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ies in 2006
                                                              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 community, at some time during their lives. To find a specific obituary, use the
 Search Our Site  feature 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 of a former Hartford resident from a newspaper away from the Hartford area, please send it.  Past obituaries will be added as time permits. 
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.

Many requests are made for obituary notices and this is a good genealogical resource, as well as providing obits to extended family members who may not have an original.  Searching for obituaries from previous years (mainly prior to 2003) requires a good deal of time.  If you have found this to be a valuable resource and would like to be a sponsor toward keeping the obituaries page updated, send donations to History of Hartford Obituaries, Emma Sefcik, 59320 62nd St, Hartford MI  49057.  Since the History of Hartford website is a voluntary effort, your contribution is much appreciated.

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Hersel Berneill Madison, 61, of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, in Bangor Township.
   Berneill, as he was known to most, was born on Oct. 4, 1945, in Monette, Ark., to Hersel and Lillie (Cheatham) Madison. He was employed at Southwest Docking of Dowagiac for the past 20 years. In his spare time he loved to read, target shoot, reload, fish and bow hunt. He also served his country in the military during the Vietnam War.
   As per his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will however receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Berneill is survived by two sons, Tye (Barbara) Madison of Hartford and Lucas (Shannon) Madison of Watervliet; seven grandchildren, Timothy Nicholas Madison, Natasha Nicole Madison, Derek Kendel Morsaw, Tami Le Ann Madison, Taylor Paige Madison, Trysta Tell Madison and Tori Lynn Cook. He is also survived by a sister, Bernice (Bob) Lightner of Hartford; and two brothers, Donnie R. Madison of Hartford and Jimmy J. Madison of Eau Claire.
   Berneill was preceded in death by a daughter, Tammy Lynn Madison, in 1971; his father, Hersel, in 2002; his mother, Lillie, in 1993; a sister, Wanda Madison, in 1953; and two brothers, Albert Madison, in 1950, and Earless Madison, in 1995.

  Berneill was from the class of 1964 at Hartford High School.

Donald Jobe, age 60, of Kalamazoo, MI, died on December 30, 2006, at Bronson Hospital.
     Learn more about Don and visit with his family and friends on Friday, January 5, from 6:00 p.m. until service time at 7:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home – Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo (375-2900). Reception will follow the service at the Life Story Center.
     Members of Don’s family include his wife of 39 years, Susan Jobe; his son, Dennis Jobe of Hartford; three grandchildren: Nicole, Joshua and Jordan; five brothers and sisters-in-law: John (Mary Sue) Szewczyk of Macomb, Karen (Chip) Henselin of Orlando, FL, Jill Wilkens of Sister Lakes, Steve (Kelly) Szewczyk of Orlando, FL, Kevin (Karen) Szewczyk of Altamontes Springs, FL; mother-in-law, Jaqueline Szewczyk of Altamontes Springs, FL; and many nieces and nephews. Please visit where you may share a favorite memory or photo of Don and sign the online guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to his grandchildren’s college education fund c/o Susan Jobe.
     Donald Jobe was a very giving and generous man. Blessed with an amazing musical talent, he shared his love of life and music with all those around him. Often described as funny, outgoing, wise and loving, Don will best be remembered as a devoted husband, attentive father, doting grandfather and good friend. He didn’t care about recognition or praise; he was just pleased with doing his best and working hard.
     The year 1946 was a mixture of many historical events in the United States. President Harry Truman officially proclaimed an end to hostilities in World War II, while Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart made its big screen debut. For William and Betty (Cheshier) Jobe, 1946 was also a wonderful year as they welcomed the birth of their only child, Donald, on July 10, 1946, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. William was a career military man and served in the Air Force for 20 years. He had attained the rank of Master Sergeant. Because of his line of work, the family lived on several bases while Don was growing up. His father also served in Korea for quite awhile and was away for much of Don’s younger years. The Jobes finally settled down in the small town of Watervliet, Michigan. At first, they lived in the House of David, but later bought some land and built a house. As a young boy, Don was very active in scouting and had achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout. He was also a National Champion baton twirler, which he started at about five. Don performed in many shows and went on tour with country stars, like Gene Autry and Patsy Kline. He was also a child actor and preformed in many theatre productions. Don attended the Watervliet Public Schools, where he participated in the band as a drummer. He later transferred to Hartford High School in his sophomore year and played drums for their concert band and performed as a drum major.
     After graduating from Hartford High in 1964, Don went on to attend the University of Michigan on a music scholarship. At this time, the U of M band was all male, and they went to the Rose Bowl Don’s first year at college. During his second year at U of M, Don’s father died, and he decided to leave school to work as a disc jockey for WDOW in Dowagiac for two years. Don then married his high school sweetheart, Susan Szewczyk, on September 30, 1967, in Hartford. While the newlyweds settled into married life together, Don enrolled at Western Michigan University where he became a disc-jockey at WIDR. He went on to finish his BA degree and went on to earn his Masters in Communication and later in Counseling. During this time, the couple also welcomed the birth of their only child, son Dennis, in 1968.
     After graduating from WMU, Don began his 37-year career in the Hopkins Public Schools. He dedicated 35 years at the high school, and was in his third year as a counselor at the middle school. Over the years, he also helped negotiate contracts for the Hopkins schools. Don was a real "people person" and enjoyed interacting with the teachers and students alike. In fact, the high schoolers thought Don was "pretty cool." During his summers out of school, Don taught Drivers Education at Portage Public Schools for 15 years. He even taught "Mini Me" from Centerville. The last few years Don taught Drivers Training for Jane Hunter.
     Aside from his career and family, Don also pursued his love of music as a drummer and singer for the rock n roll garage band called "The Ghosters." He and Susan traveled a lot with the band as they played all over Benton Harbor and Southwestern Michigan. Aside from performing, Don also wrote much of his own music and had recorded six records. He was musically inspired by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boy’s. He eventually gave up the band life when he was in his mid 40s, and turned his attention to his three grandchildren, whom he adored. Don looked forward to teaching his grandson, Josh, how to play the drums and when he was 15, he would get Don’s drum set. He also enjoyed teaching his grandkids the game of chess.
     Don was an all around great guy with a great sense of humor and a tremendous thirst for knowledge. He was a true TV trivia buff; in fact, he was a "master of trivia" on all subjects. A real "wise" guy, Don was constantly learning. Yet, with all the knowledge in the world, Don knew that true joy and happiness came from being surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Last January, Don suffered from diverticulitis and underwent colostomy surgery. Then, the week before Christmas, he went to have this procedure reversed and unexpectedly died in the recovery room. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Juanita Emmert, 87, of Fort Myers, FL, died December 29,2006.

      Juanita worked for United Telephone Company for 30 years.  She is survived by 4 children, Tyrone (Betty Ann) Emmert, Janet (Bud) Daniels, Judith Kilgore, Margaret Baker, 1 brother, Ken (GiGi) Wilson, 2 sisters, Ferna McIntyre, Betty (Merle) Baldwin, 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. 
      Funeral services will be private. Lee Memorial Park Funeral Home 334-4880



NOTE:  Juanita was a 1938 Hartford High School graduate.  She is the daughter of James Henry Gearing and Iva Ella (Udell) Gearing Wilson and was born in McDonald MI.

Roger Glenn Disbrow, age 63, of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006, at his home.
   Roger was born on Nov. 1, 1943, in Brisbane, Australia, to Roger and Iris (Gibson) Disbrow. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, with many of them mounted around the house. During his younger years, he was very involved with the Hartford Summer Recreation Baseball Association, taking on many jobs.
   The family will receive friends on Thursday, Dec. 28, from 10:30 to noon, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. There will be a time of fellow-ship and luncheon to follow.
   Roger is survived by a daughter, Connie of Metairie, La.; and a sister, Darlene (Rick) Owens of Allegan.
   Roger was preceded in death by a son, Roger Allen Disbrow; and his parents. 

NOTE:  Roger was a 1962 Hartford High School graduate.

Ellen Lynch, 71, of Hartford, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006, at her home.
     Ellen Alvina Jonatzke Lynch was born on Jan. 4, 1935, in Pipestone Township, Mich., the daughter of Edward and Laura (Brenkert) Jonatzke, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     After graduating from high school, Ellen went on and graduated from Community College and Technical School in Benton Harbor, where she earned her associates of arts degree. She then found work at V-M Corporation. She met and married the love of her life, Rodney Lynch Jr., on Aug. 12, 1961. Over the next few years she was employed by Clean America and worked at such places as the Coloma Elementary School, the Lorna Theater in Coloma and Coloma City Hall.
     Ellen enjoyed her flowers, sitting on the deck with Scooter, her dog, doing family history and working out Sudoku word puzzles. She loved being surrounded by her family, especially her grandsons.
     Ellen is survived by her husband, Rodney; a son, Rodney Lynch III of Hartford; a daughter, Laurie Hurst of Watervliet; grandsons, Zach Bambrick and Jordan Hurst, both of Watervliet; and several loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Clyde and Clifford Jonatzke; and a sister, Genevieve Hosner.
     The family will greet friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the Coloma United Methodist Church, where the service to honor her memory will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20.  Reverend David F. Hills will officiate. Interment will be in Coloma Cemetery.
     The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to American Cancer Society, Diabetes Association for Research or South Haven Area Hospice. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home of Hartford with the arrangements.

Thomas Edward Riley, age 77, of Hobe Sound, Fla., formerly of Hartford, died Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006, at Treasure Coast Hospices in Stuart, Fla.
     Thomas was born and raised in Chicago, Ill., and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He worked for the Chicago Police Department from 1955 to 1966, moving to Michigan in 1966 and serving the Van Buren County Sheriff ’s Department from 1967 to July 1991, retiring as a sergeant. In his retirement he was appointed by Hartford Township as the Zoning Administrator. Tom moved to Hobe Sound in 2001 to spend the remaining years of his life with his dear companion, Theresa Schemel.
     Surviving are his daughters — Donna (John) Gaborik of Hartford, Maureen Riley of Hilo, Hawaii, and Cynthia (Ward) Sisson of Traverse City, Mich.; his sons — Roger Riley of Chicago Heights, Ill., Thomas (Laura) Riley of Lansing, Mich., Joseph Riley of Watervliet, and Edward (Ke Ven) Riley of Hartford ; his sister, Mary (Frank) Yates of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; 19 grandchildren; and 14 greatgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Norine Margaret (Mc Caw) Riley, whom he married on April 23, 1949; his parents, Joseph and Anna Riley; three sisters — Genevieve Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Vahldick and Patricia Durkin; three brothers — Joseph, John and Roger Riley; and granddaughter, Colleen (Riley) Nichols. Cremation and burial will take place in South Florida National Cemetery, Boynton Beach, Fla., at a later date. A memorial service will be held in Michigan.

James H. W. Keillor, age 74, of Omaha, Neb., formerly of Hartford , died on Nov. 23, 2006, in Omaha, after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer.
     Jim was born in Gonzales, La., on Dec. 19, 1931, and he and the family moved to Hartford , where he completed high school in 1950. He was a United States Air Force veteran, serving during the Korean War and then after receiving an Honorable Discharge, moved to Omaha where he engaged in a variety of businesses during his lifetime.   
     Jim is survived by a daughter and son-in-law,
Richard and Virginia Sinner of Phoenix, Ariz.; two sons and daughters-in-law, Kevin and Helen Keillor of Omaha, and James F. and Kim Keillor of Phoenix; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and his fiancée, Helen Luther of Omaha. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Marie Keillor; three sisters, Margaret Nuzzo, Ruth Keech and Patricia Cogswell; and two brothers, John Keillor and Daniel Keillor.
     Services were held in Omaha on Nov. 27, 2006, at the Heafey Heafey-Hoffman Funeral Home, and his cremains will be taken to Michigan for burial at a yet-to-be-determined date. Memorials may be made to Hospice House in care of the funeral home.

Dr. Robert P. Locey, age 76, dies November 22, 2006 in Marietta, Georgia.  Dr. Locey was born January 10, 1930 in Iona, MI the son of William and Mary (DeWall) Locey.  He was the former Public Health Officer for Berrien and Oakland Counties.  To learn more about Dr. Bob, view his Life Story Film and visit with his family and friends on Tuesday from 4:00 – 8:00 pm at the Life Story Funeral Home-Betzler 6080 Stadium Dr Kalamazoo 375-2900 where a scripture service will be held Tuesday evening at 7:300 pm.  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday 10:30 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Following the interment family and friends are invited to Gallagher’s Eatery & Pub, 4210 Stadium Drive.
     Members of Dr. Bob’s family include his 4 children; Michael (Theresa) Locey of Marietta, GA, Mary (Lisa) Locey of Ann Arbor, MI, Daniel Locey of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Trish (Phillip) Duncan of Charlotte, NC, 12 grandchildren, 1 sister; Betty Murray of Hilton Head, SC, 2 brothers; William Locey of Fl, and Joseph Locey of Kalamazoo, several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  To read Dr. Locey’s complete life story, archive a memory, upload photos, sign the guest book or make a memorial contribution to Catholic Family Services please visit his personal web page at

Note:  Robert lived in Hartford during childhood before the family moved to Kalamazoo. 

Doyle Ivan Trudell Jr., 74, of Keeler Township, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006, at his home.
     Doyle was born on Aug. 21, 1932, in Keeler Township, Mich., the son of Doyle and Pearl (Boyer) Trudell, both of whom preceded him in passing.
     In his younger days, while living in Florida, Doyle drove race cars. He became an automobile mechanic by trade and helped numerous people out by fixing their cars in his garage at his home in Keeler. Doyle was a people person and just enjoyed spending time with anyone who wanted a cup of coffee and conversation.
    Doyle is survived by a daughter Maryellen (Fred) Donghis of Fort Pierce, Fla.; seven sons – Kenny (Velvet) Trudell, Ricky Trudell, Jimmy Trudell, all of Fort Pierce, and DoyleTrudell III, Randy Trudell, Dale
Meyers and Robert Meyers, all of Hartford. Doyle is also survived by 12 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; three sisters – Loretta Hammond of Bangor, Norma Wren of Batesville, Ark., and Evelyn Mclin of Louisiana; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides his parents Doyle was preceded in death by his wife, Patsy Meyers Trudell; two daughters – Missy Trudell and Hidi Trudell; a brother, Duane Trudell; and three sisters – Luella Schlipp, Betty Dickerson and Rita Soloman.
    The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A service to honor his memory will be held at 11 a.m.. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the funeral home. The Rev. Timothy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate. Interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials may be made to Borgess Visiting Nurse and Hospice.

Betty Jean Stuart, 79, of Hartford went to be with her Lord on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, at Kairos Dwelling in Kalamazoo.
     Betty was born on Sept. 7, 1927, in Decatur, the daughter of Frank and Grace (Bradley) Smith, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     Betty was a member of the Hartford Federated Church and used her Christianity in many ways. For 15+ years she shared her love of God by going to numerous nursing homes and spreading the word of her Lord to those who were less fortunate than her. Visiting with those people were some of her most satisfying times. When not on a mission, Betty enjoyed spending time with her family that she so preciously loved, which included her cats.
     The family
that she so loved consists of three daughters – Jeannie (Bill) Downs of Longwood, Fla., Carlene (John) Brown of Watervliet and Glenna (Ray Loomis) Ezzell of Coloma; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; a sister, Bulah “Boots” Grice of Kalamazoo; and a longtime friend, Linda Flowers of Hartford.
     Besides her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Stuart on Feb. 18, 1984; and two sisters, Mildred Lynch and Genevieve Hiatt.
     The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Hartford Federated Church. A service to honor her memory will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the church. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Federated Church, RBM or Kairos Dwelling.

Cora Thelma Jackson, 92, passed away Sept. 24, 2006, at the White Oaks Assisted Living facility in Lawton.
     Cora was born on June 7, 1914, in Rector, Ark. She was one of 11 children born to Harrison and Luna Wilburn, both of whom preceded her in passing. Cora grew up in Holcomb, Mo., where she met and married Homer Jackson on Aug. 16, 1939. They moved to Watervliet in 1946, and then to Hartford in 1954, where they raised two sons, William and Dwayne. On Sept. 16, 2005, after 66 years of marriage, Homer passed away.Cora was a devoted homemaker and an avid gardener, but she also found time for seasonal employment. She worked at the former Gifford Wreath Factory, where she mastered the art of weaving and making holiday displays for the Marshall Field store in Chicago. Cora also worked for several years in the Hartford School Cafeteria and at the Hartford Fruit Exchange during the harvest season.
     Cora is survived by her sons, William (Shirley) Jackson of Hartford and Dwayne (Claudia) Jackson of Garland, Texas; grandsons, Phillip, Christopher and Kevin of Wolcott, N.Y.; granddaughter, Amy (Aaron) Trombley of McKinney, Texas; and two great-grandchildren, Alyssa Jackson and Dominic Jackson, both of Wolcott.
     Besides her parents and husband, Cora was preceded in death by five brothers and five sisters. Per her request, no visitation will be held. A private graveside service to honor her memory will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, in handling of the arrangements.
Kenneth Paul Smith, age 64, departed this life on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006, at St. Joseph Hospital in South Bend, surrounded by his devoted children, grandchildren and sisters, from complications following a heart attack.
     Mr. Smith was born on the family farm in the Irish Settlement, Hartford Township, on April 10, 1942, the youngest of eight children born to Nat and Ruth Smith. At an early age, he moved with his family to St. Joseph Street in Watervliet, where he attended the nearby elementary and high school. As a Watervliet High student, Mr. Smith was active in several sports and played for both the football and basketball teams. During his teenage years, he was also an altar boy at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. He married his high school sweetheart, the former Paulette Pflugradt, and three children were born to that union.
     Over his adult years Mr. Smith held a variety of jobs including driving a bread truck for Kreamo Bread Company, working for the Watervliet Paper Company and for a few years was owner of the Hub Restaurant in Coloma. Eventually he opened his own pest control company (SOS Pest Control) which for a time was located on Main Street

in Watervliet in Dr. Boothby’s old office building. In recent years he moved the business to South Bend, where he continued its operation on a part-time basis until his death. Several years ago he took a job with Prestige Trucking, and at the time of his death he was employed part-time by Wells Fargo making local deliveries.
     His second marriage was to the former Heidi Taylor. Mr. Smith was single at the time of his death. Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his mother and father; a brother, Richard B. (Frances) of Stevensville, and a brother, James E (Joan) of Hartford Township. He is survived by two daughters — Karrey Francis Hanko of Coloma and Kelley Ann Benson of Coloma; a son, Keith Allen (Diana) of Berrien Springs; three grandchildren — Ashley Marie Hanko, Christine April Benson and Kylie Allison Benson; a brother, Donald J. (Marilyn) of Sun City, Ariz.; and four sisters — Barbara (Frank) Zvonar of Coloma, Beverly (Thomas) Ulrath of Bridgman, Kathryn (George “Pete”) Hofstetter of Smith Mountain Lake, Va., Natalie (Richard) Hartstein of Benton Township. In lieu of burial, Mr. Smith’s remains will be cremated. There are no immediate plans for a memorial service.

Dorothy “Dottie” M. Unruh, 89, of South Bend, Ind., passed away at 11:07 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006, at Hospice House, South Bend. She was born on Dec. 18, 1916, in Hartford, to the late Guy and Arebell (Brant) Congdon.
     On Aug. 9, 1947, in Hartford , she married Ray H. Unruh, who survives. Along with her husband of 59 years, she is survived by a daughter, Susan K. Sumrall of South Bend; a son and his wife, Gary and Connie Unruh of South Bend; four grandchildren, David Sumrall and his wife Kate, Angela, Drew and Adam Sumrall, all of South Bend; and a great-granddaughter, Haley Beth Sumrall. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Oral and Harry Congdon.
     Mrs. Unruh moved from Berrien Springs in 1985
to South Bend. She was employed for 18 years as a librarian in the Berrien Springs School System. She also served as the librarian for Christian Center Day School and World Harvest Bible College, of Le Sea Ministries.
     Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, at The Linc, 530 E. Ireland Road, South Bend, formerly Christian Center Church. Pastor David Sumrall, her grandson, and the Rev. Ralph Unruh, her nephew, will officiate. Burial will follow in Southlawn Cemetery, South Bend. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 6 p.m. today, Sept. 2, at the Palmer Funeral Home Guisinger Chapel, 3718 S. Michigan St., South Bend, Ind., and one hour prior to the services at church. Contributions in memory of Dorothy M. Unruh may be made to The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 111 Sunnybrook Ct., South Bend, Ind. 46637.

Penny Marie Patterson, 49, of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Saturday, July 1, 2006, at her home.
  Penny was born on May 11, 1957, in Paw Paw, the daughter of Dale and
Yvonne (Goodrich) Leonard. She was formerly employed at Saluto’s in Coloma and Duffy Motts in Hartford. She was presently employed at the Shell Station in Hartford. She was a member of the “Mis­fits” bowling team at Lakes Bowl in Sister Lakes. But her most joy was spending time with her family, especially the grandkids.
  The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.
  The service to honor her memory will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the funeral home.
  The Rev. Ronald Hansen of the Hartford United Methodist Church, of which she was a member, will officiate.
  Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Memorials may be made to the church. Penny is survived by her husband, Jim, whom she married on March 20, 1976; a son, Shawn (Tiffanie) Patterson of Portage, Mich.; a daughter, Crystal (Chris) Cowgill of Hartford; a grandson, Elijah Cowgill of Hartford; a granddaughter, Mikaela Cowgill of Hartford; her father, Dale Leonard of
Hartford; a sister, Cindy (Jerry) Birmele of Hartford; and a brother, Richard (Sherry) Leonard of Lawrence.
  Penny was preceded in death by her mother, Yvonne “Vonnie” Leonard, on March 23, 2005.

NOTE:  Penny was a 1975 graduate of Hartford High School.

Robert Carl Hartman of Kalamazoo, died June 29, 2006 at his home. He was born November 29, 1959 in Detroit, the son of William and Marian (Marx) Hartman.
     There will be no public visitation, and cremation will take place. Graveside services will take place at a later date in Royal Oak. Members of Rob’s family include his three children: Becky, Sarah and Robert Jr. Hartman; a brother, Wm. Brian Hartman; his father, William Hartman; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
     Please visit Rob’s memory page at where you can make memorial contributions to Community Healing Centers-Jim Gilmore Jr. Rehab, Bronson Rehabilitation Services or the American Heart Association. Arrangements by LIFE STORY FUNERAL HOME, BETZLER, Stadium Drive (West of US-131) 375-2900

NOTE:    Rob was a 1978 graduate of Hartford High School.   His father, Bill Hartman, was Asst. Superintendent of Schools in Hartford.   Bill is currently in a Hospice facility in Kalamazoo after suffering a heart attack a few days before Rob’s death

Melba Jean Allen Rhinehart, 71, of Hartford, passed away June 26, 2006, at her home.
  Melba’s life began on Nov. 2, 1934, in Delfore AR, the daughter of Almon and Lola Holloway, both of whom preceded her in passing.
     Melba loved her flowers and working in her garden. Her grandchildren were a source of love and happiness for her.
  A memorial service to honor her memory will take place at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 30, at the Hartford Federated Church.
  Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate.  Internment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
  Melba is survived by two daughters, Susan (Alfred) Button of Kismet KS, and Vickie (John) Loomis of Covert MI; a son, Scott Rhinehart of Guthrie OK; five grand­daughters, Kylie Lounsberry of Coloma MI, Jordan (Michael) Clutter of Guthrie OK, Brandy Rhinehart of Paragould AR, Amanda Button of Kismet KS, and Jennifer Loomis of Howell MI; four grandsons, Teddy and Scott Rhinehart Jr. of Guthrie OK, Calvin Button of Kismet KS and John (Tina) Loomis of Bangor MI; and a sister, Mary Sue (George) Cheatham Thornburg of Hartford MI.
  She also leaves behind six great-grandchildren.

Note: Melba was a 1953 Hartford High School graduate.

Frank S. Colman Jr., (Bud), 81, died Tuesday, June 20, 2006, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, Michigan, following a long respiratory illness.
     Frank is survived by a brother Clyde (Gail) Colman of Berrien Springs, Michigan, and sister Margaret Martens of Hartford, Michigan. Also surviving are brother-in-laws, Jack Treat of Grand Haven, Michigan, Larry Nelson of Oregon, sister-in-laws Jeanette Colman of Elkhart, Indiana and Penny Crandall of North Carolina. Bud will be greatly missed.
     Frank was born August 10, 1924 to the late Franklin and Frances Colman. He was preceded in death by brothers Robert Colman, James Colman, and sisters Mable Nelson and Joan Treat. His love was his family and many nieces and nephews whom he dearly loved. His computer and music were a great part of his life and he spent many hours emailing relatives and friends. He will be remembered by many friends that had moved from the Hartford area as he kept them informed of the news regarding their home town of Hartford. Frank was also very knowledgeable and enjoyed talking about the “Big Band” era.
     Frank was employed with the Pere Marquette Railroad (Chessie System) for 43 years, retiring in 1985, as a railroad agent and bridge operator in St. Joseph, Michigan. He was highly thought of and took pride in his work.
     With respect to Frank’s wishes cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral or visitation . Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the Emphysema Foundation.

Note:  Bud was a 1942 HHS graduate.

Martha Jane Gifford, 88, of Lawton, formerly of Hartford, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 17, 2006, at White Oaks Assisted Living, Lawton.
     Jane, as she was known by everyone, was born on July 1, 1917, in Bremen, Ind., the daughter of Bert and Marie (Heister) Deisch, both of whom preceded her in passing.  Jane was formerly employed as a manager for both the Hartford and Covert branch of the Van Buren State Bank.
     She and her husband, Harlan, also owned and operated the Gifford Wreath Company in Hartford.  She was a member of the Benevolence Chapter 256 OES and the Hartford Mothers Club.
     The family will greet friends from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where at 1 p.m. the memorial service to honor her memory will take place.  The Rev. Neltja Brawer will officiate.  The Benevolence Chapter 256 OES will also conduct an Eastern Star Service.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice of Van Buren County.
     Jane is survived by her husband, Harlan, whom she married on Nov. 26, 1936; a daughter, Marcia (Charlie) Burgstahler of Kalamazoo; a grandson, Adam Russell; six granddaughters, Cathy Totten, Brenna Fleckenstein, Dena Thorpe, Denna Perez, Kristen Vander Velde and Vickie Horne; numerous great-grandchildren; a brother, B. Allen (Louise) Deisch of Mount Orab OH; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
     Besides her parents, Jane is preceded by a son, Charles H. Gifford, on Jan. 16, 2005; a granddaughter, Kimberly Gifford; and a sister, Harriett Ulrath.

Note:  Martha was a 1935 Hartford High School graduate.

Donna Rae Squires Bauer Simpson
age 40, of Gilbert, Arizona, passed away on June 5, 2006. Services will be private. Arrangements entrusted to Shadow Mountain Mortuary Phoenix

Note:  Donna was a 1983 Hartford High School graduate.


Ferris Henry Pierson, age 78, of Keeler, passed away surrounded by his family, Thursday, May 25, 2006.
     Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 31, at the McLauchlin-Clark Funeral Home with Pastor Mark Thompson officiating.  Interment will follow in Keeler Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, at the funeral home.
Ferris was born March 15, 1928 in Keeler Township to Henry & Margurite (Myers) Pierson. He was a graduate of Dowagiac High School in 1944, a graduate of Michigan State Short Courses in General Agriculture and Horticulture. He married Donna Mae Toy in 1950 at the Keeler United Methodist Church. Ferris & his son own and operate Pierson and Son Brokerage Company in Keeler and have been fruit and vegetable growers on their 300 acres. He and Donna have farmed for 55 years also owned and operated Pierson’s Fruit Market for 20 years which was sold in 1979. He served 4 years as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Agricultural Labor, 6 years as a member of State Department of Public Health Advisory Committee on Migrant Housing, a former member of Southwestern Michigan Comprehensive Health planning Association, former member of Michigan Agricultural Coop Marketing Association-Asparagus Division, former member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, served 7 years as a member of Van Buren County Planning Commission, Past President of the Southwestern Michigan Vegetable Grower’s association and former Keeler Township Treasurer. He was a member of the Keeler United Methodist Church. He and Donna enjoyed 26 years vacationing at their home in the Bahamas during the winter.
     Survivors to cherish his memories are his wife Donna, four children-Cynthia Ann (Larry) Kruger of Springdale, AR, Sally Jo (Joe) Arnt of Watervliet, MI, Susan Kay (Bruce) Lahti of St. Augustine, FL, Ferris John (Deborah) Pierson of St. Joseph, MI, grandchildren- Chad Kruger, Nicky (Jerry) Dou, Lori (Tim) Mizwicki, Brandi (Jason) Huyser, Jennifer Arnt & Lindy Arnt, Matthew & Katie Lahti, Taylor (Chelsea Peabody) Pierson and Jessica Pierson, great grandchildren- Mason & Logan Mizwicki, Justin & Jason Huyser, Chase Kruger, Madison Dou, sisters – Myra (George) Melvin of Riverdview, FL, Carrilou (Randy) Gale of Decatur, MI, Theresa (Dean) Jacobson of Kalamazoo, MI, brother-Jim (Carol) Pierson of Stevensville, MI, sisters and brothers-in-law- Monica (Terry) Miller, Mary Gillesby, Sharon (Al) Mott, Judy (Don) Bell, Marguerite (Gary) Huston, Donald (Mary Lou) Toy, Carol (Larry) Martin, Patricia Parker and many extended family members. He was preceded in death by his father-Henry Pierson, mother- Marguerite Pierson Gale and a niece and nephew from Kalamazoo.
     The Family has requested that memorial contributions may to Hospice/Van Buren County


Wendell Irwin Martin, born July 3,1926, in Devearaux, Mich., died May 23,2005, in Sun City, Ariz. Wendell died peacefully after a 16-month battle with terminal brain cancer. Wendell married Eleanor Frances Brown Aug. 30,1947. Together they have five children, Daniel, Susan, Sandra, David and Elizabeth. He was a graduate of Albion High School where he was voted best physique and best athlete. He stayed home and graduated from Albion College in 1949. While there he continued his athletic career, lettering in three sports. During his lifetime, Wendell taught high school math, and physics in Durand, Mich., where he was Head Coach of the football team. His teams earned three Mid-Michigan B conference championships in football during his 11-year tenure.
     Later he was principal of the schools in Dryden, Mich., and principal of the high school in Hartford. After retiring from administration, he returned to teaching and taught math in Benton Harbor. During this time, he returned to coaching football at Benton Harbor High School at the freshman level. In 1985, he was inducted into the Michigan State High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. That same year he was a finalist for Michigan State Teacher of the Year. Following retirement, he taught math at Lake Michigan College. While working for the state Department of Education, he presented Math Magic shows in schools around Michigan and for his grandchildren’s classmates.
     Surviving Wendell are Eleanor, his wife of 58 years, their five children along with their families: Daniel Martin, married to Alice, their eight children: Peter Martin married to Marianne, Rebecca Martin, Allyson Martin, Benjamin Martin married to Heather, Jon Martin, Lindsey Martin Russell, married to Jacob, Todd Martin, and Laurel Martin. Along with five great-grandchildren: Christopher, Hayden, Ethan, Danae and Ian. Susan Raymond married to Stephen, their two children: Aubrey Raymond and Nicholas Raymond. Sandra Martin. David Martin married to Kathleen. Elizabeth Pierotti married to Joseph, their five children: Lynn Pierotti, Gina Pierotti, Kathryn Pierotti, Andrew Pierotti and Mark Pierotti. In addition, he is survived by three brothers and their families: Elmer, Ronald, and Raymond Martin.
     Preceding him in death are his parents, Frank and Marian Martin, as well as his older brother, Lawrence. He leaves the gift of his life’s work from a significant Gideons ministry, a devotion to the Hartford United Methodist Church, the fellowship of the Kelloggs Hardware store staff and a friend in Tommy Lombardo.
     Wendell is remembered as an inspirational coach, a mentor to many, a loving family man, and an active Christian. He has many legacies; athletes who quote his words, children who continue to teach that there is good in life, grandchildren who remember three little fishes while setting on their grandpa’s lap and the many hundreds of people he touched through his selfless acts.
     Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Hartford United Methodist Church. Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, at the Hartford United Methodist Church followed by his burial in the Kings Cemetery in Devearaux, Mich., at 4 p.m. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, is assisting the family.
Note:  Wendell was principal of Hartford High School 1965-1968.

Lovell "Marty" Hilburn Martin, 86 of Hartford, passed away on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Grand Rapids.
     Marty, as he was known by all, was born on September 9, 1919 in Mount Vernon, Arkansas, the son of William and Winnie (Castleberry) Martin, both of whom precede him in passing.
     Marty served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII. He was a member of the American Legion Stoddard Post 93 and a lifetime member of the National Disabled American Veterans. He was formerly employed at Potlatch Corporation in St. Joseph for 24 years. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Covert of Covert, where he served as a trustee. Marty married Carolyn A. Webber on November 30, 1973 and she survives along with two daughters: Betty F. Martin of Bloomingdale and Winnifred (David) Welty of St. Cloud, Florida; a son: Charles R. Martin of Cassopolis; four grandchildren: Tommy H. Martin Jr. of Chicago, Illinois; Michelle (Kyle) Brooks of St. Cloud, Florida; Melissa Martin of Bloomingdale and Miranda Martin of Cassopolis; three great grandchildren: Lauren Marie Martin of Chicago, Illinois; Kailey Mae Brooks and Allie Rae Brooks both of St. Cloud, Florida and a sister: Wanda Crossman of Russell, Arkansas.
     Besides his parents, Marty was preceded in death by his first wife Melissa Ella Bushee Martin; three sisters: Trudy Higgs, Ruth Sheline and Vernadean Wolford and 2 brothers: William A. Martin and Billy G. Martin.
     The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 23 from 5 to 8 P.M. at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford where the service to honor his memory will take place at 11 A.M. on Wednesday, May 24. Pastor John Hill of Hill Ministries and Pastor Timothy Nyhuis of the Hartford Federated Church will officiate. Burial will take place at 3 P.M. in Fennville Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans.
Harold W. Frye, Sr., age 84, born February 24, 1922, died April 28, 2006.
Jo Ann Lee “Jody” Aiken of Fort Wayne, Ind., formerly of Hartford, age 52, passed away in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 18, 2006. She was born July 17, 1953, to James and Dorothy Hurt in Hinsdale, Ill.
She graduated from Hartford High School in 1971, where she was Lead Majorette and Homecoming Queen. She was married to Franklin M. Aiken Jr. on July 17, 1984.
  Jo Ann proudly tended to her gardens and yard as a happy homemaker. She also enjoyed riding with her husband on their Harley and traveling with her husband to various places of historic and natural interest around the country.
  She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Frank; her mother, Dorothy of Hartford; her children, Candace (Matthew) De Young of Kalamazoo, James (Abbey) Anthony of Columbia City, Ind., Jessica Aiken of Stevensville and Lindsay (Randy) Smith of
Coloma; her grandchildren, Morgan and Taylor Hoek, Haeleigh Mann, Lillian Smith, and one on the way; her two sisters, Jerrie (Bill) Williams and Donna (Frank) Bower; and her niece, nephews and their spouses and children.  She was preceded in death by her father.  She will be missed by her family and friends.
  A public visitation will take place at First Baptist Church, 2415 W. Shoaff Road, Huntertown, Ind. 46748, today, Friday, April 21, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with a prayer near the end of the visitation.
  Another public visitation will take place at Calvin Funeral Home, 8 E. Main St., Hartford, Mich. 49057, on Monday evening, April 24, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  The funeral service to honor her memory will take place at Calvin Funeral home on Tuesday, April 25, at 11 a.m. with a committal service to immediately follow at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford.
  In lieu of flowers, donations would be greatly appreciated. They can be sent to P.O. Box 289 Huntertown, Ind. 46748, in care of Frank Aiken.
William Martin ”Bill” Locke, age 78, of the Sturgis/Centreville, MI area, passed away Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at Fairview Living Centre, Centreville, MI. He was born in Chicago on Aug. 12, 1927, oldest son of William Martin and Mary T., nee O’Day, Locke.
     In 1946 Bill graduated from Hartford High School, Hartford, MI. On Jan. 15, 1949, Bill married Evelyn C. Klucznik in Chicago. He retired after 32 years as an Account Executive at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, serving in Akron, Memphis and the Chicago area. Bill was a Sgt. in the U.S. Army during WWII. He served as Village Clerk and Volunteer Policeman in Tinley Park, IL and was a member of the Rotary Club and President of the Southside Little League in Des Plaines, IL. Since moving to Michigan, he has been a Lake Templene Board Member and has served on the Nottawa Twp. Planning Commission, the St. Clare Pastoral Council and the St. Clare Building Committee.  Bill will always be remembered as a man of family, friends and community service.
     Surviving Bill are his wife, Evelyn Locke of Sturgis/Centreville; children, Linda (David) Whitaker of Tinley Park, IL, William ”Marty” (Helen) Locke of Gurnee, IL, Paul Locke of Fox Lake, IL and Judith (Ken) Culver of Dekalb, IL; five grandchildren, William Locke, Kristin Locke, Daerielle Culver, Mary Henkes and Derek Whitaker; brother, F. Weir Lhotke of Lawton, MI; sister-in-law, Rose Locke of Mt. Prospect, IL; and several nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard Locke.
     Relatives and friends will be received Sunday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. (MI time) at Eley Funeral Home in Centreville, MI, with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. (MI time). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church in Three Rivers, MI at 10:30 a.m. (MI time) on Monday, April 17, with Father Mathew Illikatil officiating. On Tuesday, family and friends will be received at 10 a.m. (IL time), with a Prayer Service following at 11 a.m. (IL time) at St. George Catholic Church, 6707 W. 175th St., Tinley Park, IL. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Worth, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Clare Catholic Church Building Fund c/o Eley Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 185, Centreville, MI, 49032.
Published in the Chicago Tribune on 4/14/2006.
Vi Shafer, 68, passed away on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at Alden Lakeland Hospital, Chicago.
     She was born in Berrien Springs to Randall and Lucille (Jarrett) Crawford, on July 26, 1937. In 1957, she married Brian Earnest Shafer and had three sons, Jeff (Pam) Shafer of Appleton, Wis., Brian Marc Shafer of Sault Sainte Marie, and Bob (Deanna) Shafer of Benton Harbor. She also has a brother, Robert Crawford of Chicago. She also has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister, Barbara Wells.

     Vi was Miss Coloma in 1956. She has been past chairman of the Miss Coloma, Miss Hartford and Miss Blossomtime committees. She has groomed many of the past area queens over the years and was very active in her community. Vi was a member of ASCAP, SESAC, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Cornerstone Alliance, and the Coloma Chamber of Commerce. She received the Distinguished Woman Award in 2000 for her unique gift as teacher and choreographer in the art of dance by the community of Coloma. Vi started dancing early in life. She started touring the country in 1949, with her sister Barbara Wells. She danced for many dignitaries, foreign diplomats, and even President
Eisenhower. She started a dancing school with her sister and then later opened Vi Shafer School of the Dance in 1961. She has had studios in Coloma, Hartford, Riverside, South Haven and St. Joseph. She started Dancers’ Carousel, a nonprofit organization to raise money to help her dancers travel the world as ambassadors of dance.
     She also gave back to the community in many ways, such as donating Christmas decorations for the light posts in downtown Coloma, purchasing hospital beds for Community Hospital in Watervliet, and dance scholarships. Vi’s performing troupe has traveled all over the world to places such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium, Spain, and Paris, France. Her dancers will be performing at Disney World and Sea World Orlando this year.      A Celebration of Life service will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, with Pastor Tim Nyhuis officiating at Kerley Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Burial will be in Coloma Cemetery. Friends may call on the family from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the Vi Shafer Memorial Fund. Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guestbook online may do so at .

Dolores L. Smith, 81, of Benton Harbor, passed away at her residence and went home to be with the Lord on Friday, April 7, 2006. Upon family request, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April, 11, at the Fairplain Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor.
  Burial of ashes will take place at a later date in Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice at Home or to the Fairplain Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are by Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Benton Harbor.
  Dolores was born Oct. 2, 1924, in Lafayette, Ind., to Clarence and Goldie (Rodman) Logan. She was previously employed at Singer Sewing Center as a sewing instructor for 11 years. Dolores was a member of the Fairplain Presbyterian
Church in Benton Harbor. She was a great seamstress and also enjoyed painting, making doll houses and furniture and cooking. Dolores was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
  Survivors include her husband, Ronald H. Smith, whom she married on Oct. 5, 1940; son, Ronald James (Mary Sue) Smith of Richmond, Va.; daughter, Judith (Ted) Zindler of Benton Harbor; son-inlaw, Ronald Koster of Holland; brothers-in-law — Richard Smith of Lawrence, Brian Maurig of Paw Paw and John (Beth) Smith of Coloma; sister-in-law, Sue Wiles of Houghton, Mich.; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and friends.
  Dolores was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Patricia Koster; brother, Martin J. Wiles; and by two sisters, Mary Jo Smith and Phyllis Maurig.

Note:  Dolores attend Hartford  through her 2nd year of High School.
Mavis Pillman, 75, of South Bend, Ind., passed away Sunday evening April 2, 2006, at Hospice House.
     Born Sept. 25, 1930, in Sandwich, Ill., to the late Mark P. and Lena (Pritchert) Miller. On Sept. 2, 1950, in Hartford, she married Roger A. Pillman, who died in 1982.
     Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Judy Dow (Jay) of Granger, Ind.; granddaughter, Shelby Dow of Bloomington, Ind.; sister, Joann Miller Sumwalt (Dr. James E.) of Tucson, Ariz.; niece, Stacie Payne (John) and children, Colton and Camryn of Tucson; also her extended family, Diane and Jim Bernath of South Bend. Mavis worked as a bookkeeper for Chandler Sales and Service since 1971, and generally ran the company. Mrs. Pillman graduated from Hartford High School and attended the South Bend College of Commerce. She was a longtime member of Clay United Methodist Church. The Rev. Kim Bloom will conduct memorial services at 6:30 p.m. today at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend, where friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. today. Cremation has taken place in the Michiana crematory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, 111 Sunnybrook Ct., South Bend, Ind. 46637.
Mavis was from the HHS class of 1948.
Mary Jo Smith, 70, of Lawrence passed away suddenly on Wednesday, March 29, 2006, at Lake View Community Hospital, Paw Paw.
Mary Jo was born on May 6, 1935, in Keeler, the daughter of Martin J. and Goldie Wiles, both of whom preceded her in passing. Mary Jo was a lifelong resident of the Lawrence area. She worked many years for the USDA, retiring in 2001.
She then spent her time traveling with her loving husband of 45 years. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.
The family will greet friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at the Leonard Funeral Home, Lawrence, where a service to honor her memory will take place at 4 p.m. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Mary Jo is survived by her husband, Richard, sons, Steven (Faith) Smith and Mark (Gale) Smith; daughters, Nancy Baker and Deb (Randy) Simmons; and eight grandchildren.
Besides her parents, Mary Jo was preceded by her sister, Phyllis Maurig, and a brother, Jay Wiles.
Edwin “Ed” Arwed Ison, 95, of Hartford passed away on Tuesday, March 28, 2006, at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community in South Haven.
  Ed was born on Oct. 12, 1910, in Chicago, the son of Charles and Elsa (Sommers) Ison, both of whom preceded him in death. On May 14, 1951, he married the former Irene Mc Comb and they were together for 54 years until her passing on Sept. 1, 2005.
  Ed joined the Florida Coffinbury Lodge 309 F&AM on Dec. 19,1949. He became a Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1987, and was presented the past master apron in 1988. He received his life member pin in 1989, and this year marked 56 years of membership. He was a trustee on the Masonic Temple Board, served on the Hartford Township Board and was a contributor to the Hartford Business Association. In 1975, he retired from the John G. Yerington Construction Company after 21 years of service.
  The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, at the
Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, where the service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1, the Rev. Elvin Nyhuis, Visitation Pastor of the Hartford Federated Church, will officiate. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Federated Church Visitation Ministry or the South Haven Area Hospice.
  Ed is survived by a nephew, Richard (Judy) Ison of Hartford; two nieces, Pat (Bill) Drake of Hartford and Marcia (Jack) VanDrasek of Watervliet. He is also survived by five great-nephews, Rich Ison of Detroit, Tom (Amy) Ison of Dowagiac, Paul Ison of Coloma, Robert Fuller and Larry Fuller, both of Hartford; and five great-nieces, Julienne (Mike) Rhodes of Mattawan, Cheryl VanDrasek of Coloma, Dawn (Kevin) Smith of Granger, Ind., Teresa (George) Seifert of Stevensville and Debra (Everett) Peek of Bangor.
  Besides his wife and parents, Ed was preceded in death by three brothers, Albert Ison, Norman Ison and Charlie Ison; and a sister, Carrie Ison Barrett.

  Ed was a 1930 Hartford High School Graduate.  Click here to view one of the last photos of Ed and Irene Ison.
Michael John Van Lierop, 45 of Paw Paw, formerly of Hartford, passed away suddenly on Monday; March 27, 2006.
    Mike was born on Aug. 10, 1960, in Watervliet, the son of John and Diane Van Lierop. He was a member of the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartford and a graduate of Hartford High School. Mike worked for a few years in the oil fields of Oklahoma before returning to Southwest Michigan. He loved working on cars and helped his dad at the family business for much of the past 20 years. Mike was very special to his family and friends and his kind heart, thoughtfulness and generosity will be missed by all.
    In addition to his parents, Mike is survived by two brothers, Tom (Robin) Van Lierop of Hartford and Jim (Cheri) Van Lierop Of Grand Rapids, three sisters, Maryann (Paul) Eikens and Susan (Jim) Brock, both of Missoula, Mont., and Teresa (Kenneth) Baumbach of Tiburon, Calif.; an aunt, Vonnie Meyer of South Bend, Ind.; an uncle, Carlton (Marilyn) Van Lierop of Blountstown, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.
    Mike was preceded in death by his grandparents, J.C. and Mary Van Lierop and Robert and Frances Nitz; and a nephew, Joshua Eikens.
    The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. The service to honor his memory will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, March 31, at the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, 205 Bennett Ave., Hartford. Pastor John Weaver-Hudson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Van Buren County Mental Health or the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church.

  Michael was a 1978 graduate of Hartford High School.
Richard "Dick" Louis Joseph, 74, of Winchester, Virginia, formerly of Alexandria, Virginia, died tragically, March 13, 2006 in his home.
     Mr. Joseph was born January 17, 1932, in Columbus, Ohio, the son of the late Harold Homer and Nina Margaret Yohe Joseph.  Mr. Joseph moved to Winchester in April of 2001 after having lived in Alexandria, Virginia for twenty-two years.  He was an Analyst with the Department of Defense and Small Business Administration having retired in 1998 after forty years of service.  He was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester, Virginia.  Mr. Joseph was a graduate of the University of Michigan having received his BA and Masters in Business Administration. Mr. Joseph was a Veteran of the United States Army having achieved the rant of First Lieutenant.
     Surviving is his sister, Catherine Hoerst Fields of Butler, Kentucky, his brother, Theodore Yohe Joseph of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, nephew, Peter Steelman of Charlotte, North Carolina and niece, Martina Mosley, of Dillsboro, Indiana.
     A Mass Christian Burial will be conducted at 11 a.m., on Tuesday at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Winchester, Virginia with Father Stanley J. Krempa officiating.  Interment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery with Military rites accorded by VGW Post 2123 of Winchester, Virginia
     The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. one hour prior to the service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Winchester, Virginia.  Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, Virginia 22038-1131.  Arrangements are being handled by Omps Funeral Home, Amerhurst Chapel, Winchester, Virginia.

The following appeared in the Washington Post, April 5, 2006:

Richard L. Joseph, 74, retired management analyst with the Small business Administration in Washington, was found dead March 13th after a fire at an apartment building in Winchester, VA.
     The Northern Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office in Fairfax was unable to identify Mr. Joseph’s body for more than two weeks.
     Firefighters responding to the afternoon fire at the three-store Peppertree Apartments discovered his body during a search of the damaged building later that day.  There were no other fatalities. Investigators believe the fire was caused by discarded smoking materials in a bush next to the building.
     Mr. Joseph began his civil service career at the Defense Department as a program analyst in Philadelphia and later as a system analyst in New York. He joined the Small Business Administration in 1979 and worked there until his retirement in 1988. 

Interesting notes from his sister, Cathy Gunther Fields, when she submitted Richard’s obituary in 2008:
     The fire, my brother lost his life in, was started by discarded smoking material outside of his building.  The whole northern Virginia area was in a fire alert, due to how dry it had been.  The person who started the fire has never been found.
Everything was lost in the fire except his Hartford class ring. After he went to college, our mother kept it until she died in 1989. Then I sent the ring to him. He sent it back, and said I could have it, because he had one from college. I told him I didn’t want HIS class ring, LOL and it became a fun thing we did when we saw each other – slipping it in a pocket, or under a book, etc. He had it with him when he died, and it was found when they took what was left of the building down. I had it melted down into a beautiful gold ring, that I now wear every day to remember him.

 Richard was a 1949 graduate of Hartford High School.


ATHENS – Anna Mae “Maggie” Mandoka, 62, passed away peacefully at home Saturday, March 11, 2006, surrounded by family and friends.
     Friends may call at the Spencer Family Funeral Home in Athens, where the family will be present at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15. There will be a rosary service at 7 at the funeral home and a traditional American Indian service at 7:30 conducted by Angeline Francisco.
     Visitation will be Thursday, March 16, at 10:15 a.m., with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. with Father Leo Taubitz officiating at Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 51841 Leach Road, Silver Creek Township.
Interment will be at Sacred Heart of Mary Cemetery.

NOTE:   Anna was a 1962 Hartford High School graduate.

 Naomi Melton-Rose, R.N. Naomi died from complications of cancer in New Jersey on Monday, March 6, 2006, family members said. She was 87.
  Born 1918 in Hartford, the daughter of Ruth and Dell Shafer, Naomi graduated from Hartford High School in 1936. She also received an RN degree from Borgess School of Nursing in Kalamazoo.
  Mrs. Melton-Rose was a registered nurse at Watervliet Community Hospital for approximately 20 years before retiring. Naomi, a native
of Hartford and Watervliet, began spending winters in central Florida in 1980.
  Naomi was always active in her church, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and the Association for Retarded people.
  Surviving are daughters, Caroline Melton and Laura Salz, a son, Edward Melton, and two grandchildren. Also surviving her are sister, Ellen Marvin, and brothers, Robert and Stephen Shafer. Naomi has numerous nieces and nephews.
  A memorial service is tentatively planned for mid-April in the Watervliet-Hartford area.

 Billy Eugene Teeters, 69 of Hartford passed away on Sunday; March 5, 2006, at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph.
  Billy was born on Oct. 16, 1936, in Lilbourn, Mo., the son of John and Nellie (Adamson) Teeters, both of whom preceded him in passing.
  He loved and performed music. He owned and operated Teeters Recreation in Hartford. He was a member of the U.S. Army Paratroopers.
  He was a member of the Keeler General Baptist Church.
  The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today, March 7, at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford and from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at the Keeler General Baptist Church, where a service to honor his memory will take place at 2 p.m. Pastor Bill Martin will officiate.
  Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford, where military rites will be performed by VFW Post 1137, VFW Post 6803 and American Legion Post 362 and Auxiliary. Memorials may be made to the church or the American Cancer Society.
  Bill is survived by his wife of 42 years, Margaret; two daughters, Debra (Chuck) Snider of Bragg City, Mo., and Rhonda Sheldon of Baldwin; three stepdaughters, Terri Ockerman of Lawrence, Jackie Dutton of Portage and Angela Roberts of South Carolina; a stepson, David Roberts of North Carolina; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Wanda (Charles) Long of Hartford; brother, Jerry (Sharon) Teeters of Hartford; and numerous nieces and nephews.
  Besides his parents, Billy was preceded in death by a grandson, Michael Anthony Mattner; sister, Betty Sue Teeters; and three brothers, James, Bobby and Kenneth Teeters.

Raymond “Pete” Daisy – A graveside service will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006, at 2 p.m. at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery on Red Arrow Hwy., in Watervliet. Afterward, our family would like to invite everyone to the Thelen Hall, which is in the basement of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet.
     Raymond “Pete” Daisy, 63, of Lone Mountain, Tenn., formerly of Lowell, Mich., died of cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006, at home with his family at his side. Pete was born July 25, 1942, in Bangor. He was a 1960 graduate of Hartford High School,
served in the U.S. Navy and was a master electrician as well as mastering the sport of fishing and hunting and had a collection of good friends around the nation.
     He was predeceased by his parents, Albert and Florence Daisy. Surviving are his daughters, Dawne (John) Swanson of Lowell and Lyndee (Brian) Bruinekool of Saranac Mich.; grandchildren, Brandie, Austin, Jacob and Evan; sister, Lauretta Daisy of Florida, and brother, Ron Daisy and Ron’s close friend Jane Prater of Coloma; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Claiborne Home Health and Hospice, 409 Cawood Lane, Tazewell, Tenn. 37879.

 Helen L. Weston, 88, of Decatur passed away from her life on earth to eternity in heaven on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community, South Haven.
    Helen was born on Jan. 23, 1918, in Hartford, the daughter of Clare and Iva (Stratton) Lamb, both of whom preceded her in death. Helen was formerly employed at the Farm Bureau Insurance office in Paw Paw and for many years with Doctor Adelbert L. Stagg in Hartford. She was a member of the Tri County Women’s Club and the Lawrence Senior Citizens.
  As to Helen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at the Hartford Federated Church, where she was a lifelong member.
The family will greet friends from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. prior to the service. Pastor Timothy Nyhuis will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to South Haven Area Hospice or the Hartford Federated Church. The family has entrusted Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with the arrangements.
  Helen is survived by her children, Thomas (Ardis) Weston of Decatur, Bonnie Anderson of Raleigh, N.C., Jerry (Judy) Weston of Crestline, Ohio, and Richard (Norene) Weston of Pea Ridge, Ark. Helen is also survived by 13 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
  Besides her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest, on June 12, 1982; a sister, Evelyn Wallace; a brother, Robert Lamb; and a son-in-law, Charles Anderson.

NOTE:  Helen was from the 1934 graduating class of Hartford High School.

William R. Wolverton, 62, of Niles died at 11:03 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006, at University of Chicago Hospital, following a brief illness.
     Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Halbritter Funeral Home, Niles. Pastor Tim Nyhuis of Hartford Federated Church will officiate. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens, Hagar Shores. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Gift of Life Foundation, 2203 Platt Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
     Mr. Wolverton was born Jan. 24, 1943, in Caraway, Ark., to William Franklin Wolverton and Mattie (Mitchell) Wolverton. He was a resident of Niles since 1966, coming from Hartford . Mr. Wolverton retired in 2003, after 15 years at Gast Manufacturing Corp., Benton Harbor. He was a member of Hartford Federated Church; Aero Sport Connection, Marshall, Mich.; Experimental Aircraft Association; and a member of Barfing Dog Flying Club, Niles. He was a Basic Flight instructor for 15 years and was an Advanced Ultralight flight instructor for seven years. He was an avid pilot — he loved to fly.
     He is survived by his wife, Susan M. (Stickney) Wolverton, whom he married on Sept. 23, 1961, in Lawrence; daughter, Tammy Lynn Samuels of Edwardsburg; son, William David Wolverton of Edwardsburg; daughter, Sherry Deanna Lewis of Winnsboro, La.; seven grandchildren; sisters, Marjorie Wolfe of Hartford , Letha Cooner of Jasper, Ala., Mary Louise Adams of Cordovia, Ala., Daisy Barrett of Etowah, Ark., Bernice Taylor of Woodland, Calif., and Linda Lawson of Keeler. He was preceded in death by a sister, Lottie Baker, on Sept. 7, 1990.

 William was a 1961 graduate of Hartford High School.
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