Joyce Hughes, 71

July 16, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Joyce Ann Hughes, age 71, of Leonidas, died Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at the Sturgis Hospital Emergency Room. She was born in Battle Creek, MI on March 20, 1943 the daughter of Samuel B. and Eddiess (Thomas) Hughes and has been a lifetime resident of Leonidas. She attended the Reserve Country School and worked on the family farm. Joyce loved animals and had many pets. She was a birdwatcher who especially enjoyed spotting Cardinals and Owls. She worked on word-puzzles and was frequently seen wearing her favorite color, orange.

Joyce is survived by her mother, Eddiess Hughes of Leonidas; three sisters, Helen Hughes of Grand Ledge, Julia Hughes of Leonidas, and Pamela London of Kalamazoo; a brother, Edward (Cathy) Hughes of Marcellus; her uncle, Tommee Hughes of Leonidas; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Sam Hughes; and a brother, Thomas Hughes.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19, 2014 at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon followed by burial in Leonidas Cemetery. Memorials will be directed to the Animal Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 593, Centreville, MI 49032. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Sherriel Coates, 78

July 16, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Sherriel D. Coates, of Portage, passed away on Monday, July 14, 2014 at her residence. She was born May 3, 1936, in Three Rivers, the daughter of the late Robert L. and Neva L. (Wheeler) Garber and was a longtime Kalamazoo area resident. On Oct. 3, 1953, she was united in marriage to Herbert “Herb” Coates. For many years she and Herb wintered in Venice, Fla. She enjoyed hunting for shark teeth on the Venice Beach and golfing. She was a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Surviving are three sons, Allan (Sharyn) Coates of Grand Rapids, Mark (Theresa) Coates of Delton and Brent Coates of Portage; four grandchildren, Sydney, Lauren, Mia and Kenny; two sisters and one brother, Ledith (Max) Ambs of Lansing, Marjorie (Louis) Baima of Three Rivers and Ralph (Evelyn) Garber of Australia. The family will receive friends on Monday, July 21 from 10-11 a.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave., where a service to celebrate her life will be held at 11 a.m. Chaplain Dianne Litynsky will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Sherriel’s memory may be directed to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, West Michigan Cancer Center or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. For online guestbook, obituary, memories and condolences for the family please visit

Marion Charon, 82

July 15, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Marion L. Charon, age 82 of Three Rivers died Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at her home following a long illness. She was born in Chicago, IL on Aug. 3, 1931 the daughter of Edward G. and Mary A. (Lahey) Pearson. As a child her family moved to Michigan, where she graduated from Mendon Schools, and later attended Nazareth College. Marion was married to Walter Kenneth Charon in 1951. She was a long time employee of Continental Can Co. in Three Rivers, and was an avid gardener.

Marion is survived by two sons, Pierre Charon of Centreville and Jaques Charon of Three Rivers; three grandchildren, Jaques Charon II of Kalamazoo, Marc Charon of Mendon, and Kathleen O’Brien of Three Rivers; one great-grandchild; and a brother, William (Reva) Pearson of Oshtemo. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; three sons, Marc, Joseph, and Jean Gui Charon; and a brother, Donald G. Pearson.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Eickhoff Farrand Halverson Chapel in Three Rivers. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014 at the funeral home with Rev. Mathew Manalel, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church officiating. Burial will be in Moorepark Cemetery. Memorials will be directed to the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Brenda England, 80

July 15, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

England obitMrs. Ardyce “Brenda” England, 80, of Norton Shores, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. She was born in Alma on June 19, 1934 to Lionel and Beatrice (Harter) Thompson and married Clifford England on Oct. 2, 1955. Mrs. England had been employed in Customer Service at GTE Telephone for 15 years until retiring. Brenda was active at Life Circles for the last seven years where she made many friends including her special bus driver friend John. She also loved sewing, crocheting, beading and arts and crafts.

Survivors include:  Daughters, Cheri Hill of Muskegon, Dixie (Lloyd) Jett of Muskegon, Barbara (Robert) Heffner of Three Rivers; step-daughter, Linda England of MT; grandchildren, Cheri (Corey) Smith, Jeff (Angie) Bogart, Bridgette (Andrew) King, Dustin Bogart, Bob (Trisha) Heffner, Roger Heffner, Brenda (Mason) Newman; 21 great-grandchildren; sisters, Betty (Paul) Flak of Byron Center, Eunice (Noel) Johnson of Lansing, Ada (Gerry) Howell of Stanton, Betty (Robert) Campbell of Dimondale, Dorothy Elliott of Alma; brother, Jack (Betty) Harter of Ionia; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband.

The memorial service will be on Friday, July 18, 3 p.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service at the Clock Chapel, Muskegon with Rev. Mimi Bush officiating. Please visit to leave a memory or sign the online guest book.

Fred Churchill, 68

July 14, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Fred Joseph Churchill, age 68, of Marcellus, Michigan passed away on July 12, 2014 at Rose Arbor Hospice of Kalamazoo.

Fred was born on March 30, 1946 in Dowagiac, MI to Eugene and Edith (Curtis) Churchill and graduated from Marcellus High School in 1964. He then enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly served for four years as an aviation ordinance man, and completed two tours of duty in Vietnam earning an E5 classification.

On November 30, 1968 he married the love of his life, Sandra Melville and they raised their three daughters Heather (Scott) Johnson, Holly (Mario) Brown and Lisa (Michael) Roy near his childhood farm in Dowagiac. Fred retired from GTE when he was 52 years old and continued to work for dear friends, Bill Mater at the Mater Funeral Home and Dave High at High Quality Farms. As a volunteer tour guide for the V.F.W., he educated local students about the museum and military history.

Fred was a very humorous, loving and kind man that always greeted you with a big smile. He adored his family and friends and enjoyed cooking, shooting guns, playing golf and spending time with the boys at his barn. Hunting and fishing were his passions. He loved winters in Florida with the Churchill family. Fred was very patriotic and held life memberships at the V.F.W. and AMVETS.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Richard and Robert. His surviving siblings include Sharon (James) Turk, Ron Churchill, Tom (Carol) Churchill and Jim (Carol) Churchill. He also has five grandchildren, Trent Johnson, Andersen and Bennet Brown, and Harper and Ryker Roy. Fred will be dearly missed by so many beloved friends and family members, nieces and nephews and honorary sons including Tony Goodrich, Don Webb, Darrell Hoefle and Mark Wetzel.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 P.M. and 6 to 8 P.M. Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in the Mater-Ralston Funeral Home. Funeral services celebrating Fred’s life will be held at 11 A.M. Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Marcellus High School followed by a military service at South Wayne Cemetery, Dowagiac, MI. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Marcellus V.F.W. Post 4054.

Online condolences may be left at

Dee Smith, 87

July 13, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Dolores T. (Kowal) Smith, age 87, of Kalamazoo, died Saturday, July 12, 2014 at Fountain View Retirement Village. She was born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1926 the daughter of John and Mary (Hrycyn) Kowal. The family moved to Mendon in 1942 and Dee graduated from Mendon High School with the class of 1945. She then graduated from Western Michigan College in 1949. She was married to Charles I. Smith on Dec. 26, 1953 in Kalamazoo. Chuck died on Dec. 26, 1988. Dee taught 5th and 6th grades in Comstock Elementary for 37 years, retiring in 1986. Following retirement she worked briefly at Gilmores Department Store and enjoyed travelling.

Dee is survived by 3 children, Christopher Smith of Vicksburg, Terese (Mark) Roodbeen of Portage, and John Smith of Scotts; 5 grandchildren, April and Autumn Roodbeen, Elisha, Mary, and Elijah Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a grandson, Vince Roodbeen.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon and where the Rosary will be recited at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The funeral mass will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday July 17, 2014 at St. Edward Catholic Church in Mendon with Dee’s nephew Rev. Craig Lusk of St. Mary Parish in Marshall officiating. Burial will be in St. Edward Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association, SW Regional Office, 350 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 20, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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