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Obituaries Archives for 2015-08

Helen Sarns of Morley

Helen Sarns, age 96 of Morley, went to be with Jesus Friday, August 28, 2015 at her daughter’s home in Morley. She was born November 15, 1918 in Luther, the daughter of Xavier and Martha (Zimnicky) Zander. Helen married Alexander Sarns on September 16, 1936 in Mt. Clemens, where they made their home.

She was employed by the L’Anse Creuse Public Schools as a bus driver for 11 years. Helen and Alexander retired and moved to Morley to farm together. She enjoyed helping to raise her 2 grandchildren, spending summers at their cabin in the U.P. and gardening.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Sandra (Gerald) Shovan of Morley; two grandchildren, Serena Shovan and Jerod (Ruth) Shovan; three great-grandchildren, Rebecca, Jacob and Juliette Shovan; a brother-in-law, George Sarns of Interlochen; a sister-in-law, Kathryn Sarns of Arizona; many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Alexander Sarns in 1998; three sisters, Margaret Williams, Alice Spalo and Anna Zander.

Funeral services will take place 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Father Jim Wyse officiating. The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 1st at the funeral home. Helen will be laid to rest at Aetna Township Cemetery in Morley.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Helen’s name to Hospice of Michigan or Christ the King Catholic Church in Howard City, where she was a member.


Donna Arlene Dixon of Big Rapids

Donna "Arlene" Dixon, 79, of Big Rapids, passed away Saturday, August 29, 2015 at her residence.

Arrangements are pending at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


Pauline R. Hanson of Stanwood

Pauline R. Hanson, age 95 of Stanwood, passed away Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community in Rockford. She was born fourth of nine brothers and sisters, the daughter of Thomas and Pauline (Svelak) Rekeny, May 9, 1920 in East Chicago, Illinois. Pauline attended and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1939.

She met her lifelong love, George “Jim” Hanson and they were married at St. Apollonia Parish, Reed City, July 7, 1940. As a couple, Pauline and Jim enjoyed horseback riding, dancing at the old Oxbow Dance Hall near Croton, snowmobiling, farming, fishing, hunting, family gatherings and their grandchildren. After retiring from farming, they took trips to Drummond Island fishing and traveled cross country in their motor home with friends.

After Jim’s death, Pauline traveled with her sisters and friends to various parts of the states. She made multiple trips to see her granddaughter, Kim and family, in Alaska as well as Colorado to visit her grandson, Christopher, and see the sites.

Pauline also volunteered at the Stanwood Elementary School third and fourth grand reading program for eight years. She has been a 20 year patron of the Corner Café in Stanwood; meeting with friends for coffee, breakfast and catching up on the gossip.

Pauline is survived by her children, Robert (Sharon) Hanson of Twin Lakes and Julie (Jack) Hoisington of Morley; five grandchildren, Deirdre (Ken) Hall of Rockford, Kristin (Steve) Simms of Big Rapids, Kimberly (David) Howe of Alaska, Christopher (Heather ) Hoisington of Colorado, Jennifer (Robert) Spicer of Big Rapids; eleven great-grandchildren, Jonathon, Matthew and Samantha Spicer, Kendall, Sydney and Peyton Howe, Justin, Keegan and Ali Lynn Simms, and Taylor and Rylan Hoisington; two brothers, John (Barb) Rekeny of Rogers Heights and Thomas (Beverly) Rekeny of Rockford; two sisters, Virginia Horgan of Big Rapids and Frances Williams of Cadillac; and former daughter-in-law, Joanne Jernstad Hanson of Big Rapids and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George “Jim” Hanson; parents, Thomas and Pauline Rekeny and parents-in-law, Dorson and Cleo Hanson; brother, Michael Rekeny; sisters, Mary Fetterley-Parsons, Helene Biller-Otto and Anna Harrison.

The family will greet friends Monday, August 31st at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The evening will conclude with Pauline’s dear friend Val Lyons sharing a eulogy and memories beginning at 8:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Pauline’s name may be made to Hospice of Michigan or the charity of the donor’s choice.


Clifford F. Williams of Indiana

Clifford F. Williams, 63, passed away unexpectedly on August 24, 2015 in Indiana. He was born January 15, 1952 in Big Rapids, the son of Clifford and Josephine (LaRocque) Williams.

Clifford attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1970. He served in the United States Navy during Vietnam as a hospital corpsman on the USS Coral Sea. After completing his service, Clifford was honorably discharged and received the National Defense Service Medal. He started his 24 year career with Hydaker Wheatlake Company in 1993 as an apprentice lineman and advanced to a superintendent.

All who knew Clifford knew that his life was focused around family, friends, and work. He was generous to a fault and lived life to its fullest. Clifford was a lifelong lover of music and classic cars, and he was always on a mission to create the perfect pizza. Those who know him best know he had a peaceful heart as well as a generous one, and were touched by his kindness.

He loved and was loved by his daughters and fiancée. Clifford will be missed and remembered forever. He leaves behind his two daughters, Anna Williams of Ferndale and Marie Williams of Ann Arbor; fiancée, June Maiers of Solon, IA and her four children and grandchildren; mother, Josephine Williams of Big Rapids; four sisters, Kyrene (Ron) Ricketts of Byron Center, Patricia (Ron) Spicer of Big Rapids, Julie Ann Knopf of Big Rapids, Judith (Gerry) Martin of Lawrence; one brother, Tim (Kay) Williams of Big Rapids; many nieces and nephews; the mother of his children; Diane Hanmer Jones of Big Rapids; dear friends, Steve, Rex, Stu, John, Art and Tim; and so many others.

He was preceded in death by his father, Clifford Williams and brother-in-law, Gordon Knopf.

A celebration of life will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. During this time the family encourages you to share your memories of Clifford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Clifford’s name to Heifer International.


Phillip James Koziarz of Evart

Phillip James Koziarz, 69, of Evart passed away Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at his home. Phillip was born on July 17, 1946 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Walter J. and Phyllis E. (Durfee) Koziarz.

Phillip is survived by his brothers, David (Bonnie) Koziarz of White Lake, William (Pam) Koziarz of Commerce Township, Robert (Victoria) Koziarz of Chippewa Lake, and Donald (Bernadette) Koziarz of Chippewa Lake; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Kathleen.

Private services will be held.


Marian Evelyn Dean of Mecosta

Marian Evelyn Dean, 88, of Mecosta, went to be in the arms of Jesus, Saturday, August 22, 2015. A funeral ceremony will be held in her honor Thursday, August 27th at 4:00 pm at Janowicz Family Funeral Home in Remus. Pastor Randy Piatt will officiate with burial to follow at Wambolt Cemetery. Marian’s family will greet friends at the funeral home from 2:00 PM to the time of service.

Marian was born February 28, 1927, the daughter of Fred and Jessie (Johnston) Hutson. Surprising everyone by being born in the back of the family sedan, she continued to bless us all with her smiles and energy. Spending time with her family was at the top of her priorities and she loved the random visits we all shared. She married Henry Steinman in Muskegon in 1942. They moved to Remus in 1953 to raise their 4 children and teach them the hard work of farming. Early in her life, she enjoyed hunting and fishing and later on, hearing the tales and enjoying the spoils of her children and grandchildren’s adventures in the outdoors. We all knew that she was not your typical grandma, she took pleasure in her gardening, painting her home and furniture with whimsy, and traveling the world by plane and boat with her beloved husband Harry whom she married in 1998. Everyone looked forward to their silly Christmas cards each year. She thoroughly enjoyed shopping at God’s Helping Hands but loved visiting with the people who volunteered there even more.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Rosetta Aragona of Mecosta, Henry Jr. (Patti) Steinman of Nebraska, Michael (Linda) Steinman of Mecosta and Christina Sharp of Remus; brothers, Clifton, Dell, and Wesley Hutson all of Muskegon; 10 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; numerous step-grandchildren and her beloved cat, Peanut Butter.

Marian was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Henry Steinman; second husband, Harry Dean; five siblings; son-in-laws, Douglas Sharp Sr. and Anthony Aragona; one daughter-in-law, Kay Steinman and two grandsons, James Scott Wray and Timothy Michael Steinman.

Friends may share a memory with the family at the funeral home or online at



Marilyn Kay Fisher of Stanwood

Marilyn Kay Fisher, age 70, passed away at her home in Stanwood, MI on Sunday, August 23, 2015. She was born in Grand Rapids, MI on July 10, 1945. Marilyn is survived by her husband Joseph Burton Fisher, her daughter and family Pam and Donnie Rubel, her son and family Scott and Kelly Matuk, and her son and family Lance and Priscilla Fisher. Marilyn leaves behind many grandchildren and one great-grandson. She was preceded in death by her daughter and son-in-law Lisa and Scott Maxwell.

A memorial service will take place 12:00 p.m. (noon) Friday, August 28, 2015 at New Hope United Methodist Church in Mecosta, MI with Pastor Greg Buchner officiating. The family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. until the time service begins at 12:00 p.m. at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made in Marilyn’s name to New Hope United Methodist Church or Spectrum Health Hospice.


Lyle Joseph Jochim of Canadian Lakes

Lyle Joseph Jochim, 74, of Canadian Lakes, formerly of Caro, passed away Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at his home. A graveside service will be held in his honor Saturday, August 29th, at the Indianfields Twp. Cemetery - Caro, MI, at 2:00 PM with Military honors to follow. 

Lyle was born August 29, 1940, the son of Joseph and Regina (Schwalick) Jochim. He was a proud soldier serving his country from 1957 to 1962 in the United States Army. He was the owner and operator of LJ’s Garage in Caro for many years before retiring. 
Lyle enjoyed woodworking, fishing, and loved to dance, especially the polka, whenever he got the chance. 
He was a hard worker who was often serious, but always knew how to make others laugh. 

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Hope; daughter, Debbie (Harvey) Reaver; step-children, Rudie (Therese) Frank, Bobbi (Sam) Maxson, Dale (Lynn) Darling and Darrell (Sue) Darling; sister, Sharon (Tom) Driver; grandchildren, Joey, Steven, Juhl and Jade Reaver; one great-grandchild, Payton and numerous step-grandchildren and nephews and nieces. He is greatly missed by his loving dog, Sandy.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents; his older sibling, Oscar; first wife, Lois Ann and their unborn son; second wife, Cecilia Irene and third wife, Barbara. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be direct to the family.


David Allen McShane of Gaylord

Gaylord – David Allen McShane, age 45, of Gaylord, formerly of Big Rapids, received his angel wings on Friday, August 21, 2015 surrounded by his loving family. 

David was born July 7, 1970, in Big Rapids, Michigan. He attended Big Rapids High School, Class of 1988. David was employed by Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan in the Accounting Department. Over the years David also worked as a bartender, bouncer, retail manager, and those who knew David well often referred to him as Dr. David for reasons we cannot say. 

David bowled professionally for a number of years before injuries made it difficult for him to continue. Throughout his bowling career he bowled multiple perfect 300 games. He was an avid sports fan, loved betting, and was especially known for being a fan of the Denver Broncos. He was also an avid golfer. David was a walking encyclopedia when it came to all sports and loved getting family and friends together for sporting events. David was especially proud of his sons and encouraged and supported them in all of their endeavors and was always present at all of their sporting events. 
David was loved by everyone he met, and was known to make friends wherever he went. David was loving, caring, helpful, encouraging, proud, stubborn, an excellent motivator, a hard worker, funny and most of all a great friend and a man who loved his family. One of his friends summed it up best to say: “There is only one thing bigger than David, and that was his heart.”

David is survived by his loving wife Toni McShane, sons, Dante, Ryan and Mateo of Gaylord, Michigan. Parents, Doris and Darrell Aldrich of Big Rapids. Sisters, Debra (Mark) Lake, Morley; Pamela (Tim) Bennett, Allendale; and Christine (Dave) Kandalec, Ludington. One brother, Timothy (Amanda) McShane, Bellaire, Michigan. Step siblings, David Aldrich, Jennifer Aldrich, Joe Aldrich, Richard Aldrich, Mary Burd, Roger Aldrich, Jerry Aldrich, Kathy Kenyon and Michelle Acton. Many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. David was preceded in death by his brother, Patrick McShane and Grandmother Lois Deacon.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, Michigan with his brother Tim McShane officiating. David’s family will greet visitors on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 6 to 8:00 p.m. Interment will be at Woodville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers a GoFundMe account has been set up at

Envelopes will also be available for contributions at the funeral home. 


Roberta Ann Sprague of Cedar Springs

Roberta Ann “Bobbie” Sprague, age 64, of Cedar Springs, formerly of Big Rapids and Morley, went to sleep in Jesus on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. She was born on April 19, 1951 in Lansing, the daughter of Christian and Dorothy (Carter) Bentley.

Bobbie enjoyed doing crafts, loved her church family, and was always ready to help anyone.

She is survived by her husband, Philip Sprague of Sheridan; two children, Daniel (Dorothea) Yarrington of Rockford and Sapphire Yarrington of Rockford; three grandchildren; four sisters, Juanita (Mike) Crooks of Morley, Lorenda Lytle of Sears, Laura Stahle of Cedar Springs, and Cheri (John) Gerst of Reed City; two brothers, Richard (Ruth) Bentley of Hersey and Alan (Bunny) Bean of Hopewell, VA; many nieces and nephews; and her Great Aunt Alice Marrs.

Bobbie was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, James Bentley; and three sisters, Marjorie Winstone, Leah Finney, and Beverly Earnest. Also preceding her were her aunt and uncle, whose home she grew up in, Abner and Beatrice Lehman.

Funeral services for Bobbie will be at 11:00 am, Monday August 24, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Her family will greet friends on Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Monday from 10:00 am until the time of service. Interment will be at the Pine Plains Cemetery in Big Rapids.


Dennis Ray Cairl of Barryton

Dennis Ray Cairl age 58, passed away peacefully in his sleep, on Monday, August 18, 2015 at his home in Barryton. He was born on January 11, 1957 in Flint, MI to Walter “Joe” and Joyce (Wilson) Cairl. Dennis married Sharon Tissot on January 26, 1976. They raised their two daughters Michelle and Melissa throughout Flint and the surrounding area before moving to their Barryton cabin that they enjoyed periodically beforehand.

Dennis retired from General Motors where he was a forklift operator for many years and was a former member of the Moose Lodge.
Dennis enjoyed golfing, hunting, and fishing. He enjoyed being a DJ and singing karaoke as well as playing his guitar with which he roused his family every Sunday morning as their wake up call. Dennis was a talented cook and baker. His family will remember how delicious his fudge was.

Dennis Cairl was a kind and loving man that is survived by his wife Sharon; his children Michelle (Matthew Stepp) Nielsen of Albion and Melissa (Dominic) Coon of Durand, who thought their dad to be the best of the best; three sisters Susan McCann of Florida, Judy (Chris) Kline of Copemish, and Lisa Cairl of Florida; four grandchildren that he adored, Shayne Cairl, Olivia Cairl, Sydney Nielsen and Trista Coon and many nieces, nephews and close friends who will continue to hold the memories they have close to their hearts. Dennis was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Joyce Cairl.

In celebration of a life well lived and times remembered the family will greet friends from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.


Lewis W. Randall 73 of Mecosta

Lewis W. “Lewie” Randall, age 73 of Mecosta, passed away at his home Monday, August 17, 2015 with his family by his side. He was born October 30, 1941 in Lakeview, the son of Frank and Mary (Fountain) Randall. Lewie married Linda Helmer on September 17, 1960 in Mecosta, where they made their home. He was a heavy equipment operator his entire life, retiring from the Mecosta County Road Commission.

Lewie was a devout member of New Hope United Methodist Church of Mecosta. He and Linda were both members of Gold Wing Road Riders for 20 years; eight of those years they served as the Assistant Michigan State Directors. Lewie was a longtime fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Foundation. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed his hunting trips out west. All of Lewie’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were very special to him; however Lewie was a grandpa to all.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Linda Randall of Mecosta; two children, Rick (Cher) Randall of Mecosta and Laurie (Tom) Byberg of Remus; seven grandchildren, Josh (Mary) Randall of Richland, Angie (Alan) Montgomery of Corunna, Mariah Dutcher of Remus, Ethan Randall of Remus, Jarrod (Sarah) Waite of Clare, Ryan (Samantha) Byberg of Beal City and Courtney Olger of Remus; eight great-grandchildren, Aubrey, Aiden, Easton, Wesley, Kaden, Jack, Myra and Kinsey; three step-grandchildren, Joe (Brooke) O’Neil of Barryton, Amy (Mark) Holsworth of Mecosta and Steve (Amanda) O’Neil of Lake; seven step-great-grandchildren, Ashley, Alecia, Doug, Austin, Maddie, Ryan and Josh; two brothers, Ron “Ike” (Nancy) Randall of Remus and Jim (Nancy) Randall of Big Rapids; two sisters, Sharon Lintemuth of Mecosta and Bonnie VanAlstine of Stanwood; step-brother, John (Char) Melson of CA; and many nieces and nephews.
Lewie was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Adam Byberg; sister, JoAnn Boerma; and mother and father-in-law, William and Leona Helmer.

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 22, 2015 at New Hope United Methodist Church in Mecosta with Pastor Greg Buchner officiating. The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21st at the Church. Interment will be held at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mecosta.

Memorial contributions may be made in Lewie’s name to New Hope United Methodist Church or Hospice of Michigan.


William R. Squires of Barryton

William R. Squires, age 70, of Barryton went home to be with his Lord on Sunday, August 16, 2015 with his beloved family at his side. He was born on August 17, 1944 in Barryton to Lewis and Josephine (Dow) Squires. As a teen his family moved to Clio and he graduated from Clio High School in 1962. Bill made his home in Otisville for many years before coming home to his roots. He was an accomplished singer and guitar player, who enjoyed sharing his talents throughout the state. Bill was an avid coon, rabbit and deer hunter. He had a general fondness for wild life and the outdoors.

Bill will be remembered by the family he leaves behind as being a good Christian man, having a kind heart and always having a smile on his face. He is survived by his wife Zona; children, Priscella (John) Turner, William (Christina) Squires Jr., Troy Eisenbach, Traci (Chris) Martens and Tonya Bobson; 3 brothers, Robert (Mary) Squires, Arthur Squires and Wayne (Helen) Squires; fifteen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many loved nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Lewis and Josephine Squires, a sister Betty Spencer, grandson Cody Eisenbach and wife Theda Squires.

Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, August, 20, 2015 at the Sears Church of God with Pastor Richard Latham officiating. The family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the 1:00 p.m. service at the Church (5955 40th Avenue, Sears).

Interment will be at East Fork Cemetery in Barryton.

Memorial donations in Bill’s name can be made to the Sears Church of God where he was a member.


Frank A. Starr of Big Rapids

Frank A. Starr, age 67 of Big Rapids, passed away Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at his home. He was born October 18, 1947 in Big Rapids, the son of Arthur and Dorothy (Nelson) Starr. Frank married Aleta Davis on October 29, 1966 in Stanwood and together they raised their family in Big Rapids. He was employed by Benedicts Manufacturing as a machinist until he retired.

Frank was a member of the Big Rapids Post 98 Sons of the American Legion and the Honor Guard. He attended the Resurrection Life Church. Frank enjoyed the outdoors; hunting, fishing, gardening and golfing.

Frank is survived by his four children, Rob (Amy Gibbons) Starr of Gowen, Chris VanKleek of WA, Steve Starr of Big Rapids and Tina (Bryan Humphreys) Starr of Rockford; five grandchildren, David, Marina, Cheyann, Jasmyn and Bradon; four siblings, Cheryl (Larry) Hinsley of Big Rapids, Nola (Brad) Manchip of Big Rapids, Mike Starr of Stanwood and Rick Starr of Barryton; mother-in-law, Alice Davis of Morley; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Arthur and Dorothy Starr and wife Aleta Starr.

A memorial service will take place at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Saturday, August 22, 2015 at the Charity Baptist Church, 20949 20 Mile Road, Paris. A Celebration of Remembrance and Pig Roast will be held at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, August 22nd at 1605 Catherine Street, Big Rapids.


Gayle Marie Zerfas of Big Rapids

Gayle Marie Zerfas, age 58, of Big Rapids passed away Saturday, August 8, 2015. She was born on April 17, 1957 in Eaton Rapids, the daughter of Edmund and Tillie (Kimble) Zerfas.

Gayle is survived by her mother, Tillie Dice of Big Rapids; two sisters, Vicki (Jeff) Rumsey of Big Rapids and Debra (Dan) Rabakon of Springport; and one brother, William (Linda) Zerfas of Maricopa, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her father, Edmund Zerfas.

A memorial service for Gayle will be at 11:00 am Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Father Michael Burt officiating. Her family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 am. Memorial contributions in Gayle’s name may be made to the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County.


Gordon Allen Van Dyke of Big Rapids

Gordon Allen Van Dyke, 82, of Big Rapids, passed away in his sleep on August 5, 2015. He died of pneumonia at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids. A lifelong resident of Big Rapids, he lived in the home that he and his wife Patricia had built and lived in throughout their 58 years together. Gordon died peacefully, satisfied that he had led a good life and thankful for his loving family and friends.

Gordon was born in Big Rapids on November 8, 1932, to Jacob and Gertrude (Nehmer) Van Dyke. He attended Big Rapids High School and then Ferris Institute until he went to serve at Fort Collins as company clerk during the Korean War. He married Patricia Mehl on January 5, 1957, and they were happily married until his passing. They had three daughters, Kathryn, Debra and Nella. As a young man, Gordon worked at his father and mother's lumber yard, Nehmer Lumber, and played saxophone in a jazz dance band. In 1955, Gordon bought the business from his parents as well as another local lumberyard, which he renamed Cash and Carry. He built them into a thriving business, selling them in 1974. After that he was a travel consultant for several years and worked part time for the lumber yard before retiring.

Gordon lived life to the fullest and made many contributions to his community. He enjoyed music his entire life, playing in the Big Rapids Community Band and singing in the Choir at the United Church for many years. He was an avid fly fisherman. For many years he and Pat took annual trips to Montana and Wyoming to fish for trout. Pat and Gord loved travelling, with numerous visits to Florida; Lake Tahoe, CA; and Phoenix, AZ; as well as trips to Europe. Gordon was a very active member of the community, serving as a Director for Old Kent Bank (now Fifth/Third Bank) for nearly 30 years and as a member of the Big Rapids Rotary Club (22 years), and he served as a board member for a number of other Big Rapids organizations. With Pat, he served as the first Co-President of Ferris State University's hockey support group, the Blueline Club, and was a long-time supporter. Gordon enjoyed reading, laughing and having a good time, socializing and spending time with his friends and family. We will miss his conversation, financial advice and great sense of humor.

Gordon is survived by his wife, Patricia; three daughters, Kathryn Van Dyke (Kendall Krause), Debra (Chris) Hecker, and Nella Van Dyke (Irenee Beattie); three grandchildren, Patty Krause, Elsa Van Dyke and Sadie Van Dyke; and his sister Joan Musgrave.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 29 at 1:30PM at the United Church in Big Rapids. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the Mecosta County Community Foundation (MCCF, P.O. Box 1012-C, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307).


Patrick F. Sullivan of Canadian Lakes

Patrick F. Sullivan, formerly of Erie, died at Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI August 14, 2015. He was born March 21, 1950 in Lynn, MA. His family was transferred to Erie with GE in 1955; and although Pat was born with cerebral palsy, he did graduate from Strong Vincent High School in 1969. Patrick was a member of St. Luke’s parish.

Pat moved to his sister’s house in Canadian Lakes, MI after the death of his father. He was a dedicated Yankees,Tigers and Notre Dame fan. He enjoyed reading history books, music and “watching the traffic” on our quiet street.

Patrick is survived by his sister Maureen (Sullivan) Peckrul and her husband, Jim; his nephew, Fred Peckrul (Karen) and their son, Billy; several cousins and two special friends, Bobby Barnhart & Vicki Lamb. Pat was preceded in death by his mother, Catherine Sullivan, and father, Francis Sullivan.

Cremation has taken place with no service to follow.



Evelyn M. Oates of Rodney

Evelyn M. Oates, age 72 of Rodney, passed away Monday, August 10, 2015 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born March 15, 1943 in Rodney, the daughter of David and Florence (Aris) Dexter. Evelyn graduated from Mecosta High School.

She loved spending time with her family. Evelyn was a loving and caring mother and grandmother who took care of many children and grandchildren. She was a member of the Big Rapids Free Methodist Church. Evelyn enjoyed attending Gospel Jamborees and Revivals, flower gardens, hand making quilts and crocheting. She was a very giving person and she will be greatly missed.

Evelyn was survived by her children, Ernest Cook, Eugene Cook, Evelyn Nieves and Sidney (April) Oates; step-children, Edith “Ginger” Tinney, Melvina “Bina” (Robert) Bonner, Rosalie “Rosie” (William) Arms and Beatrice “Bio” Young; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings, Hilda Morden, Ruthie Norlock, Dorothy Kohlhoff, David (Sally) Dexter, Alfred (Janet) Dexter, Martin Dexter, William (Vicky) Dexter, Dora Keaton; many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Sidney Oates; siblings, George Dexter and Martha Stahl; step-children, Robert Oates, Albert Oates and Katherine Town.

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 17, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Scott Gibbons officiating. The family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday the 17th prior to the service at the funeral home.


Daralee L. Rolston of Big Rapids

Daralee L. Rolston, age 50 of Big Rapids, passed away Saturday, August 8, 2015 at her home. She was born June 11, 1965 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Harold and Elois (Bunker) Lewis.

Daralee married Sam Rolston on December 20, 1985 in Big Rapids, where they raised their son, Cody. She enjoyed watching football and movies, listening to music and reading. Daralee loved spending time with her family, animals, especially horses, and flowers.

She is survived by her son, Cody Rolston of Manistee; a brother, Deuaine (Bobbie) Lewis of Leslie; a sister, Lorraine Lewis of Big Rapids; many nieces and nephews.
Daralee was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Sam Rolston; brother, Bradley Lewis.

A memorial gathering will take place at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Daralee and Lorraine’s home.


Norma Jean Dettmer of Big Rapids

Norma Jean Dettmer, 94, passed away Friday, August 7, 2015, at Altercare of Big Rapids.

She was born February 14, 1921, in West Union, IL, the daughter of Stanley and Mabel (Haddis) Scott. On November 20, 1940, she married Fred H. Dettmer, and they lived in Ferndale for most of their lives. In 1987, Fred preceded her in death, and she moved to Big Rapids several years ago.

Norma Jean is survived by 2 sons, Ny (Pat) Dettmer of Rockford, and Lyle (Kathy) Dettmer of Stanwood; 5 grandchildren, Bet(Tom) Haddix, Debbie McIntyre, Michelle(Bucky) Strong, Sara(Dave) Beauchamp, and Budge Dettmer; and 9 great-grandchildren; Erica, Nate, Virginia, David, Zachary, Calvin, Jacob, Olivia and Isabel.

Private family services will be on Monday, August 10, 2015, at the White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, MI, with interment to follow. Memorial contributions in her name may be made for Spectrum Health Hospice. Arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


Walton Piggott of Big Rapids

Walton Piggott, age 88, of Big Rapids joined the heavenly choir while surrounded by family on Saturday August 8, 2015. Walt was born April 2, 1927 in Benton Harbor, MI, the son of Walton and Erna (Spink) Piggott. Walt was a Navy veteran of World War II and he attended Western Michigan University on the GI bill graduating with his teaching degree. He met his wife Barbara Bishop of Benton Harbor while in college and they were married in 1950 and celebrated 65 years on marriage on June 25, 2015. Walt loved the title of "Coach" and dedicated his life to coaching and teaching first at the High School level and then at Ferris State University for 27 years where he taught health and physical education and coached football, basketball, and baseball.

Walt loved the Lord and demonstrated this by his sacrificial service to others through church and his community. Even in retirement he spent countless hours working with Habitat for Humanity and visiting shut-ins around town.

Walt is survived by his wife Barbara and four children, Susan (Dale) Rivers of Ft. Myers, FL, Mary (Rudy) Rosner of St. John's, MI, Diane (Don) Lobel of Saginaw, MI, and David (Cindy) Piggott of Sparta, MI., 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and by his sister Roberta Sonnenberg of Big Rapids, MI. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Mryna Detwiler, Theresa Barlow, Janet Swerbinsky, and Tom Piggott.

Memorial contributions can be made to "FSU Coach Walton & Barbara Piggott Endowment" and mailed to 420 Oak St., Prakken 101, Big Rapids, MI 49307. You can also donate on line at

Visitation with family on Thursday August 13 from 6 - 8 pm and a celebration of Christian life on Friday August 14 at 11:00 am. Both will take place at Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


Candice Jean Ladd of Remus

Candice Jean Ladd, age 57 of Remus, passed away August 4, 2015 at her home surrounded by family. Cremation will take place with a memorial service to follow Friday, August 7th at 12:00 PM, at the Millbrook Free Methodist Church. Family will greet friends at the church Friday morning from 11:00 AM to the time of service.

Candice was born October 13, 1957, the daughter of Ray and Phyllis (Powell) Traynor. She married the love of her life, Richard, on July 13, 1985.

Candice enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening and especially her time spent with family. Being very family oriented, holidays were always a big deal to her.
Gentle, kind, giving, determined, independent and strong willed were all words used to describe her.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 30 years, Richard; children, Philip Ray Traynor (Monica), Richard Ladd II, Crista Olsson, Summer Ladd, Autumn Ladd and Dylan Ladd; brother, Gordon Traynor; sister, Angela Barnes and seven grandchildren.

Candice was preceded in death by her father, Ray and grandmother, Delphia Powell.



Garth Corrie (D.V.M.) of Big Rapids

Garth Corrie (D.V.M.), 94, of Big Rapids died, August 3, 2015. He was born January 10, 1921 in Saginaw, MI, the son of William and Flossie (Tiedeman) Corrie and lived most of his life in the Big Rapids- Stanwood area.

After graduating from Michigan State University Veterinary College, E. Lansing, MI in 1943, he took over the mixed animal practice of A.H. Smith, D.V.M., (deceased) at 123 North Warren Avenue in Big Rapids. Dr. Corrie practiced in the Big Rapids and Stanwood area for a number of years. During the Korean War he entered the 5th Army Veterinary Service and was later transferred to the 2nd Veterinary Services where he was promoted to the rank of Major.


In 1957 he entered the Animal Disease Eradication Division of the USDA working on animal and poultry disease projects in Michigan, New York, New Jersey and California, retiring in 1981. Dr. Corrie was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, American Legion, NARFE, MARSP, and a former member of the Western Michigan Veterinary Medical Association and the Big Rapids Lions Club.

In 1943, he married Cela A. Kietzman and in 1993 married Carolyn R. Arndt who both preceded him in death. Also preceding him were son Glen Corrie, daughter-in-law Ann Corrie and brother-in-law Paul Stults. He is survived by sister Mavis Stults, sons Barry (Linda) Corrie, Darrell (Barbara) Corrie, daughter-in-law Phyllis Corrie and numerous stepsons and stepdaughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, plus several nieces and nephews. Since retiring Garth was known around Big Rapids as a wonderful DJ, playing music for the elderly at Altercare, Members of St. Mary Catholic Church and other organizations.


Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 6th at the Mohnke Funeral Home with Beth Drake, Director of Faith Formation at St. Phillip Neri in Reed City officiating and Father Chuck Schwartz co-officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 10-11:00 a.m. prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Catholic School or the Mecosta County Animal Rescue, 18400 220th Avenue, Big Rapids. Burial will be at Highland View Cemetery.


James Wilbur Norris of LeRoy

James Wilbur Norris of LeRoy passed away Saturday, August1, 2015 at his residence. He was 81.


He was born August 18, 1933 in Hillsdale, MI to Iral and Frances (Knowles) Norris and attended Litchfield, MI area schools. He was married in 1988 to Beverly Ruppert at the site of the Old Rugged Cross in Ashton, MI. He was employed most of his life as a heavy equipment mechanic before his retirement. James was also was employed with the Litchfield Fire Department and Police Department. In the 1950’s he enjoyed dirt track racing and later in life found pleasure deer hunting and traveling in his motor home.


He is survived by his wife Beverly, children Steven (Carman), Cynthia, Michael, James Jr., Debbie, Brenda, and Cathy; step-children Corina and Erick, sister Evelyn Teall, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Iral and Frances Norris, son Kenny, sisters Virginia Sloan and Katherine Meyers, and brother William Norris.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Pastor Floyd Coon Jr. officiating. Burial will take place at Dover Township Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 4-7 P.M. Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at the funeral home. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society.


John J. Battle of Paris

John J. “Sonny” Battle, age 80, of Paris, passed away Friday, July 31, 2015 at his residence. He was born on the family farm in Barton Township on May 6, 1935, the son of John and Catherine (Whalen) Battle, where he lived and farmed his entire life.

In 1955, Sonny married Maxine Kailing, who preceded him in death in 2010. He founded Sonny’s Service in Reed City and was the longtime owner/operator of S & S Well Drilling. Sonny loved his horses, and enjoyed saddle and harness racing as well as rodeos. He also liked dancing and playing cards. He was a member of St. Anne Catholic Church in Paris.

Sonny is survived by two daughters, Colleen (Stuart) Sauntman of Chase and Arleen Couch of Paris; three sons, Ralph of Schenectady, New York, Michael of Paris, and Earl of Paris; thirteen grandchildren, Wyatt, Sondra, Shari, Alex, Dale, Helena, Chad, Shelaine, Nichole, Macie, Austin, Spencer, & Rebekah; 13 great grandchildren; one brother, Robert (Judi) Battle of Grand Rapids; five sisters, Mary Beatrice Wright of Mecosta, Dorothy Kardos of Evart, Romaine (Tom) Magda of Jonesville, Kathleen (Gary) Hutson of Portland, & Barbara (Ron) Baker of Paris; and many nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a son, Gerald; a grandson Wayne Couch; and two brothers, Mike & Tommy Battle.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 am Monday, August 3, 2015 at St. Anne Catholic Church in Paris with Fr. Michael Hodges officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Anne Cemetery. Sonny’s family will greet friends from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Sunday, August 2, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with a Rosary Service beginning at 6:30. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anne Catholic Church, with envelopes available at the funeral home.


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