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Obituaries

Velma Whitten, 75

Following a long illness, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and faithful servant of the living God, Velma Ree (Shelton) Whitten, 75, made her heavenly transition in the early morning hours of Friday, August 4, 2017 surrounded by her loving family.   Born in Stanton, Alabama on August 22, 1941 to parents Thomas Andrew Shelton Sr. and Christanna Harville …

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Fran Gerkin, 84

Frances Arlene Gerkin, age 84, of Sturgis, passed away Friday evening, Aug. 4, 2017, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis. She was born March 22, 1933, in Centreville, daughter of the late Leon C. and Blanche D. (Brown) Hepner. Fran was a lifelong St. Joseph County resident. On Oct. 20, 1953, she eloped with Ernest T. “Red” Gerkin in Angola, …

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Thomas Kitch, 69

Thomas Lee Kitch, 69, of Mottville Township, White Pigeon, died Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at his home, following an extended illness. Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at Farrand Funeral Home in White Pigeon. Services will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Cremation will follow, with burial of cremains at a later date …

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Bob LaBrash, 79

Robert Lawrence “Bob” LaBrash, age 79, of Three Rivers, died Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at Heartland Healthcare Center. He was born in Adrian, MI on Sep. 28, 1937 the son of Edlore and Lillian (Petsch) LaBrash. Bob was a former Mason and Demolay Dad Leader, and was a former Scout Leader. He retired to Three Rivers after managing Firestone and …

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Alfred DeRuiter, 79

Alfred Jay DeRuiter passed away Thursday, August 3, 2017 after a well fought battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born December 9, 1937 to John and Helena DeRuiter of Falmouth, Michigan who precede him in death. He is survived by wife Joyce Ann Abbott DeRuiter, daughter, Lori DeRuiter Bauer (David Bauer of Lewisville, Texas), Son David Alan DeRuiter (wife, Brandi …

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Dale Stratton, 80

Dale E. Stratton, age 80, of Marcellus, passed away Thursday, August 3, 2017. He was born June 10, 1937 in Kalamazoo, the son of Ernest A. and Mildred I. (Snow) Stratton. On February 22, 1958 in Marcellus he married Margaret “Lil” Stratton who preceded him in death. Dale was a farmer his whole life, he was also a Patience Supervisor …

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