Howard Gest, 82

March 28, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Gest obitHoward A. Gest, age 82, of Burr Oak, went to be with his Lord and savior Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Skaggs Assisted Living in Burr Oak.

He was born Sept. 4, 1931, a son of the late Leo and Eureath (Mitchell) Gest.

Howard had been a resident of his beloved Burr Oak for the majority of his life.

On Nov. 2, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Doris M. Gest, in Burr Oak. She passed away Jan. 21, 2009.

In his younger years, he was a milk hauler for Constantine Creamery, where he had been employed for a number of years. He retired after 10 years as the maintenance supervisor for Burr Oak.

Howard had been involved in many activities around Burr Oak. He was a volunteer firefighter and a reserve police officer for Burr Oak. Howard also supported Burr Oak Schools, especially the girls’ softball team. He helped build the gym for Burr Oak Schools, earning him a Gold Card. He was a true outdoorsman, loving to hunt, fish, cut wood and farm. He also enjoyed spending time with family and friends at his lake cottage on Long Lake. Howard’s biggest love of all would be his children and his grandchildren.

Surviving are his children, Robert (Pat) Gest, Patricia (Shawn) Seeba and Debora (Michael) Poley, all of Burr Oak; grandchildren Jenifer (John E.) Taylor-Davis, Sara (Bryon) Freeman, Melissa Poley and John Poley; a great-granddaughter, Alayna; two stepgrandchildren, David Downing and JoAnn Downing; and a sister, Janice Carol Perry. The family would like to thank Diane Kline and all the home health caregivers, as well Julie and Ray Skaggs of Skaggs Assisted Living for the special care they gave to our dad.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 57 years, Doris M. Gest; his parents, Leo and Eureath; brothers Thomas Alva Gest, Richard Irvin Gest, Joseph Leo Gest, Harold D. Gest, Leo E. Gest and Carl C. Gest; and sisters Laura Eileen Lampe and Emma Pauline Fiebelkorn.

The family will receive friends and relatives from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the Rosenberg Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis.

Funeral services celebrating the life of Howard A. Gest will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Burr Oak United Methodist Church, The Rev. John Sterner will officiate. Interment will follow in Burr Oak Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be directed to Burr Oak United Methodist Church, 105 S. 4th St. Burr Oak, MI 49030.

His obituary is also available at, where personal messages of support may be made.

Wanda Balk, 79

March 28, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Balk obitWanda Lou Balk, 79, of Sturgis, passed away unexpectedly early Thursday morning, March 27, 2014 at her home.

She was born March 24, 1935 in Three Rivers, only child of the late Albert and Bernice (Roe) Baumert.

Mrs. Balk resided in Sturgis for the past 22 years. Her early life was spent in Centreville where she was a graduate of Centreville High School with the class of 1953.

On June 12, 1955 she married Kenneth Balk at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville.

Wanda was employed by the Centreville Public Schools for several years and also worked at Denton Mills in Centreville. Wanda was a dedicated and loving wife, mother and grandmother.

She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville where she belonged to the Ladies Aid.

Wanda enjoyed reading, collecting crosses and dearly loved time spent with her family.

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Balk; two daughters, Kendra K. Bell and Karen Kristine (Raymond) Bell, both of Sturgis; two sons, Timothy Tad (Paula) Balk of Elkhart, Ind. and Thomas Ted (April) Balk of Butler, Pa.; eight grandchildren, Jennifer (Ken) Bickle, Christopher (Jessica) Bell, Evan (Julie) Balk, Daniel (Leah) Balk, Jessica Bell, David Balk, Raychel Bell and Nicole Balk; two great-grandchildren, Madison Balk and Owen Bickle; her grand puppies, Dexter and Remington.

In accordance with her wishes cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 10-10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville where a memorial service celebrating the life of Wanda Lou Balk will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The Rev. David Grimm will officiate. A graveside committal and burial of the ashes will follow the service at the Nottawa Cemetery in Nottawa.

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

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Balk’s memory consider the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 600 W. Burr Oak St. in Centreville.

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

Don Sedlacek, 83

March 28, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Donald H. Sedlacek, age 83, of Coldwater, and formerly of Colon, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at his home, after several weeks of failing health.

Don was born March 31, 1930, in Chicago, a son of the late Harry J. and Helen V. (Kulosek) Sedlacek.

He had made his home in the Colon area since 1972, coming from Addison, Ill., moving to Coldwater in 2006.

On April 10, 1981, he married Laurel L. Kemperman in Leonidas.

Early in life, Don had worked in the sheet metal industry in Chicago, retiring from Automatic Electric in 1970. Don then worked as a self-employed carpenter in Colon for several years and in 1984 he opened The Stop & Shop gas station in Colon and later in 1989 till 1994 owned and operated Sedy’s Restaurant in Colon.

He is survived by his wife, Laurel Sedlacek of Coldwater; three daughters, Sue Ellen Sedlacek of Mishawaka, Ind., Stephanie Billy of Rochester, Ind., and Shelly Sheppard of Warsaw, Ind.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a stepson, Bradley Monje of Colon; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two daughters, Sharon Hoffman and Sandy Hood; and three sisters, Antoinette Sedlacek, Jeanette Mazurka and Lorraine Ryan.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Schipper Funeral Home in Colon, with funeral services taking place at 6 p.m. Mr. David J. Farrell will officiate. Cremation will follow.

If desired, the family suggests memorials be made in memory of Don to Community Health Center of Branch County Hospice, 274 E. Chicago St., Coldwater, MI 49036. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

Daniel Foster, 57

March 28, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Daniel S. Foster, age 57, of Howe, Ind., and formerly of Sturgis, died Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Fort Wayne, Ind.

He was born Jan. 27, 1957, in Sturgis, to Lester L. and Neva M. (Doty) Foster. He was a graduate of Sturgis High School and was currently employed at Burr Oak Tool & Gauge in Sturgis. On Sept. 8, 2008, he married Deana G. Pant in Charlotte, N.C. She survives in Howe.

He enjoyed riding motorcycles and shooting pool.

He is survived by his parents; his wife; three daughters, Ashley and Jordan May of Lafayette, Ind., Heather Foster and Travis Britton of LaGrange, Ind., and Kelsie Foster of LaGrange; three stepdaughters, Melissa L. Ferguson of LaGrange, Caytee R. Ferguson of LaGrange and Alisha R. and Jacob Blackmore of Virginia Beach, Va.; a sister, Nelda M. Foster of Sturgis; a grandchild on the way; and five stepgrandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Kay Hirschy.

Visitation will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Carney-Frost Funeral Home in LaGrange. A funeral service will be held immediately following visitation at 5 p.m. at the funeral home. Bishop Sean Peterson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sturgis, will officiate.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements are being handled by Carney-Frost Funeral Home, LaGrange.

Paul Bohnke, 62

March 27, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Paul John Bohnke, age 62, died on March 25, 2014 in Centeville.

Cremation has been conducted and there will be no public services held at this time.

Arrangements were handled by the Hohner Funeral Home.

Edward Kaniewski, 79

March 27, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Edward Stanley Kaniewski, 79, of Three Rivers, passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Three Rivers Health following a brief illness. He was born on June 28, 1934 in Chicago, Ill.

Mr. Kaniewski served his country during the Korean War. He later returned to the states and began work for Continental Can Company and later retired from Armstrong Machine Works after over 20 years of service.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his late wife, Connie; and one brother, Reggie.

He leaves to cherish his memory two very special friends, Bonnie Nash and Raymond White, both of Three Rivers; step-son, Phillip Feek.

* The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until the time of services at noon on Saturday, March 29 at the Hohner Funeral Home with Chaplain Dan Lane officiating. Interment will be held in Moorepark Cemetery following services.

Memorials may be directed to a charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be left at

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