Frederick Homer “Woody” Woods, age 83 of Three Rivers died Saturday May 11, 2013 at his home following a long illness. He was born in Little Egypt, Ohio on April 15, 1930 the son of Rollen Henry Woods and Rose (Julian) Woods. Fred was married to Elizabeth “Betty” Dokey in 1949 while living in Vicksburg. Fred was a butcher for many years and later worked at Nagel Gladiola Farm. He enjoyed wood-working, gardening, and hunting, and was a big country music fan.
Fred is survived by five children, Linda (Jay) Crabtree of Three Rivers, Deb (Frank) Cerny of Leonidas, Rick Woods and Joseph Woods of Three Rivers, and Bill (Shirley) Woods of Centreville; 24 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty in 1998; two daughters, Sandra Dentler and Pam Dare; son Frederick A. Woods; grandsons, Jason Woods and Joey Woods; two sisters; and one brother.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday May 14, 2013 at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with David Farrell officiating. Burial will be in Vicksburg Cemetery. It is suggested that memorials be directed to Three Rivers Health Hospice. Condolences may be left for the family at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com
Barbara Joann Huftile, age 78, of Sturgis, went to be with her Lord and Savior early Wednesday morning, May 8, 2013, at her home, with her husband at her side.
She was born Dec. 2, 1934, in Sturgis, a daughter of the late Samuel E. and Helen (Tennent) Large.
Barbara was a lifelong Sturgis resident and a graduate of Sturgis High School with the class of 1953.
On May 29, 1953, she married Kenneth Huftile in Sturgis.
Barbara was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker. Before having children, she had been employed by Harold Walters Insurance Company and the Sturgis Journal.
She was an active member of the White Pigeon Church of Christ. Being one who loved children, she served in the nursery and participated with Vacation Bible School.
She was an honorary member of the Sturgis Kiwanis Club and a dedicated fan of the Detroit Tigers. She enjoyed playing golf, bowling, gardening, watching birds and crocheting, especially the blankets she would crochet and give to others. Over the years she donated many blankets to Thurston Woods Village. Barbara had several interests and hobbies, but what she truly cherished was time spent with her family she so dearly loved, especially her grandchildren.
She is survived by her loving and dedicated husband of 60 years, Ken; four daughters, Rebecca (Roger) Evilsizor of Sturgis, Pamela (Michael) Fischer of Cumming, Ga., Amy (Jeff) Masterman of Bakersville, N.C., and Jeanie (Rob) Goldner of St. Joe, Ind.; nine grandchildren, Colby Evilsizor, Kirby Evilsizor, Calico (Mike) Schrader, Rachel (Travis) Brown, Barbara Fischer, Holly (Will) McClure, Tiffany (Cliff) Riser, Aaron Goldner and Simon Goldner; six great-grandchildren, Travis Brown, Rayna Brown, Ivy Rose Pagels, Daniel McClure, Ezra McClure and Parker Goldner; three sisters, Gloria Ware of Indianapolis, Wava Jean Watson of Sturgis and Margaret Ford of Sturgis; a brother, David (Carol) Large of Oklahoma City, Okla.; a sister-in-law, Rosie Large of Sturgis; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Kenneth Large.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis. A memorial service celebrating the life of Barbara J. Huftile will be held at
1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. The Rev. Barry Edds of White Pigeon Church of Christ will officiate.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Huftile’s memory consider Great Lakes Christian College, 6211 W. Willow Hwy., Waverly, MI 48917 or White Pigeon Church of Christ, 70428 S. Kalamazoo St., White Pigeon, MI 49099.
Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
Gordon Bruce Bart, age 70, of Sturgis, Michigan passed away Tuesday evening, May 7, 2013 at the Sturgis Hospital Emergency Room.
He was born February 23, 1943 in Grand Rapids, Michigan son of the late Daniel and Esther (Schumaker) Bart.
Gordon resided in Sturgis since 1964 coming from Grand Rapids.
On September 12, 1964 he married Christina Marie Carter in Grand Rapids.
Gordon’s move to Sturgis in 1964 was to assume an engineering position with Marvel Industries. He also worked at Vent Line Industries in Bristol, Indiana and Ram Products in Sturgis before moving on to the Battle Creek Equipment Company in Battle Creek where he retired following 28 years of dedicated employment as a Head Engineer. While at Battle Creek Equipment he was responsible for several pattons in the health care industry.
Gordon was a member of the Holy Angels Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Deacon Jerry Mix Council #2508 and Eagles Lodge #1314. He enjoyed playing golf, fishing, pontooning and spending time at the lake house on Omena Lake with friends and family. Gordon was truly dedicated to his friends and family and was always ready to help others in any way he could and expecting nothing in return.
He is survived by two sons: Bruce (his fiancée Cora Davis) Bart of Sturgis and Damon Bart of Grand Rapids; one daughter: Stacy (Matthew) Linihan of Sturgis; five grandchildren: Brandon Bart, Brooke Bart, Cassandra Bart, Jozi Bart and Jenna Bart; two sisters: Marcella (Ed) Maddox and Virginia Schweitzer both of Grand Rapids; two brothers: Don (Connie) Bart and Jerry (Nan) Bart both of Jenison and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and two sisters: Florence Robinson and Helen Drazkowski and one brother: Russell Bart.
The family will receive friends from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 P.M. Monday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Rd., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-3284. The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Gordon Bruce Bart will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday at the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Father Richard Fritz will officiate. In accordance with his wishes cremation will follow the Mass. Private burial of the ashes will take place at Oak Lawn cemetery in Sturgis at a later date.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Bart’s memory consider the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
Karen Marie Truckenmiller, age 64, of Centreville, passed away Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at her home following a long illness with A.L.S /Lou Gehrigs disease. She was born in Sturgis, MI on March 21, 1949, the daughter of John and Glenna (Abbott) Jones. Karen graduated from White Pigeon High School in 1967 and from Warner Beauty School in Ft. Wayne in 1966. On September 13, 1969 she married James E. Truckenmiller in White Pigeon. Karen worked as Deputy and Account Clerk at St. Joseph Co. 3B District Court in Centreville from February 24, 1975 until her retirement June 18, 2010. She enjoyed reading and traveling, especially to the casinos in the U.P.
Surviving Karen are her husband James Truckenmiller of Centreville, daughter Jennifer (Jon) Stasiuk of Three Rivers, MI, son Daniel (Erica) Truckenmiller of Three Rivers, MI, grandchildren Matthew and Benjamin Truckenmiller, Luke, Emma and Jack Stasiuk, and brother Eric (Lynn) Jones of Sturgis, MI. She was preceded in death by her parents.
According to her wishes, cremation has taken place. Relatives and friends will be received at Eley Funeral Home in Centreville on Monday from 11am to 1 pm. A Memorial Service will immediately follow vistation at 1 pm. Pastor David Peterson of Centreville Baptist Church will officiate. Interment of ashes will be in Prairie River Cemetery Centreville. Memorial contributions may be made to Centreville Lions Club or Three Rivers Hospice. Online messages may be left for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.
Twila June Batten, age 70, of Mendon died Tuesday May 7, 2013 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. She was born in Kalamazoo on June 17, 1942 the daughter of Leon A. and Ina M. (Polmanteer) Cooper. Twila attended Gobles and Paw Paw Schools and graduated from Vicksburg High School. She was married to William Evert Haynes on June 6, 1958. They resided in Vicksburg until their divorce. Twila has lived in Mendon since 1977. She was married to Richard A. “Dick” Batten on July 7, 1979 in Vicksburg. Dick passed away on Jan. 6, 2000. Twila had been employed by Ronningen Research & Development for many years. Her home was open to anyone who need help or shelter. She was a babysitter for family and friends, and especially enjoyed her grandchildren’s sporting events.
Twila is survived by two children, Todd (Becky) Haynes and Tina (Brian) Gales both of Mendon; five grandchildren, Jessica Haynes of Louisville, KY, Joseph and Jenna Gales both of Mendon, Haleigh (Brady) Cupp of Leonidas, Ciera Haynes and Madison Haynes both of Mendon; one great-grandchild, Layne Cupp; a brother, Dale Cooper of Lawton; two sisters, Virginia Miller of Kalamazoo, and Betty Miller of Otsego; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Billy Haynes; her husband, Dick Batten; and a step brother, Leland Bradley.
In keeping with her wishes, cremation has been conducted. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Monday May 13, 2013 at the Crossroads Missionary Church with Pastor Bryan Balasa officiating. The family will receive friends for one hour prior to services at the church. Interment will be in Mendon Cemetery. It is suggested that memorials be directed to the Mendon Food Cupboard. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com
Jamie Lee Brokaw, 33, died April 29, 2013 in an airplane accident at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, while operating a Boeing 747-400 owned by National Air Cargo on a civilian commercial flight. Born March 13, 1980, Jamie’s interest in aviation began as a baby where flying was a way of life. He was inspired by his grandfather, Sgt. Joseph Brokaw, a B-17 Flying Fortress gunner in WWII, and his father, Terry Brokaw, also a General Aviation and commercial pilot. Jamie’s father and brother, Randy, all worked on planes together and eventually flew together at National Airlines where they were all employed. Jamie and his father or brother would meet up for lunch in Belgium or dinner in Dubai as their flight paths crossed.
Jamie enlisted in the United States Air Force in January of 2002 and deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was stationed at Dyess Air Force base, assigned to Air Combat Command’s, Twelfth Air Force, 7th Bomb Wing, 7th Maintenance Group, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron where Jamie was recognized for his work on the B-1 Lancer bomber as an Integrated Avionics Systems Craftsman for Instruments and Flight Controls. This unit shared the same historical origins as the unit in which Jamie’s grandfather served in WWII. Jamie served in the Air Force for six years before separating as a Staff Sergeant.
Always striving to advance his aviation career, Jamie began his flight training in Spring 2008, completing his training in Fall of 2008 and took his first job in commercial aviation for Murray Air (now National) as a Flight Engineer on a DC-8, in 2009 and upgraded to First Officer in 2010.
Jamie earned his private pilot’s license, instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, multi-engine rating, Certified Flight Instructor for single and multi-engine aircraft, ground instructor and A&P mechanic, and holds a motorboat operator’s permit. He rode motorcycles and taught motorcycle safety while in the Air Force. At the time of his final flight, Jamie was a First Officer for National Airlines and a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
Jamie’s quest for adventure took him all over the world, by air, land and sea. At the age of 15, Jamie took off to see the world, and found himself in Chicken, Alaska. Jamie spent two summers in Chicken, working, flying and living the Alaskan dream of life in a frontier town along with his cousin and friend, Nate Lett. In keeping with his love for the open road, he even drove his motorcycle to Alaska from Michigan in 2001. Jamie’s brothers and cousin were some of his closest friends. They shared military and flying adventures and made fun times out of just about everything.
In 2009, Jamie met Elizabeth Thoma, originally of Monroe. Elizabeth and her nine-year-old daughter, Chloe, shared Jamie’s adventuresome spirit and love of the sky. Jamie and Elizabeth married on May 12, 2012 at the Aviation Heritage Museum at Willow Run Airport in front of a B-52 Bomber. They moved to Monroe near the south end of Custer Airport, where the entire family enjoyed watching and listening to airplanes flying overhead.
Due to the value Jamie placed on education and his love for Chloe as a step-daughter, a fund has been established for Chloe’s college education. The Brokaw/Thoma family is asking that in lieu of flowers, friends consider giving to this education fund. Information can be found at www.jamieloveschloe.com.
In addition to his wife, Elizabeth (Thoma) Brokaw and step-daughter, Chloe Hunter, Jamie is survived by his parents, Susan and Terry Brokaw of Three Rivers, and his brothers, Randy and Corey Brokaw of Kalamazoo. He also leaves behind a tight-knight group of relatives, cousins, friends, fellow pilots, airplane co-owners, Air Force buddies and his ever-dedicated canine co-pilot, Buster.
An event to celebrate the spirit of the way Jamie lived his life is scheduled for Sunday, May 12, at 3:13 p.m. at the Custer Airport Hangar in Monroe. Doors will open at 2 p.m. for visiting with friends. Arrangements are being made by Rupp Funeral Home in Monroe.
Online condolences may be made through www.ruppfuneralhomeinc.com.