J. Lorene Beckle, 92, of Three Rivers, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. She was born in Indianapolis, Ind. on August 21, 1918, the daughter of Oather and Alice (Wise) Owen.
Mrs. Beckle graduated from Three Rivers High School with the class of 1936. On May 9, 1942 she was united in marriage to Victor Beckle. Lorene enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and all things crafts, as well as photography and was active in 4-H as a knitting leader for many years.
Mrs. Beckle was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Victor; one sister, Louise Jacobs and one brother, Oather Owen Jr.; as well as two infant siblings.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her loving family, daughter, Gail Cottingham, of Elkhart, Ind.; son, Douglas (Reg) Beckle, of Three Rivers; sister, May Sziede and brother, Robert (Emogene) Owen, both of Marcellus; five grandchildren, Debra (Todd) Randall, of Three Rivers, Jeffrey Beckle, of Three Rivers, Donald (Mindy) Cottingham Jr., of Quincy, Ill., Christine Ritchie, of Independence, Ky. and Susan Ketchum, of Elkhart, Ind.. Also surviving are nine great-grandchildren, Donald Cottingham III of Chicago Ill., Eric Cottingham and Jennifer Cottingham of Quincy Ill.; Briana Ketchum, Kayla Ketchum and Brian Ketchum of Elkhart Ind.; J.D. Schmucker of Mishawaka Ind.; Ekaterina Ritchie of Independence, Ky. and Nick Randall of Three Rivers and one great-great-grandson, Austin Schmucker of Mishawaka Ind.
Funeral Services will be held 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2011 at the Hohner Funeral Home with Mr. Robert Owen officiating.
Interment will be held in Riverside Cemetery.
Memorials may be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Envelopes available at the funeral home.
Delora F. DeKay, age 78, of Sturgis, passed away Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
She was born May 22, 1932, in Sturgis, a daughter of the late Garland and Beatrice (Rumbaugh) Godden.
Delora had been a lifelong Sturgis resident. On Feb. 19, 1952, she married Gerald L. DeKay in Sparta, Wis.
She had been employed by Ross Laboratories, retiring in 1991. She was an active member of the Burr Oak Missionary Church, enjoyed doing yard work, and spending time with her family and her precious cat, Velvet.
Surviving are her husband, Gerald; daughter, Kristine (Lonnie) Merrill of Fremont, Ind.; three grandchildren, Amy Snyder of Kalamazoo, Cecilia (William) Siler of Hudson, Ind., and Sybil (Jeffrey) Siler of Fremont; seven great-grandchildren, Ashley, Caylah, Dakota, Madison, Devon, Megan, and Bane; two sisters, Helen Coffey of Cocoa, Fla., and Violet (William) Randol of LaGrange, Ind.; niece, Cindy (Shannon) Trouten of Burr Oak; two great-nephews, Aaron Trouten, currently deployed with the National Guard in Afghanistan and Bryan Trouten; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Anthony “Tony”; and a sister, Janice (Harold) Riggs.
The family will receive friends and relatives from 6-8 p.m. today at the Hackman Family Funeral Home — Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis.
Services celebrating the life of Delora DeKay will be held at 11:00 a.m.Friday at the funeral home, with Pastor Ken Fetter officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be directed to the Capt. John J. Kelley V.F.W. Post #1355, 264 W. Fawn River Road, Sturgis, MI 49091. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.
Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
Mildred E. (Midge) Bender, age 89, Centreville, passed away Monday, March 28, 2011 at her home. She was born Jan. 6, 1922 in South Bend, IN, a daughter of Basil and Mildred (Allen) Boss, Sr. Midge graduated from S. Bend Riley High School in 1940. She then attended Ball State University for 2 years. Midge was very proud of her service in the US Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) from 1943 – 1946. She was a Tech 5 MID (Military Intelligence Division), where she served as a radio intercept officer, and recorded intercepted German & Japanese radio signals transmitted in high speed international morse code.
One year later, Midge married William W. Bender on January 11, 1947. They were happily married for 59 years before before his death on July 7, 2006. Midge worked for the Michigan State University Extension as 4-H Secretary from 1953 until 1986. She worked a total of 54 years for the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds. Midge was also a member of the Three Rivers Chapter #210, Order of the Eastern Star, and was the SW Michigan District Soloist. She enjoyed reading, playing cards, bridge club, family & friends.
Surviving Midge are her daughters Barbara (Rob) Robinson, Mendon, Pattie Bender, Centreville, granddaughter Elizabeth Robinson, London, England and sister Barbara Allen, CA. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, 2 brothers, 2 sisters and grandson Patrick Robinson.
Relatives and friends will be received at the Eley Funeral Home in Centreville Thursday from 5-7 p.m., and also on Friday from 1-3 and 5-7 p.m. Religious Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church; 320 N. Main, Three Rivers. Burial will be in the Prairie River Cemetery, Centreville. Memorial contributions may be made to the church or to the Midge & Bill Bender St. Joseph County 4-H Scholarship Fund. Condolence messages for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.
Vivian Elaine (Galbreath) Stefaniak, age 76, of Sturgis, passed away Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, at the Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Sarasota, Fla.
She was born March 1, 1934, in Three Rivers, a daughter of the late Victor and Sadie (Watson) Galbreath.
Vivian had resided at Kline’s Resort in Three Rivers and wintered at Piney Point Resort, Palmetto, Fla., since 2001. Prior to moving to Three Rivers she had lived in Sturgis from 1956-2001. Her early life included living in Three Rivers until the age of 3 when her family moved to South Haven where she lived until making the move to Sturgis. She was a graduate of South Haven High School with the class of 1952.
On June 28, 1952, she married her high school sweetheart Chester Stefaniak at the First Congregational Church in South Haven.
Vivian was an elder and Parish Life member of the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis.
She had worked in South Haven as an old time switchboard telephone operator and also several offices including Civil Service in Fort Sill, Okla., where her husband was stationed with the U.S. Army. Vivian had been employed by the National Carbon Coated paper Company. For over 18 years she passed her talents and love of music by teaching piano.
Vivian was always ready to volunteer her time helping others. Some of her involvements included the City and school elections for 25 years, the Red Cross Blood Bank for 30 years, Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop and Tray Guild. She served as Auxiliary President two terms and held other offices at the Sturgis Auxiliary and the district office. She was also active in Friendly Circle, Tripoli, Canasta and Bridge groups. And, of course, many years enjoying camping with family and friends.
She is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Chester; two daughters, Cheryl (Gregory) Mounts of Ottawa, Ill., and Diane (Jaime) Mieras of Centreville; one son, John Victor Stefaniak of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Stephani Kilby, Scott Mounts and Jeffrey Mounts, Valerie Newcomb, Amanda Stefaniak, Michael Stefaniak, Michelle Stefaniak, Lance Corporal Zachary McKerchie, Tyler McKerchie and Jesse Mieras; 10 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Shirley Brown; and two brothers, Gordon and Maurice Galbreath.
In accordance with her wishes cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. – noon Saturday, April 2, at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis where a memorial service celebrating the life of Vivian Stefaniak will begin at noon Saturday. The Rev. Michael Wicks will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The Hackman family Funeral Homes – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091 is entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Stefaniak’s memory consider the First Presbyterian Church, 1320 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the American Cancer Society, 1400 W. Milham, Kalamazoo, MI 49091.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
Marjorie Nichols, 77, of Centreville, passed away at 7:20 p.m. March 24, 2011, at Sturgis Hospital after an extended illness.
She was born Dec. 18, 1933, in Hamlet, Ind., a daughter to Harrison Gibson and Martha Arnett. She was married Oct. 29, 1950, to Howard Nichols in South Bend, Ind. He preceded her in death Dec. 24, 2000.
She was a cook for several restaurants in the area.
She is survived by a daughter, Particia Strayer of White Pigeon; seven sons, Stanley (Sandy) of Colon, Leroy and Larry (Paula) of Three Rivers, Terry (Chris), Gary (Dallie) and Brian of Constantine, and Phillip of Centreville; three sisters, Margaret Gibson and Pauline Roher of South Bend and Lulubelle Gibson of Fort Wayne, Ind.; four brothers, Hatcher (Joyce) and Boone Gibson of Elkhart, Ind., Raymond Gibson of Dowagiac and Clifford Gibson of Walkerton, Ind.; 34 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 1 p.m. today at A.M. Manuel Funeral Home in North Liberty, Ind., and officiated by Nina Lancot of the Florence Church of the Brethren/Mennonite of Constantine.
Burial will be in the Westlawn Cemetery, North Liberty.
James D. Sharnas, 72, of Sturgis, passed away early Sunday morning, March 27, 2011, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
He was born May 5, 1938, in Wickliffe, Ohio, a son of the late John and Florence (Pershing) Sharnas.
Jim had resided in Sturgis since 1982, coming from the Detroit area, and his early life was spent in Cleveland.
On Sept. 6, 1980, he married Nancy Mead in Waterford.
In 1982, Jim joined Sutton Tool Corporation in Sturgis, retiring in 1997. At the time of his retirement he held the position of president of the company.
He was a past member and Exalted Ruler of B.P.O. Elks #1381 and a past member of the Klinger Lake Country Club. He enjoyed playing golf and cards and wintering in Texas. He truly loved and cherished the annual camping trips with his sons and grandsons.
He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Nancy; four sons, James (Leslie) Sharnas of Sturgis, Johnathan (Cheryl) Sharnas of Davidson, David (Gina) Sharnas of Romeo and Michael (Jenna) Sharnas of Canton; a step-daughter, Kathleen Wolkoff of Madison, Wis.; two stepsons, Kevin (Liz) Nietzke of Sydney, Australia, and Kenneth (Melissa) Zachmann of Morgan Hill, Calif.; 16 grandchildren; a sister, Rosemary (Tomas “Ed”) Morris of Macedonia, Ohio; a brother, Robert (Edwina) Sharnas of VanBuren, Ark.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Donald “Butch” Sharnas.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Sharnas’s memory consider the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
His obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.