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Obituaries Archives for 2016-06

Michelle Lee Orr of Columbus, Indiana

Michelle Lee Orr, age 49 of Columbus, Indiana went to be with her Lord on Monday June 27, 2016. Michelle was born on September 8, 1966 in Lansing, MI. to Robert and Sandra (Fenton) Beers. She attended Chippewa Hills Schools, and graduated in 1984.

After high school, she continued her education, and received her Bachelors Degree from Central Michigan University, and then two Masters Degrees, one from Indiana Wesleyan University and another from Liberty University. She was currently working for the Bartholomew Community School System in Columbus, Indiana where she was a very well respected teacher and was a member of Terrace Lake Church also in Columbus.

Of her many accomplishments, she was featured in an Amazon best selling book “We Named Her Faith”, which her husband authored, which chronicles their journey about adopting their daughter who has Downs Syndrome. Michelle was a very spiritual and devoted person.

She is survived by her husband Tim, and their daughter Faith Sariah. Her parents; Robert (Brenda) Beers I, Sandra (Lechester) Denman, brother; Robert (Kristina) Beers II, sister; Roberta (Ronald) Hazen. Also surviving is her niece Taylor (J.) Pope, nephews; Shawn (Jamie) Beers, Samuel Hazen, William, Jacob, Basil and Josef Beers, Shae Orr, Hunter and Avery Fields, Godson and nephew Robert Beers III. great-nephew Jaxon Lee, grandmother Ruth Minger, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at the Barryton Free Methodist Church, 4395 20 Mile Rd. in Barryton from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m., Pastor Darwin Mowat and Pastor Steve Gulick officiating. Burial will be in Orient Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions appreciated to the family.



Rebecca Ann Ruis of Big Rapids

Rebecca Ann Ruis, age 92, of Big Rapids passed away Saturday, June 25, 2016.  She was born on January 20, 1924 in New York Mills, MN the daughter of Otto and Selma (Hayhtya) Amberg.


Becky earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree from Western Michigan University.  She was a long time member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  Becky taught in the School of Business Administration at Ferris State University.


She is survived by one daughter, Carolyn Hoffman of Ithaca, NY; two granddaughters, Martha Hoffmann of Ithaca, NY, and Anna Hoffman of Burlington, VT.  Becky was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband Elbert in 1995 (?).


A memorial service will be announced for a later date.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.



Lee Cooley of Big Rapids

Lee “Zeek”, “LeeLee” Cooley, age 48, of Big Rapids passed away unexpectedly Sunday, June 26, 2016 as a result of a boating/fishing accident on the Muskegon River.


He was born on March 3, 1968 in Big Rapids, the son of Jerry and Connie Cooley.  Lee is survived by his wife of 28 years, Sonya; one son Nate (Emilee) Cooley; one daughter Brittney (Cory) Cooley; one grandson Berkley; three sisters Lisia (Mitchell) Walch, Lorrie ( Ron) Moore, and Megan Cooley; plus several aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Also surviving is his extended family, daughter Ashley Vincent and her daughter Kylie Jo Wilson.


Lee was preceded in death by his brother, Larry Cooley.


Lee graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1986. He was an avid fisherman, participating in many Bass Tournaments in several states.  Lee also liked to hunt.  He had worked as an iron worker/welder for Pioneer Construction Company in Grand Rapids for 25 years.  Lee was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



Willis Charles Stevens, Jr of Norwich Township

Willis Charles Stevens, Jr, 72, of Norwich Township passed away on June 23, 2016 at his residence. He was born on June 23, 1944 in Gaylord, MI, the son of Willis C. and Margaret E. (Walker) Stevens, Sr.


Following graduation from Big Rapids High School, Will served for two years in the United States Army.  After returning home from service, he worked for Art Bosch, then Bloxsom Roofing.  Will later had his own roofing business until retiring.


He is survived by four children, Wanda Covey of White Cloud, Tammy Leon, Wayne (Kelly) Stevens of Woodville, and Darrell Stevens of Woodville; 16 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.  Also surviving are two brothers, James (Kathy) and Clifford Stevens; and one sister Carolyn (Stan) Bushre; plus many nieces and nephews.


Will was proceeded in death by his parents, his wife Lorene in 2012, and one sister, Velma Lintemuth.


Funeral services for Will will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, June 27, 2016 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Interment will be at Woodville Cemetery.


Louis H. Jehnzen, age 77 of Rodney

Louis H. Jehnzen, age 77 of Rodney, passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  He had a brief battle with cancer.


Louie was born September 13, 1938 in Detroit the son of Maurice and Luella (Bressler) Jehnzen and moved to Rodney as a child.  He was honorably discharged from the United States Army, serving two years of active duty and two years in the reserves. 


Louie worked as a skilled welder his entire life.  He began his working career in Grand Rapids and from there he went to the Oil refinery in Alma.  Louie then was employed at the Nuclear Power Plant in Midland, where he worked until his retirement.  He was a member of Local 85 out of Saginaw for over 40 years and AmVets 1941 of Big Rapids.


Louie loved the outdoors.  He was an avid hunter, he enjoyed camping with his family at Lake Miramichi and he especially loved to fish for bass with his buddies, Bryan Payne and Carl Boroff.  Louie was a big fan of the Detroit Tigers.  He never missed a game on TV or radio and traveled to Detroit in August for a game at the stadium every year. 


Louie is survived by his five children; Wayne (Pegi) Jehnzen, Leonard Jehnzen, Eric Jehnzen all of Rodney, Robin (Marc) Smith of Baldwin, Carrie (Damien) Jehnzen of Rodney; two step-sons, Mark (Lisa) McKinch of Rogers Heights, Matthew (Jamie) McKinch of Rodney; four grandchildren (who Louie loved spending time with); Haleigh Squires, Erica Jehnzen, Dustin (Ashley) Jehnzen, Mark McKinch Jr.; two great-grandchildren, Cayden Jehnzen, Caitilyn Jehnzen; a brother, Jerry Jehnzen of Long Beach, CA; several nieces and nephews and his “Little Man” who will miss him greatly.


Louie was preceded in death by his mother Luella in 2011, his father, Maurice in 1983, daughter, Cindy Boone in 1999 and his sister, Rosie went to heaven a day after Louie on June 23, 2016.


Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Monday, June 27, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating.  The family will greet friends on Sunday June 26th at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Burial will be at the Martiny Township Cemetery near Rodney with Military Honors under the auspices of the United States Army and American Legion Post 98 Honor Guard.


Memorial contributions in Louie’s memory may be made to the AmVets 1941 Ladies Auxiliary in Big Rapids, the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center or to the family. 



Barbara A. Majewski of Paris

Barbara A. Majewski, age 82 of Paris, passed away Thursday, June 23, 2016 at her home.  She was born June 5, 1934 in Detroit, the daughter of Robert and Geneva (Bufkin) Schrodt.  Barbara graduated from Visitation Catholic School in Detroit. 


She married Edward Majewski on October 10, 1953 in Detroit.  After a brief stay in Norway, they moved to Redford Township.  Barbara managed the household and raised their 11 children in the house that Edward built. 


Barbara was an active and devout Catholic, her faith was extremely important her entire life.  Barbara volunteered her time at St. Anne Catholic Church in Paris and in the community. She was a gifted artist and an avid gardener. 


Barbara was an exceptional and caring mother to her large family and she will be greatly missed.  She is survived by ten children: Meta Winn, Edward Majewski, Marty (Cindy) Majewski, Anna Hall, Mary (Manny) Cervantes, Beth (Adrian) Lyman, Paul (Chris) Majewski, Stephan (Jill) Majewski, Daniel Majewski and Barbarajean (Brendan) Majewski-Leach; 17 grandchildren: Erica, Erin, Benjamin, Molly, Brad, Taylor, Brandon, Alejandro, Liana, Angelo, Isabel, Elena, Robert, David, Mary, Matthew, Kyle, and a special niece, Carol King.


Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter, Maria Majewski, a brother, Robert Schrodt, and husband, Edward Majewski on December 18, 2008.


A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at St. Anne Catholic Church in Paris with Father Michael Hodges and Father Michael Burt concelebrating. The family will greet friends from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Monday, June 27th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with a Rosary being prayed at 7:00 p.m. that evening. Burial will be at St. Anne Cemetery near Paris.



Thomas Joseph Farrell Jr. of Morley

Thomas Joseph Farrell Jr., 68, passed away on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at his home in Morley, MI, where he has resided the last 30 years. He was born on May 18, 1948 in Grand Rapids, MI to Thomas J. and Luella (Mergener) Farrell. Tom graduated from Coopersville High School. He retired from J.A. Besteman (now Herren) in Grand Rapids, where he was a truck driver for many years.


Tom enjoyed watching the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers play. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and always looked forward to the truck pulls at the Celebration on the Pond in Morley.


Tom is survived by his wife Elaine; daughters, Katina (Allen) Buchanan of Stanton, Kelly (Sheldon) Bessey of Kentwood and Kristy (Charlie) Bartlett of Howard City; stepchildren, Kelli Monteith of N.C., Kristi (Gregg) Troub of Carson City and Steve (Anna) Smith of Jenison; two brothers, Carroll and Arvon Farrell; three sisters, Mary Ann (Earl) Meerman, Gertrude Jazwinski and Margaret (Don) Bear; twenty-seven grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren whom he adored; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. 


In accordance with Tom’s final wishes, a private graveside service will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, in Marne, where his cremains will be interred with his parents.


In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Spectrum Health Hospice via the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids, where arrangements have been made.



Mary Jane Cook of Big Rapids

Mary Jane Cook, age 92 of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, June 20, 2016 at Evergreen Terrace Assisted Living.  She was born February 7, 1924 in Battle Creek, the daughter of Carl and Bertha (Wilber) Guchess.  Mary Jane married Richard “Cookie" Cook on June 29, 1946 in Battle Creek.  They moved to Big Rapids in 1952 where together they raised their family and became members of the United Church. 


Mary Jane pursued education throughout her life; earning several bachelor and master degrees.  She and “Cookie” purchased Big Rapids Recreation bowling lanes and later opened Rapid Lanes with Dr. Larry Jensen.  She was employed by Big Rapids Public Schools for 13 years before she began her career with Ferris State University, retiring after 29 years in 1995.


Mary Jane was actively involved in her community: she was the President of the Big Rapids Woman’s Bowling Association, a member of Zonta International, President of MARSP, a Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star, served two terms on the Big Rapids School Board, a member of the ADK (a retired teacher’s sorority), and she served on many community service boards and committees in Big Rapids.  She also enjoyed going to lunch and playing many card games with her friends. 


Mary Jane is survived by three children, James (Teresa) Cook of Big Rapids, Carol (Garie) Bemis of Potterville, and Connie Kish of Cape Coral, Florida; eight grandchildren, Daniel (Amanda) Cook, Kerrina (Kyle) Rouech, Maryrose Cook, Jessica (Benson) Kellum, Sean (Krystal) Howard, Erinn Streeter, Ben (Amanda) Streeter, and Matthew Kish; five great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Inez Cook of Texas; several nieces and nephews. 


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Richard Cook on July 10, 1986; two brothers, Wendell and Wilber Guchess, and great-granddaughter Jillian Kellum.


Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2016 at the United Church in Big Rapids with Reverend Jon Fleming .  The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, June 23rd at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  She will be laid to rest at Highland View Cemetery in Big Rapids.   

Memorial contributions may be made in Mary Jane’s name to the United Church in Big Rapids. 



Henrietta Cousineau of Paris

Henrietta Cousineau, age 98 of Paris, passed away Thursday, June 16, 2016.  She was born on February 4, 1918 in Warren, Minnesota, the daughter of Charles and Luella Prell.  Henrietta married Thomas R. Cousineau on October 23, 1937.  She was employed by Michigan Bell Telephone as a custodian until she retired.


She was preceded in death by her husband in October 2000, three brothers, and three sisters.  Henrietta is survived by one son, Thomas C. (Janet) Cousineau; and several nieces and nephews. 


A graveside service will take place 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Davenport Cemetery in Barton Township, Newaygo County with Pastor Bruce Peterson officiating. 


Memorial Contributions may be made in Henrietta’s name to the Big Jackson Church of God, 4001 East 13 Mile Road,  Paris, MI 49338, or The Potter's House School, 810 Van Raalte SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49509.



Ruth Ann Hill of Canadian Lakes

Ruth Ann Hill, age 84, of Canadian Lakes passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.  She was born on April 21, 1932 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin the daughter of Earl W. and Elizabeth G. (Hilsteadt) Hall.


Ruth is survived by her two children Patricia (Roy) Longton and Michael (Linda) Hill, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.  Also surviving is one brother, David Hall and several nieces and nephews, three sisters- in-law, Doreen Hill, Kathleen Hall, and Salene Hall.


She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Robert Hill, one brother Keith Hall, and one sister Marian Perkowski.


A memorial service will be held in Wyandotte at a later date.


Ward Lamont Skewes formerly of Barryton

Ward Lamont Skewes passed into glory on Feb. 9, 2015 in Hong Kong at the age of 91.  He was born on July 18, 1923 in Iron Mountain, Michigan. 


He grew up on his family farm and went to war in Asia during World War II for almost three years, and was discharged with Honors.  He then went back to the US and was saved in a Baptist church.  Shortly later, he met his first wife, Carolyn Lucille Dean.  They were married in 1950 in the Barryton Church of God.  During their 43 years of marriage, they raised seven children: the late, Julia Ann, Ward Curtis, Diana Lynn, Dean Brian, the late Timothy Jay, Nola Joy, and Neil Andrew.  He worked for the Fisher Corporation of Royal Oak, MI till his retirement, while serving faithfully in two churches.  His wife passed into glory on Feb. 20, 1993.  He then married Arlene Nora Gieseler in June, 1994.  They had a wonderful 15 years together till her passing on May 22, 2009.  Then, he lived with his son, Timothy, and his family for one year.  Later, he moved to Hong Kong to live with his daughter, Nola, and her family for the remaining four years of his life.  He was survived by six of his children and their spouses, 14 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. 

After his memorial service in Hong Kong, he was cremated and is now coming to be placed in his final resting place in Flake Cemetery in Barryton, MI with military honors on June 23, 2016 at 4:30p.m.  Any who wish to participate in the graveside service are welcome. Arrangements entrusted to Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton.



Marjorie W. Stout of Stanwood

Marjorie W. Stout, 101, of Stanwood passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  She was born on October 6, 1914 in Stanwood, the daughter of L. B. and Hazel (Walsh) Thon.


Marjorie married Bernard M. Stout, the son of George and Ida Stout, prior to Bernard’s completion of his education at Michigan State in Forest Management.  Following graduation, she joined him in his career in the US Forest Service in various assignments throughout the United States.  They retired in Philadelphia and returned to Stanwood where they were both active in the Northland United Methodist Church.


Marjorie is survived by one son, Brian (Iris) Stout of Lakeview; two grandsons, Michael (Betty) Stout of Waynesboro, VA, D. Kurt (LeeAnn) Stout of Jackson, WY; and four great-grandchildren, Lauren and Courtney Stout, plus Allyson and David Stout.  Also surviving is one brother, Simon Thon of Stanwood.


Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bernard, and one daughter, Joan Dunn.  Also preceding her was one brother, Richard Thon, and one sister, Myra Johnson, plus an infant sister.


Funeral services for Marjorie will be at 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 17, 2016 at the Northland United Methodist Church in Stanwood, with Pastor Gary Bondarenko officiating.  Marjorie’s family will greet friends at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Interment will follow at Higbee Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Northland United Methodist Church.



Max J. Patterson of Reed City

Max J. Patterson, 93, of Reed City, passed away Friday, June 10, 2016 at The Springs of Mooresville, Mooresville, IN.


He was born July 9, 1922 in Reed City to Joe C. and Ether M. (Johnson) Patterson. He attended Reed City Schools, and was a 1940 graduate of Reed City High School. He also attended Michigan State University. Max married Eileen Stephan on September 4, 1943. She preceded him in death on July 1, 2000. Max is survived by 1 daughter, Brenda (Douglas) Haybarker of Camby, IN; 2 granddaughters, Amy (John) Haywood of Camby, IN., and Kelly (Ryan) Kough of Mooresville, IN., and 3 great grandchildren, Abigail and Mathew Haywood, and Katelyn Kough. He was preceded in death by 3 brothers, Hallie, Don, and Dean. Max was a lifetime resident of the Reed City area and farmed for many years. He was proud of his award winning herd of Guernsey cattle. He was a member of the Reed City United Methodist Church, the Farm Bureau, and had served on the Reed City School Board for several years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and his family.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 18 at the Reed City United Methodist Church with Rev. Kathy Cadarette officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 17 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at McDowell Funeral Home, and from 10:00 a.m. until services Saturday at the church. Memorials may be given to the Reed City United Methodist Church.


Cathy Ann DuBois of Canadian Lakes

Cathy Ann DuBois, age 56 of Canadian Lakes, passed away Sunday June 5, 2016.


A celebration of her life will be held Thursday, June 9, 2016 at Janowicz Family Funeral Home - Remus from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.


Nina E. Eldred formerly of Big Rapids

Nina E. Eldred, age 88, of Williamsburg, Virginia formerly of Big Rapids, passed away Monday, June 6, 2016 at her daughter’s home.  She was born May 28, 1928 in Big Rapids, the daughter of Edgar and Blanche (Cook) Obert.  Nina graduated from Spring Arbor Senior High in 1944 and then attended Spring Arbor Seminary and Junior College until 1947. 


She married Millard “Mid” Eldred on November 18, 1946 in Big Rapids and together they raised their family in Clarkston.  Nina was employed by Twist Drill for 15 years.  She and Mid retired to Remus, then North Carolina, and eventually Big Rapids.  The past three and a half years Nina has lived with her daughter in Virginia.  She enjoyed reading and researching.  Nina had a lifelong interest in religion and nutrition; she shared her knowledge in an effort to help her family and friends.


She is survived by her six children, Millard “Dean” (Lori) Eldred of Big Rapids, Susan Reed of Wyoming, Theresa (Anthony) Cuenca of Auburn Hills, Carolyn (Bruce) McArthur of Clarkston, Bethanna Gillmore of Virginia, and Wendy Eldred of Virginia; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; 1 great-granddaughter; brother, Dewitt (Sharon) Obert of Big Rapids; sister, Hazel (Glen) Marvel; many nieces and nephews.


Nina was preceded in death by her parents; husband Millard Eldred on March 14, 2003; four brothers, William, Gerald, Norman, and Jim Obert; sister, Betty Hanes; and great-grandson, Griffin Fowler. 


Funeral services will take place at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Reverend Lindo Koop officiating.  The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the Funeral Home.  Nina will be laid to rest at Ladner Cemetery in Rogers Heights.



Dorothy V. Olson of Big Rapids

Dorothy V. Olson, 88, of Big Rapids, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus on June 7, 2016. 


She was born October 30, 1927 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Raymond and Georgia (DePew) Penland, and graduated from Hersey High School.  On April 1, 1950, Dorothy married Samuel l. Olson, and they lived in Barton Township for most of their lives.  Dorothy was a member of Big Rapids Assembly of God Church.


Dorothy’s family wishes to express a special thank you to the entire Altercare staff for the special care that they provided for her.


Sam preceded Dorothy in death in 2005. Surviving are her daughter, Patti Olson of Big Rapids; daughter-in-law, Geraldine Olson of Big Rapids; two granddaughters, Jennifer (Jordan) Counselor of Kentucky, and Juliet (Aaron) Daugherty of Big Rapids; four sisters-in-law, Edna Olson, Violet DePew, Dorothy Muse, and Maxine (Al) Eisenhauer; several nieces and nephews; and a special cousin Alice Grosbeck.


Dorothy was also preceded in death by one son, James S. Olson; her step-brother, Jack Blanchard; step-sisters Lucille Edgerly and Rosalie LaGrone; and in-laws Roy (Irene) Olson, Vernon Olson, Herman Olson, Hilma (Philip) Hatchew, Robert DePew, Max Edgerly, Marilyn Blanchard and Gerald Muse.


Family graveside services with committal will be in the Highland View Cemetery in Big Rapids.  Memorial contributions in Dorothy’s name may be made for the Salvation Army, with envelopes available at the Mohnke Funeral Home, where arrangements are entrusted. 



Shirley Ann Traynor of Big Rapids

Shirley Ann Traynor, 84, of Big Rapids, passed away June 7, 2016, at Metron of Big Rapids. 


She was born April 11, 1932, in Lansing, the daughter of Stanley and Edna Rapplye, and graduated from high school there.   On October 21, 1978, Shirley married Ray B. Traynor, and they lived in Norwich Township.  For many years, Shirley worked for Mecosta County General Hospital until retiring. 


Ray preceded Shirley in death on August 19, 2008. She is survived by a step-daughter, Angela (Ellery) Barnes of Big Rapids; a step-son Gordon Traynor of Mecosta; her sister Cindy Stevens of Big Rapids; and several grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.  Shirley was also preceded in death by her parents, her sister-and-brother-in-law Ruth and Phil Rathbun, and a niece Jamie Stevens. 


Graveside services with committal will be in the Hiller Cemetery near Brohman.   A memorial service at the Norwich Township Hall will be announced at a later date.  Memorial contributions in Shirley’s name may be left in care of the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, where arrangements are entrusted.


David D. Louck of Stanwood

David D. Louck, age 74, passed away unexpectedly Saturday June 4, 2016 at his home.  He was born January 28, 1942 in Grand Rapids the son of Chester E. and Helen L. (Starr) Louck. 


Dave married Patricia R. Patterson on October 17, 1959 in Stanwood where they made their home for many years.  Dave began his working career in the pulp wood business alongside his father-in-law, Lee Patterson.  He then worked for Coit Avenue Gravel Company in Grand Rapids for 38 years until his retirement in 2006. 


Dave liked to hunt and fish; and he enjoyed good food. He was a member of the Heritage United Methodist Church.  Dave will be forever loved and missed by his family, including his wife Patti Louck of Stanwood; two children, Randy Louck of Stanwood, Stacy (Doug) Sturgeon of Morley; six grandchildren, Aleshia (John) Larsen of Kalamazoo, Jessica Goetsch of Howard City, Adam Goetsch of Howard City, Brooke Sturgeon, Meagan Sturgeon and Amber Sturgeon all of Morley; one great-grandson, Clayton Larsen; a brother, Bill Louck of Cedar Springs and his daughter, Kathy (Don) Carpenter and many nieces and nephews. 


Dave was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter, Penny Sue Grove, a brother, Ernest Louck and his mother and father-in-law, Lee and Rosalyn Patterson.


Funeral services will take place 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Heritage United Methodist Church, 19931 West Kendaville Road, Pierson with Reverend Jane Duffey officiating.  The family will greet friends on Wednesday, June 8th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  The family will also greet friends one hour prior to services on Thursday at the church.  Burial will be at the Aetna Township Cemetery in Morley. 

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



Charles Bliss Cushway of Big Rapids

Charles Bliss Cushway, age 87, peacefully crossed over the river to Eternal Life on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at home, surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on September 13, 1928, on a farm in Allegan County, to Wilbur and Mary Cushway.  The family made several moves during the Great Depression, eventually settling on a farm near Coopersville, Michigan.  Chuck graduated from Coopersville High School in 1947 and joined the United States Air Force.  After training as an Intelligence Specialist, he was stationed at Brooks Air Force Base and served in a CIA Unit during the Korean War.  Following his honorable discharge in 1951, Chuck earned a B.A. in education from Western Michigan University, and eventually a Master’s in Industrial Education from Central Michigan University.


After starting his HVAC career at Gibson Refrigerator Company, Chuck met Colleen Ann Boss, the love of his life, and they were married on August 3rd, 2957 in Belding, Michigan.  In 1967, a faculty HVAC position at Ferris brought Chuck, Colleen and their five children to Big Rapids.  This community, Ferris, and the local Community of Christ Congregation provided an ideal environment for raising a family and enjoying the happiest years of their lives.  During this time, Chuck served as an Ordained Priest and Elder in his church, a Webelos Troop Leader, and as a member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Big Rapids Pubic Schools.  Chuck retired an Associate Professor from Ferris in 1987, to share more time with his wife and family.  He enjoyed church activities, camping, swimming, fishing, mushroom hunting, sightseeing, gardening, artifact hunting with a metal detector, and the restoration of a 1929 Pontiac sedan.  Chuck had a love of nature and a special fondness for planting trees, enjoying wildlife, and sharing companionship with many wonderful dogs, cats, and an Amazon Parrot.


He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Colleen; his five children, Kelly (Karen) Cushway of Big Rapids, Mike Cushway of Trout Creek, MI, Karrie DeYoung of Grand Rapids, David (Penny) Cushway of Big Rapids, and Kevin (Tracy) Cushway of Big Rapids; eight wonderful grandchildren; Matthew (Shaleena), Jared (Maralee), Amos, Luke, Karly, Kelsey, Kiara, and Kamryn; and two great-grandchildren, Bryce and Adrina.  He is also survived by one sister-in-law, Carolyn Cushway (Bill) of Coopersville, MI and many wonderful nieces and nephews.  Chuck is preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, John; brothers, Mike, Bill (Carolyn); sisters, Virginia (Bob) Palma, and Elsie (Bob) Langlois.


A memorial service will be announced for this fall, chuck’s favorite season.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Big Rapids Community Christ Church c/o Dee Neal, 13450 Taft Rd., Big Rapids, MI  49307.



Raymond Joseph Cross of Norwich Township

Raymond Joseph Cross died on Tuesday, May 31, aged 97. He was born in Home Township, Newaygo County, Michigan, on March 13, 1919, to Arthur and Essie (Thomas) Cross. Ray was the third of ten children. He attended school at a one-room schoolhouse in Home Township.  In April 1941, Ray was drafted into the Army, receiving training in Fort Dix, NJ. He was on maneuvers in North Carolina on December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked. As a result, his one-year draft was extended for the “duration of the war.” As a light truck mechanic in the 66th Ordnance Unit, Ray was sent to Iceland for 22 months, helping to service and prepare equipment for the European conflict. In November 1943 he was transferred to St. Dogamels, Wales, where he joined the 111th Ordnance Unit in preparing equipment for the D-Day invasion. He drove a half-track off the boat onto the shores of Normandy two days after the invasion began. From there he continued work with the 111th Ordnance Unit to support various battles in France, Belgium, Holland, and finally Germany. He left the service in September 1945 from Bremen, Germany, after serving 4 years, 5 months, and being awarded the European Service Medal with four Bronze Stars in World War II. He was one of five remaining survivors of the 111th at the time of his death.   


After the war, Ray married Margaret (Stockwell) Cross on June 1, 1946. Ray’s father, Rev. Arthur Cross, performed the ceremony. Margaret preceded him in death in 2014. They were married for 67 years. For almost twenty years they raised a family on their farm in Home Township, Newaygo County. The family moved to their present home in Norwich Township, Newaygo County, in 1965. Ray farmed for a number of years and then in the 1950s entered the logging industry. He came to own his own business (Cross Logging) and ran that until his retirement in 1981.


Mr. Cross was a member of the Big Jackson Church of God since 1937, where his parents were charter members and pastored the church several times in the 1930s and 1940s. For 35 years, Ray and his wife, Margaret, served as the clerk of the church (1973-2008). In honor of their long-time contribution to the church and their interest in education of young people, the Big Jackson Church of God named their Christian school “Cross Academy.” The academy operated from 1988 to 1998, educating students in the area from kindergarten through high school.


He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Margaret, in 2014, as well as his parents, seven brothers and sisters, and one great-grandchild (Joshua Cross). He is survived by a brother, Harry (Lillian) Cross, and a sister, Velma Seaman; his children, Dr. Raymond W. (Miriam) Cross (Madison, WI); Dr. Linda Lou Cross (Cayman Islands); Mrs. Karen S. (Gary) Kirk (Sparta, MI); and Dr. Terry L. (Linda Clark) Cross (Cleveland, TN). All four of the children work in education. There are six (6) grandchildren who survive him: Dr. Bryan (Carol) Cross; Dr. Troy (Young Yoon) Cross; Mr. Kevin (Erika) Cross; Mrs. Natalie (Tim) Campbell; Mr. Keith (Michele) Kirk; and Mrs. Tara (Kevin) Snider; and nine (9) great-grandchildren: Olivia and Laura Cross; Isaiah and Ian Campbell; Gavin Kirk; Orin and Margaret Cross; Oliver Cross; and Luke Snider.


Visitation with the family will be from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Funeral services to celebrate his life will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, at the Big Jackson Church of God in Paris with the Rev. Ryan Shrable officiating.  His family will also greet friends an hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will follow at the Whipple Cemetery with military honors under the auspices of the United States Army and the Big Rapids American Legion Post 98 Honor Guard.


Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Big Jackson Church of God.  



Jesse L. Leister of Big Rapids

Jesse L. Leister, 80, of Big Rapids and Chippewa Lake, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2016.


Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids, with Pastor Becky Morrison officiating. 


Visitation will be form 5-8:00 p.m. on Friday at the Mohnke Funeral Home.


Avis Faune Whited of Evart

Avis Faune Whited, born in Barryton, to Claude and Marjorie Morse (deceased) on September 1, 1933 passed away at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, Sunday, May 29, 2016. Avis was 82 years old and full of life. Avis lived the last 6 years of her life in Evart at the Evart Housing Commission where she had many friends and recently was staying at Spectrum Health Reed City Nursing Center.

Avis was preceded in death by four siblings; Claude Morse Jr., Arrebelle Morse, Shirley Morse, and Gordon Morse; her most recent husband, Forest Clinton Whited of Reed City; two children, Lucelia Patton of Evart and Danny Jackson of Texas.

Avis was survived by 8 of her 10 children; Doug (Barb) Dewitt of Houghton Lake, Claudia Quick of Sears, Andrew Jackson of Sears, Raeann Knapp of Mt Pleasant, David (Ronda) McConnell of Shepard, Gordon, Stanley, and Dwayne Jackson; along with many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

Avis will be cremated with the care of Daggett Funeral Home in Barryton, MI. Per Avis, no formal funeral services will be held. A luncheon is planned at Riverside Park-West north pavilion on Thursday, June 2nd at 4pm, officiated by Scott McDonald.

Avis enjoyed spending time with family and her friends; she enjoyed her puzzles and reading, her cat, Dingy, her kindle with Facebook of course, and life.

Family contact is eldest son Douglas Dewitt 989-246-0094. Donations can be made to the family for anything for the luncheon on Thursday.




Kenneth John Kessler of Big Rapids

Kenneth John Kessler, 77, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Big Rapids on Saturday, May 28, 2016.  He was born on May 25, 1939 in Wyman, MI, the son of Albert and Philomena (Andres) Kessler. A graduate of Big Rapids High School (1957), Ken went on to honorably serve in the U.S. Army before graduating from Ferris State College (1969). 

He married Carol Lynn (Bluhm) on June 14, 1969. They went on to have six children:  Jeffrey (Lisa) of Naperville, IL, Jeremy (Kammy) of Holland, MI, John Aaron (Kate) of Union, KY, Justin of Maple Grove, MN, Julianne of Grand Rapids, MI, and Joshua of Big Rapids, MI. 

Ken is survived by his beloved wife, children, and six grandchildren; Calvin, Jake, Chloe, Max, Daniel, and Anderson; brother Donald (Joan) of Grand Haven, MI; sister Susanne (Hickman) of Arvada, CO; brother-in-law Ken DeMolen; sister-in-law Connie Kessler; many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

His parents, brother William, and sisters Clarabelle and Rosanne preceded him in death.

In lieu of a funeral service there is a celebration of life planned for a later date.


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



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