Miscellaneous Michigan Obituaries

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Mr. Willard W. Decker - 827 Pasma, Portage, MI - passed away Thursday afternoon Feb 3, 1972.  Mr. Decker was born May 10, 1907, in Republic, Ohio, son of Roy W. and Retta F. Decker, and had been a resident of Portage since 1954 and of this area most of his life.  He was a veteran of World War II and was employed by the Upjohn Co.  Surviving are his wife, Thelma,  one daughter, Miss Diane L. Decker, at home;  2 stepchildren, Mrs. Nancy Erwine of Kalamazoo and Nolan Snow of Phoenix, Ariz.;  5 step-grandchildren;  one brother and one sister, Lawrence C. Decker and Miss Florence Decker, both of Gull Lake;  several nieces and nephews.  Memorial services will be held Monday at 1 o’clock at the Langeland Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave., Rev. Douglas Beason of Bethel Baptist Church officiating.  Interment in Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery.   Memorial contributions may be made to the Portage chapel this evening from 7 to 9, Saturday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9, Sunday from 2 to 4.  source: Kalamazoo Gazette Fri 4 Feb 1972

Mrs. Dorothy A. DeFields - 132 Reed St., passed away Friday afternoon, October 22, 1971.  Mrs. DeFields was born September 27, 1892 in Eversonville, Missouri, daughter of John and Nora Miller and had been a resident here for 50 years.  She is survived by:  one son, Paul Seaman of Lawton;  three sisters, Mrs. Raymond (Alpha) Clark, Kalamazoo,  Mrs. Ernest (Alta) Smith of Brookfield, Mo. and Mrs. Flossie Logan of Chillicothe, Mo.;  several nieces and nephews.  Memorial services will be held Monday at 2 o’clock at the Langeland Chapel,  622 S. Burdick, Rev. Charles R. Hulbert of the Bethlehem Baptist Church officiating.  Interment, Genessee Prairie Cemetery.  Friends may meet the family at the chapel Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 o’clock.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette Sat 23 Oct 1971

Timothy Lee DeDoes - 2205 Sycamore Lane, passed away Sunday morning, March 14, 1971.  Tim was born May 28, 1959, in Kalamazoo, the son of Wayne A. and Virginia L. DeDoes and was a lifelong resident here.  He was a member of the Westwood Christian Reformed Church and Calvinist Cadet Corp. and the Oakwood Little League.  He was a  6th grade student at South Christian Grade School.  Surviving are the parents, Wayne and Virginia DeDoes;  2 sisters and 2 brothers, Thomas Alan, Cheryl Lynn, Connie Sue and Curtis Wayne, all at home;  grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Visscher and Mr. and Mrs. Abe DeDoes, all of Kalamazoo;  several aunts, uncles, cousins.  Memorial services will be held Wednesday at 1 o’clock at the Langeland Chapel,  622 S. Burdick, Rev. William A. Huyser officiating.  Interment in Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery.  Friends may call at the chapel.  Memorials may be made to the South Christian Grade School Athletic Fund.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette  Mon 15 March 1971

Laurene W. Adams - Of Beaver Island, Age 79, died at her home April 22, 2002. Mass of the Resurrection will be 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2002 at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Beaver Island. The Rev. Patrick Cawley will officiate, assisted by Deacon Michael McGinnity, and burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Beaver Island. Laurene was born April 7, 1923 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Norbert and Mary (Basler) Wheeler. On September 1, 1948, she married John S. Adams in Kalamazoo. They lived there until moving to Beaver Island in 1983. John preceded her in death on December 30, 1993. Laurene is a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church on Beaver Island. She is survived by her daughters, Connie (Ed) Wojan of Beaver Island, Mary Adams (Peter DeGroot) of Pacifica, CA, Ann Adams (William DeBiasi) of Allen Park, Molly Adams of San Martin, CA; sons, David (Kathy) Adams of Beaver Island, John (Denise) Adams of Grosse Pointe Woods; 14 grandchildren; sister, Marilyn (David) Reed of Belleville, IL; brother, Joseph Wheeler of Battle Creek. A Wake will be held at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Beaver Island beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, where a Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Beaver Island Rural Health Center or to Hospice of the Straits, Cheboygan. The family is being served by the Winchester Funeral Home in Charlevoix.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 24, 2002

John C. “Jack” Allen - Of Galesburg, Passed away on April 20, 2002 at his home. Jack was born on September 13, 1953 in Toledo, OH, the son of Mary (Schwab) Allen and Charles Allen. A widely respected remodeling contractor in the Kalamazoo area, Mr. Allen was a member of the Greater Kalamazoo Area Home Builders Association, and a Big Brother for the Big Brother/Sister Organization. Jack is survived by his wife, Catherine (Gresham) Allen and their two sons,  Sam and Ben Allan at home; his mother, Mary (Schwab) Allen of Tecumseh, MI; his father and step-mother, Charles and Dorothy Allen of Tecumseh, MI; a mother-in-law, Rebecca Gresham of Anna Maria, FL; a father-in-law and step-mother-in-law, Julian and Suzanne Gresham of Muncie, IN; two sisters, Carol (Robert) Smith of Durand, MI, and Susan (Thomas) Popma of Rockford, MI; two brothers-in-law, Greg (Dolly) Gresham of Acampo, CA, and James Gresham of Anna Maria, FL; two sisters-in-law, Susan Gresham of Oxford, OH, and Aimie Gresham of New York, NY; several aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. Friends will be received on Wednesday, April 24, 2002 from 6-7 p.m. at Redmond Funeral Home 4100 S. Westnedge where Memorial Services will be held at 7 p.m. on  Wednesday, April 24, 2002, Rev. Julian Gresham officiating. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to an Education Fund for Sam and Ben Allen c/o Comerica Bank, 5560 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 23, 2002

Melvin Leroy Becker -  of Portage, passed away at home on Saturday morning, April 13, 2002. Melvin was born September 3, 1924 in Kalamazoo, MI the son of Floyd and Elizabeth (Gage) Becker. He grew up in the Schoolcraft and Texas Corners area. In January 1943, he was drafted in the US Army and returned home in January 1946 where he spent three years in the European Theater of War. On August 31, 1946 he married Lucille Tarnow. They built a home in Portage in 1950 where they still reside. He was a real estate agent for many years. He enjoyed meeting people, the stock market and reading. He especially loved coffee with his buddies every morning at Derk's Restaurant. His son Dale, who passed away in 1972 with Cystic Fibrosis, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Lucille; a daughter, Gale (Susie); two grandchildren, Keri and Brian; four sisters-in-law, Maxine Smith of Portage, Bernice Fara of Flowery Branch, GA, Neomia Carpenter of Kalamazoo and Maxine Burleigh of Marcellus; nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. It was Mel's wishes not to have visitation. There will be a Military Graveside service for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers those wishing can donate to the American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Redmond Funeral Home 4100 S. Westnedge  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 14, 2002

Joseph Michael Barbieri - Of Kalamazoo, Died April 18, 2002 at his home. Joe was born September 25, 1947 in Kalamazoo, the son of Alfred N. and Maxine E. (Moyer) Barbieri. He worked as a paper shredder for the Kalamazoo County Dept. of Mental Health. Joe enjoyed a number of sports and activities which include: bowling, golfing and swimming. He often competed in the Michigan Special Olympics, and also competed once nationally. Joe is survived by his parents; two brothers: Tom Pauli of Kalamazoo and Jim Pauli of Midland, MI; a sister, Sharon (Norman) Root of Kalamazoo; many nieces, nephews and cousins. The family will be present to receive friends Tuesday from 12:00 Noon until the time of service at Betzler Funeral Homes Stadium Dr. West of 131 375-2900 where the funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM Tuesday after-noon. Private interment Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers.   Memorial contributions may be made to Michigan Special Olympics, Community Advocates or the charity of your choice. Share a memory online at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 21, 2002

Mr. John R. Broesamle - Of Richland, Died Monday morning, April 22, 2002 at his residence. John was born September 29, 1926 in Kalamazoo, the son of Paul and Myrth (Bush) Broesamle, and had been a lifelong resident in the Kalamazoo area. Prior to his retirement in 1984 he was employed with the Federal Government in the Graphic Arts Department for 20 years. On August 19, 1950 he was united in marriage to the former Alice Harris, who survives. In accordance with his wishes cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation. A graveside service will be held 11:00 Monday April 29 in Ft. Custer National Cemetery with full military honors.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Heart Association. Arrangements by Affordable Cremation Service.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 24, 2002

Mr. Christian B. Beeke - Portage, Passed away Friday noon April 19, 2002 at Bronson Hospital. Mr. Beeke was born November 7, 1921 in Krabbendyke, The Netherlands, the son of Johannes and Jacomina Dees Beeke. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during World War II in Europe. Mr. Beeke was a self-employed excavator his entire life and was married to Dena DeVisser in 1946. She preceded him in death in 1982. He was also preceded in death by his brother John Beeke and a step granddaughter, Rachael Timmer. He later married Dena Johnson DeVisser, who survives. Also surviving are one daughter, Mary Ann (Joseph) Reno, two sons, Christian (Karen) Beeke and Thomas (Jane) Beeke, all of Kalamazoo; three step- daughters, Sharon (Daniel) Engelsma of Grand Rapids, Sandra (David) Timmer of Kalamazoo and Shirley (Kenneth) Lugthart of Hudsonville; five grandchildren; thirteen step grandchildren; five great grandchildren; one brother Peter (Dorothy) Beeke of Kalamazoo and one sister Gertrude (Donald) VanderWeele of Missouri; a sister-in-law Johanna Beeke of Kalamazoo; several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Sunday and Monday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Memorial Chapel 622 S. Burdick St. 343-1508 Funeral services will be held at 11:00 o'clock on Tuesday at the chapel with his nephew the Rev. Dr. Joel R. Beeke officiating. Interment in Riverside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to Providence Christian School Endowment Fund.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 21, 2002

Mr. Robert W. Brown Sr. - Portage, Died Sunday, April 14, 2002. Bob was born January 30, 1924 in Kalamazoo, MI, the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Drydyk) Brown, and was a lifelong resident here. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Prior to his retirement, Bob was employed for several years at Kalamazoo Stamp and Die. He was a member of the Portage V.F.W. Post #5855. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Jacquelyn in 1984; and by a brother, James C. Brown. Surviving are 2 daughters and 1 son, Lynne (Barry) Stowell of Plainwell, Suzanne Pasch of Kalamazoo, and Robert Brown Jr. of Portage; 5 grandchildren, Toby Brown, Kim (Craig) Binder, Steve Stowell, William Pasch Jr. and Tracy (Kevin) Kalasz; 3 great-grandchildren, Tyler Stowell, Kayleigh and Kyle Binder; several nieces and nephews. Services will be held at 1:00 o'clock Wednesday at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick St. 343-1508 with the Rev. Dr. David English, of the Calvary Bible Church, officiating.  Interment in Riverside Cemetery with military honors by the Comstock V.F.W. Post #6252. Friends may meet the family this evening from 5-8 p.m. at the chapel. The family suggests that memorial contributions in Bob's memory be made to the American Cancer Society.  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 16, 2002

Katherine Mary (McCarthy) Bigelow - Of Kalamazoo, Formerly of Bangor, Died April 28, 2002 at Borgess Nursing Home. Katherine was born October 30, 1915 in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Charles and Ellen (Ormsby) McCarthy. She graduated from St. Xavier Academy and attended Mundelein College. Katherine owned and managed the H. Towers Bigelow Insurance Agency in Bangor for 21 years. She was a member of Sacred Heart Church, where she was active in the Christian Services. Katherine lived in the Bangor - Bloomingdale area for 65 years, and was involved in many community organizations. She was an avid bridge player, playing duplicate bridge for many years. On August 17, 1935 she was united in marriage to H. Towers Bigelow Jr. who preceded her in death on December 4, 1962. Katherine was also preceded in death by her parents; a grandson; and two great- grandsons. She is survived by six children, Harry Towers III (Rosemary) Bigelow of Flint, MI, Ann Gerould of Kalamazoo, Tom (Mary Alice) Bigelow of Indianapolis, IN, Carol (Howard) Dooley of Kalamazoo, Barbara (Paul) French of Dallas, TX, and Mary (Robert) Schroeder of San Francisco, CA; sixteen grandchildren; ten great- grandchildren; a brother, Charles McCarthy of Sleepy Hollow, IL; and many nieces and nephews. The family will be present to receive friends Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Betzler Funeral Homes Stadium Dr. West of 131 375-2900 where a Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. that evening. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday 2:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bangor, with final viewing one hour prior to the service, Fr. Tom Seidel, Celebrant. Interment Arlington Hill Cemetery. Food and fellowship will be shared following the burial at Carol Dooley's home in Kalamazoo. Memorial contributions may be made to Borgess Neuro Rehab Unit. Share a memory online at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 30, 2002

Mr. Alexander Burns - Kalamazoo Passed away Friday, April 19, 2002 at his home. He was born October 14, 1920 in Hope, Arkansas, the son of George Nelson and Sallie Mae Burns. He had been a resident of Kalamazoo since 1942. He was a member of Galilee Baptist Church, where he was a member of the Inspirational Choir, and the Senior Usher Board for many years. He retired from James Rivers Corp. in 1982. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Horace James; 3 sisters, Rosezetta Palmore, Julia Cooper and Elnora Jackson; one brother, George Burns Jr. Surviving are son, Justin (Ora) Burns Sr.; a sister, Carol Brooks; step-son, Sonny (Vivian) Whittaker; sister, Lula Mae Taylor; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and a very special friend, Willie D. Williams. Services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday with a 12 Noon Family Hour at Galilee Baptist Church, Pastor J. Louis Felton officiating. Interment Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery. Friends may call today (Tuesday) from 4-6 p.m. at the Harper  Funeral  Home 521 Douglas Avenue 342-1000 source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 23, 2002

Mr. Stephen M. Courtney - Of Menominee, Mi, formerly of Parchment, Drowned in a snowmobile accident in the Bay of Green Bay on March 14, 2001. Stephen was born December 12, 1946 in Plainwell, the son of Milford and Doris (Goodner) Courtney. He was graduate of Parchment High School and the Paper Science and Engineering School at Western Michigan University. Stephen had been in the paper industry for over 30 years and was the co-founder and general manager of the Great Lakes Pulp and Fiber Company in Menominee. He was also the co- owner of the Pirate's Cove Pub and Grill in Menominee. He enjoyed boating, snowmobiling, and other summer and winter sports activities. He was preceded in death by his father, Milford Courtney in 1975. On August 31, 1996 he was united in marriage to the former Gloria Nast, of Menominee, who survives. Also surviving are children, Sheryl Courtney of Napolean, MI, Craig (Lisa) Courtney of Saline, MI, Marc (Dyan) Laurent of Menominee, Becky Laurent and Greg Fochs of Stevens Point, WI, Chad Laurent and Michelle Vogt of Menominee; his mother, Doris Courtney of Kalamazoo; a sister, Susan (Bernie) Potts of Kalamazoo; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 o'clock Saturday (April 27, 2002) at the Third Reformed Church, 2345 N. 10th St. (Use North Entrance) with Pastor Dar VanderWal officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Stephen Courtney Memorial Fund c/o National City Bank, 5299 West Main St., Kalamazoo, MI, 49009. Funds to be used to continue the under-water search. Any excess funds will be donated to Hospice of Greater Kalamazoo.  Envelopes will also be available at the church. Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes Memorial Chapel 622 S. Burdick St. 343-1508  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 21, 2002

Anthony P. “Tony” CHREST - Of Raleigh, NC, Formerly of Kalamazoo, died April 23, 2002 at his home in Raleigh, NC. He was born on February 27, 1941 to John and Olive (Taylor) Chrest, and lived in numerous places where his father's military career took the family. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Benedicts College in 1963, a Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering Degree from Colorado State Univer-sity in 1964, and in 1966 a Master's Degree in Structural Engineering from Purdue University. In 1966 Tony joined Walker Parking Consultants Inc., (formerly Carl Walker & Associates, Inc.) as a Structural Engineer and worked in that capacity until 1969 when he left to work in New Zealand and Australia. He returned to the United States to teach at North Carolina State University in 1972 and returned to Walker Parking Consultants in Elgin, Illinois in 1974. He moved to Kalamazoo in 1979 and served Walker as Senior Vice President and the Corporate Chief Engineer. In 2001, he moved to Raleigh, N.C., where he continued his responsibilities and also served as senior officer of the Walker Raleigh Office. Tony acted as a senior project manager, as well as a senior structural advisor and designer on Walker's largest projects. His responsibilities included project management, structural system concepts, master specification preparation, in-house education and Quality Assurance. He had over 30 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of prestressed concrete parking structures, precast, post- tensioned, and composite. Tony is also among the national leaders in the design and construction industry. He was a member of American Concrete Institute (ACI) committee 318, which writes the building code requirements for concrete, of ACI committee 301, which writes nationally recognized specifications for concrete, of ACI and Precast Concrete Institute committees on parking structures, which influence building codes and set industry standards, and the Post-Tensioning Institute committee on unbonded tendons. He was a member of many professional organizations and achieved ``Fellow'' status in both The American Concrete Institute and The Prestressed Concrete Institute, and served on several national committees of these organizations. He was a regis-tered professional engineer in 13 states. In 1989 he co-authored a book ``Parking Structures,'' which defines plann-ing, design, construction, maintenance, and repair of parking facilities. The book is currently in its third edition and is considered to be the textbook of the parking design industry. He authored many technical articles for engineering and construction publications. Tony and Claire Burgess were united in marriage on February 17, 1968 in Birmingham, Michi-gan. They had one son, David, who resides in Cary, North Carolina. Tony is survived by his wife of 34 years; son and daughter-in-law, David P. and Amy Chrest; a grandson, Colin Anthony Chrest of Cary, North Carolina; and a sister and niece, Cathy and Ann Howard; a brother, John Chrest and stepmother, Sophie Chrest, all of Denver, Colorado. This man of good heart was an extraordinary caring husband, father, brother, son, uncle, grandfather, and friend. An Endowment Fund has been set up in his name at Colorado State Univer-sity. Contributions can be made to Colorado State University to the Anthony P. Chrest Fellowship Memorial Fund. For more information about the fund, contact Rise' Landeros at Walker Parking Consultants (616- 381-6080).  source: Kalamazoo Gazette April 30, 2002

James Dekema - Passed away Sunday morning, April 7, 2002. James was born September 19, 1913 in Kalamazoo, the son of John and Agnes (Steimsma) Dekema, and has been a lifelong Kalamazoo and Portage area resident. During WW II he served in the U.S. Army, and later was a member of the American Legion and the DAV. From 1938 until retirement in 1976 he was co-owner of the Michigan Glass and Paint Company. He was a founding member of the Hope Reformed Church, where he served as Deacon and Elder, and was currently a member of the Community Presbyterian Church. James was preceded in death by 2 brothers, Richard and Bert; 4 sisters, Bertha Dekema, Sadie Wiersma, Alice Howe and Clara Visscher. On October 4, 1940 he was united in marriage to the former Henrietta Klein, who survives. Also surviving are 2 sons, Kyle (Jan) Dekema of Portage, Keith (Jan) Dekema of Kalamazoo; 4 grandchildren, Megan, Jacob, Amber and Natalie; 2 sisters, Catherine Hamming and Lucille Gruizenga, both of Kalamazoo; a brother, Larry (Ruth) Dekema of Plainwell; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Portage Chapel 411 E. Centre Ave. 343-1508 A private family interment will be held in East Martin Cemetery with military honors by Comstock VFW Post #6252.  A Memorial Service will be held 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Langeland Portage Chapel with Rev. Timothy Bero officiating. Memorials in James' memory may be directed to the Community Presbyterian Church, 2131 Alamo Ave, Kalamazoo 49006. source:  Kalamazoo Gazette Mon April 8, 2002

Stephen DeRight - Of Kalamazoo, Died suddenly Thursday evening April 18, 2002 at Borgess Medical Center. Steve was born in Kalamazoo and worked as a construction engineer for most of his 38 years at Upjohn, where he received the Upjohn Award. He was a WWII Veteran. On June 28, 2002, Steve and Delores would have celebrated 55 years of marriage. Steve dearly loved his family and is survived by his daughters: Gail DeRight and Joyce Blankenship both of Portage, Janice Brumbach of Salem, OR; and son, Mark DeRight of Lake City, FL; three grandchildren: Michael, Heather and Randy; a brother, Stanley and wife, Phyllis DeRight of Detroit, MI. Steve thoroughly enjoyed his home and yard work involved. He enjoyed golfing with his three golfing buddies and semi-annual trips to Las Vegas with Delores.  Cremation will take place; there will be no public visitation or services. Memorial contributions may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice or the charity of one's choice. Share a memory www.betzlerfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by: Betzler  Funeral  Homes Stadium Dr. West of 131 375-2900  source:  Kalamazoo Gazette April 21, 2002