Charles Harold (Chuck) Taylor, age 79, of Branch, MI passed away at his home surrounded by his family. He was born on July 9, 1934, a son of Harold and Dexter (Hunter) Taylor in Sturgis. On April 18,1953 Chuck married Joyce Kipker in LaGrange, IN. He served in the Michigan National Guard from 1953 to 1983. He worked as a Superintendent at Michigan Gas Company for 42 years retiring in 1994.
Chuck was a member of Sturgis Eagles and American Legion. He was an avid baseball and softball fan playing fast pitch for 30 years and coaching in Little League and Sturgis High School. Chuck and Joyce loved to travel.
Surviving are his wife Joyce Taylor, Branch, MI, daughters Rhonda (Bradley) Harper, Sturgis, Raenell (Douglas) Staples, Centreville, sons, Randy (Alice) Taylor AR, Ryan (Katha) Taylor, Sturgis, Rodney (Gail) Taylor, Big Rapids, MI, Charles (Kate) Taylor, Burr Oak, sister Maxine Mains, Coldwater, brother George Taylor, Centreville, 13 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, John, Henry and Edwin Taylor, and sister Ethlyn Faulkenstein.
Relatives and friends will be received on Saturday from 4 to 7 pm at Eley Funeral Home in Centreville. Religious services will be held 2 pm Sunday at the funeral home with Pastor Larry Wallman officiating. Interment will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Motts Children’s Hospital. Online messages may be left for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com
Robert Lee Bidelman, Jr., age 56, of Constantine, passed away March 4th, 2014. He born in Denver, Colorado on August 23, 1957, a son of Mary Jane (Allen) and Robert Lee Bidelman Sr. He worked as a plumber at Pace Industries.
Surviving are his father Robert (Carol) Bidelman, daughter Heather Bidelman, brother Al Bidelman, half sisters Diane and Deb Wise, half brothers Daniel and David Wise and Randy Bidelman. He was preceded in death by is mother. Cremation has taken place. There will be no public services.
“Dayton” as he was known to his family and friends was born May 15, 1930, in Floyd County, Virginia. He graduated from Blacksburg High School in 1947 and attended Virginia Tech, from which he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture. He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and received a Bronze Star during his duty in Korea (1951-1953).
He married the late (Hazel) Allene Slusher on April 4, 1952. In 1956, he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He moved to Michigan and worked as a salesman for Ortho Chemicals and taught school until he purchased what was to become Corey Lake Orchards in 1960.
Dayton had a passion for farming, was innovative, and loved working the land. He remained active on the farm, helping to pot tomatoes in his beloved greenhouse just a few days before his death. He expanded the original apple farm with a variety of fruits and vegetables including asparagus and grapes, opened a fruit market; cider mill, and brandy distillery; was a leader in the development of U-pick operations, spoke at numerous horticulture conferences; created an “asparagus picker”, worked with Virginia Tech and Stark Brother’s Nurseries to test fruit varieties in a northern climate, and started one of the area’s first hydroponic tomato greenhouses. He enjoyed woodworking, mechanics, sports, music, and cherished his family and friends. He has planted seeds that will remain forever deeply rooted in the legacy of Corey Lake Orchards and the hearts of many.
He is survived by his four daughters: Brenda Hubbard (John Sample) of Tallahassee, Florida; Elizabeth Hubbard (Joe Kitzinger) of Three Rivers; Charlotte Hubbard (Marshall Beachler) of Schoolcraft; Dr. Linda Hubbard (Jim Sonday) of Portage. He was blessed with 8 grandchildren: Jessica Sonday, of Portland, Oregon, Benjamin Sonday of New York City, ReBecca Sonday of Schoolcraft, Jay Kitzinger (Michaela) of Three Rivers, Chad Kitzinger of Ann Arbor, Amber Sample of Tallahassee, Florida, and Samantha and Sydney Sonday of Portage. Remaining family includes sister Claudine Fox of Christiansburg, Virginia and sister-in-law Marie Hubbard of Three Rivers, local nieces Carolyn Mansmith and Nancy Springer, local nephew David Hubbard, special cousin Bill Newcomb of Blacksburg, Virginia as well as numerous cherished relatives, friends, employees and loyal customers.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 13, from 4 – 6 pm at the Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold Street, Three Rivers, Michigan. A celebration of his life will be held on March 14, at 11 a.m., with a luncheon to follow at the Corey Church of Nazarene, 10056 Water Street, Three Rivers, Michigan, with Bruce L. Ruesink officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may made be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice. On-line condolences can be left at: www.hohnerfh.com.
Patricia Rae Gray, age 71, of Sherwood, died Sunday, March 2, 2014 at her home. She was born in Goshen, IN on Oct. 30, 1942 the daughter of Charles and Naomi (Trine) Richards, and later attended Schoolcraft High School. Patricia recently retired from T-H Plastics in Mendon. She loved her family, animals, crocheting, flower gardening and hunting.
Patricia is survived by five children, Robert (Shannon) Gray of Colon, Jody Richards of Athens, Terri (Dave) Van Deraa of Schoolcraft, Daniel Gray of Vicksburg, and Scott Gray of Sherwood; fifteen grandchildren, Kristi (Jeremy) Vrobel, Evan Gray, Kiana Gray, David (Emily) Van Deraa, Kody Van Deraa, Jacob Gray, Kaitlin Van Deberg, Lillian Vaughn, Olivia Gray, Emma Gray, Caylie Canniff, Damon Gray, Ethn Gray, Kenyon Miller, Shan Lillie, and Bailey Garrett; two great-grandchildren, Aiden and Mason Vrobel; two sisters, Julie (Gary) Uplegger of Tennessee and Susan Gray of Kalamazoo; two brothers, Michael Richards of Kalamazoo and James Richards of Texas; several nieces and nephews; and her dog, Jazzie. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Robert L. Gray.
Cremation has been conducted. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. A memorial services will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday March 8, 2014 at the funeral home with Rev. Steve Smith, Associate Pastor of the coldwater Church of the Nazarene officiating. A private interment of ashes will take place later. Memorials may be directed to either Southern Care Hospice, or the Humane Society. Condolences may be left for the family at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com
She was born May 30, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois daughter of the late Fred and Dorothy (Lewis) Weiss.
Taffy resided in Sturgis since 1978 coming from Jenison, Michigan. On March 17, 1967 she married Harry Paul in Western Springs, Illinois and they raised three children. He passed away August 21, 1996.
Taffy was a homemaker and worked various part-time jobs as her children grew. She enjoyed many creative outlets and provided custom embroidery from a home based business, Fishsticks Creations Custom Embroidery.
She is survived by one son: David (Carol) Paul of Sturgis; twin daughters: Laura (Jeff) Harmon of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Lisa (Josh) Allen of Lititz, Pennsylvania and grandsons: Alex and Andrew Paul.
In accordance with her wishes cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 P.M. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church, 200 Pleasant Ave. in Sturgis and from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Saturday. A memorial service celebrating the life of Taffy Paul will begin at 12:00 P.M. Saturday at the church. The Rev. Deb Johnson will officiate.
The Rosenberg Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes of Sturgis is entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Taffy’s memory consider the First United Methodist Church, 200 Pleasant Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or Hospice of Sturgis, P.O. Box 126, Sturgis, MI 49091.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
Joyce D. Smith, 62, of Sturgis, died Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., following an extended illness.
She was born Aug. 12, 1951, in Goshen, Ind., to Melvin and Velma (Marchant) Beardsley. She was a resident of the Sturgis area for the past 26 years, coming from White Pigeon. She had been employed at Kirsch Company in Middlebury, Ind. She enjoyed crafts.
On Sept. 1, 1990, she married Ron D. Smith in Three Rivers. He survives, along with a son, Brad (Tiffany) Carpenter of White Pigeon; two grandchildren, Megan and Jonathan Carpenter; a great-grandchild, Kamdyn; her mother, Velma Beardlsey of White Pigeon; two sisters, Helen (Mitchell) Whitman of Constantine and Tammy (Leon) Tessman of Evart; two brothers, Carl (Doris) Beardsley of Sturgis and James (Jane) Beardsley of Hillsdale; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father; and a nephew.
There will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014, at the American Legion post in Sturgis. Interment of cremains will take place at a later date in White Pigeon Township Cemetery. Arrangements are by Farrand Funeral Home in White Pigeon.