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ies in 2017

 Hartford Michigan

             Click here to return to the Obituary Index

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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Anthony Krueger d 6-25-2017Anthony W. Krueger, 49, of Hartford, formerly of Coloma, passed away Sunday, June 25, at his residence.
     Services celebrating his life will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma where visitation will begin at 11 a.m. up until the time of service. Burial will follow in Coloma Cemetery. Donations in memory of Anthony may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of which he was an active participant. Those wishing to leave an online message of remembrance may do so at
Anthony was born Dec. 15, 1967, in Benton Harbor, to Alfred and Doris (McDonald) Krueger Sr. He graduated from Coloma High School, received his associates from Lake Michigan College and his Bachelor of Arts from Siena Heights University. Anthony was employed by AEP as senior instrument and control technician. He was formerly employed by Eaton Corp. in South Bend and APL Logistics in Coloma. Anthony was also a member of the Watervliet Rod & Gun Club and in his free time enjoyed camping, traveling and just being outdoors.
     Survivors include his wife, Cindy, whom he married Aug. 18, 1990, in Coloma; three daughters: Tara (Steve) Kemp of Kalamazoo, Emily and Karlye Krueger of Hartford; siblings: Alfred Krueger Jr. of Coloma, Nikki Krueger and Colleen Bethel of Florida, and Jay Krueger of North Dakota. Anthony is also survived by three grandchildren: Landon, Caden and Shareese; his canine companion, Sugar; and was loved by many other close relatives and friends.
     He was preceded in death by his parents.

Sergio Arturo Rivera d 6-22-2017Sergio Arturo Rivera - Sergio’s life began Sept. 23, 1998, in Berrien Springs. He grew up in the area, attending Hartford High School. Sergio loved playing soccer, music and playing PlayStation when he wasn’t working at Nature’s Way Landscaping. Sergio leaves behind a loving family which includes his mom, Sandy Rivera; dad, Jose Arturo Rivera Castillo; two siblings, Yavonne and Jade Rivera; and grandparents, Andrea Castillo and Mateo Zendejas.
     Sergio died Thursday, June 22, in Tennessee.
     His grandparents, Maria and Jesus Dominguez, preceded Sergio in death.
     Friends may visit with Sergio’s family from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Funeral services will be celebrated at noon Thursday, June 29, at Road to Life Church in St. Joseph. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Sergio’s family at

Eunice Holland d 6-23-2017Eunice Holland - Eunice’s life began April 30, 1940, in Baton Rouge, La. She spent most of her life in Southwest Michigan. She drove a school bus for 20 years for Hartford Public Schools. After retirement Eunice ran a day care and lastly she operated an adult specialized foster care home. Eunice enjoyed being involved in New Freedom Church in Coloma.
     Eunice leaves behind a loving family to cherish her memory which includes her husband of 60 years, Edgar Holland; five children: Eddie Holland, Romona (Darrell) Halsel, Lauri Holland, Victor (Caterina) Holland, and Shirley (Brian) Shemick; 23 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; four siblings: Henry McAndrew, Theo McAndrew, Shirley Martin and Corine Howard; and many nieces and nephews.
     Eunice went to be with her Lord on Friday, June 23, with her loving family surrounding her. She is preceded in death by a daughter: Leona Goyer; three siblings: Charles McAndrew, Doil McAndrew and Daryl McAndrew; and her parents: William and Esther (Johnson) McAndrew.
     Friends may visit with Eunice’s family at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at New Freedom Church in Coloma where a home coming celebration will be celebrated at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. Burial will follow in Fairview Memorial Cemetery. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Eunice’s family at

Harold Walker Jr. d 6-5-2017Harold William Walker Jr., 82, of Hartford was born on Dec. 24, 1934, in Hartford, the son of Harold and Beatrice (Manley) Walker, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded in passing by a brother, James.
     Harold passed away suddenly Monday, June 5, 2017.
     Cocky, as he was known by many, owned and operated the Walker 66 Station from 1958-73. He worked for two years as the bus supervisor and mechanic for the Hartford Public Schools, was in numerous positions for the city of Hartford for 12 years, he had a fire truck repair business for 13 years and was a salesman for Spencer Manufacturing up until his health forced him to retire. He served his country in the U.S. Army and was a member of the American Legion Stoddard Post 93 of Hartford. Harold’s love for Hartford led him to become a Hartford fireman, which he did for 40 years, with most of those years as its chief.
     Harold married the former Jean Rush on Feb. 7, 1959, and she survives; along with their two children.
     Harold (Diana) Walker III of Hartford, and Karyn Walker of Kalamazoo; three grandchildren: Brent, Kevin and Erin; a great-grandchild, Jase Michael Walker; two brother’s, Manley “Bob” Walker of Hartford, and Richard (June) Walker of South Bend; and a sister, Dawn (Bud) Pitcher of Hartford.
     The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 12, 2017, at the Hartford United Methodist Church, where a memorial celebration to honor Harold’s life will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, 2017. As to Harold’s wishes, cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Hartford Fire Department or Alzheimer’s Association. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences may do so at

NOTE:  Harold was a 1953 HHS graduate.

Marlene Lawrence d 6-7-2017Marlene Ann (Clark) Lawrence passed away on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at age 85.  Marlene Lawrence, a resident at Thornapple Manor in Hastings, was relieved of her pain. The Lord sent the angel Gabriel to comfort her weary spirit as she embarked on her next great adventure. She was born on June 20, 1931 in Pontiac, Michigan the daughter of William W. and Thelma B. (Pierce) Clark. In 1949, she graduated from Hartford High School. In 1952, she graduated from Nazareth College Division of Nursing with an RN Degree and over the next 39 years worked as a nurse in both hospitals and private practice in Michigan and New Jersey. She retired in 1991. On January 24, 1953, she married Keith Lawrence. She was a member of GFWC Hastings Women’s Club for 14 years. She Volunteered at Pennock Hospital for more than 3,500 hours and was presented the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She was a member of the Sundown Square Dance Club. She enjoyed fine needle work, gardening and all God’s creatures.
     Marlene was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 64 years Keith Lawrence of Hastings, Michigan, sons, Kevin (Karen) Lawrence of Lewes, Delaware, Wade, DVM (Kim, DVM) Lawrence of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Stephen (Brenda) Lawrence of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Thomas (Gina) Lawrence of Lake Orion, Michigan, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, brother Robert Clark of Georgia, and brother-in-law Warren Lawrence of Vicksburg, Michigan. Memorial contributions may be made to Thornapple Manor, 2700 Nashville Road, Hastings, Michigan 49058.
     Marlene’s wishes were to be cremated and a Memorial Service will be announced at a later date. Visit to sign the online guest book and leave condolences.


Margaret Stromeyer d 5-25-2017Margaret Cornelia Stromeyer was born May 22, 1925, in Lawrence Township. She passed away at the age of 92, on May 24, 2017, at her home. She was the daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (Stafford) Wild, both of whom preceded her in passing. Margaret was also preceded by four siblings.
     After graduating from high school, Margaret joined the U.S. Navy and served from 1945-46 in a hospital in New York and the Great Lakes. She then married Steve Stromeyer on March 4, 1950. Margaret obtained a bachelor’s degree and taught first grade in the Hartford Public School system for 30 years.
     Margaret is survived by her husband, Steve; a daughter, Susan Murphy of Ocala, Fla., and her children, Shane and Scott; two sons, Henry (Linda) Stromeyer and her son, Isaac; and Peter Stromeyer and his child, Tylre; along with numerous other family members and friends.
     As to Margaret’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of life potluck to honor her memory will be held at the Lawton Fraternal Order of Eagles from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 11, 2017. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so on our website at

William Groth d 3-22-2017William ‘Bill’ Groth of Martin passed away Monday, May 22, 2017 in Allegan. Bill was born August 9, 1941 in Hartford, MI the son of Henry A. and Cecile (Hilderley) Groth. Bill drove a feed truck for Wolverine Feed for 12 years before going to work at Plainwell Paper where he worked for over 23 years until they closed. In his spare time, he enjoyed cutting wood, gardening, fixing mowers and tinkering in the garage.
     On March 16, 1963, he married Kathleen Myers who survives. Also surviving are his children, Michael (Sharon) Groth of Gobles and Michelle (Daniel) Wubben of Dorr; 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
     Friends may meet with Bill’s family from 10-11 A.M. Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the Trowbridge United Methodist Church, 355 – 26th Street, Otsego where a funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. with Pastor John Moore officiating. Burial will follow at Trowbridge Methodist Cemetery. Contributions in memory of Bill may be made to

     Messages of condolence may be posted at


Donald Sinkler d 3-15-2017Donald Eugene Sinkler, 79, of Hartford, went to be with his Lord and Savior  Friday, May 19, 2017 at his home under Hospice care. He was born July 25, 1937 to Murray and Thelma (Warren) Sinkler in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Donald honorably served his country in the United States Army. He worked as a machinist for Buck Chuck in Kalamazoo for 34 years before his retirement. He was a member of the American Legion Post # 362 in Coloma and the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Haven.
     Donald is preceded in death along with his parents by his granddaughter – Melissa Dill,  brother – Robert Sinkler, sisters – Connie Sinkler, Dolly Falls, Beverly Starr, and two son-in-laws – Jeffrey Ver Sluis and Mark Nehmer.
     Donald is survived by his children – Sharon Sinkler of Hartford, Ronald Sinkler of Hartford, Barbara Ver Sluis of Plainwell, Cheryl (Jeremy) Matney of Hooppole, Illinois, and Michael (Jennifer) Sinkler of Lawrence, sister – Linda Jones-Newnum, brother – Terry Sinkler, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  He is also survived by his former wife of 45 years, Anna Sinkler, who he remained friends with.
     Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Haven. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 AM at the church with Pastor Travis Wilson officiating. Donald will be laid to rest at the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church Memorial Garden.  Memorial contributions can be made to Caring Circle Hospice, 05055 Blue Star Hwy. South Haven, MI 49090 or to the American Legion Post #362, 351 E. St. Joseph St. Coloma, MI 49038.


Betty Henagan d 5-10-2017Betty Henagan - Betty was born July 30, 1952, in Benton Harbor, the daughter of Ivan and Laura (Campbell) Orr. Betty passed away Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at her home.
     She was preceded in death by her father, Ivan; a son, Derrick Ray Henagan; a grandson, Cane Raylynn Henagan; and a brother, Larry Orr.
    Betty is survived by a son, Keith (Patricia) Henagan of Coloma; her mother, Laura of Hartford; her significant other, Thomas Strand; four grandchildren: Madline Henagan and Aislin Henagan, both of Coloma, Rayce Henagan and Taylor Bly, both of Kalamazoo; nephew, William Holley of Ohio; two stepchildren, Jenny (Rusty) Phillips of Lawrence and Brandi Strand of Hartford; and four stepgrandchildren: Tarynn, Delaney and Maddox Phillips and Landon Reyna; and very dear friends, Laura Scherer and Denise Fuller.
    Betty enjoyed her time at the beach, tending to her flowers, watching the hummingbirds and especially loved spending time with all of her family and friends. Loved ones will always remember her as being kind and quick to help someone in need as well as her love of collecting Betty Boop memorabilia.
    As to Betty’s wishes cremation has taken place. The family will welcome friends from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Hope Lutheran Church in Hartford. A memorial celebrating Betty’s life will follow at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Frederick S. Adrian officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Betty’s name may be made to the church. Those wishing to leave a memorial condolence for the family may do so on our website at www.calvin-leonardfh. com.


Frances Latus Del Pizzo d 5-11-2017
Frances A. Latus Del Pizzo
of Louisville, CO, journeyed home to our Father May 11, 2017 after a hard fought battle with cancer.
     She was born in Hartford, Michigan on August 7, 1931 the 3rd of 7 children
to Dr. Leo and Roseline Latus. She became a registered nurse in 1952. Upon the urging of a friend, she came to Denver and planned to work a while and then go onward to California then Hawaii. She met a handsome Italian man, Anthony Del Pizzo at a Denver Catholic singles dance in the fall of 1956. On July 13th 1957 they were married. She continued working until 1962 and then took time off to raise their 5 children. She was active in volunteering at their schools, being a Boy Scout co-leader, Meals on Wheels driver, religious education and parish council member. As her family grew older, she worked at StorageTek and retired in 1989. She finally had time to travel with Tony and help watch her grandchildren.

    She loved her faith, family and friends, watching all sports but especially the Broncos, Rockies and Avalanche.
    She was predeceased by her husband Tony in 2012, her parents, her sister Mary Ellen, and her brother Leo (Bud).
    She is survived by her children Dean, Lorene (Steve) Marriott, Cecilia (Leo) DiOrio, Diane (Phillip) Wallace and Ellen (Stewart) Oasheim. Twelve grandchildren, Christopher, Vanessa, Jennifer, and Jamie Marriott, Mia and Megan DiOrio, Dillon and Jake Wallace, Dawn (Vipul) Anjaria, Matthew, Michael and David Oasheim; two great grandchildren, Nikhil and Kaia Anjaria. Brothers, Tom (Marilyn), Peter, Robert (Betty), sister Alice (Clarence) Hill; in laws Ed Learner, Lois Latus, Helen Degenhart, Wanda and Lois Del Pizzo, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
    Vigil and Rosary Monday May 15, 7pm. Funeral Tuesday May 16, 10am, both at St. Louis Catholic Church Louisville. Complete obituary and guestbook at  

 NOTE:  Frances was a 1949 Hartford High School graduate.

Billy Morris d 5-8-2017Billy Ray Morris, 80, of Bangor Township (formerly of Hartford) was born on Jan. 2, 1937, to Dencil and Margaret (Branam) Morris. He passed away suddenly on Monday, May 8, 2017, at his home.
     At age 80, “Bill” as he was known, was still doing construction work at his own company, Bill Morris Construction, which he started in 1962. In his spare time, he loved fishing, and watching and going to all kinds of auto racing, however his most precious times were spent with his grandchildren.
     Bill is survived by three daughters: Diane (Cecil) Wismer of Hartford, Sheryl (Mark) Horowitz of Phoenix and Dawn Mc-Fadden-Berbert; and two stepdaughters, Cynthia Gilman and Tammy (David) Millword. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Joshua Berbert, Benjamin Horowitz and Cecil Wismer; many other stepgrandchildren; and five siblings: Jack (Joy) Morris of Decatur, Louise Tuberville of Florida, Robert (Marilyn) Morris of South Haven, Patricia (Gary) Olive and Terry (Vicky) Morris both of Florida.
     Bill was preceded in passing by three wives: Ruth, Gloria and Theresa; his parents; and a sister, Catherine Peninger.
     The family will welcome friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 12, 2017, at the Hartford Federated Church, where the celebration of life service will take place immediately following. Bill will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial donations in Bill’s name be made to Caring Circle. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.calvin-leonardfh. com.

Sheena Miller Sheena’s life began Aug. 17, 1988, in Berrien Springs. She grew up in the area attending Watervliet and Hartford public schools. Sheena loved spending time with family and working with autistic children.
     Sheena is survived by four children: Cristeena Perdue (Derrick), Keigan Ward, Aleena Perdue (Derrick), and Chance Smith (Jacob Derrick); her parents David and Sarah (Noles) Miller; two sisters Heather Miller and Trisha Miller; five nieces and nephews; a close friend Amber Loring; and her cat Little Mama.
     Sheena died May 4. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet has assisted Sheena’s family with cremation. You may leave a message for Sheena’s family at


Richard Smith d 5-2-2017Richard “Dick” A. Smith, 72, of St. Joseph (formerly of Hartford) passed away Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph.
     A celebration of life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with the Rev. Tom Bird officiating. Burial will follow at Lincoln Township Cemetery in Stevensville.
     Friends may visit from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service Saturday at the funeral home.
     Memorials may be made to the Lakeshore High School’s Athletic Department. Those wishing to share a memory of Dick may do so online at www.starks-menchinger. com.
     Dick was born Feb. 3, 1945, in Mc-Camey, Texas, to Cecil and Lilly (Sampson) Smith. He graduated from Leslie High School in Arkansas in 1965.
     On Dec. 2, 1985, he married the love of his life Donita Tanner in Humble, Texas.
     Dick was a sports fanatic, he loved watching any sport, especially Lakeshore High School teams.
     He enjoyed collecting sporting cards and attending games with his sports buddies.
     Dick never knew a stranger, because of his ability to connect with anyone he just met. Most of all he loved spending time with his family and attending the sporting events of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     Dick will be missed by all who knew him.
     Dick is survived by his loving wife, Donita Smith; children: Richard (Tammy) Smith Jr. of South Haven, Christopher Smith of Pullman, Julee (Markus) Smucker of Eureka, Ill., and Ryan (Andrea) Greer of Orlando, Fla.; grandchildren: Christopher Burrows, Jessica Smith, Shelby Smith, RC Smith, Brendon Smith, David Michael Smith II, Alex Smith and Daniel Smucker; and greatgrandchildren: Tanner, Kaisyn, Brielle, Landyn and Nevaeh; sister, Dorris (JR) Rose of Ukiah, Calif.; and his sports buddies, Larry Newberry and Donnie Ingle.
      Dick was preceded in death by his parents and six siblings.


Efrain Barrera Maya Sr Efrain Barrera Maya Sr. was born Aug. 12, 1956, in Sonora, Texas. He was the youngest of 10 siblings. As a child, his family relocated to Detroit, where he attended junior high, and high school, eventually meeting a young girl named Kathy at age 15, who would become the love of his life for the rest of his days. Efrain and Kathy were married on Sept. 7, 1976, and went on to have three sons: Jaime, Efrain Jr.”Bobby,” and Jesse. Efrain and Kathy became devoted Christians in the late ‘70s, and Efrain spent the rest of his life as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.
     Though crippled by a rare form of rheumatoid arthritis at age 27, he spent countless hours visiting and praying for the sick in hospitals and nursing homes around Kalamazoo, as well as sharing the gospel with whomever would give him an audience. He served faithfully as a deacon and evangelist at Trinity Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, Victory Baptist Church in Portage, Mich., and eventually accepting the call to become senior pastor of Keeler General Baptist Church in Hartford, where he served until his passing. He was used as an instrument of God to bring the gospel and true freedom to countless people.

     He was a gracious, loving, caring man whose home was always open to the hurting and downtrodden. He lived his life concerned for two things, the only two things that will never pass away – the word of God, and the souls of men, and he never wavered in his work. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and pastor. He was in love with his grandchildren: Mahrijana (Bobby), Mateo, and Jesus “Jesse.” He was a father figure to so many young men and women – friends of his children, and nephews and nieces; many of whom never had a real father.
     He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Kathy.
     He is survived by his sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and the multitude of men and women who knew him as their own dad.
     Funeral service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at Keeler General Baptist Church, 63627 Territorial Road, Hartford, MI 49057. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Keeler General Baptist Church as well.

Ward Henry Collins was born Sept. 27, 1947, on the family farm in Hartford. He was the son of George and Eleanor (Baird) Collins. Ward passed away suddenly at home on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
     Ward was a 1966 graduate of Hartford High School, and graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree. He was formerly employed at Marks and Gergens and the James River Company. In his spare time, Ward enjoyed watching sports of all kinds. He was a diehard Michigan Wolverine and Detroit Tigers fan. Friday’s were spent with the guys, but his most enjoyable times were spent with his family. You would often see him outside in his garden or just doing yard work.
     On Jan. 16, 1981, Ward was united in marriage to Eunice Spradley. She passed away on Sept. 22, 2010. Also preceding Ward in passing were his parents; a stepson, Teddy Hutchins; and his stepfather, Andrew Ozanich.
     Ward is survived by a daughter, Kimberly (Gordon) Peterek of Three Oaks; two sons, Jimmy Hutchinson and Charles (Olivia Buzzell) Hutchinson; five grandchildren: Nathan, Matthew, Myke, Taylor and Lanie; two brothers, Dale and Tom Collins; a sister, Sarita Collins; his partner, Marsha Hammond; a niece, Tammy (Dennis) Graham; and a nephew, Mahlon Collins.
     The family will welcome friends from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, followed by a celebration of Ward’s life. Ward will be laid to rest in Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Animal Lovers Inc. in Three Oaks. Memorial condolences for the family can be left at

Shirley Vliek Flick d 4-28-2017Shirley Ann Flick, (nee Vliek) 73, of Paw Paw passed away Friday evening April 28, 2017, at her home with her family at her side. Shirley was born Sept. 27, 1943, in Benton Harbor the daughter of Henry and Ella (Feenstra) Vliek. Shirley was employed by the Paw Paw Public schools for 12 years, and 22 years for the Paw Paw Shopping Center. She worked seasonally for Tuttle Floral Co. and Hanson’s Greenhouse.
     Shirley was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Paw Paw, serving in the church choir and counting the weekly offertory and enjoyed baking and gardening.
     Shirley was not a stranger to anyone and was known to many children as Grandma Shirley. She truly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren at Three Mile Lake in the summer.
     Surviving are four children: Diana (Ross) Arnold of Haysville, Kan., Kevin (Brenda) Flick of Houghton Lake, Melinda (Pat) Burnell of Gobles, and Scott (Sonya) Flick of Paw Paw; grandchildren: Dylan Palacios, Madison Flick, Darbi and Donovan Haley, Brady and Tiffany Burnell, Kayla and Ben Flick; great grandson, Connor Palacios; mother, Ella Orr of Dowagiac; siblings: Richard (Kathy) Vliek of St. Joseph, Bonnie (Bob) Knight of Niles, Doris Lefever of Buchanan, Sandy Schliter of Paw Paw, Terry Vliek of Mattawan and Tammy (Ron) Ekema of Portage; children’s father, Marvin (Julie) Flick of Paw Paw.
     Shirley was preceded in death by her father, Henry Vliek, and a brother, Ronald Vliek.
     Family will receive friends beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Paw Paw, until service time at 2 p.m. with Rev. Eric Gledhill officiating. Cremation to follow services. Memorial contributions may be directed to Wings of Hope Hospice or Trinity Lutheran Church, Paw Paw. Arrangements by the Adams Funeral Home.

NOTE:  Shirley was a 1961 Hartford High School graduate.


Bernhard E. Hoeckelberg, 75, of Hartford passed away Thursday morning, April 20, 2017, at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.
     Cremation has taken place as per his wishes. Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society of SW Michigan directly or sent in care of the funeral home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home is assisting in the arrangements. Those wishing to leave a message of comfort for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick. com.
     Bernhard was born on April 9, 1942, in Valparaiso, Ind., to Eugene and Mary (Phelps) Hoeckelberg. He was a graduate of Niles High School. On July 8, 1962, he married Marilyn Wilson, who preceded him in death in 2010.
     Prior to retirement, Bernhard was a farmer. He loved going to the Osceola Dragway on Sundays where he worked on the pit crew for his son’s modified Maverick. Bernhard was also well known for riding his Simplex motorcycle around Osceola Dragway.
     He will be missed by his family.
     He is survived by his children: Bernhard Hoeckelberg of Georgia, Thure (Tracey) Hoeckelberg of Jacksonville, Fla., Gene (Patty) Hoeckelberg of St. Joseph, Cassie (John) Bell of South Haven, and Albert Hoeckelberg of Plymouth, Ind.; 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
     He was preceded in death by his sister, Lorraine Putz, and his parents.

Kevin William Darling was born July 24, 1984, in Kalamazoo, the son of Jerry Darling and Sharon (Lowe) Miller. Kevin passed away suddenly on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
     Kevin was a 2002 graduate of Hartford High School and went on to become a certified welder.
     The family will welcome friends from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, followed by a memorial celebration of life service to honor Kevin’s memory. The Rev. Glen Cowles of East Arlington Baptist Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jim Gilmore Jr.-Community Healing Center in care of Sherry Miller or Calvin Funeral
     Memorial condolences for the family can be left at

     On Sept. 17, 2011, Kevin was united in marriage to
Hollie McGowan, who survives; along with their children, Jackson and Jacey Darling; his mother, Sherry (Mark) Miller; his father, Jerry (Ada) Darling; two sisters, Kacey Darling and Andrea Gallegos; a brother, Eddie Gallegos; and grandparents, Tom and Ardis Weston; and many other family members and friends.
     Kevin was preceded in passing by his grandparents,
Earnie and Verna Lowe, and two uncles.




Curt Drake d 4-14-2017Curtis William Drake was born June 21, 1916, in Bangor, the son of Curtis and Jean (Humphrey) Drake. He passed away Thursday, April 13, 2017 at South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Community.
     Curt, as he was known, grew up on Van Auken Lake. He moved to Chicago after school to work with his uncle, James Humphrey.
     Curt was united in marriage to H. Irene Lovegrove on July 14, 1938, in Alexander, Canada, and for the next 78 years, they were inseparable. They met in Chicago at a church social. Irene had moved from Canada to Chicago to help her aunt Ethel who had arthritis. They later returned to Van Auken Lake to farm (Cherry Hill Fruit Farm) and raise their family.
     Curt was a life member of Hartford Federated Church, life member of Twin City Camera Club (36 years), Fruit Belt Camera Club and Southern Michigan Gun Club. He was a competitor in camera and gun club activities right up until the end. He had a love for life and living it to the fullest. It was often said that there were not many things he didn’t love and enjoy. Curtis’ many hobbies and interests were daily target practice shooting his firearms (weather permitting), shooting his camera at every opportunity, woodworking (making many keepsakes for friends and family) and traveling to various destinations at home and abroad.
     Curt believed in giving back to the community. He was a school board member all the years his children attended school. Curt is survived by his wife, Irene; a daughter, Jean (Ronald) Johnson of Hartford; a son, Dale Drake of Hartford; three grandchildren: Roderick (Kathy) Johnson, Darcelle (Kenneth) Austin and Danielle (Michael) Aschenbrener; six great-grandchildren: Gabriel and Gwen Johnson, Victoria and Ayden Austin, and Maxwell and Valentina Aschbrener.
     Curt was preceded in passing by his parents; two brothers: Virgil and Donald Drake, and a sister, Shirley Schroyer.
     A memorial celebration of life service will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at the Hartford Federated Church, with Pastor Richard Ely officiating. As to Curtis’ wishes cremation has taken place. His ashes will be placed in Thomas Cemetery, Bangor Township. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hartford Federated Church. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so on our website at

NOTE:  Curt was a 1935 graduate of Hartford High School.

Fred Kroboth d 4-10-2017Fred Kroboth, 81, of Hartford passed away Monday, April 10, 2017.
     Fred was lovingly cared for by his wife, Betty, for the past 24 years.
     Fred was born Nov. 30, 1935, in Kalamazoo, the son of Fred Sr. and Hazel (Garrett) Kroboth, both of whom preceded him in passing. He was also preceded in death by two infant sisters, Eva and Joyce; an infant son, Dean; and an infant granddaughter, Brooke.
     Fred grew up and worked on the family dairy farm in Hartford. He was formerly employed at Friday Tractor of Hartford for 17 years, and Rieth-Riley Construction Co. until his health forced him to retire. Fred loved to talk, as shown by him never meeting a stranger. He had a wonderful laugh and was the kind of man who would do anything for anybody. Fred also loved to travel and watch old westerns, mostly of John Wayne.
     Fred married Betty Gott on April 26, 1963, and passed away just shy of their 54th wedding anniversary. Betty survives
along with five children: Theresa (Mike) Woodward of Hartford, Lisa (Bill) Wallace of South Bend, Joseph Kroboth of Hartford, Duane (Sara) Kroboth of Las Vegas and Freda Haskins of Coloma. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Bethany and Phillip Woodward, Sarah Figaretti and Ashley Wallace, Danielle and Kelsey Kroboth, Lori and Brian Haskins, and Laura Kroboth; and three great grandchildren: Rocco, Resa and Abigail.
      As per Fred’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an animal shelter of your choice. Memorial condolences for the family can be left at

NOTE:  Fred was a 1954 Hartford High School graduate.

Emily Foster d 3-23-2017Emily Foster, 84, of Hartford, and formerly of Coloma, died Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the Watervliet Lakeland Hospital.
     Services celebrating her life will be at noon Wednesday, March 29, at the Grace Apostolic Church in South Haven. Burial will follow in Coloma Cemetery. Visitation will be 5 -8 p.m. Tuesday at the Davidson Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Coloma. Please share memories, messages or photos at www.florin. net.
     Emily was born March 23, 1933, in Trezevant, Tenn., to Murray and Maurine Bryant. She married her husband, Johnny Foster Sr., and he preceded her in death in 1995. She was employed at V-M Corp. and then at Assembled Components in Coloma as a supervisor for many years. Emily had a strong faith and was a member of the Grace Apostolic Church in South Haven. She loved cooking, spending time with her family and going to church. All who knew her loved her and she was the best mom ever.
     Her family included her children: Johnny (Alicia) Foster Jr. of Coloma, Melanie (Billy) Bryant of Hartford, and Roger (Cheryl) Winford of Largo, Fla.; her sister, Dorothy Williams of Stevensville; her brother, Joe Bryant of Benton Harbor; her grandchildren: Michael, Scott, Tyler, Emily, Nick, Andrew, Adam and Aaron; and her greatgrandchild, Malachi.


Joyce M. Kime, 91, of St. Joseph, went to be with the Lord, Saturday, March 18, 2017 at her home. 
     Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 until 6:45 P.M. Monday, March 27 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. A Celebration of Life Service will follow from 6:45-7:00 P.M.  Memorial donations in Joyce’s name may be made to The Humane Society of Southwest Michigan or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Those wishing to sign Joyce’s Memory Book online may do so at 
     Joyce was born May 11, 1925 in Hartford, Michigan to Fredrick & Weltha (Smith) Goodrich. She graduated from Hartford High School, Class of 1942.  On March 23, 1946 she married Russell L. Kime.  Joyce was employed by Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. beginning in 1950, retiring in 1995 as Accounting Supervisor.  She was a member of the Businesswomen of Southwest Michigan & the Emblem Club of Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Elks Lodge #541. Joyce volunteered at the Krasl Art Center and at First Church of God in St. Joseph.  She enjoyed playing a round of golf whenever possible, crossword & word search puzzles, and games shows-especially Wheel of Fortune. 
     Joyce is survived by her son Randy (Lana) Kime of Hartford, MI; her daughter Kimberley (Don) Karnes of St. Joseph; five grandchildren-Jessica (Andrew) Morgan, Tyler Karnes, Abby Karnes, Marcus Kime & Marcy Kime; one great-granddaughter Grace Morgan; her brother Robert Goodrich & her sister Joanne (Roger) Duncombe, both of Hartford; sister-in-law Joanne Goodrich of Coloma; numerous nieces & nephews; and her best friend Dede Bittner of St. Joseph. She was preceded in death by her husband Russ on Feb. 5, 2006 and by five sisters-Cecil Ackerson, Helen Hones, Jackie Moses, Mildred Boynton & Jeanne Knapp.  


Alvin Nixson d 3-17-2016Alvin Homer Nixon, 74, of Hartford, passed away Friday March 17, 2017 at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, where his sense of humor showed until the very end. He died peacefully with a belly full of root beer, surrounded by loved ones, including his “crybaby” granddaughter Sheyenne.
     Alvin was born December 13, 1942 to the late Homer and Ida (Buehler) Nixon in Ann Arbor, Michigan, thus beginning his lifelong fondness for the U of M Wolverines. 
     He graduated from Chelsea High School in 1961, where he and his identical twin brother Alton were star athletes. They were once known to switch jerseys at halftime of a basketball game after one of them had fouled out. He went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a degree in Education. From there he taught History at St. John’s Junior High School, Lake Michigan Catholic High School and most recently at Dowagiac Union Schools, from where he retired in 2003. He was a favorite teacher to many former students and is remembered for his humorous and engaging teaching methods, his “Pop” quizzes, (literally about pop), and his extra credit questions which were often Detroit Tigers related trivia. Al was an avid Tigers fan, season ticket holder and sports enthusiast. Over the years he coached several sports including baseball, basketball, football and golf. He was a highly respected umpire registered with the MHSAA and was selected to officiate the Michigan baseball state finals. In his retired years he could be found in section 325 Row C Seat 14 unofficially calling plays at Comerica Park. Often times with a grand or great grandchild on his lap, thus creating three generations of diehard Tigers fans. 
     His family and friends will remember him for his love of animals, sense of humor, practical jokes, trips to the casinos, and passion for history and traveling. His comical vacation antics earned him the nickname “Clark Griswold” with his family. 
     On November 19, 1966 Alvin married Esther (Stahl). As fate would have it the church was being remodeled so the ceremony was held on the free-throw  line of the gym at St. Mary’s in Chelsea, MI. Though they recently celebrated their Golden Anniversary, there is some confusion about their first date. Esther insists it took several attempts before agreeing to the date, but on his deathbed, Alvin wanted the “record to show” that she said yes the first time he asked. 
     Alvin is survived by Esther, his wife of 50 years, three children; Natalie (Bill) Rowe, Holly Delaney and Richard M. Nixon (yep, really!), six grandchildren; Matthew Rowe, Shenise (Tyler) Roots, Sierra Delaney, Serena Delaney, Sheyenne Delaney and Alexa Nixon, three great grandchildren; Tayson Roots, Avery Roots and Meadow Walduck, two brothers; Ted (Jeanette) Nixon and his twin Alton Nixon, (with whom he could never agree on directions, details of a story, or who had the hardest paper route). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. 
      In honoring Alvin’s wishes, he has been cremated and there will be no formal funeral services. His family will hold a celebration of his life on Monday March 27th at the Hilton Garden Inn Benton Harbor at 5:00 p.m.  Where friends are encouraged to wear Baseball gear and share memories. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks and Mechinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph, MI. In keeping with his sense of humor, memorial donations can be made to the Detroit Tigers so they can buy a decent pitching staff. Those wishing to leave online condolences may do so at 


Boyd Estes d 3-17-2017Boyd H. Estes, age 78, of Wirth, Arkansas passed away Friday, March 17, 2017 in Hardy Arkansas.
      Boyd was born September 11, 1938 in Agnos, Arkansas to the late Guy Estes and Edna Thomas (Estes). Boyd did many things in his life including working as a gas station attendant, the Mayor of Hartford, Michigan, the County Commissioner in Hartford, Michigan, and Justice of The Peace in Sharp County, Arkansas. Boyd was also involved in his church, politics, and he is an Army veteran.
     Boyd is survived by his wife Bonnie Estes, daughters Rhonda Estes and Gavonna Brown; sisters Mae Linderman (husband Paul) of South Haven Michigan, Treva Mcgomery (husband Frank) of Hartford, Michigan, Jean Burlingham (husband Dan) of Hartford, Michigan, Sharon Asaro of St. Joseph, Michigan, Faye Waldrop (husband Brad) of Berrien Center, Michigan; and one brother Dale Estes (wife Ruth) of South Haven, Michigan. He is also survived by 3 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  His daughter, Donna Kay Estes, passed away September 5. 2016
     A memorial service will be held Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Wortham Funeral Home, Oak Hill Chapel beginning at 2:00 P.M. Ministers will be Mike Higginbottom and Jack Huffmaster.

NOTE:  A one-vehicle accident in Sharp County Arkansas claimed the life of a Fulton County man Friday evening. According to the Arkansas State Police, 78-year-old, Boyd Estes, of Mammoth Spring (formerly of Hartford MI) was pronounced dead after the accident north of Hardy.
     Estes was traveling southbound on Arkansas Highway 175 in rainy conditions. Trooper Darren Bates reports Estes' vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, drove off the right side of the highway and struck a tree.
     Estes' body was transported to Tri-County Funeral Home in Highland following the 8:02 p.m. accident.

Ernie Santoro d 11-1-2016Ernest “Ernie” Santoro passed away Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. 
     Per his wishes cremation has taken place. Interment will take place on March 23, 2017, in Chicago. Memorial contributions may be made to The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, 641 S. Crystal Ave. Benton Harbor, MI 49022.
     Ernie was born in Chicago on May 1, 1926, to Ra y m o n d and Pearl (Tedraw) Santoro, both of whom preceded him in passing. He served in the Air Force from 1944-46 as an airplane and engine mechanic. Upon returning to civilian life, Ernie had diverse employment, he worked for the railroad, drove a cab, and was a skilled barber who owned his own shop (with a poker room in the back!) After spending many weekends in Michigan, he moved to Hartford, where the opportunity came up to buy a restaurant, “The Panel Room,” which he owned for over 20 years, then volunteered his services until he was 86. His love for animals was not to be surpassed, especially horses which he raced for many years. His other hobbies included traveling, playing cards, recounting his colorful stories and women! On the eve of his 90th birthday, he went for a joy ride, eluding the cops, and when stopped, grinned from ear to ear!
     Ernie loved life and lived it to the fullest!
     He is survived by his wife, Maryvonne, four stepchildren, 10 stepgrandchildren, two nephews, and his kitty cat, Martha.
     Beside his parents, a sister also preceded him in death.
     This farewell song was requested by Ernie upon his demise.
         “My Way” by Frank Sinatra: “And now, the end is near/ And so I face the final curtain/ My friend, I’ll say it clear/ I’ll state my case, of    
             which I’m certain.

         I’ve lived a life that’s full/ I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway/ But more, much more than this/ I did it my way.
         Regrets, I’ve had a few/ But then again, too few to mention/ I did what I had to do/ And saw it through without exemption.
         I planned each charted course/ Each careful step along the byway/ And more, much more than this/ I did it my way.
         Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew/ When I bit off more than I could chew/ But through it all, when there was doubt/ I ate it up
             and spit it out/ I faced it all and I stood tall/ And did it my way.

         I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried/ I’ve had my fill; my share of losing/ And now, as tears subside/ I find it all so amusing.
        To think I did all that/ And may I say – not in a shy way/ Oh no, oh no, not me/ I did it my way.
        For what is a man, what has he got/ If not himself, then he has naught/ To say the things he truly feels/ And not the words of one who
            kneels/ The record shows I took the blows/ And did it my way/ Yes, it was my way.”


Charles Warkentien d 3-12-2017Charles Ellsworth Warkentien, 77, of Hartford Township passed away Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville. Charles, or “Chuck” or “Charlie” as he was known by most, was born April 1, 1939, in Star City, Ind., the son of Irvin and Annabelle (Phillips) Warkentien, both of whom preceded him in passing.
Charles was a 1958 graduate of Decatur High School, where he played basketball and the drums in the school marching band. He was formerly employed with C.L. Wolf and Sons for 12 years from 1959-71, with Whirlpool Corp. for a number of years and owned and operated Rush Lake Mobile Home Park since 1971. He was among the first people to help paint the Mackinac Bridge. In his spare time, he loved polka music and entertaining family and friends on his pontoon.
     He was much loved and will be forever in our hearts.
     Charles married the former Paula Booth on March 20, 1996. She survives along with his daughter, Kimberly Batey of Coloma; grandchildren: Ryan, Adam, Jordan and Noah; three stepsons: Wendell Hill, Patrick (Kara) Hill and Steven Hill; stepgrandchildren: LeAnne (David) Demski, Christopher Hill, Ava Grace and Christin Hill; special stepgrandchild, P.J. Hill; stepgreat-grandchildren: Emilee, Jenna, Megan and Jacob Demski and Hunter Hill; two brothers, Larry (Arlene) Warkentien and Carl (Kathy) Warkentien; and a sister, Mary (Hal) Stofer.
     The family will welcome friends 1-2 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor his memory will commence at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Lonnie Truelove officiating. After the service, he will be cremated. Memorial donations in Charles’ name may be left to Caring Circle. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at


Russell Robert Gray, 73, formerly of Hartford, died peacefully at his home in Benton Harbor Sunday, March 12, 2017.
     He was born April 19, 1943, in St. Joseph. He was a 1962 graduate of Covert High School and attended Southwest Michigan Community College. He was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War serving aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea (CVA-43).
     He married his wife of 50 years, Linda Glasgow, on Nov. 19, 1966, in Hartford.
     He is survived by his wife, Linda; two sons, Jeremy A. (April) Gray of Lawrence, and Joshua R. (Becky) Gray of Battle Creek; brother, Raymond Gray of Covert; two grandchildren, Devin and Daniel Gray of Lawrence; his little dog, Snickers; brothers and sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his mother, Marion L. Zuhl Cassidy; his father, Russell Gray; and brother, Richard Allen Gray.
     The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Kelly and his staff for their loving care during his illness, thank you, Colonel, and the staff of DLS Dialysis of Watervliet.
     Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Friday March 17, until the services at 1 p.m. at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford, with service officiated by sister-in-law, the Rev. Patricia Purcell. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Watervliet Township. Memorials can be made to the Work of Life Fellowship, S. Pleasant St., Watervliet, where he was a member.


 Alfred "Al" Freudenburg d 3-6-2017Alfred “Al” Edwin Freudenburg went home to be with his Heavenly Father after a long fight with cancer in Hartford, on March 6, 2017, at the age of 76.
      Alfred was born on June 6, 1940, the eighth of 12 children, to Oscar and Frieda (Schulz) Freudenburg in Colorado Springs, Colo. He graduated from Dowagiac High School in 1959, and then attended Central Michigan University on a wrestling scholarship. He also played football for the Chippewas.

       In 1977, Alfred married Mary Ann Krause and they formerly resided in Coloma and St. Joseph before moving to Hartford. He attended Grace Lutheran, Water of Life and Trinity Lutheran Church.
       Alfred was very talented with his hands. He enjoyed construction work and was a licensed builder for over 30 years. Throughout his career, he worked for Peoples Savings Bank, farmed for several years and opened a business with his wife, which they ran until he retired.
       For more than seven decades, Alfred searched for treasures from the ground up. He was president of Wolverine Archaeology Society and loved Native American artifacts; he was an American picker before picking was a thing!
     His signature look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt, Wrangler blue jeans, and some old-school work boots that were always paired with a greasestained baseball cap. He always sported a mag mini flashlight, a pocketknife and a Crescent wrench to be of help to anyone who asked. He loved to fish, watch football and was a die-hard University of Michigan fan.
     Alfred is remembered with love by his daughter, Alicia (Thomas) Barry; daughters by marriage, Lori Hartline and Michelle (Michael) Sobralski; mother-in-law, Rosalie Krause; his brothers, Paul (Sally) and Marcus; and sisters, Harriett Peer and Gerry Blanchard; grandchildren: Chelsea, Miranda, Harlie, Noah and Lindsey; great-grandchildren: Melody, Aryah and Emery; a cat affectionately named, ‘Kat’; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his father, Oscar; mother, Frieda (Schulz); wife, Mary Ann (Krause); and son, Eric; brothers: Daniel, David, Michael; and sisters: Ruth, Miriam, Esther (Cohagen), and Elizabeth (Kelm).
     The family would like to thank Eaton Community Palliative Care, Lakeland Hospital, Oaklawn Hospice and Trinity Lutheran Church for their loving support and care.
     Memorial service with fellowship will be at noon Friday, March 17, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 619 Main, St. Joseph with visitation from 11 a.m. to noon, and meal to follow service. In lieu of flowers, donations to the family in memory of Alfred Freudenburg, P.O. Box 1433, Battle Creek, MI 49016.

Elizabeth Rodgers d 3-11-2017Elizabeth June Rodgers, 93, was born June 18, 1923, in Hartford. She was the daughter of Adelbert and Barbara (Wise) Neff. Elizabeth passed away at home Friday, March 3, 2017. The family will welcome friends from 12:30-1 p.m. Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Van Buren Sportsmen’s Club, followed at 1 p.m. with a celebration of life service to honor Elizabeth’s memory. The Rev. Steven Bisbee will officiate. As to Elizabeth’s wishes, cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the family. Memorial condolences for the family can be left at
     Soon after graduating from Hartford High School in 1942 Elizabeth was united in marriage to Raymond Rodgers on Nov. 1, 1942, and they decided to stay right here and make their home in Hartford. She was formerly employed at Olds Grocery Store, Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Harding’s Market, where she worked for many years in the meat department. In her spare time, she loved to crochet, make quilts and especially cook.

     Raymond passed away on Oct. 26, 2014. Also preceding her in passing were two brothers, Walter and Ernest Neff.
     Elizabeth is survived by two daughters, Nora Jean (David) Foote of Rudyard, Mich., and Mary Rodgers of Hartford; a son, Thomas (Tammy) Rodgers of Hartford; three grandchildren: Keith (Katherine) Foote of Bronson, David (Tonya) Foote of Seward, Alaska, and Aaron Rodgers of Kleve, Germany; and five great-grandchildren: Bryan, Rachel, Michael, Garrett and Gavin.


Brian Scott Burfield, 48, of Hartford passed away suddenly on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, at home. Brian was born Aug. 23, 1968, in Watervliet, the son of Wallace Burfield and Wanda Drane Morse.
     On Nov. 26, 1990, Brian was united in marriage with Linda Bisbee and she survives, along with three sons: Jason Britt of Carson City, Nev., Anthony Scott Burfield and Michael (Julie) Burfield, both of Hartford; a grandson, Wyatt Burfield of Hartford; his mother, Wanda (Bill) Drane-Morse of Hartford; a sister, Tamara (Ken) McGlothlin of Hartford; and numerous other family members and friends.
     Brian was preceded in passing by his father, Wallace, and a brother, Michael Burfield.
      As to Brian’s wishes cremation has taken place and private family services have been held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the family. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at

Carol Wilkens d 2-27-2017 Carol Elizabeth Wilkens, 81, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, surrounded by her family at Pine Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Stevensville.
     Carol was born July 27, 1935, in Benton Harbor, the daughter of Charles and Frances (Tucker) Kozma, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     Carol was also preceded by a son, Ralph Osburn; a great-grandchild, Kaden Osburn; and two siblings, Jeanette LaVanway and Charles Kozma.
     On Sept. 27, 1980, Carol was united in marriage with Glen Wilkens. He survives, along with her children: David (Cindy) Osburn of Texas, Keith Osburn of California, James Osburn of Michigan, Karen (Mark) Hamilton of Michigan and Victor (Beth) Wells of Alabama; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four stepchildren: Sharon (Ron) Gimik, Julie Harmon, Randy Wilkens and Laura Luciano, all of Michigan; 10 step-grandchildren; many step-great-grandchildren; and two siblings, Rosalie (Ken) Hanson of Michigan and Susan Kozma of Florida; and many other family members.
     In her spare time, Carol loved to crochet, do crossword puzzles, play the lottery and just hang out with her friends at the American Legion in Coloma, where she was a 35-plus year member of the auxiliary. She was best known for her bartending skills at the many places she worked for many years. Most of all she loved her family and will be missed by all.
     Carol has been cremated and a celebration of life will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017, at the Coloma American Legion. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at
Margie Shugars d 2-18-2017Margie A. Shugars, Portage, age 81, passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
     Margie was born in Grand Rapids on October 15, 1935 to the late Willard and Mildrith (Koon) Smith. She was a 1953 graduate of Hartford High School.
     On June 13, 1954 she married Wayne D. Shugars who survives. Margie is also survived by a son, Michael (Ramona) Shugars; two grandchildren, Samantha (Trevor Smith) Shugars and Christina (Shawn) Matos and one great-grandson, Devin Matos; brother, Jimmy E. Smith; sister in-law, Ann Smith along with several nieces and nephews. Margie was preceded in death by brother, Robert L. Smith, sister in-law, Rosemary Hastings-Smith and her canine friend, Charlie. She worked as a secretary for many years at her husband's business, Shugars Heating and Sheet Metal.
     Margie loved to read and enjoyed bowling and golfing as well as spending time at her summer home in Traverse City. She was a member of the Portage Moose Lodge, Schoolcraft Eagles, Portage AMBUCS and The Beacon Club.
     A funeral service will be held at Joldersma and Klein Funeral Home on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Private interment will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. A time of visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or a charity of one's choice, c/o the funeral home. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at

Danny Michael d 2-19-2017Danny E. Michael, 61, of Hartford passed away peacefully with family around him on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.
     Services celebrating Danny’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Federated Church in Hartford. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. Donations in memory of Danny may be made to the family. Those wishing to leave an online message of remembrance may do so at
Danny was born Oct. 15, 1955, in Chicago Heights, Ill., to Archie and Arbilee (Phillips) Michael. He was self-employed the majority of his life however, most recently, retired from Four Winds Casino. Danny was an avid Cubs fan and a John Deere man who loved old cars, tinkering, building things, and tending to the garden. He was the most generous, kind-hearted man who treated everyone like his own. He was a great role model, amazing husband, and hard worker who truly loved his kids and grandkids.
     Survivors include his wife, Judy, whom he married Dec. 14, 1974; a son, Brian (Jennifer) Michael of Hartford; daughter, Melissa (Trett) Price of Watervliet; godson, Rafael (Claudia) Reyna of Hartford; mother, Arbilee (Odell) Martin of Arkansas; a brother, Steve Michael of Paw Paw; and a sister, Diane (Buddy) Peaton of Arkansas. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Alexa (Brandon) Wright, Hailie Tarantino, Mackenzie Michael, Andrew Michael, Lillian Price, Kaiden Price and Peyton Michael; mother and fatherin-law, Imogene (Grover) Boyd; along with several brothers and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.
      Danny was preceded in death by his father, and a sister, Carol Michael.

NOTE:  Danny was a 1974 Hartford High School graduate.


Hali Burchfield d 2-13-2017Hali K. Burchfield, 22, of Hartford, passed away on February 13, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minn.
     Services will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, March 4th at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, of which she was a lifelong member. Burial will follow in St. Paul's Cemetery.  Visitation will be Friday from 5:00-8:00 PM at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. In lieu of flowers, donations  may be made to Hali's parents Doug and Mel Burchfield. Those wishing to leave on online message of comfort for the family may do so by selecting the guestbook link on this page.
     Hali Kay was born on February 10, 1995 in St. Joseph. As a child Hali was so precious, well behaved, and loved to read.  As she grew up she became a beautiful young woman with a bubbly, caring personality, and a kind and generous heart. Hali graduated with honors from Hartford High School in 2013 where she enjoyed sideline and competitive cheerleading, track, volleyball, was a member of the student council and the National Honor Society and was crowned Miss Congeniality. She attended Central Michigan University for one semester before transferring to Michigan Tech where she was majoring in accounting and management information systems. Hali had a big, beautiful, bright smile and brought joy and happiness to all she met. She truly loved and enjoyed spending time with her friends. We will love you always our beloved angel.
     Hali is survived by her parents Doug and Melvina Burchfield, fiancé Jon Phillips, grandparents Nancy and Mel Burchfield, aunt Marney Santo, and two uncles Kevin and Ron Burchfield. 
     She was preceded in death by her grandparents Melvin and Anna Nadason.


Eddie Holland Jr  d 2-3-2016
Eddie Eugene Holland Jr.
from Hartford passed away suddenly on Feb. 3, 2017. 

     Eddie was 28 years old and will be missed immensely. Some of his talents include painting airplanes and mechanical work on cars. He was active in high school basketball.
     The family would like to thank the Arnt and Mizwicki families for putting into place the Good Samaritan law. Survivors include mother, Karen Hoffman Koch; father, Eddie E. Holland; and two brothers, Jeffrey Holland and Michael (Stefany Foster) Holland. He will be missed by many aunts, uncles, cousins and family members.
     A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at New Freedom Church, 6210 Mountain Road, Coloma, with a luncheon to follow.

 NOTE:  Eddie was a 2007 Hartford High School graduate.

Mary Linneweh
94, of Hartford died Jan. 28, 2017, at South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma, 468-6000.

John Brower d 1-25-2017John Anton Brower was born June 10, 1939 in Brazzaville, Belgian Congo one of five children born to Angus and Emma (Anderson) Brower, both of whom precede him in passing. Also preceding him in passing was a brother, Paul Brower. John passed away at home on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
     The family will welcome friends from 3 to 4 P.M. on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. At 4 P.M., a memorial celebration of John's life will take place with Pastor David Brower officiating. Memorial condolences for the family can be left on our website at
     On August 3, 1963, John was united in marriage to Sheron Seron and she survives along with two sons; Paul (Miyuki) Brower of Powell, Ohio and Kirk (Gini) Brower of Arvada, Colorado. He is also survived by five grandchildren; Shin Brower, Ken Brower, Patrick Brower, Mary Kate Brower and Andrew Brower, a brother; David (Clara) Brower of Zeeland and two sisters; Mary (Larry) Elgersma of Plainwell and Ruth Rutherford of Niles.
     John retired from Georgia-Pacific Paper Company after many years of faithful employment. In his spare time, John loved reading, bird watching, scuba diving, backpacking, jogging and especially playing bridge at the senior center in Saint Joe.

Harold Lee Ferguson, 70, of Hartford died Jan. 22, 2017, at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville. Purely Cremations – Starks Family Funeral Homes, Benton Harbor, 926-9440.

Betty Velthouse Green Vrabec d 1-21-2017Betty L. Velthouse Green Vrabec, 84, of Dowagiac, MI, (formerly of Hartford) passed away Saturday, January 21, 2017 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph.
     A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac with Rev. Scott Stambaugh officiating. Burial will follow at South Wayne Cemetery in Dowagiac. Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 until 8:00 P.M. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Crohn’s and Colitis foundation or Paralyzed Veterans of America. Those wishing to sign Betty’s Memory Book online may do so at
     Betty was born December 9, 1932 in Dowagiac, one of eight children, to Henry and Beatrice (Brookfield) Velthouse. They were raised in a loving home surrounded by woods down a long lane on Rudy Rd. She went to school at Rural Gage. She was a long time member of the Women’s of the Moose Chapter 1508 and was known for her salads. On September 27, 1947 she married Ernest Green, he was her true love and it was a love without end. They moved to Hartford, MI in 1960 and returned to Dowagiac just 9 years later. Betty worked at Adams Electronics in Bangor, MI and Sealed Power in Dowagiac before retiring. She worked alongside Ernie in his ministry with the Assembly of God Church, serving God up until the time of his death in 1988. Betty married James Vrabec on October 1, 1993 and enjoyed much time at their home on Priest Lake before his passing on May 15, 2004.

     Betty is survived by four of her children; Ernestine (Rick) Bachman, Laurel (Cheryl) Green, Freida (David) Dorman and Denise (Steve) Deming-Szymonski; fifteen grandchildren; Christina Green, Brian Green, Krissi O’Brien, Amy (Ray) Gendron, Michael (Suzanne) Dorman, Aaron Elizabeth (Todd) Valdes, Charlie (Amanda) Green, Anne (Matt) Smith, Andy (Kristen) Bachman, Jenny Green, Vanessa Wilmoth, Rebekah (James) Moore, Bill (Chelsie) Deming, David (Mandi) Deming and Eric Szymonski; great-grandchildren Desiree, Austen, Allison, Skylar, Noah, Lauren, Cade, Ashly, Kacy, Kammi, Asa, Alice, Merritt Bolly-O, Lincoln, Tyler, Carter, Elly, Abby Lou, Kate, Addisyn, Drake Henry, Grady, Ava, Jay, Cody, Cayden, Daphne, Jamie, Jacob, Isacc, Austin, Elianna, Brynn, Zara, Zane, Gunner, Alexandria, Harper and Raelyn; great-great-grandchildren Soleil and Devin; brothers Larry (Lucella) and Ted (Bonnie) Velthouse; sister, Beverly (David) Rank; aunt, Glennie (Brookfield) Wilson; sisters-in-law, Barbara Green, Phyllis Green and Barb (Green) Sweet and numerous nieces and nephews.
     Besides her parents and her husband’s Ernie and Jim, Betty was preceded by her daughter Kathy Lou Sells; great-granddaughter Cheney Marie; sister, Delores Huff; brothers, Henry, Kenneth & Robbie Velthouse and son-in-law James “Buck” Deming.


Dustin Denney d 1-21-2017Dustin C. Denney, 32, of Bangor passed away peacefully at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
     Dustin was born on July 7, 1984, in Kalamazoo, the son of Ronnie J. Denney and Rhonda (Mc-Coy) Wendzel. His grandfather, Charles McCoy, and he shared the same birthday. Dustin attended Bangor High School and graduated in 2003. He was a former produce manager for Harding’s Market in Hartford. He also enjoyed painting, working in the outdoors and spending time with his family and dog, Ace. He loved sports with his favorite football team being the Michigan Wolverines, Go Blue!! Dustin will be remembered most for his awesome smile, sense of humor and caring heart.
     Dustin is survived by his dog and best friend, Ace; his father, Ronnie; mother, Rhonda and her companion, Harold McColl; sister, Ashley Denney; niece, Gena; aunts and uncles: Connie Proffer, Rosalie Picchiarelli, Ron and Anna McCoy; and many cousins.
     He was preceded in death by his great-grandmother, Rosa “Noni” Sandona; grandparents, Charles and Gena McCoy and Jack and Rose Denney; uncle, Robert Picchiarelli; and stepfather, Allen Wendzel.
     Dustin will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. He will live forever in our hearts.
      Arrangements by, Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home,


 Nancy Tallman d 1-22-2017Nancy C. Tallman, 68, of Cheboygan, formerly of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at her home, surrounded by her family.
     Nancy was born Oct. 3, 1948, in Detroit, the daughter of Lyle and Eloise (Sarrault) Lippard Sr. On June 27, 1970, in Cheboygan, Nancy married Dale Tallman. Nancy worked with Dale as the office manager in their Farm Bureau Insurance business in Hartford, and retired after 36 years Jan. 1, 2013. She enjoyed exercising, shopping, interior decorating, reading, and spending time with her family.

     Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Dale of Cheboygan; her daughter, Nicole Tallman of Miami; her mother, Eloise Neumann of Cheboygan; four siblings: Linda (Tom) Tegarden of Goodlettsville, Tenn., Lyle (Lynne) Lippard Jr., Debbie (Kim) Herring and Diane Avery, all of Cheboygan; her brothers-in-law: Dan Tallman, Paul (Jaki) Tallman and Kurt (Linda) Tallman all of Cheboygan; and several nieces and nephews.
     She was preceded in death by her father; her mother-in-law, Gladys Tallman; her father-in-law, Arnold Tallman; and her sister-in-law, Kathy Tallman.
     Cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time. Memorial contributions in Nancy’s name may be directed to the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA), at (in memory of Nancy Tallman), or checks can be mailed to MIOCA, 5181 Pinnacle Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Those wishing to leave a condolence or share a memory of Nancy, are invited to do so at Arrangements are being handled by the Nordman-Christian Funeral Home


 Kevin Green d 1-19-2017Kevin C. Green, 48, formerly of Berrien Springs, passed away Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at his home in Hartford.
     A celebration of life service will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with Dr. J.O. Hosler officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family to cover expenses. Those wishing to sign Kevin’s Memory Book online may do so at
     Kevin was born Oct. 20, 1968, in St. Joseph to Kenneth and Justine (Meade) Green. He graduated from Berrien Springs High School, Class of 1987, where he played football on the JV and Varsity team. He was a member of the team, No. 52, who went to the semi-finals at Hillsdale College in 1986. Kevin was employed at various construction companies in the Berrien County area. He was an avid football fan who rooted for the Dallas Cowboys and enjoyed playing pool.
     Kevin is survived by his mother and father: Justine and Tim Allen; his brother, T.J. Allen of Berrien Springs; sister-in-law, Esther Green of Coloma; nephew and nieces: Trevor, Alyssa and Miranda Green, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
   He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth R. Green in 2012, and his brother, Keith R. Green in 2006.


Vivian Mae Godgiben was born Dec. 10, 1942, in Tyronza, Ark., one of 11 children born to Charles and Alta (McHorney) Mitchell. Her parents and four of her siblings have preceded her in passing.
     Vivian passed away at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. She loved singing and playing her guitar, doing word search puzzles, going to the casino and eating Chinese food. She liked watching “The Walking Dead” and especially loved Daryl. Vivian was known as everyone’s mom.
     As to Vivian’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Family and friends will gather for a time of fellowship at the Hartford United Methodist Church beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the family. The Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. Memorial condolences for the family can be left on our website at
     Vivian is survived by her three children: Carolyn (Ralph) Boyer, Linda Godgiben and Bobby (Angie Stockton) Godgiben all of Hartford; nine grandchildren: sixteen greatgrandchildren, four brothers and two sisters.


James Tollar d 1-17-2017James (Jim) Edward Tollar, Midland MI, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. He joined his beloved parents, Frank E. and Josephine Tollar; and siblings, Frank D. of Bangor, Michigan and Geraldine R. Jonas of South Bend, Ind.
     He was born April 14, 1926 in Hartford, Mich. and attended the Hartford Public Schools, grades one through 12. In high school, he played varsity football, basketball and baseball, was elected president of his junior and senior classes by his fellow students and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, all the while earning the distinction of being on the students honor roll each year.
     After graduation from high school in 1943, Jim volunteered for duty in the U.S. Navy to serve his country during World War II. After extensive training in the maintenance and repair of Naval electronic equipment, he volunteered for submarine duty and was assigned to the submarine base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served until the end of World War II. It was here that Jim learned to fly at the age of 18.
     Being honorably discharged in 1945, he began his college studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, where he pursued a pre-engineering curriculum. After two years at WMU, he transferred to Michigan Technical University, Houghton. There he was asked by one of his professors to be a teaching assistant, and this he did until his graduation with a BSME degree in 1950.
     He was then offered to be a teaching assistant at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. He accepted and continued studies there receiving a MSME degree.
     After all of the above, he finally, at age 25, felt it was time to enter the work force. During the closing days of his stay at Northwestern University, Dr. Gordon Clack, a recruiter for The Dow Chemical Co., visited Northwestern University soliciting employees for Dow. Jim was interviewed by Gordon and offered employment by Dow.
     Accepting the offer of employment from Dow, he began what was to be a 35-year love affair with Dow. He was assigned to a variety of research and engineering positions in Midland, including a 1960-1966 assignment to Dow's Western Division in Pittsburg, Calif. Returning to Midland in 1966, he was assigned to be the process consultant to the Styrene Polymers Technology Center, a support group for Dow's Worldwide Polystyrene Manufacturing Facilities. In this capacity, he often travelled to the far flung facilities for first-hand technological exchanges, ensuring that technology developed in Midland was appropriately applied. While employed at Dow, he authored or co-authored eight U.S. patents.
     He retired from active Dow employment in 1986, after which time he became a consultant for Omnitech International. He was a life member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a member emeritus since 1951 of Sigma Xi and a life member of the Free & Accepted Masons and was licensed to practice professional mechanical engineering in the states of Michigan and California. He was also a life member of the Chippewa Nature Center, Walloon Lake Association and Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc.
     Jim's enthusiasm for aviation began at an early age when, as a child, he built many model airplanes. Later in life, notwithstanding hundreds of hours he spent in airliners traveling to and from Dow's domestic and worldwide facilities, he thoroughly enjoyed personal sport flying. He was a licensed private pilot by the FAA, a past member and chairman of Midland's Barstow Airport Commission and a very supportive past member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
     Along with his dedication to his professional activities, in his younger years Jim had wide-ranging personal interests. Along with being an honor student in high school, he excelled in manual arts (i.e. wood working) courses. Later, in college years, he found employment during summer vacations as a carpenter, to earn money for the coming college years. Later in life, he delighted in taking on building projects, in spare time from his pursuit of a professional mechanical engineering career. No project was too small or too large, ranging from making knick-knacks to items of furniture, to home improvements and even home additions. Results of his endeavors remain today.
     He was an avid stamp and coin collector and had a deep appreciation for "old things." He collected such antique things ranging from hand tools, books, milk stools, canes and art work.
     Jim also generously supported local charitable organizations and was active in community affairs.
     Along with all the foregoing, Jim enjoyed gardening and yard work. Being an "animal lover" from childhood, he cherished catering to birds, strays and wildlife, and always felt "they deserved the 'good life' we humans enjoy." In his retirement years, he never retired for the night without assuring they all had ample food and water to sustain them until the morning. He also made sure there were no dirty dishes left in the sink.
     While both were employees of Dow, Jim and the former Bette Robuck became acquainted when they occupied adjacent stools at the lunch counter of the then Frolic Sweet Shop, next door to the former Frolic Theater Movie Theater in downtown Midland. Later, and by chance, they happened to meet at the former Rodeicher's Chinese Restaurant in Freeland. This meeting began a courtship leading to their marriage Oct. 18, 1958. Having married later in life than most do, they were not blessed with their own family, but shared the joys and trials that marriage offers for almost 60 years as each other's absolute "best friends" and fully supportive of each other's interests in life.
     Along with his beloved wife, Bette, Jim is lovingly survived by his nieces, Anne Hill of Bangor, Patricia Grutzmacher of Lisle, Ill. and Frances Jonas of South Bend, Ind., and Bradenton, Fla.; brother-in-law, Peter Paul Robuck of Lake Orion, Mich.; sister-in-law, Alice Burke of Rochester, Mich.; nieces, Deborah Clayton of Lake Orion and Brenda Hewitt of Lake Orion; nephews, Paul Peter Robuck of Oxford, Mich., Brian Burke of Rochester Hills, Mich. and Bradley Burke of New Haven, Conn. He also leaves many great-and great-great-nieces and nephews who dearly loved their Uncle Jim; and lastly, Jim is survived by his beloved cats, Charlie and Tao.
     To honor Jim's memory, contributions may be made to the Midland Humane Society and Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc. PO Box 23215 Lansing, MI 48909.
     Funeral services for Jim will take place 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Chapel, 1200 W. Wheeler St. Per Jim's wishes, cremation will follow and interment will take place in Midland Cemetery. Jim's family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 1-6 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until time of the service.

Deanna McTheeney d 1-16-2017Deanna J. McTheeney, 74, of Hartford, passed away Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, at The Timbers in Dowagiac.
     A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 63559 60th Ave., Hartford, with the Rev. German Perez-Diaz officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at Clark Chapel and Cremation Services, 405 Center St., Dowagiac. Memorials may be made to the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Those wishing to sign Deanna’s memory book online may do so at
    Deanna was born March 25, 1942, in Benton Harbor, to James Adolph Pelkey and Ruth Jeannette (Cayo) George. On Nov. 1, 1992, she married James McTheeney in St. Joseph. Deanna was a sports fanatic and was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.
    Deanna is survived by her husband, James Mc-Theeney; children: Gary (Theresa) Cooper of West Bloomfield, Mark Cooper of Benton Harbor, Billy (Mary) Cooper of St. Joseph, Kenneth (Renee) Cooper of Benton Harbor, and son-in-law, Mike Burke of Marshall; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and siblings: Mike Pelkey, Andrea Hankins, Cindy Hogue and Jay Pelkey.
     Deanna was preceded in death by her daughter, Rhonda Burke, on Jan. 12, 2015; and two sisters, Judy McCord in 2005 and Linda Pelkey in 1992.

Ellen Pearl Tyler, 84 of Hartford passed away Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at Hanson Hospice Center.
     Ellen was born April 3, 1932, in Mattawan, the daughter of Jake and Larue (DeYoung) Burkett.
     On Oct. 6, 1950, Ellen was united in marriage to Kenneth Tyler. Kenneth passed away July 27, 2008. Also preceding her in passing were a son, David: a daughter, Cherly; her beloved dog, Sammi, and six brothers and sisters: Irvin, Nellie, Jenny, Florence, Roy and Margaret.
     She is survived by seven children: Betty Gilburt, May Tyler, Richard Ishmael, Ken (Shirley) Able, Edward Able, Thomas Tyler and Tina (David) Smith. She is also survived by six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
     Ellen was loyally employed at Burnett Foods of Lawrence. In her spare time she enjoyed playing bingo and going to the casino. But most importantly, she just lived life to the fullest.
     As per Ellen’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service to honor her memory will commence at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford. Pastor Mike Heflin of the First Church of God in Decatur will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ellen’s name may be made to the family. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh. com


Janis Arnold
Janis Mae Arnold, 64, of Sawyer passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at her home.
     She was born on Aug. 29, 1952, to Myrl and Josephine (Ryan) Arnold in Hartford. Janis used to play softball and enjoyed playing euchre with her friends. She was also a member of the American Legion Post 568 in Stevensville.

     Janis is survived by her daughter, Connie (Tyrone) Jackson of Sawyer; and brother, Wayne (Sandy) Arnold of New Tazewell, Tenn.
     She was preceded in death by her parents, Myrl and Josephine; and significant other, James William Schutze Sr.
     Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life will be held by the family at 3 p.m Jan. 21, 2017, at the Stevensville American Legion. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hoven Funeral Home, Buchanan. Online condolences may be made at

NOTE:  Janis was a 1970 graduate of Hartford High School

Gary Lee Brink, 62, of Hartford passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence, Kalamazoo.
     The family will receive friends 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at the Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford, followed at 2 p.m. with a celebration of life service to honor Gary’s memory. Chuck Ishmael, David Powers and Tony Herman will officiate. As to Gary’s wishes, cremation will follow the service. After the services, a gathering will take place at the Decatur VFW Hall, where food will be provided and a dish to pass is welcome. Those wishing to make a memorial may do so to the charity of your choice. Memorial condolences for the family can be left at
     Gary was born on Nov. 21, 1954, in Paw Paw, the son of Paul and Ruth (Ishmael) Brink. He was employed at Stryker Corp. of Kalamazoo for 35 years. He was often seen riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He enjoyed camping, reading, movies of all kinds, but especially westerns, and was a big Elvis Presley fan, for both his music and the movies that he starred in. Gary also loved the times he spent with his family.
     Gary married the former Janine Goodrich on Nov. 4, 1989, she survives, along with two daughters, Jennifer (Adam) Gorka of Stevensville and Brandi Brink of Summerville, S.C. Also surviving are four grandchildren: Rachelle Brink, Ryan Brink, Dakota Brink and Ayden Gorka; a greatgrandchild, Eli Shelton; his mother, Ruth; and a sister, Debra (Jim) Griffin of Lawrence.
     Gary was preceded in passing by a daughter, Tiffany Ann Brink; his father, Paul; and a brother, Frederick.

Dolores Bishop d 1-8-2017Dolores M. (Kling) Bishop, 88, of Coloma left her earthly home to be with her Heavenly Father and beloved husband, Howard, on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. She passed away peacefully at the Whitcomb Senior Living Community.
     Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at St. Joseph Catholic Church of Watervliet, with the Rev. John Peter officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, with a prayer service at 7 p.m., at Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorial donations may be made to North Berrien Senior Center in Coloma or St. Joseph Catholic Church of Watervliet. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at
     Dolores was the daughter of the late Louis and Minnie Kling of Hartford. She graduated from Hartford High School and worked at Ausco in Hartford. She married her high school sweetheart “Howie” on April 30, 1949, upon his return from military service in World War II. They shared a marriage of 56 years. Dolores was active as a 4-H leader to the Countrysiders 4-H Club. She was an avid seamstress and knitter. Dolores and Howard successfully farmed the land in Hagar Township where they raised their three daughters.
     Dolores is survived by her three daughters, Patricia (Donald) Fryling, Pamela (Robert) Hirsch and Maureen Bishop; three grandsons, Christopher (Andrea) Fryling, Jonathan (Kellie) Fryling and Matthew (Reem) Fryling; four great-grandsons, Gabriel, Ryan, Maxton and Greyson; and two great-granddaughters, Kyndal and Vallerie. She is also survived by her sister, Marion (Roy) Davis; brother, Robert Kling; sister-in-law, Phyllis Kling; and many nieces and nephews, their spouses and children.

     Dolores was preceded in death by her loving husband, Howard; parents; and brother, Louis.
     Dolores loved her extended family, cousins, farm friends, neighborhood friends, and special friend, Ollire Lane, and her children. Dolores loved her church and helping others.
     She will be dearly missed but forever remembered as “Howie’s Partner!”


Virginia Lee Willoughby, 85, of Hartford passed away Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at Caretel Inns of Lakeland, Royalton Township.
     Virginia was born Nov. 2, 1931, in Wardell, Mo., the daughter of Harvey and Bertha (Brown) Phillips, both of whom preceded her in passing.

     Also preceding her in passing were her husband, James Arthur Willoughby; a son, Ronnie Gale Willoughby; six sisters: Hazel Phillips, Ora Burgess, Mattie Crafton, Velma Harris, Dorcie Arnold and Patricia Roberts; and two brothers, William Phillips and Harvell Phillips.
     Virginia is survived by her children: Rickey Willoughby of Watervliet, Gwendolyn (Creight) Smith Jr. of Coloma, Pamela Willoughby of Kalamazoo and Carol Anchor of Hartford. She is also survived by seven grandchildren; 18 greatgrandchildren; two greatgreat-grandchildren; and a brother, Arvell (Linda) Phillips of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
     Private family services were held on Thursday, Jan. 12, followed by burial in Keeler Cemetery. Memorial donations in Virginia’s name may be made to the American Heart Association. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at


Vada Estella Langston, 91, formerly of Hartford, died Jan. 5, 2017, at Maple Lake Assisted Living, Paw Paw.
     Vada was born July 29, 1925, in Paragould, Ark., the daughter of Edward and Florabelle (Speer) Davidson, both of whom preceded her in passing. Also preceding her in passing were her husband, Andrew Langston on Nov. 8, 1991; and 10 brothers and sisters.
     Vada retired in 1987, after 22 years of service, from Hartford Public Schools. She volunteered in her community, where she was on the board of the Hartford Public Library and an election certifier. In her spare time, she enjoyed traveling, cooking, gardening, walking, singing, dancing, and she especially loved spending time with her grandchildren.
     Vada is survived by a son, Michael (Donna) Langston of Hartford; a daughter, Janis (Rick) Stoddard of Holland, Mich.; three grandchildren: Ashlee, Stephanie and Mathew (Allie); a great-grandson, Karsen; a sister, Drucilla Davidson of Louisiana; and many nieces, nephews and other family members.
     The family will welcome friends 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor her memory will commence at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, with the Rev. Brian Hall of the Watervliet Free Methodist Church officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford Township. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Vada’s name may be made to the donor’s choice. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.


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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
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