lifetime member of the Henry Chamberlain Lodge 308 F&AM, the American Legion Stoddard Post 93 and a member of Moose Lodge 1570 of Benton Harbor.
     As to his wishes, cremation has taken place. A graveside memorial service to honor his memory was held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004, at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. The Chamberlain Coffinbury Lodge 308 performed Masonic rites and VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803 and American Legion Post 362 and auxiliary conducted military rites. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.
     Donald is survived by a son, Ronald Rhinehart of Hartford; two daughters -- Carri Rhinehart of Palm Bay, Fla., and Irene (David) Morris of Staffordsville, Ky.; two grandsons -- William (Kristi) Bennett and Donald Bennett; two great-granddaughters -- Carri Bennett and Lily Schultz; two sisters -- Loretta (Tom) Treadwell of Arizona and Evelyn Brown of Coldwater, Mich.; and a brother, Richard (Rosa) Rhinehart of Arizona.
     In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Donald Charles Rhinehart; and two grandsons, Michael Bennett and Vern Bennett III.


Note:  Donald was a 1947 Hartford High School graduate.
 
Evelyn Cook Dorkoski, 75, of Hartford passed away on Monday, Aug. 16, 2004, at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community, South Haven.
     Evelyn was born on June 15, 1929, in Bangor, the daughter of L. Reed and Mary (Boyer) Cook, both of whom preceded her in death. A brother, Roger Cook, also preceded Evelyn in death.
     The family received friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, with the service to honor her memory being held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Pastor Tim Sipes of the Bangor Church of Christ officiated the services. Burial followed the service at Arlington Hill Cemetery, Bangor. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bangor Church of Christ.
     Evelyn is survived by her brother, Duane (Lois) Cook of Hartford; sister-in-law, Mary Cook of Kalamazoo; nephews -- Gary (Tammy) Cook of Kalamazoo and Fred (Lisa) Cook of Hartford; and nieces -- Diane (John) Bussema of Kalamazoo, Linda (Bill) Bechtel of Denver, Colo., Terry Cook of Battle Creek, Rhonda (Chuck) Wiersma of Scotts, Mich. Evelyn is also survived by great-nieces and nephews, Aimee and Josh Cook, Christopher, Shelby and Corey Cook, Tonya and Sara Bussema, Levi and Dana Bechtel, Julie and Jackie Leske, Greg Skitt and Alex and Sydney Wiersma

 
Billy Eugene Williams 70, of Hartford passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2004, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph.
     Billy was born on Jan. 18, 1934, in Hornersville, Mo., the son of John and Mamie (Patterson) Williams. Billy was a member of the Hartford United Methodist Church. He worked for Krogers as meat manager from 1958 to 1980. In 1981 he became meat manager and meat supervisor for Harding's West until his retirement.
     The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor his memory was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Hartford United Methodist Church. The Rev. Ronald Hansen officiated at the service. Burial followed the service at Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church.
     Billy is survived by his wife, Carol, whom he married on Aug. 12, 1956; five daughters -- Kathie Lhotka, Nancy (Gene) Larsson, Pam Williams and Karen Williams, all of Hartford; and Lisa Williams and her fianc, Lenny Mechino of Holland; four sons -- Doug (Karen) Williams of Coloma, Craig Williams of Hartford, Michael (Adrienne) Williams and Robert Williams of Dowagiac. Also surviving are granddaughters -- Amy (Joe) Gerhold of Decatur and Stacy Raines of Coloma; and great-grandson, Blade Williams of Dowagiac.
Billy was preceded in death by his parents; 16 brothers and sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.
 
Julius Albert Goldamer, 85, of Hartford passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Saturday, July 31, 2004, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph.
     Julius was born on Sept. 23, 1918, in Neillsville, Wis., the son of William and Rose (Zimmerman) Goldamer, both of whom preceded him in death.
     Julius was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He retired from Bendix Corporation after numerous years of employment. Being a body man, Julius had a love for collecting and restoring old Mustangs.
     The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor his memory was held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Hartford Church of God. Pastor Lonnie Truelove officiated at the service. Burial followed the service in North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma. The VFW Post 1137; VFW Post 6803; and American Legion Post 362 and its auxiliary conducted military rites. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation.
     Julius is survived by his wife, Esther, whom he married in October of 1964; his son, Jack Goldamer of Wisconsin; daughter, Sharon (Kirk) Daniel of Lawrence; daughter, Shirley (Ronald) Vance of Dowagiac; and son, Robert Petty of Florida. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and sisters--Geneva Bachman of Hartford and Alice Bowden of Clio, Mich.

 
Bobbie Edward Summerhill, 62, of Hartford passed suddenly from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Saturday, July 17, 2004 at Lakeland hospital, St. Joseph.  Bobby was born on Dec. 8, 1941, in Kennett, MO., the son of Walter and Vernon Jonell (Goldsmith) Summerhill.
     Bobbie was a 1960 graduate of Hartford High School.  He formerly was employed at the Watervliet Paper Mill for more than 27 years and then worked for over six years at the Bowater NuWay Paper Company of Benton Harbor.
     The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  A service to honor his memory will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 23, at Hartford Federated Church.  Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of Hartford Federated Church and Pastor Wayne Davis of His Place, Cathedral of the Faith of Hartford, will officiate.  As to his wishes, cremation will take place following the service.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Berrien Community Foundation/Oncology Care Patient Support Fund.
     Bobbie is survived by his wife, Claudia; a son,, Bobbie Summerhill of Hartford; son, Anthony (Virginia) Summerhill of Holland, Mich.; son, Timothy (Lisa) Summerhill of Hartford; son, Jeffrey Summerhill of Hartford; daughter, Tammy (Jeff) Bond of St. Joseph; daughter, Tina (Neal) Reid of Apopka, Fla.,; daughter, Lisa (Rodney) Harris of Twin Lakes, and son, Walter Summerhill of Portage.  He is also survived by 18 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; his mother-in-law, Earlene Rea of Hillman; brother, Terry (Linda) Summerhill of Hartford; sister, Marsha Summerhill of Omaha; sister, Linda (Jim) Parkhurst of Del Ray, Calif.; brother, Randy (Lois) Summerhill of Kalamazoo; twin brothers, Ron (Linda) Summerhill of Phoenix and Don (Jennifer Summerhill of Omaha; and sister, Annette (Rick) Huffman of Pullman.

Bobbie was preceded in death by his father, Walter; and a sister, Patricia.
 

Munson Ulysses Robinson passed away peacefully on June 25, 2004 at Lakeland Memorial Hospital in St. Joseph, MI. He was born August 10, 1921 in Hartford to Munson Ulysses Robinson d 6-25-2004Ulysses and Nell Robinson.
     Munson was a graduate of Valparaiso Technical College, where he studied radio engineering. After working in radio for 2 years in Charleston, West Virginia, he joined the FBI and was assigned to Havana, Cuba. There, he met and married Ivelise Boynton and returned with her to Hartford.

     In 1944 Munson enlisted in the Merchant Maries and served as a radio operator. After the war, he helped build and run WHFB as the Chief Radio Engineer, where he worked for fifteen years. In the 60's he owned and operated Background Music Company. Shortly before retirement, he married Florence Burns who preceded him in death in January of this year.
     Munson was a lifetime member of the Benton Harbor Elks Club, the American Legion, and the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. He enjoyed travel, golf, electronics, woodworking and working on his computer.
     Munson is survived by two daughters, Sandra Robinson of Kalamazoo and Janice Robinson of Berrien Springs. Two grand-daughters, Ryann Goergen and Cara Farnsworth; and a niece and nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Ruth Harper.
     In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at Kerley-Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, Michigan, at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, July 3, 2004 with Rev. Randy Doyle officiating. A committal service will be held at the Hartford Maple Hill Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Berrien County Cancer Service. Guest wishing to send the family a condolence on line or sign the guest book may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

NOTE:  Munson was a 1938 Hartford High School Graduate.
 

Kenneth M. Allen Sr., 61, formerly of Hartford, who was living in Winnie, Texas, passed away Thursday, June 3, 2004, following an automobile accident in Michigan City, Ind.
     The family and close friends gathered for a private memorial at the home of David Allen, his brother. Those wishing to share a memory online may do so at BigKautopro@CS.com
.
     Kenneth "Ken" was born June 26, 1942, the son of Marion and Lena (Bouma) Allen. He attended Hartford High School until enlistment into the Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1962. Ken's passion was working on cars as a mechanic and auto body repairman.
     Kenneth will be remembered as a loving husband, father and friend. His love of NASCAR, "DW" and "Dale" will be carried on by his friends and family. His laugh will be truly missed.
     Surviving are his wife, Carolyn of Winnie, Texas; his brother, David Allen of Watervliet; two sons -- Kenneth Jr. (Jamie) of Winnie and Timothy (Mandy) of Georgetown, Ala.; three daughters, "the twins," Tammy Leger (David) and Michelle Hoyt (Butch), both of Winnie, and "The Baby," Lena Bishop (Chris) of Georgetown; one nephew, Micheal Allen of Hartford; 14 grandchildren; and one great-grandson who was born the morning Ken passed; one great-niece; and a close family friend, Lis Clement.  He was preceded in death by a sister, Susanne Kaye; his mother, Lena (Bouma) Allen; and his father, Marion Allen Jr.
Note:  Click here to view Ken's military profile and photo on the History of Hartford website.
 

Raoma Sloan d 5-31-2004Raoma R Sloan - born Aug 20, 1927, died May 31, 2004.

Cheryl L. Wiersema, 59, of South Bend, IN., died at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, 2004, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend, of cancer.
     Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. (Michigan time) on Saturday, July 3, at Paul E. Mayhew Funeral Home, Edwardsburg. Cremation has taken place. Friends may call one hour prior to the memorial service at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation.
     Cheryl was born Jan. 13, 1945, to George H. Ross and Eileen 0. Hamill Ross in Plainwell. She moved to South Bend in August of 1973 from Kalamazoo. Cheryl was the former owner of Every Bloomin Thing, Edwardsburg (a florist and gift specialist).  She had attended Southwestern Michigan College of Dowagiac and St. Marys of the Woods in Terre Haute. She was an LPN, having worked for Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo, and LakeView Hospital, Paw Paw, as well as Dr. Wayne Boyds office in Decatur. She studied floral design, working for Avenue Floral, South Bend: Flower Cart of Niles and Martins Floral Department at Northpoint, Elkhart, lnd., as well as owning her own florist shop, Town Hall. 
     As Cheryl L. Ross, she married Nicklos J. Wiersema, on Sept. 13, 1969, in Hartford. He survives along with a son, Matthew Wiersema of South Bend; daughter, Melissa Wiersema of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Melissas friend, Tom Beverly of Ann Arbor, Mich.; brother, Robert (Kathy) Ross of Benton Harbor.

Note:   Cheryl was a 1963 Hartford High School graduate.

Jeffrey Jon Flemming, 47, of Hartford passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Saturday, May 29, 2004, Jeffrey Flemming d 5-29-2004at his home.  Jeffrey was born on July 27, 1956, in Kalamazoo, the son of George and Minnie (Warman) Flemming.
      Jeff was a 1975 graduate of Hartford High School. After graduating he joined the U.S. Navy. Jeff returned to Hartford after his service to his country and worked for NCR of Kalamazoo. He was with the security at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo where he received an award for his 15 years of service. Jeff worked for Hartford High School and was Junior Class and Year Book Advisor and Technology Supervisor. Jeff also had his own business, JR Electronics. He helped restore and worked at the Hartford Race Track. Jeff was on the Medic 1 Board and a proud member of the Hartford Fire Department where he was acknowledged as the Fireman of the Year in 2003.

     The family will receive friends from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. A service to honor his memory will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday June 2, at the Hartford United Methodist Church. The Rev. James Terry will officiate. Jeff will be escorted by the Hartford Fire Department to his burial in Maple Hill Cemetery Hartford, where military rites will be performed by VFW Post 1137; VFW Post 6803; American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the donor's choice.
     Jeff is survived by his two sons -- Jeremy and Ryan Flemming of Hartford; stepbrother, Wayne (Louise) Nelson of Gobles; and aunts -- Mary Cottier and Joyce Rzoszut, both of Coloma.
     Jeff was preceded in death by his parents; and his stepfather, Norb Nelson
Note:  Click here to view Jeffrey's photo and military profile on the History of Hartford website.

 
John William Hampton, Jr of Gainesville, FL died Tuesday May 4, 2004. He was 89.
     Mr. Hampton was born in Hartford, Michigan, and moved to
Gainesville from Jacksonville in 2001. He lived in Jacksonville for 30 years, where he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. He worked as a District Soil Conservationist for the USDA in North Florida for over 30 years and retired in 1978. He was a Unitarian, and enjoyed long-distance running. He competed in more than 40 marathons, including Marine Corps Marathons, London, and Pike's Peak, which he ran at 81 years old.
     He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Meta Elizabeth Hampton; brother, Ken Hampton, and sister, Carol Sigel. Survivors include daughters Candace Meta Bowman of Houston, TX and Dr. Sue Langham of Gainesville, FL; son, John William Hampton III of Crofton, MD; brother Rex Hampton of Colorado Springs, CO; sister, Doris Moore of Sturgeon Bay, WI; nine grandchildren; and five greatgrandchildren.
     Memorial Services for Mr. Hampton will be held in July in Buena Vista, Colorado. In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to the Ronald McDonald House; 1600 SW 14th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32608. Arrangements are under the care of WilliamsThomas Funeral Home; (352) 3767556.
 
Janis A. (Bailey) Meyer, age 75, of Wyoming, Mich., passed away on Thursday, April 29, 2004.
     Janis was born July 10, 1928, in Hartford, to George and Neva Garrett Bailey. After graduating from Hartford High School [class of 1946], she worked at Sears in Benton Harbor. After her mother's death, she moved to Grand Rapids to live with her aunt, Treva McIntyre, and her family. It was there she met and married Richard Meyer, the love of her life. They traveled extensively, seeing much of the world. Ireland was their favorite place; they returned there many times. They once considered retiring there, but decided there really is no place like home.
     Jan enjoyed working at Sheldon's because of her customers. Her husband died of a heart attack in 1997, leaving a shattered, grieving Janis. She mourned, but finally with the help of loving family and dear friends pulled her life together. She became an enthusiastic gardener, feeding the birds and squirrels through the winter as she eagerly awaited the coming of spring. She became a collector of Americana. Her home and garden were charming. She acquired a beautiful cat, Toby, that she joked owned her. She was also one of the last great letter writers and eagerly awaited the mail.
     Janis leaves a loving family and old cherished friends -- a sister, Donna (Phil) Bailey Pullins; nephews -- Phil G. (Randy) Pullins and Ronda of Morley, Mich., Randy (Barb) and Ben Pullins of Jackson, Tenn., Chris, Cornelia and Mary Pullins of Hendersonville, Tenn.; a niece, Debra (Jon) Hermann and their children, Bailey and Eric of Benton Harbor; sister-in-law, Margaret (Ron) Woodburn of Walker, Mich.; nephew, Richard Woodburn of California; cherished friends, Dean LaFontsee, Mr. and Mrs. John Schutt of Wyoming, Mich., and Toby, who is living in the country with Ronda, a catnip patch, and PJ and Stumpy. Everyone who knew Jan knew exactly how she regarded them. She would say "In memory of me, be kind to each other."
     As Janis wished, cremation has taken place and there will be no service. At a later date, Janis will be laid to rest beside her husband, Richard Meyer, in the family plot at Pioneer Cemetery, Hartford. God love her, she is in our hearts.
 
Martin Russell Winder Sr., 44, a resident of Bogalusa LA, passed away Wednesday [April 28, 2004] as a result of a motor vehicle accident. He was a member of Martin Winder d 4-28-2004New Life Pentecostal Church and was employed by the House of Seafood.
     He is survived by his wife, Debbie M. Winder of Bogalusa; two sons, Martin Russell Winder Jr. of Bogalusa, and Mike Davis of Bogalusa; two daughters, Rhiannon Winder of Bogalusa and Amie Davis Passman of Franklinton; his mother, Maxine Creel and stepfather, Leroy Creel Sr. of Bogalusa; a brother, Leroy Creel Jr. and family of Bogalusa; sisters, Deborah J. Winder of Bogalusa, Renee W. Smith and family of Mandeville, and Michelle Creel Jenkins and family of Jackson, MS; four grandchildren, Ashley Davis of Bogalusa, Riley Passman of Franklinton, Isabella Winder of Bogalusa, and T.J. Rester of Bogalusa; his mother and father-in-law, I.L. and Brenda Moore of Bogalusa; and special friends, Gertie Adams and Keith Gorum of Bogalusa.
     Preceding him in death were his father, Clyde R. Winder; and grandparents, Moses and Jewel Winder, and Howard ad Guyzell Phelps.
     Visitation will be held today at New Life United Pentecostal Church in Bogalusa from 6 p.m. until the funeral service at 2 p.m. Saturday by the Revs. Wesley Quave, Shane Giadrosich and Charles Ray Creel. Burial will be in Ponemah Cemetery.

Published in The Daily News, Washington Parish LA.

NOTE:  Martin was a 1977 Hartford High School graduate.

Bert Francis Sine, 76, of Hartford, formerly of Chicago, passed away on Monday, April 26, 2004 at South Lake Care Bert Sine d 4-26-2004 Hartford MichiganCenter in Merrillville, Indiana.
     Bert was born on February 24, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois the son of Lawrence and Bertha (DeKoker) Sine both of whom preceded him in passing. Bert was a former truck driver at Signal Delivery in Chicago, was a member of the Hartford United Methodist Church in Hartford Michigan and as everyone who knew him knows, he was a real comedian.
     The family will greet friends from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 29 at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor his memory will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, April 30 at the Hartford United Methodist Church. The Reverend Ronald Hansen will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford where Military Rites will be conducted by the VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803, and the American Legion Post 362 and its auxiliary.
     Bert is survived by his beloved wife, Theresa, whom he married on June 23, 1991. Also surviving are his children, Chuck (Trish) Marsh, Ed (Rose) Marsh, Judy (Emil) Priesol, Karen Marsh-Bulmer, Tim (Rhonda) Marsh and Peggy Graziani, his grandchildren Daryl, Jamie, Kevin and Ryan Marsh, Brian (Sharon) Marsh, Becky (Dennis) Morales, Jessica Marsh, Valerie, Mry Therese and Brianne Priesol, Steve (Terri) Priesol, Greg Marsh-Bulmer, Timothy Marsh and Mallory Graziani, and greatgrandchildren, Elizabeth, Victoria, and Dennis Morales. A brother, Jake Sine also survives.


Note:  Bert served in the military during  WW11 and the Korean Conflict.
 
Catherine "Katie" S. Thompson, Portage, passed away early Tuesday morning, April 20, 2004 at Metron of Bloomingdale.
     She was born January 7, 1913, one of five children of William T. and Katie L. Day of Hartford, MI. She graduated from Hartford High School, and was a member of the Hartford Methodist Church. Katie joined the Upjohn Co. in 1936 for 16 years, and was employed at the W-L Molding Co. for 21 years until her retirement in 1975. On August 1, 1942, she married David B. Thompson in Hartford, who preceded her in death on February 2, 1994.
     Surviving is one daughter, Davina K. Thompson of Gobles. Also surviving are two brothers, W. Paul Day and Carl E. Day of Hartford; two sisters, Allene Dent and Betty Breseman, both of Florida and Vicksburg; and many special friends.
     Katie's life was always involved in crafts and some sports: basketball, softball, skiing, and bowling. She was an avid bowler and served many years on the Kalamazoo Area Woman's Bowling Association (KAWBA) board, and was a member of the Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service. Starting bowling in 1936, she was a WIBC sanctioned league member for six years and a KAWBA life member.
     In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation. Memorial services will be held at 11 o'clock on Saturday at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave., with Rev. James Dyke officiating. Inurnment will be in her family plot in Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be directed to Metron of Bloomingdale or charity of choice. 

 
Lloyd Jacob Urick, the son of Mary Urick Barber and the late Lloyd Solomon Urick, was born in Paw Paw, Mich., on Lloyd Jacob Urick d 5-19-2004April 19, 1955, and died at his home in Dexter MO on Wednesday, May 19, 2004, at the age of 49.
    
Mr. Urick was a former resident of Michigan and had resided in Dexter the last nine years. He was a welder and had served in the U.S. Marines.
     On April 8, 1999, he was married to Melissa Diane Futch Moore at Bloomfield.
     Surviving are his wife, Melissa Urick of Dexter; two daughters, Ashley and Tina Urick, both of Michigan; his mother, Mary Barber of Hartford, Mich.; three sisters, Vicky Davis and Diane Cowgill, both of Hartford, Mich., and Nancy Urick of Watersmeet, Mich.
     Visitation will be held after 9 a.m. Friday, May 21, 2004, at Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Dexter. Services will be conducted at10 a.m., with full military honors at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield on Friday, May 21, 2004. Interment will follow in the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Dexter in charge of arrangements.
 

Gordon D. Robinson, 87, of Hartford died April 1, 2004, at the Lakeview Continuing Care Center.
     Gordon was born May 7,
1916, in Berlamont, Mich., the son of Alfred and Linnie (Hampton) Robinson. He had been a self employed farmer, owned Jays Donut House in Benton Harbor, and was a custodian at Hartford Public Schools and the Panel Room in Hartford.
     Gordon was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma in 1998, and his sister, Janette Stowe.
     Surviving are two sons, David: (Stacy) Robinson of Hartford. and Nathan (Angela) Robinson of Grand Junction; four grandchildren - David Jr., Sarah, Melissa, and Amanda; his sister, Evelyn Husek of Benton Harbor.
     There will be no service. His body will be donated to the University of Michigan Medical School.

NOTE:  Gordon was a 1934 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Bill Rhinehart, 71, of Bitely, Mich., formerly of Hartford, passed away Monday, Feb. 23, 2004, at Countryside Nursing Center, South Haven.
     Bill was born Nov. 9, 1932, in Hartford, the son of Victor and Mary (Jones) Rhinehart. He retired from Watervliet Paper Mill. Bill also served his country for three years in the U.S. Army.
     He was preceded in death by his parents; and three brothers, Jim, Bob and Jack; and a sister, Betty.
     Survivors include: two daughters -- Susan (Alfred) Button of Kismet, Kan., and Vickie (John) Loomis of Covert; son, Scott Rhinehart of Guthrie, Okla.; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
     As per Bill's wishes, no services will be held and cremation has taken place. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice. Friends wishing to sign the register online, leave a message for the family or share a story about Bill may do so at www.FilbrandtFFH.com.
     The family is being helped by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven.

Note: Bill attend Hartford High School.

 

John Levi Wesaw Jr., 72, of Hartford passed from his life on earth to eternity in heaven on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004, at his home.
     Junior was born on Sept. 23, 1931, in Silver Creek Township, the son of John and Julia (Alexis) Wesaw, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was a graduate of Hartford High School, where he helped his basketball team reach the state semi-finals. He retired from the Watervliet Paper Mill, in 1990, after 20 years of employment.
    He was an elder in the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and he served his country as an Army Corporal during the Korean Conflict.
     The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where a prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. with Deacon Arthur Morsaw conducting the service. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hartford, of which he was a member. Father German Perez-Diaz will be the celebrant. Burial will be in Rush Lake Indian Cemetery, Hartford, with military rites conducted by VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803 and American Legion Post 362 and auxiliary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.
     Junior is survived by his four daughters -- Norma Wesaw-Sprague, Julia Johnson, Loretta Wesaw, all of Hartford, and Rhonda (Phil) Hansen of Kentwood. Also surviving are grandchildren -- Levi, Tara, Judd, Felicia, Joe, Jackson and Nicole; great-grandchildren, Danny, Andrea and Pedro; brother, Samuel Wesaw of Hartford; a very special cousin, Jackie Genereaux of Watervliet; and a special aunt, Ella; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
     Junior was preceded in death by a son, Francis Jay Wesaw, on Nov. 21, 1990.

Note:
  John was a 1951 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Lois Lucille Day, 86, of Hartford, formerly of Watervliet, passed away on Sunday, February 8, 2004 at Countryside Nursing Centre in South Haven.
     Lois was born on April 13, 1917, in Lawton, Michigan, the daughter of George and Alva (Wilson) Gibson, both of whom precede her in passing. She was a member of the Watervliet First United Methodist Church.
     As to her wishes cremation has taken place and a private family memorial service will take place at a later date. Those wishing to make a memorial in her name may do so to the Watervliet First United Methodist Church.
     Lois is survived by her husband Carl whom she married on October 5, 1947; a son, David (Sheila) Day of St. Joseph; a daughter, Susan (Dennis) Martell of Douglas; two granddaughters, Christen (Steve) Hopkins of Benton Harbor and Kelly (Mark) Gardner of Grand Rapids, and two great-grand-daughters, Natalie and Rachel of Benton Harbor.

 
Betty Lou Kuehnle, 85, of Hartford passed away on Sunday, February 8, 2004, at Community Hospital, Watervliet.
Betty was born March 23, 1918, in Chicago, the daughter of Joseph and Catherine (McKnight) Bingham. She was a loving wife and mother who simply liked to cook and bake. Betty also worked for many years in the family egg business in Chicago.
     The family greeted friends on Tuesday, February 10, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor her memory was held at Hartford United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 11. The Rev. Ron Hansen officiated. Burial followed in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association.
     Betty is survived by her husband, Robert Kuehnle Sr., whom she married on July 3, 1942; three sons, Rod (Jackie) Kuehnle of Valparaiso, Indiana, James (Anne) Kuehnle of Elmhurst, Illinois, and Robert (Lisa) Kuehnle of Hartford; nine grandchildren, Doug (Osena) Kuehnle, Valerie (Mike) Pearce, James (Brooke) Kuehnle, Jill (Ryon) Hennessy, Regan (Tom) Cronin, Patrick Kuehnle, Jason (Elizabeth) Kuehnle, Kurt (Oauna) Kuehnle and Holly Kuehnle; 16 great-grandchildren, Jason, Olivia, Evan, Jimmy, Jack, Callie, Alexandra, J.J., Caroline, Anne-Claire, Jilly, Tamsen, Tommy, Regan, Alexie and Nicolas. Also surviving are two sisters, Gloria Westlund of Chicago and Lorraine Kettman of Pallos Park, Illinois; two sisters-in-law, Bertha Ann Flynn and Alice Kuehnle; and numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other family members.
     Betty was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister, Norma Lovelle.

 
Robert Venus Merrick, 84, of Hartford passed away on Friday, February 6, 2004, at the home of his grandson, Gary.
Robert was born on August 10, 1919, in Sikeston, Missouri, the son of David and Nancy (Cotton) Merrick. He retired from Auto Specialties in 1981.
     As to his wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be a memorial service to honor his memory at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, at the Full Gospel Assembly Church, Hartford. Pastor John Criswell will officiate. Burial of ashes will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, is assisting the family.
     Robert is survived by a daughter, Judy Stoddard of Lancaster, Kentucky; brother, Arthur (Virginia) Merrick; stepchildren, Gary (Bonnie) Ackerman of Hartford, John (Mary) Ackerman of Lawrence, Don (Susan) Weckwerth of Eau Claire, Carol (Raymond) Shubinski of East Point, Kentucky; grandchildren, Gary (Tammy) Ackerman, Jeanne (Bill) Thornton, Kim (Chris) Oldham, Steve Ackerman, Bill Irman, Tom Ackerman, Travis (Chris) Johnson, Bria.
 
Lucille McClain, 82, of Hartford died February 4, 2004, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph.
Mrs. McClain was born March 31, 1921, in Lula, Mississippi, to the union of Dennis McDowell and Indor (Martin) McDowell. She was a loving wife, mother and homemaker and was a member of First Baptist Church, Covert, for 42 years.
     Funeral services were held at noon Saturday at First Baptist Church in Covert, where visitation began at 11 a.m. Saturday. Burial is in Lawrence Hill Cemetery. Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, Benton Harbor, is in charge of arrangements.
     Survivors include: her husband, the Rev. Sherman McClain of Hartford; sons, Sherman (Nora) McClain Jr. of New York, and Bobby McClain of South Haven; daughter, Eunice Yvonne Orr of St. Lucia, Florida; 22 grandchildren; 88 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great-grandchildren; sister, Edith McClain of Chicago; brother-in-law, Davis (Beverly) McClain of Markham, Illinois; sisters-in-law, Martha Montgomery of Blue Island, Illinois, Mary (Joe) Crafton of Collinville, Mississippi, Eula Mae (Willie) Tangle of Newton, Mississippi, and Lucille McClain of Union, Mississippi.
     She was preceded in death by her mother and father; and three brothers.

 

Randy Lee Edmonds of New Blain, Ark., formerly of Hartford, passed away unexpectedly in Somerville, Tenn., on Jan. 30, 2004.
     Born Dec. 17,1955, in Watervliet to George and Jean (Stuckum) Edmonds. Randy attended Hartford Public Schools and had been employed as a truck driver for the last 30 years for various companies.
     Randy enjoyed calling his family to share his many experiences along the road. He loved hunting and fishing and was anxiously anticipating returning to Michigan to share these activities with his beloved father, George.
     God created Randy large in stature to encompass his huge heart. His greatest pleasure was helping others and he freely offered anything he possessed. To Randy, there were no strangers, only friends he had not yet met. His smile and laughter will always be remembered.
     Cremation has taken place and a memorial service to celebrate Randy' life will be scheduled at a later date.
     Randy is survived by his father, George Edmonds; sister, Cathy (Pedro) Ontiveros; stepbrother, David (Norma) Bulat; and step sister, Linda (Mark) OIds, all of Hartford; a stepsister, Sheryl (Steve) Ferguson of Lawton; and numerous nieces and nephews; and a large group of friends that were family in Randy's heart.  Randy was preceded in death by his mother, Jean; stepmother Betty; one sister and four brothers.
     Randy's passing leaves a huge void in our lives that no one will ever fill, but his life has left us with memories that will always make us smile. Surely he is again on a Harley, seeking new friends.
 

Lois M. (Phillips) Klimach, 81, of Sodus, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, at the South Haven Lois (Phillips) Klimach  d 1-15-2004Health Care Centre, South Haven.
     Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the Benton Heights Church of God, Benton Harbor, with the Rev. Wayne Bell officiating. Burial will follow at the Lincoln Township Cemetery, Stevensville. Visitation is Monday, Jan. 19, from 5 to 8 at the Davidson chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Coloma. Memorial may be made to South Haven Hospice at Home or Berrien County Cancer Society, c/o Davidson Chapel, Coloma.
     Lois was born on Feb. 7, 1922, in Benton Harbor to Earl and Vida (Roberts) Dodd. She graduated from Hartford High School in 1940. Lois married Roland Francis Phillips on March 21, 1942, at the Keeler United Methodist Church; it was the first and perhaps the only double wedding performed at the church. Roland died on Feb. 8, 1979. Lois married Martin W Klimach on Feb. 9, 1984, in St. Joseph. She retired from Mercy Hospital, Benton Harbor. with 27 years of service. Lois was a very loving and caring wife, mother, and grandmother who will be dearly missed.

     Lois is survived by two sons
Robert (Sharon) Phillips of Grand Rapids and Michael (Marlene) Phillips of Cedarburg, Wis.; one daughter, Carol (Jay) Myers of Soddus; six stepchildren; one sister, Marjery Churchill of Yuma, Ariz.; two sisters-in-law, Eleanore Dodd of South Haven, and Madeline Miller of Watervliet; six grandchildren; six step grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
     Lois was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Roland; second husband, Martin, on Nov. 23, 1999; brother, Robert Dodd, and sister, Olive Dodd.
 

Ruth Mildred Haney, 88, of Lawrence passed from her life on earth to eternity in heaven on Monday, Jan. 12, 2004, at LakeView Continuing Care Center, Lawton.
     Ruth was born Jan. 18, 1915, in Hartford, the daughter of Clyde and Fae (Butcher) Hammond. She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Ruth loved to do craft work, crocheting, traveling, and especially loved her grandkids.
     The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hartford, with Father German Perez-Diaz as the celebrant. Burial will be in Southard (Smiley) Cemetery, Bangor Township.
     Ruth is survived by a son, LeRoy (Dianne) Haney of Lawrence; granddaughter, Dawn (Steve) Brady of Lawrence; three grandsons -- David (Deborah) Haney and Robert (Cindy) Haney, both of North Carolina, and James (Nancy) Haney of Georgia; 10 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Clyde Hammond of Hartford; and two sisters, Myrtil DeHority of Indiana and Florine Traver of Hartford.
     Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Haney, on Jan. 4, 1992; her parents; and six brothers, Chancy Hammond, Vance Hammond, Ralph Hammond, Harold Hammond, Tharold Hammond and Roger Hammond.

 

Mildred Chambers, 86, of Hartford passed away Friday, Jan. 9, 2004 at Watervliet Community Hospital.
     She was born January 29, 1917 in Hornersville, MO. the daughter of Ruth (Helton) Stone and Robert Lee Stone.  She married Oscar B. Chambers Sept. 27, 1942, in Missouri and they moved to Michigan.
     She is survived by three children - Verna Sue Tucker of Auburndale, Fla., Kenneth D. Chambers of Hartford, Paula A. Pool of Colorna; grandchildren - Sherrie Tucker of Florida, Brenda Clugston and James A. Tucker of Oklahoma, Corey (Kim) Chambers of Riverside, Benjamin (Kim) Chambers and Andrew Chambers both of Hartford. Great-grandchildren Rashonda, Megan and Mike Clugston of Oklahoma, Cassie and Heath Smith of Florida, MiKenzie Chambers and Casidy Wilson of Hartford; sister-in-law, Josephine Stone of Hartford and her faithful companions Rosco and Patch.
     She was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar in 1986; a son, Russell; her parents; a brother, Marvin "Stoney" Stone; a sister, Olean Dean; and a son-in-law; John Pool.
     She was formerly employed at Giffords Wreath Factory in Hartford; at Duffy Motts in Hartford from opening until the plant closed, and retired from Nylon Extruders, formerly of Lawrence.
     Her greatest job was that of wife, mother, and grandma. She was the anchor that held us steady through many storms. Her home was always open and she was "grannie" to many. She will be remembered always as a woman of great strength and courage and capacity to love; She was always there with good food, advice, encouragement, and love. She leaves a hole in our lives that can never be filled, but leaves us with memories and special times we will never forget. She is safe and secure now.
     The family Will greet friends on Monday, Jan. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor her memory will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the funeral home. Pastor John Bird will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association.
 


Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 



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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved.


Revised: May 04, 2014


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