Tommy McDonald, 65

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Tommy L McDonald, age 65, of  Constantine, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014. He was born in Tulsa, OK on August 25, 1948, a son of Albert and Evelyn (Wright) McDonald. Tommy served in the US Navy. On June 30, 1966 he married Donna Barfield in Snyder, TX. Tommy worked as a Master Diesel Mechanic at Tommy’s Diesel in White Pigeon, and had previously worked as a truck driver and cook. He was a member of the Arthur E. Stears American Legion, Post # 223, Constantine. Tommy also enjoyed fishing, hunting, riding motorcycles, working on and rebuilding cars.

Tommy is survived by his wife, Donna McDonald, Constantine, daughter, Tonya René (Cory) Fries, Sturgis; sons Tommy Russell McDonald, Constantine; Randell Lynn McDonald, St. Louis, MO; Derek Lee (Faith Ann) McDonald, Krugerville, TX, sister Patricia Gossett, Elkhart, TX, grandchildren Katalina Victoria McDonald, Union, Tory Edward Fries, Troy Isaac Fries, Reegan René Fries, all of Sturgis, Cody Allenn Tindle, Daren Lee McDonald, both of Krugerville, TX, Devon Dentler, Daylan Bennett, both of Mottville, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Lloyd Moore, brothers Freddy McDonald, and Jerry McDonald.

Relatives and friends will be received Saturday 10-11 AM. at Trinity Missionary Church, Constantine, where Memorial Services will follow at 11:00 A.M. . Reverend Terry Neumayer will officiate. Interment will be at Constantine Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the American Legion, Constantine. Online messages may be left for the family at

Constantine Schools release documents

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A 59-year-old Three Rivers man who previously taught in Constantine and Three Rivers was reprimanded at least a half dozen times for inappropriate behavior, according to personnel records detailing the employment of David Wing.

The documents, released by Constantine Public Schools in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, show the 59-year-old Wing agreed to surrender his teacher’s license in January 2013. In exchange, he received a $10,000 buyout, payment for unused sick and vacation time, and two additional years of retirement credit.

Wing, who was arrested at his residence July 12, faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct and a single charge of child sexually abusive activity.

The second-degree CSC incidents allegedly occurred in 2008 and 2009 in the first case, June 2014 in the second case and July 4 this year in the third case.

He is slated for a preliminary examination Thursday. Wing is free after posting $100,000 cash-surety bail.

Wing is represented by Three Rivers attorney Ron Grubbs.

Shirley Kelly, 76

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Shirley Mae Kelly of Constantine, MI, entered into eternal glory on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born on August 1, 1937 a daughter of Enoch and Geneva (Walker) Woulard, in Battle, MS. In 1947 she moved to Chicago, IL, where she later met Willie Hathorne, he preceded her in death on July 3, 2010, they had 9 children. She loved her family, enjoyed devoting her life to caring for them, and always ended a phone conversation with “I LOVE YOU”. Shirley enjoyed gardening, animals, soap operas and she loved her beer.

Shirley is survived by sons Arzell (Tessie), Zell, daughters Diane (Joe) Banks, Brenda (Willie) Cosey, Glenise (Earnest) Marshall and Kimberly (Alonzo), Ballentine, Beverly (Herb Becton) King, 39 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren, sister and best friend Margaret Hackney, sister Augusta, brothers Eddie, Sam, Larry, Albert, James, Johnnie, and a host of extended relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Willie Hathorne, Jr., Gene Kaufman, brother Jose Woulard.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Eley Funeral Home in Constantine Thursday from 4-6 p.m., where services will be held Friday at 11:00 AM.

Interment will be in Constantine Cemetery. Online messages may be left for the family at

Helen Ziemkowski, 81

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Helen C. Ziemkowski, age 81, of Colon passed away Monday, July 21, 2014, at her home, following a long, brave battle with cancer.

Helen was born June 10, 1933, in Hammond, Ind., a daughter of the late Peter and Catherine (Skrobot) Skrobot.

She grew up in Hammond and graduated from Hammond Tech in 1951.

On Sept. 18, 1954, she married Peter J. Ziemkowski in Hammond.

She was a homemaker and also had worked for Quint Brother’s Auto Parts in Hammond, Ind., and later owned and operated with her husband, Pete’s Tavern in Calumet City.

Helen and Pete had made their home on Long Lake in Colon for the past 22 years coming from Calumet City.

Helen was a member of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Colon, Colon American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, Colon Lion’s Club and had enjoyed riding her bicycle and time spent with her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband Pete of Colon; a daughter, Linda (Thomas) Malo of Alexandria, La.; a son, Peter (Amanda) Ziemkowski of Portage; and three grandchildren, Nicole Malo, Abigail Ziemkowski and Andrea Ziemkowski; several nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law Dorothy (Bob) Drowns and Norma Snowdon.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Walter and Steve Skrobot; and a sister, Zora Katschman.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 24, 2014, from Schipper Funeral Home in Colon. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, July 25, 2014, at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Colon. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery in Colon. If desired, the family suggest memorials be made in memory of Helen to either Colon American Legion or the Colon Food Bank. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

Deb Hansman, 65

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Hansman obitDeborah Ann Hansman, of Colon passed away Monday, July 7, 2014, at her home.

She was born Aug. 11, 1948, in Huntington, Ind., a daughter of Kathleen Daily. On Jan. 22, 1985, she married Thomas J. Hansman Sr. in Coldwater, and lived most of her life in Branch County.

She attended Coldwater schools and retired from Colmers of Colon. She spent 13 years in Houston before moving back to Branch County in 1980.

Survivors include three daughters, Coni Nickles (Jason Decker) of Colon, Billi (Frank) Farrand of Colon and Josie Swift of Bronson; a stepson, Thomas Hansman Jr. of Colon; a stepdaughter, Debbie Hansman of Sturgis; three sisters-in-law, Judy Cope of Florida, Cindy Curtis of Coldwater and Janet Parker of Indiana; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Due to Deb’s wishes, cremation will take place. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014, at her daughter Billi Farrand’s home at 444 E. State Street, Colon.

Donations may be made directly to the family.

Out and About – Week of July 21st

July 22, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

I thought that I was about as good as one can be when it comes to staying current on what’s happening around Three Rivers. I discovered on Friday, July 11, that this was Dan Tomlinson’s final day as Fire Chief. I had a tribute to him ready for this column to be published on Tuesday, July 29. I was under the assumption that Chief Dan would be leaving the fire department around the first of August. Luckily, I was able to stop by his office on July 11, offer a final salute, and wish him well in his new endeavors. Unfortunately, my column for July 15 was already in this paper’s managing editor’s inbox, so this is the first time I can state my departure feelings for a person I admire and respect.

I mentioned to Dan that I felt sad about his leaving the fire department, but I was happy to know that he was happy with his decision to move on. He agreed that the stress that goes with being Fire Chief will be left behind and that it will be nice knowing that he will no longer be getting phone calls at 2:30 AM, saying that he is needed at Station 2. He will no longer be obligated to stop and assist at an accident scene, but I have a feeling that he still might step in to see if he is needed. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Until a new fire chief is named, Captain Jeff Bloomfield will serve as the Interim Fire Chief. I have all the confidence in the world that Captain Bloomfield will do a great job. He is a great firefighter and a leader who has the respect of everyone in the department. If you were to ask Jeff if he is capable of serving in this position, he would probably say that he can do it, because he has a great team to work with and there isn’t a single firefighter who works alone. There are two other candidates being considered for the fire chief position. I am unaware of their names, but as far as I’m concerned, Captain Bloomfield is the best person to fill some very big shoes.

Here’s a brief word to bicyclists. As you’re Out and About riding your bike, you are responsible for observing and adhering to all traffic signs or lights in the same manner as a driver of a motor vehicle. I’ve observed many bicyclists ignoring traffic signals, especially stop signs. You are subject to being ticketed for failure to observe a stop sign. Unfortunately, our law enforcement people are too busy to enforce these laws, so you get off easy. Think about this the next time you are almost struck by a motor vehicle, because you failed to yield the right of way. Also, there is no law stating that a safety helmet must be worn by all bicyclists. The same goes for people riding mopeds and motorcycles. My head is larger than most and is extremely fragile. The last thing I want is to end up in a wheelchair and wearing a diaper because I fell off my scooter and smashed my head on the pavement. I’m an organ donor, but I would prefer to die a natural death, rather than be careless and bleed out from my ears.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing what I’ve had to do in preparation for surgery, which would relieve pressure on the nerves in my back and left knee. I experienced an EMG, five MRIs, several x-rays, and my share of blood draws. Last Tuesday, July 15, my wife and I arrived at Borgess Hospital at 6 AM. My surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM. At 6:45 AM, I was on a gurney with an IV in my arm and ready to go to the operating room. Then, after talking with a couple of doctors, including my surgeon, it was decided to cancel the surgery. My pain level was zero, I hadn’t fallen in two months, and the strength in my leg was improving on its own. My surgeon recommended and gave me a prescription for Water Therapy. I am scheduled to meet with her next month to see if the therapy has worked for me. I want to thank the staff at Borgess Hospital for their excellent care. The hospital and staff could have gained monetarily, but my well-being and health were more important.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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