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Obituaries in 2002
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Frances Aileen Johnson-Rostek,
, died unexpectedly on Friday, December 27, 2002, in
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday,
Dec. 31, at Calvin Funeral Home,
, with Reverend Charles Davis of
First General Baptist Church of Benton Harbor officiating. Burial
was in Maple Hill Cemetery,
. Visitation was held from 6 to
8 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home.
She was born November 22, 1929, in Philadelphia,
Mississippi, to Vester and Lillian Clay. She enjoyed raising her
Survivors include her husband, Irvin Rostek of
her mother, Lillian Clay of Watervliet; one brother, John (Bell)
Clay of Watervliet; five sons–Eddie (Edith) Johnson of Benton
Harbor, Paul "Pat" (Darlene) Johnson of Marion, Arkansas, and Tony
(Kelly) Johnson, Michael (Jackie) Johnson and Gary (Trina) Johnson,
; three daughters–Paulette Koszola, Shelia (Charles)
McNeace of Searcy, and Dee Dee Johnson of
25 grandchildren; and 17 greatgrandchildren. She was preceded in
death by: her first husband, Paul "Red" Johnson Sr.; one
great-grandson, John Wesley Watkins; and her father, Vester Clay.
Irene Yeckley James,
83, of Whittier, California, died Saturday, December 21, 2002, in
Funeral services were held at noon on Monday, Dec. 30, at Calvin
, with Reverend Ron Hansen of
United Methodist Church officiating. Burial was in Maple Hill
. Visitation was held beginning at 11 a.m. until the
time of the service.
She was born on September 23, 1919, to Roy and Mary
(Hutchins) Yeckley, in
. She retired after 36 years of
service to GTE; was a volunteer at Inter Faith Food Center for eight
years; was married to Alfred Gonzales in 1962, until his death; and
then married John James on July 21, 1973.
Survivors include: her husband, John; a sister, Iris
Mitchell; two nieces–Kay Scullin of Redlands, California, and Hope
Tschappet; a nephew, Robert Froom; five stepchildren–Tom and John
James, Rita Gonzales, Laura Hogan, and Yvonne Johnson; and numerous
step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in
death by: her first husband, Alfred Gonzales; one son, John Keith;
twin brothers; and a stepson, Paul James.
NOTE: Irene was
1938 Hartford High School graduate
, died Friday, December 20,
2002, at LakeView Community Hospital, Paw Paw.
As to his wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no
service. Arrangements were by Calvin Funeral Home,
Mr. Soldaat was born July 2, 1957, in Grand Rapids, the
son of Jack and Matilda (Johnson) Soldaat. Survivors include: two
sons–Justin Soldaat of Muncie, Indiana, and Joshua Soldaat of
Albany, Indiana; one daughter, Angela Soldaat of Albany; one
brother, Steven (Debra) Soldaat of
one sister, Terry Soldaat of Fort Wayne, Indiana; two
nephews–Steven (Amy) Soldaat Jr. of
and Travis Soldaat, also of
; and numerous great-nieces and
Murphey, 88, of
Hartford passed away peacefully on Monday, Sept. 30, 2002, at her
daughter’s home in Hartford.
Funeral services will
be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Hartford Federated Church,
of which she attended. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. Burial
will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Visitation will be
held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at Calvin Funeral Home,
Hartford. Memorial contributions may be made to Hartford Federated
Church or Hospice of Van Buren County.
Mrs. Murphey was born
July 7, 1914, in Braidwood, Ill., the daughter of John and Louise (Mumbrum)
Jackson. Both preceded her in passing. She was a member of the
Cereal City Ramblers Trailer Club; an avid gardener; a great cook
and loved to dance and go traveling.
Survivors include: a
Richard (Janet) Murphey of Cadillac,
Linda (David) Norden of Hartford;
granddaughters — Sandra (Duane) Morton of Twin Lake, Mich., and
Kellie (Tim) Hakken of Grand Junction; grandson, Kyle (Lisa) Norden
of Hartford; four great-grandchildren; sister, Elsie Tryner of
Illinois and a brother, Lawrence Jackson of Illinois; and an aunt,
Lydia Kirkendall of Illinois.
Louise was preceded in
death by her husband, Chester E. Murphey, on May 28, 1995; a
grandson, Shawn Murphey, on Jan. 10, 1998; two sisters and three
32, of Hartford, passed away Sunday, Nov. 10,
2002, as the result of a farm accident.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov.
14, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with Pastor John Sternaman
officiating. Burial will be in Keeler Cemetery, Keeler Township.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the
funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made
to Michigan Eye-Bank and Transplantation Center.
Randy was born May 26, 1970, in Watervliet, the son of
Rynold and Arlene (Danneffel) Ziemer. He was a farmer on his family
owned farm. Randy was a sponsor of Sternaman Racing; a big NASCAR
fan with favorite driver Jeff Gordon. Randy formerly raced his own
car in Kalamazoo. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved
spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoyed
Survivors include: his mother,
Arlene Ziemer of
Hartford; a brother, Robert (Michelle) Ziemer of Watervliet; a
sister, Lisa (Jim) Sternaman of Coloma; his fiancée Amy Weeden and
daughter Annabelle of Hartford; nephew, Steven J. Sternaman; and
nieces, Olivia Ziemer and Kendall Ziemer.
He was preceded in death by his father, Rynold, on Aug.
NOTE: Randy was
a 1989 Hartford High School graduate.
83, of St. Joseph died Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002, at Lakeland
Continuing Care Center, St.
Friends may call from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a
celebration of life service at 1 p.m. at First United Methodist
Church, 3003 Leco Ct., St. Joseph, where she was a member.
Officiating the service will be the Rev. Wade Panse. Burial will be
in Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Harbor. Memorials may be made to
The Education Trust Account for her Great Grandchild or to the
Arthritis Foundation. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks &
Menchinger Family Funeral Home, St. Joseph. Friends wishing to sign
the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
was born May 31, 1919, to Clare and Josie (Koob) Clover in Hartford.
On July 18, 1953, she married Glenn B.
Parren, in Benton Harbor. During her life she worked at 3M
Corp. in Chicago, St. Joseph City Hall and Whirlpool Corp., where
she retired from in 1985. She was a member of Monday Musical and the
Survivors include: her son, Mark
Parren of St. Joseph; two
granddaughters, Kathy Parren of St.
Joseph and Christa Parren of
Virginia Beach, Va.; one great-grandchild, Jocelyn Thornton; two
sisters — Mildred (Robert) Scranton of
Brighton, Mich., and
Gail (Clyde) Colman of Berrien Springs.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn, in
54, of Hartford passed away suddenly
on June 3, 2002 at Community Hospital, Watervliet.
A memorial service to celebrate Gary’s life will be held at 7
p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford,
where the family will greet friends beginning at 6 p.m.
Wednesday. The Rev. Charles Davis will officiate. Military
rites will be conducted at the funeral home by the American
Legion Post 362 and its auxiliary; VFW Post 1137 and VFW Post
In lieu of flowers, the family
requests donations be made to the Van Buren Sportsman’s club, of
which he was a member.
was born June 28, 1947, in Hartford, the son of Ernest and Marie
(Blake) Saline, both of whom preceded him in passing. His
sister, Darlene McGee, also preceded him in passing.
Gary was employed at the Watervliet Paper Mill before owning and
operating, for the past 14 years, Gary’s Service of Hartford,
which he sold this year. At the time of his death, he was
employed at Krenek Van and RV Center of Coloma. He was a
Seabee in the Navy during the Vietnam War
and was a member
of the American Legion.
survived by his wife, Melva, whom he married on July 2, 1968; a
son, U.S. Air Force TSGT Eric (Caryle) Saline of Las Vegas; a
brother, Orville (Florence) Saline of Texas; and nephews, Bob
and Joe Saline.
Gary was a loving
husband, father, brother, and friend, who will truly be missed.
Gary was a 1965
Hartford High School graduate.
71, of St. Joseph, passed away Monday,
May 13, 2002, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:30
a.m. Friday, May 17, at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home,
2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Burial will follow at North Shore
Memory Gardens. Friends may call on Friday from 10 a.m. until time
of service. Memorials may be made to the Lakeshore High School Girls
Athletic Programs. Friends wishing to share a memory on line may do
Arden was born on Dec. 22, 1930, in Benton Harbor to
Arthur and Lillian (Tetlock) Rowley. On June 7, 1952, he married
Roberta Hefter, in Benton Harbor. He was a retired manager of
various retail grocery stores. Mr. Rowley was also
a veteran of the United
States Army, having served in the Korean Conflict. He was an
avid supporter and fan of Lakeshore High School sports, especially
of the girls sports teams.
Mr. Rowley is survived by his wife Roberta, and four
sisters – Doris (Bill) Stembaugh of Paw Paw, Sheila (Earl) Price of
Winter Haven, Fla., Marvis Rowley and Erma (Lester) White, both of
Watervliet. Also surviving is a special friend, Kirkland Love of
Brush Lake, Mich. He was preceded in death by his parents.
NOTE: Arden was
1949 Hartford High School graduate.
Eugene V. "Butch" Heeter,
85, of Hartford, died Monday evening, May 13,2002, at Lakeland
Hospital, St. Joseph.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today, May 15,
at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where funeral services will be
held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 16. Captain Richard T. Sanders will
officiate and Masonic rites will be conducted by the Chamberlain
Coffinbury Lodge 308 F&AM, of which he was a member. Burial will be
in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
Butch was born May 16, 1916, in Sodus. He retired from
American Electric Power Company, by whom he was employed for more
than 40 years. He was an avid sportsman and a charter member of the
Van Buren Sportsman’s Club. His entire life focused on his family
and no matter how he felt, the presence of one of his grandchildren
or great-grandchildren lifted his spirits and put a smile on his
He was preceded in passing by his wife, Lucille, in
1988; his sister, Alice Henderson; his brother, Charles Dan Heeter;
his sister, Ruth Thompson; and a special friend, Irene Hendrix.
He is survived by his daughters Sandra (Floyd) Sanders;
Patricia (Tom) Kirkpatrick and Deborah (Burt) Tetzlaff;
grandchildren Eugene (Lori) Jarvis, Richard (Linda) Sanders, Leslie
(Mark) Wild, Heather (Troy) Smith and Hillary (Ryan) Beck; six
great-grandchildren; his twin sister, Veryl Davis; his twin brothers
– William and James Heeter; and a great number of nieces . and
Butch will always be remembered for his love of all
children and the great outdoors. He will be missed by all who knew
and loved him but will join Lucille in Heaven and dance in
celebration of their reuniting.
F. Richter – of Hartford, Age 84, passed away
Saturday, May 4, 2002 at Michigan Veteran’s Facility in Grand
Paul was born May 1, 1918 in Hartford, the son of Paul
and Mabel (Dowd) Richter, both of whom preceded him in passing.
Paul attended Kalamazoo College and the University of
Michigan Medical School, before joining his father at Richter
Insurance in Hartford, retiring in 1976. He managed the Van Buren
County Fair, was past President of the Michigan Association of
Fairs, was bank director at the First of America Bank. He was
co-founder of Fishers of Men, and was nominated for Hartford Citizen
of the Year.
Paul was an Army veteran of WW II, as a member of the 386 Bomb
Group, and B-26 Historical Society.
Paul is survived by his wife, Helen, whom he married on
February 4, 1967; son, James Richter of Lansing, daughter, Paula
Madarik of Hartford, son, Tim (Joyce) Link of Lawrence, and
daughter, Ann Link of Dowagiac; grandchildren, Jeff Dorman, Scott
Madarik, Janie Culp, JoAnn Link, Julie Pellow, Michelle Flowers,
Jennifer Link, Katie Link and Grant Link; 11 great-grandchildren;
and a sister, Helen Castor of Lansing. He was preceded in death by
his first wife, Shirley in 1964; a son,
Dan Link in 1994; sisters,
Esther Geisler and Hazel Cunningham; and a brother, Raymond Richter.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2002
at the Calvin Funeral Home Hartford, MI Funeral Services will be
held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Hartford Federated Church,
of which he was a Deacon, with Pastor Timothy Nyhuis officiating.
Burial will take place in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, where
military rites will be conducted by VFW Post #1137, VFW Post #6803,
American Legion Post #362, and its Auxiliary. Memorials may be made
to the church or the International Gideons, of which he was an
Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette May 6, 2002
Paul was a
1936 Hartford High School graduate
Earl Carlson, 80, born March 12, 1922, died
April 24, 2002.
He served in the US Navy during World War 11.
Richard Drake, 65, of Lawrence, passed away Sunday,
February 24, 2002, at home after a long and courageous fight.
As to his wishes cremation has taken place and a
private graveside service will be held at Hill Cemetery, Lawrence.
The family will receive friends at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Van Buren
Sportsman’s Club. The Leonard Funeral Home, Lawrence, is assisting
Mr. Drake was born Nov. 19, 1936, in
the son of Richard and Margaret (Haney) Drake, both of whom precede
him in passing. He retired from G.M. Corporation in 1999 after 18
years of service. He was employed by Pullman Industries. Mr. Drake
enjoyed hunting, fishing, farming and volunteered for many occasions
at the American Legion Stoddard Post 93, of which he was a member of
the Sons of the Legion.
Survivors include: his wife, Charlene, whom he married
Nov. 4, 1982; daughter, Jami Drake of Lawrence; daughter, Misty
Drake of Long Beach, California; son, Ted Sinclair of
son, Robert Drake, daughter, Shelly Drake; son, David Drake;
daughter, Susan Drake; and son, Russell Drake, all of
several grandchildren; brothers–Thomas Drake of Paw Paw and Gary
(Tonya) Drake of
and numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Delbert “Del” Stanley Westcott, 85, of Tucson,
Arizona, formerly of
passed away Thursday, February 14, 2002, at Tucson Medical Center.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Monday, at Calvin
with Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of
Federated Church officiating. Burial was in Maple Hill Cemetery,
Visitation was held from noon on Monday until the time of service at
the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Tucson
Medical Center Hospice.
Mr. Westcott was born March 17, 1916, in Bangor, the
son of Floyd and Leona (Stanley) Westcott. Both preceded him in
passing. He formerly was employed as a welder for Hughes Aircraft.
He was also active in both the Eagles Club and Boy Scouts.
Survivors include: son, Eugene A. (Joyce) Bonamigo of
Portland, Oregon; daughters–Louise (Chuck) Smith of Mayer, Arizona,
and Diana (Earl) Meyers of Marana, AZ; four grandchildren; and four
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ninette,
on May 22, 2000; a sister, Dorothea Robinson; and brothers–Howard
Westcott and Harold Westcott.
May Dechert, 67, of
died Tuesday, January 29, 2002, at Bronson Methodist Hospital,
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Her cremains will
be buried in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Shores. Memorials may
be made to the Benevolent Fund at Hope Lutheran Church in
which she attended.
She was born April 7, 1934, in Baroda, the daughter of
Louis and Elvina (Kotke) Dechert. She was formerly employed at
Memorial Hospital (now Lakeland) in St. Joseph.
Survivors include: four brothers–Merl (Betty) Deckert
of St. Joseph, Gerald (Anne) Dechert, also of St. Joseph, Earl
(Grace) Dechert of Stevensville, and Elmer (Pauline) Deckert of
and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by: her
parents; three sisters–Lydia Herman, Ruth Kruger, and Freda Kruger;
and two brothers–August Dechert and Walter Dechert.
Beatrix Knytych, 93, of Michigan City, Indiana, formerly
of Keeler, died Monday, January 28, 2002, at Life Care Center of
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan.
30, at Calvin Funeral Home,
with Father German Perez-Diaz of Immaculate Conception Catholic
Church, , as celebrant. Burial was in Keeler Cemetery.
Visitation was held from 10 a.m. Wednesday until the time of the
service. Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice.
Mrs. Knytych was born February 5, 1908, in Chicago,
Illinois, the daughter of Anton and Catherine Mertl.
She formerly owned
Gateway Dairy in New Buffalo and
Keeler Grocery. On
October 11, 1924, she married Benjamin Knytych.
Survivors include: a daughter, Rose (Mack) Kaminski of
New Buffalo; a son-in-law, Harry Sara-byn of Dowagiac; her
grandchildren–Allen (Joann) Kaminski, Kevin Kaminski, Kathryn (Dan)
Vanderplough, Susan Moroz, Gary Sarabyn, Randy Sarabyn, Kathryn
(Ron) Legus, and Karen (Mark) Reilly; numerous great-grandchildren;
and a brother, George (Betty) Mertl of Federal Way, Washington. She
was preceded in death by her husband, Benjamin; her parents; and a
daughter, Ruth Sarabyn.
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