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Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries Archives for 2015-04

Sandra Lee Pratt of Big Rapids

Sandra Lee Pratt, age 69, ended her journey on this earth on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Grand Rapids. She was born on July 2, 1945 in Grand Rapids to the late Henry and Elaine (George) Kuikstra. She married Marvin Pratt on January 27, 1967 in Big Rapids. Sandy and Marv raised their family in Paris, MI, and moved to Jarrell, TX for four years before returning back to Paris. Sandy enjoyed dancing with the Big Rapids River City Ramblers, and bowling on multiple leagues in both Big Rapids, MI and in Georgetown, TX. She loved animals, nature, puzzles and reading.

Sandy is survived by her husband, Marvin Pratt of Paris; 2 children, Chellie Stewart of Round Rock, TX and Ron (Joy) Pratt of Wyoming, MI; 3 adored grandchildren, Taylor Stewart (19) and Tori Stewart (15) of Round Rock, TX and Spencer Pratt (18) of Wyoming, MI; 2 brothers, Gary Kuikstra and Jim (Patty) Kuikstra, many dear extended family and friends and her cat, Padre.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 3rd from 3:00-6:00 pm at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, May 4th at Faith Community Church on 610 Green Street in Big Rapids with Pastor Art Kilpatrick officiating.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions in Sandy’s name can be made to the Lupus Foundation (www.lupus.org)

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Lorraine Ruth Jernstadt of Big Rapids

Lorraine Ruth Jernstadt, 89, of Big Rapids passed away Monday, April 27, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born on June 22, 1925 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Joseph and Ella (Graboskey) Yost.

Lorraine met her husband John while they both worked at Kroger. They married when John returned from service in the Army following WWII. Together they started Jernstadt Dairy Farm just north of Big Rapids. Early on Lorraine worked as a telephone operator for the Michigan Bell Telephone Company.

She is survived by two sons, William (Shirley) Jernstadt of Big Rapids and Dale (Mary) Jernstadt of Big Rapids; six grandchildren, Holly (Bill) Collins, Mark (Ricquel) Hinkley, Jeff and Joe Jernstadt, Ryan (Tracy) Jernstadt, and Kristyn (Mike) Crossman; five great grandchildren, Mikayla, Riata, Regan, Landen, and Miles. Also surviving is one sister-in-law, Phyllis Jernstadt and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John; two brothers, Gordon (Anne) and John (Donna) Yost; and two sisters, Helen (Dick) Clark, and Alice (Mike) Holton.

Funeral services for Lorraine will be at 1:00 pm Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Rebecca Morrison officiating. Her family will greet friends beginning at 11:00 am until time of services. Burial will follow at West Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Susan B. Wheatlake Cancer Foundation.

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Nelda Jean Youngs of Hawkins

Nelda Jean Youngs of Hawkins passed away Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Grand Rapids. She was 70 years old. She was born August 29, 1944 the daughter of Gerald and Frances (McMichael) Cass in Evart and was a 1962 graduate of Evart High School. She was employed with several local stores before becoming employed with Ferris State University for over 30 years until her retirement.

 

Nelda also worked as a volunteer in the local community including fundraisers, as a mentor with the Norman Elementary School, and the Hawkins Horse Pullers Society. On February 14, 1981 she was married in Hawkins to Edward Youngs who survives. She enjoyed crocheting Afghans for graduations and births and cooking for special family days and fundraisers. Although she had no children, she “adopted” many grandchildren to spoil. She is survived by her husband Edward Youngs, brother Larry (Pam) Cass, brothers & sisters-in-law Gerald Todd, Carl (Debbie) Youngs, Inga Akey, Joann Youngs, Karol (Mike) Allen, Ron (Kathy) Todd, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents Gerald and Frances Cass, brothers & sisters-in-law Donald Youngs, Loretta Youngs, Art Youngs, and Roberta Todd.

 

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City. Burial will follow at the Chase Township Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Wednesday at the funeral home from 11:00 A.M. until time of services.

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Tony Edward Strong of Vermontville

Tony Edward Strong, age 47, formerly of Vermontville went to be with Lord on Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Ashville, N.C. where he has resided the last 20 years. Tony was born on July 28, 1967 in Lansing and was adopted by Ty and Paulette (Hart) Strong in November of 1975.


Tony was strong willed and loved his family. When he was younger he was active in 4-H, liked gardening and always looked forward to Sunday school. He enjoyed drawing, ceramics, fishing, hunting and hiking. He later married Katie and they had one daughter Saraphine that was adopted by his sister Melissa.


He was looking forward to coming home and spending time with the family he loved so much. Tony is survived by his daughter, Saraphine Ann Strong; Parents, Ty and Paulette; a sister Melissa Strong all of Barryton, a sister, Mariann Goelz of Holland, a sister, Sue (Kim) Koos of Charlotte; one brother, Tim (Danielle) Kellogg of Maryland; a Grandmother, Margaret McNielly of Mt. Pleasant; a dear friend, Dawn Tracy of Ashville and several nieces, nephews, cousins, Aunts, Uncles and all the staff at Solace Center (Hospice) and W.N.C. Ray of Hope both of Ashville, N.C.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; Oliver and Lois Strong, Roger Hart and Vivian Hart, and Edwin McNielly.

A memorial service will take place 1:00 p.m. May 2nd at the Barryton Church of Christ with Pastor Rick Lippert officiating.

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Karen Norlene (Kelley) Giese of Big Rapids

Karen Norlene (Kelley) Giese passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

 

She was born September 9, 1941 in Big Rapids, graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1959, and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Reed City. On May 27, 2005 she married Edgar W. Giese. She was an avid fan of the Detroit Tigers. She held several jobs throughout her life, including; Wolverine World Wide, Gambles and Bradley’s hardware stores, and as a legislative assistant for the State of Michigan, before her retirement in 2003. She will be sadly missed by her husband Edgar W. Giese, her children Marcy (David) Brainerd, Jeffeory Henderson, Paula Jean (Michael) Rushford, Tina Casey, Christopher (Heather) Youngs, and two step children Esther (Toby) Spanos and Dwight (Shari) Giese. She was a beloved grandmother to Betty, Rebecca, Amanda, David, Ashley, Logan, Peyton, Ethan, Owen, Sidni, Keith, Kyle, Madison, Ellie, Emma, Christian, and Nikolas; six great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother Marvin Kelley.

 

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April, 25, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:00 A.M. and run until service time. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made in her name to The American Heart Association, The Trinity Lutheran Church in Reed City, or to a charity of your choice.

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Alberta Lee Hinkle of Big Rapids

Alberta Lee Hinkle 89, of Big Rapids passed away on April 19, 2015 at Evergreen Terrace surrounded by her family. She was born on February 10, 1926 in Carbondale, IL the daughter of Albert T. and Jessie L. (Swinford) Walters.

Alberta married H. Jack Hinkle on March 16, 1947 in Carbondale, in the same house she was born. Jack proceeded her in death in 2005 after 58 years of marriage. They moved to Big Rapids from Flint in 1968.
She and Jack both retired from Ferris State. Alberta was Activity Director for the Learning Nutrition program which served the needs of senior citizens in Mecosta County. She was a member of the hospital auxiliary and volunteered in the gift shop.

Alberta enjoyed her golf group, playing bridge and gardening. She and Jack loved attending their grandchildren’s school activites.

Alberta is survived by five; children, Dan of South Carolina, Pat (Mindy) of Cadillac, Nancy (Rex) Wiseman of Big Rapids, Marty (Tammy) of Texas, Penny (Kirk) McCauley of Richland, MI, 12 grandchildren; , Dale Hinkle, Katie, Kelsey and Kyle Hinkle, Rob Olson, Kristy Thompson, Kerry Olson, Amanda Rickerd ,Tim Hinkle, Kaylee and Erin McCauley and Justin Wiseman, plus 6 great grandchildren. Also surviving are one brother, Archie Walters of Woodridge, IL and one brother-in-law, Verne (Norma) Hinkle of Florida plus many
nieces and nephews.

Alberta was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jack, two brothers, Ernest, Bill Walters, one
daughter –in-law, Judy Hinkle and one son-in-law, Robert Olson.

A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids, with Pastor Rebecca Morrison officiating. Alberta’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice or the Spectrum Health Hospital Auxiliary or
charity of choice.
Alberta’s family wishes to extend a special thank you to Spectrum Health Hospice and the Evergreen Terrace staff for their care and kindness.
 

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Marlene Irene Gelardi of Canadian Lakes

Marlene Irene Gelardi, age 79, of Canadian Lakes passed away, unexpectedly, at her home on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. She was born on April 14, 1936 in Detroit to the late Robert and Adelle (Newman) Sellers. Marlene married Gasper J. Gelardi on May 5, 1984 in Canton and they resided in Allen Park and Port Huron. She retired from the Detroit Bank and Trust (Comerica Bank) where she had been a trust investment associate for numerous years. Marlene and Gus moved to Chandler, AZ for 10 years prior to making their home in Canadian Lakes in 2000. Marlene enjoyed spending time at the Mecosta Senior Center, visiting with friends at KJ’s and the Corner Café in Mecosta and traveling. She loved gardening and was an avid reader.

Marlene is survived by her adoring husband, Gasper “Gus” Gelardi of Canadian Lakes; 2 children, Deborah Criscuolo of Indianapolis, IN and Paul Germeroth of Ferndale, MI; 3 stepchildren, Vincent (Rose) of Shanghai, China, Vicki (Daniel) White of Monroe, MI and Robert (Nicole) of Toledo, OH; 3 grandchildren, Joseph (Jenna) Criscuolo, Kyle (Kelly) Criscuolo and Nina (Andrew) Criscuolo Koehler; 6 step-grandchildren, Ian, Alexander (Kristy) White and Lauren White, Christopher, Carrie and Joseph; 6 great-grandchildren, Ava, Lyla, Luke, Dominic, Adelyn and Graham; 1 brother, Robert (Caroline) Sellers; 1 sister, Nancy Germeroth and many extended family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at Chapel of the Lakes Lutheran Church (9407 90th Ave., Mecosta, MI), where she was a member, with the family greeting friends one hour prior to the service from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 20th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

Memorial contributions in Marlene’s name can be made to the Mecosta Co. Animal Rescue Coalition (18400 220th Ave., Big Rapids).

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Lester J. "Les" Herscher of Big Rapids

Lester J. “Les” Herscher, 71, of Big Rapids, passed away on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

 

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday,May 9th from 1-4:00 p.m. at the Mecosta County Rod & Gun Club, 10600 11 Mile Rd, Mecosta, MI 49332, (231) 972-6466.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center or the Mecosta County Rod and Gun Club Youth Program, envelopes will be available at the club or may be dropped off at funeral home.

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Leo Chris Finkbeiner of Reed City

Leo Chris Finkbeiner of Reed City passed away Sunday, April 12, 2015 at his residence. He was 68 years old.

 

He was born January 16, 1947 in Barton Township of Lake County, Michigan to Leo and Margaret (Luce) Finkbeiner and was a 1965 graduate of Reed City High School. From 1966-68 he served his country honorably in the United States Army as a member of the 557th Army Engineers. On August 14, 1999 he was married on his farm to Karen Weck who survives him. He was employed over the years with Gardner Denver Co., Home Oil Co., and with NTH Construction Inc.; a company he founded and operated until his son took over in 2005. He was a member of the Reed City VFW Post #2964, Reed City Gilbert A. Samis American Legion Post #78, and Reed City Moose Lodge #705. Leo was well known for his larger than life personality and infectious smile. He enjoyed his children and family and looked forward to the Spring season and its promise of new growth; picking morel mushrooms, hunting, farming, travelling the country with his wife Karen, and riding his farm property with grandchildren and his dog Remie. He is survived by his wife Karen Finkbeiner, children Craig Finkbeiner, Michelle (Roger) Steig, Jason Finkbeiner, Amanda (Bob) Grant, Marcy (Jeff) Walston, and Matt Kailing, sisters Helen (Donald) McLachlan and Ellen Finkbeiner, mother-in-law Ruth Weck, sisters-in-law Julie Finkbeiner and Sherry Butler, brother-in-law Rod (Nancy) Weck, uncles Chris Finkbeiner and Claire (Helen) Luce, aunt Zada Luce, 16 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Margaret Finkbeiner, daughter Carrie Eveland, brother Larry Finkbeiner, and sister Linda Vandawater.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Thursday, April 16, 2015 at the United Methodist Church in Reed City with Pastors Kathy Cadarette and Tim Fagan officiating. Burial will be at Chase Township Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at the United Methodist Church in Reed City. A memorial contribution may be made in his name to the Reed City VFW Post #2964, Hospice of Michigan, or to the Osceola County Animal Shelter.

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Thelma Irene Tuttle Luther

Thelma Irene Tuttle, age 99 of Luther, passed away Saturday, April 11, 2015 of natural causes after a brief hospice stay in Reed City.

 

Thelma was born August 31, 1915 in Atlanta, Michigan to Francis and William Lucas Sr. She was married to George Tuttle of the Tustin area on September 1, 1934, who preceded her in death in 1976. Thelma and George raised crops, animals, and five children on their farm located between the villages of Bristol and Tustin. After Georges’ passing, she moved to the Luther where she lived the remainder of her life.

 

She is survived by her daughters Violet (Stanley) McCreary of Mobley, MO, Joan Rietdyk of Grand Haven, sons Allen (Kathy) Tuttle of Tustin, Rex Tuttle of Luther, and George (Gay) Tuttle of Tustin, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Francis and William Lucas Sr., sisters Martha (Carl) Williams, Lella (Collie) Schultz, Elizabeth (George) Mitten, Violet (Percy) Beltz, brothers Dan Smith, Howard Stephens, Charlie (Beatrice) Lucas, Bill (Dooley) Lucas, Irvin (Mary) Lucas, Leslie (Dorothy) Lucas, Jack (Vera) Lucas, George (Carol/Edith) Lucas, and Don (Gladys) Lucas, grand daughter June McCreary, great great grand daughter Kaitlyn McCreary, and son-in-law John Rietdyk.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Pastor John Martek officiating. Burial will be at Burdell Township Cemetery in Lake County with a luncheon at the Luther Lions Club following committal services. Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at the funeral home.

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Carl W. Getts of Big Rapids

Carl W. Getts, age 80 of Big Rapids, passed away on Sunday, April 13, 2015 at his home. He was born on November 11, 1934 in Ionia, MI, the son of Ralph and Prysilla (Green). Carl married Marlene Joyce Knapp on July 3, 1956 and together they made their home in Big Rapids. He worked for H.J. Heinz for over 20 years. Carl enjoyed raising chickens, gardening and spending time with his family.

Carl is survived by his two sons; John (Linda) Getts, Terry (Diane) Getts and one daughter; Phyllis Taylor, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; one brother; six sisters; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved wife Marlene; granddaughter Jennifer Getts; and son- in- law Richard Taylor.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.

Memorial contributions in Carl’s name may be made to The American Diabetes Association.

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Russell W. Cousineau of Big Rapids

Russell W. Cousineau, age 80 of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, April 12, 2015 at Spectrum in Grand Rapids surrounded by his family. He was born March 11, 1935 in Reed City, the son of Charles and Flossie (Jones) Cousineau. Russ grew up in Big Rapids and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1953. He was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force on August 29, 1958. Russ returned from the service to work on the family farm and later attended technical training in Grand Rapids.

He married Jean Holcomb on June 28, 1969 in Big Rapids. Russ was employed at Ferris State University for over 20 years in their Computer Center. He was a lifelong, faithful Christian and a devout member of the Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.

Russ is survived by his beloved family; wife, Jean Cousineau of Big Rapids; three children, Christy (Jeff) Dodge of Charlotte, NC, Jeffrey Cousineau of Williamston, MI, Joel (Sherri) Cousineau of Webster, NY; eleven grandchildren, Matthew, Luke, Jacob and Hannah Dodge; Chase, Elise, Ava and Evan Cousineau; Caleb, Isaac and Zadok Cousineau; a sister, Shelva Davis of Newaygo and many nieces and nephews.
Russ was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Marilyn Reed and Shirley Hardin.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 15th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.
Funeral Services will take place 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 16th at Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids with Pastor Ross Scheer officiating. Burial will be 2:30 p.m. also on Thursday, April 16th at Higbee Cemetery near Morley.

Memorial contributions in Russ’ name may be made to; Resurrection Life Church Building Fund, Hospice of Michigan or the American Cancer Society.

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Anna Marie Manor of Big Rapids

Anna (Ann) Marie Manor, 90, of Big Rapids, Michigan passed peacefully away on Friday, April 10, 2015 at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the comfort of her two daughters at her side.

Anna was born on February 5th, 1925 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Thomas and Grace McDowell. Her husband, Richard Charles Manor, Senior, and her son Richard Charles Manor, Junior preceded Anna. Anna received her Associates Degree in Cosmetology from Ferris State University. She was an active volunteer in the Mecosta County March of Dimes, and St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Mecosta County General Hospital. Anna was a founding member of the Big Rapids Figure Skating Club.

Anna is remembered for her contagious wit, charm, and her sense of humor. Anna always put others before herself.

She is survived by her daughter Debra (and Gary) Cox of Mecosta, Michigan; Mark (and Heather) Manor of Harrison Township, Michigan; Thomas (and Mary) Manor of Northborough, Massachusetts; and Mary Flynn of Rockford, Michigan. She is survived by her grandchildren Christopher, Robin, Melanie, Jennifer, Michael, James, Alex, Katherine, Ashley, and Mark II, as well as her great grand children Marissa, Calina, and Elias, and her sister, Mary Fredricks and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at St. Michael’s Catholic Parish, 8929 50th Ave., Remus, MI 49340 with Father Aaron Ferris and Father Joe Fix concelebrating.
The family will greet friends two hours prior to Mass (beginning at 9:00 a.m.) at the church on Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to, “Care of the Haiti Fund” at either church; Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, 9878 US – 10, Evart, MI 49631 or St. Michael Catholic Parish, 8929 50th Ave., Remus, MI 49340 or donations to W.I.S.E. (Women’s Information Services Inc.) P.O. Box 1249, Big Rapids, MI 49307.

A memorial service will be held in late spring in metropolitan Detroit as well.

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Dorothy Eva May Aspinall of Reed City

Dorothy Eva May Aspinall passed away April 8, 2015 at Spectrum Health Rehab & Nursing Center in Reed City. She was 92. She was born July 24, 1922 in Hersey to Edward and Edith (Houck) Bodman and was raised in Sylvan Township near Evart.

 

In 1940 she was married to Lonnie Aspinall who passed away in 1972. Dorothy was raised in the faith of the Lord and was a member of the Evangel Assembly of God Church in Evart since 1968. She was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion Auxiliary Post #287 and enjoyed playing bingo, taking rides in the country, and attending church. She is survived by 9 children, 1 sister, 1 brother, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Edith Bodman, husband Lonnie Aspinall, 8 siblings, 1 son, 1 daughter, 2 grandsons, 1 great grandson, and 2 sons-in-law.

 

Funeral services will be 12:00 P.M. Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Evangel Assembly of God Church in Evart with Pastor Tom Jeffries officiating. Burial will be at Sylvan Township Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. Saturday at the church until time of services. A memorial contribution may be made in her name to either Spectrum Health-Reed City Rehab & Nursing Center Elderly Activity Fund or to the Aspinall family.

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Cora E. Cottrell of Stanwood

Cora E. Cottrell, age 94, formerly of Stanwood, passed away Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in Lansing. She was born January 8, 1921 near Lansing, the daughter of Charles and Lucille (Aller) Patterson. Cora grew up in the Lansing area and graduated from Lansing Central High School in 1939. She lived and raised her family predominantly in the Kalamazoo area. Cora was employed as a psychiatric LPN at the Kalamazoo State Hospital for over 30 years.

During retirement Cora moved to Stanwood where she lived for over 20 years. She was a Patron Charter member of Eagles Aerie #4360 of Stanwood. Cora enjoyed playing euchre, crocheting, and adventures to the casino. She was a longtime, devout Tiger Fan. Cora’s greatest joy in life was spending time with her family and the trips she made to visit them.

Cora is survived by her four sons; Kenneth Kirk of Sturgis, James (Suzanne) Kirk of Otsego, Terry (Terry-Ann) Kirk of DeWitt, Edward (Margaret) Cottrell of Magnolia, TX; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild joining the family this fall and many nieces and nephews.

Cora was preceded in death by her parents, an infant daughter, Yvonne; three brothers, Wayne, Raymond and Gerald Patterson and her dear friend and companion Trinidad Inosencio on May 31, 2007.

Funeral services will take place 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor David Ives officiating. The family will greet friends on Monday, April 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, prior to services beginning at 12:00 p.m. noon. Burial will be the Stanwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Cora’s name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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Carole E. Frederick of Big Rapids

Carole E. Frederick, 81, of Big Rapids, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

She was born February 11, 1934, in Detroit, the daughter of Edward and Lena (Wilming) Wichman. As a young woman, Carole moved to Big Rapids, and was a graduate of Big Rapids High School. For many years, she worked for the Mecosta County Clerk’s Office, retiring in 1987. Following this time, Carole moved to Holland, and worked for the Target Stores until returning to Big Rapids in 2008. Carole loved her cat Puff, enjoyed playing cards and bingo, formerly was a bowler, and liked to read, especially James Patterson novels.

She is survived by three children, Rick (Kim) Palmer of Okemos, Crystal (Rodney) Mitchell of Paris, and Scott (Karen) Frederick of Seville, OH; 9 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; 5 nephews; and her dear friend Jack Seidelman of Holland. Carole was preceded in death by her son Jerry Palmer, and 2 brothers, Edward and Gerald Wichman.

A gathering for family and friends to remember Carole will be from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Memorial contributions in her name for the wishes of the family may be left at the funeral home.

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Mary D. Martin of Reed City

Mary D. Martin, 79, of Reed City, passed away Sunday, April 5, 2015 at Spectrum Health – Reed City Hospital Nursing and Rehab Center.

 

She was born April 3, 1936 in Detroit to Thomas and Loretta (Wilhelmi) Martin and attended school in the Detroit area. She had worked in the tool and die industry. Mary had lived in the Reed City area for the last 30 years, and enjoyed leather working, flea markets, and bingo. She is survived my many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mary was preceded in death by 5 sisters and 3 brothers; and also 2 siblings in infancy.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at McDowell Funeral Home with Pastor Tim Fagan officiating. Burial will be in Hersey Village Cemetery with a luncheon at the Church of the First Born following the committal service. Visitation will begin at 12 noon on Saturday.

 

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Catherine Sleger of Leroy

Catherine Ann Sleger of Leroy passed away Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 at her residence. She was 66.

 

She was born October 31, 1948 in Detroit to Aloizy and Irene (Papow) Ciszewski and was a 1966 graduate of Detroit Cody High School. On August 28, 1970 she was married in Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Dearborn Heights to Stephen Sleger. She was active in her community and was a member of the Reed City Moose Lodge #705, Evart Moose Lodge #2452, and a member of the St. Philip-Neri Catholic Church. Catherine enjoyed playing golf, cooking, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband Steve Sleger, daughters Renee (Joseph) Condo, Angela (Brett) Ronzi, and Cheryl (Matthew) Gribas, brother Robert (Alice) Ciszewski, sisters Cynthia (Barry) Brown, Margaret (Ronald) Triplett, Christine Beaudrie, and Marilyn (Joe) Mesleh, grandchildren Allison and Hailey Condo, Marisa and Ethan Ronzi, Jackson and Lillian Gribas. She was preceded in death by her parents Aloizy and Irene Ciszewski, and her sisters Antoinette Kendra and Jeanette Poole.

 

A funeral mass will be celebrated at 12:00 P.M. Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the St. Philip-Neri Catholic Church in Reed City with Rev. Fr. Michael Hodges officiating. Visitation with the family will be from 10:00 A.M. until time of services. The family would like to invite all in attendance to a celebration of life luncheon at the Reed City VFW Post 2964 following the mass. A memorial contribution may be made in her name to either: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org) or Reed City VFW Post 2964

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Richard Ashmore of Big Rapids

Richard Harold Ashmore, age 86, of Big Rapids, passed away peacefully, attended by his son Richard II on Sunday April 5, 2015. He was born on June 30, 1928 in Leelenau County, Michigan, the son of Robert and Lenore (Holden) Ashmore.

Richard was a devoted husband to Allison Nadine Ashmore for 65 years. Allison preceded him in death in January of this year. He was a caring father of Richard II of Big Rapids and Barbara Ashmore of Tennessee. He was a loving grandfather of Hannah Ashmore. Also surviving is one sister, Susan Mc Manus of the Traverse City area.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and several brothers and sisters.

He was a hospice volunteer at Metron Nursing Home for over 10 years. The Pioneer covered his and Allison’s service in a feature article a few years back. Richard was a wonderful friend to all, forgiving and loving. His favorite saying was “Let go and Let God.” He did not pass alone and is now with all his family and his one true love.

Visitation will be Tuesday April 7, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Private interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.

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Gerald Veeder of Big Rapids

Gerald (Jerry) Veeder, 78, of Big Rapids passed away peacefully on April 4, 2015 with his wife Doreene and family by his side. Jerry was born August 1936 in Alma, MI and was the son of Lowell Veeder and Evelyn Johnson-Veeder of Alma, MI.

Jerry dedicated 37 years of his life to education ensuring students had the opportunity to succeed through education. Jerry graduated from Alma High School and began his journey in education obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Michigan State University and his Masters in Industrial Education from Eastern Michigan University. Jerry began his career as a teacher in Waterford, MI in 1958 until a remarkable opportunity became available in Big Rapids in 1971 as Vocational Director for the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD) until his appointment as Assistant Superintendent for the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD). Jerry worked for MOISD for 24 years and his most notable contribution to the community is the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center which had a special place in his heart for twenty three years until his retirement in 1995. His drive, commitment and passion in the development of the skill center provided thousands of high school students the skills and foundation to embark upon a career.

Jerry was a member of numerous Professional and Community organizations which included the American Vocational Association, Michigan Council of Vocational Administrators, Michigan Industrial Education Society and the State Special Needs Committee. Locally, he continued his lifetime membership with the Elks Club since 1966 and was named Elk of the Year 1980-81, member of the Big Rapids Chamber of Commerce, first President of the Northwestern Public Employees Credit Union, member of the Big Rapids Lions Club, Mecosta County Builders Scholarship Committee and County Park Commission and the Special Education Committee of Central Michigan.

Jerry was a skilled craftsman and his legacy includes phenomenal woodworking projects treasured by his family, he enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities, camping and spending time with family and friends. Jerry and Doreene spent their retirement years split between Big Rapids and the warm climate of the Southwest enjoying their circle of family and friends who have come to know and love the gentle, respected, caring man.

He is survived by his loving wife Doreene of 56 years and his three children Susan Veeder-McClellan of Mesa, AZ; David (Christine) Veeder of West Olive, MI; Jodie Veeder of Aurora, CO in addition to his beloved grandsons’ Scott, Tyler, Eric, Mark and Cooper. Jerry is survived by two brothers, Warren (Gail) Veeder of Arizona and Dennis Veeder of Montana. Jerry’s extended family members include Dolores Fowler (sister-in-law) of Traverse City, MI; Kay Veeder (sister-in-law) of Sumner, MI and many nieces and nephews. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Lowell and Evelyn Veeder; brother Gordon Veeder and Phyllis Veeder (sister-in-law)of Midland, MI; Robert and Marcia Staley (brother-in-law and sister-in-law) of Hale, MI.

Memorial services will be held at Mohnke Funeral Home this summer.
 

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Patricia Lou Mutch of Reed City

Patricia Lou Mutch of Reed City passed away Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. She was 85.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Monday, April 6, 2015 at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City with Rev. Dawn Pooley officiating.

 

Visitation with the family will be from 6-8 P.M. Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 at the St. Paul Lutheran Church. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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Julia Pickell of Big Rapids

Julia Pickell, age 98 of Big Rapids, passed away Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Altercare of Big Rapids. She was born June 15, 1916 in Chicago, the daughter of John and Antoinette (Jordan) Stuba. Julia was a devout Catholic her entire life.

She was employed by Ferris State University working first in food service and later retired as a custodian in 1972. Julia started traveling after her retirement which spanned from Grand Marais in the Upper Peninsula to Florida. She enjoyed fishing, crocheting, playing cards and embroidery. Julia loved spending time with family.

She is survived by her three children, Ralph (Shirley) Martin of CA, Earl Martin of Big Rapids and Barbara Gilmore of Big Rapids; two sons-in-law, Pete Balavitch of Paris and Rolland Lyons of Big Rapids; nine grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

Julia was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Ralph Martin and Merle Pickell; an infant son, Thomas Martin; two daughters, Florence Balavitch and Agnes Lyons; six siblings; and a grandson, Charles Henry Gilmore.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at St. Paul Campus Parish in Big Rapids with Father Michael Burt officiating. The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a Rosary being prayed at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 6th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Julia will be laid to rest at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Big Rapids.

Memorial contributions in Julia’s name may be made to St. Paul Campus Parish or Spectrum Health Hospice.

 

 

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Brenda L. Fellman of Barryton

Brenda L. Fellman age 63 formerly of Barryton, went home to be with her Lord on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Niles, MI. She was born on March 20, 1952 in Alma to Jack and Faye (Becker) Hegle. Brenda will be remembered for her beautiful drawings and, her love of gardening, canning and flowers. Due to early onset dementia Brenda lost a lot of her abilities but never lost her big heart.


Brenda loved people and is survived by one brother, John Hegle; two sisters, Pat Hegle and Pamela (Rudy) Sorsen all of Barryton; two children; Mari (Sam) Dwyer of Big Rapids and Daryn (Tina) Stiles of Ashton; 10 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews that she spoiled rotten and several extended family and friends. Brenda was preceded in death by her parents.


A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Barryton Church of Christ (18221 M66) with Pastor Rick Lippert officiating.
Memorial contributions in Brenda’s name can be made to the Church. Share a memory on the Daggett Funeral Home website at www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com

 

 

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Arlyle Janet Phipps of Reed City

Arlyle Janet Phipps went to meet her Lord Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at Metron of Greenville. She was 90 years old.

 

She was born March 8, 1925 in Reed City to Elckna and Elsie (Smith) Plumb and attended Reed City area schools. On April 16, 1942 she was married in Reed City to Charles Lewis Phipps who passed away in 1982. She was employed as a riveter in the Willow Run Bomber Plant during World War II and was also employed with the Cedar Springs school system. Arlyle moved with the family to the Reed City area in the late 1950’s where she raised her ten children. She was a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 287 in Cedar Springs.

 

She is survived by her children Delberta Windiate of Interlochen, Ethel (Rob) Palmer of Cedar Springs, Alex (Deb) Phipps of Crystal, Craig (Dianne) Phipps of Cedar Springs, Geneva (John) Dean of Sand Lake, Valerie Green of Belding, and Cheryl (George) Hellar of Grand Rapids, and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Elckna and Elsie Plumb, husband Charles L. Phipps, sons Gale Patton Phipps, Gerald Thomas Phipps, daughter Janice June Graves, brother Howard Plumb, sister Alma Bitler, and daughter-in-law Dixie Phipps.

 

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City, with Pastor Gordon Tower officiating. Burial will be at Hersey Village Cemetery in Hersey. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. Saturday at the funeral home until service time.

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