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Obituaries Archives for 2016-05

Lyle K. Brock of Ashton

Lyle K. Brock, 76, of Ashton, Michigan, passed away on May 26, 2016 at his home and is now reunited with his sweetheart, Leone, in Heaven. Lyle was born on September 1, 1939 to Lloyd Brock and Alice (Smith) Kissinger in Ashton, Michigan.


Lyle attended Pine River Community schools. As a young man, Lyle was a volunteer firefighter for the Ashton Fire Department and served as fire chief. Lyle worked in construction his whole life and became a licensed builder and owner of Brock Builders. Lyle was a member of the Ashton United Methodist Church. He enjoyed building and creating beautiful handmade items that are cherished by family and friends. He also enjoyed sports, hunting, traveling with friends and family, Country music and most of all spending time with family. Lyle was a very dedicated family man and Countrymen. Lyle is survived by his four children, Lisa (Trevor) Flint of LeRoy; Steve Brock of Big Rapids, Doug Brock of LeRoy and Mark (Shaine) Brock of Ashton. Grandchildren Brittany (Jordan) LaPoint of Rapid City, South Dakota; Brooke Flint of Mason, Michigan; Andrew Brock of Big Rapids, Michigan; Hailey and Hanna Brock of Big Rapids, Michigan; Derek (Erika) Brock of Ashton, Michigan; Kyle Brock and Kourtney Brock of LeRoy, Michigan; Tyler (Renee) Brock of Ashton, Michigan; Kaleb (Dorcas) Brock of Reed City, Michigan; and Joshua, Ethan, Isaac, Mikah, Luke and Lexon Brock of Ashton, Michigan; and three great-grandchildren, Holly, Weston and Jayce Brock, all of Ashton, Michigan. He is survived by siblings, Roy (Arlene) Kissinger of LeRoy, Dorothy (Fred) Moomey of Cadillac, Carol (Mark) Nixon of Cadillac, and brothers and sister- in-law, Earl (Donna) Pratt of Ashton, Joyce Smith of Evart, Roy Pratt of Fremont and Ron Boyce of Chase. Lyle is preceded in death by his wife Leone (Pratt) Brock, parents Lloyd Brock and Alice (Smith) Kissinger, in-laws Alexander and Dora Pratt, sisters-in-law Linda Long, Margaret Boyce and Rosemarie Pratt; brother-in-law Keith Smith and nephew Timothy Pratt.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City with Pastor Scott Loomis officiating. Burial will take place at Ashton Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to meet together with the family at 10:00 A.M. for a short visitation prior to the beginning of the service. A memorial contribution may be made in Lyle’s name to the Ashton United Methodist Church.



Larry A. Spicer of Walkerville

Larry A. Spicer, 74, of Walkerville, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away Saturday, May 28, 2016, at his residence.


He was born January 11, 1942, in Big Rapids, the son of Henry and Shirley (Bumb) Spicer, and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1961.  That same year, he married Wanda V. Terwilliger, and they lived in the area until moving to Mason County 10 years ago.    


Wanda passed away on February 23 of this year.  Larry is survived by 2 sons, William (Debra Wright) and Darrell; one daughter Patty Sadenwater; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 5 brothers, Ron (Pat), Lyle (Jan), Danny (Debbie), Kenny, and Randy (Dannette) Spicer; one sister Charlyn (Ron) Davis; and several nieces and nephews. 


Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with Pastor Joe Martin officiating.  Burial will be in the Hungerford Cemetery.  Larry’s family will greet friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, May 31, from 5-7 p.m., and prior to services on Wednesday. Memorial contributions in Larry’s name may be left  at the funeral home. 



Ralph J. Cousineau of Bitely

Ralph J. Cousineau, 90, of Bitely, passed away on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at his residence.

He was born December 8, 1925, in Newaygo County's Home Township, the son of George and Hilda (Windquist) Cousineau, and attended Big Jackson School.  During World War II, Ralph served with the U.S. Navy.

Following his discharge Ralph returned to the area, and was a lifelong farmer.  On May 31, 1946, he married Florence Mitchell, who survives.  Also surviving are one daughter, Ann Counts of Hawkins; one son, Tom (Colleen) of Bitely; six grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; his sister Agnes Hornsby, and sister-in-law Helen Cousineau, both of Bitely; and several nieces and nephews.  Ralph was preceded in death by a son Mike, his brothers Raymond, Leonard, and George, and his sister Alice.

Private family services and interment will take place at the Whipple Cemetery in Home Township. 



Wilbur 'Bill' Haughton of Mecosta

Wilbur "Bill" Haughton, age 73 of Mecosta, passed away Wednesday, May 25, 2016 in Grand Rapids, MI.


Cremation will take place with no service to follow.


Marjorie E. VanSickle of Big Rapids

Marjorie E. VanSickle, age 99, of Big Rapids passed away on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.  She was born on September 12, 1916 in Lansing, Michigan.  The daughter of Clyde O. and Ida Jane (Bell) Burt.  Marjorie enjoyed travel, going on cruises, and crocheting.


She is survived by two daughters, Sandra (Neil) Williamson of Charlotte, Judy Sheldon of Big Rapids, five grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.  Marjorie was preceded in death by two brothers, Harold and Willard Burt.


There will be a private graveside service in Eaton Rapids.



Bonnie R. Stirn of Big Rapids

Bonnie R. Stirn, age 85 of Big Rapids, passed away Wednesday, May 25, 2016.  She was born May 7, 1931 in Salem, Indiana the daughter of Howard and Frances (Stephens) Cauble.  Bonnie graduated from Rushville High School and shortly after married Charles E. Stirn on August 7, 1948.  They made their home in Rushville, IN, and Ironton, OH. In 1969, they moved to Big Rapids and had a home at Horsehead Lake for over 30 years.  Bonnie was a busy mother of eight, yet she found time to work at the Stanwood Hospital and in the office of a local physician. 


Bonnie was a member of St. Mary and St. Paul Catholic Parish in Big Rapids.


She is survived by three daughters, Marta R. Cronk of Grand Rapids, Barbara A. (Bill) Deakins of Big Rapids, Katherine M. (Joe) Garner of Big Rapids; four sons; Stephen C. (Anne) Stirn of Logan, OH, Jeffrey J. Stirn of Big Rapids, Peter A. (Pamela) Stirn of Midland, Christopher J. (Melissa) Stirn of Remus; 16 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; a half-sister, Nadine Finn of California and many nieces and nephews.


Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Charles on March 16, 2004, her son Gregory G. Stirn on May 25, 2012, her granddaughter, Alishia Stirn on May 1, 1981 and a daughter-in-law, Sheryl Stirn on Feb 12, 2012.


A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 28, 2016 at St. Paul’s Campus Parish in Big Rapids with Father Michael Burt officiating.  The family will greet friends on Friday at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday at St. Paul’s Campus Parish one hour prior to Mass. 


A visitation at Todd Funeral Home and burial at Calvary Cemetery both in Rushville, Indiana will be on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.


Memorial contributions in Bonnie's name may be made to St. Mary and St. Paul Parish (1009 Marion, Big Rapids, MI 49307) or the Mecosta County Senior Center (12954 80th Ave., Mecosta, MI 49332). 



John P. Gilman of Morley

John P. Gilman, age 64 of Morley, passed away Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at his home.  He was born September 4, 1951 in Grand Rapids, the son of Robert and Pauline (Stoye) Gilman.  John was raised in Jenison and graduated from Grandville High School. 


He was employed by GM before he began his truck driving career with Landstar Ranger.  John enjoyed the outdoors, hot rods, and building anything from cars to houses.  He was an avid motorcyclist and a Nascar fan. 


John is survived by his beloved companion and fiancée of ten years, Cheryl Sanders of Morley; daughter, Sarah Gilman of Washington; Cheryl’s children, Keith Sanders of Hawaii, Matthew Sanders of Missouri, and Stephen (Tiffany) Sanders of Texas; Cheryl’s grandchildren, Aubrée and Kailee; Cheryl’s parents, Billy and Elizabeth Sanders of Missouri; and many nieces and nephews. 


He was preceded in death by his parents.


There are no services planned at this time.


Memorial contributions in John’s name may be given to his family.


Angelo John 'Andy' Cosentino of Canadian Lakes

Angelo John “Andy” Cosentino, loving husband, the best father and hero to his grandchildren, passed away the morning of Monday, May 23, 2016 at Altercare of Big Rapids at the age of 88. A memorial service will be held in his honor June 18th at 11:00 AM at the United Church of Big Rapids. Family will greet friends at the church from 10 AM to the time of service. Reverend Jon Fleming will officiate.

Andy was born September 12, 1927 in Detroit, MI, the son of Mary (D’Amore) and John Cosentino. After high school, Andy proudly served his country in the United States Army during the end of World War II.

On August 4, 1951, Andy married the love of his life, Kathy, and together the two grew their family to include three children, four grandchildren and two great grandsons.

He attended Lawrence Tech in Southfield, MI earning his associates degree in engineering. He then went on to work for General Motors for 30 years writing several patents throughout his career.

Andy enjoyed life at Canadian Lakes with his soul mate, Kathy. The two golfed together, were members of the Canadian Lakes Players and took part in many activities with their countless good friends and neighbors. He was also very active on the Canadian Lakes board and loved pool night, poker night and the breakfast club with the guys. “Handy Andy” loved building and helping numerous friends and relatives with different projects. He was even known to begin demolition on his own home around 7 AM while his family was asleep because he decided they needed an addition on the house to care for his mother in-law.

The gentle giant (as he was known to be) will be greatly missed by his wife of almost 65 years, Kathy; children, Michael, David (Kathy) and Jan (Mike); grandchildren, Rachel (Hunter), Ryan (Christie), Michael and Danielle (Alex); great-grandchildren, Dylan and M.J. and many cousins, nieces, nephews and wonderful friends.

Andy was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Sam, Rose, Dora, Chris and Mary.

Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to the Canadian Lakes Memorial Fund. Envelopes will be available at the church.



Wayne Lee Lund of Paris

Wayne Lee Lund of Paris, MI lost his battle with cancer Sunday, May 22, 2016 at his home. He was 58.


He is survived by his son Bruce, daughter Lindsey, mother Eileen Chandler, brothers Basil and Robbie Sawyer.  Preceding him in death were his father Bruce Lund and grandmother Alta Anderson.

The family extends their gratitude to all visitors during his time of need. A Memorial Gathering will be held at his home at 115 Cedar St Paris MI on Thursday May 26 at 5 pm.


Arthur Niles Swan of Barryton

Arthur Niles Swan, 59, passed away on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at his home in Barryton, MI. He was born in Lansing on October 10, 1956 to the late Clifford and Virginia (Foster) Swan. Art graduated from Lansing Eastern High School in 1974.


For the last 16 years, Art has made many wonderful memories and friends, while doing road construction for Central Asphalt. He was an amazing man, who loved to fish, and looked forward to trips to Florida to spend time with his family. Art was an avid Detroit Lions Football fan, and was the first to cheer on Dale Earnhardt Jr., in a Nascar race.


Art will be remembered for being a true gentleman, by his wife and companion of 17 ½ years, Tina (Smith) Garrock; his sense of humor will not be forgotten by his children: Deidra (Maguel) Delacruz, Lonni (Allan Miller) Escojido both of FL and Jay Yensen of Lansing; stepchildren, Jessica (Rodney) Ankey of Lake Ann, Anthony Garrock of Marquette and Stephnie (fiancé Joshua Landesman) Lehman of Grand Blanc; 9 grandchildren, Antonio (fiancé Alyshia), Julio, Irma (fiancé Jacob), Crystal, Joshua (Clarissa), Miguel Jr., Taylor, Makayla & Shay; 2 great-grandchildren, Jazlynn & Aliana; 1 brother, Dave Swan, 2 sisters, Judy and Marty;  and many nephews, extended family members and close friends.


Art was preceded in death by his parents and one brother Ronald.


Donations in Art’s name can be made to the family and they will distribute them to his favorite charities. Cremation has taken place through the care of Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton and no services are being planned at this time.



John D. Covert of Sears/Barryton

John D. Covert, age 85, of Sears/Barryton, formerly of Owosso, passed away on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at home. He was born on November 23, 1930, in Barryton, Michigan to the late, Carl F. and Zelma (Burnham) Covert. John attended Linden High School before entering into United States Marine Corps in 1951 and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1953. While living in the Owosso area, where his daughters were raised, John worked for Johnson Controls.


On April 10, 1992 John married Mildred “Millie” (Bentley) Covert at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Remus. John was an active member at St. Michael’s and was always eager to help at God’s Helping Hands in Remus and with events sponsored by the Barryton Lions Club, especially Bingo. He enjoyed playing solitaire, hunting, fishing, walks in the woods and fixing puzzles.


John is survived by one daughter, Nancy Britton of Owosso; five step-children, Rita Taylor, Anna (Jerry) Hill, Richard (Linda) Bentley, Joan (Gary) Farrell all of Barryton and Joe (Laurie) Bentley of Chippewa Lake; one sister, Nettie Holtslander of Linden; and numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, extended family and friends, who he treasured spending time with on a regular basis.


When Millie passed away in 2010 a void was left in John’s heart and he welcomed the day the Lord would call him home. John was also preceded in death by his parents; his late wife, Francis Covert; two daughters, Sharon Kline and Madelyn Walker; and four siblings, Cora Shearer, Alonzo Covert, Edward Covert and an infant sister.


In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in John’s name can be made to God’s Helping Hands.


The family will greet friends at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton on Friday, May 20th  from 2PM – 4PM and 6PM -  8PM, with a rosary in the evening.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church  in Remus (5045 9Mile Road) on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 11AM, with family greeting friends one hour prior to mass.



Judith Ann Gray of Reed City

Judith “Judy” Ann Gray, born Judith Lyon, passed away surrounded by loved ones on May 16, 2016 at her home in Reed City, Michigan. She was born on November 7, 1942 in Ludington, Michigan to Lester and Marijean (Larson) Lyon. She was 73.


Judy grew up in Ludington, MI. She attended Longfellow School and continued on to graduate in 1960 from Ludington High School. She was a member of the Community Church which both her parents were active members of. She worked for the Ludington School District as the District’s Switch Board Operator and Bonsers Grocery store during summers while laid off from the school. Judy sacrificed so much and worked tirelessly to give her children a good life and support them. She met her forever love, Jay Gray, in 1975 and married after a long courtship in 1986, then resided in Reed City until her time of death. Jay and Judy were happily married for 30 years. Judy enjoyed spending time with her husband, watching movies, crafting, nature watching and working in her yard tending to her beautiful flower gardens. She had a love for all music and dancing. She enjoyed her trips to Branson, MO and numerous other locations within the lower 48 states. Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Lester “Pete” and Marijean Lyon and her sister, Linda (Lyon) Hansen. Judy is survived by her spouse, Jay Gray of Reed City, MI; her son Gregory Yennior (Denise) of Richmond, TX; her daughters, Cheryl (Anthony) Ray of Charlotte, NC; Dedra Yennior (Tyler Wicklund) of Ludington, MI; Step-daughter, Jacqueline Moss (Troy) of Hersey, MI; Step-son, Richard Gray (Heather); Grandchildren Terrance Scully, Stessi Yennior, Trent Espinola, Austyn Anible, Justin McKee, Amy McKee and Tuffton Gray; her great-grandsons Ervin Ritthaler and Colton Espinola and many loving nieces, nephews and numerous other relatives. She is also survived by her dear, lifelong friend, Joyce (Cloutier) and David Avard of Portage, MI. She cherished their years of friendship.


Visitation will be held at Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home, 225 W. Upton Ave, Reed City, Michigan 49677 between 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday May 19, 2016. A funeral service will be held on Friday May 20, 2016 at 11:00 am, Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, 906 N. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, MI 49431 at 3:00 pm on May 20, 2016.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan or to Hospice of Michigan



Marion R. Motry of Big Rapids

Marion R. Motry, age 93 of Big Rapids, passed away Saturday, May 14, 2016 at her home.  She was born January 6, 1923 in Cloquet, Minnesota, the ninth child of Ben and Cevilla (McMahon) Bell. 


Marion was a graduate of South Haven High School. She married Hubert L. “Bud” Motry in 1944. They moved to Big Rapids when Bud accepted a position at Ferris State College and called it home for over 50 years. Marion earned a Master’s Degree from Ferris State University.  She taught at Chippewa Hills High School until her retirement.   Marion was a member of the Mecosta County Historical Society.


She is survived by a niece, Dorothy “Dot” (Bill) VanRyswyk of St. Joseph, MI; dear friends, Ella and Irene Villa of Stanwood; caregivers, Jennifer Sevarns of Remus, all the staff of Jenni Lynn’s Home Services and several nieces and nephews.


Marion was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bud on April 8, 2008; and eight brothers and sisters.


Funeral services will take place 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 18th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.  The family will greet friends at the funeral home one hour prior to services on Wednesday.  Burial will be at Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven. 


Memorial contributions in Marion’s name may be made to the Mecosta County Senior Center/Commission of Aging. 



Sharon L. Johansen of South Haven

Sharon L. Johansen of South Haven, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on May 7, 2016 from a long illness. She was 75.


Sharon was born July 16, 1940 in Tipp City Ohio to John and Pauline Shroyer. She graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1958. Sharon married Dale Johansen in 1959 in Big Rapids and moved to South Haven in 1970. She worked for Citizens Bank, Canonie Construction and Sperry and Bowman Law Offices. She was a member and volunteer of the First Congregational Church Sharon was a loving mother to Denise ( Kevin) Lane, Jeff (Toni) Johansen and Todd (Amy) Johansen. She is also survived by her six grandchildren; Meghan (Mike) Massengale, Erin ( Alex) Jones, Lauren Johansen, Alyssa Johansen, Nathan Johansen and Anna Johansen. Sharon was preceded in death by her husband Dale, her sister Shirley Eisenhauer, her brother Dale Shroyer and her parents John and Pauline Shroyer.

A private memorial service is being planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Seasons Hospice at or phone contributions at 248-761-3591 or the Alzheimers Association at or Alzheimers Association Greater Michigan Chapter @ 25200 Telegraph Suite 100 Southfield MI 48033.



Dallas Glen Bishop of Big Rapids

Dallas Glen Bishop, age 20, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at his home in Big Rapids. He was just shy of his 21st birthday which he hoped he could celebrate with his parents, Carol (Jody Randall) Batchelder; three sisters, Tiffany (Matthew) Maczynski, Brittany (Josh Blackmer) Smith and Kirstin (Jason) Hanford; beloved nephew, Kyrian and his best buddy, his dog, Duke. Dallas was born on May 23, 1995 in Cadillac.


He was extremely well rounded, stubborn and had a warrior spirit. He found inspiration in the Marvel DC characters and could retain trivial information which he didn’t hesitate to share. For having a debilitating disease Dallas didn’t let it dampen his spirits. He was home schooled and was looking forward to ending his senior year with his teacher and friend Emily.


Dallas will also be deeply missed by his step-grandmother Bea Batchelder; a niece, Elysia Maczynski, who is yet to be born; and numerous aunts, uncles, extended family and friends.


Dallas was preceded in death by his dad, Cevin Bishop and maternal grandparents, Lester Batchelder and Joyce Spencer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dallas’ name can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


A memorial service for Dallas will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.



Ruth A. McCaman of Evart

Ruth A. McCaman age 95, of Evart (Barryton), went to be with her Lord, Thursday, May 12, 2016 at Metron of Big Rapids where she has resided for the last few years. She was born August 27, 1920 to the late Alfred and Hazel (Gardner) Wilson in Fork Twp., MI. Ruth graduated from Barryton Rural Agricultural High School. She married Cleo H. McCaman on May 15, 1943 in Muskegon. In 1956, they made their home on the McCaman family farm where Cleo was born. In 1963, Ruth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching from Central Michigan University. She taught for 29 ½ years at surrounding country schools before ending her tenure as a third grade teacher at Barryton Elementary. With Cleo, Ruth was a faithful church member and made many friends at the Fork Free Methodist, Evart Bible Methodist, Six Lakes Bible Missionary and the Halls Corners Holiness Churches where she often played the organ.


Ruth enjoyed quilting and made several quilts for those she loved. She is survived by two sons: Jay and Kendra (Mosher) McCaman of Sand Lake,

David and Kathryn (Johnson) McCaman of Evart; four grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and many extended family members and friends; who will continue to hold the memories they have close to their hearts.


Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Cleo in 2009; and brothers, Gordon and Dr. S. Lane Wilson.


The family will greet friends at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton on Monday, May 16, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Funeral services for Ruth will be held at 5:00 p.m. with Reverend Jason Ellis officiating.


Memorial donations in Ruth’s name may be made to the Halls Corners Holiness Church or Evangelistic Faith Missions in Bedford, IN.  



Richard Douglas Stern D.D.S. of Big Rapids

Richard Douglas Stern, D.D.S., 68, of Big Rapids joyfully received God’s grace and entered Heaven through Jesus’ mercies on May 14, 2016 after an extended illness. He was surrounded and lovingly cared for by his dear family and Spectrum Hospice.


He was born on March 21, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Melvin and Mildred Stern (both deceased). He lived with his family on the west side of the city working as a newspaper boy. During his Mackenzie High School days and into college, he earned money for school by working long hours as a party store clerk.


Dr. Stern graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology in 1970. He went on to earn his Doctorate in Dental Science at the University of Michigan, School of Dentistry in 1974. In his second year of studies, he met his beloved wife Caroline. They married at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Troy, MI on May 11, 1973. Caroline worked to support them both in Rick’s last year of Dental School with her job as a bibliographer at the University of Michigan’s Graduate Library.


They loved west Michigan and accepted Dr. Bob Scharp’s offer to be a partner in a group dental practice. The two dentists happily worked together, first on Sanborn and then built the distinctive cedar clinic on the corner of Locust and State Street. Each dentist amicably decided to practice solo in 198, with Dr. Stern staying at the 106 Locust location.


Daughter, Dr. Christa, and afterward son, Dr. Paul, joined their father to form the group dental practice of Caring Family Dentistry in 2001. They dramatically expanded the building and grew the practice from its original size. Dr. Rick retired from dentistry in 2011.  


He lovingly supported his dear wife Caroline all her 43 years of teaching at Ferris State University, and he continually encouraged her when she went back to school later in life to complete her doctorate degree.   


Since 1974, Rick quietly and generously shared his time, talent, and treasures by being an active church member, dedicated Bible study student, and diligent Elder at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Big Rapids. He enjoyed making Elder’s visits to nursing homes, shut-ins, or anyone who wanted to hear about God’s good grace. He was devoted to on-going service to others in our community on dental projects and doing Christian and civic volunteer work.


His joy each summer for more than twelve years was going on two week long dental mission trips with his wife Caroline and their Honduran “mission family” doing volunteer dentistry for the poorest of the poor through the Christian Medical Missions International team in Honduras. There, he bonded with fellow mission team members such as Jorge, Bill, Tom, Lee, Herman, Klaus, Jessalyn, Ada, and many others. The mission team contributed many long days of loving labor and medical/dental materials to the thousands of subsistence farming families who would walk to the mission clinic for their only access to health care. When Dr. Stern remodeled his dental office in Big Rapids, he was blessed to be able to donate and ship most his used equipment to help start a new dental hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.


Rick was an amateur theater organist, avid boater, but most of all – he was consumed by studying his Christian faith, witnessing God’s love and grace to others, and sharing the “Good News” of the Bible with everyone he could.


Dr. Stern was a lifelong student of dentistry and a contributing member of the American, Michigan, Chicago, West Michigan, and Big Rapids Dental Associations and the Academy of General Dentistry. He truly cared about his patients and staff and was well known for his wit, humor, compassion, intelligence, kindness, work ethic, and gentle dental skills.   


Opa,” as he was known to family, is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Caroline (nee Lind) Stern, Ph.D.; three dear children: Christa Stern-Lubahn, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. (husband Brad Lubahn and grandsons Mason and Jack); Paul Stern, D.D.S., P.O.S. (wife Heidi and granddaughters Kylie and Alivia); Myra Stern, M.A., all of Big Rapids, and adoptive son Dr. Gemechis Roro of Oregon.


He is also survived by his brothers Robert (Joyce) Stern; Larry (Debbie) Stern; brother-in-law Richard (Anne Marie); sisters-in-law Christine (Robert) Hage and Catherine (Larry) Montsinger; his “recreational debate partner” and mother-in-law, Letizia “Letty” Lind formerly of Big Rapids; numerous nieces and nephews; and many brothers and sisters in Christ from St. Peter’s, the community, Honduras, and beyond.


Caroline and Rick learned important lessons in Christian faith when they lost their fourth child, Richard D. Stern, Jr. who died in infancy, and father Richards “Dick” Lind.   


Christian funeral will be 11:00 AM, Tuesday, May 17th, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Big Rapids, with Pastor John Bookshaw officiating. The service of commitment and burial will take place at Highland View Cemetery, with a reception to follow in St. Peter’s gymnasium. 


Dr. Rick’s family will greet friends at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids on Monday, May 16, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, and at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until service time.

 In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials be made to St. Peter’s Lutheran School (408 West Bellevue, Big Rapids, MI 49307) for upgrades to the playground that is used by the school and neighborhood children, or to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church for Rev. Tim and Beth Heiney’s new mission hospital in Mali, Africa.



Nancy L. Toogood Sharp of Big Rapids

Nancy L. Toogood Sharp, age 80 of Big Rapids, passed away Thursday, May 12, 2016.  She was born July 25, 1935 in Big Rapids, the daughter of William and Florence (Purcey) Totten.  Nancy was a graduate of Big Rapids High School in the class of 1954.  She made her home in the Big Rapids area her entire life.  As a young woman, Nancy worked at her father’s restaurant. She later was employed by Ferris State University.  While at Ferris Nancy worked as a dispatcher, operator and dorm mother, but she was most proud of her title as President of the Employees Union.    Nancy also owned and operated “Nancy’s Kitchen” in Big Rapids for several years. 


Nancy was a member of Eagles aerie #2535 of Big Rapids.  She was a faithful Lutheran and devout Christian. Nancy was a member of Chapel of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Mecosta.


Nancy was known for her quick wit. She will always be loved by her family and many friends, including her morning coffee clutch at Bernie’s. 


She is survived by her four children, Jeff (Sharon) Toogood of Rodney, Judi (Mike) Toogood-Reynolds of Santa Rosa, CA, Dale Toogood of Hersey, Kim (Bradley Ross) Toogood of Portage; ten grandchildren, Stacy (John) Chaput, Jason (Teresa) Toogood, Ryan Reynolds, Caitlyn Reynolds, Travis Toogood, Jared Toogood, Seth Poirot, Hannah Chiametti, Massimiliano Chiametti, Violet Nickolae; four great-grandchildren; a brother, Max (Diana) Totten of Winchester, VA; several nieces and nephews and loving caregivers, Heather and Christine.


Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands, Dale A. Toogood and Robert Sharp and a son, David Toogood and three brothers, Robert Totten, Richard Totten and Thomas Totten.  . 


Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 16th 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Paul Schneider officiating.  Burial will be at Hungerford Cemetery.  The family will greet friends at the funeral home on Sunday, May 15th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 


Memorial contributions in Nancy’s name may be made to the Osceola County Animal Shelter, 502 N. Savidge Road, Reed City, MI 49677.


Robert L. Moore of Big Rapids

Robert L. Moore, age 77 of Big Rapids, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2016 peacefully with his family by his side.  He was born August 24, 1938 in Big Rapids, the son of Arthur and Mae (Petersen) Moore.  Bob graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1956.  He married Patricia Gawne on June 15, 1957 in Reed City.

Bob worked on the pipeline until 1962 when he began his career with Consumers Power.  He started as a welder and was promoted throughout his profession; Bob retired as an inspector in 1995.  Consumers realized his expertise as an inspector and called him back to consult in the summer months.

During the winter months, Bob and Pat traveled the country in their motor home and enjoyed going on cruises around the world.  They also wintered in Florida, Arizona, and Texas.  Bob was a member of the Big Rapids Elks #974, Big Rapids Eagles #2535, Sons of the American Legion Post #98, and the Reed City Moose Lodge 705.

As accomplished as he was both professionally and civically, Bob will most importantly be remembered by his family as a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather.  He is survived by his wife of nearly 59 years, Patricia “Pat” Moore of Big Rapids; two children, Gregory (Jeanette) Moore of Kingsley and Sherry (Bill) Erbes of Reed City; three grandchildren, Justin (Carrie) Erbes, Jenna (Ryan) Bull, and Jade (Doug) Dailey all of Reed City; three great-grandchildren, Elly and Easton Erbes, and Preslee Bull; one sister, Patty Curtis of Big Rapids; several nieces and nephews.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Don Moore.


A graveside service will take place at Pine Plains Cemetery at a later date.



Kathryn J. Reed

Kathryn J. Reed (Arno), age 83 went to be with her Lord, Saturday, May 7, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband Fredrick Dale Reed; parents George and Isabelle Arno and five siblings.


She will be lovingly remembered by her children Barry “Gregg” Reed and Heather (Keith) Bessinger; five grandchildren Drew, Ian, Tyler, Rebecca and Rory; two siblings Alice Hardy and Louis Arno; many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She answered to many names, Kate, Katie even Flip. Kate grew up on a farm in the Hillsdale area, graduated from High School. She married Dale in 1955, they were married for 53 years. She loved spending time with family, baking cookies for her grandchildren and taking time to do crossword puzzles, read books and do her Bible studies.

A memorial service will be held at a later date with location and time to be determined. In honor of Kate and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Debra Jean Moorman of Farwell

Debra Jean Moorman, age 57 of Farwell, passed away the morning of Friday May 6, 2016 at MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland. Cremation will take place with a memorial service to be held at a later date.

Debra was a true outdoors woman, she fished, hunted morels, enjoyed walks in the woods and gardening. She was known to be extremely crafty and could literally make or build anything. She even built a deck all by herself for her daughter. Debra also loved doing oil painting and cooking.

Her loving nature, determined attitude and strong will will be greatly missed by her daughters, Tanya (Samuel) Frederick and Sarah (Timothy) Collins; brother, David Moorman and grandchildren, Jayci, Nolan, Grace, Daniel, Gabriel, Josiah and Verity.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Virginia Moorman.



Tammy Sue Fegenbush of Morley

Tammy Sue Fegenbush, age 48 of Morley, passed away Thursday, May 5, 2016 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.  She was born December 27, 1967 at the Stanwood Hospital, the daughter of John Anderson and Linda Fessler.  Tammy graduated from Morley Stanwood High School.  She worked as a real estate agent and later was employed by MOARC in the housing department.  Tammy and Don were married for 30 years and together they made their home in the Morley area.  Most recently, Tammy and Don had begun their own online business that they named “Rewarding Collectables”.   


Tammy cared deeply for people in need; she even took over guardianship for one of her many residents, making sure they were always properly cared for.  She liked flower gardening, especially calla lilies.  She loved people; her family, her grandchildren and Tammy was very proud of her successful boys. 


She is survived by her husband, Don Fegenbush Sr. of Morley; two sons, Gary (Heather) McShane of Texas and Don Jr. (Sarah) Fegenbush of Big Rapids; three grandchildren, Delilah, Devin, and Drake; parents, Linda Fessler of Morley and John (Cathy) Anderson of Hastings; three brothers, Terry John (Dawn) Anderson of Stanwood, Jason (Tracy) Anderson of Nashville, MI, Brandin (Brandy) Anderson of Hopkins; 2 grandmothers, Erma Kutchinski of Big Rapids, Dorothy Dingman of Caledonia and many nieces and nephews.      


Tammy was preceded in death by her son, Jimmy Alan McShane; two brothers, Daniel and Justin Anderson; a sister, Joneille Anderson-Rehfeldt; grandparents, Louie and Betty Anderson and Grandpa, Gordon Kutchinski.


A celebration of life will take place 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Morley American Legion Hall Post #554 on 2560 Northland Drive, Morley.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the celebration.



Steven P. Young of Evart

Steven P. Young, age 55, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on Friday, May 6, 2016, at his home in Evart. He was born on January 28, 1961 in Hillsdale, MI to Don and Harriet (Maynard) Young. Steve was previously employed at Hayworth and was a “shoe elf” at Wolverine World Wide. He enjoyed fishing, football, especially the Lions, and nature walks.


Steve is survived by his loving children, Courtney (fiancé Harvey Fenton) and Paul Young of Evart; 3 grandchildren who he adored, Noah, Alaina and Cullen Fenton; 3 sisters, Jennifer (Tony) Kettel of TN, Darlene (Evertt) Elkins of TN and Lori (Michael) Brigner of AZ, 8 nieces and nephews and many extended family members and friends, who will continue to remember the good times they had with Steve.


Steve was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Doug and Curtis Young.


Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, 2016 at the Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton. The family will greet friends two hours prior from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home.


Memorial contributions in Steve’s name can be made to the family.



Gladys M. Myers of Barryton

Gladys M. Myers, age 69, of Barryton passed away on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at her daughter’s home in Morley where she has resided the last couple of years. Gladys was born on April 11, 1947 in Reed City to Clyde and Sarah (Bissett) Brininstool. On July 17, 1965 she married Carl C. Myers in Evart and they made their home in the Barryton area for 44 years. Gladys was employed by Evart Products and Soaring Eagle Casino.  


Gladys enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, playing cards with family and friends and trying to win big at the casino.


She is survived by her loving family; two sons, Christopher (Cheryl) Myers of Spring, TX and Kelly (Stacy) Myers of Barryton; two daughters, Carolyn (Rich) Spires and Kathy Myers both of Morley; son at heart Ronnie (Linda) Myers of  Sears; sisters, Joyce Jones and Louise (Ronnie) Hanninen both of Evart; 11 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and numerous extended family members and friends.

Gladys was preceded in death by Carl in 2013; brothers, Dale and Ken; grand-daughter Kristin Spires; two infant children, Russell and Mickylyn; and her parents.


Gladys greeted family and friends on Saturday, April 30th at her home to celebrate her life prior to her passing. No services will be held. Memorial donations in Gladys’ name can be made to Angels in Action. Arrangements and care have been entrusted to Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.



Corinne E. Benedict of Big Rapids

Corinne E. Benedict, 84, of Big Rapids, passed away on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at Altercare of Big Rapids.  She was born on December 22, 1931 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Herbert A. and Iva C. (Ely) Olson.


Corinne graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1950.  She worked for Sears prior to going to work at Ferris State as secretary for the Physical Plant from where she retired.  Corinne enjoyed knitting, cross stitch, reading, gardening and watching her favorite birds throughout the summer.  She was an avid fan of Julia Child, and other popular cooking shows.  Corinne frequently told her boys throughout the years that her intentions were to write a book titled, "My Life, Imprisoned in a Men's Locker Room With 5 Men".  She also enjoyed longtime friendships with Jerry and Katherine Mondrella, Joyce Conley, Clayre Windquist, and high school "bestie", Donna Parker Weigel, whom she could burn up the Email lines with.


She is survived by Teico, her husband of 65 years, three (3) sons, Robert (Betsy), Gary (Jodi) and Steven Benedict, eight (8) grandchildren and four (4) great grandchildren.  Also surviving is one brother, Richard (Susan) Olson, and many nieces and nephews.


Corinne was preceded in death by her parents, her mother and father-in-law, Fitch and Teico (Tex) Benedict, son William Benedict, and sister Joan (Charles) Riley.


Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with nephew Bradley J Olson officiating.  Visitation will be from 3 to 6 pm Friday at the funeral home and from 10 am Saturday until time of services.


Memorial contributions may be made to Big Rapids Riverwalk.



Robert S. Carpenter of Big Rapids

Robert S. Carpenter, 87, of Big Rapids, Michigan went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 2nd, 2016.


Born in Ashland County, Ohio on August 30, 1928, the son of Jason and Ona Mae Carpenter, Bob attended and graduated from Shelby High School in Ohio.  After school Bob joined the Army in September of 1946 and was honorably discharged in December of 1947.  He then reenlisted in the air force in 1951 and was honorably discharged in December 1954.


Bob moved to Big Rapids and attended Ferris State College in 1957.  In November 1957, he opened the original Pizza Hut in downtown Big Rapids and ran it as the Pizza Hut until a law suit forced him to change the name to Pizza Bobs.  Many a pizza was served from his south Michigan location until its closing in early 1970’s.


Bob dabbled in the bakery business when he and Dick Gilbert bought Wrights Bakery.  Also, many hobby enthusiasts remember Bob’s hobby shop, Mid-Michigan Hobby.  After closing the pizza shop, the bakery, and the hobby shop, he went to work at Ferris State University until his retirement in 1992.  Bob was a member of the American Legion, AmVets, and the V.F.W.


Bob is survived by son, William (Albertina) Carpenter and daughter, Barbara (James) Stehle, all living in Florida; plus several grand and great-grandchildren; and special friends, , Bob (Mindy) Grunst, Shelly (John) Linnen, Jim Lindsey, Marilyn Cope, Ann Currie and Lynn Strecker.  He was preceded in death by son, Robert Jr.


Funeral services for Bob will be at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, May, 5, 2016, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Charles Hewlett officiating.  His family will greet friends beginning at 2:00 p.m., Thursday at the funeral home.  Military Honors will be under the auspices of the Big Rapids American Legion Post #98.



Kenneth Ralph Baker of Luther

Kenneth Ralph Baker of Luther passed away Thursday, April 28, 2016 at his residence. He was 76.


He was born July 13, 1939 in Luther to Norman and Marian (Stapish) Baker and was a 1957 graduate of Luther High School. From 1958-60 he served his country honorably in the United States Army as a heavy equipment operator. In 1960, he returned from military service to work the family farm in Luther and was married to Ione Braidwood who passed away in 1975. He was employed as a truck driver for 25 years hauling cars until his retirement in 1994. On March 7, 1986 he was married in Luther to Sharon Fenderspill who survives him. Ken volunteered to be a driver for Dial-A-Ride to keep himself busy after retirement and stayed for 25 years. He enjoyed bowling and bingo with Sharon and hunting together with family and friends.


He is survived by his wife Sharon Baker; children: Kenneth C. (Annette) Baker, Lynn (Eldon Sims) Baker, Russell (Vicki) Baker, Dean (Sara) Armstrong, and Jeff Armstrong; grandchildren: Brandy, Ian, Grant, Mandy, Isaac, Alan, and Kaitlyn; great grandchildren: Damian, Cyrus, Alina, and Alyssa; siblings Donna (Bob) Kipp and Marjorie (Rolf) Connor; sisters-in-law Ann (Howard) Baker and Elaine (Gerald) Baker. He was preceded in death by his parents Norman and Marian Baker; wife Ione Baker; siblings: Richard Baker, Gerald Baker, Howard Baker, and Shirley Draper; children Mark Baker and Scott Baker; grandchildren Markie McConnell and Justin Platz.


A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, May 6, 2016 at the North Park Cemetery in Luther with Mr. Mike Dempkey officiating. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the Luther Area Public Library or to the family.


Kenneth R. Biller of Hersey

Kenneth R. Biller, age 91 of Hersey, passed away Friday, April 29, 2016 at Hendrick’s AFC Home in Reed City.  He was born August 26, 1924 in Hersey, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth “Belle” (Bush) Biller.  Ken attended Hersey School until he quit the 11th grade to cut in the woods with his grandfather.  He then enlisted into the United States Army serving during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Ken was honorably discharge in 1945 after receiving four Bronze Stars.  He returned home and met his future wife, Betty Thomas, at a local diner where she worked.  They married on February 22, 1947 at Betty’s parent’s home in Bitely with her Uncle Reverend Archie Cross officiating.  While living in Big Rapids Betty and Ken purchased property in Paris and together the couple built their own home and lived there for over 60 years.


Ken was employed by various companies throughout his working life.  He was a cutter at Wolverine World Wide, drove truck for Michigan Cigar, he was a talented Brick Mason for Biller Construction and many other independent side projects; including Ferris State University buildings, Crankers, and Big Boy, and he retired as a custodian for Ferris.  Ken enjoyed playing cards, watching Tigers baseball, hunting deer, picking berries and mushrooms, and was on a bowling team.  He was always visiting with family and friends.  Ken volunteered in his community in many ways; including helping with commodities and home improvements. 


The family would like to extend a special thank you to Brenda of Hendrick’s AFC Home; she made Ken feel at home for the last four years of his life. 


He is survived by four children, David (Pamela) Biller of Coopersville, James (Linda) Biller of Big Rapids, Norma “Jane” (Mark) Rozier of Paris, and Daniel (Margo) Biller of Holland; ten grandchildren, Jennell, Matthew, Kim, Ryan, Scott, Brent, Nathan, Heath, Nicole, and Randall; 15 great-grandchildren, Wesley, Cameron, Trinity Mae, Tyler, Broden, Brooks, Kyle, Lynsey, Cole, Nate, Abby, Ellie, Caitlyn, Clara Mae, and Ava; two sisters-in-law, Daisy Biller of Oregon and Barb Biller of Big Rapids; many nieces and nephews. 


Ken was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty Biller on June 4, 2010; two infant children, Arthur and Terri Jean Biller; daughter-in-law, Peggy Biller; five siblings, Frank, Richard, Norman, Loren, and Beatrice Biller. 


Funeral services will take place 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home. 


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


Robert Louis Olson of LeRoy

Robert Louis Olson, 91, of LeRoy, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, April 23, 2016 with his son Bruce and daughter-in-law Alena at his side.


He was born November 30, 1924 in Lake City, MI. to Wesley and Bertha (Long) Olson. On October 26, 1945 he married Emma Elaine Barber and together they had four children, Larry, Bernard, Bruce, and Dardanella. Robert was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his son Larry, and his daughter Dardanella. Robert served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a paratrooper, and upon returning to the States he worked for the U.S. Forest Service until his retirement. In his spare time he was a Boy Scout leader, co chaired the local March of Dimes, and in his 70's he took up sky diving with his wife at his side.


Eldon W. Zimmerman of Hersey

Eldon W. Zimmerman, 86, of Hersey, passed away peacefully on Saturday April 23, 2016 at Spectrum Health – Reed City Hospital Nursing and Rehab Unit.


He was born April 20, 1930 in Hersey to Albert and Marie (Hemund) Zimmerman. He attended Hersey school, and had farmed for many years in the Hersey area. Eldon also served as township supervisor, the Reed City School Board, and the Hersey Fire Department. He married Mary Lou Blanchard on January 9, 1954 in Hersey. She preceded him in death on November 26, 2014 Also surviving are 1 son, Dwight (Meta) Zimmerman of Strathmore, CA. and their children Raymond and Joyce; and 1 daughter, Lori (Wayne) Loney of Houston, TX. and their son Max and also nieces and nephews. Eldon was a member of the Hersey United Methodist Church.


The family will be planning a memorial service later this spring. Memorials in Eldon's name are requested to the Hersey United Methodist Church.


Edward Clyde Houk formerly of Paris

Edward Clyde Houk, formerly of Paris Michigan, passed away peacefully with his wife by his side, March 17, 2016 at the age of 83 in Mesa, Arizona. He was born November 19, 1932, in Cleveland, Ohio.


Ed served his country in the US Army, 167th Field Artillery Battalion in Friedburg, Germany in 1955-57. He married Jean Carolyn Rider July 30, 1960 in Bowling Green, Ohio. They started their married life in Toledo, Ohio where Ed was a painter during the day and University of Toledo college student at night. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Accounting the same year their first son graduated from kindergarten. They were blessed with two more children while in Toledo before they ventured north to Paris, Michigan.


Edward was employed by Reed City Power Line Supply Company as a successful salesman and eventually president of the company. He retired in 1995. After retirement, Ed and Jean traveled to many places and planted roots in Manistee and Canadian Lakes, Michigan; Apache Junction and finally Mesa, Arizona, where he could view his cherished Superstition Mountains on a daily basis.


Ed was never more proud of his children, grandchildren, and family. He was known as a kind and dependable friend with a gentle soul. A true gentleman.


Edward was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Lulu May Houk; his brothers Nelson (Monette) and Royal, and his sisters June Marie and Louise.


He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 55 years, Jean Carolyn Rider Houk; his children: Jeff (Libby) Houk of Morrison, CO, Daniel (Jenny) Houk of Pacifica, CA, and Jennifer (Joel) Zmuda of Petersburg, MI; his grandchildren: Bradley and Meghann Zmuda;

his brother Donald (Kathe) Houk and his sister Fern (Leon) Jagielski.


He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.


Memorial services will be held at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Big Rapids, Michigan on June 25, 2016. Visitation at 10:00am, Funeral Mass at 11:00am. Reception and luncheon to follow at the Big Rapids Elks Lodge, 203 E. Pine Street, Big Rapids.


Memorials may be made to:

St Andrew’s Episcopal Church (323 S. State St., Big Rapids MI 49307)

The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration (514 S. Mountain Rd., Mesa AZ 85208)

Shriners Hospitals for Children (

American Heart Association

Or a charity of your choosing.



Emily Beth Kantar of Big Rapids

Emily Beth Kantar, 26, of Big Rapids passed away unexpectedly on Friday, April 29. She was born on August 10, 1989, in Big Rapids the daughter of Andy and Fran (Keleher) Kantar. Emily celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in 2000 at Temple Benjamin in Mt. Pleasant and was a graduate of Big Rapids High School and attended Northwestern Michigan College where she studied Fine Arts.


Emily was a sweet, gentle person who loved animals and helping people. For years she worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant at local nursing homes, lovingly and conscientiously caring for the needs of her elderly patients. She had a good heart and giving spirit and she will be remembered for these endearing qualities. She was a friend to many and her friends were very important to her. A gifted portrait artist, Emily completed many works of family and friends and one of her portraits was featured on a calendar for a humanitarian organization. She also loved dancing, singing and listening to music and was interested in philosophy.


She is survived by her parents, sister Sally, brother Max, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins. Emily was preceded in death by all of her grandparents.


A memorial gathering for Emily will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00p.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  A eulogy will be read at 6:15 p.m. and anyone wishing to share memories may do so following the reading.  Funeral services and burial will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


In lieu of flowers and in honor of Emily’s love of animals, memorial contributions are preferred to the Animal Rescue Coalition (ARC of Big Rapids), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), or The Humane Society of the United States.



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