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Obituaries Archives for 2015-12

Ricky Gan Dingwell of Rodney

Rodney – Ricky Gan Dingwell, 63, of Rodney, passed away Wednesday, December 30, 2015, at home in the presence of his family. He was born on February 23, 1952 in Lansing, Michigan the son of Robert E. and Elnor v. (McQuay) Dingwell.

Ricky married Sandra K. Reed in Mason, Ingham County on March 16, 1979. He graduated from Lansing Sexton High School. Ricky and Sandy moved to Rodney in 1981.


He is survived by his wife Sandy, one daughter, Monica and her fiancée (Bill Boon), two granddaughters, Alyssa and Samantha and one great grandson, Gunnar; his twin, Vicky (Tim) Davenport, three sisters, Nancy Doell, Sharon Joslyn, one brother Dennis (Cherie) Dingwell plus his mother-in-law, Lucille Mosher, any nieces and nephews.


Ricky was preceded in death by his parents. There are no plans at this time for memorial services


Helen G. Rouman of Big Rapids

Helen G. Rouman, 84, of Big Rapids fell asleep in the Lord on December 28, 2015.


She was born on October 8, 1931 in Merrill, WI, the daughter of George D. and Katherine (Kalifice) Papadakis.

Helen loved working with children.


Helen was an elementary teacher in the Big Rapids school system children. She also worked as a classroom aide well beyond normal retirement. Helen and her husband, George did almost everything together, and they enjoyed attending Cardiac Rehab together at the former Mecosta County General Hospital.


Helen is survived by George, her husband of 59 years, one son, Lee (Cathie) Rouman, one daughter, Ann (Rick) Lapham, 4 grandchildren; Ambre and Blake Forslund, and Christopher and Aslyn Lapham plus 3 great grandchildren, Demitri, Noah and Ana. Also surviving is one sister, Irene Ballas, plus many cousins and nieces and nephews.


Visitation will be from 4-6:00 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


A Greek Orthodox Trisagion prayer and funeral service will begin at 10:45 a.m., Monday,

January 4, 2016 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 323 S. State Street, Big Rapids with Reverend Father James Berends of the Greek Orthodox Church officiating .


Interment will take place at the Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone, MI.


Helen’s family extends a special thank you to all family and friends who visited, sent cards and prayed for them.

Memorial contributions may be made in Helen’s name to Angels of Action.


Carol Jean Kelley of Big Rapids

Carol Jean Kelley, aged 67, of Big Rapids, passed away in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, December 22, 2015. 


Carol was born July 6, 1948, in Traverse City, MI. She was preceded in death by her younger Brother, George Teberg Jr.; her stepfather George Teberg; her cherished mother, Billie Teberg; her son-in-law, Tony Hicks, who adored her; and Ward Grant, Jr, her husband of 31 years. She is survived by her children, Kelly Hicks, Sheri (Paul) Strpko, and Bob (Amanda) Grant, all of whom felt the love and pride that Carol had for each of them, never doubting that their mom would give them the world if she could. 


Carol will be sorely missed by her brothers Tom (Sandy) and Jerry Kelley, who loved their big sister with all of their hearts, as well as several sisters and brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews, each of whom was uniquely special and dear to her heart. She will also be missed by many who affectionately considered her their "second mom," especially Micki, Traci and RJ. 


Carol had many special "girlfriends" whose friendships meant the world to her. Her lifelong best friend Sara, who accompanied her through all of life's ups and downs; her sister-in-law Cher; and special friends Linda and Jeannie, who sewed, shopped, played cards and laughed with her, bringing her great happiness. 


Carol's greatest joy in life was undoubtedly rooted in the deep love she felt for her grandchildren, each of whom held a special place in her heart. Her tremendous pride in them was abundantly clear, expressed through her constant devotion and care for them. Grandma Carol attended nearly every sporting, academic, and church event her grandchildren were involved in.  Adam (Meghan & great grandson Thomas Paul), Lauren and Katelyn Strpko, Hannah Scheid, Tim Hicks, Lance and Kelby Strpko, Claudia Francke and Mariah Hodges all knew that they were blessed to receive Carol's love. Her non-judgmental heart, compassion for others, and generosity of spirit provided them with an outstanding role model; she will live on in each of their acts of kindness towards others.


While her sudden earthly departure has shaken her family and friends, leaving a tremendous void in their lives, they are also comforted knowing that Carol is now at peace, freed from suffering and in the comforting hands of God, who we know will cherish her just as we have. Rest in peace, sweet Carol.


A Mass of Christian burial for Carol will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 29th at St. Mary's Catholic Parish in Big Rapids. This will be preceded by visitation for family and friends on Monday, December 28th from 5-9:00 p.m. at Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids and also the family will greet friends at10:00 a.m. (prior to Mass) at St. Mary's Church on Tuesday December 29th. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions in memory of Carol Jean Kelley be directed to the Renucci Hospitality House, care of


Sardis Stanly Griffin, 88 of Big Rapids

Sardis Stanly Griffin, 88 of Big Rapids passed away December 24, 2015 at home while in hospice care after a short battle with cancer.


He was born October 18, 1927 in Morley, the son of Lewis and Murna (McKeun) Griffin. Sardis attended the Morley High School before dropping out (a common act of Patriotism in those days) to join the U.S. Marines during WWII. He proudly served overseas in both Japan and China during his tour of duty. He later received his Diploma from Big Rapids High School in 1978.


Sardis worked on the High Lines many years until his employment started at Ferris State University where he was a Heavy Equipment Operator until his retirement in 1990.

In 1974, Sardis married Berta Lou Johansen-Bowman (deceased) and brought together a blended family including Terry Griffin, Evon Fetterly, Robin Fair, Don Berkee (deceased), Cheryl Conley (deceased), Tim Bowman, Sandy Crandall, Terry Bowman, Vicky Rocky, Barry Bowman, and Craig Bowman.

Sardis is survived by one brother Gerald (Marie) Griffin. He was also the brother of now deceased, Addison (Janet) Griffin, and Lois (Ward) Neal.


He was an active member of the 3rd Avenue Methodist Church until his recent illness that kept him from attending. He had many good friends from his former home located in Jennings Trailer Park, prior to moving to “The Brook” where he made many new friends and was very well cared for this last year of his life.


A funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Kim Delong officiating. Sardis’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in the spring at Highland View Cemetery.


Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Hospice of Michigan or the 3rd Avenue Methodist Church.


Billie Jo Holloway-Johnston of Reed City

Billie Jo Holloway-Johnston, 57, of Reed City, passed away Monday, December 21, 2015 at her home.


She was born December 12, 1958 in Charlotte, MI. to William Sr. and Loretta Joyce (Tolliver) Holloway. She married Jeffery Johnston on March 22, 2007 in Reed City. Billie Jo was naturally a caretaker. She did childcare for many years and then moved into elderly care. She enjoyed spending time with her family, and her grandchildren meant the world to her.


Survivors include her husband, Jeff; children, Jason (Nancy) Johnston and Rebecca (Jeremiah) Shipton, both of Cadillac; brothers, Michael (Margaret) Holloway of Boon and William Holloway, Jr. of Texas; grandchildren Haili Lynn Cunningham, Lewis Allen McBrian, Jessica Leigh Johnston, Kaitlyn Brooke Johnston, Haylea Elizabeth Smith, Brittney Nicole Smith, and Mallory Rose Shipton; nephews, Michael David Holloway, Jr., William Jared Holloway III, and Joseph David Holloway, Jr.; niece Brandi Jo Holloway, and long time friend Tammy Etheridge. She was preceded in death by her parents, and brother Joseph David Holloway.


Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 26 at McDowell Funeral Home in Reed City, concluding with a funeral service at 6:30 p.m. with Pastor Bryan McConnell officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Cadillac. Memorial


Roger Troupe, 82, of Grand Haven, passed away Dec. 16th

Roger James Troupe, age 82, of Grand Haven passed away Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at 
home. He was born November 21, 1933, in Big Rapids, to George Joseph and Lina (Larkins) 
Troupe, and married Shirley McCambridge on August 22, 1959, in Greenville. She preceded him 
in death on April 17, 2008.
Roger went to Ferris State University attaining his Bachelor’s Degree, and received his Master’s 
Degree from Michigan State University. He worked as Ottawa Area Intermediate School District 
Superintendent for 22 years, before retiring in 1990. He served his country in the Army, and 
was a member of the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post # 28.  Roger was an avid hunter 
and fisherman.
He is lovingly remembered by three daughters: Kathy (Mike) Smith of Grand Haven, Karen 
(John) Lux of Brighton, and Karol (Mike) Ostrowski of Northville; two sons, R.J. (Cami) Troupe of 
Fennville, and Jeff (Amber) Troupe of Belmont; nine grandchildren, Alison, Mallory, and 
Adrienne Smith, Nathan and Michaelyn Lux, Eric, Claire, and Jennifer Ostrowski, and Liam 
Troupe; his sister, Betty Murtagh; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in 
death by two sisters, Joan Hamelund and Mary Ann Troupe; and three brothers: Wallace, James 
and David Troupe.
The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2015, at St. Patrick’s- St. 
Anthony Catholic Church with Rev. Fr. William Langlois as celebrant. Military honors will be 
provided by the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post #28 Honor Guard. Friends may meet 
the family from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, December 22, at VanZantwick Bartels Kammeraad Funeral 
Home. Interment will be in Lake Forest Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Hospice of North 
Ottawa Community are appreciated. Share memories with the family at their online guest book 
at The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the loving 
staff of American House and Hospice of North Ottawa Community.


Florence A. Clark of Big Rapids

Florence A. “Flo” Clark, age 102 of Big Rapids, formerly of Grand Haven, passed away Saturday, December 19, 2015. She was born January 1, 1913 in Tower, MI the daughter of Charles and Jenny (Mills) Schoolcraft. Flo married Edwin Clark and together they made their home in the Paris area. They later moved to Owosso where they owned and operated a Gas Station and General Store.


Flo was employed by the Owosso Public Schools for over 20 years, retiring as the cafeteria manager. Following the death of her husband in 1972, Flo moved to Grand Haven to live until returning to the Big Rapids area to be near her family.


She is survived by her son, Ken Clark of Hersey; two daughters, Beverly Morrow, Sally (Richard) Tarolli all of Highpoint, NC; nine grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Sylvia Wydeck of Baldwin and many nieces and nephews.


Florence was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Edwin Clark, an infant son Edwin Clark; a sister, Vera Chessey; three brothers, Harvey, LaVern, and Al Schoolcraft.


Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.

The family will greet friends one hour prior to services on Tuesday at the funeral home.


Burial will be at West Haven Cemetery in Owosso.


Michael Wade Hainley of Grant Center

Michael Wade Hainley age 57, of Grant Center, passed away Thursday, December 17, 2015 at his home, surrounded by his beloved family. He was born September 25, 1958 in Mt. Clemens. Michael was a graduate of Ferris State University and had been employed by Eagle Village for the past 29 years.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Dixie Hainley; three children, Dusti Green of Auburn, IN, Lyndsie Hainley of Evart, Christopher Hainley of Evart; six grandchildren, Haidyn Simmer, Gavin Simmer, MaKyle Green, Rylan Hainley, Emmerik Hainley, MaKenzi Green; his parents, Kermit R. and Twila J. (Beery) Hainley of Big Rapids; two sisters, Cathey (Steve) Prudhomme of Hart, Marjie (Jim) Wirth of Reed City and several nephews.

Preceded in death by his brother, David Hainley and a nephew, Ryan Prudhomme.

A Celebration of Life Ceremony will take place 11:00 a.m. December 22, 2015 at the Eagle Village Chapel.


Henryetta Schlegel of Remus

Henryetta “Micky” Schlegel, age 83 of Remus, passed away on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 in Grand Rapids. Micky was born on March 8, 1932 in Isabella Co., Lincoln Twp., Michigan, to Chester and Marvel (Allen) Parmalee. Micky enjoyed crocheting and painting when she was able. She loved dogs and offered dog boarding for a number of years.


Micky is survived by her husband Paul who she was devoted to. Together with Paul they have eight living children; Lois (Jack) Adair, Betty Meeker, Chuck (Dawn) Parmalee, Marty Bellmer, John (Janice) Schlegel, Joan Murawski, Louis “Sonny” (Becky) Bellmer and Don (Brenda) Schlegel. She has three sisters, Helen Lawens, Ida Mae Conroy and Gladys (Gene) Wischmeyer; and numerous, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews that survive her.


Micky was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Marvel; grandson, Riley Schlegel; two children, Steve Schlegel and Ada (Lyric) Houska; and sisters, Geraldine Parmalee and Betty Wischmeyer.


Cremation has taken place through the care of the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton. There will be no services at this time.


Edward Stuart Burch of Big Rapids

Edward Stuart Burch, 79, of Big Rapids, passed away Friday, December 18, 2015, with his loving family by his side.


Edward was born January 1, 1936 to Vernon and Myrtle Burch in Big Rapids.  He graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1954 and went on to obtain a civil-engineering degree from Michigan State University.  After college, Ed served in the United States Army, stationed at Camp Century in Greenland.  While working with the Bureau of Public Roads in 1963, he married Dorothy Buckeye, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Ed was an active member of the Big Rapids community and St. Mary Parish.  He was very proud of being an alumni of Big Rapids High School and served on the alumni board for many years.  He was also a 50 year member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1300 in Big Rapids and a 4th degree Knight in Assembly #2773.   Ed took delight in spending time with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching Michigan State Spartan football.


He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and children;  Mark (Maria) of Clinton Township, Theodore (Alison) of Mason, Joseph (Deana) of North Augusta, SC, Thomas (Sara) of Plover, WI; Jeanne (Dan) Rice of Lake Leelanau,  Margaret (Jason)  Bomia of Marshall, and Charles (Diana) of Jennison.  He is also survived by 23 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and several brothers and sisters-in-laws. Ed was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Theodore and Vernon.


The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 23, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Big Rapids, with Father Michael Burt celebrant.  Interment will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery.  Visitation will take place Tuesday, December 22, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary School or the Big Rapids High School Alumni Association.


Maurice Dale Bowman of Big Rapids

Big Rapids – Maurice Dale “Butch” Bowman, 70, of Big Rapids, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at home while in hospice care, after a lengthy illness.


He was born July 8, 1945 at Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, the son of Maurice D. and Violet L. (LaValley) Bowman.  Butch was raised on a dairy farm in Big Rapids and attended Morley Stanwood Schools. After graduation in 1963, he went on to attend Ferris State College and graduated with a degree in electronics.  In 1968, he began his career at Ferris as a Television Engineer while he pursued his master’s degree.  In 1984, Butch was hired at Central Michigan University as a Maintenance Supervisor for Public Broadcasting where he worked until he was forced to retire for health reasons in 2001.


Butch was a Colfax Township board member and Treasurer for the NABET Union at CMU.


He enjoyed spending time with his family.  In spite his arthritis, Butch loved doing things with his hands such as woodworking, pottery and lapidary.  He could fix any computer or television problem, and also enjoyed bowling, hunting and fishing.  Butch was able to enjoy his retirement by spending winters in Arizona.

In 1971, Butch married Janet L. Pettit, who survives.  Also surviving are one daughter, Kimberly ( Mike) Bowen; 2 grandsons, Kyle and Evan Bowen who were the lights of his life; two brothers, Marvin (Irene) Bowman, Larry (Dianne) Bowman; one sister; Sally (Chuck) Wolverton; one brother-in-law, John (Mary) Pettit; 3 sisters-in-law, Joyce (Ben) Kinser, Sandra (Tom) Laus, Susan (Seldon) Ross; and many nieces and nephews.  Butch was preceded in death by his parents.


A memorial service will be at 1:00 p.m., today (Monday), December 21, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Pastor Mike Harrison-Haefner from Heartland Hospice officiating. Butch’s family will greet friends at the funeral home beginning at 12:00.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice or the Arthritis Foundation, with envelopes available at the funeral home. 


Monell E. Dukes of Big Rapids

Monell E. Dukes, age 90 of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, December 13, 2015 at her home. Monell went to her Lord and joined her loving husband of 65 years, Dale. She was born December 5, 1925 in southern Michigan the daughter of Dennis and Bessie (Draper) Butler. Monell married Dale B. Dukes on June 19, 1943 and they lived in Freeport for many years.

In 1970, the family moved to the Big Rapids area.
Monell managed the household and raised their five sons while her husband worked at his business. Following retirement, Monell and Dale enjoyed many years of wintering in Florida where they made many dear friends.

Monell was a member of the Rogers Heights Christian Church and attended the Big Rapids Church of Christ for the past several years.

Monell is survived by her five sons; Martin (Sue) Dukes of Pentwater, Randy (Diane) Dukes of Big Rapids, Steven (Mary) Dukes of Stanwood, Perry (Patty) Dukes of Big Rapids, Rex (Tina) Dukes of Stanwood; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, and dear friends, John and Joyce Hilligoss of Big Rapids.

A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 18, 2015 at the Rogers Heights Christian Church. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Monell’s memory may do so to the charity of their choice.


Lenita M. Worthy of Rodney

Lenita M. Worthy, age 76 of Rodney, passed away Thursday, December 10, 2015 at Metron in Big Rapids. She was born May 13, 1939 in Battle Creek, the daughter of Franklin and Ina (VanVleet) Potter. Lenita graduated from Barryton High School in 1957. She married Philip Worthy on August 10, 1957 in Barryton, where they raised their family. Lenita enjoyed knitting, crocheting, fishing, and camping.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Philip Worthy of Rodney; two children, Tammi (Bill) Maxfield of Hersey and Troy (Sharon) Worthy of Barryton; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Lenita was preceded in death by her parents; step-mother, Patricia Potter; and brother, Franklin Potter.

A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 18, 2015 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service on Friday at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at Chippewa Lake Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Lenita’s name to the DAV Big Rapids Chapter #18.


James Edward Morasky of Canadian Lakes

James Edward Morasky, age 79, of Canadian Lakes, passed away on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.  Jim was born May 11, 1936 in Wayne, Michigan, the son of Leonard and Mary (Ciesielski) Morasky.  He was a state champion in track in high school.  After graduation, James went to college and became a high school physical education teacher. 

Jim was an avid elk hunter and a supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  He had a passion for hunting and fishing.

Jim is survived by his children, Mark (Lydia) Morasky and Chris Morasky; grandchildren, Alex, Lauren, and Kodiak; and one brother, Bob (Sandy) Morasky.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

A private memorial will take place at a later date.

“He was a beautiful tree in the forest and we learned a lot from growing in the shadow of his branches.  We will hold our memories and know that nothing truly ends.  When we walk with children in the forests and hear the rustle of the leaves in the wind, we are reminded.”


Ronald Lawrence DePew of the Big Rapids

Ronald Lawrence DePew age 67, a lifelong resident of the Big Rapids community, passed into eternal rest, at his home surrounded by his beloved family on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. He was born October 11, 1948 in Big Rapids the son of Lawrence A. and Margaret J. (Kailing) DePew. Ron was a 1968 Big Rapids High School graduate where he was a member of F.F.A and served as the class secretary. Immediately following graduation Ron enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on the buddy system with his best friend Tom Klasko. Ron was deployed to Vietnam for two years; he served a total of six years in the Marines and earned the rank of Lance Corporal. Following his honorable discharge, Ron returned to Big Rapids where he met Cheryl Trahan at St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids; they were married on September 4, 1970 at St. Michael Church in Remus.

Ron’s first job, following the military, was for his uncle Rich Currie at his gas station in Big Rapids. He was employed by Liberty Dairy in Evart as a truck driver for over 30 years. Ron also drove school bus for the Mecosta – Osceola ISD, he was a foster parent, an in home detention worker for Eagle Village, and most recently had established “Ron’s Lawn Service and Snow Removal” .

Ron was a lifetime and devout member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids where he was a Third Degree Knight of Columbus and had claimed his own special seat in the pews. He was a die hard fan of the Detroit Lions, the University of Michigan, and McDonald’s coffee. Some of Ron’s best years were playing softball for Mr. Karl’s team. He enjoyed his tractors and cows; he had up to 27 head of cattle at one time.

Ron will always be remembered as a man who loved God, his country, and his grateful family who survives, including his wife of over 45 years, Cheryl DePew; children, Julie Ann (David) Cox of Cadillac, Jennifer Ruth (fiancé Fred Lucht) Straub, Mark Ronald (Dawn) DePew of Gaylord; grandchildren, Trevor “Trebber - Mr. Hollywood” Straub, Jordan “Toots” Straub, Travis “T.T.” Cox, Logan “John” Straub, Alyssa “Babycakes” Straub, Ryan “Reverend Ryan” Cox, Jacob “Strubble - Jake from State Farm” DePew, Haylee “ ‘Ol Hayles” DePew, Jayda “Spayda” DePew and Chloe “Papa’s Girl and Wawa’s Girl” Lucht – DePew; four brothers, Michael (Sally) DePew, Karl (Joann) DePew, Tom DePew all of Big Rapids, and Father Dan DePew of Custer; and many nieces and nephews.

Ron was preceded in death by his infant son, Steven Ronald DePew in 1972; his parents, Lawrence and Margaret DePew; two sisters-in-law, Bonnie DePew and Yvonne Misner; and his mother and father-in-law, Don and Marilyn Trahan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 12, 2015 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids with Father Michael Burt officiating. Burial will take place at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Big Rapids with military honors under the auspices of the United States Marine Corps and the Big Rapids American Legion Honor Guard Post 98.

The family will greet friends on Friday, December 11th at St. Mary Catholic Church from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary being prayed at 7:00 p.m. that evening. The family will also greet friends one hour prior to Mass on Saturday at the church.

Memorial contributions in Ron’s name may be given to either, St. Mary Catholic Church, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Wounded Warrior Project.

Arrangements entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


Laurie J. Buckley of Morley

Laurie J. Buckley, age 57 of Morley, passed away Sunday, December 6, 2015 at home with her family by her side. She was born January 26, 1958 in Stanwood, the daughter of Gordon and Kathleen (Jones) Smith. Laurie graduated from Morley Stanwood High School in 1976. She was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church.

Laurie married David Buckley on May 3, 1985 at Christ the King Church in Howard City and together they raised their family in their hometown of Morley. Laurie was a proud and dedicated Seabee wife throughout David’s 26 year career with the United States Navy. She retired after 30 years of postal service in 2007. Laurie was actively involved in the St. Mary Catholic School and was the Deerfield Township Trustee. She enjoyed bird watching and gardening.

Laurie loved spending time with her family and friends; she will be greatly missed. Laurie is survived by her husband of 30 years, David Buckley of Morley; three children, Kelly, Amanda, and Daniel Buckley all of Morley; mother, Kathleen Smith of Morley; brother, Dennis (Kathie) Smith of Morley; many special nieces and nephews; sisters at heart, Julia Cain, Lisa (Richard) Hoisington, Brenda (Scott) Sukstas, Naoma (Mark) Scharlow, and their families; family friends, Dan Cain, Peter III (Helen) Cain, and Brenda (Gary) Lambrix, and their families; as well as many extended family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Gordon Russell Smith; Normagene Totten, and Peter Cain Jr.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made in Laurie’s name to the St. Mary Catholic School in Big Rapids; envelopes are available at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.     


Joan R. (Larsen) Phillips of Morley

Joan R. (Larsen) Phillips, age 53, of Morley, passed away on Monday, December 7, 2015.  She was born on November 10, 1962 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of James R. and Barbara E. Larsen.

Joan is survived by her parents; three sons, William "Bill" (Michele) Leasure, Ryan Leasure, and Justin Cherneski; one daughter, Krystal Jones; five grandchildren, Billy, Alanis, Mikayla, Madison, and Paeton.  Also surviving are four brothers and sisters, Bob Larsen, Ron Larsen, Cindy (Clint) Hough, and Terri Jo Larsen; plus several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be 11:00 am, Friday, December 11, 2015 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Fr. James Wyse officiating.  Family will greet friends from 10:00 am until the time of service. 


Rex Alan Dutcher of Remus

Rex Alan Dutcher, age 53 of Remus, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant. Rex was born on September 16, 1962 in Midland, MI to Robert and Julia (Owen) Dutcher. Rex graduated from Chippewa Hills High School in 1980. He worked at Randell Manufacturing in Weidman before using his talents in carpentry at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant for a number of years before his health issues became too bad. Rex was an avid hunter and fisherman and looked forward to a good snowfall and the opportunity to snowmobile. He was a former member of the Masonic Lodge in Weidman.  

Rex is survived by four children, Josh VanSyckle of AZ, Bryan (Kirstin Wernette) of Remus, Nichole (Linzy) Davis of Raleigh, NC, Cortney (Adam Goodloe) of Mt. Pleasant and their mother Jennie Wernette of Weidman; his father Robert Dutcher of Remus; one sister, Dawn Dutcher of Lansing; four grandchildren, Lily and Jax Dutcher, Mason and Heath Davis and numerous, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who will hold the memories they have of Rex close to their hearts.   Rex was preceded in death by his mom Julia Ann Dutcher in 2009 and his grandparents.  

A memorial luncheon will take place at 2 PM on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at the Sherman Township Hall (corner of Airline and N. Rolland Rd.) in Weidman with Pastor Ron Ives officiating. The family will greet friends from Noon until 2 PM. Memorial contributions in Rex’s name can be made to the Heart Association or the family.

Arrangements and care were entrusted to the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton


Larry L. Metcalf of Rodney

Larry L. Metcalf, age 63 of Rodney, passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at home surrounded by his family. He was born November 18, 1952 at his home in Chippewa Lake, the son of Alvah “Jr.” and Shirley (Jehnzen) Metcalf.

Larry is survived by his children, Heather (Christopher, Carter, Cierra, and Caiden) Coby of Big Rapids, Holly (Bret, Sarah, Jasmine, and Larry Lee II) Metcalf of Rodney, Stephanie (Alexis (Braiden and Sandera)) Clark of Rogers Heights, and Terry Ann (Ramon, Taylor, and Terra) Shaw of Lakeview; siblings, Janice Maxwell of Paris, Dan (Leona) Metcalf of Mulliken, Terri (John) Bloomquist of Big Rapids, and Denise Middleton of Mecosta; many nieces, nephews, and his dog, Duke.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Connie Metcalf; Ramo, Smokey, Shadow, Katie, Jake, Little Bear, and Lionel.

A celebration of life will be held 4:00 p.m. Saturday, December 19, 2015 at the Chippewa Lake Community Building.  

Memorial contributions may be made in Larry’s name to the Indianapolis Zoo in memory of Lionel (please make checks out to Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.).

Arrangements and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.


Shevy Lynn Upson of Big Rapids

Shevy Lynn Upson, 17, of Big Rapids, passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Barton Township.

Shevy was born September 1, 1998 in Big Rapids. She was currently a senior at Big Rapids High School.

Surviving are her mother, Melleta (Plotz) Upson and fiancée Louis Johnson of Cedar Springs; father, Terry Upson and fiancée Rebecca Woolet of Muskegon; sister, Jolynn Upson; brother, Anthony Upson; grandparents, Mike and Melody Plotz of Brohman, Sandra Upson Brown of California, and Robert Upson of Muskegon; and many other family and friends.

A celebration of life will be 11:00 am, Monday, December 7, 2015 at the Amazing Grace Acres Church in Brohman. Her family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 am until the time of service. Memorial contributions in Shevy’s name may be left at the church or the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, where arrangements are entrusted.


Lawrence Emil Baccoli of Rodney

Lawrence Emil “Larry” Baccoli, 62, of Rodney, passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at home with his wife at his side. He was born on June 27, 1953, in Del Ray, the son of Acchuli “Hank” and Norma (Comrie) Baccoli, and graduated from L’Anse Cruse High School in Mt. Clemens in 1971. Larry then attended Ferris State College, earning Associates Degrees in Dental Lab Tech and Machine Tool Trades.

On June 18, 1983, he married Tamie (Marazita) Baccoli, and he took great pride in the home he built for them on Hillview Lake. Larry loved the outdoors, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, his Harley, and the menagerie of animals that shared the Baccoli household and farm over the years. For 17 years, Larry was employed by Meceola Country Club and, most recently, Spring Valley Golf Course. He was a member of the Big Rapids AMVETS Post #1941, and the Eagles Club #2535 of Big Rapids.

Larry is survived by his wife, Tamie; his father, Hank; sister, Lori, and brother, Craig Baccoli, all of Harrison Township; mother-in-law, Delphine Marazita; in-laws Cathy and Richard Beach of Sturgis; Dawn and Richard Russell of Milan; Tina and Lon Morency of Sturgis; several nieces and nephews; and three great nieces and nephews. A special mention to Mike O’Connor, a friend with whom he had many adventures and who comforted him and stood by his side in the final days. He was preceded in death by his mother, Norma.

A celebration of Larry’s life will take place on Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Amvets Post #1941 in Big Rapids. In lieu of flowers, donations in Larry’s name may be made to ARC (Animal Rescue Coalition) of Mecosta County, 18400 220th Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.


Douglas G. Merrill formery of Morely

Douglas G. “Doug” Merrill, 56, of Pierceton, IN passed away at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at I.U. Goshen Hospital in Goshen, IN.


He was born on August 24, 1959 in Hillsdale, MI to Norman R. & Norma Jean (Kailing) Merrill. He graduated in 1977 from Morley Stanwood High School in Morley, MI and received his Associates Degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. He was married on July 15, 1978 in Big Rapids, MI to Nanette Robinson who survives. He moved to the Syracuse area in 1988 from Michigan and to Pierceton in 1998. He was employed at Whimet in Warsaw for several years and formerly worked at Parker Hannifin (Syracuse Rubber Company) in Syracuse, IN for 10 years. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warsaw, formerly attended St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Syracuse, was a former member of the Knights of Columbus and was an avid golfer.


He is survived by: Wife – Nanette Merrill of Pierceton 2 Daughters – Amanda Naragon & Noel (Cody) Balke both of Warsaw 2 Sons – Christopher (Mara) Merrill of Warsaw & Matt Merrill of Pierceton 4 Grandchildren Parents – Norman & Norma Merrill of Big Rapids, MI 3 Sisters – Susan (Tom) Stahl of Portage, MI; Jennifer (Reggie) Norris; & Paula (Jim) Weipert both of Big Rapids, MI 2 Brothers – Jack (Tammy) Merrill of Nebo, KY & Gary (Liz) Merrill of Madison, LA He was preceded in death by his sister – Donna Merrill.

Information for funeral - Visitation will be from 2:00 – 4:00 & 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at Owen Family Funeral Home, St. Rd. 13 & CR 500N, North Webster, IN. A rosary service will take place at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday evening in the funeral home. Funeral mass will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 4, 2015 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 125 N. Harrison St., Warsaw, IN with Father Phil DeVolder of the church officiating. Burial will follow at the Oakwood Cemetery in Warsaw. Preferred memorials may be given to I.U. Goshen Care at Home Hospice, P.O. Box 723, Goshen, IN 46526.


Rogena M. Kingsbury of Reed City

Rogena M. Kingsbury, 73, of Reed City, passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at her home.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Reed City Church of the Nazarene. Visitation will be Friday, December 4 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at McDowell Funeral Home and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service Saturday at the church.


The family requests memorial be made to Eagle Village.


Grace E. Spindler of Sears

Grace E. Spindler, age 79 of Sears, Michigan, Drake, Colorado and Sun City, Arizona, passed away Saturday, November 28, 2015 at her daughter’s home in Remus. She was born October 2, 1936 in Sears, the daughter of Newton and Beulah (Bailey) McMichael. Grace graduated from the Barryton Agricultural High School in 1954. She married James Spindler on January 24, 1955 in Barryton and together they raised their family in Remus, Michigan, Arizona, and Colorado. Grace was a member of the Mecosta VFW Auxiliary Post 2335.

She is survived by four children, Walt Spindler of Longmont, Colorado, Jeff Spindler of Drake, Colorado, Kelly Spindler of Remus, Michigan, and Scott Spindler of Fort Lupton, Colorado; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ruth Bisard of Lansing and Peggy (Pat) Dillon of Beaverton; many nieces and nephews. Grace was preceded in death by her parents; husband, James Spindler; brother, Tom McMichael; sister, Etta Arbogast; and son, Michael Spindler.

A memorial service is being planned for a later date.


Dominque Leah Case-Krugler of Croton

Dominque Leah “Casey” Case-Krugler, age 68 of Croton, passed away Saturday, November 28, 2015, at home surrounded by her family.

She was born December 27, 1946 in Pierrefonds, France the daughter of Ciebert and Genevieve (Mannier) Case. Casey was born into an Army family and had made her home throughout the United States. She was raised by her father and grandmother, Leah Case who was affectionately known as “Nana”.   Even though Casey became a naturalized citizen, she always maintained her dual citizenship with France.

Casey attended the University of Maryland where she earned her paralegal degree. She made her home in Grand Rapids for many years and was employed by Jack Clary, Attorney at Law, for over 20 years. Following retirement, Casey and her husband Richard moved to Croton where she served on the Croton Township Planning Commission and on the Croton Township Library Board.

Casey was very musical and was blessed with a beautiful voice. She was often asked to sing at weddings and special events; her special song was “Georgia”.

Casey is survived by her loving husband, Richard Krugler of Croton and her beloved son, Anthony Krugler of Grand Rapids. She was preceded in death by her parents.

A Celebration of Casey’s Life will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 4, 2015 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Big Rapids with Pastor Clay Bates officiating. A luncheon and time of fellowship will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations in Casey’s name be made to the West Michigan Humane Society, 3077 Wilson NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534.


Harriet C. Beemer of Morley

Harriet C. Beemer, age 82 of Morley, passed away Saturday, November 28, 2015 at her home surrounded by her loved ones. She was born September 9, 1933 at home near Stanwood, the daughter of Carl and Eunice (Yarrington) Lefler. Harriet graduated from Big Rapids High School.

She made her home in the Mecosta County area her entire life. Harriet enjoyed spending many winters in Mission, Texas. She worked at Stanwood Hospital and Independent Bank. Harriet was a member of the Luther Bible Chapel in Morley, where she volunteered at their food bank for many years.

She is survived by her children, Michael (Debbie) Reynolds of Big Rapids, Eileen (Richard) Laschinger of Manchester, Tennessee, Kathaleen (Kurt) Reynolds of Farmington Hills, Gene (Rebecca) Reynolds of Morley, Debbie (Hans) Meyer of Orleans, and Sheila Marr of Florida; 19 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; two sisters, Margaret Gould of Big Rapids and Peggy Lefler of Paris; many nieces and nephews.

Harriet was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lennie D. Beemer; son, Gregory L. Reynolds; three sisters, Maxine Englund, Wanda Cooley, and Helen Traxler; brother, Charles Lefler; infant great-great granddaughter, Calla Nowicki.

A memorial service will take place 12:00 p.m. (noon) Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Luther Bible Chapel, 1018 - 230th Avenue, Morley, with Pastor David Bongard officiating. The family will greet friends one hour prior to services and a luncheon will follow the memorial.

Memorial contributions may be made in Harriet’s name to the Luther Bible Chapel’s food bank.


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