Open house event went well

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

More than a dozen people showed up Saturday at the inaugural foster care and adoption open house in Three Rivers.

Spearheaded by the St. Joseph County Department of Human Services, the three-hour, drop-in event provided information about licensing requirements to become involved in foster care.

Karie Saylor, representing the Centreville-based DHS of St. Joseph County, said she was pleased to provide in-depth information for the people who attended.

Saylor said she would like the open house to become an annual event.

Contract terminated

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

Sturgis-based Michigan Agency with Choice has terminated its contract with Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County.

The decision was made based primarily on the agency’s refusal to reinstate services for people with disabilities, according to John Carmichael, director of business development of GT Independence, the parent company of MAWC.

Liz O’Dell, Community Mental Health executive director, said as a result of the action on behalf of MAWC, a 60-day termination clause in the contract that went into effect Oct. 1 last year means the agreement will expire June 10.

O’Dell said a variety of new-provider agencies will be able to fill the void left by MAWC. Still, she  called the decision unfortunate.

The Centreville-based agency has a client roster of 2,700 people, which includes the 235 from MAWC, O’Dell said.

Jean Zellner, 88

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

Jean P. Zellner, age 88, born November 28, 1924 passed away peacefully at White Oaks Assisted Living Facility, of Lawton, MI. on Thursday, April 11, 2013 surrounded by her family and friends.

Jean graduated from Indiana High School in 1944 and Allegheny General Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. She worked as a registered nurse for many years and most recently as a nursing supervisor at Indiana Hospital in Indiana, PA until her retirement. Jean loved helping others by making a difference in someone else’s life and this was exemplified through her volunteer work at the Indiana Hospital following her retirement. Jean was kind and compassionate to everyone that came into contact with her.

Jean loved to travel the world. Cooking, sewing, and being with her family and friends were Jean’s favorite things. Upon her retirement she traveled with her sister to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, The Carolina’s, and Nova Scotia.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Everett and LaVina Peterman, sister, Frances Hollis, and son-in-law, Forest N. Fisch.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory, children, Linda J. Fisch, of Three Rivers ,MI, Barbara(David)Bieler, of Crofton, MD, and Carole(Paul)Moore, of Austin ,TX; grandchildren, Jennifer(Seth)Kulpinski, of Three Rivers, Adam(Meagan)Fisch, of Middleville, MI, Madeline and McKenzie Bieler, of Crofton, MD; great grandchildren, Emily, Caleb, Anna, Forest, Noah, and Aubrey; sister, Dorothy P. Salsgiver, of Indiana, PA; many, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Cremation has taken place and there will be a burial of cremains in Indiana, PA at a later date.

Memorial donations may be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or White Oak’s Assisted Living Facility in Lawton, MI. Envelopes available and can be sent to Hohner Funeral Home; P.O. Box 1018; 1004 Arnold St; Three Rivers, MI 49093 in care of arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hohner

Karl Schmidt, 87

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

Karl W. Schmidt, age 87, of Mendon, died Saturday April 13, 2013 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He was born in Chicago, IL on March 11, 1926 the son of Erich and Klara (Gedeon) Schmidt. When he was a child the family moved back to Germany. After WWII he emigrated back to the United States and settled in Mendon. He was employed at the former Haas Corporation which later became Lear Siegler where he was a tool and die maker specializing in mold repair. Karl retired in 1991 after 39 years with the company. He was a member of U.A.W. Local 503 and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Colon. He loved to fish, travel, and work about his home. He was married to Barbara (Koch) Schmidt on June 29, 1957, and they were the first couple married at St. Paul Lutheran Church’s current location in Colon.

Karl is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Barbara Schmidt; two sons, John Schmidt of Lewisville, TX and Werner Schmidt of Ft. Wayne, IN; three sisters, Margaret (Werner) Faas of Plainfield, IL, Irmgard Schmidt of St. Lauderdale, FL, and Betty (Richard) Clark of St. Charles, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eric and Klara Schmidt; and an older brother, Gustav. Karl always put his family first, was greatly loved, and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday April 17, 2013 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 484 S. Burr Oak Rd., Colon, MI 49040 with Pastor David Grimm officiating. Burial will be in Mendon Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to either St. Paul Lutheran Church, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ( An online register is available at

Dale Rauh, 65

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

In loving memory of Dale Clare Rauh, age 65, of Sturgis, Mich., passed away early Saturday morning, April 13, 2013, surrounded by his family.

He was born March 23, 1948, in Lapeer, Mich., son of Chris and Isabel (Houghtaling) Rauh.

Dale graduated from Lapeer High School with the class of 1966 and attended Michigan Tech and Central Michigan Universities.

On Aug. 29, 1970, he married Patricia Pickett. For 33 years he was a teacher with the Sturgis Public Schools and later taught at JDT in Centerville.

He was devoted to his faith, loved his family, and tried to encourage young people to be the best they can be. He enjoyed the outdoors, from kayaking to landscaping and sports of all kinds, especially hockey.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia; son, Christian Rauh of Hudson, Ohio; daughters, Candace Rauh of Battle Creek and Caryn Rauh of San Francisco, Calif.; granddaughter, Ava Rauh of Ohio; parents, Chris and Isabel Rauh of Lapeer; sister, Kathy (Rodney) Bracy of Middleville; brothers, Doug (Vicki) Rauh, Bainbridge Island, Wash. and Lyle Rauh of Lapeer; sister-in-law, Ann Rauh of Ravenswood, W. Va. , and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death, by his brother, Edwin Rauh.

In accordance with Dale’s wishes, there will be no visitation and private burial will take place at Calvary Chapel Cemetery in Sturgis. A memorial service celebrating the life of Dale C. Rauh will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sturgis Evangelical Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Rodger Moyer will officiate.

The Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331 is entrusted with the arrangements.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorial donations be directed to Hospice of Sturgis, P.O. Box 126, Sturgis, MI 49091.

The obituary is also at where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

Ilda Ecker, 86

April 15, 2013 by WLKM · Comments Off 

Ilda G. (Ditlow) Ecker, age 86, of Sturgis, Michigan passed away Friday, April 12, 2013 at Thurston Woods Village following a lengthy decline in health.

She was born in Mendon, Michigan on February 16, 1927 the daughter of the late Joseph Allen Ditlow and Ellen Marie (Romans) Ditlow.

Ilda traveled extensively and resided in Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, and Arizona. She was a homemaker and worked as manager of the Jane Sturges Memorial Home, a cook & baker for Sturges Young Auditorium, Sturgis High School, and Wellesley College in Massachusetts as well as Thrift Store manager Ft. Richardson, Alaska (Army).

For years she was an active member of Girl and Boy Scouts, Sturgis High School band parent, Sunday School teacher, an NCO Wives Club officer and member, Swinging Seniors and the Christian Women’s Club. She volunteered for the Sturgis Hospital Popcorn Guild, Fairview Nursing Home Auxiliary, and the Sturgis Historical Society.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory two daughters: Joanne (Jody) Evans and Connie Batten; a son-in-law: Richard Batten; 9 grandchildren: Jennifer (Paul) Schramm, Rebecca (Lee) Hilligas, Archie Batten, Amy (Jeff) Gest, and Abraham (Hannah) Batten; a great-grandchild: Isaiah Batten; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

She was preceded in death by parents, son: Rollie, four sisters and three brothers.

The family will receive friends and relatives from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M., Thursday, at the Hackman Family Funeral Home – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331.

Services celebrating the life of Ilda G. Ecker will be held at 10:00 A.M., Friday, at Trinity Lutheran Church with The Rev. Calvin J. Kolzow Jr., officiating.

Graveside services and interment will follow in Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Ecker’s memory consider Heartland Hospice, 8075 Creekside Dr., Portage, MI 49024 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

The obituary is also at where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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