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     Obituar
ies in 2013

         Hartford Michigan
 

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Please email the webmaster if you have obituaries of people who 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.
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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.

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James Downs d 12-30-2013James W. Downs, 67, of New Carlisle, passed away peacefully at 9:15 p.m., Monday, December 30, 2013 at his home.
     On March 23, 1946, Benton Harbor, MI., he was born to David and Angeline (Lamb) Downs.
     James enjoyed hunting, trapping, and model trains. James was a deacon of his church, Yore Ave Baptist Church. James previously owned a pet store and loved his dog, companion and friend, Gidget, who recently passed.
     On November 6, 1964 in Hartford, Michigan, he married Jeannie (Stuart) Downs, who survives.
     Surviving are four children, Bruce Downs of Buchanan, MI., Melanie (John) Creech of New Carlisle, Dwight (Darlene) Downs of Buchanan, MI., and Kimberly (Randy) Smith of Berrien Springs, MI.; one sister, Valeria “Faye” Dilts of Florida; eight grandchildren, Jake, Danny, John Jr., Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Joseph, and Ashley; three great grandchildren, Kael, Kaitlyn, and Naomi.
     Preceding him in death were his parents; two sisters, Deverlan McFall, and Dorothy Smithley.
     There will be no services. Cremation will take place. Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100 is caring for the arrangements.
     Please send condolences to the family at www.LakeviewFHC.com.
Kenneth Sweet, age 90, died December 23, 2013 in Kalamazoo. He was born May 21, 1923 in Hartford, the son of Darrell Kenneth Sweet d 12-23-2013and Gladys (Raymond) Sweet.
     Kenny worked at Allied Paper Mill for 42 years. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lilianne Sweet in 1992; son-in-law, Tom Rix and by his three siblings. Members of his family include his wife, Helen (Roth) Sweet; three children: Karen Rix, Donn (Pam) Sweet and Scott (Cheryl) Sweet; Helen's children: John (Cindy) Roth and Char (Joe) Gleesing; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     Services will be held Saturday 12 noon at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive; 375-2900 followed by luncheon in the Life Story Center. Please visit Kenny's personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice.
Bick Beckwith d 12-18-2013


Lt. Col. Bicknell K. Beckwith, formerly of Hartford, passed away December 18, 2013.  More information will be posted when it becomes available.
He retired from the US Air force in 1973. 

NOTE:  Bick attended school at Hartford through his 11th year, at which time his family moved to Watervliet, where he graduated in 1943.
Karen L. Harmon, 60, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo.
    
Karen was born March 23, 1953, in Muskegon, the daughter of Arvin and Valerie (Jackson) Byers, both of whom preceded her in passing. Also preceding her in passing were a grandson, Andrew David Zeiner; and her beloved dog, Froggie.
     Karen is survived by two daughters, Marilyn Johnson of Hartford and Valerie Johnson of Riverside; a son, Paul Harmon of South Haven; two granddaughters, Paige and Cheyenne Staggs, both of Lawrence; and two brothers, Paul (Loree) Byers of Washington and Keith (Margie) Byers of St. Louis, Mo.
     As per Karen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com
.
Dona Della Sherman, 85, long­time area resident and horsewoman of Hartford, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     Dona was born Dec. 23, 1927, in Hartford, the daughter of Donald and
Anna (Gay) Chidester, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by her husband of 55 years, Leroy Sherman, on June 13, 2003.
     Dona owned and operated Mi-Ladies Dress Shop in Hartford and Coloma for 25 years and was a top­producing real estate broker for 24 years. While Dona enjoyed many things, her greatest love and passion were her horses. She was an accomplished horse­woman and trainer. She received a standing ovation at the 2011 annual MSU Colt Training Competition, where, at 84 years old, she saddle broke a young horse that the rest of the contestants said could not be ridden.
     Dona is survived by a daughter, Cynthia (Edward) Booth of Dowagiac; two grandchildren: Jason (Susan) Booth of Milwaukee and Sara Booth Reinhardt of Hartford; and three great-grandchildren.
     Per Dona’s wishes, cremation took place. A memorial service to honor her memory will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Hartford United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jeffrey Williams officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Dona’s name be made to the American Cancer Society or to Van Buren or Cass County Animal Control.


NOTE:  Dona was a 1946 graduate of Hartford High School.
Madgaline Pierce, 81, of Hartford passed away Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at home.
     Madgaline was born March 1, 1932, in Marie, Ark., the daughter of Clifford and Gertrude (Alred) Yeager, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by three sisters: Clara, Donarie and Orline; and three brothers: George, Billy and Charlie.
     Madgaline worked in the housekeeping department at Lakeland Community Hospital, Watervliet, for 10 years before moving on to work at Michigan Fruit Canners. She was loyal to the Lord and loved attending the Full Gospel Assembly Church in Hartford.
     Madgaline married Albert Pierce on May 7, 1947, and he survives, along with six children: Carol Applegate of Hartford; Patricia (Sam) Williams of Watervliet; Robert (Bonnie) Pierce of Dowagiac; Bethal Tredor and Jeanette (Vince) Tapp, both of Hartford; and Albert (Lisa) Pierce of Coloma; 16 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Shirley and Dorothy.
     A graveside service to honor her memory will be at noon Thursday, Dec. 12, at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, with Pastor Shannon Truelove officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Full Gospel Assembly Church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with ar­rangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences may do so at
www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 
Samuel Waterlander, 72, of Keeler Township passed away Saturday, December 7, 2013 at his home.
    
Samuel was born on May 9, 1941, in Decatur, MI., to Evert and Lena (Hempenius) Waterlander. Samuel proudly served his country in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He retired after 25 years as a custodian at the Dowagiac Union Schools.
    
He is survived by his wife, the former Carol Shellenbarger, a son, Scott of Keeler Township, a sister, Magdalene Waterlander of Saint Joseph, a sister, Martha Teisan of Decatur, numerous nieces, nephews as cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents a brother, Jacob Waterlander and two sisters.
     The family will welcome friends from 1 to 2 P.M.; Wednesday, December 11 at the Full Gospel Christian Tabernacle Church in Watervliet, where the service to honor his memory will commence at 2 P.M. with Pastor Tom Fuller officiating. Samuel will be laid to rest in Herrison Cemetery, Decatur. The family asks memorial donations in Samuel’s name be made to either the family or to the church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. You may leave memorial condolences in Samuel’s name on our web site at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
    
Susan D Williams d 12-7-2013Susan Diane Williams, 71  of Hartford, passed away Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at her home.
    
Susan was born Feb. 6, 1942 in Lawrence, the daughter of Gerald and Ruth (Kime) Selters, both of whom preceded her in passing. She loved the times spent with her family, especially the time she spent with her grandchildren.
     Susan is survived by three children: Timothy Wayne (Kimberly Lynn Smith) Oldham and Christopher Lee (Kimberly Ann) Oldham, both of Hartford, and James O’Neal Williams of Lawrence; five grandchildren: Joshua, Garret, Devin, Tyler and Abigail; two great grandchildren; a brother, Jim Selters, and five sisters, Jeryl Stair, Linda (Chuck) Nydam, Jane Yeder, Jordan Selters and Jill Hunter.
 
    The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Following the visitation, Susan will be cremated. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.


NOTE:  Susan was a
1960 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Earl Wayne Higgins was born to Exell and Roy Higgins on April 24, 1944, in Missouri. Earl went to be with the Lord on Nov. 20, 2013, with his children and grandchildren by his side.
     Earl grew up in Missouri, then he went into the Army, where he was a cook and an M.P. He moved to Michigan, where he met the love of his life and her son, both of whom have already gone to be with the Lord. Earl retired from Michigan Tube. Earl loved his family very much, and they loved him very much, as well.
     Earl leaves behind a family who loves him very much, including four children: Joseph Higgins of Dowagiac; April (Dan) Blevins of Hartford; Linda (Don) Fischer of Coloma; and Cheryl (Richie) Carlyle of Berrien Springs; seven granddaughters; six grandsons; three greatgrandsons; two brothers: Larry and George Higgins, both of Missouri; and three sisters: Shelby Moore and Brenda Thrasher, both of Missouri; and Regina Krieger of Michigan; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
     He was preceded in passing by his wife, Linda Higgins; a son, David Baldwin; and his parents.
     As to Earl’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of life service to honor Earl’s memory will be at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford, with Pastor Shannon Truelove of the Full Gospel Assembly Church of Hartford officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Earl’s name may be made to the family. Memorial condolences for the family may be left at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 

Laurie Pipkins d 11-20-2013Laurie Ann Pipkins, 48, of Hartford passed away unexpectedly at her residence Wednesday, Nov. 20.
     Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma, where visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Monday. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Watervliet. Donations in memory of Laurie may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Those wishing to leave an online message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Laurie was born Dec. 22, 1964, in Coldwater, Mich., to George and Pauline (Moore) Pipkins. She loved “Eeyore,” singing karaoke and collecting carousel horses. She also enjoyed calling bingo for her apartment complex.
     Laurie is survived by a daughter, Georgi Leisure of Hartford: her mother, Pauline Pipkins of Hartford; brothers: Charlie (Theresa) Broadhurst of Watervliet; Joe Diehl of Hartford; Jamie (Cindy) Diehl of Hartford; and Paul Pipkins of Watervliet; a sister, Heather (Nacer) Tag of Hartford; and two grandchildren, Payton and Zayden Inman.
     She was preceded in death by a daughter, Mirinda Leisure; her father, George; a sister-in-law, Tammy Capovilla-Diehl; and her grandparents.
 
NOTE:  Laurie was a 1992 Hartford High School graduate.
Odena Louise Hansen, 91, dearly loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, was a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. He was her Savior and Lord, and on Nov. 9, 2013, she met Him face to face.
     Odena was born Nov. 27, 1921, in a church parsonage in Allendale, Mich. Most of her childhood was spent in Houghton, N.Y. After a wartime courtship by mail with an Army airman in Hawaii, she married the love of her life, Carl J. Hansen, and moved to Manistee, Mich. After his death in 1983, she lived in Ovid, Hartford and Portage. Her life was spent providing love and support to her children and grandchildren. She was a lifelong student of one book, the Bible, and her passion was 63 years of vol­unteer ministry at the Manistee Salvation Army, the United Church of Ovid and Hartford United Methodist Church. Her hobbies were crocheting and watching the “Price Is Right” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” And she loved Charlie the cat.
     Odena was preceded in death by her parents, the Rev. Lewis and Alice Clark; 10 brothers and sisters; and son-in-law, Larry Marsh. She is survived by her son, the Rev. Ron (Jan) Hansen of Portage, Mich.; daughter, Cheryl Marsh of Battle Creek; grandchildren: Paula (Scott) Dennison of Ithaca, Mich.; Eric (Renelle) Hansen of Kalamazoo; Terri Marsh, Christi Marsh and Lisa (Charles) Thomas, all of Battle Creek; Aaron (Sarah) Hunt of Grand Haven; Rebecca Hunt of Michigan City, Ind.; and David (Larissa) Hunt of Mattawan; and 11 great­grandchildren.
     A worship service to honor her life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford.
     The Rev. Ron Hansen will officiate, supported by the Revs. Jeff Williams and Greg Wood. The family will greet friends beginning at 11 a.m.
     Contributions in her memory may be made to Hartford United Methodist Church, where Odena experienced amazing Christian love.

 
Bobby Samuel Summerhill, 51, Esto FL, formerly of Hartford MI, died November 6, 2013.

Police report from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office

An Esto man died in a house fire Wednesday morning in Northern Holmes County. On November 6, 2013 at approximately 6:18 AM the Holmes County Communications Center received a call of a mobile home fire on Highway 2 west of Esto. The Holmes County Sheriff's Office and Fire Departments responded. Esto, Pitttman and Graceville Fire Departments arrived and extinguished the fire. Firefighters then located the remains of 51 year-old Bobbie Samuel Summerhill inside the residence. Firefighters had the fire extinguished in minutes. The residence was a total loss. Summerhill was the only occupant of the residence. The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Holmes County Sheriff's Office.

Update:  The preliminary cause of death has been released in a Holmes County fire that killed an ESTO man. According to the Holmes County Sheriff's Office, 51-year-old Bobbie Samuel Summerhill died of smoke inhalation. The fires started early Wednesday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal and the Holmes County Sheriff's Off

Richard Pocevich, 73, of Hartford, died Monday, November 4, 2013.  Richard’s life began September 19, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.
     Richard grew up in Chicago where he graduated high school. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. Richard retired from Wolverine but his favorite job was helping Frank
Simington manage his farm. Richard found his relaxation while gardening and farming especially tending to his roses and caring for his dogs. On November 4, 1972, Richard married the love of his life Dottie Finehout and they enjoyed 35 years together. His greatest enjoyment came in spending time with his loving family which includes: four children Dee Dee (Steve) Stakely of Coloma, Emily (Jason) Allen-Moore of Hartford, Richard Pocevich Jr. of Florida, Angela (Cecil) Jackson of Hartford; 15 grandchildren Tony Jones, Ashley Layne, Clayton Stakely, Victoria Allen, William Allen, Elizabeth Allen, Joshua Moore, Tyler Moore, Brittany Heffington, Aspen Gerlach, Bailey Jackson, Samantha Gargano, Madison Nail, Hunter Jackson, and Aleigha Jackson; and three great grandchildren Karson Jackson, Holly Jones, and Gabriella Layne.
     Richard died Monday, November 4.
     His wife Dorothy “Dottie”
Pocevich and parents precede Richard in death. Funeral services will be celebrated Monday, November 11 at 2:00 PM with visitation prior starting at 1:00 PM at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Burial will follow in Fairview Memorial Cemetery. You may leave a memory for Richard’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.
     Curtis Gene Welty, 74, was born on March 21, 1939, and passed away peacefully at his home Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. He was the youngest of seven children born to Basil and Maggie (Cook) Welty.
    
Curtis married the former Betty Jane Maddox on May 17, 1958. He was a devoted husband and father who truly enjoyed the time he spent with his family. Curtis was formerly employed and retired from Whirlpool Corp. He owned and operated the Curtis Welty and Son Welding Shop in Hartford from 1982 to 2009 and also served as a chaplain at Watervliet Community Hospital for a number of years.
    
Curtis is survived by his three children: Curtis Wayne (Audrey) Welty, Kevin Welty and Candace Welty; and his seven grandchildren: Candra Janisse, Dustin, Christa, Tiffany, Curtis, Paige and Nolan Welty.
     His wife, Betty, passed away April 20 this year. He was also preceded in passing by his parents; stepmother, Clara (Clay) Welty; a sister, Mildred DeMay; and five brothers: David, William, Earl, Norman and Vernon Welty.
     The family will welcome friends from 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where his celebration of life service will commence at 4:30 p.m., with Pastor Wayne Davis officiating. As to Curtis’ wishes, cremation will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Curtis’ name may be made to Hospice at Home or His Place Cathedral of Faith. Memo­rial condolences for the family may be left at http://www.calvin-­leonardfh.com.

NOTE:  Curt was a 1958 Hartford High School graduate.
Donald H. Romeo, 79, of South Haven, formerly of Benton Harbor and Hartford, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo.
     Donald was born June 9, 1934, to James and Annie Romeo in Benton Harbor. Don graduated from Hartford High School [1981] and retired from the Watervliet Paper Mill after 34 years. In 1953 he married Patricia Ann Gordon of Watervliet. Not long after they married, they started their family and had six beautiful children. On March 9, 1985, Patricia passed away from colon cancer. Don remarried on Oct. 21, 1988, to Nancy Ann Ament. They married at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sister Lakes, where Don was a longstanding member.
     Don is survived by his wife, Nancy Romeo; sister, Theresa Senzig; children: Roxy (Pat) Tarantino, Rick Romeo, Kathy Romeo, David Romeo, Doug (Lisa) Romeo, Dennis (Stacey) Romeo, Scott Nash, Kenny Nash and Deana Goss; grandchildren: Bryan (Jen) Romeo, Jeannene (Chris) Gatties, Kyle (Becky) Romeo, Kevin (Anna) Romeo, Jessica (Derrick) Rosses, Sabrina (Rick) Baker, Michael Romeo, Mikayla Romeo, Micah Romeo, Autum Romeo, Paul Romeo, Rachel Romeo, Ryan Romeo, Katherine Romeo, Cody Romeo, Bradley (Mishelle) Goss, Amber Nash, Taylor (Joey) Robinson, Dominique Nash, Danielle Goss, Brittanie Nash, Lacie Nash and Justin Smith; great-grandchildren:
Alora Gatties, Audra Gatties, Brianna Baker, Ricky Baker, Giana Romeo, Eleana Romeo, Lyla Rosses, Cole Romeo, Hunter Goss and Max Goss; and many nieces and nephews.; and many nieces and nephews.
     Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia Romeo; his father, James Romeo; his mother, Annie (Al) Keller; brothers: Robert Romeo, Joe Romeo, James Romeo and George Romeo; sister, Margie McGowan; stepson, Gregory Nash; and daughter-in-law, Nan Nash.
     Don was an outstanding citizen who loved animals and nature. He was the true meaning of a Christian and was the ultimate gift to this earth from God.
     Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sister Lakes. A meal will follow.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Langeland Memorial Chapel of Kalamazoo.
 
Ronnie Gale Willoughby, 63, of Paw Paw passed away suddenly Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, at his home.
     Ronnie was born May 3, 1950, in Wardell, Mo., to James and Virginia (Phillips) Willoughby. Ronnie married the former Mary Farley on Nov. 13, 1981, and she survives along with two daughters, Ronda (Boyd Jr.) Bottenfield of Rice, Va. and Lisa Lee of Holland; a son, Ronnie Willoughby Jr. of Dowagiac; five grandchildren: Danielle, Doolie, Abigayle, Juliana and Josi; and one great- grandchild, Bentley. Ronnie is also survived by his mother, Virginia Willoughby of
Hartford; a brother, Rickey Willoughby of Watervliet; and three sisters: Gwendolyn (Creight Jr.) Smith of Coloma, Pamela Willoughby of Kalamazoo and Carol Anchor of Hartford. His father, James, preceded him in passing.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at the Calvin Funeral Home in
Hartford
, where the service to honor his memory will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, with Deacon Arthur Morsaw officiating. Burial will follow in Keeler Cemetery, Keeler Township. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Ronnie’s name be made to either the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so on our web site at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

NOTE:  Ronnie was from the 1971 class of Hartford High School.
 

Duane William McGuire, 67 of McNeil, Arkansas passed away on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at Magnolia Regional Medical Duane McGuire d 10-15-2013Center.
     He was born on November 23, 1945 in Paw Paw, Michigan to the late David and Jane (Palmer) McGuire and attended Hartford High School [1963 graduate].
     He was a veteran serving with the SeaBees in the United States Navy during Vietnam. He was a master millwright for Brox Industries in Lawton, Oklahoma and Brown and Root in Red Rock, and a member of the 4 States Iron Munchers Blacksmith Association.
     He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister Mary Webber of Hartford, Michigan; and Rita's daughter MargRyn Kinard Schomburg.
     Duane is survived by his wife Rita Kinard McGuire of McNeil; two daughters, Theresa Byard of McNeil, Stacia Powers and husband Robert of Lawton, Oklahoma; grandson Cody Byard of Arlington, Texas; granddaughter Starsha Powers of Lawton, Oklahoma; two great grandchildren, Kenneth Hutchinson and Ethan Wykoff both of Lawton; and two nieces Crystal and Vanessa of Michigan. Duane is also survived by Rita's family, her son, Lewis Kinard and wife Dawn of Dallas and their children, Adam Kinard of Dallas and Brittany Kinard Jones and husband Daniel of Austin; her sisters, Sarah Roberts of Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Eloise Steele Ellis of Austin, Texas; and Carol Thomas of West Memphis, Arkansas and a host of extended family and friends.
     A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm at Lewis Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mike Daniel officiating with a visitation with the family following the service. Memorials may be made to South Arkansas Youth Services, Columbia County Animal Protection Society, or Asbury United Methodist Church.
 

Margaret Kabel Hammond d 10-14-2013Margaret Kabel Hammond passed peacefully Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Grass Valley, Calif. A longtime resident of Hartford, Mich., Margaret moved to California in 1999 to be nearer her daughter, granddaughters and great-grandchildren.Margaret Hammond d 10-14-2013
     Margaret was born in Hartford on Dec. 5, 1918, and, with the exception of the years spent earning her bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan College (now university), was a resident of Van Buren County for the first 80 years of her life.
     Mrs. Hammond spent many of those years teaching business classes to high school students in Bridgman, Decatur, Lawton, Lawrence and, for many years, at Hartford High School. Margaret’s career in education began at the age of 20, and her role as teacher evolved into that of teacher-counselor­advocate-mentor for many of her students spanning the next 35 years. Although retired for the last 39 years, Margaret still heard from past students who had continued a loving and respectful friendship with her over the years.
     Margaret was an active member of Hartford Methodist Church throughout her adult life, retaining her church affiliation even after her move to California. She has now “come home” again and will be remembered at a memorial service at 11 a.m. Nov. 7 at Hartford Methodist Church, followed by a luncheon served by the United Methodist Women in the church’s community room. Internment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.
     Margaret is survived by her daughter, Christine (Hugh) Casey of Nevada City, Calif.; and granddaughters, Keirsten (Adam) Quest of Fresno, Calif., and Grant (Jeb) Taylor of Davis, Calif. She was also blessed with five great-grandchildren: Scout, Sage, Jade, Xander and Morgan Phoenix. Cherished nieces, nephews and cousins completed her circle of beloved family. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a nonprofit of choice.

NOTE:  Margaret was a 1935 Hartford High School graduate
 

Ken 'Pete' Jordan d 10-9-2013

Ken “Pete” Jordan, 77, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at Royalton Manor in St. Joseph.
     A lifelong resident of Hartford, he married the former Judy Kopus at the Federated Church on April 25, 1964, in Hartford. For the next 49 years they shared their love for each other as they worked together to enjoy a very good life.
     Ken was a
1955
graduate of Hartford High School, and served eight years in the Michigan National Guard. For 34 years, he worked for the Sanitary Refuse Co. In 2001, Ken retired from Best Way Disposal. His retirement lasted only two weeks before he decided to return to Best Way where he worked part-time for another 10 years before fully retiring in 2011.
     One of Ken’s favorite pastimes was attending tractor shows and seeing his favorite John Deere equipment on display. And, though he loved all things John Deere, he also reserved a place in his heart for Allis Chalmers and Farmall tractors.
     Along with his wife, Judy, Ken is survived by two sisters: Shirley (Larry) Anchor of Hartford and Betty Jordan of Dowagiac; three brothers: Roger Jordan of Bridgman, Tom (Lois) Jordan of Coloma and Bill (Darlene) Jordan of Hartford; brother-in­law Larry Rinehart of Mattawan and sister-in­law Barbara (Dave) Jorgensen of Ohio.
     He is also survived by eighteen nieces and nephews, many of whom fondly remember the family reunions when their Uncle Ken hitched a wagon to a tractor and let them all pile in for a ride around the farm. Thirty-five great nieces and nephews also survive.
     Ken was preceded in death by his parents:
Joseph and Lilah Jordan, sister Pat Rinehart, sisters­in law Laurel Jordan and Carol Kopus, father-in-law Tony Kopus and mother­in- law Betty Kopus.
     The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford is in charge of arrangements, where visitation will be Sunday, Oct. 13, from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m. A memorial service will be at the funeral home Monday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to Hospice at Home. Interment will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http:// www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 

Michael Eugene Augusts-Lewis d 10-7-2013

 

Michael Eugene Augusta-Lewis, 59, of Dowagiac passed away Oct. 7, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph. He was born May 9, 1954, in Hartford to James and Mary (Alexis) Lewis.
     The family will gather with friends Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, from 5 p.m. until time of a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Fri­day, Oct. 11, 2013, at the chapel. Burial will be in Sacred Heart of Mary Cemetery. Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Michael at www.clarkchapel.com.

Deborah K. Wolford, 52, of Hartford passed away at home Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, surrounded by her family and friends.
     Deb was born Aug. 24, 1961, and had lived most of her life in the area. Members of her family include her siblings: Charles “Pete” Fisher, Doris Davis, Jerry Fisher, Roger Fisher and Judy
Nalepa (Jeff Brown); her mother, Pearl Fisher; a very special grandson, Camden Wolford; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father A.J. Fisher; her brother, Bill Fisher; her husband, Danny Wolford; and her daughter,
Trinity Wolford.
     Family and friends will be celebrating Deb’s life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 at Full Gospel Apostolic Church, 32560 56th Ave., Paw Paw. Those planning on making an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donating in the name of Camden Wolford at Chemical Bank. Please feel free to visit Deb’s personal page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite mem­ory or photo of her, and sign her online guest book.
     Arrangements are by Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler
& Thompson, Paw Paw; (800) 822-7594.

 

John Winton Erwin, Professor Emeritus of Geophysics, University of Nevada, Reno, died in Reno, Nevada on October 3, John Erwin d 10-3-20132013, of Alzheimer's disease.
     A native of Chicago, Illinois, John was born March 7, 1924 of John Clarey Erwin and Jeanie Winton Erwin. In 1935, the family moved from Chicago to a farm near Keeler, Michigan. Erwin attended Keeler schools and graduated from Hartford High School [class of 1942], Hartford, Michigan, as salutatorian of the class of 1942. He enlisted and served with the U.S. Marine Corps during 1943 to 1946. On April 15, 1946 he married his high school sweetheart Patricia Young of Hartford, Michigan. They were wed sixty-one years until Patty's death in October 2007. John earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, in 1949. He earned his Masters in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, in 1954.
     Following graduation from the Colorado School of Mines, John worked for Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. Later, he and Patty loaded up the kids and headed west to Salt Lake City, Utah, where John was employed by American Smelting & Refining Company, working on mineral exploration programs in Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, Utah and other western states. In 1961, he was employed by Hercules Aerospace Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of the design team for the Sprint anti-ballistic missile.
     In 1964, John joined the faculty of the Mackay School of Mines of the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, as a professor of geophysics and as a researcher with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. On his retirement in June 1985, he was named Professor Emeritus. Professor Erwin published numerous works in the geophysical field. After his retirement from UNR he continued to teach mathematics at Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada Community College.
     John was the first in his family to graduate from college. He valued and encouraged education as evidenced by the twenty-four (and counting) college, graduate and doctoral degrees earned by his children and grandchildren, eight of the degrees being awarded by the University of Nevada.
     John was a registered engineer in the State of Nevada, a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, the Arizona Geological Society, the Geological Society of Nevada (serving as Chairman in 1969), and the Marina Bay Yacht Club, Richmond, California. Proud of his service as a United States Marine, he belonged to the Navy League and was a life member of the American Legion. For many years he was a member of the Masonic Golden Lodge F & AM/50, St. John's Presbyterian Church and the First Congregational Church, Reno, NV.
     He enjoyed his retirement sailing and traveling with Patty and sharing geography field trips with his grandchildren with stops for the culinary delights of the Owl Cafe in Battle Mountain and The Griddle in Winnemucca. He also enjoyed lunches at the Gold 'N Silver Inn with fellow engineers geologists Jim Bright, Bob Horton, Bill Johnston, Ed Rugg and other professionals in the mining industry.
     John was predeceased by his wife Patricia in 2007. He is survived by son James W. Erwin and grandson Jeffrey Erwin, grandson Patrick (Nikki) Erwin (great grandchildren Hunter and Taylor), granddaughter Camille (Kory) Wilson (expecting a boy in January), and granddaughter Nicole (Brian) Johansen (great grandchildren Makayla, Trenton, Tate and Maxwell); son Thomas P. (Molly) Erwin and grandson Philip Erwin, step grandson Paul (Jessie) Kerschen (great granddaughter Rosalind), and step granddaughter Ann (Jason) Wild; son John A. (Sherri) Erwin and granddaughter Rebecca (Jesse) Adams (great grandchildren Aidan and Geneva), granddaughter Marie (Shawn) Lear (great grandchildren Jordan and Maxwell), grandson Scott (Bridget) Erwin, and granddaughter Kathryn (Jonathan) Dethmers; daughter Susan M. (Brian) Buckley and granddaughter Anne Buckley, granddaughter Katherine Buckley, and grandson John Buckley; and daughter Debra A. (Pete) Padgett and granddaughter Melissa Padgett and grandson David (Megan) Padgett (great grandson Nolan), and former daughters-in-law Cheryl L. Ehrke and Michelle F. Hall.
     His family appreciates the fine care provided to John by Dr. Ronald L. Smith and the caregivers at Emeritus. We also thank the many kind folks at the Gold 'N Silver Inn who welcomed our Dad thousands of times during the past five decades.
     A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 25, 2013, at Mountain View Mortuary, 435 Stoker Avenue, Reno, Nevada. A Military Internment Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday October 26, 2013 at Mountain View Cemetery. Contact Mountain View Mortuary for details 775 788-2199.
     In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials may be made in John's name to the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Mail Stop 162, University of Nevada, Reno 89557.

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22, 2013

 

Don Trowbridge Sr d 10-2-2013DOUGLAS, Mich. — Donald (Don) Paul Trowbridge Sr., 65, passed away Oct. 1, 2013, peacefully with loved ones by his side after fighting a long illness.
     He was born Dec. 6, 1947, in Paw Paw to Claude and Dora (Riddle) Trowbridge Sr. Don graduated from Hartford High School in 1967. Don would later marry Jean
Molter, and of that union there were five children. They lived and raised their children in Coloma, where he was member of the Masonic Lodge. Later in life Don would retire to live in Covert, where he continued membership of the Masonic Lodge in the Covert.
     Don is survived by two daughters: Richlie (Darryl) Fikes of Benton Harbor and Michella Buetow of Bridgman; a son, Don Trowbridge Jr. of Bridgman; eight grandchildren that he loved and adored; four sisters: Claudette Prevatte of Kalamazoo, Nancy (Warren) Walters of Battle Creek, Mary Williams of South Haven and Carol (Alfredo) Rivera of Ohio; and a host of nieces and nephews, including one special and cherished niece, Deborah (Billy) Pierce of Covert.
     He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, one brother and two beloved sons, James (Jimmy) in 1992 and Jon in 2007.
Cremation has taken place, and there are no services to announce at this time.
     Don was truly loved and will be dearly missed every single day by all who knew him.

 

Joan Elder Scouller, 11/14/1925 - 9/26/2013, passed away peacefully at her home in the Country Club at La Cholla, Joan Elder Scoulier d 9/26/2013Tucson, AZ under the care of Casa de la Luz Hospice.
     She is survived by her son, John, and wife Anna Mae Scouller, of Santa Clarita, California, two grandsons, Robert Sean and Brendon Ray Scouller, a brother Stewart Elder and wife Irene Elder, and several nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her husband Donald Scouller in 2009.

     Joan was born in Detroit, Michigan to James and Caroline Elder where she resided until 1929 when the family moved to Hartford, Michigan where they lived during the depression years in the home of her uncle, Dr. John D. Stewart. She completed high school in 1943 and then in 1948 she graduated with a BS degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. She joined the Army in 1949 and was commissioned an officer in the newly formed Women’s Medical Specialist Corps. She was assigned to Beumont Army Hospital in El Paso TX. It was here that she met Don Scouller who was also an Army officer stationed at Fort Bliss. They were married on Dec 7th, 1950 in LasCruces, NM. She was discharged from the Army in 1953. They moved to San Diego in 1954, where they spent the next 40 years until moving to Tucson, AZ.   Son, John M. Scouller, was born on December 2, 1958. In 1961 Joan became an Elementary School teacher in San Diego City Schools. In 1969 she earned a Masters degree and then became a Television Resource teacher for all of the San Diego City Schools. A Union Tribune article once featured her in this role. She loved to travel and became a travel agent, which augmented her travel experience including a trip around the world and many other trips abroad especially to England where she had many friends.  They moved to Sun City Vistoso, Az. in 1993 and she became very active in community clubs and theatrical activities including learning to tap dance. After Don’s death she moved to her retirement home at La Cholla.
     A memorial service was held at Sun City and she will be inurned at Fort Rosecrans, San Diego on November 8th at 2:30 pm.

 

Ronald M. Smithley, 79, of Hartford ascended into Heaven on Monday morning, Sept. 23, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Ronald Smithley d 9-23-2013Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     Ron, as he was known by most, was born Nov. 24, 1933, in Marion, Ind., the son of Melvin and Agnes (Herreld) Smithley. During the Depression, Ron spent 18 months in the Mary Freebed Rehab Home in Grand Rapids. On Aug. 22, 1953, he married the former Dorothy Downs. For many years they owned and operated the Ron-Dot Floral Shop in Hartford. Ron was a longtime and faithful member of Hartford Federated Church, and he liked to hunt and travel, especially going up to the Mackinac Bridge.
     Ron is survived by his children: Mark (Donna) Smithley and Gregg Smithley both of Hartford; five grandchildren: Brandon Smithley of St. Louis, Mo.; Daniel Smithley of Niles; Toni Smithley of Flint; and Tyler Smithley and Brier Smithley, both of Hartford; 11 great-grandchildren: Khole, Brooke, Danyelle, Dirk, Nastasia, Alex, Lilly, Alex, Aiden, Katierra and Camron; a sister, Janie (Larry) Wetzel of Hartford; and a sister-in-law, Kaye Smithley of Benton Harbor.
     Ron was preceded in passing by his wife,
Dorothy, in 2010; his parents; two sisters, Louise Robinson-Glidden and Peggy Johnson; and three brothers: Ed, James and Roy Smithley.
     As to Ron’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service to honor Ron’s memory will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Hartford Federated Church with Pastor David Gilbert officiating. Burial of Ron’s and Dot’s ashes will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials may be made to the church.
     The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling arrangements. Those wishing to leave messages of condolences for Ron’s family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 

Aage Woodrow Larsen, 91, of Hartford went to be with is Lord and Savior on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Lakeland Regional Aage Larsen d 9-14-2013Medical Center in St. Joseph.
Aage was born Feb. 22, 1922, in Benton Harbor, the son of Aage and Ruth (Sturm) Larsen, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded in passing by his wife, Hildreth; a daughter, Renee; a brother, Wayne; devoted partner and friend, Evelyn Pawling; and two sons-in-law, Jerry Thompson and Bill Groenke.
Aage proudly served his country as a member of the
United States Navy during World War II. He was formerly employed with New Products of Benton Harbor and the Watervliet Paper Mill from 1940-1956. After leaving there, he worked in the construction field for the remainder of his working life. He was a big sports fanatic, especially as a die­hard fan of the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers. He was a member of VFW Post 355, American Legion Post 93 and AmVets. In his spare time, he loved fishing and keeping his yard looking nice.
     Aage was a beloved father, who is survived by three children: Lawrence “Larry” (Robyn) Larsen of Hartford, Denise Groenke of Eau Claire and Brian (Ann) Larsen of Coloma; and family friend, Mary Pawling of Kalamazoo. He was a loving grandfather of numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
     The family will welcome friends 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Hartford Federated Church, where he was a loyal member. The service to honor his memory will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the church, with Pastor David Gilbert officiating. Cremation will take place, and burial at a later date will occur in Watervliet Cemetery. The family requests memorial donations in Aage’s name to the church or any veterans’ charity. The family has entrusted Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling the arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences in Aage’s name may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
Sandra Avery d 9-11-2013Sandra Marie Jones Avery, 69, of Hartford passed away Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, at Rose Arbor in Kalamazoo. She was born Oct. 2, 1943, in Washington, D.C., the fifth of eight children born to William Gilbert Jones and Esther Marie (Hill) Jones.
     She graduated from L.C. Mohr High School in South Haven in 1963. Overcoming barriers to African-American women in education, she graduated as a registered nurse, earned a Critical Care Nursing Certificate and a business management degree.
     She was a devoted mother to her two daughters, enjoying each stage of development from mud pies and tea parties to climbing trees and catching fireflies. Through example she taught her daughters the importance of hard work, obtaining a good education and using both in service to others.
     Her career spanned 36 years in obstetrics and critical care nursing at Watervliet and South Haven community hospitals. She rose to interim director of nursing at Watervliet Community Hospital.
     Sandra served 28 years on the board of directors for
MARCHA and 14 years as president of Rural Initiatives for Shelter and Education. Her tenure spanned the construction of SunRISE apartments, an innovative housing option for seasonal workers. Her influential work in migrant health was recognized by Patricia Harris, secretary of Health and Human Services, who appointed Sandra to the Council to Federal Office of Migrant Health.
     She is survived by daughters: Sheanetta M. Jones of Burlington, N.C.; and Dr. Bernetta L. Avery-DeNyse and son-in-law Gavin J. De-Nyse, both of Portland, Ore.; grandchildren: Aaron Avery and Chyenne Clements, and Jameson DeNyse and Sophia DeNyse; a sister, Diedre Stuart of Dallas, Texas; brothers: Bertram Jones of Hartford and Vernon Jones of Ponchatoula, La; and daughter-in-law, Sharon Avery Overhiser of South Haven. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charles M. Avery; four siblings and a grandchild.
     A funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Immaculate Conception Church in Hartford, with Father Robert Flickinger presiding. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sandra M. Avery Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship established for young women pursuing a nursing career focused on migrant health. Donations can be sent to 3225 SW 87th Ave., #25509, Portland, OR 97298-0842.

 
Norma June Williams, d 9-11-2013Norma June Williams, 82, of Greenwood, Ark. (formerly of Hartford MI), passed away Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in a Fort Smith, Ark., hospital.
     She was a retired certified nursing assistant and member of the Community Free Will Baptist Church in Pocola, Okla. She was preceded in death by her husband, Horace Williams, and one son, James O. Williams.
     Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at McConnell Funeral Home Chapel in Greenwood, Ark., with burial in Old Jenny Lind Cemetery. Viewing will be from 1-8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, where the family will visit with friends from 2-4 p.m.
     She is survived by five sons: Bill Williams and Roger Dale Williams, both of Paw Paw, Mich.; Jerry Lynn Williams and Allen D. Williams, both of Fort Smith, Ark.; and Christopher A. Williams of Greenwood, Ark.; one daughter, Carol Ann
Salverson of Paw Paw; 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
     To sign an online guest book, please visit www.mc­connellfh.com.
 
HARTFORD — Zachary Brian Leitz stepped out of his earthly body and into the loving arms of his heavenly Father on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.
     
Zachary’s life began May 11, 1990 in St. Joseph.
     He grew up in Watervliet, graduating from Watervliet High School in 2008. While in high school Zachary was a member of the marching band who proudly marched at the Pontiac Silverdome and on Ford Field for the state competition four consecutive years. Zachary recently went to work for Chassix in Stevensville. He loved ...filling his time with music, writing, gathering with his amazing friends, and hanging with his siblings.
     His loving family includes: his parents Gregory Leitz of Coloma and Barbara (Peter) McKeon of Spring Lake, MI; three siblings Jeremy Tuttle, Jacob Leitz, and Rachel Leitz; three nieces Abigail, Cameron, and Skylar Tuttle; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Zachary is preceded in death by his grandparents Alan and Elaine Leitz and Clifford and Marie Hinton and an aunt Paula Robertson.
     Funeral services will be celebrated Friday, September 13, at 11:00 AM at River of Life Church in Watervliet. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Zachary’s family with arrangements.
      Zachary stepped out of his earthly body and into the loving arms of his Heavenly Father on Monday, September 9th, 2013. Zach, we love you like crazy and will miss you until we see you again.
September 10, 2013
Herald Palladium
by Staff

Fatal crash shuts down EB I-94 lanes

Hartford man killed after his car crosses median, lands on other car

BENTON TOWNSHIP — A 23-year-old Hartford man died Monday after he lost control of his car, which crossed the I-94 median, went airborne and landed upside down on the roof of a car traveling in the opposite direction.

Benton Township police re­ported that Brian Zachary Leitz died from injuries suffered in the accident, which occurred at 2:45 p.m. near Exit 30 at Napier Avenue.

James Wilson, 64, of Plainwell, the other driver involved, suffered multiple, non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph by Medic 1.

Eastbound lanes between Exits 29 and 33 were closed most of Monday afternoon as police diverted vehicles onto the Napier Avenue exit.

Witnesses told police Leitz was driving his 2001 Mercury westbound when he lost control of the vehicle, which landed on Wilson’s 1999 Toyota. Both men were entrapped in their vehicles and had to be extricated.

The Benton Township Fire Department also responded to the scene, along with the Benton Township Police Accident Reconstruction Unit, the Michigan State Police and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department

Robert Edson Shafer July 3, 1923 - September 5, 2013
Robert Shafer d 9-5-2013
     Born July 3, 1923 in Hartford, Michigan to Dell and Ruth Shafer, our father built a prosperous life that revolved around his love of the outdoors and adventuresome curiosity.
     As a Captain in the US Army Air Corps from 1942 - 46, he was stationed in both the United States and European Theatres of Operation. A member of the 441st Troop Carrier Group, he participated in the Normandy Invasion and was among the first American soldiers in Berlin after being dispatched to secure the Tempelhof airport in May of 1945.
     After the war, Robert moved to Alaska to pursue adventure and an education. He worked on the construction of the Alaska Highway as well as on gold mining dredges north of Fairbanks. In 1947, he and five friends set out to drive Jeeps along the Pan American Highway from Alaska to Argentina. He received a degree in mining engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he met and married Elizabeth Donnelly, a registered nurse, in 1949.
     This fruit farmer and independent mining consultant grew his family to six children - Sharon Fessenden (Zef); Stephanie Shieldhouse (Richard); Patricia Badland (Charles); Martha Shea (Larry); Mark (Simona) and Matthew (Kendra) - and 10 grandchildren. After living in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, New York and South America, they settled their children in Lakeland, Florida.
     Mining took him overseas to six of the continents and over 50 countries around the world. Every summer, Robert and Elizabeth would pack up the kids and animals in the family station wagon to spend the summer in Hartford, Michigan, working the family fruit farm.
Lakeland was home for over 30 years, before moving to Tallahassee to be near children and grandchildren.
     Robert looked forward to every morning - to feel the parchment of the daily town paper, complete the crossword, enjoy novels and fill his retirement years with trips to the library, senior center, the grocer and daily walks around Lake Ella. In addition to his kids and grandkids, he is survived by his brother, Steve Shafer (Ginny).
     Robert's internment will be held on Friday, September 27, 2013 at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell FL. Bevis Funeral Home, 850-385-2193, www.bevisfh.com, is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Note:  Robert was a Hartford High School graduate from the Class of 1940
.

 

Jean Marie Arant, d 9-1-2013
Jean Marie Arant, 84, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, South Haven.
     Jean was born Nov. 26, 1928, in Benton Harbor, the daughter of William and Georgia (Tetsworth) Thornton, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by her husband, Lester Arant Sr.; two daughters, Norma Jean Watkins and Lois Marie Robinson; a longtime companion, Cleatus Beckman; four brothers; Norman, Bill, John and Jim Thornton; a sister, Nona Paviolous; a grandson, Ray Watkins; a granddaughter, Tonya Collins; and a great­grandson, Joseph Jim Alsup.
     Jean worked for the Williams Brothers Paper Box Factory in St. Joseph and VM Corp. in Benton Harbor. She loved attending church at Full Gospel Assembly Church in Hartford. But most important, she loved spending time with her family, loved playing with her dog, Tiny, and baking.
     Jean is survived by a son, Lester Arant Jr. of Hartford; five stepchildren: Rick Beckman, Phil Beckman and Cherrie Collins, all of Hartford; Cindy (Tom) Murdoch of Colorado; and Janice Schaub of Eau Claire; 16 grandchildren: Stephanie (Shannon) True­love of Hartford; Lester (Andrea) Arant of Warrensburg, Mo.; Brandon Arant and Jeffrey Robinson, both of Coloma; Douglas Robinson of Tennessee; Tina Clark of Arkansas; Kathy Sharpe of Benton Harbor; Sherrie Alridge, Ralph Watkins and Richard Watkins, all of Tennessee; Billy Collins, Shawn Collins and Brendan Collins, all of Coloma; Bri­anne Leone of Colorado; Jessica Crump of Logansville, Ga.; and Jennifer Venno of Stevensville; seven great-grandchildren: Lois, Samantha, Breanna, Zach, Daniel, Ashley and Jonathan; and two brothers: Donald Thornton and Larry (Janet) Thornton, both of Coloma.
     The family will welcome friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Full Gospel As­sembly Church, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. Pas­tor Shannon Truelove will officiate. Burial will follow in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Township. Memorial donations in Jean’s name may be made to Full Gospel Assembly Church. The family has entrusted Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences to the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Ingrid Bell d 8-31-2013Mrs. Ingrid Sybilla Mueller Bell of Augusta, Ga., formerly of Hartford, entered into rest Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. She was 69 years old. She was born Nov. 25, 1943, in Bamberg, Germany, to Barbara and Joseph Mueller, who preceded her in passing.
     Mrs. Bell is survived by her husband of 51 years, Russell Bell; four children: Dwayne Bell, Barbara Einset (Philip Hercik), Robert Bell (Sarah) and Ingrid Kempf; six grandchildren: Bradley Bell, Spencer Bell, Kristen Einset, Hollee Hercik, Autumn Dees and Audrey Dees; and one great-grandchild, Odin Shepherd.
     Mrs. Bell was a member of the Waynesboro Church of God in Waynesboro, Ga. Prior to her retirement she worked for Avion Coach Co.
     The family will welcome friends from noon-1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at First General Baptist Church, Benton Harbor, where the service to honor her memory will be at 1 p.m. Pastor Jim Dunn will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
     Those wishing to make memorial donations may do so to the National Parkinson’s Foundation. The family has entrusted Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.calvinleonardfh.com.

 
 

Richard Murphey d 8-30-2013Richard Lee Murphey, of Cadillac, passed away Friday, August 30, 2013, at Munson Medical Center with his wife by his side. He was 71.  He was born November 26, 1941, in Chicago, to Chester and Louise (Jackson) Murphey. Richard was married to Carol Ann Miller of Lake City on March 31, 2012, in Jennings, Mich. Richard was owner of the Village Market in Fruitport, Mich., for eight years. He also worked as a manger for Kroger in Muskegon and Hart and was manager for Pick 'n Save in Cadillac. Richard worked as a sales representative for Melody Farms Dairy before retirement and had the privilege of traveling beautiful Northern Michigan in his work. He loved cooking, gardening, woodworking, going to the casino and taking care of his beautiful yard. He was an avid Detroit Tiger baseball and Detroit Red Wing hockey fan. He also enjoyed deer hunting, snowmobiling and he loved going to NASCAR races. Dick spoke often of the Boy Scout camping trip to Colorado as a young boy.
     Dick, along with his father, built the family home in the 1960s. Richard enjoyed sharing morning coffee with his friends at a local café and could be seen almost daily chatting with old friends at local grocery stores, the business that was a big part of his life for many years. Dick was loved and enjoyed by his neighbors.
     Richard is survived by his wife, Carol Ann Miller-Murphey; daughter, Sandi (Duane) Morton of Twin Lake, Mich.; grandson, Joshua Doerr; granddaughters: Heather Murphey and Zayah Vanderlaan; daughter-in-law, Sara Henry; step-daughters: Kimberli Carr, Kelli Battig and Kari Martin.
     He was preceded in death by his father, Chester Murphey mother, Louise Murphey; son, Shawn Murphey; sister, Linda Norden; and his wife, Janet Murphey.
     In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Larry Shetenhelm will officiate.
     Memorial contributions may be directed to the Jennings Community Church Building Fund or the Diabetes Foundation. Please share condolences with the family online at www.hitesman-holdship.com.
    
The family is being served by the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home.


NOTE:  Richard was a 1961 Hartford High School graduate.

Debra Parker Whipple d 8-2013Debra Carol Parker Whipple was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky to Carol LeRoy and Ruby Maxine Parker.
     Debra was a member of the Vineyard Church-Pearland, where she served as the administrative assistant. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. She served in God's kingdom through how she lived her life as well as being active in the Living Waters program, women's ministry, prayer teams, outreach, out of country mission trips and coordinating numerous church activities.
     Debra leaves to continue her legacy of love, her husband, Patrick Joseph Whipple, two sons, Justin Michael Jonns and wife Samantha and Joshua David Jonns; two step sons, Dustin Whipple and Peter Whipple; father Carol Parker and mother Ruby Parker, brother Michael Lee Parker and wife Debra, sister Kimberly Parker Conner and husband JD Conner and brother Mark Darrin Parker and wife Christine; grandchildren Aubrey Jonns, Jordan Jonns, Jackson Whipple, Joey Whipple and Emerson Baker. Debra is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends
     The celebration of life memorial service will be Wednesday, August 28, 2013 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm with reception following at the Vineyard Church of Houston, 1035 E. 11th St., Houston, TX 77009. In lieu of floral tributes, memorial donations may be made in honor of Debra Carol Whipple to the Vineyard Church-Pearland, P.O. Box 1577, Pearland, TX 77588-1577, Building Fund.

NOTE:  Debra was Miss Hartford 1972 and a 1972 Hartford High School graduate.

Thomas Smith d 8-25-2013Thomas William Smith, 69, of Hartford passed away Aug. 25, 2013, in Augusta, Ga., after a sudden illness. Tom was born July 27, 1944, and graduated from Hartford High School in 1962. Tom was a proud father of three children and grandfather of three (with one more on the way).
     Tom was a longtime resident of Stevensville and was employed in the home improvement industry in Southwest Michigan for many years. He recently had moved to Carrollton, Ga.
     He was known for his kindness, fun-loving personality, deep love for his family and strong loyalty to his friends. Tom was devoted to helping others; this was evident from the many years he devoted to caring for his widowed mother.
     He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald Ellsworth (1985) and Mildred (Voight) Smith (2009); his son, Gregory Smith (1981); and oldest brother, Donald Smith (2006). Tom is survived by his loving partner, Ruth Ellen Wilkens of Georgia; a son, Jonathan (Miyuki) Smith of Hawaii; a daughter, Michelle (Timothy) Criscuolo of Virginia; grandchildren: Danielle, Mathew and Nicholas; his sisters and brothers: Joanne Monaghen of Wisconsin; Robert (Janis) Smith of Florida; Debra (Bill Strunk) Smith of California; Michael (Denelle Duncombe) Smith of Texas; and Laurel Smith of Arizona; and a sister-in-law, Roberta Smith of Michigan.
     He will be missed by everyone, including his aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
     Tom’s ashes will be interred next to his son, Gregory, at Spring Run Cemetery.
     To honor Tom’s wishes, a celebration of his life hosted by his siblings will be from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at the Fraternal Order of Police, 3470 Angling Road, Coloma.
 
Ralph Kemp of Watervliet died Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, at Countryside Nursing Home in South Haven.
     Ralph’s life began April 19, 1936, in Hartford. He spent his life in the area, attending elementary school at Holly Community School and then graduating from Covert High School. Ralph enjoyed farming and growing specialties. He also liked wood crafting or carving and his cats, dogs and cows. Ralph was a farmer by trade, but also drove trucks, transporting vegetables and fruit to market for himself and his neighbors.

     Ralph leaves behind a loving family, including a sister: Evelyn Kemp of Hartford; two brothers: Kenneth (Helen) Kemp of South Haven and Harold Raymond (Marilyn) Kemp of California; six nieces and nephews; and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth, and his parents, Harold and Myrtle (Parsons) Kemp.
     Friends may visit with Ralph’s family from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet, where funeral services will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26. Burial will follow in Watervliet City Cemetery.

 
Jeanine Caudill, 78, of Hartford, formerly of Blue Island and Alsip, Ill., died Aug. 21, 2013, at her home. She was born Nov. 9, 1934, to Elsie and Clarence Reuss in Harvey, Ill. She married Larry Caudill in 1956. She worked in the trucking industry for 40 years. Jeanine and Larry were very passionate about the water and spent many happy years on the river.
     In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Larry, in 2001; her brother, Clarence “Bus” Reuss; and her sister, Gayle Holste.
     Jeanine is survived by her children: Lisa (Andy) Gorenz of South Haven; David (Mary) Caudill of Midloithian, Ill.; and Kimberly Johnston of South Chicago Heights, Ill.; seven grandchildren: Heather, Jacob, Daniel, Jonathan, Robert, Keli (David) and Hahna; five great-grandchildren: Noah, Kailey, Hailey, Kali and Logan; and one brother, Robert (Sandy) Ruess of Presque Isle, Wis.
     No services are scheduled at this time. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St, Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s online guestbook at www.FilbrandtFFH.com (6370333).

 
Carl Zirk, Jenison MI, formerly of Hartford, passed away August 13, 2013 at University Hospital in Ann Arbor MI.  Carl is survived by his wife, Connie Melville Zirk.  He was a 1960 Hartford High School graduate

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Lisa McNees Clark, age 45 of Deltona FL, formerly of Hartford MI, passed away August 8, 2013 in Orange City FL.  She was born March 4, 1968 in Watervliet MI. 
     Lisa is survived by her husband, Adam; stepmother, Virginia McNees of Riverside MI; two sisters; Tami (David) Kuhm of Pittsburgh PA; Charity (Chris) Cummins of Hartford; and a brother, Travis McNees of Decatur MI; stepsister, Jennifer (Alan) Knapp of Virginia; grandmother Jane McNees of Riverside, an uncle Ron McNees of Riverside; four nephews and three nieces.. 
     Preceding Lisa in death was her mother, Janice Yeckley McNees Pyburn in 2013 and her father, James McNees in 2008.
     Lisa was 1st runner up in the 1986 Miss Hartford Contest and a 1986 Hartford High School graduate. She served in the US Navy after high school.
     Lisa will be very much missed by her family and all the friends she leaves behind in FL and the many, many friends she leaves behind in Hartford. She was dedicated, kind, and compassionate to everyone she knew.
     A memorial service will be at noon Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford.
 

Lowell "Ted" Arden Sonnenberg, 80, of Jackson, formerly of Benton Harbor, died Aug. 4, 2013, at Hospice Home in Jackson.
    
Born Nov. 14, 1932, in Benton Harbor to Arthur and Rachel Sonnenberg, Ted attended Benton Harbor High School and graduated from Benton Harbor Community College in 1953. On May 23, 1955, he married Harriet Ann Settle of Salem, Ind. Ted lived in the Benton Harbor and Berrien County area most of his life and worked at Ross Carrier Co. and Clark Equipment Co. in Benton Harbor from 1950 until retiring in 1980.
     Survivors include his wife, Harriet Ann; four children: Michael Sonnenberg of Lexington, Ky.; Susan Bauer of Stevensville; and twins Tim Sonnenberg of Jackson and Ted Sonnenberg of Leslie, Mich; six grandchildren: Patrick, Rachel, Teddy, Kristen, Cameron and Gil; one great-grandchild, Ashton; and his sister, Lois Ingram of Reed City, Mich.
     An immediate family memorial service was held at the Hospice Home in Jackson, where he was cremated and his ashes scattered at one of his favorite hunting spots.
     The family wishes to thank Arbor Woods Assisted Living, Hospice Home and Allegiance Health in Jackson for their care and support.
     Condolences may be sent to Ann Sonnenberg, 125 Armstrong St., Leslie, MI 49251.

NOTE:  His twin sons, Tim and Ted, graduated from Hartford High School in 1980.
 

Connie S. Austin Loikits, 67, of Warsaw, Ind., died Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at home.
     Connie was born May 11, 1946, in Paw Paw to Volney and Pearl (Bridges) Austin. She graduated from Watervliet High School in 1965. She worked for several area businesses and lived for a few years in Florida before returning to Michigan, where she worked for Manpower Placement in St. Joseph for more than 20 years. She retired in 2012 as a senior staffer.
     Connie will be remembered for her feisty attitude and direct and candid remarks. She lived life with vigor and determination and faced death with courage and grace. Memories of her will be cherished. 
     Survivors include her companion, Dee Nuell of Warsaw; her companion’s mother, Iris Nuell of Warsaw; her companion’s sister, Joni Kinder of Warsaw; her son, Ron (Brenda) Warman of Stevensville; two grandsons, Nathan and Alex Warman; her brother, Ronnie (Connie) Austin of Hartford; two nephews, Casey Austin and Jeffrey Austin; a niece, Christina Austin; a sister-in-law, Judy (Roy) Stanfar; and a cousin, Joanne Reed.
     She was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, Alden Bridges.
     A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
     Titus Funeral Home of Warsaw is in charge of arrangements.

 
Lyell Smith d 7-21-2013The Rev. Lyell George Smith of Phoenix, Ariz., entered Heaven on July 21, 2013, following a brief illness. He was 87. He is survived by his three children: Stephen Smith of Phoenix, Ariz.; Stephanie (Dave) Reese of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Shari (Ed) Krasinski of West Bloomfield, Mich.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
     Lyell was born Jan. 11, 1926, and fought in World War II with the Canadian Navy, serving as the ships’s radio operator. He graduated from Bob Jones University and served as the choral director for Youth for Christ. He later became pastor of Hartford Federated Church in Hartford, Mich. In the early 1970s he worked at Trans World Radio, generating support for missionaries serving overseas.
     Lyell was known for his outgoing personality, penchant for jokes and puns and commitment to ministry. God used Lyell to bring many souls to the Lord. His family will miss him dearly but takes comfort in the knowledge that they will be together again in Heaven.
     Funeral arrangements are private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests do­nations to Hospice of Ari­zona (www.ahhospicefoundation.org) or Billy Graham ministries (www.billygraham.org).

 
Clara Rosenbaum d 7-21-2013
Clara Maurine Lightner Rosenbaum
, 95, of Bainbridge Township passed away peacefully Sunday, July 21, 2013, at home.
     Clara was born March 9, 1918, in Hartford to Gerard and Marie Lightner. She graduated from Watervliet High School in 1935, along with her future husband, Gordon Rosenbaum. They were married in 1936 and raised their family and farmed together on the family farm in Bainbridge.
     Clara was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ for more than 60 years. She enjoyed collecting Depression glass and researching the family genealogy. She was a member of the Watervliet Literary Guild. She and Gordon enjoyed spending the winter months in Florida.
     She is survived by her husband; two sons: Gerald (Karen) Rosenbaum of Coloma and Lewis (Marilyn) Rosenbaum of St. Louis, Mo.; 11 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and two half-sisters: Connie Foster of Stevensville and Kay Gray of Dowagiac. In addition to her parents, Clara was preceded in death by a son, James; a brother, Lewis; and an uncle and aunt, Harrison and Jennie Balfour, who raised her.
     A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 1650 N. Bainbridge Center Road, Watervliet. Visitation will be at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be in North Shore Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church, the American Cancer Society or Hospice at Home. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Clara’s family with arrangements.
 
Carol Ann Allen d 6-23-2013Carol Ann Allen, 69, of El Cajon, Calif., formerly of Hartford, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 23, 2013, at Sharp Hospice Lakeview Home in La Mesa, Calif.
     Carol was born Feb. 20, 1944, in Watervliet, the daughter of Theodore and Ruth (Hamill) Phillips, both of whom preceded her in passing. Carol graduated from Hartford High School in 1962. In 1965, she married her life­long partner, Jerry Warren Allen, who survives.
     Carol also leaves behind three children: Sheila Allen and Shelly Allen, both of El Cajon; and Jeremiah “Jay” (Rhashayla) Allen of Lakeside, Calif.; two grandchildren, Elijah Allen, 6, and Jesiah Allen, 2; along with several brothers and sisters. In addition to raising three children, she worked as a CNA, including several years with Van Buren County Mental Health Services.
     In 2005, Carol and Jerry moved to the San Diego area, where they have spent the last several years enjoying the beautiful California sunshine. Carol loved spending time with her family and going on various outings, including drives to the beach, trips to the San Diego Zoo, The Wild Animal Park and harbor cruises on the Pacific Ocean.
     She will be forever loved and dearly missed by her friends and family. Messages of condolence can be left at http://carolallenremembered.blogspot.com.

 
C.A. Adams, 78, of Hartford passed away Thursday, July 18, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph.
     C.A. was born March 15, 1935, in Tomball, Texas, the son of Chester and Gertrude Adams, both of whom preceded him in passing.
     C.A. was one of the construction workers who built the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla., for the Apollo Space program when Neal Armstrong and his crew were sent to the moon. He also worked at the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman. He had a heart of gold and, as the expression goes, he would give his shirt off his back to anyone.
     C.A. married the former Carolyn Louise Slabaugh. She survives, along with his six children: Sandra (Frederick) Jacko, Carolyn Fitzpatrick, Charles (Bonnie) Adams, Terri (Roger) Morse, Paul Adams and Minor (Robin) Adams. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two brothers: Thomas (Eveline) Whidden and Sidney Adams; and a sister, Eloise Fischer.
     Cremation has taken place and a memorial celebration will be held at a later date. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with the arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family can leave them on our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 
Billy Ray Collins d 7-18-2013Billy Ray Collins, 74, of Hartford passed away Thursday, July 18, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, with his wife, children, grandchildren and other family members by his side.
     Billy was born Jan. 10, 1939, in Jonesboro, Ark., the son of Benjamin and Edith (Coy) Collins, both of whom preceded him in passing. Also preceding him in passing were a great-grandson, Ethan Paul Nelson; two brothers, Bobby and Woodrow Collins; and a sister, Bernice Derr.
     Bill was formerly employed with Auto Specialties until 1980 before retiring in 2010 from E.S. Enterprises of Hartford. He loved to fish, golf, watch NASCAR racing and care for his lawn, which he kept green, clean and pristine. But his most enjoyable moments were the times he spent with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     Bill married the former Carolyn Sue Roper on Sept. 3, 1960, and she survives, along with their four children: Debbie Rittase, Karen (David) Carlson, Sandy (Kevin) Nelson and Greg (Tammy) Collins, all of Hartford; nine grandchildren: Brandi, Kevin, Matthew, Tiffany, Brittany, Kristen, Joshua, Shayne and Cameron; seven great­grandchildren: Samantha, Brookelynn, Allison, Kendra, Aliyah, Myles and Peyton; a brother, Johnny Collins of Coloma; and a sister-in-law, Bonnie Lindley of Hartford.
     The family will welcome friends from 6-8 p.m. Sun­day, July 21, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor Billy’s memory will commence at 2 p.m. Monday, July 22, with Pastor Wayne Davis of His Place Cathedral of Faith, Covert, officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Billy’s name be made to the American Cancer Society. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family can leave them at www.calvin­leonardfh.com.

 
Alice Bachman d 7-8-2013Alice Elizabeth Bachman, 97, of Hartford passed away Monday, July 8, 2013, at Golden Age Manor, Stevensville.
     Alice was born Jan. 29, 1916, in Boyne City, Mich., the daughter of Morris and Lizzie (Grammel) Snyder, both of whom preceded her in passing. Alice was the last survivor of their nine children. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Donald, on Feb. 23, 2005, and a son, Ronnie, in 1963.
     Alice moved to St. Joseph after she graduated from Boyne City High School. She and Don met at the Shadowland Ballroom and soon afterward married on June 18, 1939. She retired from Van Buren State Bank after many years of loyal employment. She also volunteered at Lakeland Community Hospital, Watervliet, as an auxiliary well into her 80s, working in the gift shop and doing the bookkeeping. In her spare time, she loved watching baseball, especially her children, grandchildren and the great-grandchildren, and also her beloved Detroit Tigers. She was in a bowling league, loved to golf with her late husband and was a member of the Mothers Club of Hartford.
     Alice is survived by three children: Pat (Jim) Empson of Traverse City, Terry Bachman of Kalamazoo and Rick (Ernestine) Bachman of Hartford; eight grandchildren: Kelly Richards, Kimberly (Pete) Root, Kevin Empson, Terri Bachman, Amy (Ray) Gendron, Aaron Elizabeth (Todd) Valdes, Anne (Matt) Smith and Andy (Krissy) Bachman; and 18 great-grandchildren.
     The family will welcome friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 12, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, with Pastor Jeff Williams of Hartford United Methodist Church, of which she was a member, officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Alice’s name be made to the Hartford Council for Recreation. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so on our web site at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Charles Edward Bloomer, 85, of Hartford passed away Friday, June 28, 2013, at his home.     
     Charles was born Jan. 14, 1928, in Metropolis, Ill., to Edward Bloomer and Opal (Richardson) Bloomer. On May 13, 1946, he married Elsie Edwards. He was a lifelong area farmer. In his spare time he enjoyed taking photographs, mowing his yard and spending time with his family and dog.     
     He is survived by his wife, Elsie Bloomer of Hartford; four sons: James (Veronica) Bloomer of Florida, JC (Patty) Bloomer, Carl (Linda) Bloomer and Charles "Bob" Bloomer, all of Hartford; six daughters: Patsey Suarez, Drenda (Joe) Yurt and Marie (Bill) Ledford, all of Florida; Norma Bloomer of South Bend, Patricia (Bill) Harkey of Dowagiac and Tina (Steve) DeMaria of Benton Harbor. He loved all 25 of his grandchildren very much.     
     He was preceded in death by his parents and three children, Kenneth Bloomer, Ray Bloomer and Charlotte Sieber.
     The family will welcome friends from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, where the service to honor his memory will commence at 1 p.m. Pastor Efrain Maya will officiate. Charles will be laid to rest in Keeler Cemetery with private family services. The family asks that memorial donations in Charles' name be made to Hospice at Home or the Keeler General Baptist Church Memorial Fund. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. To leave memorial condolences in Charles' name, you may do so on our website at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
Alice I. Flowers, 78, of Decatur passed away suddenly Wednesday, June 26, at Community Hospital in Watervliet.
Alice Flowers d 6-26-2013
     Services celebrating her life will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, at Keeler General Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday, July 1, at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. Burial will be in Keeler Cemetery. Donations in memory of Alice may be made to Keeler General Baptist Church, of which she was a very active member. Those wishing to leave an online message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffield­pastrick.com.
     Alice was born April 12, 1935, in Steele, Mo., to Jarold and Flossie Wilson. She was formerly employed by Heath Co., American Electric Power and then retired after 25 years as a real estate broker. Alice loved to cook and spend time with her family, always putting everyone else first.
     Survivors include her husband, Charles “Bud” Flowers, whom she married Feb. 6, 1954; three sons: Charles and Bruce Flowers of Hartford and Bradley Flowers of Coloma; four sisters: Betty (Bill) Howard of Sister Lakes, Fritz (Glen) Flowers of Benton Harbor, Marjory Blaylock of Sister Lakes and Lucille (Wayne) Kerby of South Bend; two brothers: J.W. (Sandy) Wilson of Perrinton, Mich., and Larry (Debbie) Wilson of Bitely, Mich.; seven grandchildren: Ryan (Tinta) Flowers and Chad Flowers of Chicago, Sara Flowers and Bradley (Angie) Flowers Jr. of Coloma, Melissa (Jason) Case of St. Joseph, Ashley Flowers of Bangor and Jacob Flowers of Hartford; seven great-grandchildren: Devon, Madison, Baylee, Jackson, Logan, Daisy and Noah; and numerous nieces, neph­ews, relatives and friends.
     She was preceded in death by her father, Jarold, in 1993 and her mother, Flossie, in 2011.
 
Michael David Burfield, 42, of Hartford passed away on Friday, June 21, 2013, at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo.
     The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 24, 2013, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford, where a rosary will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian burial to honor Michael’s life will be Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford. Father Fabio Garzon and Deacon Arthur Morsaw will officiate. Michael will be laid to rest in Rush Lake Indian Cemetery in Hartford Township. In lieu of flowers, please make any memorial donations to his wife and son, “Tip.” Messages of condolences for Michael’s family may be left on the website at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
     Michael was born in Watervliet December 19, 1970, to Bill and Wanda (Drane) Morse. He loved spending time with his family, especially his wife, Laura, and his son, Clarence “Tip” Burfield. He also leaves behind to cherish his memory: his parents, Bill and Wanda; a sister, Tammy (Ken) McGlothlin; a brother, Scott (Linda) Burfield all of Hartford; his mother-and father-in-law, Catherine and Deacon Arthur Morsaw; numerous sisters-in-law; brothers-in­law; aunts; uncles; nieces; nephews; a great niece; and friends.
     He was preceded in death by his grandmother and grandfather, Clarence and Vera Drane, and a nephew, P.J. Christner.
     Michael enjoyed the family trips to Florida, where he relaxed on the beaches and went snorkel­ing in the ocean.
Adelbert Stagg d 6-12-2013PAW PAW — Adelbert Letts Stagg was born on April 24, 1920, to Alfred and Mary (Ritchey) Stagg. He died Wednesday, June 12, at home. He was raised in Nashville, Tenn., the youngest child in a large, close-knit family. Both parents and most of the children were musicians. The household often included boarders to help offset the expenses of such a large family. Three brothers became physicians, the two sisters dieticians, and as adults, scattered through­out the country, they vacationed together well into their 80s.
     Dr. Stagg attended Southern Missionary and Emmanuel colleges. He received his medical training from the College of Medical Evangelists at Loma Linda, Calif., serving his internship at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. He served his country with distinction during World War II as a statistician and industrial medical specialist in the United States Army. After the war Dr. Stagg completed his post-graduate work in general surgery and cardiology at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and hung his shingle in the rural community of Hartford in 1948. Dr. Stagg spent 60 years serving the medical needs of four generations of residents of Hartford, treating them skillfully and with compassion, integrity and respect. He was the embodiment of the “country doctor,” treating his patients first and foremost as individuals, not as the ailments they presented to him. Patients and colleagues alike fondly recall his acts of charity and kindness.
     Dr. Stagg served as the Deputy Medical Examiner for Van Buren County, twice served as president of the Van Buren County Medical Society and as Chief of Staff of Community Hospital. Dr. Stagg won the love of his patients and the respect of his peers, as evidenced by the numerous community honors bestowed upon him. In 2000 he received the Pfizer Quality Care Award for physicians exhibiting integrity, professionalism and serving as a role model for community leadership. He was selected by the Michigan State Medical Society Board of Directors to receive the prestigious Frederick and Besse Moulton Plessner Memorial award honoring a family physician exemplifying the ideals of service to his fellow citizens. He was proclaimed “Citizen of the Year” by the city of Hartford in 1994 for his unselfish contributions to the community, and the A.L. Stagg Birthing Center was named in his honor when Community Hospital returned to providing obstetric services. Upon his retirement in 2007 at the age of 87 the Stagg Medical Center was named in his honor.
     When he infrequently hung up his stethoscope, Dr. Del vacationed with Lorna, traveled every summer to the Canadian wilderness on a fishing trip with his buddies, gardened, cared for a series of “well disciplined” dogs, played golf and tennis and extended a fiercely competitive nature even to card games.
     He was a devoted member of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Along with other members he built a new sanctuary for the Hartford church in 1969 and later moved his membership to Paw Paw when he and Lorna moved to Heritage Glenn golf course.
     He is survived by his wife, Lorna; a sister, Anna (MD); six children: Del Jr. of California, Andy of Washington, Bob of California, Andy of Washington, Kirk of Washington, Sally of Washington and Jennifer of Michigan; two stepchildren, Jason of California and Leslie of Tennessee; 14 grandchildren, and 31⁄2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by six siblings.
     In celebration of his life, a visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at Hartford Seventh-day Adventist Church on Old Pinery Road. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 17, at the same location.
     In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted to the A.L. Stagg M.D. Medical Educational Fund, c/o Hartford Foundation for Quality Education, established in Dr. Del’s honor. Memorial condolences for the family may be sent online to www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
Roger Thomas Applegate, 67, of Hartford passed away Monday, June 10, 2013, at his daughter’s home in Hartford.
     “Gizzy,”as he was known, was born Dec. 24, 1945, in Lucasville, Ohio, the son of Steve and Nettie (Smith) Applegate, both of whom preceded him in passing.
     A graveside service to honor Roger’s life took place at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, 2013, at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford, with Pastor Shannon Truelove of the Full Gospel Assembly of Hartford officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Roger’s name may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford is handling the arrangements. Those wishing to leave a condolence for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
     Roger formerly operated the Crystal Flash in Hartford. He was also employed at the Watervliet Paper Mill, Superior Steel in Benton Harbor and drove semi trucks for a number of different companies.
     Roger mostly loved the time he spent with his family, which consists of a son, James Applegate of Hartford; a daughter, Lisa (Marvin Smith) Riley of Hartford; and two granddaughters, Lyndsey Pruitt of Covert and Macie Pruitt of Hartford. Also surviving are a brother, Ed (Kathy) Smith of Palaski, Tenn.; half-sisters and half-brother: Susie, Brenda, Nettie Mae, Betty and Roy; and a special friend, Carol.
Helen Louise Mason, formerly of Portage, went to be with the Lord on June 9, 2013, at the age of 92.
     Helen was born April 14, 1921, to Joseph and Anna (Gressel) Kizinski in Hartford, Michigan. She graduated from Paw Paw High School in 1939, and continued her education at Maher's Business College, graduating in 1941. Helen married and devoted her life to R. Vern Mason and was the proud mother of 3 sons; Bill (Ruth Dwoinen) of Plainwell MI, Randy (Brenda) of Kalamazoo, and Rick (Nancy) of St. Clair Shores. Her life was her family and she was a loving and caring mother. Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and 3 brothers. She is survived by her sons, 6 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren.
     Helen's life will be celebrated and blessed on Friday, June 14, 2013 at St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1150 W. Centre Ave., Portage, MI at 11:00AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pet Resources Network, PO Box 3034, Kalamazoo, MI 49003 or the Charity of your choice. Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th St.

 
Alex Eddie Murphy, 60, passed away suddenly at his home in Keeler on Friday morning, May 31, 2013.
     A memorial celebration to honor Alex’s life, will be t 1 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at the family home. Please come with your best story about your experiences with Alex.
     Alex was born in Joiner, Ark., Feb. 21, 1953, to Alex and Mildred George-Murphy, who preceded him in passing. He was employed at numerous area farms as their handyman and did just about everything. His hobbies were working on lawn mowers with his grandson, fishing and spending precious moments with his family.
     Survivors include his wife, Tonya Fuller-Murphy; his seven children: Gale (Kevin) Schneider of Bangor, Alex Eddie Murphy Jr. of Grand Junction, Mary (Tony Westerhoff) Murphy of Bloomingdale, Randy (Angela Grahm) Murphy and Bobby Murphy, both of Grand Junction, Brandy (Jack Peterson) Murphy and Jody (Nathan McCann), both of Hartford. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Niki, Cody, Amber, Kali, Toby, Ashley, Brody, Joey, Derek, Tony, Haley and Jacob.
     Memorials may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford was entrusted with handling the arrangements. Messages of condolences for Alex’s family may be left at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 

Tammy L. Capovilla-Diehl d 5-31-2013Tammy L. Capovilla-Diehl, 48, of Hartford passed away Friday, May 31, 2013, at her residence.
     A service celebrating her life will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma, where visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be made to the family. Those wishing to leave an online message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Tammy was born Sept. 20, 1964, in Watervliet to Primo and Victoria Lou (Savoie) Capovilla Jr. She loved shopping, scrapbooking, traveling and spending time with her family. She was a host mother for 14 foreign exchange students and worked six years for International Student Exchange in addition to working at the Waffle House in Watervliet. Tammy also enjoyed spending time with her favorite companion, Belle, and two grand dogs, Arie and Callie.
     Survivors include her husband, Joe Diehl; a son, Jerry (Alyssa) Capovilla, and two daughters, Brandy (Gregg) Osburn and Jayme Diehl, all of Hartford; her father, Primo Capovilla Jr. of Watervliet; stepfather, Dale Fredricks Sr. of Coloma; “mother from the heart,” Pauline Pipkins of Hartford; two brothers, Tony Capovilla of Hartford and Dale Fredricks Jr. of Riverside; and numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.
     Tammy was preceded in death by her mother, Victoria Lou Fredricks; father-in­law, George Pipkins; mother-in-law, Linda Nail; and sister-in-law, Judi Kay Nail.
 

John Lauck d 5-30-2013John A. Lauck, of Hartford, formerly of Stevensville, passed away Thursday, May 30, 2013, at his home.
     A celebration of life eternal will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford. Friends may visit beginning at 1 p.m. Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hartford United Methodist Church, Grace Hospice of Portage, or Alzheimer’s Association-Michigan Great Lakes Chapter in Kalamazoo. Those wishing to sign John’s memory book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
     John was born Nov. 12, 1935, in Lakewood, Ohio, to John and Emily (Ridzon) Lauck. He graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1953, Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree, and Michigan State University with a master’s degree in business administration. On May 16, 1959, John married the former Florence Crawford in Columbus, Ohio. He served his country in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves until 1963. John gained employment with Whirlpool Corp.,retiring in 1997 from the Product Safety Department after thirty­seven years of employment. He taught part-time at Lake Michigan College for several years, and after retirement from Whirlpool, opened Sunset Engineering Consulting in Hartford, which he operated for 3 1/2 years. John was a member of the Hartford United Methodist Church, a former member of the Lakeshore Lions Club, and was active with the Lakeshore Jaycees. He served as chairman for the Lake Michigan Water and Sewer Authority and was a member of the Van Buren Planning Commission. In his free time, John enjoyed radio controlled airplanes and was a member of the Whirlwinds RC Airplane Club. He will be remem­bered for his keen sense of humor.
     John is survived by: his wife, Florence; three daughters: Pamela (Bob) Rutherford of St. Joseph; Vikki (Jeff) Guthrie of Charles Town, W.Va.; Laura (Butch) Olmstead of Baroda; six grandchildren – Rob (Jennifer) Rutherford, Drew (Carrie) Rutherford, Cary Worley, William Guthrie, John (Elizabeth) Denton, Racheal (Tim) Floyd; seven great­grandchildren; two brothers – Robert (Heli) Lauck of Temecila, Calif., and James (Ken Reed) Lauck of Otsego, Mich.; two brothers-in-law – James Crawford of Auburndale, Fla., and Roger Ludwig of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; sister-in-law Janice Doddridge of Franklin, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and by a sister, Diane Kraisner, in 2001.
 
Otto “George” Falkner of Hartford passed away after a lengthy illness on May 28 at Lakeland Specialty Hospital in Berrien Center. He was born Nov. 13, 1932, in Keeler. He was the youngest of four children born to August John and Jenny Falkner.
     George graduated in 1950 from Hartford High School, where he played basketball. He proudly served his country during the Korean War in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a corporal. On Aug. 18, 1956, he married his high school sweetheart, Patti Haar. They had two children: William, who died at birth, and Cindi. George was a farmer who strived for perfection in the quality of his crops. Farming was his second passion after his family, whom he loved and cherished. He adored his two grandchildren. George will be remembered for his great integrity and his wonderful sense of humor.
     George is survived by his wife, Patti; his daughter, Cindi, and son-in-law, Ron McLaughlin, of Benton Harbor; his grandchildren: Shawn McLaughlin of Watervliet and Shannon McLaughlin of Grand Rapids; his siblings: Robert Falkner, Ann Bohle and John Falkner; his favorite nephew, Johnny Falkner; and many other nephews and nieces.
     According to his wishes, George was cremated, and there will be no service.
 
Jim C. Borden, 62,  of Bangor died Friday, May 24, 2013, at his home after his battle with brain cancer.
Jim Borden d 5-24-2013
     Jim was born Aug. 28, 1950, in Columbus, Ga., the son of Curtis and Anna (Davis) Borden, and had lived the majority of his life in the Bangor area. He was owner and operator of Borden Processing and Hartford Motor Speedway. He loved farming and racing.
     Surviving are his wife, Patty (McCloud), whom he married Nov. 10, 1979; a daughter, Becky (JR) Hotovy of Hartford; a son, James Borden II of Harford; eight grandchildren: Sierra, Anna, Brooky, Trinity, Ayla, Chris, Masyn and Garett; a sister, Wanda Freeman; a brother, Roy Borden; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Amy Borden; a son, James E. Borden; and a sister, Glenda Reynolds.
     According to his wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be a celebration of his life from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2013, at Borden Processing facility; 67125 40th Ave., Bangor. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Bangor Chapel, D.L. Miller Funeral Home (www.dlmillerfuneralhome.com).
     The family suggests memorials be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michi­gan, 801 Hazen St., Suite A, Paw Paw, MI 49079, or online at www.hospiceswmi.org.
 
Robert Lee Sturgeon Sr., 68, of Keeler passed away suddenly Sunday, May 19, 2013, at the home of Marcia (Robert) Dunn, where he was cared for by his family until his passing.
     Robert was born July 1, 1944, in Hartford, the son of Bert Sr. and Geraldine (Day) Sturgeon, both of whom preceded him in passing. Also preceding him in passing were his wife, Charlie; a brother, Bert Sturgeon Jr.; two sisters, Barbara Lewis and Maria Lewis; and a step­father, Mitchell Lewis.
     Robert is survived by a son, Robert Sturgeon Jr. of Benton Harbor; a grandson, Deven Scott Sanders of Coloma; 10 siblings: Sylvia (Gary) Hall of St. Joseph; Phillip Sturgeon of Indianapolis; Louella Lewis of Dowagiac; Ronald (Theresa) Sturgeon of Benton Harbor; Marjorie Young and Thomas Sturgeon, both of Dowagiac; Adeline (Terry) Dixon of Hartford; Otis Lewis of Indianapolis; and Peggy McNew and Marcia (Robert) Dunn, both of Keeler; a stepson, Robert Thompson; and one step-granddaughter and one step great-grandson, both of Watervliet.
     The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Calvin Funeral Home. The service to honor Robert’s memory will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 23, at the funeral home. Robert will be laid to rest, with military rites, in Rush Lake Indian Cemetery, Hartford Township. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so online at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Lyndon Orlo Arnt d 5-17-2013Lyndon Orlo Arnt, 86, passed away at his home in Keeler on Friday morning, May 17, 2013, with his wife of 67 years, Norine Lucille (Bisnett) Arnt, and family members at his side.
     Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, with visitation from 5-8 p.m. Monday, May 20. Both will be at Keeler General Baptist Church, with Pastor Heather McDougal officiating the funeral service. Burial will follow at Keeler Cemetery.
     Lindy, as he was known by most, was born Aug. 12, 1926, in Bainbridge Township. A farmer for nearly 50 years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling and spending time with his family.
     Lindy was a former member of the Elks, Odd Fellows and Lions Club, as well as a headmaster of the Bainbridge Grange.
     Surviving are his wife, Norine; three children – Sandra (J.W.) Wilson of Perrinton, Mich., Joe (Sally) Arnt of Watervliet and T.J. (Brenda Hurtubise) Arnt of Bark River, Mich.; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Norma Jean Shiero of Parrish, Fla.
     He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Katherine Arnt; a brother, Allen Arnt; and a grandson, Lyndon Joseph Arnt.
     Memorials may be made to Hospice at Home or the Keeler United Methodist Church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with handling arrangements. Messages of condolences for Lindy’s family may be left on the website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Virginia Jeanette Millhouse, 89, life­time resident of Keeler, passed away on May 12, 2013 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph.
     She was born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1923, the daughter of Eugene and Sarah Pomeroy. She was united in marriage to Robert Millhouse and is survived by her sons: John (Nancy) Millhouse of Decatur and Robert (Ruth Ann) Millhouse of Keeler; granddaughter, Elisabeth (Andy) Dierickx and her two great-granddaughters: MaKenna and MiKayla Dierickx of Decatur. She is survived by her special cousin, Beverly Harper, and nieces and nephews: Mary, Betty, Ross, Vernon and David.
     She was preceded by her husband, her parents and sisters: Leota Wilkinson and Frances Skoda and baby brother, Johnny.
     Virginia liked nothing more than to be at home, taking care of her house and being with family. She became “G G” to her great-granddaughters and loved being with them.
     As per her wishes, pri­vate graveside services will be held for her family. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford has been entrust­ed with the arrangements. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Charlene Fain d 5-10-2013Charlene Fain, 74, of Hartford passed away Friday, May 10, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph.
     Services celebrating her life will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma, where visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens.Donations in memory of Charlene may be made to Word of Life Fellowship in Watervliet. Those wishing to leave an online message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Charlene was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Risco, Mo., to Cleatus and Delta (Buckley) Jones. She graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1956. Charlene was a licensed beautician and also worked many years with her husband, Carl, in his jewelry stores and at Off the Edge retail store in the Orchards Mall. She also was a member of Coloma American Legion Post 362 Auxiliary. Charlene was a wonderful cook, as well as a dedicated wife and mother. She will truly be missed by all who knew her.
     She is survived by her husband, Carl; two daughters, Maggie Fain and Denise Collins, both of Hartford; two sons, Kurt (Marshel) Fain of Berea, Ky., and Mike Taylor of Gaffney, S.C.; and four grandchildren – U.S. Army Sgt. Gabriel Cleatus Matthew Fain, and Shelby, Glassie and Lidia Fain.
     Charlene was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, William “Sonny” Jones; and two sisters, Deloris Mings and Norma McCrea.

 
The life of Michael Goodrich Jr., 16, began Oct. 24, 1996, in St. Joseph.
     He lived in Southwest Michigan all his life, having attended school in South Haven, Hartford, Watervliet and Coloma. He was a member of Coloma High School’s regular choir and chamber choir, which competed at state this year. Along with Michael’s beautiful singing voice, he had a great sense of humor and enjoyed re-enacting voices. Michael also enjoyed being outdoors and fishing.
     He loved his family, which includes his mom, Judith Lynn Selter Gess; his dad, Michael Dwain (Darcy) Goodrich Sr.; siblings, Cary Michael (Amanda) Gess, Martin Allen Selter Garrett, Kenny Allen, David Skoda, Sean Glaze and Nikki Steffey; step-siblings, Trisha Travers, David Travers, and Joe Travers Jr; two nephews, Ixac Gess and Jack Ryan Travers; his grandpa, Frank Selters; two grandmas, Betty Willis and Homara Wells; a great­grandfather, Charles Martin; aunts and uncles, Johnny Forrest, Bruce Jones, Ruth Ann Jones, Dawn and Michael Hoffman, Sarah Willis, Judy Terlisner, Charles Selter, Joey Feid Sr, and Bill and Theresa Hatfield; his best friends, Jacob Feid and Quincy Querfurth; and many cousins.
     Michael died Sunday, May 5. Funeral services will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Full Gospel Assembly Church in Hartford, with visitation prior to the funeral from 4-6 p.m.
Alfred Dill d 4-29-2013Alfred Dill, 83, of Coloma passed away Monday, April 29, 2013, at Lakeland Community Hospital in Watervliet.
     A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, May 3, 2013, at Napier Parkview Baptist Church, 245 W. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, with Dr. J.O. Hosler officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Friends may visit from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Service, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to the family.
     Alfred was born Jan. 31, 1930, in Benton Harbor to Riney and Olga (Stubelt) Dill. He served his country in the United States Army. On Aug. 29, 1953, he married Wencil Page in Benton Harbor. Alfred worked for Clark Equipment as a welder for more than 20 years. He was a member of Napier Parkview Baptist Church, which he helped build, and was a deacon for more than 12 years. He enjoyed farming at one time on his farm in Hartford. He also enjoyed listing to Christian music and watching boxing and rodeos.
     Alfred is survived by his daughter, Diane (Ray) Bush of Coloma; two grandchildren, Christopher (Nicole) Kelly and Shayha Johnson; 10 great-grandchildren; brothers, Edward (Donna) Dill of Paw Paw and Robert Dill of Watervliet; and sister, Bonnie (Jim) Joiner of Benton Harbor.
     Alfred was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Allen Dill; and brother, Richard Dill.
Betty J. (Maddox) Welty, 73, of Hartford went to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at her home, surrounded by her family.
     Betty was born July 31, 1939, to Orville and Stella (Blevens) Maddox in Lepanto, Ark.
     Betty grew up in the Berrien and Van Buren County area and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1957. Betty met Curtis Gene Welty, and after four years of courting, they married on May 17, 1958. He survives along with their children, Curtis Wayne (Audrey) Welty, Kevin Gene Welty and Candace Leigh Welty; nine grandchildren; three great­grandchildren; her twin brother, Billy Maddox; and two sisters, Doris (Harold) Bowen and Sharon Strand.
     Betty was preceded in passing by her parents; two sisters, Lois and Dorothy; and a brother, Robert.
     At the age of 12, Betty dedicated her life to God. She had a beautiful voice and at a very young age she began singing at church. As an adult, Betty was a Sunday school teacher and the worship leader. She would often be asked to sing at weddings and funerals, which she would do without hesitation.
     The family will receive friends 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Dr. Brenda Chand will officiate. Betty will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the family or Hospice of Southwest Michigan. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our web site at Calvin Funeral Home, calvin_funeral@frontier.com, http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com, 621-4101.

Warren Sweet d 4-15-2013Warren Elliot Sweet of Benton Harbor, formerly of Hartford, died at the age of 79 on April 15, 2013, at Orchard Grove Extended Care Center in Benton Harbor.
     Celebration of life services will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with military rites conducted by the North Berrien Military Rites Team. Cremation will follow the service. Friends may visit from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan. Those wishing to sign Warren’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks­menchinger.com.
     Warren was born June 17, 1933, in Hartford to David C. and Dolores I. (Brooks) Sweet Sr. He played baseball and basketball at Hartford High School, where he graduated in 1953. Warren joined the U.S. Army and served two years, stationed in Korea. On Feb. 18, 1956, he married the former Barbara Marceau, recently celebrating 57 years of marriage. Warren was employed at Benton Harbor Engineering until they closed, at which time he gained employment at Mac Engineering, from where he retired. He loved sports, especially basketball, baseball, football and bowling. His favorite athletes were Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics and baseball player Ted Williams, after whom he named one of his sons. Warren was a huge Notre Dame football fan and raised all of his children to be the same.
     Warren is survived by his wife, Barbara; his brother, David Sweet Jr. of Hartford; five sons, Chris, John, Keith, Todd and Ted Sweet, all of Benton Harbor; his daughter, Candy Sweet of Benton Harbor; a stepson, Rick Davis of Benton Harbor; seven grandchildren, Ashley (Zack) Lesher, Kyle Sweet, Elliot Danneffel, Morgan Sweet, Thaiden Sweet, Jackson Sweet and a step-grandson, Aaron Davis; two great­grandchildren, Allie and Ryan Lesher; and several nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his parents.
 
Charles “Chuck” C. Kibler, 68, of Lawrence passed away at 12:19 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Heartland Hos­pice, Kalamazoo. He was born on Oct. 28, 1944, in Coloma to the late Charles E. and Marguerite (Duncan) Kibler. On Nov. 1, 1992, he married the former Pamela Kay Shafer in Stevensville.
     Mr. Kibler is survived by his wife, Pamela K. Kibler of Lawrence; daughter, Heidi (Joel) Stray of Hudsonville; son, Charles David (Tammy) Kibler of Holland; stepdaughter, Cody Brewer of Lawrence; four grandchildren, Rachel and Kaylee Stray and Logan and Laine Kibler; sister, Sandy McClure of Coloma; mother and father-in-law, Paul and Patricia Shafer of Lakeville, Ind.; and step­mother, Doris Kibler of Coloma.
     Mr. Kibler was a self-employed fruit farmer and a former distributor of fruit in Chicago. He assisted with his wife, Pam’s, business, Rick’s Tack in Hartforrd.
     A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2013, at Covenant Christian Church, 1870 Union St., Benton Harbor. Pastor Daniel Dahike will officiate. Palmer Funeral Home, Lakeville and Southlawn Cremation Services are assisting the family.
     Contributions in memory of Charles C. Kibler may be offered to Heartland Hospice Services, 8075 Creekside Drive, Suite 120, Portage, MI 49024. Online condolences may be sent to www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
 
Keeler  -  Robert Mitchell, 58, life began on June 25, 1958 in Niles, the son of Robert and Edna Mae (Klug) Mitchell.
     He was united in marriage to the former Amy Kay on June 26, 1982 in Buchanan. Robert was an electronics technician for over 30 years for various local companies. He served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Robert was a Detroit Tigers fan, loved to go fishing and enjoyed working on his computer. His loving family includes his wife Amy of Keeler, mother Edna Mitchell of Niles, and daughter Briana (Zack Hatch) Mitchell of Keeler. Robert passed away on Monday April 15th in route to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
     He is preceded in death by his father Robert and a brother Richard.
     His family will gather with friends on Saturday April 20th at the Kay's residence (606 W. Third St. Buchanan) beginning at 7 p.m. Yazel & Clark Chapel is serving the family. Memorial contributions in Robert's name may be directed to the family in care of Amy. Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Robert at www.yazel-clark.com.
 
The life of Marilyn E. Mundt, 93, of Watervliet began April 9, 1920, in Hartford Township.
     She grew up in Watervliet, graduating from Watervliet High School. In 1940, Marilyn married Howard Mundt. Marilyn found great joy in helping Howard on the farm and caring for her loving family.
     Her family includes her husband, Howard, of Watervliet; four children, Howard E. (Diane) Mundt of Benton Harbor, Helen (Allen) Loomis of Watervliet, John C. (Florence) Mundt of Benton Harbor and Robert (Donna) Mundt of Watervliet; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three great-greatgrandchildren; three siblings, Arvid (Henrietta) Frazier, Wilson (Beverly) Frazier and Adell Mundt; and several nieces and nephews.
     Marilyn died Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Countryside Nursing Home in South Haven. Her parents, Thomas and Helena (Price) Frazier, and siblings, Lillian Crumb, Vitus Frazier, Charles “Bud” Frazier, Bruce Frazier, Evelyn Mundt and Florine Brott, preceded Marilyn in death.
     Funeral services will be celebrated at noon Thursday, April 18, with visitation prior to services from 11 a.m. to noon at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Burial will follow in Fairview Memorial Cemetery in Watervliet. Memorials may be made in Marilyn’s memory to Watervliet Free Methodist Church.

 
Evelyn Babcock d 4-7-2013Evelyn Beatrice Babcock, 94, formerly of Hartford, died peacefully in Spring Lake on April 7, 2013.
     Evelyn was born in Chicago Feb. 16, 1919, the daughter of Olga (Hultgren) and William Born. Evelyn married the late John A. Babcock from Hartford on March 4, 1944, in Chicago. Evelyn lived in Hartford all of her married life. She was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, being able to recite any baseball statistic and the year. She was very proud that she attended the World Series game in 1945 between the Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. She also loved the game of golf, playing on a league at Indian Lake Golf Course in Sister Lakes. After raising two daughters, Evelyn became employed by Hartford Public Schools as a bus driver for many years.
     Evelyn was a member of the Keeler United Methodist Church in Keeler for 69 years. Evelyn moved to Spring Lake, residing at Oakcrest Manor, assisted living, in 2010 to be closer to her daughter, Nancy. She attended the United Methodist Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven, making many new friends.
     Evelyn is survived by two daughters, Nancy (David) Parsons of Grand Haven and Nina (Michael) Jason of Denver Colo. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Erik and Emily Parsons of Grand Haven, Heather (Darren) Bennett of Carlsbad, Calif., and Kristin (Kevin) Morton of Aloha, Ore.; three stepgrandsons, Robert (Morgan) Jason, Michael (Amie) Jason and Nicolas Jason; and eight great-grandchildren.
     Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, John; her parents; sister, Virginia; and great-granddaughter, Lillian. Evelyn has donated her body to science at the University of Michigan. A memorial service will be conducted in honor of Evelyn’s wonderful life at 11 a.m. May 4, 2013, at Keeler United Methodist Church, Keeler. Memorials may be made to the Keeler United Methodist Church or to Hospice of Michigan in her memory.
     Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, is serving the family.

 
Kenneth A. Heuser passed away Sunday afternoon, March 31, 2013.
     Ken was born September 3, 1930 in Hartford, MI the son of Eugene and Marjorie (Rush) Heuser and had been a lifelong resident in the Kalamazoo area. He was a veteran serving in the U.S. Army 4th Tank Division. Ken was a graduate of Michigan State University; and enjoyed gardening, hunting, and walking his dogs. Prior to his retirement, he worked for 18 years with Jim Gilmore Pontiac as a master salesman.
     On March 27, 1954 he was united in marriage to his loving wife of 59 years, the former Keda Springsteen, who survives. Also surviving are his sons, Greg (Shelly) Heuser, Mark (Colleen) Heuser, Brad (Tanya) Heuser; grandchildren, Jason Heuser, Jon (Briana) Heuser, Molly and Amanda Heuser; a brother, Wallace Heuser; half brother, Earl Heuser; and several nieces and nephews.
     Ken was preceded in death by his parents; step mother, Pauline; grandson, Logan; and half brother, David. Services will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, April 6, at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 East Centre. Friends may meet the family one hour prior to the service. Private interment will be in Ft. Custer National Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation. Please visit Ken's personalized guestbook at www.langelands.com

NOTE:  Ken was a 1949 Hartford High School graduate.
 

George Saetre d 3-27-2013George A. Saetre, 89, of Hartford passed away Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     George was born Jan. 25, 1924, in Chicago, the son of Andrew and Dagny (Isachsen) Saetre, both of whom preceded him in passing. George was also preceded in passing by his wife of 63 years, Martha (VanLiere), on Nov. 1, 2009, and a sister, Marie Schwenn.
     George is survived by his loving family, which consists of his son, Andrew, and his, wife, Karen, of Benton Harbor; one granddaughter, Allison Saetre of Rockford, Mich., and twin great-grandsons, Jake and Corbin. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law, Nellie Pozivilko and Josephine Perry, both of Hartford, and several nieces and nephews.
     George was a faithful employee for more than 33 years at Petrolane LP Gas in Hartford. He served his country proudly in the Army Air Force during World War II, was a past president of the Hartford Lions Club and past zone chairman of the Lions Club District B2. George was also a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Hartford. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his friendly and out­going nature.
     The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 1, at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. A celebration of life service to honor George’s memory will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Hope Lutheran Church in Hartford, with Pastor Frederick Adrian officiating. George will be entombed at Mount EverRest Memorial Park in Kalamazoo. In lieu of flowers, memorials in George’s name may be made to Hope Lutheran Church. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so online at calvin-leonardfh.com.
Raymond “Ray” M. Sreboth, 90, of St. Joseph, passed away Tuesday morning, March 26, 2013, at Caretel Inns of Raymond Sreboth d 3-26-2013Lakeland in St. Joseph.
     Mass of Christian Burial celebrating his life will held at 11:00 a.m., on Wednesday, April 3, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church Street, with Fr. Alphonse Savarimuthu officiating. Burial will be held Wednesday at 1:30 P.M. at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Joseph with Military Rites. Visitation will be held from 5:00 until 8:00, Tuesday evening, at the Dey-Florin Funeral Home, 2506 Niles Ave., in St. Joseph. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30. In lieu or flowers, memorials may be made to either St. Joseph Catholic Church or to Hospice at Home. Messages of condolence may be made to www.florin.net.
     Ray was born October 8, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois. He was one of two children born to Mathew and Mary Sreboth. He graduated from Hartford High School. Ray proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII. He married Eva and together had five children. He got his Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and his Doctorate degree from Western. Ray devoted his professional life to public education. He served as Principal and Superintendant of Covert High School, as Superintendant of the Benton Harbor Public School System from 1962 until 1973, and later as Superintendant of Berrien County Intermediate District from 1973 until 1986. He was a member of Lest We Forget and the Wood Workers Guild. Additionally, he enjoyed researching Circus history in America and was a loyal fan to his alma-mater, Western Michigan University. He attended regular meetings with the Loyal Order of Raccoons at Big Boy in Stevensville. Most of all, Ray was devoted to spending time with his family.
     Ray is survived by his children, Marie (Tim) Wood of Frisco, Colorado, Nancy (Larry) Mohney of Kalamazoo, Ray, Jr. (Kathy) Sreboth of Coloma, Susan (Hans) Schroeder of St. Joseph, and Laura (J.C.) Dorfler of Oakley, California; grandchildren, Zack (Suzie) Mohney, Jake (Jenny) Mohney, Katie (Jason) Doehrman, Meghan (John) Boyer, Matthew Sreboth, and Ryan and Drew Dorfler; nine great-grandchildren; nephews, Michael (Jackie) Flick, Michael (Teddy) and Scott (Mary Anne) Sherry; niece-in-law, Holly Sherry; brother-in-law, Bob Dwyer; and by his sweetheart, Lois Saurbier.
     In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his wife Eva in 1985; his sister, Frances Flick; and by his nephew, Pat Sherry.

NOTE:  Ray was a class of 1941 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Shirlene Manning, 75, of Hartford, went to her heavenly home Sunday, March 24, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Saint Joseph.
     Shirlene was born Dec. 3, 1937, in New Madrid, Mo., the daughter of Milton and Lillian (Robbins) Hill, both of whom preceded her in passing. Also preceding her in passing was a granddaughter, Kendra Michael.
     Her most important love was the time she spent with her family, which includes her husband, Kenneth, whom she married Aug. 30, 1954; a daughter, Rebecca (Jack) Traughber of Hartford; two sons, Mike (Terri) Manning of Sawyer and Mark (Cheryl) Manning of Fancy Gap, Va.; six grandchildren, Jeff, Tabitha, Joshua, Melissa, Benjamin and Julie; 11 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Sam (Barbara) Hill of Cuba, Mo.
     Shirlene was deeply devoted to the Lord. She became a Christian at a young age. She was the cofounder, along with her husband, Kenneth, of the Hartford Church of God 38 years ago. She was a devoted and loyal member of that ministry and loved singing. She was a devoted and loving mother to her family and was like a mother to many people throughout her life.
     The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Hartford Church of God, where the service to honor her memory will commence at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 28. Pastors Kenneth and Mark Manning will officiate. Shirlene will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, where Pastor Eric Jackson will deliver remarks. Memorial donations in Shirlene’s name may be made to the church’s building fund or Gidean’s International. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family are encouraged to do so by visiting our web site at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Donna Morsaw d 3-20-2013Donna Mae Morsaw,78, of Hartford passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Grace of Douglas in Douglas.
     Donna was born Oct. 8, 1934, in Dowagiac, the daughter of Albert and Francis (Richards) Schultz, both of whom preceded her in passing. Also preceding her in passing were her husband, Cardinal Joseph Morsaw, on Aug. 11, 2004; a daughter, Pamela McGlothlin; and a great-grandson, Ethan Paul Nelson.
     Donna is survived by her children, Alan (Cindy) Morsaw, Barbara Burfield and Joseph (Charlotte) Morsaw, all of Hartford, and Gregory (Anna) Morsaw of Bangor. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Kim, Donna, Josie, Jodi, Nora, Norman, Tiffany, Stephanie, Joe, Adam, Brittany and Nick; her great-grandchildren, Derek, Samantha, Josh, Erica, Jakob, Alex, Zoey, Chloe, Aiden, Blake, Noah, Chandler and Jayden; and two brothers, Bob (Shirley) Schultz of Florida and Ken Schultz of Dowagiac.
     Donna was formerly employed at Adam Electronics in Bangor and DuWell’s and Shafer Lake Fruit, both in Hartford.
     The family will welcome friends from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where a prayer service will be held at 5:30 p.m. The service to honor her memory will commence at 11 a.m. Monday, March 25, 2013, at the funeral home, with Deacon Arthur Morsaw officiating. Donna will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, followed by a luncheon at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations should be made to Greg Morsaw. Anyone wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so by visiting our website at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Duane Cook d 3-13-2013Duane Abraham Cook, 85, of Hartford went peacefully to be with his Lord on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at home, surrounded by his family.
     Duane was born Dec. 26, 1927, in Bangor, the son of L. Reed and Mary (Boyer) Cook, both of whom preceded him in passing. Also preceding him in passing were a sister, Evelyn Dorkoski, and a brother, Roger Cook.
     Duane was a graduate of Bangor High School, where he was strongly active in athletic activities. He started working at Standard Electronics, which later became Adams Electronics before it closed. He also started, along with three others, Bangor Electronics. He and his wife, Lois, were the owners and operators of Cook’s Nursery. He was a devoted member of the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartford and served as the leader of the Lutheran Boy Pioneers Youth Groups in Hartford and Bangor. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Camp Lor-Ray in Twin Lakes for 40 years. In his spare time he coached Little League and enjoyed camping, fishing, golf, hunt­ing and watching his children and grandchildren play sports. He also enjoyed spending winters for 25 years in Big Pine Key, Fla.
     Duane married the former Lois Berndt on Oct. 20, 1956. She survives, along with a son, Frederick (Lisa) Cook of Hartford; a daughter, Rhonda (Charles) Wiersma of Scotts; grandchildren, Christopher, Shelby and Corey Cook and Alex and Sidney Wiersma; four nieces; and one nephew.
     The family will welcome friends from 3:30-6 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, March 18, at the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hartford, where the service to honor his memory will commence at 11:30 a.m. Pastor Frederick S. Adrian will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorial donations in Duane’s name may be made to the church. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Cynthia E. Ikola, 72, of St. Joseph passed away Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at her home.
     Cynthia was born Aug. 23, 1940, to Franklin and Dorothy (Heintz) Fulton in Lawrence. She was a graduate of Hartford High School. On Feb. 27, 1971, she married William Ikola in Bridgman. Cynthia was a nail technician for 20 plus years, owning and operating Images Salon in Stevensville from 1986 until 2002. She enjoyed shopping with her sister, reading, kayaking and walks on the beach as well as the numerous family trips with her family to Traverse City.
     Cynthia is survived by her husband, William; sons, Joseph (Jan) Krugler of Coloma and Michael (Tracy) Ikola of Stevensville; grandchildren, Calina, Joseph, Jacob and Sara; great-grandchildren, Karisma, Angelee and Kyler; and sister, Dorothy Stenske of Baroda.
     She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Walter “Bob” Fulton, Harold “Jack” Fulton and Franklin ”Bud” Fulton.
     Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan. Those wishing to share a memory of Cynthia may do so online at www.starks-menchinger. com. Arrangements entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 556-9450.


NOTE:  Cynthia was a 1958 Hartford High School graduate.

Barbara Louise Eiswald d 2-22-2013
Barbara Louise Eiswald
, 90, of Holland, formerly of Hartford, passed away Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at Holland Hospital in Holland.
     Barbara was born May 8, 1922, in Eau Claire, the daughter of Harry and Bessie (Easton) Preston, both of whom precede her in passing. Also preceding her in passing were her husband, Ernest Eiswald; four brothers; Robert, Dale, Marion and Cecil; and a sister, Helen.
     Barbara proudly served her country in the U.S. Navy for two years during World War II.
     Barbara is survived by a daughter, Ruth Ann Eiswald of Holland; a son, Michael (Sharon) Eiswald of Holland; grandchildren, Paul, Cole, Michael, Todd, Katie, Seth, Cassidy and Cayla; and a great-grandson, Hunter.
     The family will welcome friends from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor her memory, with military rites to be performed by the North Berrien Military Rites team, will commence at 11 a.m. Friday, March 1, at the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hartford, with Pastor Frederick S. Adrian serving as officiant. Following services, cremation will take place. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations be made to the church. Anyone wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so on our web site at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 
Danny Ray Vaughn d 2-19-2013Danny Ray Vaughn, 44, of Hartford passed away suddenly Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     Danny was born May 24, 1968, in Benton Harbor, the son of Nathaniel Routesaw and Jo Ann Gingrich. Danny was a drywall finisher by trade, working in construction. In his spare time, Danny loved playing poker, especially Texas Hold ’Em, golf, travel and watching all kinds of sports.
     Danny was preceded in passing by his father; a grandfather, John Smith; two aunts, Brenda Smith and LouAnne Holcomb; and two nieces, Storie Smith and Ashley Buckley.
     Danny is survived by his mother, JoAnn, of Hartford; a sister, Lucinda Morrison of Coloma; a grandmother, Betty Smith of Coloma; six aunts; one uncle; and two nephews.
     Danny has been cremated. A memorial service to honor his memory will take place at 1p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Hartford United Methodist Church with Pastor Jeff Williams as officiant. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Danny’s name may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. Those wishing to leave condolences to the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
By JIM DALGLEISH
Assistant Local News Editor
The Herald Paladium
Feb 18, 2013

Faith in the face of loss

Keeler church loses four members in Hartford Twp. crash


KEELER — The Rev. Efraim Maya delivered his sermon as scheduled Sunday morning despite the heaviest of hearts.

His wife and three members of his church, Keeler General Baptist, died Saturday night in a three-vehicle crash in Hartford Township.

The pastor “never did break down. He said, ‘I’m not going to break down. There’s plenty of time for that,’” church member Margaret Teeters said Sunday night.

The news rocked the church but not members’ faith, she said.

“We don’t understand it now, but we know our sisters are in heaven,” said Teeters, the church’s kitchen director. She said about 75 people attend services.

Kathryn Maya, 56, Lou Ann Holcomb, 56, and Charlotte Sieber, 51, were passengers in a car driven by Celeste Phillips, 67, and were returning home from a dinner outing in Indiana, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department reported. All were Hartford residents, save for Maya, who lived in Kalamazoo.

The Buick Lucerne was southbound at about 6:10 p.m. on County Road 687 when it was struck broadside by an eastbound van at the 66th Avenue intersection. The collision spun the Lucerne into the northbound lane, where it was struck by a northbound pickup truck.

The four women died at the scene, deputies reported.

The investigation indicated the van driver, 26, of Watervliet, was unable to stop at the stop sign at the slippery intersection, deputies reported. Her name was not released and she was not hurt. Passenger Amber Cummings, 26, of Coloma, was also unhurt.

Deputies said the north­bound driver, Thomas Stewart, 57, of Dowagiac, suffered a severe hand injury and back and neck injuries.

All drivers and passengers wore seat belts, the sheriff’s department reported. The crash remains under investigation.

Teeters said Phillips was a “beautiful Christian sister,” who had been with Keeler General Baptist for more than 40 years. She played piano in the church, was its song leader and had hosted Bible study at her house. She had further served as church treasurer.

Teeters said Holcomb joined the church about two years ago.

“She just joined in like she had been there forever,” Teeters said. “She was our ‘hallelujah’ person. ... Instead of saying ‘hello,’ she said ‘hallelujah,’” to people she met in church.

Teeters said Sieber was a “prayer warrior,” coming to church at 5 a.m. weekdays to say prayers.

“How many people get up early to say their prayers before they go to work?” Teeters asked.

Kathryn Maya, Teeters said, helped the church in any way she could. She said she had recovered from a liver transplant last fall.

“It was such a miracle,” Teeters said of her recovery. “It was hard to believe this (the crash) could happen."

 

The four obituaries follow:
 

LouAnne Holcomb, 56, of Hartford passed away Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, as the result of an automobile accident.
LouAnne Holcomb d 2-16-2013
     LouAnne was born June 29, 1956, in Watervliet, the daughter of John and Betty (Vaughn) Smith. LouAnne was a loving wife to Vernon, whom she married on Oct. 4, 1986. She was a caring mother to her daughter, Sandra Holcomb of Hartford; son, Richard (Karolyn) Holcomb of Rock City, Ill., and daughter, Glenda (Robert) Damaske of Quinton, Va. LouAnne also cherished the time she spent with her grandchildren, Jared (Sara) Damaske, Justin Damaske, Tifany Holcomb, Alexis Holcomb, Brandon Holcomb, Austin McConnell, Taylor McConnell and Tony Braddock Jr.; and one greatgrandchild, Caleb Damaske. LouAnne is also survived by her mother, Betty Smith of Coloma; sisters, JoAnn Vaughn of Hartford, Shirley Buckley, Sandra Wilcoxsin, Debra Smith and Nancy (Carroll) Bailey, all of Coloma, and Lisa (Joe) Sikes of Keeler; and brother, Dana Smith of South Bend, Ind. LouAnne also leaves behind her best friend, Tina (Art) MacGirvin of Watervliet, and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and her church family.
     LouAnne was preceded in passing by her father, John, and a sister, Brenda Smith.
     LouAnne was a certified occupational therapy assistant at Cass County Medical Care Facility. She was a member of the Keeler General Baptist Church and had many hobbies, including Bible study, computer, women’s retreats and shopping.
     The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, where a celebration of life service will be held at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family are encouraged to do so at our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
     She was a rock to her whole family, from her parents down to her great­grandchildren. She never knew a stranger – all were her friends. If you didn’t know about the Lord, she would make sure to tell you. She will never be forgotten. We loved her, Alleluia.

 
Celeste Phillips d 2-16-2013Celeste Charlene Phillips, 67, of Hartford passed away suddenly Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Hartford Township as the result of an automobile accident.
     Celeste was born Nov. 6, 1945, in Lawrence, the daughter of George and Esther (Dobson) Heffner, both of whom precede her in passing. Also preceding her in passing was her husband, Jack Eugene Phillips, on Aug. 21, 2010, and a sister, Georgine Heffner.
     Celeste loved farming. Farming was in her blood. When she wasn’t farming, she was on the go traveling, playing golf and other outings. She was deeply devoted to the Lord, as was seen in her enjoyment by her Thursday Night Bible Study she hosted, singing and praising God. She was a loyal member of the Keeler General Baptist Church, where she was the church’s piano player, a song leader and treasurer. She was very charismatic, who was quick to become friends with everyone she came in contact with. She was a very giving person.
     Her most important love was the time she spent with her family, which includes a son, Mike (Shannon) Phillips of Hartford; a daughter, Suzy (David) Buss of Decatur; and four grandchildren, Jonathan Phillips, Joshua Phillips, Cayla Buss and Matthew Buss. Also surviving are a brother, George (Cindi) Heffner of Mattawan; three sisters, Rebecca Heffner of Hartford, Pamela Heffner of Coloma and Diane (Marvin) Thomason of Buckeye, Ariz.; and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and her church family.
     The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, with a service to honor her memory starting at 2 p.m. Burial will follow in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorial donations in Celeste’s name be made to the Keeler General Baptist Church. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family are encouraged to do so at our web site at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Charlotte Sieber d 2-16-2013Charlotte Ann Sieber, 51, of Hartford passed away on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, as the result of an automobile accident.
     Charlotte was born May 31, 1961, in Advance, Mo., the daughter of Charles and Elsie (Edwards) Bloomer, who survive.
     Charlotte was a loving wife to Steven and a precious mother to her step­daughter, Sarah (Todd) Vosburgh of Decatur. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, Bethany, Alivia and Sadie Vosburgh. Charlotte is also survived by her siblings, James (Veronica) Bloomer, Patsy Suarez, Drenda (Joe) Yurt and Marie (Bill) Ledserd, all of Florida, Norma Bloomer of Indiana and J.C. (Patty) Bloomer, Carl (Linda) Bloomer, Patricia (Bill) Harkey, Charles “Bob” Bloomer and Tina (Steve) Demaria, all of Michigan; a dear niece, Heather Bloomer of Dowagiac; and several other nieces, nephews and friends.
     Charlotte was preceded in passing by two brothers.
     Charlotte was employed at Pilkington North America Inc. in Niles. She was a member of the Keeler General Baptist Church and had many hobbies, including sewing, upholstery, quilt making and many other crafts.
     The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Keeler General Baptist Church gym, where a celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in the sanctuary. Pastor Efrain Maya will officiate. Charlotte will be laid to rest in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Keeler General Baptist Church. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Kathryn Maya d 2-16-2013Kathryn Maya, 56, of Kalamazoo went to be with the Lord Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Hartford Township as the result of an automobile accident.
     Kathyn was born Nov. 19, 1956, in Jellico, Tenn., the daughter of Joe and Mary (Bennett) Hamblin, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     Kathy was the wife of Efrain Maya, pastor of the Keeler General Baptist Church. Kathy was a loving mother and grandmother to Jaime Maya of Kalamazoo, Efrain “Bobby” (Brieanne) Maya of Cleveland, Tenn., and his daughter, Mahrijana, and Jesse Maya of Kalamazoo and his son, Mateo. Kathy enjoyed the time spent with her three sisters, Brenda House, Linda (Omer) Rutherford and Barbara-Joann (Larry) Kemp; and two brothers, Wayne (Julie) Hamblin and Johnny Hamblin.
     Kathy enjoyed spending time with her husband, family and friends. She was known as “Mom” over the years by many of her son’s friends and was always willing to provide food, shelter and prayer to anyone who was in need. Her life was her witness that she was truly a representative of Jesus Christ in this world. She was a devoted Christian who served Christ faithfully for 35 years. She was a member of the Keeler General Baptist Church and enjoyed attending all of the church functions, especially those with the ladies. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.
     As to Kathy’s wishes, cremation has taken place, and a celebration of life eternal will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, with Pastor Efrain Maya officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Kathy’s name be made to Efrain Maya. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with the arrangements. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Ann Clauser d 2-15-2013HARTFORD - Surrounded by loved ones, Anna “Ann” (Hughes) Clauser journeyed to her heavenly home on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
     Born Anna Marie Hughes to Arthur and Alice (Beischl) Hughes in Lawton on Dec. 2, 1946, Ann spent most of her life in rural Southwest Michigan. She was a graduate of Decatur High School and went on to marry Irving “Irv” Clauser on March 27, 1971, in Hartford, where they raised their five children, instilling in them a love of faith, family and friends. In fact, Ann and Irv had a host of friends, many of whom frequently joined them on camping trips “Up North.”
     She was a gracious and kind woman who had an unbelievably strong work ethic. From the strawberry fields she worked in as a child to the healthcare field she entered shortly after high school, Ann sowed seeds of kindness everywhere she went. Ann worked more than 20 years at the former Community Hospital in Watervliet, the majority of that time in the physical therapy department. More recently, Ann was employed at the (Bronson) nursing home in Lawton.
     Ann enjoyed spending time with her family, espe­cially her grandchildren and great-granddaughters. She had an amazing love for animals, especially her chocolate Lab, Herbie. Her nurturing spirit was evident in everything she did. Whether she was tending to her flowers, filling a bird feeder or preparing one of her amazing Sunday din­ners for her family, everything she did was out of love.
     Ann was preceded in death by her loving husband, Irving Clauser; her father, Arthur Hughes; and her parents, John and Alice Geer.
     She is survived by her children – Marc (Lisa) Clauser of Hartford, Terry (Larry) Adams of Watervliet, Raymond “Paul” Clauser of Hartford, John (Jody) Clauser of Decatur and Rebecca (Ray) Evans of Dover, Del.; her grand­children – Olivia, Kevin, Matthew, Trent, Chelsea, Zachary, Riley, Ryan and Brett; and great-grand­daughters – Hailey, Amara and McKinley.
     She is also survived by her sister, Elizabeth “Liz” (Eddie) DeLaGarza; two brothers, James “Jim” Hughes and George (Pam) Geer; several nieces and nephews; extended family; and many close friends whom she cherished, including lifetime family friends Bill and Darlene Jordan, and Carol Wadley.
     A memorial service will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at the Hartford United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to the Hartford United Methodist Church or Hospice of South Haven.

 
Brenda Kay Bonee, 62, of Hartford passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at her home.
      Brenda was born Dec. 11, 1950, in Sadler, Ky., the daughter of Walter and Celesta (Vincent) Cook, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by a brother, David Stewart, on Sept. 25, 2004.
     Brenda was the glue that held her family together. She was a loving wife to Rayburn and a precious mother to her daughter, Cirena Bonee, both of Albion. She cherished her stepson, Michael Harris of Savannah, Tenn., and her four grandchildren. She was a dear sister to Janice Herrington of Decatur, Walter Cook of Las Vegas, Nev., and Easel (Sandra) Stewart of Hartford. Bren­da also enjoyed times with her 12 nieces and nephews; her lifetime friend, Doris Watson of Paragould, Ark.; and her many other family members and friends.
     The family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. Sat­urday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford, where a time of remembrance will be shared at 7 p.m. by anyone wishing to tell of their memories of Brenda. As to Brenda’s wishes, cremation will fol­low the time of remem­brance. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our web­site at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
Pamela Jo (Morsaw) McGlothlin, 58, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Feb.10, 2013, at Bronson LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw.
     Pam, as she was known, was born Aug. 11, 1954, in Watervliet, the daughter of Cardinal and Donna (Schultz) Morsaw. Pam was an elder with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Dowagiac. She was formerly employed at E.S. Enterprises in Keeler. She loved going to the new casino in Hartford or just staying home and keeping her dog, Freddie, company.
     Pam enjoyed spending time with her children, Kimberly (Jason May) Morsaw of Decatur, Donna McGlothlin of South Side, Tenn., and Josie Baham of Hartford. But her most precious days were spent with her grandchildren, Joshua McGlothlin, Derek Morsaw, Jakob Baham, Samantha May and Ericka Pociask. Pam is also survived by her mother, Donna Morsaw; a sister, Barbara Burfield; three brothers, Alan (Cindy) Morsaw, Joseph (Charlotte) Morsaw and Gregory Morsaw; and numerous other family members and friends.
     As to Pam’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family service will be held at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford at a later date. Pam’s ashes will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our web site at www.calvin­leonardfh.com.


NOTE:  Pam was a 1972 Hartford High School graduate.

Eugene Ernest Kirsch, Hartford, passed away in February.  Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

NOTE:  Gene was valedictorian of the 1956 class of Hartford High School.

Darlene Delores (Winkelkotter) Seddon, 78, of Hartford, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. She was born Oct. 5, 1934, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Walter Egon and Ida Caroline Winkelkotter.
    
Darlene attended school in Utah. She had many interesting occupations in her life; one of her favorites was being a flight attendant in California before she married. She met her husband, Ellis George Seddon, while he was stationed in the Air Force, in Utah, during the Korean War. They were married in 1956, in Michigan. They started out their lives together farming in northeastern Michigan and later built a successful business in Hartford.
     Darlene was an extremely talented and giving person. Family meant everything to her and she cherished each and every moment, especially those when all her children and grandchildren surrounded her. Her faith was also immensely important, being a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
     Darlene is survived by her children: Judy Seddon of Orem, Utah; Shelly (Bryan) Paxson of Hartford; Stephen (Christine) Seddon of Hartford and Christopher (Melissa) Seddon of Niles. She is also survived by seven grandchildren; Rachel Paxson, Rebecca Paxson, Amy Seddon, Kassie Seddon, Alexander Seddon, Jaxon Seddon and Jaret Seddon.
     She was preceded in death by her husband; her son, Michael Seddon (whose birthday she passed away on), her parents and her sister, Carolyn Christiensen.
     The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. Darlene’s funeral service and burial will take place at Redwood Memorial Estates in Salt Lake City, Utah. The family is very grateful to those that assisted in helping her as her health declined and wish to express gratitude for the kindness shown our mother by Bronson Lakeview Hospital in Paw Paw, Hospice of Southwest Michigan and Bronson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lawton. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our web site at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
    

Tom Talbott d 1-31-2013
Thomas E. Talbott, of Portage MI, died Thursday afternoon January 31, 2013 at his residence. 
     Tom was born September 11, 1945 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Maurice and Twila (Eames) Talbott. His family moved to Hartford in his early childhood and he graduated from high school in 1963. Tom attended Ferris State College, graduating in 1967 with a degree in business administration. While there, he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. Out of college, he began working at General Telephone Co. in Muskegon before moving to Kalamazoo where he secured employment with Fisher Body, a division of General Motors becoming a member of the UAW, he retired from there when the plant closed. Tom was also a long-time member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage. He was a genius when it came to working with numbers and financial planning, often being asked for advice by his peers. While a quiet man who kept mostly to himself, he had some very close and dear friends, many from his high school days.
     In 1965, he was married to Martha Case, and is survived by one daughter and two sons: Kimera Simonds of Vicksburg, Thomas J. Talbott of Portage and Paul (Lori) Talbott of Kalamazoo along with 9 grandchildren: Michael Talbott, Brittany Talbott, Casey Talbott, Jayden Talbott, Jordyn Talbott, Shelby Simonds, Matthew Simonds, Madelyn Talbott and Marissa Talbott and 2 great grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Nancy Roberson of Arkansas, 2 nieces and a nephew, as well as his very special friend, Jeanie Oppermann of Wisconsin, and Wiley.
     Services will be held 11 o'clock Monday at St. Michael Lutheran Church, 7211 Oakland Dr. Visitation will be 2-4 and 6-8 pm Sunday at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave. Private interment will be in Riverside Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the St. Michael Lutheran Church School Fund.
     Click here for a slide video of Tom's life.
 
Ruby C. Roberts, 90, of Hartford, formerly of Fennville, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.
     Born Dec. 10, 1922, in Clarksville, Ark., she was the daughter of William and Laura (Sluter) Harbert. Ruby worked as a machine operator for Hart & Cooley in Holland, retiring in 1982. Ruby lived in the Fennville area for many years, moving to Hartford about 20 years ago. She was a member of the New Beginnings Ministries in Bangor.
     Surviving are her children, Irene Reed of Fennville, Annette Roberts of California, Joyce and Alvin Ammon of Hartford, and Wes Roberts of Newaygo, Mich; 15 grandchildren; and many greatgrandchildren.
     Funeral services will be at noon Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at the Chappell Funeral Home, 637 W. Main St., Fennville, with Pastor Mack Travis officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the time of service. Burial will be in Fennville Cemetery. Memorial donations may be to the charity of one’s choice. An online registry book is available at www.chappellfuneralhome.com.
 

J. Franklin Keifer d 1-26-2013J. Franklin Keifer, 92, of Keeler passed away Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at Maple Lawn Medical Care Facility, Coldwater. 
     Franklin was born Aug. 26, 1920, in Willshire, Ohio, the son of James and Wilma (Daly) Keifer, both of whom precede him in passing. Also preceding him in passing were his wife, Elaine, on March 1, 2008, and two brothers, Tom Keifer and Paul Keifer.
     Franklin served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was formerly employed with Clark Equipment and Coloma Farm Supply. He grew up and lived in Coloma before moving to Keeler in 1960, where he tended to his own farm.
     Franklin is survived by two daughters, Bernice Krause of Coldwater and Wilma Stone of Kalamazoo; a son, James (Nanette) Keifer of Hartford; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a brother, Marvin Keifer of Tennessee.
     The family will welcome friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor his memory will commence at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the Keeler United Methodist Church, with Pastor Richard Grom serving as officiant. Military rites will be conducted by the North Berrien Military Rites Team. Cremation will follow the services. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences to the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 

The life of Billy Joe Nimmo began Dec. 12, 1934, in Manila, Ark. He grew up in Arkansas and Michigan and as an adult he made his home in Southwest Michigan.
      Billy worked for Bendix as an inspector until he retired in 1989. He enjoyed visiting the casinos in his spare time.
      Billy’s loving family includes three children, Cheryl (Larry) Lee of Spanaway, Wash., Thomas (Stacy) Nimmo of Portage and Christopher Nimmo of Tukwila, Wash.; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; three siblings, Ronnie Nimmo of Hanford, Calif., Betty Nimmo Grayson of Beaverton, Ore., and Lula Bell Nimmo of southern Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews.
      Billy died Sunday, Jan. 20, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Beulah Nimmo; three brothers, Bob Nimmo, Charles Nimmo and Donald Nimmo; and a sister, Joy Lynn Nimmo Scruggs.
      Friends may visit with Billy’s family from 6-8 p.m. Fri­day, Jan. 25, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet, where funeral services will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. Burial will follow in North Shore Memory Gardens in Hagar Shores.
 
Elmer Arthur Deckert, 88, of Hartford passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at his home.
     Elmer was born March 3, 1924, in Milan, the son of Louis and Elvina (Kotke) Deckert, both of whom preceded him in passing. Elmer was also preceded in passing by his wife, Pauline, on July 24, 2009; a daughter, Susan Marie Deckert; four brothers, August Deckert, Waldo Deckert, Merl Deckert and Earl Deckert; and four sisters, Lydia Herman, Ruth Kruger, Freda Kruger and Delores Deckert.
     Elmer is survived by his loving family, which consists of his two sons, Ronald Deckert of Marion, Ky., and David Deckert of Hartford; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a brother, Gerald (Ann) Deckert of Saint Joseph.
     Elmer served his country proudly in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a member of the American Legion Stoddard Post 93 of Hartford, was a faithful member of the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartford, was a Sunday school teacher and served the church in many capacities. Elmer retired from Whirlpool Corp. in 1988.
     As to Elmer’s wishes, cre­mation has taken place and a memorial service to honor his memory will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Elmer’s name may be made to the church’s benevolence fund. The family has entrusted arrangements to the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
 
James Carmichael,  75, of Dowagiac, formerly of Hartford, passed away Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at The Timbers of Cass County in Dowagiac.
     James was born Oct. 18, 1937, in Coulterville, Ill., the son of Roy and (Ruth) Carmichael, both of whom preceded him in passing. James was also preceded in passing by a sister, Maxine Frost; and two brothers, Raymond and Earnest Carmichael.
     James served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was formerly employed as a truck driver for such companies as Pools and Walmart, was a salesman for Ashley Ford and also worked for Southern Bell Telephone Co.
     James is survived by his five children – Marsha, Marla, James Jr., Todd and Joey; his siblings – Elizabeth Slabaugh of Dowagiac, Mary Wagster of Battle Creek, Robert (Emily) Carmichael of Watervliet, Jack (Mary) Carmichael of Battle Creek, Zelda (Bill) Giliberto of Watervliet and Geraldine (Gary) Dillion of Benton Harbor; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members.
     The family will welcome friends from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor James’ memory will begin at 1 p.m. James will be laid to rest in Keeler Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting online at http:// www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Jancie Yeckley McNees Plyburn d 1-16-2013Janice Lea Pyburn, 65, of Bangor passed away Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo.
      Janice was born Feb. 21, 1947, in Watervliet, the daughter of Irving and Thelma (Strand) Yeckley, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by a sister, Mary Knowles. In Janice’s spare time she enjoyed crocheting and painting.
     Janice is survived by four children, Tami (David) Kuhm of Pittsburgh, Pa., Lisa (Adam) Clark of Deltona, Fla., Travis McNees of Decatur and Charity (Chris) Cummins of Hartford; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a brother, Wayne (Bonnie) Schoenemann of South Haven; and a dear friend, Regina Wetzel of Bangor.
     As per Janice’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service to honor her memory will commence at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Miracle Harvest Church, South Haven, with Pastor Tony Kuenzli officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Janice’s name may be made to the family. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford with handling the arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences to the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

NOTE:  Janice was a member of the 1966 Class of Hartford High School.  She was also appointed Hartford City Clerk under the Boyd Estes administration in 1979 and resigned in 1980 after being reelected.
 

Steven Allen Efting, 50, of Bangor passed away suddenly on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in South Haven as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
     Steve was born April 5, 1962, in Watervliet, the son of Ross and Vickie (Schaus) Efting. After he graduated from high school in 1980 Steve went on to become part owner of Efting’s Eggery and worked there for more than 25 years. More recently he worked as a department manager at Harding’s in Bangor and owned and operated his own vendor business.
     He married the former Penny Mead on May 15, 1982, and they were together for more 30 years. They had two children, Shana (26) and Mark (21). A loving husband and father, he worked hard to provide for his family. Steve enjoyed fishing, was an excellent water skier and loved riding both his three-wheeler and his Harley.
     Steve is survived by his wife, Penny; his daughter, Shana; his son, Mark; his parents, Ross and Vickie of Bangor; a brother, Greg, of Bangor; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members.
     The family will welcome friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Hartford Federated Church, where the funeral service to celebrate his life will commence at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.
     Pastor David Gilbert will serve as officiant. A private burial will follow the services at Thomas Cemetery, Bangor.
     The family requests memorial donations be made to the Hartford Federated Church.
     Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh. com.

 

By ANDREW LERSTEN and BECKY KARK
H-P South Haven Bureau
Jan 16, 2013

Delivery driver killed in crash

Victim well known among SH-area store workers


SOUTH HAVEN — A well-known snacks delivery route driver in the South Haven area was killed Wednesday in a two-vehicle crash.
     Steven Efting, 50, of Bangor Township died at the scene of the 7:15 a.m. crash on Phoenix Road at 711⁄2 Street, South Haven Police Sgt. Kyle Griffith said. Efting was eastbound on Phoenix when a mini­van failed to stop at the stop sign and pulled onto Phoenix from southbound 711⁄2 Street, colliding with Efting’s Little Debbie snacks delivery truck, Griffith said.
     The woman could not explain to police why she didn’t stop at the stop sign, Griffith said. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the South Haven hospital. Police did not release her name, pending a review of the police report by the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office. The crash impact over­turned the delivery truck, and boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes spilled onto the ground. Police said Efting was not wearing a seat belt, and he was found partly out of the truck when police arrived.
     Shawn Weldon of South Haven, a passing motorist who witnessed the crash and then helped get the woman out of the minivan, offered an account of what happened.
     “I was taking my daughter to school and west on County Road 388 (Phoenix),” he said. “I saw the van and slowed down because it didn’t look like she was going to stop. Then I slowed down more. I thought she might miss the truck, but then she slammed into it. “I got her out because I smelled gasoline. I had blood all over me. I didn’t even realize it at first.”
     Efting was known to many area store clerks because he made regular stops at the stores every Sunday and Wednesday morning.
     “He was a great guy,” said Village Xpress clerk Becky Rickett. “He always had a smile on his face. He was a pleasure to be around. This is very, very, very sad. He’ll be missed, for sure.”
     Efting had been a whole­sale distributor for Little Debbie and Sunbelt brand snacks for the past five years, and his company was called Steve Efting Inc., said Little Debbie company spokesman Mike Gloekler. “We were saddened to learn this morning that Steve Efting was killed in a traffic accident,” Gloekler said.

Note:  For many years, Steve delivered eggs from the family business, Efting Eggery, to the Hartford Hardings store and was employed by Hartford Hardings Market, prior to starting with Little Debbie and Sunbelt. 
 

Vernice Weir d 1-12-2013Vernice I. Weir, 85, formerly of Hartford, passed away Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at Lakeview Community Hospital in Paw Paw.
     Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Watervliet. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the family and then distributed to several various charities.
     Those wishing to leave an online message or share a memory with the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.
     Vernice was one of 10 children of Otto and Martha Fuchs and was born on March 7, 1927, in Gillett, Ark. She married Elmer Weir in 1947 and was formerly employed at Duffy Motts in Hartford for eight years. Vernice loved to buy and sell antiques, enjoyed talking with her neighbors and loved to eat out. She especially enjoyed visiting with her grandchildren and great-grand­children.
     Vernice is survived by six daughters, Margie (Tommy) Ross of Gillett, Ark., Marie Clouse of Benton Harbor, Connie Cannon of Hartford, Pat (Hartley) Collins of Hartford, Sheila Garcia of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Teila White of Stevensville; three sons, Ted (Kay) Weir of Gillett, Ark., Timothy Weir of Hartford and Richard (Dawn) Weir of Watervliet; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
     She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, in 1999; her parents; four brothers; and three sisters
Joan Elaine Meachum, 68, of Hartford was called home Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at her home.
      Joan was born Jan. 16, 1944, in Watervliet, the daughter of James and Beatrice (Peck) Smith, both of whom preceded her in passing. She was also preceded in passing by her husband, Maurice, on Oct. 14, 2007, and a sister, Laura Edison.
      Joan loved the family get togethers and just spending time with her family, which consists of her three children and their families: Joan’s daughter, Tonya L. Raday, had four children, Kathy, who has three children, Kiandra, Teya and Kila; Michelle and Michelle’s child, Otto; Amber and Amber’s two children, Noah and Isaiah; and Sean. Joan’s son, Michael E. (Vickie M.) Meachum, had two children, Jared and Gabriel. Another son, James R. (Ava) Meachum, had five children, Ashley and her child, Kylee; Casey and her three children, Bella, James and Chase; Alyssa; David; and Matt.
      Joan is also survived by two sisters, Lorraine (Cliff) Berg of Utah and Laverne (Wally) Shelton of North Carolina.
      Joan served many years at the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club in Hartford. She was formerly employed at the Cast Matic Corp. of Stevensville and had a passion for gardening, as shown by the many hours she spent making the outdoors at her home so beautiful.
      As to Joan’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life Eternal will take place at 2 p.m. Jan. 20, 2013, at the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club, followed by a luncheon and a time of fellowship and remembrance. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Joan’s name be made to the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford with the arrangements. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our website at http//www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
William Galbreath d 1-7-2013William “Bill” Galbreath, 90, of Stevensville passed away Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Caretel Inns of Lakeland in St. Joseph.
     William was born Sept. 14, 1922, in Hartford to Stanton and Margaret (Cronin) Galbreath. He graduated from Hartford High School in 1939 and then attended Western Michigan University, where he received his Master’s Degree. He served his country in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of World War II, serving in the European Theater. William spent more than 28 years in public education in Michigan as teacher, principal and superintendent of the schools. His last service was with Lakeshore Schools as Assistant Superintendent from 1965 through 1980. William and Ida also hosted eight German exchange students.
     William was a member of the American Association of Schools Administrators and the American Schools Business Officials and the Michigan Chapters of both of those organizations. He served as Lincoln Township Supervisor from 1980 through 1984, was Charter President of the Lakeshore Rotary Club and served as Governor of Rotary District 636 in 1978-1979. William was also a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
     William is survived by his wife, Ida Galbreath of Stevensville, and several nieces and nephews.
     William was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Marybelle Reid, Peggy McCall and Betty Webb; and three brothers, James Galbreath, Robert Galbreath and Richard Galbreath.
     A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph. Burial will follow at Lincoln Township Cemetery in Stevensville. Friends may visit from 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to the Lakeshore Rotary Club Foundation, Hospice at Home or the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation. Those wishing to share a memory of William online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

 
Geronimo Lugo Mireles Jr., 71, of Hartford passed away Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at home with his family by his side.
     Geronimo was born Sept. 8, 1941, in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Geronimo and Sara (Lugo) Mireles, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded in passing by a daughter, Yolanda Mireles; a grandson, Geronimo Contreras; and two brothers, Pedro and Felix Mireles. On April 24, 1960, he married Oralia Cuellar, who survives along with two sons, Daniel (Judy) Mireles of Hartford and David (Kim) Mireles of Paw Paw; three daughters, Rachel (Edward) Contreras, Elida (Jose) Segura and Christina Mireles, all of Hartford; 23 grandchildren; 14 great­grandchildren; and nine siblings, Gloria, Margaret, Jose, Ruben, Felipe, Julio, Fidel, Manuel and Estaban.
     Geronimo was formerly employed by the Village of Paw Paw and the Point of Woods Golf Course in Benton Harbor. He and his wife operated a concession stand in the 1960s at the old fairgrounds when it was located by the Hartford Speedway. He also loved to cook for the family gatherings.
     The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford. The Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at the church, with Father Fabio Garzon as the Celebrant. Geronimo will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. The Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford is assisting the family. Any memorial donations should be made out to the family. Those wishing to leave condolences may do so by visiting our website at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
Ruth "Ellen" Shafer Marvin d 1-3-2013Ruth "Ellen" (Shafer) Marvin - Our Mom, baptised Ruth Elinor Shafer but called Ellen all her life, died Thursday, January 3, 2013 at Valley View Nursing Center. Her passing was eased by the gentle and loving care of the wonderful staff on Sunrise Terrace, who treated her like a member of their family during her year with them. She had reached the age of 92, as did our father, Art Marvin, who died in 2006. Mom always said she had a wonderful life, from her childhood in Hartford, Michigan, (one of seven children born [January 26, 1920 in Hartford MI] to Dell and Ruth Shafer and raised in the fruit farming business) through her married years raising four children, then later as the beloved matriarch, nicknamed Gigi, to her 7 grand and 7 great grandchildren.
       In 1943 after graduating from nursing school in Kalamazoo, Mom enlisted in the Navy as a nurse, assigned to Bainbridge Hospital in Maryland. Within weeks she was caught up in a whirlwind romance with our Dad, a handsome officer she met at a dance. They were married 6 weeks later. You can’t read through the stack of letters exchanged during this short period without feeling the thrill of young love. Our parents were married for 63 years, most of which were spent in Garden View, where, in addition to Dad’s job at Bethlehem Steel they operated Marvin’s Fruit Farm in the summertime. As the years passed and the kids grew up, Mom took up her work again, serving as a school nurse in several area schools. In her 50's she earned a Master's degree from Bucknell as a school psychologist, surprising even herself that she could accomplish such a feat.
        Our parents enjoyed almost 25 years of happy retirement together. Both Life Masters in duplicate bridge, they traveled extensively in search of a tournament or a new experience. They were regulars at the Williamsport Bridge Club and had many longtime friends there. Mom was a person who always saw the glass as half-full, who rarely passed judgment on others. She taught us by example to be happy, to be kind, to be responsible. She gave us a love of home-baked desserts, of seeing the funny side of things, of plunging into the ocean no matter how cold the water. She seemed to have boundless energy and boundless cheer. She loved her family unconditionally.
        She is survived by her four children, Merrily Frey and Nancy Lindoerfer (Armando Robles) of South Williamsport, Jackson Marvin (Michelle Franks) of Anchorage, AK, and Jim Marvin of San Antonio, TX. Grandchildren are Pascha (Dave) Frey Ferry, Chanda (Ryan) Frey Grimes, Jessica (Nate Sebold)and Daniel (LeeAnn Kinney) Lindoerfer, Brook and Sky Marvin, and Amber (Cory) Marvin Wiley. Great grandchildren are Tiarnan, Liam and Mairead Ferry, Brendan and Calla Grimes, and Rowen and Iris Wiley. She leaves brothers Robert and Steven (Ginny) Shafer.
        Visitation will be on Sunday, January 6 at 3 p.m. at Knight-Confer Funeral Home, 1914 Memorial Avenue. Funeral service will follow at 4 p.m.
        In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 57 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA  18701-1317.

NOTE:  Ellen was a 1937 Hartford High School graduate.
 

Drake Edward Sinclair, infant son of Ted and Candi Sinclair of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at the South Haven Health System.
     Drake is survived by his parents; a brother, Jacob Sinclair, at home; his grandparents, Wanda Drake of Hartford and Larry and Dovie Downey of Watervliet; his aunt, Misty Drake of Long Beach Calif.; his uncle, Scott (Ashley Barricklow) Downey of Hartford; and a cousin, Gavin Downey of Hartford.
     A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford. Those wishing to leave a message of condolence for the family can do so online at www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

 
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