Miscellaneous Branch County, Michigan Obituaries

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Lyle Auten
Bronson - Lyle L. Auten, age 87, of Coldwater, formerly of Bronson and Hudson, Michigan, died Friday, December 6, 2002 at the Laurels of Coldwater.
He was born October 4, 1915 in Bronson, son of Charles and daisy (Sharp) Auten. He married Eleanor Nowicki on August 7, 1935 in Bronson, She died in 1964. He then married Erma Fair in 1968 in Hudson, MI. She also preceded him in death. He later married Wanda Rzepka and she survives.
Lyle entered the US Army in 1943 serving in Germany during World War 2, also serving in Korea and Viet Nam, retiring form the Army in 1968.He moved to Hudson after his retirement and worked as maintenance supervisor at Hillsdale College and also at Adrian College, retiring in 1975.
Lyle was one of the oldest members of the former Bronson Community Band. He was a life member of the American Legion, VFW and also the DAV in Hillsdale. He was a former member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hudson and a member of St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson.
Surviving are his wife Wanda, son Dennis Auten of Loft Crown Point, S. Carolina, daughter Sandra Benis of Houston TX; step daughters, Betty Myers of Hudson, and Louise Fenter of Evansport, Ohio; step-sons, Victor Nowicki of Indiana , Jerome Rzepka and Craig Rzepka both of Coldwater; nine grandchildren, many step grandchildren and great grandchildren and two sisters, Wilma Sumney of Sturgis and Myrna Fry of Edwardsburg, MI. he was preceded in death by a sister.
Graveside Memorial Services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at 11 AM Wednesday, December 11, 2002 with Deacon Gerald Smoker officiating. And full military honors conferred by the Bronson Posts of the American Legion and VFW. Cremation has taken place. Arrangement s are by the Kolcz Funeral Home of Bronson. 

Lillian   M.  Bradley
Bronson -   Lillian M. Bradley, age 85, of Bronson, died early Thursday morning, December 5, 2002 at the Community Health Center of Branch County after being stricken at her home.
She was born December 23, 1916 in Rib Lake, Wisconsin, daughter of Samuel and Elsie (Beckman) Sampson. She married Robert A. Metzner on July 24, 1937 in Wisconsin. The couple moved to Detroit in 1951 and to  Bronson in 1975. Robert died on May 26, 1975.  Lillian then moved to Florida in 1979 and married George Bradley. He died a few short years later. Lillian moved back to Bronson in 1989.
She worked as a cashier at the Howard Johnson restaurant and also as a waitress in the Detroit area and also in Florida.  Lillian was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bronson and enjoyed gardening, needlework, baking, cooking and quilt making.
Surviving are her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Adeline Metzner of Darien, Wisconsin, daughter Sharon May of Bronson, daughters and sons-in-law, Gloria and George Draper of Bronson, Sandra and Troy Carner of Odessa, Texas and Barbara and Al Cox of Port St. Lucie, Florida; Grandchildren - George Draper, Kathleen Slone, Deborah Wheaton, David Draper, Robert Carner, Susan Poe, Jack Carner, Richard Connolly, Barbara Douglas, Mark May, Teresa Metzner, Julie Metzner, Ryan Cox, Raymond Cox and Adam Cox; 34 Great Grandchildren and three Great Great Grandchildren. Lillian was preceded in death by a brother and five sisters.
Funeral Services celebrating the life of Lillian M. Bradley will be held at 11 AM Saturday, December 7, 2002 at the First Baptist Church in Bronson with Pastor John Fields officiating.  Interment will follow in Matteson Twp. Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 5 - 7 PM Friday where Memorial Contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Bronson.

Elmer   J.  Moffett
Bronson - Elmer J. Moffett, age 79, of Bronson, died Wednesday, November 27, 2002 at the Community Health Center of Branch County.  He had been in failing health.
He was born December 13, 1922 in Orland, Indiana, son of James  and Alma (Moffett) Moffett and moved to Bronson in 1948. Elmer married Charlotte Foy on October 17, 1946 in Gladwin, Michigan.  He was an Army Air-Corps Veteran of World War 2, attaining the rank of Captain.  serving as a pilot with the 558th Squadron, 397th Group flying the B-26.
He was a self-employed carpenter and also did work for several construction companies including Keigoff-Lenawee and Johnson and Cline Construction Companies. Some of his more notable projects include the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway, the Starr Commonwealth in Albion, U.S. Steel, the Prison in Ionia; several local projects including the Athletic Complex at Bronson High School, the additions to Ryan and Anderson Elementary Schools, several buildings at Howe Military Academy, Union City Middle School and several regional projects including McCamly Place and Lakeview Square Mall in Battle Creek.  His last project was the Kellogg International Headquarters Building in Battle Creek.
Elmer and his family have also been involved in selling Sunday Newspapers in Bronson for the past 60 years. He was a member of the American Legion Post 259 and the VFW Post 5003 in Bronson.   He was also a member of the Orland Lions Club and a former member of the Bronson Jaycees.  Elmer was an avid Bronson Vikings Sports Fan and a regular spectator at all of his children's. grandchildren's and great grandchildren's sporting activities.
Surviving are his wife, Charlotte; daughters and sons-in-law, Pepper and Stan VanBlarcom of Bronson, Penny and Vergne Gregrich of Jasper, Texas, Colleen and Hal Fitch of Coldwater and daughter, Cathy Perry of Coldwater; Sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Sherri Moffett of Independence, Kentucky, Monte and Karen Moffett of Porter, Indiana and Marty and Linda Moffett of league City, Texas; 25 Grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by Granddaughter Cynthia Moffett in 2000 and three sisters and two brothers.
Funeral Services celebrating the life of Elmer J. Moffett will be held at 10 AM Saturday, November 30, 2002 at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson with Rev. Mona Joslyn of the First United Methodist Church officiating.  Interment will follow in Bronson Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home form 4 - 8 PM Friday where Memorial Donations may be made to the Bronson Alumni Scholarship Fund.  Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Walter S. Hinkley
Bronson - Walter S. Hinkley, age 80 of Bronson, died Monday, November 25, 2002 at the Community Health Center of Bronson.
He was born January 10, 1922  in Lansing, son of Morris E and Daisy (Figg) Richards and lived most of his adult life in the Bronson area. Walter worked for many years at the Homer Furnace Foundry until the company closed. He then worked at the Shaw Shoe Factory in Coldwater and retired from Al-Chem Aluminum in Coldwater in the 1970's
Surviving are his step-sons, Floyd Lee Johns of Angola, IN and Fred Johns of Burlington, NJ; eight Grandchildren; sisters, Florence Kenney of Holt and Ethel Zerkle of Lansing; a brother Kenneth Lucerol of Orlando, IN   ; his sister-in-law, Eva Ferguson of Bronson and his caretakers, Herbert and Sheri DeMeritt of Bronson.  He was preceded in death by a sister Mildred Reckner and a brother George Lucerol.
Graveside Funeral Services will be held at 10 AM Friday, November 29, 2002 at East Gilead Cemetery with Pastor Dave Cole of the East Gilead Missionary Church officiating. Arrangements are by the Kolcz Funeral Home of Bronson.

Wilma Barclay
Bronson - Wilma Barclay of Bronson, age 82 of Bronson, died Saturday, November 23, 2002 at Maple Lawn Medical Care Facility in Coldwater following an extended illness.
She was born April 30, 1920 in Bronson, daughter of Warren and Lottie Belle (Millard) Reynolds and was a lifelong Bronson area resident.  She married Russell Barclay in 1936 in Bronson.   He died in 1981.
Wilma retired from the former Douglas Manufacturing Co., (now Douglas Autotech) in 1981 after almost 40 years of service.  She was a member of the UAW Local 822 Retirees.  Wilma enjoyed reading and playing cards.  She loved life and treasured each and every moment spent with her children and grandchildren.
Surviving are her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Tim Wilson of Gold Canyon, Arizona; four Grandchildren' four step-grandchildren; 11 Great Grandchildren; several step-great grandchildren a sister Phyllis Wheeler of Bronson and several nieces and nephews.  Wilma was preceded in death by her husband, a son Wayne Dean Barclay in 1945, a son Francis Barclay in 1993, a step-daughter Edna Roach in 1984, her sister Geniece Hilton, and her brothers, Howard Reynolds, Morrise Reynolds and Charles Reynolds.  
Funeral Services celebrating the life of Wilma Barclay will be held at 11 AM Wednesday, November 27, 2002 at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson.  Deacon Gerald Smoker of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church will officiate.  Interment will follow in Bronson Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home from 2 - 4 & 6 - 8 PM Tuesday where Memorial Donations may be made to Maple Lawn Medical Care Facility Activity Fund. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home. 

Dorothy M. Sweet
Bronson - Dorothy M. Sweet, age 91, of Bronson, died Sunday, February 9, 2003 at her home. 
She was born November 26, 1911 in Homer, Michigan, daughter of Guy and Julia (Thomas) Putnam. Dorothy graduated from Homer High School in 1929 and married Charles Harvey Sweet in 1931 in Jackson, Michigan. He died in 1976
She was a Home Maker and a family oriented Wife, Mother and Grandmother and valued her family as her most precious possession. Dorothy also enjoyed reading, gardening and her house plants.
Surviving are her daughters Joanne Boehlke of Albion, Michigan and Betty Webb of Bronson; sons, Jack Sweet of Los Angeles, California and Jerry Sweet of Bronson; 14 Grandchildren; 25 Great Grandchildren; eight Great Great Grandchildren and a brother Warren Putnam of Albion. She was preceded in death by a sister and three brothers.
Private Visiting Hours and Funeral Services are being made with the Kolcz Funeral Home of Bronson and will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2003. Ev. Mike Roberts will officiate. Memorial Donations are suggested to the Branch County Commission On Aging. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Thomas A. Adamski
Bronson – Thomas A. Adamski, age 76, of Bronson, died Wednesday, February 5, 2003 at the South Haven Community Hospital in South Haven. He had been staying in the South Haven area for medical reasons.
Tommy was born March 31, 1926 in Branch County, son of Frank and Anna (Wotta) Adamski and was a lifelong Bronson area resident. He had worked at West Side Auto Body in Bronson and on the Wotta Family farm for many years until an accident in 1993 caused his disability and forced his early retirement. He had worked at ADAPT for the past nine years. Tommy was a well known and liked personality in the Bronson area.
Surviving are his sisters Stella Creager of Bronson and Isabel Wortelman of Wichita, Kansas; several cousins, nieces and nephews and his faithful dog, Susie. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Maximilian and Marion Adamski.
The Funeral Service celebrating the life of Thomas A. Adamski will be held at 10 AM Friday, February 7, 2003 at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson with Deacon gerald Smoker officiating. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery. 
Visiting Hours will be held at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 2 – 5 PM Thursday, February 6, 2003. Memorial Donations are suggested to the family for a grave marker.

Maurice S. Handel
Coldwater – Maurice S. Handel, age 75, of Coldwater, died Monday, February 3, 2003 at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo following surgery.
He was born August 25, 1927 in Lodi, Ohio, son of Theodore R. and Ellen (Slater) Handel. He married Margaret Holland on November 26, 1947 in Parma, Ohio and the couple retired to the Coldwater area in 1987. He was a US Navy veteran of World War 2.
Maurice was a supervisor at the Ford Motor Company Cleveland, Ohio Engine Plant, retiring in 1980. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Bronson and the American Legion. He was a former member of the Halcyon Lodge, F. & A.M. and the MOOSE Lodge. 
Maury was very much a handyman, crafting jewelry, and furniture. He was also a rock collector and enjoyed his garden and wild birds. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren.
Surviving are his wife, Margaret, his daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Robert Gradwell of Buffalo, NY.; his son and daughter-in-law, Gregory and Debra Handel of LaPorte, IN; three Grandchildren and a brother Theodore A. Handel of Cleveland, Ohio.
According to his wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 8, 2003 at AM/PM at the First United Methodist Church in Bronson with Rev. Mona Joslyn officiating. The family requests Memorial Donations to the First United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers. Arrangements by the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Rose Wotta
Bronson – Rose Wotta, age 93, of Bronson, died Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at the Sturgis Hospital.
She was born October 5, 1909 in Bronson, daughter of John and Alma (Smoker) Czajkowski and was a lifelong Bronson area resident.
Rose married Anthony Wotta on October 8, 1928 in St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church. He died in 1950. She was a homemaker all of her life, but had also worked for a time at the former Douglas Manufacturing Company (now Douglas Autotech) and at Bronson Plastics and also Trans-A-Gram in Sturgis.
Rose was also known as a great cook and was called upon to prepare the feast for many weddings, graduations and other parties for many years. She enjoyed cooking, baking, her garden and making quilts and Afghans. She also dearly loved her children and grandchildren.
She was a member of St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church, the Rosary Society and the Sacred Heart Society. She was named Queen of the Bronson Polish festival in 1974.
Surviving are her daughter, Leonette Kemery of Adrian, Michigan; son and daughter-in-law, John and Jean Wotta of Bronson and son Conrad Wotta of Bronson; 10 Grandchildren; 17 Great Grandchildren and a brother Walter Czajkowski of Bronson. She was preceded in death by a sister and three brothers.
The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Rose Wotta will be held at 11 AM Friday, January 31, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home from 4 – 8 PM Thursday where the Rosary will be recited at 7 PM. Memorial Donations are suggested to St. Mary Catholic Church.

Rev. Fr. Donald W. Atchison
Bronson - Rev. Fr. Donald W. Atchison, age 73, a retired Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, died Saturday, January 25, 2003 at his Bronson, Michigan home following a long illness. 
Donald Wayne J. Atchison, was born August 19, 1929 in Flint, Michigan, son of Wilfred J. and Clara E. (Marran) Atchison. 
He attended St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School in Flint, graduated from St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, earned a Philosophy Degree at St. Mary of the West in Norwood and received his Theology Degree at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. 
Father Atchison was ordained June 1, 1957 in Lansing by the Most Reverend Joseph H. Albers, J.C.D. and was assigned as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s in Owosso from June, 1957 to June 23, 1961. He was then Associate Pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Lansing from 1961 to 1965 and at St. John the Evangelist in Fenton from 1965 to 1967.
His first Assignment as Pastor was at St. Mary in New Buffalo in 1967. In 1974 he became Pastor at St. Anthony in Buchanan. He came to St. Mary of Assumption Parish in Bronson on July 15, 1981. In 1989 he became Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Bangor and in 1992 Pastor of St. Mary’s Visitation in New Salem.
Fr. Don retired to Senior Priest Status on June 25, 1996 when he returned to the "Shack" at Gilead Lake near Bronson and continued to say weekly Mass at St. Mary’s. He celebrated his 45-year Anniversary of Priesthood in June 2002.
He was able to spend three months in Rome, Italy for his 25th Anniversary to the Priesthood and had the unique pleasure of witnessing the election of Pope John Paul I and also Pope John Paul II. Fr. Don was very devoted to his family and was very close to his nieces and nephews and had presided at most of the family Marriages and First Communions and all the Baptisms.
Always a very popular and well-liked Parish Priest, he was awarded many honors including being named Grand Marshall of the Bronson Polish Festival Parade. He was a member of the third and fourth degrees of the Knights of Columbus and was Knights of Columbus Chaplain. He was voted into the Knights of Columbus Hall of Fame in Fenton, Michigan and genuinely enjoyed people.
Fr. Don was an active sportsman, enjoying snowmobiling, fishing, ice fishing, boating & water sports, golf, bowling, trains and playing cards. He was also very handy and enjoyed building and repairing almost anything. He also enjoyed traveling to his favorite destination, Las Vegas. 
Known for his knowledge of financial matters, each Parish was in better financial shape because of him. He was also a collector of fine art and sculpture.
He leaves behind his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Steve Lucky of Holly, Michigan; a brother and sister-in-law, James Leo and Nancy Atchison of Kalkaska, MI and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Rita Dorman, a brother Jerry A. Atchison, a niece Juliana and a grandniece Melanee.
Visiting hours will be at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson from 6 – 8 PM Monday and from 12 Noon to 8 PM Tuesday. A prayer service will be held at 5 PM Tuesday and the Knights of Columbus will pray the Rosary at 7 PM Tuesday.
The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Rev. Fr. Donald W. Atchison will be held at 10 AM Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with the Msgr. Eugene A. Sears, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kalamazoo officiating.
Fr. Atchison will then be transferred to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 600 N. Adelaide, in Fenton, Michigan for a prayer Service at 4: 30 PM Wednesday with Rev. Fr. David Harvey officiating. Interment will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, Fenton.
Memorial Donations are suggested to the Rev. Fr. Donald Atchison Scholarship Fund at St. Mary of Assumption School. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

James Wallo
Palmetto, Florida – James Wallo, age 66 of Palmetto, formerly of Bronson, Michigan, died Saturday, January 18, 2003 at Blake Medical Center in Palmetto following a one month illness.
He was born September 2, 1936 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, son of George and Eunice (Rowe) Wallo and lived most of his life in Branch County. 
He married Marie Mills on September 28, 1957 in Milan, Michigan. Marie died January 24, 1987. Jim then married Dorothy "Dottie" (Boothe) Hagaman on April 7, 1990 in Coldwater. 
Jim was a farmer and truck driver all of his life. He moved to Palmetto, Florida in 1992 and was truck driver for Dana Sight and Development. 
He was a former member of the Bronson Dance Club, and the Bronson Bowling Association. He enjoyed computers, bowling, dancing and fishing.
Surviving are his wife, Dottie, sons and daughters-in-law, James Dean and Bobbi Wallo of Coldwater, Joseph and Gail Wallo and Steve and Austina Wallo all of Bronson and Robert lee and Kathy Wallo of Quincy; step-daughter Jeri Torrey of Coldwater; step-son and daughter-in-law, Timothy and Rebecca Hagaman of Quincy; 17 Grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; six great great grandchildren and his Mother Eunice Wallo of Palmetto, Florida. 
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM Thursday at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with Rev. Fr. Richard Fritz officiating. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.
Friends may call at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 5 – 8 PM Wednesday.

Purl O. "Buck" Rice
Bronson – Purl O. "Buck" Rice, age 84, of Bronson, died Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
He was born September 13, 1918 in Homer, Michigan, son of Ervin and Merca (Beeman) Rice. He married Olive Trinkle on March 15, 1942 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Buck was a US Navy veteran of World War 2, a member of the VFW Post 5003 and American Legion Post 259, both in Bronson and the UCT in Coldwater. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.
Buck retired in 1981 as Foreman after 30 years with Bronson Precision Products. Prior to that he had worked at the former Bronson Reel Company.
Surviving are his wife Olive, a daughter, Bonnie Megenhardt of Indianapolis, Indiana; a son and daughter-in-law, Richard "Bucky" and Esther Rice of Bronson and Four Grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother Gerald Rice and a sister Virginia Miller.
Funeral Services celebrating the life of Purl O. "Buck" Rice will be held at 1:30 PM Saturday, January 18, 2003 at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson with Rev. Debra Valentine officiating. Interment will follow in Bronson Cemetery with full military honors conferred by the Bronson Posts of the American Legion and VFW.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home from 5 – 8 PM Friday where Memorial Donations may be made to the CHC Hospice.

N. Joyce Losinski
Bronson - N. Joyce Losinski, age 75, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, formerly of Bronson and Quincy, Michigan, died Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at her home following an extended illness.
She was born April 20, 1927 in Coldwater, daughter of Leason and Cora (Swan) Himebaugh. She married David Losinski on August 21, 1948 at St. Charles Catholic Church in Coldwater. The couple lived in Bronson and Quincy, Michigan and Butler, Indiana before moving to Fort Wayne in 1998.
Joyce had worked at the former Douglas Manufacturing Co. (now Douglas Autotech) and the L.A.Darling Company, both in Bronson and retired from VACO Products in Jonesville, MI. after working there for 10 years.
Joyce was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Fort Wayne and the Branch County Mutual Benefit Association. She enjoyed walking her dog, travelling and in later years, television.
Surviving are her husband David, daughter Judy Nichols of Hudson, MI, daughter and son-in-law, Lana and Aaron Phillips of Las Vegas, Nevada; seven Grandchildren; her brother Dayne Himebaugh of Coldwater and her sister, Hilda Cramer of Valerico, Florida. 
The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday, January 18, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson. Interment will follow in Snow Prairie Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 4 – 8 PM Friday, January 17, 2003. The Rosary will be recited at 7 PM Friday. Donations may be made to the Visiting Nurse Services and Hospice of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Joseph V. Lemanski
Bronson – Joseph V. Lemanski, age 81, of Bronson, died Friday Noon at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis. He had been in failing health.
Joseph was born April 5, 1921 in Bronson in the same house he lived in at the time of his death. He was the son of Paul and Anastasia (Lawniczak) Lemanski and had lived all of his life in the Bronson area. Joe attended St. Mary of the Assumption school and graduated from Bronson High School in 1938. 
He was hired to work as tome keeper at the Douglas Division of Scott & Fetter (now Douglas Autotech) in Bronson. He joined the US Navy during World War 2, serving as Yeoman 2nd Class and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. After the war he returned to his job at Douglas, retiring in 1984 after 43 years of service.
Joe was a member of St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church and the Sacred Heart Society. He was also a member of the VFW Cockle-Lemanski Post 5003 in Bronson. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, mushrooming and picking blueberries.
Surviving are three brothers and sisters-in-law, Albert George and Helen Lemanski of Bronson, Anthony and Sylvia Lemanski of River Grove, Illinois and Paul A. and Ann Lemanksi of Tecumseh, MI; sister, Mary T. Lemanksi of Bronson and Salome (Sally) Lemanksi of Sturgis and sister and brother-in-law, Anna and Harold Sosinski of Bronson and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother Stanley of Battle Creek and a brother Benedict killed in World War 2.
Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Joseph V. Lemanski will be held at 11 AM Monday, January 13, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with Rev. Fr. Richard Fritz officiating. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 1 – 7 PM Sunday where Deacon Gerald Smoker will lead the Rosary at 4 PM Sunday. Memorial Donations are suggested to St. Mary Catholic Church. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Elwood W. "Bud" Harper
Bronson -  Elwood   W.  "Bud"  Harper, age 74 of Bronson, died Wednesday, January 8,2003 at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.  He was born August 14, 1928 in Battle Creek, son of William Wesley and Fern (Smith) Harper and lived in Union City until 1966 when he moved to Bronson. 
He married Diana Finney on September 25, 1948 in Union City. Bud retired in 1990 as a tool & die maker working for 17 years with Bronson Specialties Co, and later for 10 years with LECO Corporation in Bronson. After his retirement, he managed the Canterbury Gardens apartments in Coldwater.
Bud was a member of St. Mary of Assumption catholic Church in Bronson, enjoyed walking, woodworking, crafts and hunting.
Surviving are his wife, Diana, daughters and sons-in-law, Bunnee and Dan Smoker and Tammy and Dennis Brauker all of Bronson, and Julie and Richard Perry of Sandy, Utah; his son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Jenny Harper of Coldwater; nine grandchildren; five great grandchildren and a sister Mrs. John (Vera) Lewis of Coldwater.  He was preceded in death by two sisters, Leah Belle Head and Joyce Warren.
The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Elwood W. "Bud" Harper will be held at 10 AM Saturday, January 11, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with Rev. Fr. Richard Fritz officiating.  Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 4 - 8 PM Friday where Deacon Gerald Smoker will lead the Rosary at 7 PM.  Memorial Donations are suggested to the Branch County Humane Society. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Robert L. Hobel
Bronson - Robert L. Hobel, age 65, of Bronson, died early Tuesday, January 7, 2003 at his home following a two week illness.  He had been in failing health for several years.
He was born June 12, 1937 in Sturgis, son of William and Jessie (Friend) Hobel and lived most of his life in the Bronson area. He retired from Parma Tube in Sturgis in 1999 after more than 20 years of service. He has been mowing the lawn at St. Mary Cemetery for the past several years.
Bob was a member of St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson, Fraternal Order of Eagles in Sturgis, the U.C.T. and the AARP. He enjoyed collecting model cars, repairing small engines and especially hunting.
Surviving are his son and daughter-in-law, Dale and Jody Hobel of Angola, IN, step-sons and daughters-in-law, Terry and Terry Capman of Fremont, IN and Bradley and Debra Capman of Sturgis, his step-daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Willard Vedmore of Three Rivers, MI; 13 grandchildren; five great grandchildren; his Step-Mother, Mary Hobel of Burr Oak; step-brother, Steve Stockwell of Sturgis  and his special friend, Mary Elizabeth Supianoski of Bronson and her son and daughter-in-law, Don and Jennie Supianoski also of Bronson.
The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Robert Hobel will be held at 10 AM Thursday, January 9, 2003 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with Rev. Fr. Richard Fritz officiating.   Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson from 3 - 8 PM Wednesday where Deacon Smoker will lead the Rosary at 7 PM Wednesday. Memorial Donations are suggested for St. Mary of Assumption Church. Envelopes are available at the Kolcz Funeral Home.

Sharon  E.  Blaskie
Sturgis -   Sharon E. Blaskie, age 62, of Sturgis, died Saturday, January 4, 2003 at her home following a several year illness. 
She was born March 28, 1940 in Union City, Michigan, daughter of Herman and Mildred (Shaw) Markley and graduated from Union City High School in 1959.  She married Theodore Blaskie on May 25, 1968 in Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sturgis.
Sharon was a homemaker, a  farm wife and a cosmetologist. She had worked at Wright Beauty Academy. She also had worked at Lamb Knit in Colon, Denton Mills in Centreville, G & H Industries in Centreville and at the Green Valley Holiday Inn.  She also volunteered her time at  Holy Angels Catholic School. Sharon enjoyed embroidery, traveling, bowling, word search puzzles and just visiting with people.
Surviving are her husband, Theodore, her daughter, Carolyn Blaskie of Sturgis, her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Rhoda Blaskie of Oklahoma City, OK, two children she and her husband raise, John (Beth) Blaskie of Athens and Julie Shansudden of Malaysia; four grandchildren, Raymond Blaskie, Rebecca Blaskie, Ronald Blaskie  and Richard Blaskie, Jr.; her Mother Mildred Markley of Williamston, MI and several aunts, uncles and cousins including Mary Bethel of Williamston, MI and Bonnie hassenger of Constantine.  She was preceded in death by her father Herman Markley in 1995 and by an infant sister, Shirlee Dawn Markley.
The Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Sharon E. Blaskie will be held at 10 AM Tuesday, January 7, 2003  at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson with Rev. Fr. Richard Fritz officiating. Prayers before Mass will be held at 9 :30 AM at the Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Union City, Michigan. Lunch following the interment will be held at the Union City Methodist Church.
The family will receive friends at the Kolcz Funeral Home from 2 - 4 & 6 - 8 PM Monday where Deacon Gerald Smoker will lead the  Rosary at 7 PM Monday.  Those wishing to make a Memorial Contribution are asked to please consider the Sisters of St. Joseph or Pet Haven in Sturgis.  Envelopes are available  at the Kolcz Funeral Home.


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