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Obituaries Archives for 2015-10

James Joseph Bieski of Lake


James Joseph Bieski, age 61 of Lake passed away at his home Wed., Oct. 28, 2015 after a brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer. James was born Nov. 11, 1953 in Grand Rapids, the son of Joseph and Mildred (Kersjes) Bieski.

A Memorial Mass will be held Thur., Nov. 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM at St. Michael Catholic Church in Remus with Father Aaron Ferris as Celebrant. The family will greet friends at church from 10:00 AM until the time of the service.

James loved the outdoors and being near the water. He was a deer hunter, loved snowmobiling, riding motorcycle & the quad, and bon fires were a favorite. He was loving and loyal. He would do anything for anyone, always showing concern for others. He was funny and made people laugh even when he was so sick saying “life was too short”. He was a good father and a father figure to many.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 39 years, Mary Sue ; one son, Jeremy; three daughters, Shannon, Leign Anne (Kevin) Schrouder and Ashleigh; one brother, Tom Bieski; two sisters, Nancy and Judy and his grand-puppies and cat.

James was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Theresa and brothers-in-law, Mike, Mark and Bill.


Dorothy Helene Kardos of Paris

Dorothy Helene Kardos, 82, left this earth to join her loved ones whom she missed so dearly. She died on October 28, 2015 at Metron in Big Rapids.

Dorothy was born to John and Lena Battle on April 16, 1933 in Paris, MI. Her days were spent caring for her family and anyone who needed help. Her kind and gentle spirit will be missed by the many lives she touched.

In 1955, she wed LaVern Kardos. They were married for 53 years and had four children. She is survived by Teresa/Teri (Bob McCarthy) and Gene Kardos (Kelli Shultz); grandchildren Casey Stevens, Derek Kardos, Michael Chambers (Tabitha Clark), Patrick Chambers (Lynae), Angie Kardos, Jessica Kardos and David White; and 11 great-grandchildren. Her very large Battle family filled her with tremendous pride and joy. She leaves four sisters: Barb (Ron) Baker, Katie (Gary) Hutson, Romaine (Tom) Magda, Mary Wright; and one brother Bobby (Judi) Battle. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sons, Larry and Kenny Kardos; her husband, LaVern; and her brothers, Sonny, Mike and Thomas Battle. Her many nieces and nephews will miss their Aunt Dorothy.

Her love touched many including Penny Bravic, Cindy Trombley, Jessa & Alexis Trombley, Rachel (Jacob) Mom, D'Anna( Nick) Ventrella, and Ron (Julie) Trombley. Her family at Sacred Heart Church in Evart was her spiritual healer for many years.

Per Dorothy's wishes, cremation has taken place. Please join family and friends on Sunday, November 1 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at St. Anne Catholic Church in Paris, MI for visitation. A prayer service will follow at 6:00 p.m. On Monday, November 2, Dorothy’s family will greet friends from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Evart, MI with Mass at 11:00 a.m. celebrated by Father Joe Fix. Please join the family to celebrate Dorothy’s life immediately after the Mass at Sacred Heart Church.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Michigan or to Dementia/ Alzheimer’s Association.


John R. Nelson of Mecosta

John R. “Jack” Nelson, age 76 of Mecosta formerly of Waterford, passed away early morning of Monday, October 26, 2015 at his home. He was born on April 4, 1939 in Pontiac, the son of Thomas and Marilyn (Robbins) Nelson. Jack honorably served his country in the United States Army. He retired after 23 years of employment with General Motors Truck and Bus.

Jack is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carol (Barnett) Nelson of Mecosta; his children, Patricia Thompson of Fenton, Connie (Lonnie) Conway of East Tawas, Jeff Nelson of Big Rapids and Debra Schumacher of Myrtle Beach, SC; seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Tom Nelson of West Palm Beach, FL; sister, Jeanne (Tom) Draper of Jackson; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded by his parents.

Cremation has taken place and there are no services planned at this time.


Alice V. Welling of Blanchard

Alice V. Welling, age 83, of Blanchard, passed away Sat., October 24, 2015 at Cedar Crest Assisted Living, Remus. Services will be held Wed., October 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home in Remus. The family will greet friends on Tues., Oct. 27th from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the funeral home and again from 10:00 AM until the time of service on Wed. Burial will follow the service at Decker Cemetery, Blanchard.

Alice was born June 22, 1932 in Morley, the daughter of Asa & Lola (Messer) Esch. She was the bookkeeper for many years at the family business, Welling’s Service, in Remus. She loved to dance and went with her husband, Bob, when he played with his band. She and Bob were married for over 53 years when he passed away. Alice has missed him dearly since then. They had traveled to Texas during the winters and even visited Alaska at one point.

Alice was a good cook, made great pies and enjoyed canning for her family. Words used to describe her were; loving, caring, out going, even a little sassy at times. She was out-spoken and opinionated but you always knew where you stood with her, because she “told it like it was”.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Robert R. Jr. (Bobbie), Ronald R. (Jackie), Roger R. (Sonya), Richard R. (Christine) and Raymond R. (Tami); sisters, Marjorie Arndt and Mary Lou Sweet; sister-in-law, Cleo Esch; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert “Bob” Welling; daughter Jinny Lynn, and brothers, Bob Esch and Richard Esch.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to Hospice of Michigan at 400 Perry Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307


Baby Austin Cruz Chambers

Baby Austin Cruz Chambers, son of Meagen Moore and Justin Chambers) passed away October 17, 2015. A memorial service will be held in his honor Friday, October 30, 2015, at Janowicz Family Funeral Home in Remus at 11:00 AM. Austin's family will be at the funeral home to greet friends from 10:00 AM to the time of the service on Friday morning.


Dana Lee Cory of Big Rapids

Dana Lee Cory, age 45, of Big Rapids passed on into God’s care on October 20, 2015 at home, following a lengthy struggle with cancer. He was born on October 3, 1970 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward D. II and Kathleen (Kittinger) Cory.

Dana graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1988. He attended the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City for one year and then Lansing Community College in electronics engineering. He then worked at Cedar Street Electronics in Lansing for seven years before moving back to Big Rapids where, in 2003, he opened Cory’s Electronics. He loved Penn State football and seldom missed a game. Dana also enjoyed walking along the river with his dogs. He was an honest, hardworking, and loyal son, brother, and friend who adored his family.

Dana is survived by his mother Kathy and stepfather Harlan Filkins of Big Rapids; three sisters, Kim Stoner of Holt, Michigan, Tammy (Jason) Belcher of Vancouver, Washington, and Christy (Matt) Bell of Denver, Colorado; plus seven nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his trusted friend, Beth Hamelund and faithful canine companion, Tommy.

Dana was preceded in death by his father in 2007.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Rev. James Martin officiating. Dana’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 am until the time of service. His cremated remains will be buried in the Negaunee Cemetery in Negaunee, Michigan.


Lyle E. Waite of Sand Lake

Lyle E. Waite, age 75 of Sand Lake, passed away Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

He was born July 2, 1940 in Reed City the son of Henry and June (Dow) Waite. Lyle married the former Alice Marie Yarrington on September 2, 1961 at the First Baptist Church in Big Rapids. He was a hardworking man his entire life, employed at several different companies during his working years.

Lyle and Alice had made their home in Morley, Grand Rapids and in Sand Lake for the past 30 years. He loved every type of sports and enjoyed following his favorite teams.
Lyle will be forever missed by his beloved family, especially Christmas gatherings without him, because Lyle was always Santa Clause to his many nieces and nephews.

Survivors include his loving wife, Alice Waite of Sand Lake; two sisters, “Ethel Hatton of Mecosta, Lila (Robert) Stanley of Canadian Lakes; four brothers, Floyd (Patrica) Waite of Cedar Springs, Earl (Carmen) Waite of School Section Lake, Henry Waite of Lakeview, Daniel (Charma) Waite of Mecosta and many nieces and nephews.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Stanley Waite and a sister, Dolly Gibbons.

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Rick Malone officiating.
The family will greet friends on Friday, October 23rd from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Burial will be at Fairview Cemetery near Stanwood.

Memorial contributions in Lyle’s name may be given to either the Huggard Bible Church of Sand Lake or the First Baptist Church of Big Rapids.


Emma Gene Sisco of Lake

Emma Gene Sisco, age 92 of Lake, went to Heaven Monday, October 19, 2015. She was born August 22, 1923 to Vern and Zada (Cutler) Hillier in Sears. Emma married Virgil Sisco on March 26, 1945 in Toledo, Ohio.

She worked at the Briggs Manufacturing Company in Detroit, making airplane parts for the war. Emma also worked at Barryton Elementary School as a cook. In later years she worked at the Mt. Pleasant Regional Center until April of 1981 when she retired. Emma enjoyed taking care of her family and seeing her grandkids grow to become strong adults. She also loved being a great-grandma to 11 great-grandkids. Emma enjoyed crocheting, cooking, baking, gardening, mowing her lawn and driving her car. She especially liked planting flowers and watching them blossom (she always had a green thumb) and bowling with her family.

Emma is survived by three children, Raymond (Bonnie) Sisco, Barb (Rodney) Simmer and Al (Tami) Sisco all of Lake; grandchildren, Kelly (Chris) Russo of Minnesota, Joe Sisco of Barryton, Darcey Sisco of Chippewa Lake, Seth (Stephanie) Simmer of Indiana, Sara (Mike) Potter of Lake Isabella, Rachel Roberts of Bay City, Ryan Sisco of Canadian Lakes, Amy (Matt) Smink and Chad Verwey; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Donna Walch of Big Rapids.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil; sister, Evelyn Phoenix; two brothers, Vernon Hillier and Harold Hillier.

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the Barryton Church of God with Pastor Gary Bryan officiating. Emma will be laid to rest at North Brinton Cemetery.

The family will greet friends Wednesday, October 21st from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton. The family will also greet friends one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the Church.

Memorial contributions may be made in Emma’s name to Isabella County Commission on Aging or the charity of the donor’s choice.


Robert Sawyer of Mt. Pleasant

Robert Sawyer, age 82 of Mt. Pleasant passed away October 8, 2015. Cremation has taken place with a graveside service to follow Saturday, October 17, 2016 at Pine River Cemetery at 10 AM.


Richard Wawronowicz of Mecosta

Richard Wawronowicz, age 74 of Mecosta passed away October 4, 2015. Cremation has taken place with no services to follow.


Justine M. Crandall of Big Rapids

Justine M. Crandall, age 90, of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, October 18, 2015. She was born on May 25, 1925, the daughter of Gilbert and Linda (Scott) Marple.

She is survived by one daughter, Lisa Crandall of Big Rapids and one granddaughter, Crystal Baker, also of Big Rapids.

Justine was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Douglas W. Crandall; and one brother, Harold Marple.

There are no services planned at this time.


Kenneth Edward Knapp of Norwich Township

Kenneth Edward Knapp, 77, of Norwich Township, passed unexpectedly away Friday, October 16, 2015.

He was born December 22, 1937 in Paris, the oldest child of Ernest and Margaret (Besson) Knapp, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1956. On June 15, 1957, he married Donna Boerma, and they lived in Paris until moving to Norwich Townhsip in 1971.

Ken served for 4 years in the Army National Guard. A lifelong farmer, he also worked in construction, having built their homes in Paris and Norwich Township. Ken also was in the logging and pallet business, and had been a truck driver. He has served as the Norwich Township Supervisor since 2002, and had formerly been the township Zoning Administrator.

Ken was a charter member of the White Cloud Aerie Eagles #4170, started in 1987. He served as the second president, and held an Aerie office every year as he went through the chairs in District #7. He served as State President in 2002-2003, and helped his favorite charity, the American Heart Association, to raise over $100,000. He then served as State Secretary from 2004-2013, and as the East Central Regional President in 2009-2010.

Ken is survived by his wife Donna; their four children, Carole (Edward) Peacock, Nancy (Kurt) Ensing, Ron (Connie Knapp, and Roger (Karen Dennis) Knapp; 15 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters, Delores (Gary) Murphy, and Sharon Samuels; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter Misty, great-grandson Tommy, and brothers Larry and Ralph.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2015, at the Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, 407 Perry Avenue in Big Rapids, with Pastor Ken Krause officiating. Burial will follow in the Hungerford Cemetery in Norwich Township. Ken’s family will greet friends on Tuesday, October 20, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, and at the church prior to services on Wednesday. Memorial contributions in his name may be made for the American Heart Association, with envelopes available at the funeral home.


Richard J. Donley of Paris

Richard J. Donley, age 74 of Paris, passed away Saturday, October 17, 2015 at his home. He was born July 18, 1941 on the family farm in Paris, the son of Merlin and Marie (Hurst) Donley. Richard graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1959. He then started his career working in the oil fields. Richard retired from MichCon in 1998 and continued as a consultant for fourteen more years.

He married Joyce Tonkin on February 20, 1960 in Big Rapids and together they raised their family in Paris. At the age of 50, Richard and Joyce bought their first horse and began harness horse training and racing. He also enjoyed fishing and ice fishing.

Richard is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joyce Donley of Paris; five children, Gerald (Rhonda) Donley of Paris, Diane (David) Stockwell of White Cloud, Carole (Joey) Hirl of Big Rapids, Phyllis (Donnie) Blake of Fife Lake and Jason (Misty) Donley of Big Rapids; 14 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sister, Virginia Kienitz of Big Rapids; brother, John “Jack” (Dixie) Donley of Reed City; several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Alton Kienitz.

A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 23, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Father Dan DePew officiating. The family will greet friends at 10:00 a.m. on Friday prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Richard’s name may be made to Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center or Spectrum Health Hospice.


Shari Louise Larsen of Big Rapids

Shari Louise Larsen, born September 27, 1963 in Big Rapids, to Dean & Doris (Tetzlaff) Larsen went home to her Heavenly Savior on Thursday, October 15th 2015.

Shari is survived by her dear sister Karen Larsen; dear friends, Penny L. Ray, Denise, Jon, Tara and Thomas (Stacia) Erlandson, Von Wohlford; aunt, Dollie Larsen; several cousins and special friends, including her beloved cats, Timmy and Kallie.

Shari attended St. Peters Lutheran School and graduated from Big Rapids High School. Her career consisted of several jobs in retail. Shari retired from Walmart after 17 years of employment as a sales associate.

Shari was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2003 and battled against this until her death from Metastatic Stage IV Breast Cancer. She was very active in the Relay for life; walking the Survivors Walk and donating items for their fundraisers.

Everyone who met her was greeted with a beautiful smile and stunning sky blue eyes. Shari truly had a gift to offer any one who befriended her. In her spare time, Shari crocheted baby and adult hats, scarves and head coverings for other cancer victims. She was an avid reader and book reviewer. Gardening, blogging and sewing were other enjoyments in her life.

She passed under the loving care of Penny, the Erlandsons and Hospice of Big Rapids.

She was preceded in her passing by her Dad in 2011 and Mom in 2014.

A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at her church home, Immanuel Lutheran Church 726 Fuller St., Big Rapids.

Shari has requested in lieu of flowers donations may be made to ARC (Animal Rescue Coalition) 18400 220th Ave. Big Rapids, MI 49307, Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center, 4499 220th Ave. Reed City, MI 49677, or Immanuel Lutheran Church.


Lawerance Baumunk of Big Rapids

Lawerance “Red” Baumunk, 95, of Big Rapids passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. He was born September 3, 1920 to Harry and Bessie (Robinson) Baumunk, in a little tar-papered shack at the end of a two-track nine miles east and north of Big Rapids, now known as 135th Avenue. At the age of six he started school walking 2 ½ miles, the last ½ mile on a path through the woods. He graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1939 and then farmed with his father, Harry Baumunk, until 1950, having one of the top Guernsey herds in Michigan.

In 1954, Red married Elaine (Colley) Bechaz, a widow with four children. They later had four more children. In 1959, Red and Elaine purchased a dairy farm southwest of Big Rapids where they milked cows and had a riding stable. Later, he raised registered paint horses and helped organize the Northern Michigan Paint Horse Club, of which he was a founding member.

In 1971, he started selling real estate and in 1978, along with three others, started Big Rapids Realty. In 1996, he sold his interest to Mark Wentland but remained working there until retiring at the age of 83.
Red never really had any hobbies, but loved the outdoors, the land, the woods, and raising colts. If he ever had a hobby, it was getting on his bulldozer and digging out a stump, a stone, or just making a trail through the woods.

Red is survived by Elaine, his wife of 61 years; six children, Karyl “Sis” (Bill) Cahill of Grand Rapids, Gary “Butch” Bechaz of Big Rapids, Joe (Mary) Bechaz of Big Rapids, Bonnie Doorenbos of Grand Rapids, Randy Baumunk of Big Rapids, and Jeff (Jean) Baumunk of Big Rapids; fourteen grandchildren; and twenty-nine great grandchildren. Also surviving is one sister, Eleanor Baumunk of Big Rapids, plus several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Red was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Harry and Rodney; two sisters, Laura Gould and Lulu Gilmore; as well as one brother, Glenn Stockwell.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Trinity Fellowship Church in Big Rapids with William Routley and Father Dan DePew officiating. Visitation will be Sunday, October 18th from 3-5 pm and Monday, October 19th from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm.


Coral Adele Bonham of Chippewa Lake

Coral Adele Bonham, of Chippewa Lake, passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at the age of 63. Coral was born on April 11, 1952 in Grant Township, Mecosta County to the late Robert E. and Adele D. (Erdman) Johansen. She graduated in 1970 from Chippewa Hills High School in Remus. On July 26, 1980 she married Charles L. Bonham and they made their home in Chippewa Lake where they raised three boys.

Coral taught ceramic classes and loved arts and crafts, especially airbrush painting. She owned and operated, Suits’ Us, a salon, ceramics and crafts store, downtown Barryton for numerous years. Coral was a member of the Remus Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Coral was beloved by the family she leaves behind. They include her husband Charlie of Chippewa Lake; three sons, Eldon (Denise) Palmer of Rockford, Travis (Angie) Palmer and Joshua Bonham both of Chippewa Lake; two brothers, Kurt (Glenda) Johansen of Chippewa Lake and Rick Johansen of Barryton; eight grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

In celebration of Coral’s life the family will have a luncheon at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at the Chippewa Lake Community Building (the corner of 105th and 19 Mile Road) in Chippewa Lake.


Jean Marie Rardin of Big Rapids

Jean Marie Rardin, age 72 of Big Rapids, passed away peacefully Monday, October 12, 2015 at home, surrounded by her beloved family. She was born February 25, 1943 in Chicago, the daughter of Elden “Al” and Eulalia “Winnie” (Butler) Johnson.

Jean moved to Big Rapids when she was only three years old. She attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Big Rapids, then Marywood Academy in Grand Rapids and she graduated from Big Rapids High School. Jean married Fredrick Rardin on April 4, 1964 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Big Rapids. She was a devoted army wife throughout her husband’s career; they retired in 1980 and returned to Big Rapids to live.

Jean was a lifelong devout catholic and a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Big Rapids. She was very active in her community, working hard and volunteering wherever the need be. Jean had an unsurpassed commitment to the VFW ladies Auxiliary. She was a life member, serving locally and on the district, state and national levels. Jean held many offices, including the State Presidency and the National Office. She also was a member of the DAV Ladies Auxiliary and the VFW Cooties.

She is survived by her loving family including; 5 children;
Joan (James) Peterson of Big Rapids,
Theresa (Willie) Sutton of Reed City,
Robert Rardin of Big Rapids,
Fredrick (Deborah) Rardin Jr. of Reed City,
Annette (Victor) Wooldridge of Pontiac, IL; 20 grandchildren;32 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren, with one on the way in the spring; a brother, William (Claudia) Johnson of Paris; many nieces, nephews, cousins; her VFW family and many dear, lifelong friends.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Joseph Johnson; two sisters, Elizabeth “Betty” Gilchrist and Arlene VanAlstine.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 16, 2015 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids with Father Charles J. Schwartz officiating. The family will greet friends on Thursday, October 15th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a VFW Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. followed by a Scripture Service. The family will also greet friends at the Church on Friday one hour prior to Mass.


Charles E. Boboltz of Stanwood

Charles E Boboltz, 91, of Stanwood, MI, lost his battle with esophageal cancer after a valiant fight on Monday, October 12, 2015.

He was born on March 20, 1924, to Erwin and Minna Boboltz in Alpena MI.

He was a World War II veteran serving in the Air Force from February 1942 as a Camera repairman until the end of the war in May 1945 but stayed helping to map the war zone until August 1945.

He married Beverly J Averill on March 17, 1947. They finally settled on the west side of Grand Rapids to raise their family. Fishing and camping trips to Ludington State Park became the highlights of the summers. He worked for Oliver Machinery, in the Engineering Department, for more than 40 years

During the 60's he became interested in Amateur Radio, getting his ham license with the call sign WA8KEP. Being active in the Grand Rapids Amateur Radio Association, GRARA; Charles held the offices of President and Treasurer. In addition to GRARA’s community involvement they assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Red Cross for disaster aid.

When fall came he could always be found at the hunting camp. In 1934 his father, with a group of men, formed the Wildcat Hunt club located on 960 acres in Alcona County. He was a successful hunter providing his family with meat for the table. In addition to all the improvements he made over the years to the camp he was Secretary/Treasurer for the Club resigning in 2012 after holding that office for 30 years.

In 1970 the country was calling to Chuck and Bev and they purchased land on the end of a dead end road in Belmont, MI. There he spent much of his time outdoors or in his barn doing various woodworking and metalworking projects. In 2001 again the wild outdoors called and they moved to Stanwood MI. There he spent his time working on his 82 acres with his dog Red for companionship. He loved all the animals roaming the woods feeding many deer outside his window every winter. Every year he would cut and split up to 10 cords of wood for his dear friend Phebe Cousineau. He described it as getting his “exercise”, even spitting 4-5 cords of wood this year. A remarkable man who will be missed by many who have known him.

Charles is survived by his son, Robert (Karen) Boboltz of Rockford, MI and daughter, Patricia (Charles) Tennant of Stanwood, MI; also a grandson, David (Melissa) Boboltz and great-grandson, Brett of Kalamazoo, MI and a granddaughter, Kim Boboltz of Romeoville, IL. A brother, Lee Boboltz of Cincinnati OH and a Sister, Iris (Bob) Arthur of Alpena MI.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 58 years Beverly, who passed away in October, 2005.

Per his instructions Cremation has taken place.

The family wishes to give special thank you to his Spectrum Hospice team for their care of him in the last few months of his life. Also a big thank you to all the staff at Evergreen Terrace for the wonderful care they gave to him during his stay there.

Donations can be made in his name to Big Rapids Friends of the Library or Spectrum Hospice. Envelopes may be obtained at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids where arrangements were made.


June Lois Peterson of Big Rapids

June Lois (Een) Peterson, 88, died peacefully on Oct 9, 2015.

She was born on June 15, 1927 in Chicago, IL, the beloved daughter of Carl and Mabel (Carlson) Een who predeceased her. June was also preceded in death by an infant brother Roy.

A native of Chicago, she graduated from the Augustana School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse.
In 1951, June married Norman G. Peterson and in 1957, they moved to Big Rapids, where they resided until recent years when health necessitated a move to Muskegon.

She is survived by her husband Norman, their children Paul (Tamara), Little Rock, AR; Diane Day (Keith), Omaha, NE; Nancy Damon (Don), Darien, IL; Sue Ostoin (Keith), Muskegon; Alice Routley (David), Big Rapids. Survived also by 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, 2 nieces, a nephew and beloved cousin, Edythe Hinkston.

Funeral service for June will be 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Big Rapids with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating.

Visitation will be Monday from 6:00- 8:00 p.m. at the Mohnke Funeral Home, family will also greet friends one hour prior to service at the church.
Interment to follow service at Highland View Cemetery.

Memorials contributions may be made in June’s name to Mercy Health VNS and Hospice of Muskegon or St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Service Guild or Choir Fund.


Sherwin J. Venema of Bitely

Sherwin J. Venema, age 75, passed away on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at his home in Bitely. He was born on February 4, 1940 to Sidney and Jeanette (Kamps) Venema on the farm in Jamestown, MI. Sherwin worked in the muck for Superior Brand Produce in Hudsonville. He attended Hudsonville High School and graduated in 1958. Sherwin graduated with a B.A. Degree in 1962 from Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Sherwin met and married Marilyn Schafer in 1960.

Sherwin went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Law School in 1965 and had the distinction of being the first man hired into Kent County Prosecutor’s Office before passing the Bar. He was appointed to the Grandville Municipal Court Judgeship in 1968 and opened a private law firm which functioned as the Grandville Municipal Court. While he was judge he helped organize a complete court system for the 59th District Court in cities of Grandville and Walker and was elected to the new office. Sherwin was also active in the State court reorganization. He obtained federal funds and formed a professional probation service for the Cities of Walker and Grandville.

Sherwin was a member of the Municipal Judges Association of Michigan where he served as the President for two years and Treasurer for three. He also was a member of the Kent County Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Conference of Special Court Judges, the District Court Judges of Michigan Association and the Grandville Rotary.

Sherwin retired on December 31, 1998 from the 59th District Court. He and Marilyn made their home in Bitely in 2001 where he enjoyed hunting and gardening.

Sherwin is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Marilyn; two children, Laurie Newkirk of Paris, Steve (Paula) Venema of White Cloud; four grandchildren, Keith Henry, Steven (Allison) Henry, Alyssa Venema and Sam Venema; five great-grandchildren, Gavin, Levi, Lily Henry and Austin and Jordon Henry; his brother, Alton (Jan) of Hudsonville; a very special Aunt Gladys Bosgraaf and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Sherwin was preceded in death by his parents, Sid and Jeanette; son-in-law, Brian Newkirk and two brothers, Gary Venema and Jerry Venema.

Funeral services will be held at 1PM on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the Baldwin Congregational Church (870 Beech St.) with the family greeting friends one hour prior to services from Noon until 1PM. Interment will be at Lilley Township Cemetery, Newaygo Co.
Visitation will be at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids, from 5PM to 8PM on Monday, October 12, 2015.


Ann Therese Burns of Reed City

Ann Therese Burns, a longtime resident of Reed City and Big Rapids, died peacefully in her sleep on October 5, 2015. She was 83 years old. She was surrounded by many of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Many of her lifelong friends knew her as Mitzi.

Mitzi was born in Royal Oak, MI on April 14, 1932. A depression era child, she spent her childhood skating on the frozen ponds, playing in the woods, running with the neighborhood kids, and playing sports near her family home on Connecticut Street.
The oldest of six children, she cared for her siblings, while also assisting her mother with many of the chores of that era, many of which were without the ease of modern appliances. While Mitzi was being courted by her future husband Jack, they enjoyed going to the theatre, ice-skating, hot fudge sundaes at Woolworth's, and ballroom dancing while listening to the big bands of that era.

Following the conclusion of WWII, and with her high school days behind her, Mitzi married her childhood sweetheart, John H. Burns (Jack), of Ferndale, MI. Mitzi & Jack began their married life in a modest, one bedroom house on Brocton Street, which did not have an indoor bathroom. A newer house on Pickford Street in Detroit would be her next home. They quickly began building their family, and over the course of 17 years, Mitzi delivered seven children. Mitzi raised her children by creatively making the most of the limited salary of a Detroit Police Officer.

Following the Detroit inner-city riots, Jack moved his family north and settled in a large farmhouse in Reed City. Mitzi taught her children to share, and to “be happy with what you've got”! She was a mother, foremost, but also the head of the household, a strict disciplinarian, and the leader who ushered her children to Catholic Church and Catechism. Mitzi necessarily sewed, knitted, and crocheted to provide her children clothing, especially for the cold winter months in Michigan. One of her techniques was to tether the mittens, knitting a long 'chord' which would go through the sleeves of her children's coats to prevent losing their hand made mittens. She was a prolific cook; her home was always filled with the warm smell of homemade soups, stews, sauces, and bread. She cooked on a wood burning stove. She was the mother who insisted on her children eating everything on their plate, so “not to waste.” Mitzi's natural gift of caring for children was showcased by her outreach to children from broken homes. As a foster parent to a multitude of children, it was all too common for her to receive a call in the dark of night to 'rescue' a child until they were safe to go home, or be placed in a permanent foster home. Several of her foster children found long term residence in her home, which allowed her natural benevolence to love and care for them as if they were her own.

She was an avid reader with a keen mind. She didn't forget birthdays, anniversaries, or other events of those within her circle. Besides tormenting her children by her perpetual 'mothering', Mitzi's greatest passion was her beloved Detroit Tigers baseball team. She was fiercely loyal, and it was very rare she would miss a Tiger's broadcast. When away from home, she was typically seen donning her portable radio and headset so not to miss a single inning. She had privilege to attend World Series games at Tiger Stadium in 1968 and 1984. In 1985, Mitzi & Jack sold their family farm, downsized, and moved to Big Rapids. They enjoyed traveling to visit their children in various states, attending Jack's musical festivals, and participating in numerous family events. Together, they celebrated their 60-year anniversary of marriage.

She was both complex, and very sharp. Very little got past her, even when her children believed themselves so clever. She was knowledgeable about many things, and was remarkably capable until the very end. Her greatest test came after Jack's severe stroke, where she modeled compassion while tirelessly caring for him. Her love and devotion of family was never in question, even during those darker years following her husband's, and children's deaths, when she was consumed with sorrow. Her ability to rebound and actively nurture, love, and parent her children and grandchildren was a testament to her endurance and strength. Few may have ever understood how difficult that period was for her. She had to struggle to find a way to be in this world without her partner of 60 years and that was very hard for her. She never quit being a mom!

Mitzi & Jack had seven children, Katherine (Daniel) Dysarz, Canadian Lakes, MI; Kristine (Robert) Doyle, Holland, MI; John Patrick Burns; Susan Burns, Canadian Lakes; Sally (Dale) Welborn; John Robert Burns, Mobile, AL; Brigitt (Jack) Enos, Reed City. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert L & Katherine D McMasters, her husband’s parents John B and Edith K Burns, her husband John H Burns (Jack), son John Patrick, and daughter Sally Ilene. Mitzi leaves behind a legacy of compassion to all she encountered. An ambassador of goodwill, she routinely bestowed a generous hand to strangers and family alike.

Consistent with her life's mission, Mitzi donated her body to the University of Michigan for medical research, and the training of future health care providers. A celebration of her life will follow at a time and place to be determined. Her devotion to, and love for her family has enriched the lives of generations to come. Mitzi will be sorely missed, but cheerfully and honorably remembered.


John William Sundquist of Big Rapids

John William Sundquist, 62, of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, October 5, 2015.

He was born January 29, 1953, in Big Rapids, the son of Torrey and Winifred (Mahoney) Sundquist, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1971. A lifelong resident of Big Rapids, John was a driver for over 30 years for the County Area Transit, which is now MOTA.

He was a member of AFSCME Local #1865. John enjoyed gardening, and loved animals, especially dogs.

He was preceded in death by his parents. Surviving are his brother Tom of Big Rapids, his good friend Pat Sundquist of Mecosta, 2 step-children, Lindy and Ron Wrobbel; his uncle Don (Gaynor) Mahoney; and several cousins.

A celebration of John’s life will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2015, at the Big Rapids AmVets Post #1941.


Beverly Ellen Brack of Canadian Lakes

Beverly Ellen Brack of Canadian Lakes (age 76) went home to be with the Lord on Friday, October 2, 2015 after battling brain cancer. Beverly was born in Big Rapids in 1938, the daughter of Dorothy and Roy Laser.

On February 23, 1957 she married Thurston “Dick” Brack. They celebrated 58 years of marriage. Together they had five children, Philip (Lisa), Susan (James), Ronald (Kathy), Michael (Renee) and Steven. Beverly is also survived by five siblings, Shirley, Venita (James), Kenneth, Gordon and Nancy (Larry) and an abundance of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Beverly was a registered nurse and upon retiring, moved to Canadian Lakes in 1992. She was an avid golfer; she also loved to cook, sew, go fishing, gardening and watching the wildlife go through her backyard.

To honor Beverly’s wishes there will be no memorial service and cremation has taken place.

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the American Cancer Society. Envelopes may be obtained at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids where arrangements were made.


Marianne Christine Jones of Mecosta

Marianne Christine Jones, 74, passed away at her home on School Section Lake on Friday, October 2, 2015.

Our inspirational, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother led a spectacular life that began on February 17, 1941 in Greenville, Ohio. The daughter of Marvin and Dorothy Jones, she soon moved to Evart, Michigan with her sisters Bobbi Nigro (Gloversville, NY) and Becky Komminsk (Lima, OH). It was here that she learned the positive attitudes and values of growing up in a small town. She became an amazing seamstress and bowler and learned to appreciate what you have, not what you don’t have.

At Evart High School, she met Jack Jones (deceased) who she later married and raised 4 boys: Jack Jones (Paris, MI), Kevin Jones (Troy, MI), Tony Jones (Rockford, MI) and Tim Jones (Heber City, UT). In addition to her sons, she is survived by 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Marianne did not sit still through life and continuously sought out new challenges and adventures. She taught at the Big Rapids High School, until retiring in 1993. Throughout her life and after her retirement, she surprised us all by becoming a line dancing instructor, a dream interpreter, a spiritual adventurer and a world traveler. She lived for her annual ‘Grandma Camp’ at the lake, any time with her family, weekly euchre at the Senior Center, or a nightly round of Words with Friends.

Before an accident six years ago that left her paralyzed, she once again surprised us all by announcing she was going to walk from Mecosta, MI to Greenville, OH, a journey of over 300 miles to raise money for the Mecosta County Senior Center and the Hospice of Darke County, Ohio. Of course, she completed the journey and taught us all another lesson in life about dedication and giving. After her accident, she continued to think of others more than herself by spending time at the Mecosta County Commission on Aging and Senior Center playing euchre and volunteering as the Grand Marshal at the Walk for Warmth. Her courage, drive and perseverance through this challenging time of her life should be an inspiration for all.

A celebration of Marianne’s life will be held at the Falcon Head Golf Club, 13120 Northland Drive in Big Rapids, on Tuesday, October 6 from 4 to 7pm. A buffet dinner will be served at 5pm. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to be made to the Mecosta County Commission on Aging and Senior Center.


Margaret B. Nickles Big Rapids

Margaret B. Nickles, 97, of Big Rapids, passed away on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at Butterworth Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

She was born on October 29, 1917, in Detroit, MI. She was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Burma Warnke; her husband of 57 years, Lewis Burbank Nickles; and one son, Roger Allen Nickles.

She is survived by her son, Jerry E. Nickles of Paris, MI; her daughter, Dr. Beverly JN Bowen, PhD. of Mechanicville, Maryland; two grandsons, Edward A. Bowen of Burlington, IA and David E. Bowen of Crofton, MD; and three great-grandchildren, Jasemine A. Bowen and Justin R. Bowen, both of Clarksville, TN and Madison L. Bowen of California, MD.

She was a Life member of Order of Eastern Star, Crescent #47 in Stanton, MI and a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. Honoring her wishes, cremation will take place and her burial will be in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon, MI.

Those planning a memorial contribution are asked to consider either her current church, Reed City United Methodist Church or Hospice.


Nancy J. Yarrick of Barryton

Nancy J. Yarrick, age 69 of Barryton, passed away Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born March 23, 1946 in Holland, the daughter of Frank and Vivian (Essebaggers) Bolhuis.

Nancy graduated from Holland High School in 1964. She continued her education at Central Michigan University earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology and master’s degree in education. Nancy married James Yarrick on August 26, 1967 in Holland and together they moved to Barryton where they raised their daughter, Patti.

She began her lifetime career, of over 40 years, in the Chippewa School District in 1968. Nancy was a dedicated teacher, Dean of Students and currently the Chippewa Hills Board of Education President. She was also the Band Treasurer and the “Band Mom” for most of the students that went through the Chippewa Hills Band Program. Nancy spent years traveling with the band assisting her husband with coordinating the events. She eventually became the travel agent for the school groups after she retired. Nancy was a member of the Michigan Education Association and the Chippewa Hills Education Association.

Nancy enjoyed her flower gardens, cross stitching, golfing and reading. She loved spending time with her family and attending her grandchildren’s events. Nancy will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Nancy is survived by her husband of 48 years, James Yarrick of Barryton; daughter, Patti (Joe) Woodruff of Howell; two grandchildren, Abbey and Brady Woodruff who called her “Gramslam” and “G-Ma”; sister, Nickie (Ron) Reeves of Hamilton; several nieces and nephews; and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.

A celebration of life will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Chippewa Hills Intermediate School Gymnasium, 3102 Arthur Road, Remus, MI 49340 with Pastor Richard Taylor officiating. The family will greet friends from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. when the service begins Saturday at the school.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Chippewa Hills Board of Education for scholarship funds in Nancy’s name.


Mary R. Messer of Stanwood

Mary R. Messer, age 56 of Stanwood, passed away Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at Spectrum Health - Butterworth Campus.

Mary was born August 12, 1959 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Raymond and Marlene (TerMolen) Roszell. Mary had made her home in the Stanwood area for over 25 years.

She is survived by her beloved husband, Lee Messer; eight children; 26 grandchildren; parents, Raymond and Marlene Roszell; siblings, Joe, Annie, David, and Christine and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by an aunt and uncle, Chuck and Betty Roszell, a cousin, Sue; a brother, Richard and a daughter-in-law, Chana Messer.

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Friday, October 2nd at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor David A. Struyk officiating. The family will greet friends on Friday from 11:00 a.m. until services at 1:00 p.m.


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