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Big Rapids Daily News
Obituaries Archives for 2016-04

Nina 'Ginny' V. Hutson of Blanchard

Nina “Ginny” V. Hutson, age 91 of Blanchard, passed away Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at McLaren Central Michigan-Mt. Pleasant. A funeral ceremony will be held Saturday, April 30th at 11 AM, at Janowicz Family Funeral Home-Remus with Patti Hicks officiating. Visitation will also take place at the funeral home on Friday from 4 PM – 7 PM, and again on Saturday morning from 10 AM to the time of service.

Ginny was born March 12, 1925, the daughter of Richard and Daisy (Shurlow) Fountain. Known to be cheerful, loving and caring; Ginny always loved to be with people, especially her family. Playing cards was a favorite hobby of hers, whether it was just for fun or in a league. She was a huge Detroit Tigers fan, even though they had recently been disappointing her. Ginny was also a member of both the Blanchard American Legion and Edmore VFW. She worked at Maxfield’s Restaurant for nearly 50 years cooking and waitressing.

Left to cherish her memory are her three sons, Robert B. (Mary) Hutson, Marvin (Linda) Hutson and Raymond (Cheryl) Hutson; brother, Arnold Fountain; sister, Betty May; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and her entire “Maxfield’s family”.

Ginny was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 40 years, Dale; three brothers, George, Harold “Sam” and Jim and three sisters, Marie, Ida and Rose.

 

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Gary Raymond Raab of Big Rapids

Gary Raymond Raab, 67, of Big Rapids, passed away on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  He was born on July 21, 1948, the son of Clarence “Mike” R. and Kathleen (O’Neil) Raab.  Gary graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1966.  He was an outstanding athlete. Gary retired from ANR Pipeline in 2002.

 

He is survived by Pat (Davison), his wife of 45 years; three children, Jodi (Mark) Scovill of Fennville, Kelley Raab of Big Rapids, and Ryan Raab of Orlando, Florida; three grandchildren, Jon Raab, Aaron and Austin Scovill; and one great-grandson, Raidyn Raab.  Also surviving are his mother, Kathleen; and two sisters, Nancy Raab and Kathy (Phil) Shortsle.

 

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Mike; father-in-law, Duke Davison; and a nephew, Brandon Shortsle.
 

A memorial gathering and luncheon for friends and family will be Sunday, May 1st, from 1:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m., at the Green Township Hall in Paris.  Gary’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to GIST Cancer Research Fund, 55 Saw Mill Road, New City, NY 10956 or online at gistinfo.org.

 

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Garth O. Erbes of Reed City

Garth O. Erbes, 81, of Reed City, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at his home.

 

He was born October 18, 1934 in Reed City to Orie and Oneida (Niergarth) Erbes and attending Reed City schools, graduating in 1952. Garth was a rodeo stock contractor for over 50 years. As a family unit, the Erbes' traveled up and down the state of Michigan and surrounding states as Buckin' "E" Rodeo Productions at many state fairs and other venues, making many longtime friends along the way. Toward the later years, Garth took pride in producing youth rodeos for Michigan 4-H Rodeo, Michigan Little Britches, and Great Lakes Youth Rodeo. He was especially proud to work with youth, to teach them safety skills within the rodeo arena and to keep the sport of rodeo alive. Many youth with he shared his talents went on to the professional rodeo circuits such as Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Associations. Most recently he produced rodeos at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury.

 

Garth married Rita McCall in 1980. She survives. Also surviving are his children; Susan Hart of Oklahoma, Bill (Sheri) Erbes, Cathy (Joe) Johnston, and Rick (Robin) Erbes, all of Reed City; Denise (Marc) Erffmeyer of Allegan, Tina (Don) Gibbs of Indiana, Shane (Arika) Moore of Oklahoma, and Steve (Frankie) Moore of Virginia; his siblings, Vernon (Lavern) Erbes, Lamont (Nancy) Erbes, and Garlein (Gene) Dadles of Reed City, and Garol (Tina) Erbes of Hersey; 20 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild; many nieces and nephews, including Mike, Cindy, Garrett, Gavin, and Ciara Erbes of Big Rapids who were considered to be among his children; and lifelong friends Harold & Elaine Eckert, and former spouse Leona (Guy) Reichow.

 

As per Garth's wish, he has been cremated. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to the Reed City Church of the Nazarene or Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund.

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Phyllis Ann Korte of Luther

Phyllis Ann Korte of Luther passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Holland, MI. She was 82.

 

She was born July 16, 1933 in Detroit to William and Alice (Smith) Charbeneau and attended Detroit Public Schools. Phyllis was a resident of Farmington, MI until moving to Luther in 1970 where she owned and operated the Hillside Beauty Salon until December of 2013 when she moved to Holland to be closer to family. She was an active member of the community and was involved in helping with local elections, organized blood drives, active in the Luther Lioness Club, and a long-time member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Luther. Phyllis was a member of Avon’s President Club and was a columnist for the Lake County Star and penned the “Luther News” section of the newspaper for many years. She was an online Scrabble fanatic and loved playing with family and friends.

 

She is survived by her children: Kathleen (Geary) Tudball, Michael Ranesbottom, Patricia (Keith) Reitzel, Barbara (Jeff) Musser; 11 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Paul Korte, her parents William and Alice Charbeneau, and 10 siblings.

 

A funeral mass will take place at 12:00 P.M. Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Luther with Rev. Fr. Ron Schneider officiating. Visitation with the family will begin at 11:00 A.M. at the church. A memorial contribution may be made to either the American Lung Association or to Medilodge of Holland.

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Julia Marion Sharpe of Mecosta

Julia Marion Sharpe, age 89 of Mecosta, passed away in Big Rapids on Friday, April 22, 2016. Services will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home in Remus with Pastor Richard Taylor officiating. Visitation will be held at 10:00 AM until the time of service on Tuesday. Burial will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mecosta following the service.

Julia was born in Mecosta on April 24, 1926, the daughter of Carl and Mabel (Jehnzen) Adams. She married the love of her life, William on September 21, 1946 and together the two grew their family to include three children. Words used to describe Julia were caring, independent and strong willed, a matriarch of the family. She was known to give the “look” that let you know when you were in trouble when needed. She loved auctions and yard sales so much, she would pack a lunch for her and her family so they could continue to shop all day. One of the many lessons she taught her grandchildren was to never pay full price for yard sale items. Another was how to bake homemade bread without measuring cups or spoons, just a pinch of this and a dash of that. Julia loved to fish, mushroom hunt, and quilt, but most of all loved family gatherings and time with great-grandchildren.

Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Sandra (William) Engelman; five brothers, Jack (Virginia), Lyle (Glenna), Stanley (Rosanne), Gene (Judy) and Fred (Jeanette) Adams; one sister, Janie (Tom) Gorham; six grandchildren, Paula Engelman, Pamela (Pat) Ross, Joseph (Jessica) Lehnert and James Lehnert; nine great-grandchildren; three great great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Julia was preceded in death by her husband, William; son, Joseph in 1972; daughter, Carla Lehnert; three brothers, Carl Jr., William and Ralph Adams and one sister, Vivian.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to the Salvation Army, a charity of choice or to the family.

 

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Richard A. Maneke of Lakeview

Richard A. “Dick” Maneke, age 72 of Lakeview formerly of Big Rapids, passed away Sunday, April 24, 2016 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.  He was born November 4, 1943 in Big Rapids, the son of Arthur and Marion (Malett) Maneke.  Dick was a Big Rapids High School graduate.  After high school he joined the United States Army National Guard and was honorably discharged. 

 

Dick married Leona “Lee” Lovette on August 13, 1966 in Big Rapids, where they raised their family.  In 1976 they moved to Lakeview and bought a farm.  Dick was a farmer his entire life; he enjoyed his cows and tractors.  Dick was employed by Carl Subler Trucking and Rogers Cartage for over 25 years until his retirement.  He was a member of the Stanwood Eagles Aerie 4360.      

 

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years Lee Maneke of Lakeview; two daughters, Debbie (fiancé Ed Grice) Oehme of Sand Lake and Kerry (Kevin) Nowicki of Grand Rapids; four grandchildren, Amber, Lauren, and Cody Oehme and Hailey Nowicki; two great-granddaughters; two sisters, Alice (Gordon) Brockway of Morley and Sharon (Rob) Short of Kalkaska; many nieces and nephews.   Dick was preceded in death by his parents. 

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.  The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 27th at the funeral home.  

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Dick’s name to Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center.

 

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Helen Elaine Cusimano of Stanwood

Helen Elaine Cusimano, age 75, of Stanwood died Saturday April 23, 2016 at her home.  She passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving husband of 57 years, James Anthony, daughter Constance, son Stephen and grandson Nicholas.

 

She was born October 3, 1940 in Connecticut.  Helen was a devoted and loving wife to her husband James and an outstanding mother to her children Stephen and Constance. She enjoyed making quilts, gardening and painting.  All her family and friends knew that cooking was an expression of her love and she enjoyed sharing that form of love. 

 

Helen worked hard throughout her life, she and husband James owned and operated many businesses in the area throughout the years as entrepreneurs.  Helen also worked as a social worker and later as a realtor.

 

Helen is survived by her loving husband James Anthony, son Stephen (Laurie); daughter Constance (Jamie Brady); grandchildren Jimmy, Nicholas, Shane, Ashley and Brad; one great-grandchild James Jr. and two sisters, Delina (Max) Arnett and Alice Reese. 

 

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids, MI.  The family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the funeral home.

 

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Stanley Lawrence Pierson Jr. of Canadian Lakes

On April 21, 2016 our family had to say our last good-bye to our beloved father, Stanley Lawrence Pierson Jr, at the age of 76. He was a man of honor, integrity, courage and most of all love. He was a devoted husband to his beloved bride, Carol, of 57 years. He was an incredible father, having taught his sons the value of hard work, dedication, and generosity. 

 

Pops was born August 8th, 1939 in the farming community of Hudson Michigan, with his parents, Stan Sr and Virginia (both deceased), he was brother to Bonita, Philip (deceased), Robert (deceased), the twins Janice and Joanne, Ernie (deceased), Debra, and Gary (deceased) until the exciting age of 18 when he married his long-time sweetheart.

 

After marrying Carol, they began their life journey.  A working man most of his adult life Pops always found time to interact with all budding athletes, regardless of skill set or ability.  A giver of his time and knowledge Pops was an extraordinary coach of youth, a pillar on the baseball diamond or the basketball court, imparting his knowledge to anyone who wanted to learn.  As the years passed several of his athletes or family members would complement him by acknowledging the life skills and lessons he taught in sports served their children or themselves well into adulthood.

 

Keeping with a valued tradition from his youth, you would be able to find Pops on the basketball court shooting hoops by himself or with anyone who wanted to join him. When his sons were old enough, you would often find his boys and their friends competing against him, periodically joining in the celebration of victory, when he was beaten which wasn’t often.  A diehard St. Louis Cardinal and Los Angeles Laker fan you could always find Pops enjoying watching his favorite teams on TV.

 

An entrepreneur, Pops was most proud of building Stanley Elevator, his company, fulfilling a lifelong dream and goal of being self-employed in a profession he loved.  He and his bride built this company from the bottom up.  Selling in 2005 Pops and Mom relocated to Canadian Lakes, Michigan where he finished his working career as Head of the Elevator Maintenance Department at Ferris State University.  After completely retiring from the workforce Pops took up fishing where he spent many hours on the water teaching his grandchildren the art of catching and cleaning fish.

 

A life celebration service will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at Pines Pavilion Park, Canadian Lakes, MI beginning at 2:00 PM. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carol Ann Pierson of the home; five sons, Scott L. Pierson of Beulaville, NC, Douglas L. Pierson, Todd A. Pierson, Steven J. Pierson all from Toledo, OH, and Terry L. Pierson and his wife Kelly of Big Rapids, Michigan.  Pops has 11 grandchildren Joshua, Greggory, Jeremy, Jacy, Jordyn, Jillian,Haylee, Lainey, Clay, Erin, and Brendan.  Additionally he has three great grandchildren, Samantha, Christina and Jensen.

 

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to The American Cancer Society.

 

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Ruth Ann Bark Baker of Big Rapids

Ruth Ann Bark Baker, 74, of Fairbanks, Alaska passed away April 18, 2016 at Denali Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.   She was born February 3, 1942 in Big Rapids, MI to Charlie Bark and Phyllis Cummings Bark.  She grew up in Barryton, MI and graduated from Barryton High School in 1960.

 

On June 30, 1961 she married Chester L. Cope of Grand Rapids, MI.  They had two sons, Randy and Ken Cope, of MI.

 

In 1975 Ruth Ann moved to Seward, AK, then to Anchorage, and on to Fairbanks.

 

In 1984 she married Matt Baker and together they owned and operated a gift shop at Alaskaland, for which they made most of their own “genuine Alaskan souvenirs”.

 

Ruth Ann was a school bus driver in MI and AK.  She loved ceramics and produced and sold many made from Alaskan Clay to gift shops and made product for her own shop.  She worked as a tour guide for the City of Fairbanks and also as a C.N.A.

 

Ruth was a nature lover, loved gardening, flowers, birding, fishing, moose hunting, snowmobiling, and trail riding or boating “up the river” to her beloved cabin on the Salcha River.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Matt Baker.

 

She is survived by her long-time partner, companion, and care giver, Jerry Anderson.  Her sons, Randy (Linda) and Ken (Teresa) Cope; five grandchildren, Joe, Charlie ,Heather, Bradley, and Sarah Cope; two great grandchildren, Nicole and Curtis Cope; eight step-children; five step-grandchildren; ten step-great-grandchildren; her brother, Jack (Cathy) Bark of Barryton; sister, Rebecca (Jim) Bowman of Big Rapids; long-time friends, Richard and Kay D. Johnson of Salcha, AK; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

 

A memorial service for Ruth Ann will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at 1:00 p.m., with a luncheon to follow at the Fort Township Community Building in Barryton, MI.

 

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Brian A. Lapham of Big Rapids

Brian A. Lapham, 56 of Big Rapids, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at his home. He was born on August 25, 1959 in Grand Rapids, MI to Durward and Marilyn (Smith) Lapham. Brian, was raised in St. Joseph before moving to Bay City where he graduated from T.L. Handy H.S. in 1977. Brian earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Ferris State University. Right out of college, he began his employment at Tubelite in Reed City where he was a computer programmer and ended his tenure there running the warehouse. Brian’s most recent employment was as a dispatcher for V.L. Watkins in Jenison.

 

On December 12, 1987, Brian married Judy Apsey in Bay City. Brian enjoyed helping his neighbors, fixing automobiles, remodeling houses and volunteering at St. Vincent DePaul’s in Big Rapids. He built several stage sets at Big Rapids Middle School for the school plays, he looked forward to working in his flower gardens, watching and protecting the wildlife including the turtle nests along the river in his yard, and mushrooming.

 

Brian had a good sense of humor, and had the attitude that no matter how bad it gets, it can always be worse.

 

Brian is survived by his wife Judy; two children, Gary (NcCole) Lapham of Midland and Kady Lapham of Big Rapids; a stepson, John Freiberg of Big Rapids; four step-grandchildren, Maci, Mikalah, Johanna, and Elizabeth; his beloved mother, Marilyn Lapham of Bay City; two sisters, Paula (Randy) Pashak of Midland and Sharon (Tim) Rutzen of Bay City; nieces, Christine Rutzen, Janel (Neil) Alpert and Melissa Rutzen; his dog “Sparky”; and numerous, aunts, uncles, extended family and friends.

 

Brian was preceded in death by his dad Durward in 1991.

 

A celebration of Brian’s life will be held at 12:00 (Noon), Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Brian’s memory can be made to the Kady Lapham College Fund.

 

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Raymond Theo Allers of Big Rapids

Raymond Theo Allers, 77, of Big Rapids, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, April 21, 2016.

 

He was born on July 16, 1938, at home on Catherine Street in Big Rapids, to Albert and Doris Allers.  He was a graduate of Big Rapids High School.   On Valentine’s Day in 1959, he married Leola M. Ogg, who survives him.  Ray retired from Hanchett Mfg. on July 16, 2000.  He loved the outdoors.  He had an eagle-eye when hunting morels and sharks teeth.  He was competitive in sports and cards.  Ray played slow pitch softball, golf, bowling, and horseshoes until his illness.  He also enjoyed playing the bass guitar in a family band.

 

Ray is survived by wife, Leola; daughter, Sheryl (Lee) Mankel of Sand Lake, MI; son, Darrell (Sonja) Allers of Atlanta, GA; grandchildren, Rochelle Kim, Tiffany Kim, Kyle Allers, and Danielle Allers; great grandson, Cyrus Kim.  Also surviving are his sisters, Virginia Polhamus, Maxine Smith, Shirley Norton, Bonnie Johnson; brothers, Frank Allers, Kenny (Geri) Allers, Dale (Kathy) Allers, Gordy (Joan) Allers; brother in-law, Donald (MaryJean) Ogg; sister in-laws, Rosalie (Warren) Bolton, and Melva (Henry) Vrogendewey.

 

Preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Doris Allers; brothers, Virgil and Albert Jr.; sister, Arlene Spedowski; one niece and several great nieces and nephews.

 

Funeral services will take place at 11am on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at Mohnke Funeral Home, 128 South Warren Avenue, Big Rapids.  Pastor David Westover officiating, with burial at Pine Plains Cemetery.  The family will greet friends on Monday, April 25, 2016, from 4pm – 8pm, and Tuesday before the funeral at 10am, at Mohnke Funeral Home.

 

Memorial contributions may be made in Raymond’s name to Mecosta County Commission on Aging or Hospice of Michigan.

 

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Edna Marie Szpiech of Big Rapids

Edna Marie Szpiech, 89, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at Spectrum Health Reed City Nursing and Rehab Center.

 

She was born on Nov. 1, 1926, in Saginaw, to Edward and Martha (Perkins) Moulton. After growing up in Saginaw, Edna moved to the Big Rapids area, where she lived up until the last few years of her life. She then resided in the Spectrum Health extended care facility. Edna was a very hard worker. She held one job throughout her working years at Wolverine World Wide. She was a loyal employee there for 37 years. As a single mother of two, she took great pride in her job and her ability to care for her children.

 

Edna was proceeded in death by her parents; and four siblings, Esther (James) Krupp, Earl (Hannah) Terry, Art (Clara) Terry and Russell (Shirley) Terry. She is survived by her sons, Stanley Szpiech and Rick Szpiech; three granddaughters, Rebecca (Jeremiah) Szpiech-McNeilly, Nicole (Dan) McClellan and Kylie Szpiech; and three great-granddaughters, Ashlynn McNeilly, Kendall McNeilly and Abbigale McClellan.

 

Services will be held at 1:oo p.m. Friday, April 22 at McDowell Funeral Home in Reed City. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery.

 

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Thomas Edward Shortsle of Paris

Thomas Edward Shortsle, age 74 of Paris, passed away on the evening of Wednesday, April 20, 2016. A funeral service will be held in his honor Monday, April 25th at 11 AM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home-Remus with Pastor Chris Rietz officiating. Burial will follow at Wambolt Cemetery-Remus. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 3 PM to 6 PM and again on Monday from 10 AM to the time of service.

Thomas was born May 4, 1941, in Toledo, OH, the son of Liguori and Dolores (Pollack) Shortsle. He married the love of his life, Francis on May 21, 1966 and together the two grew their family to include three children.

Family was always the most important to Tom; he was a wonderful father that loved every minute spent with his children and wife. He had a generous soul; always doing what he could for others, even if he didn’t like them. Known to be a hard worker, Tom kept busy always, rarely sitting down to relax. According to his family, he was quiet most of the time, unless otherwise needed.

Thomas will be greatly missed by his wife of 50 years, Francis; two children, Thomas F. (Melinda) Shortsle and Anna Shortsle (Kyle England); six grandchildren and four great great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Edward and brother, Corky.

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Gustave R. 'Gus' Sanford of Paris

Gustave R. “Gus” Sanford, age 87 of Paris, passed away Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Altercare of Big Rapids.  He was born February 7, 1929 in Bad Axe, the son of S.T. and Leila (Roeser) Sanford.  After graduation from high school in Saginaw, Gus enlisted with the United States Marines where he served in Panama.  In 1953, Gus started what would eventually lead to a 30-year career with Dow Chemical.  Gus retired in 1983 at which time he and his wife Ardis moved from Freeland to Paris where they raised their four youngest children. 

 

Gus was a gifted craftsman and woodworker; a skill that was taught to him by his father.  In retirement, he built many homes in the Mecosta and Osceola County area; as well as the Last Chance Saloon in Hawkins. He also spent many hours restoring antique furniture at “The Old School House” in Paris. Gus loved to whistle while he worked, and was a talented singer.

 

Gus was a proud and protective father who will be greatly missed by his family and friends.  He is survived by seven sons, Scott of Sugarloaf, PA, Brian of Paris, Kerry of Paris, Deforest of Waterford, S.T. of Saginaw, Gus of Freeland, and James of Zilwaukee; four daughters, Grace Haner of Freeland, Leila Shaffer of Hope, Denise Brandt of Saginaw, and Mary Ries of Marion Springs; dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

 

Gus was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ardis (Tibbits) Sanford; three sons, Kevin, Mike, and John Sanford; four sisters, Lucille, Phyllis, Margaret, and Kathleen; and his first wife, Mary Zane (Bushong) Sanford. 

 

The family will be holding a private gathering to celebrate his life and share fond memories.

 

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Nancy Ann Ramsey of Big Rapids

Nancy Ann Ramsey, age 67 of Big Rapids, formerly of Paris, passed away Wednesday, April 20, 2016.  She was born February 15, 1949 in Lakeview the daughter of J. Lyle Edgerly and Beatrice (Yanke) Edgerly Winger.

 

Nancy graduated from Morley Stanwood High School in 1967 and then attended Ferris State University.  She worked for Wolverine World Wide until her retirement.  Nancy made her home in Paris for many years and most recently in Big Rapids.  She loved to knit and crochet creating beautiful tablecloths and doilies. Nancy enjoyed participating in games and activities; especially a fun game of cards and Bingo with her family and friends.  She had a great sense of humor.  Nancy cherished spending time with her grandchildren. 

 

She is survived by three children; Sherry (Jody) Sorsen of Flint, Ken (Shanee) Ramsey of Morley, Crystal (Bill Conklin) Ramsey of Evart; nine grandchildren, Elisabeth, Zachery and Peter Sorsen, Brock, Braden and Kalee Ramsey, Danielle, Billy and Deanna Conklin; one great-grandson on the way; a brother, Jay (Sandie) Edgerly of Morley; four sisters, Alice (Brian) Kilbourne of Conklin, Crystal (Dale Hess) Lane of Morley, Carolyn (Gary) Stout of Morley, Pauline Badeaux of St. Johns and many nieces and nephews.  Nancy was preceded in death by her parents.

 

Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor David Bongard officiating.  The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 24th at the funeral home and again one hour prior to the service on Monday.

 

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Charles L. 'Lee' Messer, age 64 of Stanwood

Charles L. “Lee” Messer, age 64 of Stanwood, passed away Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at home surrounded by his children.  He was born May 3, 1951 in Grand Rapids, the son of Wayne and Marguerite (Harrington) Messer.  Lee married Mary Roszell and together they made their home in Stanwood for more than 25 years.  He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed watching wrestling and Nascar.  Lee was employed by Jim’s Shootin’ Shack in Mecosta for 15 years before he began working for Meijer in Big Rapids.

 

He is survived by eight children, 27 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild on the way; one sister, Martha Kornoely of Grand Rapids; two nephews; father and mother-in-law, Raymond and Marlene Roszell; as well as many extended family members, in-laws, friends, and his beloved dog, Peanut. 

 

Lee was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Messer in 2015; brother-in-law, Glen Kornoely; Uncle Francis and Aunt Goldie; and daughter-in-law, Chana Messer. 

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Ron Witbeck officiating.  The family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday prior to the service at the funeral home. 

 

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Garrett John Hughston of Hersey

Garrett John Hughston of Hersey gently passed from this earth into the arms of the Lord on Monday, April 18, 2016 in Big Rapids. He was 26.

 

He was born October 1, 1989 in Big Rapids and was raised in the Hersey area. Garrett attended the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD) Education Center and loved the many teachers, para educators, therapists, and friends he made in his time there. He enjoyed sessions of equine horseback therapy at Spring Hill Camp, car rides (the bumpier the better), campfires with his brother and his dog, listening to music, and special times with his grandparents. He will be dearly missed by the many lives he touched in his own special way. He is survived by his parents Robert Hughston of Simpsonville, SC and Tracy (George “Butch”) Gardner of Hersey; brother Josh Hughston of Hersey and step-brother George Gardner III; grandparents John and Kathy Hughston of Pickering, OT, Pete and Lillian Fath of Big Rapids, and Gary and Kay Hyde of Reed City; aunt Kim Hughston of Pickering, OT; uncle Todd (Julie) Hyde of Chapel Hill, NC; and numerous other extended family.

 

Funeral services will take place at 11:00 A.M. Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Reed City Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Chris DeMott officiating and burial will follow at the Maple Hill Cemetery in LeRoy. All are welcome to come and greet the family from 10:00 A.M. until the beginning of services. Evening visitation with the family will be from 6-8 P.M. Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Reed City Church of the Nazarene. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to: MOISD “In Memory of Garrett Hughston”

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Robin David Shoemaker of Reed City

Robin David Shoemaker of Reed City passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, April 17, 2016. He was 65.

 

He was born March 25, 1951 in Reed City to Louis and Mable (Hoffman) Shoemaker and was a graduate of Reed City High School. Following his graduation, He served his country honorably in the United States Army from 1972 to 1974. He enjoyed collecting marbles, woodworking, spending time outdoors while his health allowed, and visiting with veterans during his many trips to Michigan VA hospitals. Robin dearly loved his five grandchildren and spending time together with them. He is survived by Nancy (Eichenberg), his wife of 41 years; daughters Monica (Tim) Phinney and Erin Gilmore; grandchildren: Chandler, Lauren, Kristofer, Chelsea, and Clayton, all of Reed City; siblings: Connie Yost, Cricket Shoemaker, Darrell (Connie) Shoemaker, Darlynn (Carol) Shoemaker, Candy Derevage, Kelly (Shirley) Shoemaker, Cathy (Alan) Kearns; aunt Phyllis Dietel; uncle Kenton Dean Shoemaker; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Mable Shoemaker; brothers Richard Shoemaker and Dennis Shoemaker; brothers-in-law Dave Yost and Ron Derevage, infant son Chadwick David; and infant niece Tracey.

 

Funeral services will take place at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Chase Barton United Methodist Church in Chase, Michigan. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 A.M. Thursday at the church until the time of services.

 

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Robert Lee Sturdavant of Reed City

Robert Lee Sturdavant of Reed City went to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at Mercy Hospital in Muskegon. He was 76.

 

He was born in Grant, MI to Ford and Agnes (Muncie) Sturdavant. He was raised in Tustin and attended Pine River Area Schools. Robert was a dedicated father and family man who enjoyed time with friends and family. He enjoyed being in the outdoors hunting, fishing, camping, and mushrooming. He is survived by his children: Debra (Dennis) Gilland, Robert (Lisa) Sturdavant Jr., Paul (Carole) Sturdavant, Leslie (Jerry) Hanweck, Melissa (Shane) Turner, his siblings: Richard Sturdavant, Victoria (Joe) Christie, uncle Calvin (Rosie) Muncie, sister-in-law Joyce Sturdavant, 12 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will take place at 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City. Visitation with the family will be Wednesday from 12:00 until the beginning of services. Memorial contributions may be made to the family.

 

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Richard Allen Lambert, Sr. of Canadian Lakes

Richard Allen Lambert, Sr., age 83 of Canadian Lakes, passed away in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. A memorial service will be held in his honor Saturday, May 14th at 1 PM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home -Remus with Fr. Jim Wyse officiating. Family will greet friends from 11AM to the time of service.

Richard was born in Toledo, Ohio on January 1, 1933, the son of Howard and Arvada (Osterhaut) Lambert. He lived in Ohio most of his life; raising a family and working there for many years before moving to Canadian Lakes where he would spend his last 30 years on the lake.

Richard was very service orientated which showed through his service in the United States Army during the Korean War; serving on a Fire Department since age 20 (most recently Morton Township) and providing for his family all that he could over the course of his life.

When it came to sports, Richard truly did it all and did it by the book: golf, bowling, speed roller-skating (in his younger years), softball and umpiring any chance he got. He was dedicated and loving to his children and grandchildren and before her passing in 2008, he was his wife’s rock. Known to be a “baby hog”, Richard’s family always knew the grandchildren and great-grandchildren would gravitate towards him any chance they got.

Left to cherish his memory are sons, Fred (Tonya) Lambert, Timothy (Dee) Lambert, and Richard Lambert; daughters, Mary (Bruce) Smith, Sue Maddox, Cheryl (Ken) Ivancic; brothers, Harold Lambert and Danny Vanorman; one sister, Deloris Hicks; twelve grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and his beloved dog, Brooks.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elizabeth on April 9, 2008; two brothers, Marion and James and one sister, Pauline.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association at P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011 or to the Morton Township Fire Department at 8260 100th Ave. Canadian Lakes, MI. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

 

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Nancy H. Wright of Reed City

Nancy H. Wright, 56, of Reed City, passed away Friday, April 15, 2016 at her residence.

 

She was born October 13, 1959, in Big Rapids, the daughter of Wayne and Helen (Berg) Goldammer, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1977. For 35 years, Nancy worked for the State of Michigan Department of Human Services office in Big Rapids.   

 

Nancy attended St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City, where she also taught Sunday School.  She loved to crochet afghans for her family and friends.

 

On July 25, 1981, she married Jerry D. Wright, who survives.  Also surviving are one son Joshua Wright of Walled Lake, one daughter Jessie (Matt) Ford of Reed City; her granddaughter Ella Ford; her brother Bruce (Patty) Goldammer of Ossineke, her sister Sandy (Alvin) Eastlund of Reed City; 2 sisters-in-law, Deb (John) Currie, and Dana Wright, both of Rodney, a brother-in-law John (Tina) Wright of Paris; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and –nephews, as well as many other family and friends. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, her sister-and brother-in-law Karen and Jim Spedoski, and a brother-in-law Jim Wright.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 23, 2016 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City, with Pastor Dawn Pooley officiating.  Nancy’s family will greet friends at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Nancy’s name to the Cancer Center of America or the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center.  Envelopes will be available at the church on Saturday, or at the funeral home.

 

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Bruce W. Jacobs, Jr. formerly of Big Rapids

Bruce W. Jacobs, Jr., 59, of Rapid City, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away April 14, 2016 at Medical Munson Center in Traverse City.

 

He was born August 1, 1956 in Flint, the son of Bruce and Joyce (Evans) Jacobs, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1974.  Bruce then joined the U.S. Army, and served for three years.  Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Big Rapids, and earned his bachelor’s degrees in both Occupational Safety and Plastics Engineering from Ferris State University.

 

On April 2, 1982, Bruce married Vicki Lea Schuler, and they lived and worked in Marysville, OH, for nearly 20 years until moving to Rapid City in Antrim County.  Bruce loved the outdoors, and was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He adored his grandchildren, was a mentor to many, and had strong beliefs. 

 

Surviving are his wife Vicki; 3 children, Lindsey Jacobs, Kaitlin (Marc) McFarland, and Timothy Jacobs; 4 grandchildren, Jeremy, Josiah, Lily, and Harbor; his mother Joyce; his siblings, Sue (Greg) Straley of Manistee, Mike (Katie) of McHenry, IL, Pat (Cindy) of Delevan, WI, Mark (Colleen) of Alpena; Joni Lintemuth of Big Rapids, Matt (Tracey) of Grand Haven, and Tim (Mary) of Big Rapids; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Bruce was preceded in death by his father exactly 13 years ago on April 14, 2003.

 

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 18, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Pastor Ron Witbeck officiating.  Bruce’s family will greet friends on Sunday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the funeral home, and prior to services on Monday.  Memorial contributions may be made in Bruce’s name to the American Lung Association, with envelopes available at the funeral home.

 

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August S. 'Gus' Anderson of Big Rapids

August S. “Gus” Anderson, 95, of Big Rapids, passed away Thursday, April 14, 2016, at Metron of Big Rapids. 

 

Gus was born November 10, 1920, in Big Rapids, the son of Merrill and Iola (Downey) Anderson. He attended  Evart High School then  graduated from Big Rapids High School.  Gus  was very  active in a variety of sports at both schools.  On June 20, 1941, he wed Alice Jane Vliet, a marriage that lasted nearly 75 years. 

 

During World War II, Gus served with the U.S. Army.  Following his discharge, he returned to Big Rapids, and began working at Hanchett Manufacturing.  Gus retired as the Plant Superintendent after 42 years with the company.

 

Gus was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids, serving as head usher for 20 years, as well as many other committees.  He was a charter member of Big Brothers – Big Sisters Program along with his daughter Susan.  Gus also was a Boy Scout Cub Master and a little league baseball coach, and remained active in various sports activities.  He was a referee for many years, and was inducted into the Mecosta County Sports Hall of Fame.

 

Gus was a member of the American Legion, and was a former Commander of Post #98 in Big Rapids.  He was also a charter member of the VFW, and served on the Civil Defense Team in Mecosta County.  Gus was fortunate enough to have recently flown to Washington, D.C. on the Honor Flight.  He was also proud to be one of four generations of his family to serve as a volunteer fireman –including his grandfather August, his father Merrill, and his son Larry. 
 

Gus was an avid fisherman and hunter, and continued  to hunt well into his 90's with his son Terry.
 

Gus is survived by his wife Alice Jane; their three children, Larry and Tish Anderson of Newaygo, Terry and Bev Anderson of Holt, and Susie and Virgil Cimala of Stevensville; grandchildren Kimberly and Scott Plzak, Rick and Tracy Anderson, Missy and John Clark, Brian and Holly Anderson, Tim and Angie Anderson, Taylor and Jen Cimala, Kaitlyn and Geof Coeling, Jay, and Zack; great-grandchildren Chelsea, Laurel, and Andrew Plzak, Alliey Anderson, Claire and Avery Anderson, Marie and Leya Anderson, Chloe Clark, and Eloise Cimala; and other surviving family including Jess and Ruth Vliet, and Nancy Horan; and his nieces and nephews include Jerry and James Thomas, Michael Bishop, Shelly Robinson, and Janice Steinke.

 

Funeral services for Gus will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids, with Pastor Rebecca Morrison officiating. Burial will be in the Pine Plains Cemetery, with military honors under the auspices of American Legion Post #98 and AmVets Post # 1941.  His family will greet friends from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, and at the church after 10 a.m. on Thursday.  Memorial contributions In Gus’ name may be made to the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church or a charity of your choice.

 

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Paul F. Doerr of Blanchard

Paul F. Doerr “Shorty”, age 52 of Blanchard, passed away suddenly on the morning of April 11, 2016 at his home. A memorial mass will be held in his honor Thursday, April 14 th , at 11:00 AM, at St. Michael Catholic Church – Remus with Fr. Aaron Ferris as Celebrant. Visitation will take place Wednesday evening from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home – Remus with a scripture prayer service at 7:30 PM, and again on Thursday from 10:00 AM to the time of service at church.


Paul was born April 15, 1963, the son of Paul Joseph and Jeanette (Allen) Doerr. He was locally educated through Chippewa Hills High S chool where he was a great athlete and the quarterback of the football team. His love for sports never fadedover the years; Shorty was a devoted NASCAR fan along with numerous other sports. His family claims he wasn’t always the easiest to watch sports with due to his
“enthusiasm”. After high school, he attended Mid Michigan Community C ollege and earned a degree in Construction Technology. Shorty then went on to work for Bauman n Builders in Canadian Lakes for most of his career. He married the love of his life, Tami, on May 31, 1986, and together the two grew their family to include two children who he was very proud of.


Paul was a true outdoorsman; from fishing to hunting and everything inbetween, he did it all. He had a true talent for carpentry and was able to help build his home as well as many other smaller projects for family members. Cooking breakfast for his family was a favorite of Paul’s;  cleaning up the mess, however, was not. Of the many hobbies and interests he had, his greatest joy in life would have to be his
grandson, Wyatt.

 

Goodhearted, kind, gentle, great sense of humor and giving is how Paul is best  remembered. There was really nothing to not like about him. He will be greatly missed by his wife of nearly 30 years, Tami Doerr; children, Paul John (Ashley) Doerr and Sara Doerr; sisters, Rita (Jeffery) Wernette, Robin (Ron) Harris and Ronda (Denny) Thelen and one grandson, Wyatt Cash. Paul was preceded in death by his father.


Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to MidMichigan Teen Challenge at 818 S. Michigan, Saginaw, Michigan 48602 or to the Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention (MASP), c/o Mary Baukus, at 2220 Mershon St, Saginaw, MI 48602.

 

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Sharon Sue Woofter of Stanwood

Sharon Sue Woofter, 62, of Stanwood, went to be with her Lord on April 8, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. 

 

She was born July 11, 1953, in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Ray and Dorothy (Woolf) Culp.  In 1971, Sharon graduated from Big Rapids High School, and then earned her degree from Ferris State University.  For 34 years, she worked for Mecosta County Medical Center and Spectrum Big Rapids hospital. 

 

On June 25, 1988, she married David A. Woofter, who survives.  Also surviving is their most wonderful daughter, Samantha (Codie) Nieder of St. Cloud, FL; her brothers Ken (RoseMary) Culp of Wesley Chapel, FL, and Doug (friend Deb) Culp of Grand Rapids; her sisters Carol (John) Keyser of St. Joseph, Pat (Tim) Newburn of Baldwin, and Sondra (Randy) Kramer; her father-and mother-in-law Denver and Lenore Woofter of Stanwood; uncles Melvin and Howard Woolf; aunt Marie Woolf; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.  Sharon was preceded in death by her parents and a sister Evelyn Beye.

 

Memorial services for Sharon will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the Northland United Methodist Church in Stanwood, with Pastor Gary Bondarenko officiating. Sharon’s family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service on Saturday.

 

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Florence G. Frayer of Canadian Lakes

Florence G. Frayer, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away suddenly April 1, 2016 at Spectrum Health-Big Rapids. She was 88 years old.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, April 7th at 11 AM at St. Michael Catholic Church – Remus with Fr. Aaron Ferris as Celebrant. Visitation will take place Wednesday evening from 5 PM to 8 PM at Janowicz Family Funeral Home – Remus, with a scripture service at 7:30 PM. Family will also greet friends and relatives from 10 AM to the time of service at church on Thursday.

Florence was born December 4, 1927 in Shepherd, MI, the daughter of August and Gertrude (VorderLandwehr) Moeggenberg. She married Wilbur Frayer on August 18, 1956.

Florence worked as an office clerk in her younger years before deciding to stay at home raising her children. Florence made friends very easily throughout her life due to her loving nature and kind soul. Her hobbies would include golfing, cooking, and of course, playing cards. She played cards and golfed as many days a week as she could. After moving to Canadian Lakes, Florence began volunteering at God’s Helping Hands where she made many special friends.


Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 60 years, Wilbur (Bill); sons, Dennis (Martha) Frayer, Chris (Kathy) Frayer, Steve Frayer, and Douglas (Dawn) Frayer; daughter, Julie Frayer; grandchildren, Jill(Lee), Jamie(Kevin), Peter, Amanda(Matt), Danielle(John), Diana and Drew(Heather); one great-grandson, Ian. Seven brothers and sisters, Rose Moeggenberg of Lansing, Cletus Moeggenberg of Shepherd, Fr. Raymond Moeggenberg of Bay City, John (Marge) Moeggenberg of Traverse City, Jim (Sue) Moeggenberg of Midland, George (Sue) Moeggenberg of Fort Meyer, FL, David (Jean) Moeggenberg of Midland. Special friends, Dietlinde, Helen, and her “family” at Sunset Shores.

Florence was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters and two brothers.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to St. Michael Church at 8929 50th Ave. Remus, MI 49340 or to God’s Helping Hands at 8944 50th Ave. Remus, MI 49340. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and at church.

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Amara Rae Groh of Barryton

Amara Rae Groh was born into the arms of our loving Savior on April 3, 2016 in Mt. Pleasant, MI. She would have been the beloved daughter of J.D. Groh of Weidman and Shelby Myers of Remus. Amara Rae’s birth was highly anticipated by the rest of her family that include: maternal great-great-grandmother, Geraldine Myers; paternal great-grandparents, E.J. Groh and Doris McArthur; maternal great-grandparents, Bryce (Karen) Myers and Lonnie (Kathy) Loomis; paternal grandparents, Ron (Dianna  McArthur) Groh; maternal grandparents, Tim (Jeanifer) Loomis and Melissa Myers; uncles, Bruce Rettinger, Kaleb Loomis and Landon Loomis; an aunt, Tyler Chase and many other extended family members and friends of the family that would have loved to have had the chance to celebrate Amara Rae’s life through the years to come.

 

Amara Rae was preceded in death by her grandparents.

 

Services will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton with the family greeting friends one hour prior.

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Raymond C. Roebuck of Rodney

Raymond C. Roebuck, age 67 of Rodney, passed away Sunday, April 3, 2016.  He was born August 23, 1948 in Benton Harbor, the son of Charles and Loraine (Forbush) Roebuck.  Ray graduated from Chippewa Hills High School in 1968. 

 

He worked in the office of the Mecosta County Sherriff Department, Federal Screw, and MichCon in Grand Rapids where he retired from.  Ray attended church in Ensley Center.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and his dogs. 

 

Ray is survived by five siblings, Robert (Karla) Roebuck of Rodney, Ken (Jan) Roebuck of Mecosta, Tom (Val) Roebuck of Rodney, Susan (Mike) Plummer of Byron Center, and Don (Lisa) Roebuck of Rodney; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Dennis Roebuck.

 

A memorial service will take place 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Roger Bennett officiating.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service on Friday at the funeral home. 

 

Memorial contributions in Raymond’s name may be made to the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County (18400 220th Avenue, Big Rapids, MI  49307).

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James L. Kallas of Evart

James L. Kallas of Evart, MI, passed away on April 1, 2016 in Reed City, at the age of 83. He was born on August 20, 1932 in Evart to Nicholas and Winifred (Clark) Kallas. James served his country as a Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in June of 1955. James owned Kallas Lawn Ornaments for 34 years and enjoyed being able to work with family. He looked forward to trying his luck at cards at the casino and liked fishing and hunting when he was able. James had a good sense of humor and was known for picking on people.

 

James is survived by his children: Terry Beemer and Janine (Howard) Bennett and their families both of Evart; 10 grandchildren and numerous, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

 

James was preceded in death by: his parents; his beloved wife Alice Kallas; two daughters, Rhonda Stevens and Connie Beemer Adams; four brothers, “Hank” Henry, “Chick” William, “Blacky” Ephraim, and Peter; and three sisters, Donna Marrs, Lula Bissett and Betty Kallas.

 

A celebration of life and dinner will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Evart VFW Post 7979 (4681 85th Ave., Evart), where he was a lifelong member.

 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations would be welcomed to Heartland Hospice.

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Don P. Cushman of Sears

Don P. Cushman, age 76 of Sears, passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at Margaret’s Meadows in Remus. He was born on February 6, 1940 in Sears, Michigan to Henry C. and Tillie A. (Orn) Cushman and, lived there his entire life.  Don graduated from Barryton Rural Agricultural High School in 1958. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army during the Vietnam Era. Don married Donna E. Farley in West Branch on October 13, 1962. 

 

After working as a foreman at ANR Pipeline (now TransCanada) for 34 years, Don retired. He became a school bus driver for Chippewa Hills School District where he made many memories. Don was actively involved with the Barryton American Legion Post #473 and was a member of their honor guard. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, football, playing cards (euchre), reading, and motorcycles. Don was an outdoorsman and also had a love for airplanes.

 

Don enjoyed a good joke, and he left a legacy of humor to those that survive him. They include his beloved wife of 53 years, Donna of Sears; children, Denise (Norman) Young of Olathe, KS; Dean (Melissa) Cushman of Wolverine Lake, MI; and two granddaughters, Megan (fiancé John Schlee) Young of Indianapolis, IN and Emma Young of Fort Worth, TX; his dog, Spencer and many nieces, nephews, extended family and treasured friends, who will continue to hold the memories they have close to their hearts.

 

Don was preceded in death by: his parents; 6 siblings, Jim, Wayne and Bob Cushman; Ann Hymel, Norma Sternbeck, and Helen Ruthruff; two nieces, Cindy Stanley and MaryAnn Heisler and a nephew Gary Stiles.

 

A celebration of life will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Barryton Community Building (3265 20 Mile Rd., Barryton), with the family greeting friends one hour prior from 1PM until 2PM.

 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Don’s name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Barryton American Legion.

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Christie D. 'Chris' Weston of Big Rapids

Christie D. “Chris” Weston, age 67, of Big Rapids passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, March 29, 2016. He was born in Flint, May 25, 1948 to Henry “Hank” and Ann (Miller) Weston, who preceded him in death.

 

Chris moved to Flushing with his family in 1962 where he graduated from Flushing High School in 1966. He then entered the United States Army for three years, where he was stationed in Germany at the Nike Missile Launch Site.  He was honorably discharged as Specialist 5th Class in 1969. 

 

On his return from the Army he enrolled at Ferris State University, meeting his future wife Anna O’Hare in Flushing. Their romance developed as they went back and forth from Big Rapids and Mt. Pleasant; where Anna was enrolled at Central Michigan University. Chris received his Associates Degree in Automotive in 1971.  Chris married Anna in 1972 in Standish.  The newlyweds then returned to Big Rapids in 1973.  Chris then earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Teaching Certificate in 1975 from Ferris.  Upon graduation, Chris and Anna decided to make Big Rapids their home, where they have remained until this present date.

 

Chris became a Master Mechanic in 1976 and worked in that field until 1980 when he became a Snap-on Tools Authorized Dealer. His success at Snap-on Tools lead him to open an independent contracting business by the name of T-JACK Corporation that dealt in sales installation and repair of heavy automotive equipment. 

 

Chris was active in the Big Rapids community volunteering for Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and serving as both a coach and sponsor in youth soccer. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, traveling on his motorcycle, and auto mechanics. He had a wonderful way of solving the problems put before him.

 

He will be especially remembered for his gregarious nature, generosity, and ability to lighten the spirit of everyone he encountered. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

 

Chris is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Anna Weston; son Tyler (Stephanie) Weston of Ypsilanti; daughter Kristie (Brian) VanWagoner and their children, Quinn and Reese all of Grand Rapids; son Jacob Weston of Ypsilanti; sister Joanne (Bruno) Rettig of Westland; sister Susanne (Arthur) Lumsden of Flushing; brother Philip (Diane) Weston of Au Gres; and many loving nieces and nephews.

 

Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016 and the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Ron Witbeck officiating.  The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday April 1st at the funeral home.

 

Memorial contributions in Chris’s name may be made to Area 5 Special Olympics; mail: attention Patricia Rosales, Area 5 Mecosta-Osceola, 20070 Hahn Beach Drive, Evart, MI  49631.

 

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Norman A. Peterson of Big Rapids

Norman A. Peterson, 89, of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, January 18, 2016 at his home surrounded by family.

A graveside service with military honors will take place in the Pine Plains Cemetery at 3:00 p.m., April 8, 2016

Memorial contributions may be made to the Spectrum Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, or St. Mary Catholic School, with envelopes available at the funeral home.

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Merle J. Gidley of Xenia, Ohio

Merle J. Gidley, age 74, of Xenia, Ohio, passed away on January 21, 2016.  He was a dedicated husband and father, loved by all.

 

Merle is survived by his wife of 50 ½ years, Wanda Gidley; children, Ricki (Tom) Amsing, Randell (Lisa) Gidley, and Merlin (Belinda) Gidley; grandchildren, Travis Hartline, Brandi Gidley, Tanner Hartline, Jacob Gidley, Colton Gidley, Chester Gidley, and Gabrielle Amsing; and a brother, Stanford (Diana) Gidley.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Merle and Geraldine Gidley; and brothers, Thomas, David, and Kenneth Gidley.

 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Joe Cottle officiating.  Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 pm, Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home. Committal will take place at the Fairview Cemetery.

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