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ies in 1944
                                Hartford Michigan

        Click here to return to the to Obituary Index

Please email the webmaster if you have obituaries of people who have lived in Hartford Michigan, or was active in the Hartford-Keeler community, at some time during their lives. To find a specific obituary, use the  Search Our Site  feature, also located on the left menu of every page.  The Obituary section was started January 30, 2008 and current obituaries will be posted as they become available.  Obituaries are from the local newspapers, unless otherwise noted.  If you have an obituary notice (or learn of the passing away of someone who lived in Hartford at one time) of a former Hartford resident from a newspaper away from the Hartford area, please send it. Past obituaries will be added as time permits.  Death notices are also posted in the HHS graduate database.
Note:  if you have a good or different photo to insert with present or past obituaries for the History of Hartford website and email newsletters, please click here to email them unedited directly to the webmaster.  If you don’t have a scanner, send photo by US Mail to Emma Thornburg Sefcik, 59320 62nd St., Hartford MI  49057.

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Hartford Day Spring

Sgt. Donald Olds, Paratrooper
Killed on Christmas Day

     Sergeant Donald H. Olds son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olds, has been reported killed in action.  A telegram from the war department was received b the parents on January 2, stating that he was killed on December 25 in Belgium while serving with the 52nd division of the 505th paratroop infantry.
     Sgt. Olds is the thirteenth Hartford serviceman to give his life in the present war.
     Donald Olds was born on September 8, 1917, on a farm south of Watervliet.  Three years later he moved to the Hawley district, Hartford township, with his parents where they have resided er since.  He was graduated from the Hawley school and attended Hartford high school for a short time.  Before he entered the service he was owner and manager of the Sinclair service station in Watervliet.
     Olds entered the army in April, 1942, and received his training at Camp Roberts, California, and Fort Benning, Georgia.  He was home on furlough for the last time in December 1942 and was sent overseas in April 1943.
     Olds saw action in the invasion of Sicily and Italy and after a short tie in a rest camp in North Ireland he was sent to England. From there he went to the Netherlands, where he was active in the battle of the Nijmegen bridge, and later to France where he was last heard from on December 15.
     Besides his parents, he leaves one brother, Frederick "Bill" at home.


Hartford Day Spring

WWII Veteran
Found Dead at Farm

Louis McKenzie of Keeler was found dead early Friday morning [January 19, 1945] at a farm near Plainwell.  A driver for the Peter Pan Bakery company, Mr. McKenzie had parked his truck at the edge of the highway and had evidently started for the barn to get water for his truck, as he had been in the habit of getting water at the farm on previous occasions.
     His body was found in the yard about six o’clock by the owner of the farm when he went out to do his chores.
     Sheriff Louis Johnson and Wm Brant, coroner, were called and Mr. Brant stated that the death was caused by a heart attack.
     Louis McKenzie, son of Mr. and Mrs. John McKenzie, was born June 14, 1899, in Keeler He was a truck driver for Clare Clover of Hartford for two years and for the McNamara Motor Freight company of Kalamazoo for five years.
     He enlisted in the army and entered service December 15, 1942, and received training as a technical mechanic at Camp Santa Anita, California.  He attained the rank of Sergeant and was transferred to the reserved corps in June, 1943.  He began driving for the Peter Pan company about a year ago.
     Besides his parents, he leaves three sisters, Mrs. Harold Ruple of Keeler, Mrs. Cleo Benjamin of Lansing, and Mrs. Lila DeWitt of Benton Harbor, three nephews, Willie DeWitt of Benton Harbor and Wayne and Gene Ruple of Keeler, his fiancée, Mrs. June Putman of Kalamazoo, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
     Funeral services were at the Keeler church January 21 with the Rev Lester Clough officiating.  Burial was in the Keeler cemetery.

Henry Webster
 Funeral services for Henry Webster, 86, were conducted in the Zuver and Calvin funeral chapel Monday afternoon, April 17, at 2:30 o’clock.  The Rev. Harold Kenny, pastor of the Methodist church in South Haven, officiated, and burial was in Maple Hill cemetery.
     Mr. Webster died in South Haven Friday morning, April 14, at the home of his daughter, where he had resided for the last six years after leaving Hartford.
     Deceased was born April 15, 1858 in Webster Hills, the son of William and Sarah O’Dell Webster.  He was one of three sons and four daughters, all of whom pre-deceased him.
     He was married in 1881 to Annette Minshall, who died in 1899, leaving her husband and four children, Frank, Ora, Leo and Hazel. In 1900, Mr. Webster was married to Mrs. Nellie Pearson, who died December 26, 1930.  She was the mother of two daughters by a former marriage, Mrs. F.R. Holt, Lansing; and Mrs. D.J. Baker, Chicago.
     Surviving are Mr. Webster’s three sons, Frank, who resides near Webster Hills; Ora, of Dowagiac; and Leo, of South Bend; and four daughters, Mrs. Wayne Plastridge, of Connecticut; Mrs. Robert Bennett and Mrs. Frank Smith, South Haven; and Mrs. Burdette Poorman, of Alma; besides the two step-daughters, and 12 grandchildren.
     Mr. Webster was engaged in farming in Webster Hills until 1912, when he moved to the village of Hartford, where he resided with his family on Linden street.  In 1938, he went to live with his two daughters in South Haven, where his death occurred.

As printed in the Day Spring on 4-20-1944.
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Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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HartfordHistory Icon - Hartford MI

Pearls In Our Past - Hartford Michigan
A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik
Competent Secretarial Service
History of Hartford Michigan
Copyright © 2000 - All rights reserved.

Revised: March 23, 2009