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                                              Obituar
ies in 2008
                                                 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, also 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 (or learn of the passing away of someone who lived in Hartford at one time) of a former Hartford resident from a newspaper away from the Hartford area, please send it. Past obituaries will be added as time permits.  Death notices are also posted in the HHS graduate database.
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 is a good genealogical resource, as well as providing obits to extended family members who may not have an original.  Searching previous year obituaries (mainly prior to 2003) requires a good deal of time.  If you 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.

Email the webmaster with any correction of obvious errors that may have occurred in the original newspaper obit.

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Petra Garcia de Esparza, 104, of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, at her home.
Petra Garcia de Esparza d 12-28-2008     Petra was born Feb. 5, 1904, in Dr. Arroyo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, the daughter of Mauro and Teodore (Iracheta) Garcia, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded by her husband, Antonio Esparza, two sons, Gilberto and Rosendo Esparza, a daughter, Inez Esparza, two brothers, Fabian and Felipe Garcia, and three sisters, Tranquilino Martinez and Mere and Gude Garcia.
     Petra is survived by four daughters, Pilar Esparza of Paw Paw, Esperanza Guerra of Lawrence, Tomasa Leal of Laredo, Texas, and Rosalinda Esparza of Hartford; two sons, Antonio Esparza of Texas, and Jose Ma Esparza of Laredo, Texas; 36 grandchildren, more than 95 great-grandchildren, numerous great-great-grandchildren and her fifth generation of great-great-great-grandchildren.
     As to Petra's wishes cremation has taken place. There will be a memorial mass to honor her memory at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford with father Fabio Garzon as the Celebrant. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Petra's name may be made to the family. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with handling the arrangements.
 
Cynthia Lynn (McConnell) Glenn, of Granbury TX, passed from this life into the arms of her heavenly Father on Dec. 26, 2008. She was born on April 10, 1960 in Watervliet, MI.
     She is survived by her husband of 23 years, Jimmy Dale Glenn of Granbury; two step-daughters: Abby Glenn of Anderson, CA and Beth Glenn of Chico, CA; 1 stepson: Jimmy Glenn, Jr. of Sacramento, CA; her mother: Tinnie L. McConnell of Watervliet, MI; father-in-law: Fred (Frances) Glenn of Durant, OK; sisters Shelby Sue (Don) Hand of St. Joseph, MI, Betty Ann Bitely of Hartford, MI, Barbara Elise (Vincent) Roush of Connersville, IN, Anita Spring Bard of Three Rivers, MI; brothers, Thomas James (Nancy) McConnell of Hartford, MI, Charles Ray McConnell of Watervliet, MI; brothers-in-law, Rodney Williams (Loretta) Mesick of Three Rivers, MI; Joe (Leann) Wheat of Granbury, TX; Marshall Laney of Watauga, TX; sisters-in-law: Donna (Jim) Baker of Granbury, TX; and Lisa (Chris) McHenry of Claremore, OK.
     She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, and many friends especially from the Post Office where she had worked for many years.
Cindy was preceded in death by a brother, Bobby Joe McConnell, 1943; father, Allen James McConnell, 1995; sister, Loretta Louise Mesick, 2005; mother-in-law, Loretta Wheat Laney, 1997; stepfather-in-law, Bill Laney, 2005.
     Memorial services were Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 at 2 p.m. at the family home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society.

As published in the Obituaries of the Hood County News, Granby TX.

NOTE:
 Cindy was a 1978 Hartford High School graduate.

 

 Margaret Mashak, at the young age of 95, went to meet the Lord on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008, at her daughter's home in Allegan.
Margaret Mashak d 12-24-2008     Margaret was born on Jan. 21, 1913, in Chicago, Ill., the daughter of Joseph and Helen (Straus) Tikal, both of whom precede her in passing. She was also preceded by her husband, Raymond Mashak on Dec. 1, 1983; a granddaughter, Connie Griffith; a brother, Bill Tikal; and two sisters - Josephine Mashak and Mary Ann McVay.
     Margaret was a resident of Hartford for many years until her health made it necessary for her to move in with her daughter in Allegan. She was a faithful member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford and a member of the church's Altar Society for numerous years. Margaret retired after working for over 14 years as a cook for the Hartford Public Schools. She loved to keep busy by helping others, baking cookies and making many hand-crafted gifts for family and friends. Sewing and crocheting were her passion.
     Margaret is survived by her three children and their families - William and Sandra Mashak of Benton Harbor, John Mashak of Hartford and Raydell Gates of Allegan; grandchildren - Michael Mashak, Seth Mashak, Jason Mashak, Joy Reeves, Tom Thornton, Leslie Clark, Lorry Belka, Steve Gates and Brian Gates; great-grandchildren - Chalice, Ella, Evan, Zoe, Brandon, Blake, Lindsey, Logan, Jacob and Brandi; and many nieces and nephews.
     As to Margaret's wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial Mass will be said on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford with Fr. Fabio Garzon as Celebrant. She will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford Township. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Margaret's name to the church or to the donor's choice. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with handling the arrangements.
 
Sarah Ruth Lee, 91, of Lawrence, passed away Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, at her great niece, Kathryn Poirier's, home Sally Lee d 12-22-2008in Lawrence.
     Sally, as she was known by most, was born Feb. 15, 1917, in Jackson, the daughter of Earl and Margarett (Stickney) Lee, both of whom preceded her in passing. Besides her parents, Sally was preceded in passing by a brother, Roger Lee, and two sisters, Ann McGriff and Louise Engle.
     Sally was a graduate of Hartford High School [class of 1934]. Soon after graduation, she worked at the Gifford Wreath Factory. She then was called to duty in the United States Army, where she was a photographer. After her service to her country, Sarah went to work at Auto Specialities in Hartford, where she retired after 35 years of dedicated service.
     Sally is survived by two sisters, Barbara Truhn of Hartford and Rhoda Ottolin of Harron, Ill.; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members.
     As per Sally's wishes, cremation has taken place. A burial service will be held in the spring in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Sally's name may be made to the Hartford Fire Department or Hospice of Southwest Michigan. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
 
Terry Lee White, 61, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008, at home in the presence of his family.
Terry  White d 12-21-2008     Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24, at the Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Watervliet. Visitation will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23. Memorials may be made to the family. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Terry was born on June 21, 1947, in South Bend, Ind., to Marshall and Violet (Quinn) White. He married the love of his life, the former Teila Weir, in 1977, in Norman, Okla. The couple eventually moved to Hartford, where they raised their family.
     Terry worked as a supervisor at Regal Finishing in Coloma for 20 years. Following that, he became a self-employed landscaper. Terry enjoyed hunting and had a great sense of humor. Family was important, and he loved his children and grandchildren.
     Mr. White is survived by his wife, Teila; son Brian (Sue) White of Ohio; daughters Heather White (Jeremy Birmele) and Terri Neeley, both of Hartford; three brothers, Clifford Freels of Albuquerque, N.M., his twin brother Larry (Connie) White, and Butch (Sandy) White, both of South Bend; three sisters, Norma Doyle and Marsha Beshires of South Bend and Amii Quinn of Mishawaka, Ind.; six grandchildren, Madison, Alyssa, Brooke and Morgan Birmele, Savannah White and Colin Neeley; and many nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law Elmer Weir.
 
Mary Ann Rittase, 95, of Niles, formerly of St. Joseph and Hartford, passed away Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008, at Mary Rittase d 12-21-2008Lakeland Community Hospital, Niles.
     Mary was born Sept. 20, 1913, in East Chicago, Ind., the daughter of Michael and Josephine (Madzejewski) Pawlowski, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     After being raised in Indiana, she moved to Michigan, where her and her husband, Walter, farmed with her father-in-law and later bought their own farm in Hartford. Mary loved cooking, sewing and gardening, especially her flower beds. But the time she spent with her children and grandchildren were the most memorable times in Mary's life.
     Mary is survived by a daughter, Nancy Harte of Niles; grandchildren, Carol (Steven) Weatherford of Vicksburg, David Harte of Hartford, Katherine (Michael) Elsner of Coloma, Mary (Edgardo) Quinones and David Walter Rittase, both of Hartford, Anne (George) Voss of Portage, David Thompson of Florida and Steve Thompson of Decatur; and 17 great-grandchildren.
     Besides her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Charles Rittase, on Jan. 20, 1981; a son, David Charles Rittase, on May 19, 2002; a grandson, Fred Thompson; and four siblings, Martha Kinder, Charlotte Nice, Chester Pawlowski and Irene Phillips.
     The family will welcome friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will commence at 2 p.m. Pastor Miriam Hammond of the St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Bainbridge Township will officiate. She will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
 
Jill A. Rose, 48, died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, in Kalamazoo.
     Jill was born Sept. 3, 1960, the daughter of John "Jack" and Peggy (Haynes) Rose. Jill was an ordained minister with the United Methodist Church.
     Cremation will take place and services will be held at a later date.
     She was preceded in death by her father, John "Jack" Rose on March 3, 2008; by her brother, Jon Rose on Oct. 26, 2006; and a nephew, Christopher Maslak.
     She is survived by her mother, Peggy Rose of Holland, Ohio; two siblings - Pam (Ed) Maslak of Holland, Ohio, and Michael (Amy) Rose of Vassar; and several nieces and nephews.
     Please visit Jill's personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a memory or sign her online guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to Hartford United Methodist Church. Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo (800) 822-7594.

Note:  Jill was a 1979 graduate of Hartford High School.
Irene Julia Swift, 93 of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, at her home.
Irene Swift d 12/7/08     Irene was born Sept. 17, 1915, in Diamond City, Alberta, Canada, the daughter of Paul II and Esther (Boros) Varga.
Irene was employed with Hartford High School as a cook for numerous years. She also had jobs at the Watervliet Fruit Exchange as a packer and as an assistant librarian for the Hartford Public Library. She was a member of the Hartford Federated Church. In her spare time, Irene enjoyed knitting and crocheting, but most importantly, Irene lived a full life for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     She was united in marriage with Clifford George Swift for 66 years, until his passing on May 21, 2005. She was also preceded in passing by her parents, two sisters and one brother.
     Irene is survived by two daughters, Margaret (Dale) Wadley of Cadiz, Ky. and Shirley Howe of Kalamazoo; a son, Doug Swift of Hartford; five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and a sister, Ethel Varga of Hartford.
     As per Irene's wishes, cremation has taken place. A graveside memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Irene's name may be made to the American Heart Association. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.

 
Dr. Robert E. Lyons, 83, of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, at his home.
Robert Lyons d 12-7-2008     Bob was born Sept. 27, 1925, in Gary, Ind., to William and Pearl (Woodly) Lyons. A 1943 graduate of Benton Harbor High School, Bob also obtained a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan College, Kalamazoo in 1950, and a doctorate from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., in 1954.
     Bob served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1946 during World War II as a pharmacists mate and dental technologist. Bob started a dental practice in Lawrence in 1954, then moved his practice to Watervliet in 1960, where it remained through 1986.  Bob was leader of a dance band in high school and played the saxophone. He loved playing football and basketball with his sons and their friends and enjoyed studying the Bible. He was a devoted husband, a loving father and a positive role model and will be greatly missed, but the memories will forever be in our hearts.
     Bob is survived by his wife, Wandamae Frances (Peters) Lyons; a sister: Connie (Harry) Rimes; two sons: William Lyons and Donald Lyons; two daughters, Peggy (James) Lyons-McCormick and Teresa (Lyons) Lumetta; four granddaughters, Tracie (Jason) Tavolacci Kraushaar; Julie (Jason) Tavolacci Wychuyse; Shanna McCormick and Michelle Lyons; two grandsons, Adrian (Beth) Tavolacci and Joel Tavolacci and eight great-grandchildren.
     A service to honor his memory will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Brother Joe Brenneman, pastor of Faith Assembly of Warsaw, Ind., will officiate. He will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
 
Heather Dawn Rhoads, 19, of Whitewright, TX died Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 at U.S. Highway 75 in Sherman.
Heather Dawn Rhoads d 12-5-2008Heather Rhoads was born July 15, 1989 at Virginia Beach, Va. to Donald Edwin Rhoads and Sharon Loraine Bohn Rhoads.
     She was a 2007 graduate of Whitewright High School and a student at Grayson County College. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Whitewright.
     She is survived by father and stepmom, Don and Lanette Rhoads of Whitewright; brother, Don Rhoads Jr. of Whitewright; grandparents, Dusty and Anna Rhoads of Troy, Mo.; Jane and Ski Bohn of Hartford, Mich.; stepgrandmother, Joan Hutchins of Whitewright; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives and friends; She was preceded in death by her mother [Sharon Bohn (HHS class of 1982) who also passed away from a car accident in 2001.]
     Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 at the First Baptist Church of Whitewright. Officiating the service will be Rev. Rodney Stanford, Rev. Leon Veazey and Charles Darling. The family will receive friends from 7 -8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008 at the First Baptist Church of Whitewright.  Arrangements are with Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow's Earnheart Funeral Home, Whitewright. An online registry may be signed at www.tjmfuneral.com.

NOTE:  Heather attending Hartford Public Schools, Hartford MI, until 2001, at which time she and brother, Don Jr., moved to Texas to live with their father after their mother, Sharon, passed away.
 

Larry G. Cleary, 59, of Hartford, died Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, at his home.
Larry G. Cleary d 12-5-2008     Services celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the Davidson Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Coloma. Burial will follow the service in Millburg Cemetery in Benton Township. Friends may call beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Davidson Chapel until time of service.
     Larry was born on Oct. 12, 1949, in Kenneth, Mo., to Raymond and Hilma Cleary. He married his wife, Evelyn, in 1967, and together they had celebrated over 41 years of marriage. He recently had been employed at Clean America and before that the Pearl Grange Fruit Exchange and for Alton Wendzel. He enjoyed his work. Larry was a likable person who could make anyone laugh.
     He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his children, Larry (Fabiola) Cleary of Hartford, Terry Cleary of Kalamazoo and Sherrie Cleary of Florida; his brothers, Danny Cleary, Lonnie Cleary and Ricky Cleary, all of Arkansas, and Wesley Cleary of Benton Harbor; and his grandchildren - April, Cristal, Brandon, Noah, Luis, T.J., Christopher and Ryan.
 
Roger L. Dankert d 12-4-2008

Roger L. Dankert
, 89, passed away December 4, 2008 in Aurora Colorado. Survived by Alice, his wife of 68 years; children Randy (Nance), Sandra; grandchildren Cheryl (Steve), Greg, Michelle, Paula; great-grandchildren Shawn, Bobbi, Katie, Emily, Wyatt; great-great-granddaughter Madison; sister Carol; cousin Larry.
     Services 10:00 AM Tuesday at Fairmount Mortuary Chapel, 430 S. Quebec St., Denver 80247. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Colorado Chapter 21 NAWCC, c-o 1558 S. Jamaica St., Aurora 80012-5020.  Anyone wishing to sign the on-line guest book, it is on www.denverpost.com/obituaries.  
 

Note:  Roger was a 1936 Hartford High School graduate and served in the Army during WW11.
 

Joseph C. Smith, 50, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, at home.
    Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at Breedsville Cemetery, Columbia Township. Arrangements by Bangor Chapel, D.L. Miller Funeral Home www.dlmillerfuneralhome.com.
     Joseph was born May 15, 1958, in Goshen, Ala., the son of Charlie J. and Emma (Stokes) Smith, and had lived in the Bangor area most of his life.

    
Surviving are three brothers, Charlie Smith Jr. of Chicago, Braxton R. (Faye) Smith of Bangor and Mack Ray Smith of Fontina, Calif.; three sisters, Evangeline Smith Lockett of Chicago, Nellie Ree (Jimmy) Merritt of Birmingham, Ala., and Lela Pearl Wilkerson of Detroit; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
     He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Ernestine Adams; and two brothers, Lomax and James Smith.

 
Laura Ann Owens, 50, of Hartford passed away Monday, Dec. 1, 2008, at her home.
     Laura was born Dec. 12, 1957, in Traverse City, Mich., the daughter of Charles and Genevieve (Stuelavent) Phipps, both of whom preceded her in passing. Also preceding her in passing were a sister, Cheryl Wilbanks, and a brother, Thomas Phipps.
     Laura worked as a home care nurse, working in the Stevensville area. She was a member of the Hartford Lions Club, where she served her community by helping with Christmas in the Park and helped with Harding's Thanksgiving Baskets to donate to the community. She was also an avid Star Trek fan.
     Laura married James Daniel Owens on July 10, 1975. James survives, along with a daughter, Jenette Owens of Dowagiac, and two sons, Daniel Owens and Johnathan Owens, both of Hartford. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Jade Harbert, Cody Owens-Little and Kylin Owens; a brother, Frank Phipps of Dowagiac; and an aunt, Mary Stillwell of Berrien Springs.
     As per Laura's wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will welcome friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where a memorial service to honor her memory will take place at 7 p.m. Pastor Jerry Jackson of the Victory Tabernacle Church of Dowagiac will serve as officiant. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Laura's name may be made to the family.
 
Clarence Edward Cooper, 92, of Hartford passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, at his home.
Clarence Cooper d 11-20-2008     Clarence was born Aug. 1, 1916, in Maldin, Mo., to Ransom and Flora (Quinn) Cooper. He lived his life there and in Kennet, Mo., until 1950, when he brought his family to Michigan. He had lived in Hartford for the past 58 years. Clarence worked for Whirlpool Corporation for a number of years, worked in construction as part of the crew that built I-94 and later worked for Joe Allen Disposal Company.
     Clarence is survived by a daughter, Georgia (Kenneth) Clare of Ellenwood, Ga., a step-daughter, Wilma (Gordon) Bauschke of Coloma; four grandsons; one granddaughter; five great-grandsons; three great-granddaughters; one great-great-grandson; and three great-great-granddaughters.
     Clarence was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine on May 15, 1970; a son, Charles Ray Cooper; a daughter, Barbara Cooper; his parents; two brothers; and three sisters.

     The family will welcome friends on Monday, Nov. 24, from noon until the time of the service at 2 p.m. at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. Pastor Tim Langston of the First General Baptist Church of Coloma will officiate. Clarence will then be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford Township. Those wishing to make a memorial in Clarence's name may do so with the South Haven Area Hospice.
 
Nicholas K. Obrig, 86 of Coloma, Michigan, died Sunday, November 16, 2008, in St Joseph, Mich.
Nicholas K. Obrig  d 11-16-2008     Nicholas was born December 25, 1921, to Frank and Rutheda (Fisher).  Attending school in Ohio he was a graduate of both Wellington High School in 1939, and Oberlin Business College. Mr. Obrig worked for Plumbrook Ordinance in Bogart, Ohio, Magic Chef in Lorain, Ohio, and retired from Kendel Corporation of Battle Creek, Michigan. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving from 1942 until 1946. Mr. Obrig spent his winters in Sebring, Florida where he enjoyed fishing, golf, and volunteer work.
     Survivors include two sons, John Obrig of Columbus, Ohio, and Richard Obrig of Silver Springs, Md.; a sister, Louise Hostetler; and a brother, Howe Obrig. Also surviving are three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Mr. Obrig was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Beulah and one brother, Victor Obrig.
     A service celebrating his life will be at 11 a.m., Friday, November 21, 2008, at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma where visitation will be Thursday from 6 until 8 p.m. Cremation will take place following the service. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at: www.duffieldpastrick.com.

Note:  Nicholas and his family previously lived in Hartford.  His sons, John and Richard, graduating from Hartford High School in the 1960s.
 

Neil LeRoy Norcross - Kalamazoo. 
Neil Norcross d 11-15-2008     Neil was born the 1st of August, 1928 in South Haven, Michigan. He married his high school sweetheart Betty Jane Cochrane on the 25th of November, 1950. Neil L. Norcross went to be with his Lord on Saturday afternoon, November 15th, 2008. He passed away, in the presence of family, at Rose Arbor Hospice.
     He was the son of Glenn and Edna Norcross. Neil was a teacher all of his life, retiring from teaching at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he was the head of the science department, and he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Chicago in October, 1984. He had a Master's degree, plus, in Physics from Western Michigan University. He enjoyed camping, gardening, scouting, playing games, traveling, he was a member of the Milwood Methodist Church choir for 46 years, and he was on the Heyl Scholarship Fund board. Neil and Betty enjoyed 22 years of Florida winters where they made many great friends. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his family, especially playing games with his grandchildren.
     Neil was preceded in death by his parents; his two sisters, Bess Goff (and Robert Goff) and Gertrude Hokenmaier. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Jane Norcross of Kalamazoo; brother-in-law, Karl Hokenmaier of Kalamazoo; four children, Lee (and Bonnie Norcross) of Grand Rapids, Karen (and Michael Gray) of Kalamazoo, Neil (and Cecilia Norcross) of Allegan, and Roy (and Elaine Norcross) of Hamilton. He also has nine grandchildren, Shalain, Adam, Joseph, Joshua (and Toni Norcross), Lindsey (and Rob Landeck), Cody, Justin, Luke, Tracy; and one great-grandchild, Layla Rose. Neil is also survived by his nieces and nephews, David (and Mindy Goff), Diane (and Dick DeKam), Karl Hokenmaier, Glen (and Cindy Hokenmaier), Deb (and Jim Houseman), and Robert (and Carrie Hokenmaier). He also has three step-grandchildren (Marie, Hope and Christy) and five step-great-grandchildren.
     Visitation will be at the Milwood United Methodist Church, 3919 Portage Rd. on Wednesday, 5:00-7:00 PM and Thursday at 6:00 PM. Memorial services will be held at Milwood United Methodist Church at 7:30 PM on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Milwood United Methodist Church or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Private interment will be held on Saturday in Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery. Arrangements were made by the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622. Burdick St. www.langelands.com.

NOTE:  Mr. Norcross was a Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, and General Math teacher with Hartford Public Schools 1956-1961.  Photo is from the 1961 HHS yearbook, his last year at Hartford.  His sister, Bess Goff, was also a teacher at Hartford Public Schools.
 
Judy Gravenmier  d 11-4-2008Judy Gravenmier - Hartford.   A loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, Judy Gravenmier, passed away Thursday, November 4, 2008 at home after a long illness.  She will be missed for her kindness and good humor.
     Cremation has taken place and there is no service scheduled at this time.  Memorials may be sent to Borgess Hospice or the Cancer Society.
     Judy gradated in 1959 from Coloma High School and always enjoyed keeping in touch with her classmates.  She was a
Red Hat Lady with the Red Hat Society in Hartford.  Judy also enjoyed taking care of her family, traveling, camping, taking pictures, crocheting, and having fun.

She attend Hartford Methodist Church, where she was baptized.  Judy will be greatly missed by her friends and family.
   

Theresa Lynne Baldwin, 43, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
     Theresa was born Feb. 20, 1965, in Benton Harbor, the daughter of Alfred and Joan (Smith) Baldwin. Theresa worked much of her adult life at plastic molding plants in the Benton Harbor area. Away from the workplace, Theresa enjoyed a good book, watching wrestling and taking walks. But most importantly, the time she spent with her friends and family were the times she cherished the most.
     Theresa is survived by her mother, Joan; two sons, Jeremy (Kari) Baldwin of Coloma and James Meadows of Hartford; and two grandchildren, Hunter and Emilee Baldwin
of Coloma. She is also survived by seven brothers and sisters, Roxanne (Calvin) Revels of Hillsboro, Wis., Alfred Baldwin of Hartford , Kris Baldwin of Dowagiac, Michael Baldwin of Hartford , Donald Baldwin (Victoria Smith) of Coloma, Rebecca (Bradley) Burke of St. Joseph and Melissa (John) Crumb of Watervliet; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
     Theresa was preceded in passing by her father, Alfred; a niece, Brianna and a significant other, James Meadows Sr.
     As per Theresa’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service to honor her memory will commence at a later date. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
 

Helen Caroline Murphy, 88 of Dowagiac, formerly of Hartford, passed away Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, at Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac.  Helen was born April 25, 1920, in Heron Lake, Minn., the daughter of Emil and Hannah (Hanson) Johnson. 
     Helen was formerly employed and retired from Potlatch Forest of St. Joseph after 25 years of loyal service. She was a member of the VFW Post 1137 Auxiliary of Benton Harbor and attended the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford. Helen is survived by her daughter, Donna (David) Richmond of Kalamazoo; a son, James (Judy) Murphy of Cassopolis; grandson, Gavin Richmond;
granddaughters, Amy Banner, Julie Collins and Tracy Reavis; eight great-grandchildren; a greatgreat-granddaughter; sister, Elaine Ives; and brothers, Bud Johnson and Darwin Johnson.
     Helen was preceded in death by her husband, James Murphy, on May 18, 1992. She was also preceded by a grandson, Jason Richmond, her parents, and brothers, Marvin Johnson, Clifford Johnson and Ron Johnson.
     A memorial service to honor her memory will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. Father Robert Flickinger of St. Basil Church in South Haven will be the celebrant. A luncheon will be held at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church following the service.

 

Donald B. Schroyer, 85, of Bangor, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, at Community Hospital, Watervliet, Donald Schroyer d 10-30-2008as the result of an automobile accident.
     Donald was born Jan. 12, 1923, in Bangor, the son of Percy and Edna (Bower) Schroyer, both of whom precede him in passing. Also preceding him in passing were a brother, Paul Schroyer, and a sister, Harriet Gough.
     Donald started working for his father’s business, Percy’s Workshop, which served the area as a heating, plumbing and cooling operation. Donald was also an accomplished master plumber and worked both privately and as an employee. Donald’s true passion was leading two Bible studies for much of his adult life. Donald was a avid churchgoer, as he was an active member of the Bangor Bible Church, and most recently, the Hartford Federated Church. When he was not working or serving his Lord, Donald could be found outdoors hunting deer and fishing.  However, most importantly, Donald was a family man. He was a
loving husband of 56 years to his loving wife, Shirley, and was a beloved father to his two children and later on, a wonderful grandfather to his six grandchildren.
     Donald married Shirley Jean Drake on Oct. 11, 1952. She survives, along with a son, Paul (Sharon)
Schroyer of Comstock Park and their children — Daniel, Samantha and Matthew; a daughter, Jean (William) Bass of Chesterton, Ind., and their children — Ruth, William and Mae; a brother, Phillip (Arlene) Schroyer of Phoenix, Ariz., a sister, Lois Cooper of Bangor; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Hartford Federated Church. The service to honor his memory will commence at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, at the church. Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis will serve as officiant. Burial ceremonies will follow in Arlington Hill Cemetery, Bangor. Memorial donations in Donald’s name may be made to the Rural Bible Mission. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
 

Harold Howard (Fuzzy) Nicholas, 88, of Cumming, Ga., formerly of Lawrence, passed away at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008.
     Harold was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy as a Seabee. For most of his life he farmed. He also worked at Auto Specialties, Hartford, for more than 30 years. After retirement, Harold and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Georgia.
     Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Sarah (Young) Nicholas; brothers — Donald and Kenneth; sister, Dorothea; and son, Michael Nicholas.
     Harold is survived by his beloved wife of 39 years, Dorothy; brother, Gordon (Louise) Nicholas of South Haven; son, Peter Nicholas of Los Angeles, Calif; daughters Anne (Daniel) Pinkerton of Manistee, Mich., and Jean Smith of Coloma; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; step-children — Diana Lynn of Roswell, Ga., Ronald Haney of Dahlonega, Ga., and Jeffery Haney of Dawsonville, Ga., five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Georgia National Cemetery. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service at Piedmont United Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed online at www.mcdonaldandson.com.  McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory are in charge of arrangements.

 

Zelma Mae DeLoach, 90, of Hartford, passed away Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at her home.
     Zelma was born on July 2, 1918, in Newport, Ark., the daughter of Hubert and Alberta (Whilhite) Blevens. She was united in marriage to Norman Dexter DeLoach on Jan. 26, 1940, and together they raised a family of 14 children. Norman passed away just last year on Oct. 16, 2007.
     Zelma dearly loved her family and her Lord. She enjoyed going to church, cooking for the entire family, watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘The Price is Right,’ during Bob Barkers tenure and reading the newspaper.
     Zelma is survived by her children, Billy (Linda) DeLoach of Lawrence, Thomas (Jeanette) DeLoach of Pocahontas, Ark., Carl (Monica) DeLoach of Hartford , Charles (Sherry) DeLoach of Decatur, Mary (Doyle) Drane of Hartford, Linda (George) Bergeson of Paw Paw, James (Joyce) DeLoach of Columbia,
Tenn., Richard DeLoach of Hartford, Bonnie (John) Imler of Watervliet, Judy (Bill) Haberland of South Haven, Daniel DeLoach, Kenneth DeLoach, Norma (David) Bulat and Mark DeLoach, all of Hartford. She is also survived by 29 grandchildren; 43 greatgrandchildren; and six greatgreat- grandchildren; and three sisters, Lillian Linderman of Herman, Mo., Mildred Dixon of Mountain View, Ark., and Jenny Pruitt of St. Joseph.
     Besides her husband, Zelma was preceded in death by four grandchildren; her parents; a brother, Henery Blevens; and a sister, Helen Jeter.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford . The service to honor her memory will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, at the funeral home. Pastor Thomas Fuller of the Community General Baptist Church of Watervliet will officiate. Zelma will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

 

Theresa Yvonne Johnson, 58, of Hartford, was born on May 5, 1950, in Chicago to Joseph and Florine Jones.
Theresa Yvonne Johnson 10-26-08     Theresa attended Crane High School in Chicago and pursued a career in health care. She was a devoted wife and mother who always put her family first.
     Theresa was a member of
Hartzell United Methodist Church, where she confessed the belief of Christ at an early age. She later moved to Michigan where she became a member of Gospel Tabernacle Church. Theresa met the love of her life, Erick, in 1968, and was united in Holy Matrimony on Aug. 5, 1972.
  Within this union six children were raised.
     Theresa departed this life on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008.  She was preceded in death by her son Donnell; father Joseph; and granddaughter
Kela Nicole. She leaves to cherish her memory, a devoted husband Erick Johnson; one son Darrick Jones; four daughters — Ericka (Eric) Williams, Trivenna Johnson, Tyrita (Thomas) Maeder, and Elkia Johnson; three brothers — Joseph (Doris) Jones Jr., Steven (Slyvia) Jones, and Daniel (Patrica Ann) Jones; three sisters — Idella Simmons, Florine (Otis) Horne, and Mildred Jones; 15 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.

 

Arthur Daniel McFarland Jr. of Hartford passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., Thursday, Arthur McFarland Jr  d 10-23-2008October 23, 2008 following an illness.
     Mr. McFarland was born in Lake City, Arkansas on November 1, 1931. He moved with his parents to Hartford in 1934 and resided there most of his life. He married Maxine Anderson in 1948. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June of this year.
     Mr. McFarland was raised on the same farm he and his wife would later purchase and then expand. He also worked for more than 48 years at Chardon Rubber Company in St. Joseph. He retired in 1997 to work full-time on the farm. He was a long-time member of the Hartford Federated Church.
     Mr. McFarland loved his family, farming, and he never shied away from hard work or a difficult task. He talked easily to people in all walks of life; he loved to both barter and debate. He was a very generous man, freely donating and discounting food from the farm to those in need. He set a steadfast example of kindness, good humor, generosity, humility, sacrifice, and faith for his children and all who knew him.  He had an entrepreneurial spirit, analytic mind, and love of learning. Combined with his strong work ethic, this led him to develop many innovative processes, procedures and efficiencies during his six decades of farming. He and his beloved wife worked hand-in-hand as a dedicated team in raising their family and running the farm. Mr. McFarland was deeply loved and will be exceedingly missed.
     Mr. McFarland’s parents, Arthur D. McFarland Sr. and Gladys McFarland Bell, and his brother,
Jay, preceded him in death. Mr. McFarland is survived by his wife, Maxine; five children, nine grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, as follows: Linda (Jeff) Bippus of Columbus, Ind., and her sons, Richard (Candace) Avery of Grand Rapids and Keith (Angel) Avery of Hartford and grandchildren R.J., Grant, Brandon, Tara, and Claire of Grand Rapids and Ashley and Maggie of Hartford. Christine (Richard) Price of Indianapolis, and her children, Dennis Linderman and Kim Miller, both of Indianapolis and grandchildren, Logan and Casey Linderman and Duncan and Joshua Miller, all of Indianapolis. JoAnne (Thomas J.) O’Rourke of Canton, Mich., and their son, John. Arthur D. (Dan) (Vicki) McFarland III of Hartford, and their sons, Daniel of Fort Smith, Ark., and Adam of Hartford.  Michael (Johnna) McFarland of Hartford, and their children, Amanda Kurth and Blake and their grandchildren, Emily and Allison Kurth, all of Hartford.  He is also survived by a sister, Peggy Bowen of Hartford.
     Services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. at the Hartford Federated Church and officiated by Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis. The family will receive visitors at the church on Monday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. and at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, prior to the service.  A luncheon will be held at the church following internment at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford.  Memorials may be made to the Hartford Federated Church.
     Our Dad will always be our hero.

 
Jane Clarice Willerton, age 86, of Holland died Tuesday October 14, 2008 at her home in Holland, MI.
Jane Clarice Willerton d 10-14-2008
     She was born in Maywood Illinois and was raised in Hartford, MI. She moved to Fennville in 1952. She then moved to Holland, MI in 1996. She worked for Overtons in South Haven, MI. for many years she also worked for Fennville Public Schools over 10 years until retirement in 1984. She was a loyal Cub fan and long time Square Dancer. She was a member of Central Park Reformed Church of Holland, MI., former member of Fennville Methodist Church and also Evergreen Commons.
     Her family includes: Husband of 59 years Robert Willerton of Holland, MI., daughter Carol and Ralph Adams of Greenbrier, AK., son Richard and Marion Haynes of Grandville, MI., son John and Linda Willerton of Fenton Missouri, daughter Myrna Willerton of Zeeland; four grandchildren, two great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
     A memorial services will be held 11 a.m., Saturday October 18, 2008 at The Central Park Reformed Church of 614 Myrtle Ave Holland, MI. with The Rev. David Landegent officiating. Memorials may be made to The Central Park Reformed church Building fund. Arrangements were made by The Northwood Chapel Dykstra Life Story Funeral Home 295 Douglas Ave. Holland MI. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to sign Jane’s online registry, share a photo, or read her life story.

Note:  Clarice was a 1939 Hartford High School graduate and attended school as Clarice Sherwood.
 

Eugene C. Wagner, 59, of South Haven, formerly of Keeler, passed away suddenly on Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, while at work in Bangor Township.
     The family will meet friends from 12 to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, at the Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home, where the funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Friday.  Interment will follow in Keeler Cemetery, Keeler Township.
     Eugene was born Oct. 27, 1948, in Decatur, the son of Lloyd and Thelma (Burg) Wagner.
He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Korea, and had worked for the past 15 years at Berrybrook Farms.  He loved riding his motorcycle, reading and watching Westerns, and animals.  He was a person that was willing to help whenever anyone needed him, an was loved by his nieces and nephews.
     Surviving are his three brothers — William (Betty) Wagner of Decatur, Glenn (Pamela) Wagner of Bloomingdale, and Ray (Connie) Wagner of Fairbanks, Alaska; and many nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his wife, Rebecca Ann Wagner in 2002; and two brothers, Nate and Wesley Wagner.


NOTE:  Eugene was a 1968 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Helen Berneda Williams, 85, of Hartford, passed away Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, at Bronson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Lawton.
     Helen was born July 19, 1923, in Senath, Mo., She was the daughter of David and Effie (George)
Damron, both of whom precede her in passing. Helen married Delbert Williams on March 12, 1943.
     She went to work at
V.M. Corporation and was a loyal employee for 17 years. After the company closed, she went to work and later retired from Kaywood Products.  Helen was known for the many crafts and ceramics that she would make at her home.  People would stop by, not only to purchase those items, but the many other items, especially her lamps, that she had on display.  She was also a proud member of the Lawrence Garden Club.
     Helen is survived by her children: David Williams and Sandra (Pete) Johnson, both of Hartford; a granddaughter, Wendy (Jason) Spangler of Lawrence; a grandson, Peter (Bobbi) Johnson Jr. of Hartford ; great grandsons, Andrew Spangler of Lawrence and Dalton Graham of West Plains, Mo.; great-granddaughter, Adrianne Johnson of Hartford ; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Besides her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Delbert on May 6, 1988; and two brothers, Eugene and Clifford
Damron.
     The family will welcome friends beginning at 11 a.m., with the funeral service following at noon, on Friday, Oct. 17, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  Shannon Truelove of the Full Gospel Assembly Church, Lawrence Township, will officiate. Helen will be laid to rest in
Breedsville Cemetery, Columbia Township. Those wishing to make a memorial in Helen’s name may do so by making it to either the Special Olympics or Ronald McDonald House.

 

Charles Burnell Spangler Sr., 66, of Hartford, passed away on Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence in Kalamazoo.
     Charles was born on Dec. 3, 1941, in
Valles Mines, Mo. He was the son of Walter and Reva (Nash) Spangler.
Charles worked most of his life as a truck driver. He worked for the Brunswick Corporation and later retired after more than 20 years with Engle Excavating of Kalamazoo.
     Charles married the former Rhonda Rae Martin on June 12, 1976. Rhonda passed away unexpectedly on July 2 of this year. Charles was an avid fisherman and poker player, but the most precious times were spent with his loving family.
     Preceding Charles in death are his parents; a sister, Donna
Beaman; and a brother, Frankie Dale Spangler.
Charles is survived by his children — Jason (Wendy) Spangler of Lawrence, Amanda Spangler of Hartford, Regina (
Cayo) Garcia of Lawton, Tammy Spangler of Lawrence, Charles (Tracy) Spangler Jr. of Marcellus and Michele Spangler of Lawrence.
     He is also survived by 17 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his brothers and sisters —
Ronald Spangler of Lawrence, Janet Morris of Bangor, Gerald (Wanda) Spangler of Coffee County, Ga., Judy (Larry) Thompson of Plainwell, Barry (Rita) Spangler of Lakeland, Fla., Rick Spangler of Hartford and Nina Richardson of Allegan.
     The family will welcome friends from 5 to 7 p.m., and the service to honor his memory will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  As per Charles’ wishes, cremation has taken place and he will be laid to rest in Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Charles’ name may be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association or Ronald McDonald House.

 
Iduma Lee Owens, 80, of Hartford, passed away Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008, at her daughter’s home with her children by her side.
    
Iduma was born Nov. 12, 1927, in Booneville, Miss., the daughter of Homer and Minnie (Weldon) Pritchard, both of whom precede her in passing.  Iduma loved to attend church, but more importantly, it was the time with her family she cherished the most. She also loved to cook for her family.
    
Iduma is survived by her children — Patricia (Bill) Clark of Lawrence, Sheila (Norm) Rogers of Sweetwater, Tenn., Bonnie Ackerman of Hartford and Robert (Debbie) Owens, both of Hartford, Carolyn (John) Criswell of Niles, Gary (Kathy) Owens of Lawrence, Wanda (Jeff) Haus of Hartford, Dawn (Ben) Creech of New Carlisle, Ind., Shawn (Tina) Owens of Hartford, Tina (Perry) Rowe of Watervliet and Dana (Randy) Leatherbury of Lawrence. She is also survived by 37 grandchildren; 62 great-grandchildren; three greatgreatgrandchildren; two step grandchildren; a sister, Imagene Owens of Hartford; and two brothers, Lewis Pritchard of Hartford and James Pritchard of Crossville, Tenn.
     Besides her parents,
Iduma is preceded by her husband, Fate Edward Owens; a daughter, Norma Jean Owens; a son, James Edward Owens; a son-in-law, Gary Ackerman; three brothers, Woodrow Pritchard, Henry Pritchard and Leon Pritchard; and two sisters, Owna Mae Taylor and Amy Treadway.
     The family will welcome friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Full Gospel Assembly Church, Hartford.  The service to honor her memory will commence at 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 13, at the church, with Pastor Shannon Truelove officiating. Burial will follow in Watervliet Cemetery.  Memorial donations in
Iduma’s name may be made to the family.

 
Matthew Austin Beaman, I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even Mathew Austin Beaman d 10-5-2008though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe in this?”  John 11:25.  
     Matthew Austin Beaman, 26, formerly of Hartford, left this earth on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, to rest in the palm of God’s heart until the glorious day of resurrection.
     A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Visitation with the family will be from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
     Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or to Berrien County Cancer Service.  Those wishing to send the family a message of condolence may do so online at www.starks-menchinger.com.  A cherished and beloved son, Matthew, was born Sept. 1, 1982. As a young boy, he played baseball and was on the All-Star team. During his high school years he joined the chess team and became a chess champion. 
     In 2001, he graduated from Hartford High School in the top 10 of his class, and entered the U.S. Air Force, where he became a crew chief for the F117. Later, he moved to Shreveport, La., where he worked for Calumet, an oil refinery company, and was preparing to go to Dallas, Texas, to test for his AP license.
     He loved golf, reading and writing, old cars, video games and watching “The Sopranos.” Most of all, he loved his family, especially his daughters — Aimee, age 4, and Emily, age 2. Matthew accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior on April 8, 2007, and shortly thereafter was baptized.  His favorite song was East to West, by Casting Crowns.
     Matthew’s passing has left a large hole in many hearts and lives. His beautiful smile and his laughter will be missed. He was a special person who graced this earth for such a short time.  But, his death is only a passage from life to life, and one day he will be resurrected to stand to life once again, and we will see him.
     Matthew is survived by his parents, Daniel Beaman of Hartford and Terese Beaman of St. Joseph; his sister, Rebecca; his daughters, Aimee and Emily; niece McKenzie; grandparents, ‘Papa Jack’ Weingartz and Violet and Jim Bartalone; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
     He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Sharon Weingartz; and grandfather, Ruel Beaman.

 
Guadalupe J. Duran, 81, of Hartford , passed away Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo.
Guadalupe Duran  d 10-5-2008Cremation has taken place. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Hartford American Legion Post 93, 66297 Red Arrow Highway, Hartford. Arrangements are by Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Coloma. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Guadalupe was born Jan. 12, 1927, in Chicago, to Ladishao and Lucia (Romero) Duran. He was a World War II veteran of the Marine Corps and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. Guadalupe was formerly employed by Burlington Northern Railroad in Chicago. He also owned Nostalgic’s Odds and Antiques in South Haven. Guadalupe was a loving father and grandfather who truly enjoyed helping people.
     Survivors include his wife, Patricia Anne (Dobbins), whom he married Aug. 24, 1972; 10 children — Danielle (Bill) Buhrfiend, Angela (William) Melcher, Bernard (Rebecca) Duran, Clare DeHaan, Spencer (Lara) Duran, Juanita (Tony) McDonald, Agnes (Ronnie) Paraf, Lucia Duran, Christopher (Robin) Duran and Bridget (Sam) Bujak; and numerous grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.
     In addition to his parents, Guadalupe was preceded in death by 10 brothers and sisters.
 
Marilyn Mae Schilling, 77 of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008, at her home.
Marilyn (Ruple) Schilling  d 10-3-2008     Marilyn was born on March 20, 1931, in Lawrence, the daughter of Clarence and Ida (Walter)
Ruple.
    
Marilyn was a 1948 graduate of Hartford High School. Soon after graduating, she married William Henry Schilling on Aug. 7, 1948. In 1966, she was hired as a school bus driver for the Hartford School System and remained there for more than 20 years. She was a very loving mother and grandmother, who enjoyed crocheting numerous items for her family and for the annual Christmas Bazaar. She was a member of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel.
     Marilyn is survived by her children, Bruce (Linda) Schilling of Poteet, Texas, and Bonnie (Bill)
Sharpsteen, Neal (Rae) Schilling and Nancy (Buzz) Whelan, all of Hartford. She is also survived by grandchildren – Jennifer (Matt) Toth of Lebanon, Ill., Barbara (Brandon) Miller of Tallahassee, Fla., Shannon Ward of Poteet, Texas, Billie Sue Jones of Bloomingdale, Bobbi Sharpsteen of Allegan, Brandi Saily of Hartford, Brian (Christina) Sharpsteen of Gladwin, Ami (Isreal) Vasquez of Pullman, and Kane Schilling, Leslee Whelan and MaRhea Whelan, all of Hartford; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; a sister, Maxine Burg; and a brother, Stanton Ruple.
     Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, William, on April 20, 1997; her parents; a brother, Max
Ruple, and two sisters, Marjorie Ruple and Marvil (Ruple) Utter.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford . The service to honor her memory will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at the funeral home. Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate. She will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Marilyn’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society.
 
Shirley Elston, 45, of Hartford passed away Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
     A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. Visitation with the family will begin at 3 p.m., one hour prior to the service. Memorial donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the
charity of choice. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Shirley is survived by her parents, Raymond and Iona (Jones)
Nalitt of Coloma; her brother, David (Gail) Nalitt of Arcadia, La.; three sisters, Susan Salmons of Coloma, Cathy Fisher of Benton Harbor and Vikki (Paul) Wilkins of Watervliet; nine nieces and nephews; one great-niece and great-nephew; and her special friend and caregiver Madeleine Harris.

 
Ronald Stewart McKinven Sr., 73, of Covert died Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, at Countryside Nursing and Ronald Steward McKinven  d 9-24-2008Rehabilitation Community, South Haven.
     He was born April 21, 1935, in Detroit to Charles and Carol McKinven. He moved with his mother to Hartford in 1940, and graduated from Hartford High School in 1953.
     Ron worked 30 years as a teamster for George Miller Jr., Associated Truck Lines and ANR Freight Company. He enjoyed coon and bear hunting, going to dog shows and working with his dogs. He was a member of the Southwestern Michigan Coon Hunters Association, the Michigan Bear Hunters, the Van Buren County Sportsman’s Club, the National Red Bone Association, the National Plott Hound Association and the National Rifle Association.
     He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kay (Rowe) McKinven; sons, Ronald Jr. (“Tuffy”) McKinven and Robert McKinven, both of Covert; daughters, Rhonda Crans of Bangor, Roberta Nichols of Keeler, Rita (Al) Hosier of South Haven,
Robin (Mickey) Houchin of Bangor, Ruth (John) Wolf of Covert and Marilyn (Mike) Stanek of Florida. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren, Shelli, Stephanie and Charles Crans, Charles McKinven, Natasha Williamson and Nicole Rintamaa, Brent, Katie, James and Judith Hosier, Matthew, Timothy Houchin and Jennifer Prentice, Michael and Christina Wolf and Karaline Stanek; 10 great-grandchildren, Christopher, Abby, Hunter, Regan, Caleb, Aurora, Emma, Prudence, Jordan and Kiven; a brother, Karl Kiser of Florida, and sister, Katrina Miller of North Carolina.
     Ron was preceded in death by his parents and a stepfather, William Wood.
     The family will welcome friends from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford . The funeral service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 29, at the funeral home. The Rev. Charles McNary will serve as officiant. Burial will follow in Thomas Cemetery, Bangor Township. A luncheon will follow at the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club, CR 687, Hartford.

 
Ruth Friedel Thomas, 81, of Mount Pleasant, formerly of Watervliet, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, at Ruth Friedel Thomas d 9-23-2008Isabella County Medical Facility.
     Ruth was born May 10, 1927, in Gary, Ind. She was the daughter of Adolf and Hannah (
Kutz) Thomas, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     After high school, Ruth earned her BA degree from Western Michigan University and also pursued graduate level courses. Ruth married John Hyatt Thomas on Aug. 9, 1958. She was a substitute teacher in many area schools and was a junior church teacher in various churches for over 60 years.  A couple of her many hobbies was her love of music and reading books.

     Ruth is survived by her children, John Nathan (Tram) Thomas of Chicago, Peter Aaron Thomas of Watervliet, Heidi (Mitchell) Alexander of Mount Pleasant,
Rebekah Ruth (Gary) Williams
of Watervliet and Jim (Amy) Thomas of Susanville, Calif. Ruth is also survived by six grandchildren, Teddi, Lydia, Dawn, Sarah, Minh-An and MinhThi; and three brothers, Jerry (Esther) Thomas of Three Oaks, Dick (Nell) Thomas of South Bend, Ind., and Clarence (Elaine) Thomas of Bridgman.
     Besides her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, John Hyatt Thomas, on Jan. 8, 1985; three brothers and one sister.
     The family will welcome friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will be held at 3 p.m. with Chaplain Jim Thomas officiating. Ruth will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford Township. Those wishing to make a memorial in Ruth’s name may do so by making it to the family.

NOTE:   Ruth's husband, John, was a postal carrier with the Hartford Post Office for several years prior to his passing in 1985. The Thomas family participated in Hartford churches and the children grew up very active participants of the AWANA program.
 

Marianne M. Rosenberg, age 75, of Watervliet died Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, at Faith Hospice in Grand Rapids.
Marianne M. (Chernugel) Rosenberg  d 9-21-2008     Marianne was born in Chicago, on Nov. 20, 1932, to Anton (Tony) and Mary Chernugel.  Marianne moved to Hartford, in November 1943, where she attended Hartford schools, graduating in June of 1950. She attended Twin Cities Business College in Benton Harbor, for two years. She returned to Chicago and worked for Illinois Central Railroad and as a legal secretary for several years. After spending close to 20 years in Chicago, she moved back to Michigan and was employed by the Van Buren County of Social Services in Hartford where she worked in the child welfare unit from 1971 to 1994.
     Upon retirement she resided in Watervliet where she enjoyed Paw Paw Lake and made many new friends. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet along with the MECCA Club of Watervliet, participating in many community events. She also enjoyed visiting with friends at the Board of Trade. In addition, Marianne enjoyed working in her flowers, sitting on her deck overlooking Paw Paw Lake, feeding the birds, squirrels, stray cats and dogs and often finding a home for them. She had a love for animals      Her heart belonged to “the joy of her life,” her two children, Craig and Toni, and her two grandsons, Richard and Michael, and her special companion, her Persian cat, Katie.
     Surviving Marianne are her son, Craig (Mary) Rosenberg of Traverse City; her daughter, Toni Rosenberg of Grand Rapids; two grandsons, Richard and Michael, both of Traverse City; a sister, Judy (Art) Loomis of Hartford ; a brother, Richard (Candy) Chernugel of Hartford; nieces and nephews, Lisa (Mike) Tubergen, Heidi (Bruce) Colter, Amy Weeden, Abby (Stephen) Sisson, Denise (Steve) Bellagamba, Richard Chernugel Jr., Russell Chernugel, Mary Beth Chernugel and Mark Chernugel; a ‘Special’ Aunt Ann Ross of Orland Park, Ill.; along with many great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends who have been very special to Marianne. Her parents ‘Tony’ and Mary Chernugel of Hartford preceded Marianne in death.
     A memorial Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, with her ashes to be buried in Traverse City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Animal Aid of Berrien County, P. O. Box 407, St. Joseph, Mich. 49085 or Berrien County Humane Society, P.O. Box 305, St. Joseph, Mich. 49085.

 
  Vicki Lynn Lusk,  54, of Hartford passed away on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, at her home.
Vicki Lynn (Wagner) Lusk d 9-21-2008     Vicki was born on Aug. 9, 1954, in Watervliet, the daughter of Charles and
Elinor (Hathaway) Wagner. Both of her parents, and a sister, Carol Clifford, preceded her in passing.
     Vicki was employed at APL Logistics of Coloma for over 13 years, until health problems made it impossible for her to work.
     Vicki is survived by her daughters, Michelle (Thomas) Vincent of Battle Creek, Kimberly Wagner of Hartford
and Rebecca Gerred of Bangor. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Alyssa, Haley, Andrew and Kameron; a brother, Charles Wagner; a sister, Kathleen Mooney; numerous nieces, nephews and other family members and friends.
     As to Vicki’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service to honor her memory will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Hartford Church of God. Pastor Eric Jackson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Vicki was a 1972 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Aletha (Griffin) Carmichael, 93, of Hartford, passed away on Friday, Sept. 19, 2008, at the Tendercare Nursing Aletha (Griffin) Carmichael d 9-19-2008Home in Kalamazoo, where she had been a resident for four years.
     The service to honor her memory will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.
Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the funeral home. Aletha will be laid to rest in Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Township. Those wishing to make a memorial in Aletha’s name may do so to either Tendercare of Kalamazoo or Heartland Hospice Services of Portage.
     Aletha was born June 21, 1915, in Sodus to Walter and Florence (Brandt) Griffin. Aletha and her husband, Cecil, owned a 100 acre farm just north of Hartford for many years. During her working years she was an LPN at the Van Buren County Hospital and Benton Heights Margaret Lyle Hospital. Aletha was well known throughout Van Buren and Berrien Counties for the registered Cocker Spaniels she bred and raised. She was also a very dedicated Van Buren County 4H leader for many years. Her home was a foster home for many children in the county.

     Survivors include: a son, Garland (Jan) Carmichael; daughter, JoAnn (Chris) Wainscott; daughter-in-law, Joyce Carmichael; grandchildren — Kevin Carmichael, Maria Duarte, Rhonda (Mike) Wilbur, Karen (John) McClay, Anita (Johnny) Davis and Kenneth C. Carmichael; a foster child, David Faile; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Aletha was preceded in death by two husbands, Dean and Cecil; a son, Kenneth Carmichael; two sisters, Carmelita and Lucille; two brothers, Lloyd and Wilber; and her parents.

 
Clevy G. Roberts Sr.  - Clevy’s life began on Feb. 3, 1943, in Leachville, Ark., the son of Vernis L. and Sarah Clevy G. Roberts Sr.  d 9-17-2008(Reynolds) Roberts.
     Clevy worked for many years as a roofer. He enjoyed fishing and watching NASCAR, his favorite driver was the late Dale Earnhart Sr., and Tony Stewart.
     His greatest joy was his family which includes his mother, Sarah Roberts of Dowagiac; his children, Lisa (Randy) Derrick of Hartford , Clevy (Angela) Roberts Jr. of Watervliet, Trentin (Rebecca) Roberts of Coloma, Scott (Jessica) Roberts of Coloma, Laura (Daryl) Ledford of Kentucky, and Cynthia (Jason) Meridth of Jonesboro, Ark.; 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; his sisters, Alice Gough of Niles, Phyllis (Gary) Hendrixson of Culvert,
Va., (Jack) Szymanowski of Dowagiac; his brothers, Darrell (Lillie) Roberts of Decatur, Larry Roberts of Dowagiac; and a special friend, Teresa Bunker of Hartford; and many nieces and nephews. Clevy passed away at his home surrounded by his family on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008. He was preceded in death by his father, and his son, Billy Mann.
     His family will gather on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at McLauchlin-Clark Funeral Home, Dowagiac, where his tribute service will held on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. led by Pastor Michael Holt of the Grace Apostolic Tabernacle in South Haven. Clevy will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery. Memorial contributions in his name may be directed to his daughter Lisa. Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Clevy at www.mclauchlin-clark.com.

 

Thomas C. “Tom” Robinson, 74, of Warsaw, Ind., former area resident, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2008, at 12:44 a.m. at his residence.
     He was born Dec. 12, 1933, in Lawrence, to
Myrl Robinson and Myrtle (Ryan) Robinson . He married Carolyn (Stevens) on Feb. 28, 1987, in Warsaw. As a testament to his passion for all types of machinery, Tom spent his entire career in the machine tool business. Covel Mfg., Clausing Industrial and the George Desantel Co. were his earlier places of employment. After the sale of United Machinery Sales, a company formed with partner Harry Harrington, Tom retired from working at General Electric in 2000.
     A dedicated member of the Warsaw Kiwanis, Tom had served on the Board of Directors and as Attendance Officer.
He was a 40-year member of the Masonic Lodge of Hartford. A skilled craftsman, Tom totally restored his 100-year-old farm home in 2003. He loved old cars, old tractors, all kinds of machinery and the roar of a Harley Davidson. Tom never met a stranger. He was loved and respected by everyone who knew
him for his kind and generous nature and his fun loving spirit.
     Survivors include his wife, Carolyn (Stevens) Robinson of Leesburg, Ind.; two sons, Steve and wife Barbara Robinson of Merit Island, Fla., Scott and wife Jody Robinson of Goshen, Ind.; one daughter, Tamara Jackson of Fort Wayne, Ind.; stepson, Greg Wood of Warsaw; three stepdaughters, Melanie and Michael Easter, Melissa and Pat Summer, Michelle Wood, all of Warsaw; grandchildren, Michael and
Keven Denney, and P
hillip Robinson ; and 10 step grandchildren, Patrick and Samuel Easter, Erin and Robin Wood, Michael and Robert Sommer, Matthew and Clayton Wood, Trevor Blankenship, and Ryan Kauchak.  He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters.
     Visitation will be held today, Sept. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Titus Funeral Home in Warsaw, where services will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. Dr. Homer Kent Jr. will officiate. Burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Warsaw.
     Memorials can be send to Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 196, Warsaw, Ind., 46581-0196 or Warsaw Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 773, Warsaw, Ind. 46581-0773.

NOTE:  Thomas grew up in the Hartford area and may have attended Hartford High School (not listed as a graduate, but would have been with the HHS class of 1950 or so).  He lived in the area maybe into his 40's.  Tom's twin brothers, Harold and Gerald Robinson, did attend Hartford High School. The coveted "Harold Robinson Award", established after Harold's death shortly after his 1962 graduation from Hartford High School, is still presented yearly to an outstanding student athletic. 
 

Thelma Iadell Bess, 77, of Hartford , passed away to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, at Thelma Bess  d 9-11-2008  Hartford Michiganher home in Hartford, with her family and friends surrounding her.
     Thelma was born Feb. 13, 1931, in Searcy, Ark., to Lawrence and Mary Cooper. She was one of six children.  They moved around while her father searched for work. Then, in 1950, they moved to Kennett, Mo. There, in the cotton fields, she meet her future husband, Van Bess.  After a long courtship, they were married on Jan.19, 1952. Two years later, in search of a better life, they moved to Michigan and raised a family of three boys — Larry, Kenny and John. Thelma retired from Duo-Tang in Paw Paw after many years of loyal service.
     Thelma is survived by her husband, Van Bess of Hartford ; sons — Larry (Dianna) Bess of
Lawrence, Kenny (Gayla) Bess of Hartford and John Bess of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a sister, Louise Cargo of Lawrence; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many cousins, nephews, nieces, long lifetime friends and great neighbors.
     Her father, Lawrence Cooper; mother, Mary Cooper; brothers — Buddy, Donald and Raymond Cooper; sister, Marie Lewis; daughter, Vickie Bess; and granddaughter, Valerie Bess, preceded her in passing.
     The family will welcome friends from 2 to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will commence at 3 p.m.  Pastor Ken Craig will serve as officiant. Following the services, Thelma will be transported to McDaniel Funeral Services in Kennett, Mo., where she will be laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Thelma’s name may be made to Borgess Visiting Nurse and Hospice.

 
Oscar Buckley, 74 of Hartford passed away at home on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008. He was born March 5, 1934, to Kenner and Bertha (Smith) Buckley in Kentucky.
     Oscar was a maintenance man at Industrial Rubber Goods in St. Joseph. He worked as a maintenance supervisor at Auto Specialties and Duffy-Mott. He loved being a silversmith and goldsmith and a carver of precious stones. He also was an antique dealer for several years.  He was a cancer survivor and talked to people he met with cancer to encourage them to keep fighting, talking with some from as far away as Australia.  But most importantly, he loved his family very much and always enjoyed spending time with each and every member of his family.
     Oscar is survived by his wife, Joann; and sons, Thomas (Diana) Buckley of Battle Creek and Robert Buckley at home; his granddaughter, Jennifer Buckley and grandson, Jason Collins. Oscar is also survived by three brothers, Frank (
Luming) Buckley and Terrance (Shirley) Buckley, both of Coloma, and Danny (Louise) Buckley of Texas; five sisters, Roberta (Clarence) Cowgill of Coloma, Bernice Lee (Phillip) McKie of Freesoil, Sandra Belcher, Donna (Eugene) Bednorz of Texas and Bobbie Kay (Dale) Steckleberg of Downers Grove, Ill.; and many nephews, nieces and friends.
     Oscar was preceded in passing by his parents, a brother, Don Edward, and a son, Steven.
As to Oscar’s wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will greet friends from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The memorial graveside service to honor his memory will take place at 1 p.m. at the Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Pastor Tom Langston will serve as officiant. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Oscar’s name may be made to the donor’s choice.

 
June M. Wagner, 86, of St. Joseph, died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008, at Lakeland Continuing Care Center, St. Joseph, following an illness.
     Cremation has taken place and a private family gathering will be scheduled for a later date. Inurnment will take place in Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Friends are invited to sign the guest book at www.legacyfuneral.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Lakeland Hospice. Legacy Family Funeral Services - Matthew R. Purchase Chapel is serving the family.
     June was
born Oct. 26, 1921, in Hartford, to Roscoe and Watie (Wheaton) Conklin. On April 1, 1940, she married Walter Wagner in St. Joseph. They were longtime area residents. Following 64 years of marriage, Walter died Nov. 29, 2004.
     Survivors include her daughter, Sharon (Jerry) Evans of Trenton, Tenn.; three sons — Walter (Joyce) Wagner of Rockford, Mich., James (Teri) Wagner of St. Joseph and Arthur Wagner of Berrien Springs; seven grandchildren; 10 greatgrandchildren; a sister, Geraldine Kowerduck of Zephyrhills, Fla.; and a brother, Gerald Conklin of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, June was preceded in death by three brothers, Carl, Lester and Harold Conklin.

 
Frederick Lawrence Knight, age 87, of Hartford passed away Thursday, September 4, 2008 at his home.
Frederick Knight  d 9-4-2008
     Family and friends are welcomed on Saturday, September 6, 2008 from 4 PM to 6 PM at His Place: Cathedral of Faith, 69556 CR 378, Covert, Michigan. A service to honor his memory will be held on Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 2 PM at the church. Frederick will be laid to rest in Fairview Memorial Cemetery, Watervliet Township with military rites being conducted by VFW Post 6803, VFW Post 1137, American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford with handling the arrangements.
     Frederick was born October 22, 1920 in Comstock, the son of Roy and Irene (Peas) Knight, both of whom preceded him in passing. Frederick spent his childhood years in Martin, MI where he attended Martin Schools and worked with his brothers on the family farm. He proudly served his country in 1942 for thirty-six months as an Army Sergeant 136th Infantry during WWII. Upon returning to Martin, he married Reva Janet Buskirk on March 12, 1948 and recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
     He enjoyed many fond memories of family camping, bowling leagues, and card games. Frederick was employed with Kalamazoo Precision Castings, where he was a member of their company baseball team as catcher, and DuWell's of Bangor and Hartford, where he retired after many years of faithful service. Frederick was one of the many whom helped develop the Hartford Recreation baseball fields and served as a Pony League coach, winning many championships and later being the number one fan at his grandchildren's games. As Frederick's children grew, he and Reva enjoyed summers at Sandy Pines Resort in Allegan, MI were he spent leisurely days golfing and mowing the golf courses. He loved to travel annually to Phoenix, Arizona, and most of all, he loved his precious grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He gave his heart to the Lord and was baptized in 2007. God blessed Frederick with a large, loving family, who have the richness of his love.
     Frederick is survived by his wife, Reva; their six children, David (Mary) Knight of Hartford and their children, Tonya, Julia, Elizabeth and James; Roger Knight of Hartford and his children, Kimberly, Jennifer, Eric and Ryan; Diana (Craig) Zeller of Phoenix, Arizona and their children, Jason and Michelle; Debra Collins of Coloma and her children, Stacy and Christopher; Frederick (Gale) Knight of Hartford and their children, Courtney, McKenzie and Olivia and Robert (Kathy) Knight of Dorr and their children, Jonathan, Anthony and Nicole. He is also survived by 23 great grandchildren and three brothers and sisters, Maynard (Merle) Knight of Otsego, Gloria (Clyde) Richie of Plainwell and Myron (Joan) Knight of Martin. Frederick was preceded in passing by a son, Gordon Leroy Knight; a grandson, Alex Knight; a great-grandson, Andrew Knight; four brothers, Leslie Knight, Claude Knight, Kermit Knight and Clifton Knight and four sisters, Pauline Sturman, Florence Curry, Margaret Knight and Evelyn Knight.
 
HARTFORD — Paul Emery Hoyt, age 66, of Batesville, Ark., passed away on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008, in a Batesville Hospital.
     Paul was born on July 3, 1942, in Douglas, Mich. He was the son of Lloyd M. Hoyt and Madeline Crowfoot Hoyt. Paul retired as a truck driver for Inland Container Corp. and was of the Baptist faith.
     Paul is survived by three sons, Bruce Hoyt of Horn Lake, Miss., Michael Hoyt of
McCordville, Ind., and James Hoyt of Poplar Bluff, Mo.; three daughters, Deborah Pitcher of Douglas, Melissa Budahn
of Allegan and Michelle Hernandez of Hamilton, two brothers, Warren Hoyt and Ernie Hoyt, two sisters, Eva Pederson and Janet Sliwoski; 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Waltermire Hoyt; his parents; a son, Douglas Hoyt; and a sister, Lois.
     The family will welcome friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, followed by a graveside service in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, where he will be laid to rest.

 
Thomas A. Unrath  d 8-16-2008Thomas Albert Ulrath, 80, of Bridgman passed away on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     At the request of Mr. Ulrath, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held 11 AM Friday, August 22 at Pike Funeral Home, Boyd Chapel, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy., Bridgman. Friends may meet with the family from 10 AM until the time of the service on Friday. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be given to Berrien County Cancer Service or Bridgman American Legion Post 331.  Online condolences accepted at www.pikeFH.com.
     Tom was born August 21, 1927 in Toquin, Michigan, the son of the late Albert and Lucille (Copper) Ulrath. He served in the US Army during WWII and was a member of the Bridgman American Legion Post 331. On November 13, 1948 he married the former Beverly Smith. Tom was a truck driver and worked for Harris Trucking in Benton Harbor, retiring in 1987. He and his wife spent their winters in Florida. Tom loved to be outside working in the garden or yard. He also enjoyed woodworking and made wooden rocking horses for his children and grandkids. Most of all, Tom loved spending time with his family and grandkids.
     Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Beverly; seven children – David (Carolyn) Ulrath of Heath Springs, South Carolina, Ruth Ann (Floyd) Kosinsky of Plant City, Florida, Deborah Ulrath of New Orleans, Linda (Salvatore) Pitino of Holiday, Florida, Patricia (Scott) Richardson of Bridgman, Gary (Sheila) Ulrath of Bridgman, and Joanne (Ken) Grantham of Otsego; 15 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and two sisters – Mary (Pete) Doyle of Malibu, California and Bonnetia (Stan) LaFountain of Paw Paw.
     Tom was also preceded in death by a grandson, Nicholas.

NOTE:  Thomas was a former Hartford resident.  Several of his children graduated from Hartford High School.
 

LAWRENCE — Robert H. Rogers’ death on Aug. 10, 2008, after illness and hospitalization is a great loss to his family: his wife, Glenda Lee Holmes-Rogers, of 46 years, his son, Robert, and wife, Melissa, of Coloma and daughter, Amber and husband, Lloyd of Wilmington, N.C.
     “Bob,” a native of Meadow Valley, Calif., served in the
USAF, attended Fresno City College, Fresno State University in California and received his bachelor’s degree from
Andrews University, Berrien Springs. He taught for many years at Watervliet High School in the industrial arts program, receiving his master’s degree from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, during that time.
     Bob was an active member of the Hartford Seventh-day Adventist Church and a volunteer in the community. His interests were varied: stamp collecting, working on sports cars, carpentry, sailing, fly fishing, and working with youth in the International Pathfinder Club, Bible studies.

NOTE:  Bob lived in Hartford for a number of years until moving to Lawrence during the past couple of years. His wife, Glenda, sent the following about Bob's life and his connection to Hartford:

     Bob was born in Oakland, California, August 17, 1942, but his parents were from the mountain area (abt. 6,000 ft).  They returned there shortly after his birth and Bob was raised on the family ranch (Spanish Peak Ranch) in Meadow Valley, Ca.  This is a very small post office and tiny store just outside of Quincy, California.  A town a about the size of Watervliet. 
     Bob's dad, Ralph H. Rogers, had hoped to enlist in the military during WWII, but for some reason was not allowed to.  He worked on the construction of navy ships in one of the SF bay area ship yards.  His mother, Carolyn M. Beck-Rogers, was a wonderful stay-at-home mom and fishing companion in later years.  At the end of the war they returned to the mountains and their home. 
     Bob's first school was in Meadow Valley and then all the students had to ride the bus to Quincy, about 10 miles away.   
     He moved from there to North Fork, California, in his junior year where I met him.  North Fork is about 40 miles outside of Yosemite Nat'l Park... so you can see our hearts were always missing the mountains (otherwise Michigan's SW corner was the perfect place to live). 
     Bob served in the USAF, stationed finally at the air force back at Ft. Custer.  We were married in 1962 on the base in a military wedding.   
     Returned to California when Bob received a medical discharge just a few months short of his full hitch.   
     We returned to Michigan for Bob to pursue his interest in Biblical Archeology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.  Finding that his service-connected disability would end his life if he traveled to the middle-East he switched to a history major and industrial arts.  He did his student teaching at Watervliet High School... they hired him full time and that's how we ended up here. 
     Our first Sabbath here in Hartford Dr. Lee and Del Stagg offered us the apartment over their office at 9 N. Maple Street.  We lived there for over three years - both our children, Robert and Amber, enjoyed that wonderful apartment in the tree tops as their first home.  We bought our first home, 70077 CR 687, Hartford when Amber was about 1 year old. 
     Bob was a great believer in doing business locally.  He had an affection for small towns and knew that they could not survive without everyone giving their business to the town as much as possible.  He liked reading about Hartford and talking to the "old timers" about their memories and interesting stories.  He also took a class from and read Dunbar's history of Hartford.  Whenever he started a sentence with, "did you know... " I knew I was in for another history lesson. 
     We've been members of the Hartford S. D. A. Church since we came in 1970.  I think Bob followed Rick Bachman as the Pathfinder leader here in our church.  It all seems so long ago. 
     Bob had been working as a volunteer at the Lawrence Library recently.  But again, it was because he wanted to do all he could to keep people looking at the town not only as an address for their mail but as the nurturing source, an important part of their lives.

Wayne S. Larsen, 83, formerly of Watervliet, passed away Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, in Boca Raton, Fla.
     A graveside memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Friday at the Watervliet City Cemetery. Pastor David Helms from Plymouth Congregational Church will officiate.
     Wayne’s life in Watervliet was marked with service and dedication. His father was the manager of the local creamery, so he learned at a young age what it meant to be of service. Wayne was an accountant for many years at Watervliet Paper Co. He also found time to serve as an elected official on the township board for some 26 years. Wayne was a member of Plymouth Congregational and
loved his church. It was a most important part of his life and he served there in many capacities over the years. Mr. Larsen owned the Lakeshore Tavern on Paw Paw Lake, the Dog-n-Suds drive-in, and JP Food and Beverage in Stevensville.
     After moving to Fort Lauderdale 31 years ago, he owned and operated the Blue Parrot bar and package store. Church again was an integral part of his life there, where he became a member at First Congregational Church and served on various boards. After selling the Blue Parrot, he became the administrator of the church. Upon retiring, he volunteered at Holy Cross Hospital until his death.
     Wayne is survived by his brother,
Aage, and many nieces and nephews.

NOTE:  Wayne was a 1943 Hartford High School graduate.
 
Kathleen Lillie Fields, 81, of Hartford, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kathleen Lillie Fields d 8-6-2008Kalamazoo.
     Kathy, as she was known to most everyone, was born on Sept. 28, 1926, in Cheboygan, Wis. She was the daughter of
Walsey and Lillian (Banks) Tallman. On Sept. 28, 1943, she married Edward Fields. Kathy went to work at Shepherd Products and retired from there after many years of employment. She had also worked at McDonald’s in Coloma. Kathy was a member of the Keeler General Baptist Church, she volunteered her services for the Relay of Life and would go out of her way to help others, even taking in those children who had no place to go.
     Kathy is survived by her husband, Edward; her four sons — Kevin and Darlene Fields, Kale Fields,
Karry and Vicky Fields and Keith and Barb
Fields; and her grandchildren — Kandy and Gene Hays, Kim and Kenny Dasse, Tammy and Curt Conklin, Traci and Kirk Harmon, Katina and Jerry Loomis, Heather Fields and Shylah and Erick Reynolds. She is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren; a brother, Kenneth Tallman; two halfsisters, Sherlene Duffiney and Shirley Tallman; and a very close friend, Janelle Lewis.
     Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, and two stepfathers, Alfred
Hartwig and Sheridan Rose.
The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford , at which time the service to honor her memory will be held. Following the service, as to Kathy’s wishes, cremation will take place and her ashes will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.

Herald-Palladium
8-8-2008

     Kathleen Fields, 81, of Hartford Township, died Wednesday in Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, two days after being injured in a Coloma Township car accident, township Patrolman Mike Prince said.
     Fields was a passenger in a westbound car on Red Arrow Highway driven by Ruby Lewis, 89, of Coloma. The driver of an eastbound car veered into the path of the Lewis car while making a left turn into a parking lot.
     Coloma-Hagar Fire Department firefighters freed the women from the wreckage. Police said Lewis was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.
     Prince identified the eastbound driver as Ramon Quedezama Ruvalcaba, 90, of Coloma Township. Prince said reports about the crash will be submitted today to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s office.

Phillip James Keifer, the infant son of Phillip Meyers and Amanda Bryant of St. Joseph, passed away suddenly on Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, at his home in Hartford.
     Phillip was born on July 15, 2008, in St. Joseph. He is survived by his biological parents, Phillip and Amanda, his adoptive parents, James and
Venessa (Goodrich) Keifer of Hartford; his big sisters, Rachel and Allison Keifer, and a brother, Phillip Ray Meyers III. He is also survived by his grandparents, James and Nanette Keifer of Keeler, Ray and Joy Meyers of Kokomo, Ind., Timothy and Joan Goodrich of Hartford; great-grandparents, Frank Keifer of Keeler, Dwayne and Liz Goodrich of Oregon, Mary Raney of Lawrence and Venessa Wolford of Edwardsburg, Evelyn Caufman of Kokomo, Ind.; his aunts and uncles, Jayme and Bryan Fife, Richard and Dawn Pierson, Bret and Karri Meyers, Anne Schaffer and Jeremiah and Beth Bell; and numerous cousins.
     Phillip was preceded by a great-grandmother, Elaine
Keifer; and a great-greatgrandmother, Florence Matheny.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Hartford Federated Church, where the service will be held at 11 a.m. with Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis officiating. Phillip will be laid to rest in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford has been entrusted with the arrangements.

 
Kenneth Orin Tyler, 78, of Hartford passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 27, 2008, at his home. Kenneth was Kenneth Orin Tyler d 7-27-2008born Sept. 29, 1929, in Decatur Township, the son of Grant and Hernasa (Johnson) Tyler, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded by a son, David Wayne Tyler; a daughter, Cheryl Christine Tyler; and two brothers, Bob and Skeet Tyler.
     Kenneth was a veteran of the United States Air Force. Kenneth was formerly employed with Burnette Foods of Keeler. Following his stint at Burnettes, Kenneth worked for Bronte Winery in Keeler for many years before its closure. Kenneth enjoyed fishing, dancing and making his favorite homemade wine.
     Kenneth married Ellen Burkett on Oct. 6, 1950. She survives, along with seven children, Betty Gilburet of Mabelvale, Ark., Mary Ann Tyler of Indianapolis, Richard Ishmeal of Watervliet, Ken (Shirley) Able of Searcy, Ark., Edward Able of Pickens, S.C., Tom Tyler of Hartford and Tina (David) Smith of Sister Lakes. He is also survived by five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one great great-grandchild; three brothers, Kermit (Kim) Tyler of Clearwater, Fla., Rodney Tyler of Decatur and Walt (Rose) Tyler of Union, Mo.; and a sister, Ethlan Tyler of Niles.
     The family will welcome friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford , where a memorial service to honor his memory will be held at 2 p.m., with Pastor Jim Dunn of the First General Baptist Church of Benton Harbor as the officiant. Burial will follow in Keeler Cemetery, where military rites will be conducted by VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803 and American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary.
 
Florence R. Knight, age 82, of Bangor passed away Saturday, July 26, 2008, at her home.
     Mrs. Knight was born May 20, 1926, in Hartford and resided in this area the majority of her life. She formerly was employed at Adams Electronics and the Bangor Train Factory. She loved crocheting, playing cards and baking. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
     Surviving are four grandchildren, Mary (Dean) Ferrell of Stuarts Draft, Va., Marsha Smith, Mickey Rader and Bobby Knight, all of Bangor; four great-grandchildren, Lacey Hewitt, Jessy Ferrell, Tara A. Rader, Michael S. Smith; one great-great-granddaughter, Callie.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Bud Knight, in 2001, and a daughter, Mary Ann Knight.
     The family will meet friends Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home www.dlmillerfuneralhome.com where services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m., with the Rev. Duane Jones officiating. Interment Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
 
Ruby Wilkinson Frank, 70, of South Haven, passed away Wednesday, July 23, 2008, at South Haven Community Hospital.
     Ruby was born Dec. 4, 1937, in Portageville, Mo., the daughter of Lloyd and Pearl (Carter) Thompson, both of whom preceded her in passing. Ruby spent more than 40 years of her life working at the Watervliet Paper Mill, where she later retired. She and her husband, Vern, were instrumental in the founding of the Tastee Freeze in Hartford. On Dec. 3, 2000, Ruby was baptized and confirmed into the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Haven.
     Ruby is survived by a son, Patrick (Lisa) Wilkinson; six stepchildren — Debbie Bujack, Arthur (Barb) Frank, Robert (Theresa) Frank, Tracy (Jim) Sheffer, Sherry (George) DeBeaumont and Diane (Ivan) Vasquez; 16 grandchildren; six greatgrandchildren; and four brothers and sisters — Linda (James) McPeak, Gary (Sue) Thompson, Sharon (John) Mann and Shirley Longe.
     Besides her parents, Ruby was preceded in passing by her first husband, Vern Wilkinson, whom she married July 25, 1954, and passed on in June of 1986; a daughter, Kimberly Renee; her second husband, Arthur Frank, whom she married on Feb. 14, 1996, and passed on in February of 2000; a step-son, Bill; and a brother, Jimmy.
     As to Ruby’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial graveside service to honor her memory will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Ruby’s name be made to either the American Cancer Society or to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.

NOTE:  Ruby's first husband, Vern Wilkinson, was a Hartford mail carrier for a number of years prior to his death in 1986. 
 

Steven Alan Bedwell, 43, of Hartford passed away suddenly on Saturday, July 19, 2008, at his home.
     Steven was born Sept. 9, 1964, in Flint. He was the son of Ernest and Sharon (
Sutherby) Blanchard.
    After graduating from high school, Steven took up the trade of plumbing and was formerly employed by
Fenners Plumbing. As a hobby, he loved dealing in antiques. Steven was a diehard Lions fan no matter how the team was doing.
     Steven is survived by his mother, Sharon; two brothers, Thomas
Bedwell of Hartford and Martin (Linda) Bedwell of Los Angeles; and a sister, Terri (Dean) Gress of Greenville, Ohio. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Chad,

Sally, Troy, Karen, Dawn, April,
Gena, Heather, Kylie and Collin; a special friend, Kathy Mooney; and his beloved dog, Max.  Steven was preceded in death by his father, Ernest, and a brother, Dennis Bedwell.
     The family will welcome friends on Thursday, July 24, at the Hartford Church of God from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at which time the service to honor his memory will be held. Pastor Eric Jackson will officiate. Following the service, cremation will take place.  Burial of his ashes will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in Steven’s name may be made to the family.
     The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford has been entrusted with the arrangements.

 

Shirley Mae Franklin, 54, of Hartford, passed away suddenly Friday, July 18, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
    Shirley was born June 29, 1954, in Waynesville, N.C., to Wallace and Doris (Simmons) Avery, both of whom preceded her in passing, along with a sister, Linda Brown.
    Shirley married James Franklin on May 13, 1969. She formerly was employed at Burger King restaurants in both Stevensville and Watervliet for 13 years.
    Shirley is survived by her husband, James; three daughters, Sherrie Franklin of Watervliet, Linda Baham
of Hartford and Tammy (Ross) Brown of Breedsville; and a son, William Franklin (Carolyn Baham) of Hartford. She is also survived by grandchildren, Carolina and Jessica Franklin, Junior and Javier Artato, James, Crystal, Nicholas and Shane Baham, Courtney, Samantha and Jacklyn Franklin; her brothers, Joseph and Robert Avery, both of Hartford; and sisters, Mary Sue Lanford and Connie Roberts, both of North Carolina.
    The family will welcome friends on Thursday, July 24, from 9 to 10 a.m. with the service to honor her memory at 10 a.m. at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.

 
Rhonda Spangler, 51, Hartford, passed away suddenly Wednesday, July 2, 2008, at her home.
Rhonda was born Nov. 28, 1956, in Kalamazoo, the daughter to Perry and Joyce (McMillan) Martin-Harris.
     Rhonda was a happy-go-lucky person who enjoyed each day to the fullest. Rhonda could always be found drinking coffee, which she couldn’t live without. In her spare time, Rhonda loved roaming the shopping malls, scrapbooking and collecting snowmen. But her most important time was spent with her loving family, especially her children and grandchildren.
     Rhonda was preceded in passing by her father, Perry. Rhonda married Charles Spangler on June 12, 1976. He survives, along with her mother, Joyce of Quincy; a son, Jason (Wendy) Spangler of Lawrence; a daughter, Amanda Spangler of Hartford; and four stepchildren – Regina (
Cayo) Garcia of Lawton, Tammy Spangler of Lawrence, Charles (Tracy) Spangler II of Marcellus and Michele Spangler of Lawrence. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Bonnie (Bruce) Abrams of Lawrence and Janie (Mark) Mohney of Quincy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     The family will welcome friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor her memory will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, July 7, at the funeral home. The Rev. Ronald Hansen of the Hartford United Methodist Church will serve as officiant. Burial will follow in Hill Cemetery, Lawrence. In lieu of flowers, t
he family requests donations in Rhonda’s name be made to the American Heart Association or the Ronald McDonald House.


Rhonda was a 1986 Hartford High School Adult Ed graduate. 
 
Gary Lynn Ackerman Sr., 56, Hartford, went to be with the Lord on Monday, June 23, 2008, at his home.
Gary Lynn Ackerman Sr.  d 6-23-2008     Gary was born on May 8, 1952, in Watervliet to Milford and Evelyn (Tunis) Ackerman.  He attended Watervliet Public Schools until 1964 when his father and mother moved to Hartford, where he attended school until 1968. After driving truck for 30 years, he enjoyed being with his loving wife, Bonnie Ackerman, whom he married on Aug. 1, 1970.
     He was a devoted husband, father and papa and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Together, Gary and Bonnie had four children, Gary L. Ackerman Jr. and his wife, Tammy, Jeanne Thornton and her husband, Billy, Kimberly Oldham and her husband, Chris, and Steven Ackerman and Diana Meador, all of Hartford . Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, Hannah, Colby, Joshua, Garret, Devin, Abby, Hunter, Trey,
Rylie and Brayden; a mother-in-law, Mrs. Iduma Owens; a brother, Milford John Ackerman; a nephew, Tom Ackerman; and
numerous brothers-in-law, sisters- in-law and cousins.
     He enjoyed his spare time driving his T-Bucket, working on old cars, watching racing, listening to ’60s music and going to car shows with his wife. Gary never met a person he didn’t like and he loved to talk and could always make you laugh.
     Gary was preceded in death by his parents; two grandfathers; two grandmothers; a stepfather; a father-in-law, who Gary thought of as a Dad; numerous aunts and uncles; two sisters-in-law; and one of the best brothers-in-law you could have.
     Services to honor Gary’s memory will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Full Gospel Assembly Church, Hartford , where visitation will precede the service from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
     Gary’s brother-in-law, Pastor John
Crisswell, officiating. As to his wishes, cremation will take place following the service. His remains will be buried with his loving wife Bonnie forever. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.
     The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.

 
Jack Vint d 6-22-2008Jack E. Vint, age 80, passed away Sunday, June 22, 2008. Jack was born December 5, 1927 in Hartford Township, MI, the son of the late John and Katherine (Kabel) Vint.
     He graduated from Hartford High School. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving his country during WWII. Jack was in the Dairy Business, retail grocery and retired from the State of Michigan Lottery Commission. After retirement, he worked at Aco Hardware. For many years, Jack was a professional clown by the name of "Cricket". He loved to serve others, as a member of Mt. Hope United Methodist Church and later as a member of the State Task Force, a group that is rewriting the Medicare laws. He enjoyed hiking, canoeing and being with people. Jack was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia and brother, George.
     Surviving are his wife, Nora; 3 daughters, Cheryl (Keith) Robinson, Teresa (Joe) Himden of CA and Linette (Mike) Grange of Caledonia; 7 grandchildren, Rebekah (Forrest) Wakeman, Micah Klaassen, Hannah Robinson, Michelle Himden, Christy Himden, Mark Miller and Scott Miller; 5 great grandchildren, Katherine "Katie" Wakeman, Kristen Wakeman, Daniel Wakeman and Dru Wakeman; sisters, Katherine "Kay" Newell, Dorothy (Ralph) Bourner, Barbara Buckham and Sharleen Minshall; sister-in-law, Lorna Vint.
     Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, 11:00 am, at Mt. Hope United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Palmer, Bush and Jensen Family Funeral Homes, Lansing Chapel and Wednesday from 10 am until service time at the church. Private family interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or Mt. Hope UMC in memory of Jack Vint. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.palmerbush.com.

NOTE:  Jack was a 1946 Hartford High School graduate.  His first wife was Patricia (Shoemaker) Vint was also a 1946 HHS graduate. For many years, Jack was at his food and spice booth at the Hartford Christmas Bazaar.
 
Lucille Evelyn Davis, 92, of South Haven, formerly of Hartford, passed away Wednesday, June 18, 2008, at Lucille Evelyn Davis  d 6-18-2008South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Community.
     Lucille was born May 13,1916, in
Bendon, the daughter of Lyndon and Effie (Green) Kenney, both of whom preceded her in passing. Besides her parents, Lucille was preceded in passing by a daughter, Juanita Brumitt; two brothers, Steve Kenney and Oscar Kenney; a sister, Reathel Dill; and a grandson, Jamie Brumitt.
     Lucille was a long time resident of the area for all her married adult life. She was a member of the Hartford United Methodist Church and served as a Sunday School teacher at the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Benton Harbor for many years. In her spare time, Lucille was known in the area for her many talents and crafts, including her infamous Bread Dough Ornaments and Apple Head Dolls. Most importantly, she will always be remembered as a caring wife, mother and a devoted grandmother.
     Lucille married Daniel Davis Jr. on Sept. 9, 1933. He survives, along with a son, Rod Davis (Trudy) of Stevensville; a daughter, Sue Vance of Coloma; a dear son-in-law, James
Brumitt of Lawrence; eight grandchildren — Bruce and Randy Brumitt, Dawn Welty, Duane and David Vance, Tammy Kibler, Bradley and Greg Davis; and 15 great-grandchildren.
     The family will welcome friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford . The service to honor her memory will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, June 23, at the funeral home with the Rev. Ronald Hansen serving as officiant. Burial will follow in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Shores. Memorials in Lucille’s name may be made to the Hartford United Methodist Church.

 
James Earl Denton, 71, of Hartford, passed away Tuesday June 17, 2008 at Community Hospital in Watervliet.
     A celebration of Jim's life will be held at 3:00 pm this Saturday, June 21 at Country Cove Hall in Riverside. Cremation has taken place.   Donations in memory of Jim may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or to Berrien County Cancer Service.  Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so by clicking on the "Sign the guestbook" at http://www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Jim was born July 23, 1936 in Columbia, KY to James and Lola (Bryant) Denton. He retired in 1980 after 25 years of service with Whirlpool Corporation as a System Analyst Manager. For 15 years after retirement he owned his own construction company called Peapples Construction. Jim was the treasurer for the Van Buren County Sportsman Club. He truly loved to play his guitar and sing.
     Survivors include two daughters, Kathy (Charles) Peapples of Watervliet, Cheryl (Kelvin) Hacker of Buckhannon, WV; 6 sons, Mike (Carol) Denton of Millbrook, NY, Kevin (Barb) Denton of Coloma, Matt Denton of Riverside, Jeff (Penny) Denton of Hartford, Eric (Charmin) Denton of Buckhannon, WV and Scott (Neva) Denton of Front Royal, VA; several brothers and sisters; 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
     He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Charlotte in 1987 and two sons, James Ray & David Lee Denton.

 
Marie Susann "Sue" Dowd  d 6-15-08Marie Susann “Sue” Dowd, 71, Hartford, passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice on June 15, 2008, after a long courageous bout with cancer. She was born on Aug. 14, 1936, to Clarence and Florence (Upham) Patterson. 
    
Sue, a lifelong resident of Hartford, was a graduate of Hartford High School in 1955. She was employed at the Watervliet Paper Mill and then at Dowd Orchards, working closely with family for many years before her retirement. Sue was an avid and skilled bridge player, but her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
     She is survived by her sons, Mark (Crystal) Dowd and Dan (Faith) Dowd; grandchildren – Marcus Dowd, Brad (Amy) Johnson, Josh Johnson, Kari Johnson, Lindy
Kopicki
and Dana Dowd; great-grandchildren – Braydon Johnson and Cassidi Johnson; brothers – Don (Marge) Patterson and Ralph (Darlene) Patterson; a sister,  Lois (Larry) Blyly; and many nieces and nephews.
     She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years,
Stanley Dowd; a brother, Louis Patterson; her parents, Clarence and
Florence Upham Patterson; a brother, Dale; a sister, Wanda; and a summertime brother, Charlie Hill.
     The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 20, and a service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21. Both gatherings will be at Calvin Funeral Home in downtown Hartford . After the Saturday service and interment at Maple Hill Cemetery, there will be a luncheon at the Hartford United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hartford Fire Department or Hospice at Home.

 
Billy J. Burgess, 64, of Hartford passed away Sunday, June 15, 2008, at home following a courageous battle against cancer.
     A memorial celebration will take place on Saturday, June 28, at 4 p.m. at the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club in Hartford . Cremation has already taken place.
     Billy was born Oct. 21, 1943, in Benton Harbor to Kenneth and Edith Burgess. He was a Vietnam veteran, having served his country in the U.S. Army.  Billy spent many years working as an auto mechanic and some time tinkering with small engine repair. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening and watching NASCAR races with his family and friends.  He was a proud member of the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club and VFW Post 1137.
     Survivors include one son, Tim (Alicia) Burgess of Benton Harbor; two daughters, Joyce (Ken) Lindermann of Watervliet and Debbie Burgess of Adamsville, Tenn., his father, Kenneth Burgess of Benton Harbor; one sister, Betty (Calvin) Sayre of Watervliet; one brother, Kenny (Susie) Burgess of Quincy, Fla.; and several grandchildren.
     He was preceded in death by his mother, Edith Burgess; and his special friend, Shirley Boyer.
Memorials may be made to Borgess Visiting Nurse and Hospice, 348 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, Mich. 49007 or to the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club, 54630 County Road 687, Hartford , Mich. 49057.
     The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.

 
Mary E. Gerber, 84, of Silo Circle, Storrs Mansfield CT, beloved wife of the late Ralph E. Gerber, passed away on Mary Lammon Gerber d 6-12-2008Thursday, (June 12, 2008) at Haven Health Center, Rocky Hill.
     She was born in Hartford, MI., daughter of the late Floyd and Zora (Luce) Lammon. She moved to Vernon in 1946, then to Sarasota in 1971, and returned to Connecticut in 2005. Mary was a U.S. Navy Veteran of World War II where she was an IBM Operator. She was also a seamstress for many years.
     Mary is survived by her five children, Diana LaFrance and her husband, Donald of Bonaire, GA, Barbara Haloburdo and her husband, Arthur of Coventry, David Gerber and his wife, Debbie of Willington, Bryan Gerber and his companion, Loretta, and Barry Gerber, all of Sarasota, FL.; seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; a sister, Alice Ansteth of Hartford, MI; and several nieces and nephews.
     A graveside service and burial will be held at a later date at Ellington Center Cemetery, Ellington. Introvigne Funeral Home, Inc., 51 East Main St., Stafford Springs has care of the arrangements. For online condolences, please visit: www.introvignefuneralhome.com

NOTE:  Mary was a 1941 Hartford High School graduate.
 
Mary L. Garland, 69, of Clermont, Fla., formerly of Hartford, passed away Tuesday, June 3, 2008, at Colonial Lakes Health Center, Winter Park, Fla.
     Mary was born March 13, 1939, to Riley J. and
Marvil L. (Ruple) Utter and was the middle child of nine. Mary graduated from Lawrence High School in 1957. She worked for many years at Crown Inc. of St. Joseph and after relocating to Florida, she worked in real estate and spent time working for Orange County until her retirement. Mary married Walter Jaskola Sr. and had a son, Walter J. “Buddy” Jaskola Jr., who was born in 1958. Mary enjoyed television, gourmet cooking and watching any cooking program on television.
     Mary is survived by two sisters, Patricia A. Stilwell of Dowagiac and Jean (Robert)
Hafer of Manistee; three brothers, John (Mary)
Utter of Lawrence, Max E. Utter Sr. of Fort Shaw, Mont., and R. Michael (Gerri) Utter of Kalkaska; many nieces and nephews, two aunts, an uncle and special friends, Jack and Gail Hadley of Sarasota, Fla. Mary was preceded in passing by her parents; her son, Walter J. Jaskola Jr.; a sister and brother-in-law, Alice and Jim Long; brother and sister-in-law, Leslie J. and Barbara Utter; brother, Clarence E. Utter; and a brother-in-law, Leo J. Stilwell.
     Cremation took place in Florida. The family will greet friends from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the memorial service to honor her memory will take place at 1 p.m. Mary will be laid to rest at North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma.
     In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorials in Mary’s name be made to the American Cancer Society, Hospice of Van Buren County or donor’s choice.

 
William Donald “Don” Garrison, 91, of Hartford passed away at his home on Tuesday, June 3, 2008.
     Funeral services to honor his memory will be held at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, on Saturday, June 7, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Duane Jones of Hospice at Home officiating. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the funeral home. Don will be laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Sodus Township, where military rites will be conducted by VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803 and American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary.
Memorials in Don’s name may be made to Hospice at Home.
     Don was born Nov. 8, 1916, in Sodus Township. He was the son of Ora and Mittia (Neer) Garrison. Don served his country during World War II as a member of the 126th Infantry, 32nd Division of the United States Army. He was a lifetime member of the DAV of Benton Harbor and retired from Southern Michigan Cold Storage in 1981.
     Don is survived by his wife, Jennie (Garlanger) Garrison; two stepdaughters, Ila Snodgrass and Lorraine Hass; two stepsons, Eugene and William Akright: 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.  Don was preceded in death by his wife, Eithel (Akright) Garrison; his parents; and a niece, Joan Lee (Garrison) Tackett.

 
Irene M. McLean-McNees, 102, of South Haven died Saturday, May 31 at Marshall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Marshall, Michigan. She was born September 19, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois to Eva (Lemieux) and Charles Stiff. Irene married John R. McLean.
     After the death of her first husband, Irene then married Terry McNees. Irene was a member of St. Basil Catholic Church. She wintered in Florida near the ocean and stayed summers at her cottage on Van Auken Lake.
     Irene loved to entertain family and friends. She is preceded in death along with her parents by her first husband – John R. McLean and her second husband – Terry McNees. Two brothers – Lawrence Stiff [original obituary incorrectly printed as "Harold"] and Rev. Harold Stiff. Three sisters – Helen Van, Priscilla Cady and Ruth Jacobazzi. One nephew – John Sloane also precedes her. Irene was a very special aunt to all the nephews and nieces who survive her – Marilyn Seelander, Rod Sloane, Tonda Fistell, Jean Larson, Dorothy Barre, Margie Forney, Lois and Judy Van, Larry Stiff, John Stiff, Judy Ann Lesniak, Theresa Rosenberger, Tony Jacobazzi, Mary Mack, Fred, Danny and Pat Jacobazzi, Dianne McCoy, Karen O’Toole and Charles Cady.
     Visitation will be Wednesday, June 4 from 11 – 1 at the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home. Funeral services will begin Wednesday at 1:00 P.M. at St. Basil Catholic Church with Rev. Father Robert Flickinger officiating. Burial will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Michigan. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Basil Catholic Church. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s online guest book at www.FilbrandtFFH.com. The family is being helped by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven 637-0333.

NOTE:  Irene moved to McDonald, MI in 1917 and attended Hartford High School.  She left the area for many years to return to McDonald in the late 50's or early 60's.  Eventually she moved to her home on Van Auken Lake until she was in her 80's.  She then moved to South Haven so she could walk to church and the stores.  She was a wonderful lady and loved Hartford and the surrounding areas. 

 
Storie Marie Smith  d 5-31-2008Storie Marie Smith, 28, of Hartford passed away suddenly Saturday, May 31, 2008, at her home.
    Storie was born May 4, 1980, in St. Joseph, the daughter of Bruce Little and Brenda Smith. Storie spent much of her time with her family and friends and playing with the pets. In her spare time, she loved crafting and tending to her garden.
    As to the family’s wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. In
lieu of flowers, memorials in Storie’s name may be made to the family.
     Besides her parents, Storie is survived by four brothers, Bruce Little Jr. of Coloma, Kevin Little and Mark Little, both of Benton Harbor, and Michael Smith of Hartford ; and a stepbrother, David (Laura) Deckert of Stevensville. She is also survived by her grandmother, Betty Jo Smith of Coloma; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and other family members; and her best friend, Brandy Myatt of Covert.
     Storie was preceded in passing by two grandfathers, John W. Smith and Hearl E. Little; and a grandmother, Betty F. Little.

 
Zephan Bjorkman - age 5 months.
May 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM EDT
Zephan Bjorkman  d 5-29-2008   
I write this message with tear filled eyes and a heavy heart. Our little boy is now healthy and happy in heaven. He passed away yesterday afternoon around 1:00 after complications taking him off the ventilator. Zephan did great during the heart cath and we were just waiting for him to wake up when we heard code 333 3rd floor pediatric heart center. Due to our long stay in the hospital we knew code 333 meant someone was dying. They quickly took us to a back room and told us they were doing everything they could, but his heart had stopped. Within the hour they came in and told us that they were sorry but Zephan was dead.
     Zephan's visitation will be Sunday from 4-6p.m. at Adams funeral home in Paw Paw. The funeral will be Monday at Lighthouse Community Church, 4321 South 11th Street, in Kalamazoo at 11:00a.m. Zephan will be buried at Chapel Hill cemetery (28th and Patterson) at 2:30p.m. on Monday.
     Zephan touched many, many lives. It was because of your prayers that we were able to spend almost five wonderful months with our son. We will cherish each and every second. He has promised us that where two or three are gathered He will be there. You all pulled together and God responded with the time we had. Praise The Lord.
     Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to pray for our family as we continue to grieve for our son and brother.

In Him,
Sara, Max, Rylie and Kendy
 
Edward Herbert Klett, 91, of Lake Mary, FL, formerly of Keeler, passed away on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 after a short stay in the Memory Center of the Heritage at Lake Forest in Sanford, FL, where he had struggled with Alzheimer's for nearly 10 years.
     He was born January 17, 1917 at home in Keeler, the middle son of Otis and Lucy Klett. He had an older brother, Carl, who passed away in 1975 and a younger brother, Dale, who passed away in 1962. He is survived by a sister, Joyce Madarik, who lives in Apache Junction, AZ.
     Ed's life revolved around work and competition. After surviving Malaria, caught at age 14 at the World's Fair in Chicago and spending a year at home recuperating, he went back to high school in Dowagiac, where he played football and ran on the track team. He won a State Championship in the 440 Dash and the 440 relay his senior year. After high school, he farmed with his father and brothers. His competitive spirit thriving, he fought in the Golden Gloves and won a state championship. He and his father kept a workhorse team and he began competing in local county fairs in horse-pulling. For three straight years in a row, from 1940 to 1942, he won the State Championship with this team.
     Time to settle down, he married Nancy Ellen Grove in 1943 and had two children, Katherine and Charles. Farming life was to change around 1953 when Otis and sons went full bore into Klett Construction Asphalt Paving Company. Ed served as the voting representative to the Michigan Asphalt Paving Association, Michigan Road Builders and the National Asphalt Paving Association, from 1959 to 1984. Ed worked hard to build this company, until he retired in 1984. He moved to Chino Valley, AZ, where he started his third career by building a museum called Ed's OK Corral, which housed some 30 horse-drawn wagons and cannons, many from the Civil War, plus copious other antiques from the early Twentieth Century.
     When his health began failing in 2006, he moved to Florida to be near his daughter. He found a special relationship in his assisted living facility with a wonderful woman from Rochester, N.Y., Virginia Colgen. She has three children, Cate Colgen, Michael Colgen and his wife, Diane and Mary Dietz, who all adopted Ed as their own. He is survived by his Catholic blessed wife, Virginia Colgen of Sanford, FL; daughter, Kathie Gamble and her husband, Gary of Lake Mary, FL and Superior, MT; son, Chuck Klett and his wife, Karen of Paw Paw. He has six grandchildren, Paul Bobik and his wife, Michelle of St. Augustine, FL, Jennifer Staten and her husband, Andy of Dowagiac, Ryan Gamble and his wife, Bonnie of Campton, N.H., Colin Klett and his wife, Jill of Decatur, Phillip Gamble and his wife, Cari of Hickory, N.C. and Carly Klett of Mishawaka, IN and 17 great-grandchildren, who would all like to thank him for a life well lived.
     A service to honor his memory will take place at 11 AM Friday, June 6, 2008 at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford with Pastor Bill Amundsen, officiating. Burial will follow in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to the Keeler United Methodist Church.
     Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette on 6/4/2008.
 
Cora Alice (Nichols) Janke, of Tarpon Springs FL, passed away on May 22, 2008 at the age of 94.  She was born in Cora Alice (Reber Nichols) Janke  d  5-22-2008Toledo Ohio on March 13, 1914.  
     Cora's birth name was Reber, but she lived with her mom, Josphine (Swank Reber) Nichols and step-father, Herbert Nichols, all of her childhood.  She lived in Chicago for a few years and helped out in their ice cream shop, named
Cora's. In her teens, they moved to a farm in Hartford MI where she graduated in 1933 from Hartford High School
     Cora served in the Wac's for 2 years and was stationed in Texas where she was an assistant nurse at a hospital.  She also worked at Michigan Bell Telephone in Benton Harbor for 25 yrs. 
     She is survived by two daughters, Cherie Teague and Jayme Zolman and several  grandchildren.  Her brother, George preceded her in death in the 80's. 
     She is buried in Tarpon Springs where she lived for 30 years.
 
Shirley A. MacGowan (Mac), 88, of Hartford, died May 17 at Whitcomb Towers in St. Joseph.
Shirley A. MacGowan  d 5-17-2008     Shirley was born June 23, 1919, in Hartford Township. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Carmen, in August 2007.
     He was also preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Lucille (
Hupp) MacGowan, and sister, Esther Rodewald.
     Shirley grew up on his family’s farm on County Line Road. After graduating from Watervliet High School, he continued to work on the farm, in addition to working for a time at the C&O Railroad Company.  He was also an active member of the Hartford Federated Church, where he served as a deacon and the treasurer over the years.
     “Mac” married Carmen in October of 1942. After his marriage, he earned his certification in accounting and began pursuing a career in this field. In addition to his many individual clients, he also worked for Harold Walker, Bridges’ Garage, and Bangor Cooler.
     Shirley is survived by his son,
Steven (Angelika) MacGowan of Sodus; a daughter, Jan (Stan) Langston of Waterford; three grandchildren, Chelsea, Sean and Hanna; and a brother-in-law, Ewald Rodewald of Watervliet.
     The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.
The service to honor his memory will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, at the Calvin Funeral Home. Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Federated Church General Fund.

 

Harlan Victor Gifford, 91, formerly of Hartford, died May 16 at White Oaks Assisted Living in Lawton. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, 621-4101.

Note:  Harlan was a 1935 graduate of Hartford High School.
 

Rev. Sherman Kenneth McClain Sr., Hartford, went to be with the Lord on May 11, 2008, at 4 a.m. He passed Rev. Sherman K. McClain Sr.  d 5-11-2008 - Hartford Michiganaway at the Orchard Grove Nursing Home in Benton Harbor.
     Rev. Sherman McClain Sr. served as a pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church in Covert for 42 years. He retired in April of 2005.
     He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille McClain; his son, Jimmy McClain; his grandson, Ethan Frazier; father, Johnny McClain; mother, Lula McClain; sisters,
Hawthron McKenzie, Manajure McDowell, Pauline McClain and Martha Payne.
     He is survived
by his children — sons, Sherman McClain Jr. of Bronx, N.Y., and Bob McClain Sr. of Benton Harbor; daughter, Eunice Orr of Lawrence; sisters, Mary Clifton, Lucille McClain and Ella Mae McClain, all of Mississippi; brother, Davis McClain of Chicago; and a host of grandkids; great-grandkids; and great-great-grandkids.
     Funeral services will be Saturday, May 17, 2008, at First Missionary Baptist Church, 141 W. M-140 Highway, Covert, at 11 a.m. Wake will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be in Hill Cemetery, Lawrence. Final arrangements entrusted to Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, Benton Harbor.

 
John Obermesik  d 5-9-2008John Obermesik, age 70, of Hartford MI, passed away of an apparent heart attack on Friday, May 9, 2008, at his home.  Arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Surviving are his wife, Donna (Wismer) Obermesik; daughters Patti (Dan) McKean, Linda (Robert) Kling, and sons; John Obermesik and David Obermesik.

 John was a 1956 Hartford High School graduate. 

 

John T. Sloane  - Age 64, of Holland, Mich., formerly of Hartford and South Haven, died Sunday, May 4, at home.
     He was born Sept. 14, 1943, in Chicago, to Charles C. and Ruth Marie (Stiff) Sloane. John graduated from Bangor High School in 1961. John worked as a book, insurance, and meat salesman.
     He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Sharon (McKenzie) Sloane of Holland; two stepsons, Rueben
Bruton and Geoffrey McKenzie, both of Holland; stepdaughter, LaShond Bruton of Atlanta;

three grandchildren; two brothers, Rodney Sloane of Hartford and Tony
Jacobozzi of Downers Grove, Ill.; three sisters, Tonda Fistel of Los Angeles, Calif., Theresa Rosenberger of Wisconsin, and Mary (Jeff) Mack of Downers Grove, Ill.
     Funeral services will be Friday, May 9, at 12 p.m. at the
Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, South Haven, with Pastor Nathaniel Sanders officiating.  Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.  Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s online guest book at www.FilbrandtFFH.com.

 
Pete Roper, 73, of Satellite Beach, Fla., formerly of Hartford, passed away on May 3, 2008, after a long fight with cancer.
     Cremation has taken place.  Graveside services with military honors will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 10.
     Pete is survived by his wife, Janice; his children — Pamela Genovese of Paw Paw, Scott Roper and David (Marcia) Roper of Hartford; stepdaughters — Carri Rhinehart
and Irene Bennett; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
     Pete was preceded in death by a daughter, Theresa Roper; his wife of 30 years, Wilma (Janet) Rhinehart Roper, in 2000; his parents; all his brothers and a sister.
     Pete was retired from the Watervliet Paper Company. He served in U.S. Army, was past Commander and a member of the American Legion in Hartford. He graduated from Western Michigan University.
     Pete was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather.

 
Rush (Rush) Malling  d 5-2-2008Ruth (Rush) Malling, age 61, of Stoughton WI, passed away on Friday, May 2, 2008, at home.  She was born on July 26, 1946 in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of Donald and Alice (Siebert) Rush.
     Ruth grew up in Hartford, Mich., where she was a 1964 graduate and homecoming queen of Hartford High School.  Ruth married Vik C. Malling, on March 31, 1969, at Medina Air Base in Texas. Ruth was a devoted military wife who persevered through many moves, wars, and deployments. Despite not being able to put down roots, she made every house a home. Recognizing the need after Desert Storm, she helped implement a Family Services program for other Air Force spouses to prepare them for long deployments. Ruth’s nurturing ways extended to her love of gardening, her career choices and of course her family. She enjoyed spoiling her three granddaughter’s as well as traveling around the world with her husband, and seeing the country by RV.  Ruth also enjoyed NASCAR racing and was affectionately known by their friends of the Good Sam’s RV club as “NASCAR Nana”.
     Ruth is survived by her husband, Vik; three children, Jennifer (Steve) Moan, Kristi Malling and Kevin Malling; three granddaughters, Ashley McVicker, Madison Malling and Kendall Moan, all of the Madison area; and sisters, Jean (Harold) Walker of Hartford, Mich., June (Dick) Walker of South Bend, Ind., and Denise (Richard) Fuller of Hartford, Mich.  She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Karen Rush and Donna Hoover.
      Funeral Services will be held at UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 425 E. Main St., Hartford, Mich., 49057, at 11 a.m., on May 17, 2008, with the Pastor Tom Flaherty presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in Ruth’s name to the non-profit organization, AFSA (American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association) online at www.afsafund.org or mailed to: AFSA, P.O. Box 32698, Tucson, AZ, 85751.
 
Bulear Joyce Clayton, 77, of Hartford passed away Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at her home.
     Joyce, as she was known to all who knew her, was born June 22, 1930, in Hayti, Mo., the daughter of Rothart and Bernice (Stevens) O’neill, both of whom preceded her in passing.
She was also preceded by her husband, David E. Clayton on Nov. 6, 1995; two sons, Earnest and Ronnie Clayton; two daughters, Charlotte Clayton and Joyce Marie Gant; three brothers, Harvey, Melvin and Archie; and two sisters, Ruby Faye and Martha.
     Joyce loved looking for and buying antiques, as the family used to tell her she was antiquing. She also enjoyed baking, sewing and attending yard sales in the area. But her most important times were spent with her family. She was an awesome mother and grandmother.

     Joyce is survived by six daughters, Cathy (Larry) Burgess of Mountain Home, Ark., Gail (Kenny) Confer and Pat Miracle, both of Dowagiac, Pam (Joe) Swift of Keeler, Mary Miller of Dowagiac and Cherry Clayton of Bangor; four sons, Roger (Karen) Clayton of Mountain Home, Ark., Steve Clayton of Dowagiac, Robert (Denise) Clayton of Niles and Bobby Clayton of Dowagiac.

     She is also survived by 20 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; five great-greatgrandchildren;
and 16 brothers and sisters, Ida Mae, Dorothy, Agnes, Elvis, Henry, Sheila, Quana, Calvin, Erline, Regina, Doris, Ivan, Peggy, Raymond, Shay and Skeet.
     As to Joyce’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service to honor her memory will take place at a later date.
The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
 

Donna Jean Bailey Pullins, 82, of St. Joseph, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully Donna Jean Bailey Pullins d 4-7-08Monday evening April 7, 2008 at the Willows in St. Joseph.
     Donna was born December 14, 1925 in Hartford, MI, the daughter of Neva (Garrett) and George Bailey. She graduated from Hartford High School in 1943. On May 12, 1945 she married the love of her life, Philip H. Pullins in Benton Harbor, MI.
     Donna was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She is cherished by friends and family and known to all who knew her as a wise, thoughtful, caring and love filled woman. She was considered to be a second mother by many. Donna was an avid storyteller and would captivate her grandchildren and others with stories of her life as a young girl during the depression era. Throughout many health and life challenges, Donna always maintained her strong inspirational faith and positive outlook.
     Left to mourn her loss are her devoted husband of 63 years, Philip; sons Phil G. (Randy) Pullins of Morley, MI; Randy (Barbara) of Jackson, TN; Chris (Cornelia) of Hendersonville, TN; and daughter Debra (Jon) Hermann of Benton Harbor, MI. Donna will be dearly missed by her grandchildren Ronda Pullins, Morley, MI; Benjamin Pullins of Jackson, TN; Mary Pullins of Hendersonville, TN and Bailey and Eric Hermann of Benton Harbor, MI.
     In keeping with Donna’s wishes, she has been cremated. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph, MI at 11:00 AM Friday April 11, 2008, followed by fellowship and visitation to celebrate her life at the Rose Center. Memorials may be made in Donna’s memory to Lake Michigan Catholic Schools. Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
 

Kimberly J. Manspeaker, age 47, of Bangor passed away Monday, March 24, 2008, at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community, South Haven.
     Memorial Mass will take place 10 a.m. Monday, April 7, at Sacred Heart Church, Bangor, with Fr. John Peter celebrant. Burial of cremains will follow in Arlington Hill Cemetery. The family suggests memorials to the Association of Retarded Citizens. Arrangements by Bangor Chapel, D.L. Miller Funeral Home.
     Kimberly was born May 10, 1960, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Russell and Betty Jean (Nothdruft) Manspeaker, and had lived the
majority of her life in the Bangor area. She had attended MTI for 20 years, worked at Harding’s in Hartford for many years and also worked for the Hartford Public Schools day care. She loved, dogs, listening to her CD player, bowling and swimming and had a special place in her heart for her family and friends. In her 40s she received her Certificate of Completion from Hartford Adult Education.
     Surviving are her sister, Sidona (Gary) Hunsberger of Fennville; a niece, Hilary; a nephew, Justin; one aunt, Jane (Virgil) Hiler-Schmaltz of Coloma; guardian, Dianna Bess; close friend, Gayla Bess; and many other friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her grandmother, Peggy Manspeaker.

 
James B. Robbins, age 77, of Hartford died March 31, 2008.
     James was born Jan. 28, 1931, in Holland, Mo., the son of Vardaman and Mattie (Padgett) Robbins. He married Helen Peek on March 8, 1953, in Pigget, Ark., and she survives.
     A celebration of James’ life will be held on Friday, April 4, at 11 a.m. at South Haven Church of Christ. Visitation will be on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Services, Benton Harbor. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Shores. Memorials in James’ name may be directed to the South Haven Church of Christ.

     Mr. Robbins retired from Allied Signal in 1986 after 32 years of service. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving in the Korean Conflict.
He was a recipient of the Purple Heart. James was a member of the Benton Harbor VFW, and his favorite pastime was fishing.
     Besides his wife Helen, James is survived by his children, James H. Robbins of Lawrence, Lisa (Robert) Bain of Freeland, Mich., and Michelle (Jay Hill) Williams of Gaylord, Mich.; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

     He was preceded in death
by his parents, his brother, Joe H. Robbins, and two grandchildren.
 

Venessa Garcia d 3-28-08Venessa Ann Garcia, 21, of Hartford passed away Friday, March 28, 2008, in Cooper Township as the result of an automobile accident.
    
Venessa was born Jan. 23, 1987, in South Haven. She was the daughter of Vicente and Diane (Mendoza) Garcia. Venessa was a 2005 graduate of Hartford High School, where she was crowned Miss Hartford in 2005. After graduation, she enrolled at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and was an employee at Burdick’s in Kalamazoo.
    
Venessa is survived by her parents, Vicente and Diane Garcia;
a brother, Bobby Mendoza; a sister, Deidra Garcia; her grandparents, Ben and Aurelia Mendoza; two nephews, Anthony and Aaron Mendoza; all of Hartford; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, other family members and countless friends.
A Memorial Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Immaculate Concep­tion Catholic Church, Hartford. Father Robert
Flickinger will be the celebrant.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in Venessa’s name may be made to the family.  The Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, has been entrusted with handling the arrangements.

Article in the Herald-Palladium 3-31-2008
By JIM DALGLEISH

HARTFORD — Venessa Garcia, who represented Hartford in 2005 Blossomtime festivities, will be sorely missed after her death Friday in a car accident, said the woman who oversaw Hartford’s entry.
Venessa was a friend to everybody,” said Cathy Morsaw, who chaired the Hartford queen committee in 2005. “She was very nice. The town is devastated. Her parents are devastated.”
     In a Sunday night phone interview, Morsaw said Garcia, 21, had been living in a Kalamazoo apart­ment with her brother. She was a student at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The Kalamazoo Gazette reported a car crashed into a tree about 3:20 a.m. along North Riverview Drive in Cooper Township, just north of Kalamazoo. The car caught fire, and the driver’s identity could not be confirmed at the scene.  However, by Friday afternoon word was spreading through Hartford about the woman’s death, Morsaw said.
     Morsaw, a cafeteria worker and special education aide at Hartford High School, said she learned about the death from Principal Kenny Kent after school Friday. “I’m glad he told me after school because I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate,” Morsaw said.
     Morsaw said Garcia always wore a smile on her face and had a great fondness for her twin nephews, Anthony and Aaron Mendoza of Hartford.
     Her parents, Vicente and Diane Garcia, live in Hartford. A memorial Mass has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford.

Frances Zemke d 3-27-2008Frances Marie Zemke, age 83, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 27, 2008, at Jordan’s Nursing Home in Bridgman. She was surrounded by her family’s love and the peace and comfort provided by Hospice at Home.
     Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. The Rev. Devon Allen will officiate. Burial will follow in Hickory Bluff Cemetery in Stevensville. Friends may call on the family Sunday between the hours of 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Those wishing to leave a message of comfort to the family may do so in the online guest book at http://
www.duffieldpastrick.com.  Memorial donations may be made to Hospice at Home.

Frances was born on April 25, 1924, in Springfield, Ohio, to Nicholas and Marie Anna (Wagner)
Gutsu. She later met Douglas Zemke and the
couple was married on Aug. 22, 1945, in Sparta, Wis. They began raising their children on the family farm in Hartford, and eventually relocated to Stevensville in 1963. Franny’s greatest joy in life was her family. She loved spending her time surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and most recently, great­grandchildren. She was also an avid fan of crossword puz­zles and enjoyed playing cards, as well as sharing time with her friends eating at lo­cal restaurants. Franny was known as someone that always had a kind word for everyone.
     Mrs.
Zemke is survived by her four children — Edward (Jeanie) Zemke of Gainsville, Ga., Charlene (Greg) Cook of Stevensville, Stanley (Pam) Zemke of Battle Creek, Mich., and Darla Pastrick of St. Joseph; sisters-in-law — Vera Gutsue of Detroit, Mich., and Dorothy Gutsue Michner of Jackson, Mich.; eight grand­children; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
     She was preceded in death by her husband, Douglas in 1996, and three brothers — Jim, John and Chris.

 

Freeman Burgess Jr. d 3-26-2008Freeman A. Burgess Jr., age 59, of Hartford Township died suddenly Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at the LTAC Center in Berrien Center.
     Freeman was born Aug. 25, 1948, in Winter Haven, Fla., the son of Freeman and Annie Mae (Matthews) Burgess Sr. He married Donna Paul on June 28, 1980, in Benton Harbor and she survives.
     A celebration of Freeman’s life will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m. at the Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Services,
Benton Harbor, with Pastor John Busch officiating. Visitation will be today from 5 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Shores, with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Freeman’s name may be directed to Donna L. Burgess.
     Freeman honorably served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970. He retired from Bosch Braking Systems in April 2004 after 37
1 2 years of service. Freeman enjoyed playing his guitars and singing for the Lord where he attended church at Pastor John Busch’s Totally Live for Christ Church in Hartford. His hobbies were roller skating when he was younger and puttering around in the garage fixing whatever needed to be fixed. He also liked riding motorcycles when he was younger and in good health.
     Besides his wife Donna, Freeman is survived by his son, Christopher A. (Sherry) Burgess; his daughter, Michelle Lou-Ann Burgess; three granddaughters, one grandson, Dylan Andrew Wilson; two brothers, James (Sally) and Roger (Kim) Burgess; one sister, Connie Harry; nine nieces
and 13 nephews.
 

Ronald “Smitty” Smith, 86, of Benton Harbor died Monday, March 24, 2008, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     Services celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. Thurs­day, March 27, at the
Fairplain Presbyterian Church, with Dr. John Munson officiating, with military rites following the service. Cremation will follow the service and burial of the ashes will be held at a later date in Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. The visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Benton Harbor. A Masonic service will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Fairplain Chapel. Memorials may be made to Hospice at Home or to the donor’s favorite charity.
    
Smitty was born on Aug. 26, 1921, in Hartford to James and Ruth (Howard) Smith. He married Dolores Logan on Oct. 5, 1940, in Watervliet, and she preceded him in death on April 7, 2006. Together they celebrated 66 years of marriage. Smitty was a motor machinist’s mate first class with the U.S. Navy during World War II and served aboard the LCI No. 24 ship. He participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign (Lunga Beach) with amphibious forces from 1943 to 1945. On returning from the war he started with the Benton Harbor Police Department and retired as detective lieutenant in 1971 after 25 years of service. Smitty then worked for Judge Chester Byrns for the next 14 years as a bailiff. He then worked for Sheriff Nick Jewell as a classification officer and finally with Sheriff Robert Kimmerly as trustee officer.
    
Smitty and his wife liked to travel and together they also refinished antiques. Smitty also liked NASCAR racing and enjoyed cooking, but his love was crossword puzzles and could be called a crossword puzzle buff. He was active in the Republican Party over the years. He was a Life Member of Lake Shore Masonic Lodge No. 298, a life member of VFW Post No. 1137 and a life member of DAV Chapter No. 17. He was a member of the Fairplain Presbyterian Church. Smitty was a dedicated, loving man with conviction and integrity and his family was number one with him.
     He is survived by his children, Ronald James (Mary Sue) Smith of Richmond, Va., and Judy (Ted)
Zindler of Benton Harbor; son-in-law, Ronald Koster of Holland; half-sister, Joan Meachum of Hartford; 10 grandchildren, Michael Pond, Eric Pond, Marcy (Tom) Simpson, Lora (Mark) Deland, David (Paula) Koster, Greg ( Cheryl) Smith, Karin (Michael) Campbell, Dorothy (Rick) Heffron, Mi­chael Zindler and Roger Zindler; 12 great-grandchil­dren; his friend and compan­ion, Thelma Axom of Eau Claire; and his adored dog, Bingo. He was also preceded in death by one daughter, Patricia Koster, in 2006; two brothers,
John D. Smith and Gene Smith.
Note:  Ronald is a 1940 Hartford High School graduate.  Click here for his military profile and photo.
 

Cleo M. Hughes - MARSHALL MI - died Sunday evening, March 16, 2008.
     Cleo was born August 6, 1912 in Hartford, Michigan, a daughter of Charles and Nettie (Rice) Lanphear. She had been a Kalamazoo area resident most of her life and was a member of Westwood Church of God for many years. 
     She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl A. Hughes on June 21, 1993; an adopted sister, Gladys Briggs and her step-mother, Edith Lanphear. She is survived by a daughter, Lois Willrich of Marshall, MI; two grandchildren, Bryan Burrma of Kalamazoo and Adele (Lee) Covington of Marshall; five great-grandchildren, Laura Bailey, Meria Abbott, and Elena, Eric, and David Burrma and two great-great-grandchildren, Makayla and Joshua Bailey.
     Services will be held 1 o'clock Thursday at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick St. Visitation will be 6-8 PM Wednesday. Private interment will be in Prospect Lake Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Marshall Wesleyan Church. 269-343-1508.
     Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette on 3/18/2008.
 
Lawrence Allen Fuller, 56, of Hartford, passed away Wednesday, March 12, 2008, at his home.
     Lawrence was born Feb. 9, 1952, in Watervliet, the son of Glenn and Jean (
Ison) Fuller, both of whom precede him in passing.
     Lawrence was formerly employed with the
Eliason Corporation, where he was a loyal employee for over 20 years. When he wasn’t working, Lawrence enjoyed roaming the outdoors, especially hunting.
     Lawrence
is survived by a daughter, Lindsey Fuller of Breedsville; a brother, Robert (Teresa) Fuller of Hartford; and a sister, Debra (Everett) Peek of Hartford. He is also survived by a niece, Jessica Vagts of Hartford, and three nephews — Billy Fuller of Coloma and Mathew and David Peek, both of Bangor.
     As to Lawrence’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no public services will be held. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
Note:  Larry was with the 1971 class of Hartford High School.
 
Frederick Charles "Rick" Simpson  d 3-12-2008Frederick Charles Simpson, 60, of Hartford, passed away March 11, 2008, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     Rick, as he was known by most, was born July 3, 1947, in Ypsilanti, Mich. He was the son of Charles and Laura (Manley) Simpson, both of whom preceded him in passing.

     Rick served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

     In his spare time, Rick enjoyed tinkering with his cars, spending time outdoors and with his son.  He formerly was employed at Heath Corporation, and most recently at Cook Nuclear Plant as a security guard, and was an amateur radio operator.
     Rick is survived by his wife, Sandy. He is also survived by a son, Chad Simpson, and a sister, Sally Daun Zukowski.

     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor his memory will be held on Saturday, March 15, at 10 a.m., also at the funeral home. Interment will be held on Monday, March 17, at 11 a.m. at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, with military rites by VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803, American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary.
     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Indian Emerald Vanguard, Hartford Police Department or Hartford Fire Department.

Note:  Rick was a 1966 graduate of Hartford High School.
 
Yolanda Mireles d3-9-2008Yolanda Mireles, 46, of Hartford was born into this world on March 28, 1961, in San Antonio, Texas. On Sunday, March 9, 2008, Yolanda went home to join our heavenly Father.
     Yolanda will be remembered most by how much she loved her family. She was a devoted mother to her two sons and the firstborn child to her mother and father. She had many interests, including playing bingo and spoiling her nieces and nephews every chance she could.

     Yolanda worked for the Migrant Head Start Program in Sodus, where she was able to influence the lives of many children.
  Yolanda always gave of herself and shared all of what she had with her family. Yolanda will be greatly missed by so many who had the opportunity to have her in their lives.
     Yolanda is survived by her two sons, Gabriel and Marcos Mireles; her parents, Geronimo and Oralia Mireles; two brothers, Daniel and David Mireles; three sisters, Rachel Contreras, Elida Segura and Christina Mireles; and several nieces and nephews, all from Hartford.

     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today, March 12, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where a rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m.
The Mass of Christian burial to honor her memory will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 13, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hartford. Father Robert Flickinger and Father Arthur Howard will serve as celebrants. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
Note:  Yolanda was a 1980 Hartford High School graduate.
 
Wilmer H. Fricke, 86, of Dowagiac, passed away Thursday, March 13, 2008, at Forest Glen Assisted Living in Wilmer Fricke  d 3-13-2008Dowagiac.
     Wilmer was born on July 31, 1921, to the late Wilmer F. and Gladys (Price) Fricke on the family farm in Keeler. On Feb. 14, 1945, he married Marjorie Ann Jackson, who preceded him in death on June 27, 2001.
     Mr. Fricke is survived by a son, Alan (life partner, Joseph
Vitanza) of Dowagiac; a daughter, Barbara A. (Donald) Flink of Vail, Ariz.; a sister, Joyce Kehoe of Niles; nine grandchildren — Amy (Fricke) Friend, Heather (Fricke) and James Collins, Allison (Fricke) and Greg Verdusco, Stacy Fricke, Elizabeth (Fricke) Cota, Jason Fricke (life partner, Mike Fisk), Jessica (Flink) and Gami Guerrero, Justin Flink (life partner, Jeff Pierce) and Samantha (Flink) and Brian Hughes; and eight great-grandchildren.
     Mr. Fricke was a 1940 graduate of Dowagiac High School. He attended the Cass County Normal at Oak Street School in Dowagiac and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Western Michigan University. His teaching career started at
Hinchman School, a one room school on Middle Crossing Road, Dowagiac. He also taught and was elementary principal in Eau Claire. In 1964 he moved his family to Arizona where he taught in the Scottsdale school district until his retirement in 1983. During his years in Arizona he always returned to his home on Magician Lake, where until 1978 he taught drivers training for the Dowagiac schools.
     A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Dowagiac, where he was a member since 1951. Final internment of the
cremains will be at the family plot, Zion Church Cemetery on Black Lake Road. Contributions in Wilmer Fricke’s memory can be donated to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 306 Courtland Street, Dowagiac, MI 49047, or Hospice of SW Michigan, 222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 100, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. McLauchlin-Clark Funeral Home is serving the family. Please sign his guest book and leave a memory of Wilmer at www.mclauchlinclark.com.

 
Melvin L. Anders, 65, of Hartford was taken home by the Lord from Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo on March 9, 2008.
     He was born Sept. 9, 1942, in Decatur, Ala., to Nora Burns Anders and William Anders. His earthly life truly began on March 7, 1964, when he married Lois Ann Brinsfield in Keeler. Out of this union, he received many blessings, especially his children, Jim and Pam Anders. The greatest joys in his life were his grandchildren, Kayleigh Anders, Marco Anders Hernandez and Matthew Anders Hernandez.

     Anyone who knew Mel knew how much he loved old Westerns, coaching summer softball and bowling. He would always say, “What do you want to bet this next one will be a strike?” and every game was going to be his 300. He enjoyed stock car racing also. Melvin had a great work ethic. He did farm work, was a mechanic and worked in a factory. He was employed by the Coca-Cola Co. for the last 21 years. It was hard work, but he loved his job.

     He leaves behind his brothers and sisters, Faye (Tony) Summerhill of Holland, Charlie Anders of Indiana, Billy (Sharon) Anders of Crestview, Fla., Theresa (Melvin) Whittker of Hartford, Eddie Anders of Paw Paw, James (Michelle) Anders of Holland and Nick Anders of South Haven. Mel also had a special relationship with his in-laws, Dale Brinsfield and Mike (Sue) Downey, both of Hartford. There are
numerous nieces, nephews and cousins who will miss him tremendously. He was a friend of all.
     He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Roy and Marion Brinsfield; and a grandson, John Anders Hernandez. His brothers-in-law, Bob Brinsfield and Ken Brinsfield, also passed on before Melvin.

     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor his memory will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Keeler General Baptist Church with Pastor Bill Martin serving as the officiant. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.

     In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Melvin’s name may be made to the American Heart Association or the Hospital Hospitality House of South West Michigan in Kalamazoo.

    To his very last day, Melvin was a firm believer that your past is behind you and your future is what you make it.

 

Betty Jo Waterkamp d 3-9-2008EDWARDSBURG - Betty Jo Waterkamp, 75, a homemaker and member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Edwardsburg, passed to her rest on Sunday, March 9th, after a lengthy illness in her home where she had lived for 28 years.
    She was born in Clinton, Iowa, on Feb. 9, 1933, where she attended school at Mount St. Clair until her enlistment in the U.S. Army (WAC) during the Korean War. While in the Army, Betty Jo Hendricksen served as a dental technician at the Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, TX. She was subsequently assigned to the 4th Army Headquarters where she met her husband, Gary Waterkamp, who was also serving the Army. They were married Sept. 16, 1952, in San Antonio, TX. Betty relocated to Kalamazoo, MI, where her husband attended Western Michigan University. Upon her husband's graduation, his educational career took them to stops in Hopkins, MI, Plainwell, MI, and Hartford, MI, and finally to Edwardsburg were Gary served as the superintendent of the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District. Betty was active in church, community and school activities, including driving a school bus for several years. After moving to Edwardsburg, Betty earned her cosmetology license at Twin City Beauty College, St. Joseph, MI. She worked at Marsha King's Beauty Shop in Edwardsburg, before opening her own business, 'Cut And Curls on Wheels.' She specialized in bringing her craft to local shut-ins in their homes.
     Betty was preceded in death by her parents, William Edward Henriksen and Hazel Irene Curl; her sisters, Rosena Melvin and Gladys Ough; and her brothers, Edward, Elmer and Joseph Henricksen, and Frank Linge. Also, a son, who passed in infancy.
     Surviving Betty are her husband of 55 years, Gary Waterkamp; and their two children, Susan Waterkamp Quinlan and husband, Michael Quinlan of Woodbridge, VA, and William Waterkamp and wife, April Waterkamp of St. Paul, MIN. There are three grandchildren, Quentin Waterkamp and Rose Waterkamp Vomastek and husband, Louis Vomastek, all of St. Paul, and Joseph Quinlan of Springfield, VA.
     Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the social room of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 24832 US-12 East, Edwardsburg. There will be a scripture service on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 13, in Our Lady of the Lake Church, with Father Joe McCormick officiating. Full military burial will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI. Friends are invited to call one hour before Mass on Thursday in the church. The family requests that, in place of flowers, memorial donations be made to Borgess Hospice, 348 Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. The Paul E. Mayhew Funeral Home, 26863 West Main, Edwardsburg, is assisting the family with these arrangements.
Published in the South Bend Tribune on 3/11/2008.
Note:  
Betty's husband, Gary Waterkamp, was Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools from 1965-1970s.
 

Nancy Klett d 3-5-2008Nancy E. Klett - KEELER.  Nancy went to her Lord and Savior on March 5, 2008, in Kalamazoo, where she was a resident at Woodside Friendship Village, with her son and daughter at her side.
     Her life began on June 16, 1925, in Dowagiac, the daughter of Robert and Vivian (
Hinkley) Grove. She was a 1943 graduate of Dowagiac High School. On March 4, 1943, she was united in marriage to Edward Klett in Keeler. She married a second time to Frank Wysocki for 14 years until he passed away in 1994.
     She was a member of the Keeler United Methodist Church for over 60 years. She gave her time to the church as the choir director for more than 30 years, youth director for five years, church treasurer for four years, numerous committees, and for many years she organized and cooked a yearly chop
suey dinner to raise money for the church. The community came out in force for her famous chop suey.  She was the secretary-treasurer of Klett Construction, where she was a force to be reckoned with until she retired in 1989. She served on the Board of Directors
of the Van Buren State Bank in Hartford and never turned down an opportunity to help someone in need, whether with food, money or her time. She loved to laugh, knit, play golf, go to local concerts and spend time with her many friends. She was a loving mother and grandmother.
     Her family includes her daughter, Kathie (Gary) Gamble of Lake Mary, Fla., and her son, Chuck (Karen)
Klett of Paw Paw; six grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; two nephews, Mark (Isabelle) Grove of Traverse City and Dan (Jan) Grove of Cincinnati.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands and a brother, Tom Grove.
     Her family will receive friends on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at
McLauchlin-Clark Funeral Home, Dowagiac, where Rev. Bill Ammenson and Rev. Mark Thompson will lead her memorial service at 11 a.m. She will be laid to rest in Keeler Cemetery. Memorial contributions in her name may be directed to the Keeler United Methodist Church or Woodside Employee Emergency/ Education Fund.  Please sign her guestbook and leave a memory of Nancy at www.mclauchlin-clark.com.
 
Elsie Rye, age 88, of Hartford died March 3, 2008.
Elsie Rye 3-3-2008     Elsie was born May 24, 1919, in Higden, Ark. She married Wesley Rye in 1939. He preceded her in death on May 8, 1977.
     A celebration of Elsie’s life will be held on Friday, March 7, 2008, at 11 a.m. at the Davidson Chapel of Florin
Funeral Services, Coloma, with Bishop Walter Ross officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Harris Cemetery, Hagar Shores.
     Mrs. Rye is survived by her daughter, Hazel Mix of Hartford; 10 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
Besides her husband, Wesley, Elsie was preceded in death by her son, Harold Rye; and one sister.
     Elsie will always be remembered for always being there for anyone who needed help.

 
Jack RoseJohn A. “Jack” Rose, 79, of Battle Creek, passed away Monday, March 3, 2008, at Battle Creek Health System.
    
He was born June 12, 1928, in Michigan City, Ind., the son of Fred and Edith (Siebenmark) Rose. Jack was a pharmacist and previously was the owner of Rose Drug Store in Hartford and was also employed at Watervliet Community Hospital and Lakeview Community Hospital in Paw Paw. He retired from the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
    Jack was an avid Chicago Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan. He also enjoyed bowling and golf. Jack was a 33rd degree Mason and a long-time member of the Hartford United Methodist Church, where he enjoyed singing in the choir and participating
in community plays.
     He married the former Peggy Haynes on June 27, 1948. She survives him. He is also survived by his children, Michael (Amy) Rose of Vassar, Mich., Pamela (Edward) Maslak of Holland, Ohio, and Jill Rose of Kalamazoo. He also leaves seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his brother, David (Kay) Rose of Dowagiac.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jon A. Rose; grandson, Christopher Maslak; and brother, Donald Rose.
     A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Hartford United Methodist Church. Arrangements
are by Royal Funeral Home, Battle Creek.
Note:  Jack was a 1946 Hartford High School graduate.
 
Ruth Danneffel d3-1-2008Ruth E. Danneffel, 94, of Keeler Township died Saturday, March 1, 2008, at Countryside Nursing Home in South Haven.
     The family will greet friends at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma on Friday, March 7, from 10 to 11 a.m. with a memorial service to honor her memory immediately following at 11 a.m. Burial of ashes will be in Keeler Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations in memory of Ruth may be made to Sister Lakes Community Church, the American Cancer Society or to the charity of donor’s choice. Those wishing to sign the online
guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick. com.
     
Ruth was born April 19, 1913, in Watervliet to Andrew and Rose (Skala) Paul, both of whom preceded her in death. She married Melvin Danneffel on June 2, 1934, and lived most of her life on the Danneffel Homestead Farm in Keeler Township, just one half mile from where she was born. Melvin also preceded her in death Jan. 19, 2005.
     She was a homemaker, farmer, grandmother, greatgrandmother, great-greatgrandmother, wife, and most of all a loving mother. Many remember her from the Danneffel Farm U-Pick Berries and in later years the Danneffel U-Cut Christmas Trees. She spent her life doing a job she truly enjoyed, farming at the side of her husband Melvin. She attended the Sister Lakes Community Church for many years while still able to drive a car.

     Ruth is survived by a sister, Lydia Modro of Lawrence; a son, Roger (Holly) Danneffel of Coloma; a daughter, Barbara Fisher of Watervliet; grandchildren, Robin (Eugene) Kaley of Watervliet, Jay Danneffel of Benton Harbor, Heidi (Phil) Joslyn of Hudsonville, Cyndi (Matt) Schaner of Watervliet, David (Mona) Lamoreaux of New Hampshire, Robert (Jamie) Fisher of Plainwell, Derrick (Monica) Fisher of Watervliet, Robert (Marcia) Kling of Rochester; 16 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

     Besides her parents and her husband, Mrs. Danneffel was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Ryno Paul; three sisters, Elsie Nothdruft, Mabel Babcock and Frieda Bisnett.

 
William Howard Vann, 73, of Hartford passed way suddenly Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, at his home.
William "Billy" Vann      “Billy,” as he was known by all who knew him, was born April 24, 1934, in Kalamazoo, the son of William “Curly” and Hyla (Sinkler) Vann, both of whom preceded him in passing.
     Billy was the current owner of Motor Machine and Parts in Hartford, where he succeeded his father
in owning the family business. But his true passion was music. For 25 years, Billy played with Rem Wall and the Green Valley Boys. For another 20 years, Billy played alongside his friend Jeff Kosobucki, forming the tandem of “Jeff and Bill.” He was honored with acceptance into the Michigan Steel Guitar Hall of Fame and Michigan’s Country Music Hall of Fame.  

Billy also served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
     Billy is survived by a daughter, Judi (Daniel) Boone of Gainesboro, Tenn.; a son, Keith (Sharon) Vann of Hartford; a grandson, Sean Vann of Hartford, and a granddaughter, Nichole Vann of Hartford. Also surviving is a special friend, Darlene Scott of Dowagiac; his former wife, Nancy Vann of Paw Paw; and numerous cousins, friends and his loyal companion at the shop, his cat, Seven Up.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Hartford Federated Church. The service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at the church. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in William’s name may be made to the Hartford Fire Department or to the donor’s choice. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.

Note:  Billy was a 1952 Hartford High School graduate.  Click here to view more on one of Hartford's famous folks.
 
Elaine Beatrice Keifer,  81, of Keeler passed away Saturday, March 1, 2008, at The Laurels of Coldwater.
Elaine (Blair) Keifer  d 3-1-2008     Elaine was born April 6, 1926, in Jackson. She was the daughter of LaVern and Beatrice (Culver) Blair, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     Elaine retired from Burnette Food Inc. of Keeler after more than 20 years of employment. She was not only a loving wife and mother but was also a friend to everyone. She would often open her home to anyone who was in need.

     E
laine is survived by her husband, J. Franklin Keifer, their children — Bernice (Fred) Krause of Coldwater, Wilma Stone of Lawton and James (Nanette) Keifer of Keeler. Elaine is also survived by grandchildren, Fred II, Carl (Rose), James F., Joseph (Tobie), Adam (Johanna), Amanda and James C. (Vanessa); seven great-grandchildren, Kawika, Marco, Ciera, Kaitlin, Joshua, Rachel and Allison; two brothers, Howard (Kate) Blair of Jackson and John Blair of Valentine, Neb.; and a sister, Agnes (Earl) Signor of Jackson.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor her memory will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, March 7, at the Keeler United Methodist Church. The Rev. Mark Thompson and Pastor Richard Grom will officiate. Following the funeral services, cremation will take place and burial will follow at a later date in Keeler Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Elaine’s name may be made to Alzheimer’s Research.

 

Nat Munro d2-25-2008Nathaniel W. "Nat" Munro, an ordinary extraordinary American, was born on December 30, 1917, and passed away quietly the morning of February 25, 2008, in Reno, Nev., at age 90. In his final years, he looked like just another old guy in a wheelchair, but he was much more.
     He is survived by a daughter, Marsha, (with husband Gary Hulsey) and three sons: Bruce; Alick (with wife Susan); and Steve (with wife Jinny). Nat's beloved wife of 57 years, Mary Ann (Shafer) Munro, predeceased him on December 11, 2004. Nat and Mary Ann also had 6 grandchildren: Lindsey and Mackenzie Munro; Graham and Haley Munro; and Cameron and Gabriel Hulsey.
     Nat was born in Calgary, Canada, of Scottish immigrant parents, Nathaniel and Isabella (McDonald) Munro. He had three brothers, Graham, Hugh, and Donald. The Munro family immigrated to Chicago in the middle 1920s. They moved to Hartford, Mich., in the 1930s, where he graduated from Hartford High School.
     Nat served in the Army's 32nd "Red Arrow" Division and the 41st Division in the Pacific Theater from April 1941 until August 1945 as a Staff Sergeant. He first fought in New Guinea at the Battle of Buna, known as "Bloody Buna", where the U.S. and Aussies, at a terrible cost, inflicted the first defeat of the war on the Japanese Imperial Army on January 23, 1943, about two weeks ahead of the better-known victory at Guadalcanal. These two victories saved Australia from invasion and the very real possibility of defeat. After several more island-hopping campaigns, he was wounded in the liberation of the Philippines in April 1945. After more than two years of combat duty, one of the longest combat tours of any American soldiers in the war, he returned to American soil on August 14, 1945, the day of the Japanese surrender. Among his decorations were the Purple Heart and four bronze battle stars. Despite his distinguished service record, Nat, like so many other WWII vets, did not speak of the war until the latter years of his life.
     After leaving the service, Nat returned to Hartford where he met Mary Ann Shafer. In 1947, they were married and headed west looking for work. They soon found a home in Henderson, Nev. They started their family in 1949, and shortly thereafter, Nat established his concrete construction company. He made a hobby of searching for old mines and ghost towns, and spent many a happy time in the desert, pursuing his favorite pastime. Nat retired in 1978, traveling the country in a motorhome with Mary Ann, and enjoying his friends, family and grandchildren. He and Mary Ann remained in Henderson until 2004, when she passed away. He then lived in Sacramento and Reno. Nat was a devout Christian, and looked forward to meeting his Lord and rejoining Mary Ann in heaven. He enjoyed attending Faith Presbyterian Church and had many friends at Merrill Gardens in Sacramento. His remains will be interred in Hartford this summer.
     Published in the
Sacramento Bee on 3/9/2008.

NOTE - Memorial update: 

     There will be a memorial and burial service at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford, MI at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 28, 2008, followed by a luncheon at the United Methodist Church at 425 E. Main Street.

NOTE:  Nat was a 1937 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Arley "Red" Juan HerronArley Juan Herron, 77, of Hartford passed away Monday, Feb. 25, 2008, at Community Hospital, Watervliet.
     “Red,” as he was known by all who knew him, was born April 15, 1930, in Franklin, Ark., the son of George and Bertha (Shelton) Herron, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded by three brothers, Clifton Herron, Clifford Herron and Glen Herron.
    Red worked for much of his adult life, first working for
Gersonde Equipment Company of Benton Harbor and then Wise International of Kalamazoo, where he retired. He also was a entrepreneur, opening up his own car dealership, Red’s Auto Sales, in Hartford. He was a member of the Keeler Fire Department, Lakeshore Lodge 298 F&AM of Benton Harbor and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 96 of St. Joseph.
    Red married
Grethel
Stafford on July 17, 1950. She survives, along with two daughters, Pat Herron and Wanda Herron, both of Keeler; a son, Dan (Mary) Herron of Somerville, Tenn.; a sister, Billie Campbell of Franklin, Ark.; a sister-in-law, Elsie (Jack) Green; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     he family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Fri­day, Feb. 29, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, where a Masonic service, conducted by Lakeshore Lodge 298 F&AM, is set to take place at 7 p.m. The service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at the church. Pastor Bill Martin will officiate.
     Burial will follow in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Red’s name be made to the church or the Keeler Fire Department.
     The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements

 
Donald Straw 2-24-2008Donald Richard Straw, 91, of Three Rivers, formerly of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008, at Heartland Health Care Center, Three Rivers.
     Donald was born Oct. 12, 1916, in Rockford, Mich., the son of Luther and Flossie (Meldrum) Straw, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Mildred, and a sister, Eleanor Johnson.  As to Donald’s wishes, private family services have been held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests
donations be made to the Heartland Health Care Center. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
     Donald is survived by two daughters, Myrna (
Harril) Liles and Donna (Harry) Flagel, both of Fairfield Bay, Ark.; a grandson, Donald Richard Flagel of Arkansas; four granddaughters, Paula (Don) Mosher of Goshen, Ind., Brenda (Dan) Guarisco of Kalamazoo, Tonya (Todd) Stone and Tina (Don) King, both of Constantine; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.

Note:
 Don was preceded in death by his second wife, Imogene (Huffman) Straw
He retired from Autos Specialties in Hartford and then worked at Kellogg Hardware for several years after his retirement.
 
John D SmithJohn Darrell Smith, 79, of Coloma died on Feb. 22, 2008, at Lake­land Hospital in St. Joseph.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Duffield and Pastrick Family Funeral Home, 6548 Paw Paw Ave., Coloma. Burial with military rites will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens. Friends are invited to visit with the family on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p. m. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.
     John was born on Sept. 27, 1928, in Kalamazoo, to James and Ruth (Howard) Smith. His mother passed away when he was 6 years old. His grandparents, John and Nora Howard, raised him on a little farm southwest of Hartford. He attended Hartford High School until his 17th birthday in 1945, when he quit school and joined the U.S. Navy. He spent four years in the South Pacific. His last ship was the USS Thomas Jefferson A.P.A. No. 30. He was a life member of the VFW Post No. 1137.
     After his discharge, John returned to Benton Harbor, where he worked for the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Twin Motor Coach, Interstate Freight and J.G. Daveson as a cookie salesman. In 1954, he began employment with the Ward Baking Company (Tip Top Bakers) as a route salesman. Kreamo Bakers bought out the agency in 1980 in Benton Harbor. John continued working until 1999 when he retired after 45 years of service at the same location as the agency manager. After retirement, he worked two part-time positions for eight years; one with News America Market as a sales rep installing and maintaining coupon machines in the Spartan stores and drugstores; the other as a ranger and starter at Lake Michigan Hills Golf Club on weekends.  In his spare time, John enjoyed partying with his friends, watching NASCAR, specifically Dale Earnhardt Sr., watching the Chicago Bears, playing pool and playing golf with his partner, Larry Mitchell.
     John is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Smith of Coloma; sons, Rodger Smith of Galveston, Texas, Jeff Christensen of Kwajalein Islands; his good friend that was thought of as a son, Rodney (Linda) Coffey of Baroda; daughters, Julie Christensen of Lawton, Mich., Lezli Hewitt of Grand Junc­tion; brother, Ronald H. Smith of Benton Harbor; sister, Joan Meachum of Hartford; neph­ew, Ronald James Smith (Mary Sue) of Richmond, Va.; niece, Judy (Ted) Zindler of Benton Harbor; 10 grandchil­dren and two great-grandchildren.
     He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Michael John Smith; brother, Gene Smith; first wife, Mary Lou Woods; and second wife, Dorothy Brown.

 
Robert Mix d 2-21-2008Robert “Bob” Mix, 90, of Benton Harbor, passed away suddenly on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     A Celebration of Life visitation and service will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Veterans will fold and present the flag toward the end of the service. A springtime burial will occur at Rush Lake in Hartford at a later date. Memorials may be made out to The American Heart Association or Silver Beach Carousel Society. Friends may send the family a condolence message or sign the guest book online at www.starks-menchinger.com.

     Bob was born on Jan. 22, 1918, in Hartford, to R.C. “John” and Sarah Mix. He was a painter with Kay Wood Products in Benton Harbor until retiring in 1980. Bob served in the U.S. Army during World War II. While serving his country, he was wounded in the leg in Italy and received a Purple Heart as well as several other medals of honor.
     Bob was an Elder in the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi tribe. Bob even fixed roller coasters at Silver Beach. He lived at Lakeview Terrace for 15 years. He was seen to frequent Dino’s, Bob Evans and Big Boy restaurants, conjuring up friendships with the wait staff. He was mild and kind toward anyone with the opportunity of knowing him.
     Bob took care of his sister, Cecelia for many years and she adored him. Bob loved watching the Cubs, reading the South Bend Tribune and working on crossword puzzles. He had a special friend of 40 years in Marilyn Bailey, whom he had met over a piece of cake. Community nurse, Rebecca Price R.N. provided compassionate care for Bob over the years.
     Bob is survived by his sister, Cecelia Tibbs of Watervliet; special family friend, Yvonne “Petey” Boehm of Benton Harbor; nephews — John and Clarence White, and Duane Tibbs; nieces — Cindy Tibbs, Marge Moody and Midge Holloman; many grand nephews and nieces; and many friends.

 
Anetta M. Williams, 85, of Hartford passed away Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 in Bridgman.
    
Anetta was born March 9, 1922, in South Bend, Ind. She was one of 12 children born to John and Margaret (Rubshaw) Dover.
     On Feb. 1, 1946, she married Perry E. Williams and for the next 38 years, she was a devoted wife for her husband, until his passing on Feb. 28, 1984. Along with her husband,
Anetta’s parents, five of her sisters and her three brothers have all passed away.
    
Anetta is survived by three
sisters, Helen Ott of Buchanan, Lorraine Robbins of Bridgman and Bertha Shaw of Sodus; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
     The family will welcome friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where at 11 a.m. the service to honor her memory will be held. Pastor Jon
Bendewald of the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Bridgman will officiate. Interment will be held at Breedsville Cemetery.
     In lieu of flowers, memori­als in
Anetta’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society.
 
Rosalba Granados, 55, Hartford, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008, at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo.
     A memorial celebration to honor her life was held Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Hartford Missionary Church. Pastor Heriberto Magallon officiated.
     Rosalba was born Aug. 4, 1952, in Reynosa, Mexico. She was the daughter of Matias and Maria (Del Carmen) De Leon. Both her
parents and a brother preceded her in passing.
    
Rosalba will be truly missed by her family which includes her husband, Arturo Granados Sr.; her children, Arturo Granados Jr., Carmen and her husband Larry Ledesma, Judy Granados, Rolando Granados, Jacob Granados and Saul Granados.   She is also survived by seven grandchildren; and a sister, Elsa and her husband, Enrique Casarres.
     Arrangements were entrusted to the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.

 
Samuel Joseph Wesaw, 77, of Hartford, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
     Sammy, as he was known to most everyone, was born Aug. 23,1930, in Toquin. He was the son of John and Julia (Alexis) Wesaw. They both precede him in passing; along with his wife, Virginia; a daughter, Sarah Wesaw; and a brother, Big John.
     Sammy was a 1950 graduate of Hartford High School.
After proudly serving his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, where he received the Purple Heart along with numerous other medals
, he returned to Hartford. He went to work for the Watervliet Paper Company and he retired from there after many years of service.
     Sammy was a beloved tribal elder of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and was a second generation tribal council member.
     Sammy was proud of his heritage and his family, which consists of: his sister, Jacqueline Genereaux of Dowagiac; his children — Debra (Pete) Yerington, Joan (Larry) Olds, all of Hartford, Tammy (James) Marion of Glasgow, Ky., Candy (Charles) Wesaw and John M. Wesaw, all of Hartford, Karen (Jeff) Burns of Shelbyville and John A. (Crystal) Day of Grand Rapids, Mich.; grandchildren — Ginny (Scott) Rice, Alexis Yerington, Jason Murphy, J.R. (Rebekah) Olds, Sam (Juanita) Olds, Steven Carlock, Kyle Carlock, Madolyn Wesaw, Sydney Burns, Samantha Burns, Adrian Day, Ashleigh Day, Johnny Day and Sara Day; seven great-grandchildren; a special friend, Susan; and let’s not forget his beloved cats, Max and Junior.
     The family will welcome friends from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. today at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford, where a rosary will be said at 8:30 p.m. by Deacon Arthur Morsaw. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11, at the church. Father Arthur Howard will be the celebrant. Interment will follow in Rush Lake Indian Cemetery in Hartford Township, where military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 362 of Coloma, VFW Post 1137 of Benton Harbor and VFW Post 6803 of Watervliet and the Auxiliary.  The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with handling the arrangements.
Note:  Click here to view Sam's military profile on the History of Hartford website.

 
Eleanor Henrietta Ozanich, 87 of Hartford passed away Monday, Feb. 4, 2008, at Upjohn Community Care Center, Kalamazoo.
     Eleanor was born Aug. 11, 1920, in Hartford, the daughter of Omer and Dora (
McMarlin) Baird, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in death by her first husband, George H. Collins, her second husband, Andrew Ozanich, and a brother, Walter “Bud” Baird.
     Eleanor was a member of the Hartford Federated Church, the Hartford Federated Church Women’s Council, the Hartford Garden Club and the Red Hats Society. She enjoyed gardening, sewing and most importantly, the cherished time she spent with family and friends.
     The family will welcome friends from 3
to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Hartford Federated Church. The service to honor her memory will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at the church. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
     Eleanor is survived by three sons, Dale Collins of
LeRoy, Mich., Tom Collins and Ward (Eunice) Collins, both of Hartford; a daughter, Sarita Collins of Battle Creek; three grandchildren, Kimberly Mathewson, Tammy Graham and Mahlon Collins; and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a stepdaughter, Linda Madden; two stepsons, Andrew (Bonnie) Ozanich and Richard (Pamela) Ozanich; 12 step-grandchildren and several step-greatgrandchildren.
 
Douglas Wayne Hendricks, 65, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo. He was born Aug. 29, 1942, in Constantine, Mich., to Delvin and Wilma Hendricks.
     Survivors include his mother, Wilma Hendricks of White Pigeon; his wife of 45 years, Geraldine (Gerri); his son, Ted (Cheri) Hendricks of Bridgman; his daughter, Julie (Perry) Gipson of Union City; his brother, David (Susie) of Manistee; his grandchildren, Todd Hendricks, Natalie Hendricks, Matthew Hendricks, Jasmin Gipson, Tyler Gipson and Baby Gipson due March 31, 2008.
Doug was a graduate of White Pigeon High School in 1960, Western Michigan University and St. Francis College. He taught English and Speech. He loved coaching boys and girls basketball, and girls softball at the varsity level. He coached at Lakeland High School in LaGrange, Ind., Bridgman High School, Hartford High School, Colon High School and assisted at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville. He taught at
Lakeland High School in LaGrange, Ind.; Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Ill.; Bridgman High School, retiring in 1997, after 33 years. After retirement, he taught part time at Glen Oaks Community College, Centreville, Mich., and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
     His interests included being a passionate Boston Red Sox fanatic, political debate and golf. He loved spending his time in the sunshine on Klinger Lake, and traveling to watch his grandchildren play sports.
     Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at White Pigeon United Methodist Church. Friends may call from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the church. There will also be a visitation on Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., and again from 6 to 8 p.m. at Farrand Funeral Home, White Pigeon.
     Contributions in memory of Doug may be made to the Jimmy V Fund. The donations can be sent to St. Joseph High School, Attn: Jimmy V Fund, 2521 Stadium Drive, St. Joseph, Mich. 49085. Envelopes are also available at the funeral home.

 
Garland Blankenship, 85 of Hartford, formerly of Benton Harbor, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008, at South Haven Community Hospital.
     Garland was born on Dec. 24, 1922, in Portland, Tenn. He was the son of James and Florence (Brown) Blankenship, both of whom preceded him in passing. Garland was also preceded in passing by his wife, Dorothy, on Jan. 8, 1990; a brother, James Blankenship; two sisters, Nellie and Allie May Beal.
     Garland retired from New Products of Benton Harbor
in 1984.
Garland is survived by his son, Ricky Blankenship, and a grandson, Jeffrey Blankenship, both of Shelbyville, Ind.; a sister, Lucille
Quertermous of Fort Smith, Ark.; two brothers, Robert Blankenship of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Marvin Blankenship of Hot Springs, Ark.
     As to Garland’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no public services held. His ashes will be interred in North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
 

Atel WilliamsAthel Williams, 94, of Hartford, formerly of Hackleburg, Ala., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.  Athel was born July 8, 1913, in Hackleburg. He was the son of George and Mollie (Cochran) Williams, both of whom preceded him in passing.
     Athel was united in marriage with Lelar Skidmore on Jan. 5, 1946. Lelar passed away on Oct. 16, 1988. Athel enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.  He was an Army veteran of World War II, during which time he became a prisoner of war in Germany.
     Athel will be missed by all who knew him. He was a person always willing to lend a helping hand, whether he knew you or not.

     Athel’s family includes one remaining sister, Hazel Hill of Hackleburg; a son, Mickie (Randee) Williams of Hartford; a daughter, Cheryl Oliver of Arizona; four surviving grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a grandson who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by nine sisters and two brothers.  
     The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. The service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at the funeral home. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate.
Interment will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford Township, where military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 362 of Coloma, VFW Post 1137 of Benton Harbor and VFW Post 6803 of Watervliet and the Auxiliary.

Eva Marie Meagher, 90 of Hartford, passed away Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
     Eva was born Oct. 1, 1917, in Knoxville, Ark., the daughter of William and Laura (Sluder) Harbert, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by her husband, Austin James Meagher; and two sons, Junior Meagher and Bill Bond.
     The family will welcome friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Hartford Federated Church, where the service to honor her memory will take place at 5 p.m. with Pastor Mack Travis of the New Beginnings Ministries in Bangor and Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church officiating. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma. Memorials in Eva’s name may be made to the family. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
     Eva is survived by two daughters, Eva Marie (Gerald) Grimm of Hartford and Carla Cummings of Bloomingdale; grandchildren, Dana (Rick) Payne, Austin (Candace) Grimm, Christopher Grimm, Lisa Grimm, Bill Cummings, Bryan Cummings, Bradley Skierkowski, Tyrone Skierkowski, Timothy (Diane) Bond, Vickie (Joe) Maxa and Nicole (Ethan) Kosch. She is also survived by great-grandchildren, Ricky, Chelsea, Alivia, Amber, Michael, Kelsey and Lauren; three foster grandchildren, Steve Bassett, Sandra Nunez and Verna Flickinger; and a sister, Catherine Roberts.
 
Betty Olds d 1-21-2008Betty Louise Olds, age 81, of Grand Rapids, passed away Monday, Jan. 21, 2008, at her home.
     A private celebration to honor her life was held Friday, Jan. 25, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Pastor Timo­thy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church officiated. Interment was in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Kent County Humane Society, the Scleroderma Foundation, Spectrum Health Hospice or the Hartford Federated Church.
     Betty was born July 12, 1926, in Hartford. She was the daughter of George and
Florence (Kime) Olds Jr.  After graduating from Hartford High School in 1944, she went on and graduated from West­ern Michigan University in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree and in 1953, she received her master’s degree. She went on to teach in elementary schools for 30 years in such schools at Whitehall, C.A. Frost Elementary and Aberdeen Elementary in Grand Rapids. Betty was a member of the National Audubon Society, the Wilderness Society and Ocean Conservancy Society. She was also a member of PSI Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma Society, International.
     Betty was an ardent bird watcher and loved all animals. She loved traveling to and exploring many different places, needlework and reading.
     Betty was preceded in death by her parents; one brother,
Arthur D. Olds; and nephews — Daniel and William Link; and Thomas Stowell.  Betty is survived by two sisters, Helen Richter and Peggy Benham; one brother, George (Barbara) Olds; numerous nieces and nephews; a very dear friend, Alice Weschgel; and her special and loyal poodle, “Cream Puff.”
 

Florine Louise Traver, age 97, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008, at South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Community.
     Florine was born April 11, 1910, in Volinia to Clyde and Fay (Butcher) Hammond. She married William Traver, who passed away Dec. 18, 1985. They had five children: James Traver of Kearney, Neb., Arletta Meachum of Bangor, Muriel Fellows of Coloma, Margaret Everett of Texarkana, Ark., and Wally Traver of Hartford. She also had 20 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. Florine is also survived by two of her nine brothers and sisters: Clyde Hammond of Hartford and Myrtle Dehority
of Indiana.
     Florine spent most of her life around Hartford. She loved to travel and see the country. She loved to quilt and all of her children and grand­children have received one of her special quilts.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Mon­day, Jan. 28, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  The service to honor her memory will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the funeral home. Pastor Brian Hall of the Watervliet Free Methodist Church, of which she was a longtime member, will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials in Florine’s name may be made to the church or the American Heart Association of Michigan.

 

John Lewandowski, age 87, of Decatur passed away Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008, in LakeView Community Hospital, Paw Paw.  John was born Aug. 30, 1920, in Chicago, the son of Frank and Mary (Szymanski) Lewandowski.
    
He formerly was employed by Auto Specialties in Hartford for several years. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was a member of the American Legion Post No. 309 in Decatur, Holy Family Catholic Church, Decatur, and a local Woodcarvers Club.
     Survivors include a sister, Margaret “Marge” Lewandowski of Decatur; and three
nephews, George (Joanne) Lewandowski of South Bend, Ind., Jack (Diann) Lewandowski and Al (Debbie) Lewandowski, both of Dowagiac.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Irene, and a brother, George.
     Friends may call from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Newell Funeral Home, Decatur, where a vigil service will be held at 4:30 p.m.
     Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Catholic Church, Decatur, with Father Carl F.
Peltz celebrant. Burial will be in Hamilton Cemetery, Decatur, with military rites conducted by VFW Celery City Post No. 6248 and American Legion Post No. 309, both of Decatur.
 
Evelyn (Denslow) Pawling  d 1-16-2008Evelyn Delores Pawling, 86, of Hartford, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
     Evelyn was born May 22, 1921, in Onsted, Mich. She was the daughter of Leverett and Arietta Denslow. On Oct. 20, 1942, she married Loren Earl Pawling, who preceded her in death on Dec. 3, 1986. Evelyn was also preceded in death by a son, Roger Earl Pawling; her parents; and her stepmother, Maybel.
     Evelyn was a devoted mother to her daughter, Mary Pawling of Kalamazoo; a loving grandmother to Christopher (Marlene) O’Reilly, Carrie Ann Pawling and Jennifer Pawling; and a special great­grandmother to her only great­granddaughter, Arianna O’Reilly. She was also very special to her devoted partner and friend, Aagee Larson. When
she wasn’t with any of them she simply enjoyed the company of her cats, Tootie and Tina.
     Evelyn loved to oil paint, traveling and spending as much time as she could at her cottage in Northern Michigan. She was a member of the Hartford Federated Church and enjoyed working on any of the luncheons that the church would put on.
     The family will welcome friends from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. Immediately following the visitation there will be a precession to Fort Custer National Cemetery, where graveside services will be held at 1:30 p.m., with Pastor Timothy
Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Evelyn’s name may be made to either the Alzheimer’s Association or the Hartford Federated Church.
 

Sharon Wendzel d 1-9-2008Sharon Elaine Wesaw Wendzel, 67, of Stevensville, died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
     A funeral service celebrating her life will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Legacy Family Funeral Services Matthew R. Purchase Chapel, Berrien Springs, with Pastor Justin Shepard officiating. Friends are invited to visit with the family one hour prior to the service and sign the guest book at http://www.legacyfuneral.com. Cremation will take place following the service.
     Sharon was born March 25, 1940, in South Bend, Ind., to Theodore and Mildred (Larson) Ragan. She worked as a cost analyst for Harbor Graphics in Benton Harbor for 15 years.
Previously, she owned and operated the Village Inn located in Eau Claire for over eight years. In her
younger years, Sharon also worked as a teacher’s aide for the Hartford Public School System. She enjoyed reading, working on puzzles, flower gardening, and loved spending time with her family – especially her grandchildren.
     Survivors include three daughters — Lucinda (James) Dennis of West Branch, Mich., Lori Wesaw of Eau Claire, and Dawn (Robert) Harmon of Stevensville; two sons — David Gailhouse of Oklahoma and Brian Wesaw of Stevensville; six grandchildren — Melinda Dennis, Cory Dennis, Nikki Dobberstein, Cheyenne Harmon, Alexis Harmon and Cody Harmon; two greatgrandchildren — Joshua Newell and Abigail Newell; her sister, Mollie Pingel of Pickerington, Ohio; and a brother, Lonnie (Tina) Ragan of Paw Paw.
     In addition to her parents, Sharon was preceded in death by her grandson, Shawn Newell, who died in 2005; three brothers — Edward, Gerald and Raymond Ragan; and a sister, Caroline Moore.

 

Dorothy Zaban Abrams
BENTON HARBOR - Dorothy Zaban Abrams passed away on Monday, Jan. 7, 2008, at her home with her loving family at her side.
     Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with Rabbi Michael Rascoe officiating.  Burial will follow at B’nai Sholom Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Temple B’nai Shalom or to Hospice at Home.  Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
     Dorothy was born on Aug. 27, 1921, at Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor, Mich., the daughter of Morris and Bessie (Glassman) Zaban. She attended Hull School and graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1938. After graduation she attended Bertha Mae Academy. After graduation, she went to work for Dr. Michael Faber, M.D., as a medical assistant, and worked with him for 39 years. After he retired, she agreed to help Southwestern Medical Clinic open up an office in Benton Harbor, and managed the clinic for 15 years until she retired in 1993.
     Dorothy was a charter member of the Berrien County Medical Assistants Association as well as the Benton
Harbor Emblem Club. She was a member of Hadassah and Bnai Brith. For over 30 years she was an active member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, holding many offices on the Flotilla and Division level. She was a dedicated member of the Board of Directors of the Lakeland Clinic at Mercy Center for many years, as well as being a volunteer at Lakeland Medical Centers, both at Mercy in Benton Harbor and Memorial in St. Joseph. She also served on several committees dedicated to assisting the City of Benton Harbor.  She loved to cruise up north with her husband Paul on their boat, through the straits and on up to Canada. She also loved to collect antiques. She was a dedicated mem­ber of Temple B’nai Shalom, Benton Harbor.
     She is survived by her husband, Paul A. Abrams (a former resident of Hartford), whom she married on July 11, 1970, in Benton Harbor. She is also survived by her children, Paula Ann (Jeffery) Hubbard of Round Lake Beach, Ill., Michael Jay Buchbinder of Benton Harbor, Paula Annette (Dennis) Rupp of Fort Smith, Ark., Stevan Dana Abrams, Victoria Lynn Abrams of Guthrie, Okla., and Thereasa E. Abrams of Carbondale, Ill.; as well as by five grandchildren. She is also survived by a brother, Seymour B. Zaban of Benton Harbor.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Morris and Bessie Zaban; a brother, Harold M. Zaban; and her sisters, Evelyn M. Zidman and Ruth E. Zaban.
 

Carole Lynn Kronewetter, 65, of Hartford, passed away Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at her home.
     Carole was born Aug. 28, 1942, in Lansing, Mich., the daughter of Menlo and Alice (Padgett) Hyde, both of whom precede her in passing. Carole played an active role in her community and her church, as a member of Hartford Federated Church. She and her late husband, Robert, were active in the Southwest Michigan farming scene and Carole spent many hours working on the farm. Robert preceded Carole in passing on May 6, 2006.  Besides her parents and husband, she was also preceded in passing by a brother, Aaron Hyde.
     The family will welcome friends from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at Hartford Federated Church, where the service to honor her memory will take place at 2 p.m. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. Following the service, cremation will take place and burial will be held in Keeler Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice at Home. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
     Carole is survived by a son, David (Becky) Kronewetter of Hartford; a grandson, Nicholas Kronewetter of Hartford; a
brother, Dallas (Crystal) Hyde of Mason; a sister-in-law, Ruth Dales of Chandler, Ariz.; numerous nieces and nephews; and her church family.
     Additional note:  Carole was a secretary at Hartford High School when I was in school and I recall her still being there in 1966 when I graduated.  She also operated the high school supply window where we purchased lunch tickets, paper, pencils and lots of other items needed for school.  Although she did not graduate from Hartford, she was known and loved by many through school and church - she was a caring, lovely person.  Her husband, Bob, was a school bus driver for many years.  Carole and Bob owned Bob's Greenhouse and delivered many, many potted flowers and plants to stores in the area for several years.
 
Louis Patterson, 75, of Fayetteville, Ohio, formerly of Hartford, died Thursday morning, Jan. 03, 2008, at his home.
     He was born in Hartford and graduated from Hartford High School in 1950. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He served in the Army in Korea and received an honorable discharge on Sept.10, 1954.  He married Roberta McKinney on Oct. 15, 1954, and they later divorced. He worked in construction as a general contractor, building inspector, and was also self-employed building residential homes. He designed and built the home he was living in. He was actively involved with youth athletic programs. He was an active member of the Milford VFW Post 6562. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and playing pool. He loved and enjoyed spending time with his children, grand­children and great-grand­daughter.
    
He is survived by his daughter, Diane Shultz of Marion, Ohio; his sons and daughters­in-law — Michael and Victoria Patterson of Norwalk, Ohio, and David and Jean Patterson of Cincinnati, Ohio; 11 grandchildren; one great­granddaughter; brothers — Ralph (Darlene) Patterson of Grand Junction, Mich., and Don (Marge) Patterson of Monticello, Ind.; sisters —  Lois (Larry) Blyly, and Sue (Stan) Dowd of Hartford; and special friend, Wilma Cornelious. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and
Florence Upham Patterson; sister, Wanda Patterson; brother, Dale Patterson; and brother­in-law, Stan Dowd.
     Friends and family are in­vited to attend a graveside memorial service at Keeler Cemetery, (6 miles south of Hartford on CR 687) on Monday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m., followed by a luncheon at the Federated Church, 65418 Red Arrow Highway, Hartford, MI 49057. Memorial gifts may be sent to the VFW Post 6562 at P.O. Box 215, Milford, OH 45150.
 
Martin “Marty” Stanley Stoddard, 90, of Decatur, passed away Tues­day, Jan. 1, 2008, at his home.
     Martin was born Aug. 5, 1917, in Hartford, the son of Jack and Maud (Schaefer) Stoddard, both of whom precede him in passing. He was also preceded in passing by a son, Gary Stoddard on July 26, 1975; and three sisters, Maxine Hilliah, Ruth Kabine and Milly Davis.
     Martin was a lifelong dairy farmer in the Hartford area. He sold seed corn, soybeans and wheat to other area farmers. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 93 and the Hartford Masons. He also was a longtime member of the Van Buren Sports­man’s Club. There will be a graveside service to honor Martin’s
memory at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Southern Care Hospice of Kalamazoo. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements.
     Martin is survived by two daughters, Marsha (Donald) Davis of Decatur and Ellen Kinard of Hartford; two grand­daughters, Dawn Davis of North Hollywood, Calif., and Meadow Nuyen of Portage; a grandson, Jeremy Kinard of Hartford; and great-grandchildren, Chandler Huerta and Carson Nuyen, both of Portage, and Hanna and Dylan Kinard, both of Hartford. He is also survived by a brother, Clinton (Myrtle) Stoddard of Hartford, a sister, Esther Moninger of Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.
      Note: Click here to view Martin's military picture and profile.
 
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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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