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Harriet E. Ashbay

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Harriet Elizabeth Ashbay, of Manton, Mich., passed away, July 6, 2021 at Pleasant Lake Lodge in Cadillac. She was 92.
Harriet was born February 18, 1929 in Ann Arbor, Mich. to Charles Edward and Esther Alyce (Aseltine) Bowling and they preceded her in death. On March 4, 1950 in Ann Arbor, Mich. she married Lewis Junior Ashbay and he preceded her in death on July 26, 2018.
Harriet graduated from the University of Michigan High School and later worked at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing. Harriet later retired from Michigan State University’s Geography Department. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manton for many years.
She was an amazing woman, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Harriet had a gift that engaged others. She was a fantastic conversationalist and genuinely was interested in others. Children were drawn to her; neighborhood children were always around, and she helped shape and guide them in a fun way. Harriet loved her perfect grandchildren and loved to play games with a competitive spirit and Harriet’s rules.
She is survived by her children, Gordon (Valli) Ashbay of Grand Ledge, Gary (Ellen) Ashbay of Battle Creek and Lucinda (Michael) Rathbun of Cadillac; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by a son, Warren E. Ashbay; and siblings, William, Edith, Babe, Catherine, Chester, and Charles.
Graveside services will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Fairview Cemetery in Manton. A luncheon will follow at her home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church or to Hospice of Michigan Cadillac Chapter. An online guestbook is available at petersonfh.com.

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Carl W. Davis

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Carl Wilbert Davis, age 88, passed away Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Okemos. Carl was born to Robert E. and M. Dorena Davis on February 4, 1933, in Webster, Oh. He grew up in Huron County, Mich. until 1965, when he moved his family to Williamston, Mich. Carl later moved to Charlotte, Mich. where he resided for over 45 years.
Carl worked as an oiler at General Motors for 30 years. He enjoyed going all over Michigan to different restaurants. Some of his favorite foods were fried bologna sandwiches and chicken gizzards. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family at any kind of event. As long as he was with the kids and grandkids, he was happy. Carl was quite the jokester and prankster.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Alma King, Dolly Graham, Frances Rose, Shelby Vugrin, Marie Radabaugh, Doris Bays; brothers, Robert Davis, Charles, Daniel, and William Benda; son-in-law, Gene Cebula; and his first-born son, Glenn P. Davis whom he missed dearly.
He is survived by his sister, Peg Henke of DeWitt; children, Beth Davis of Dansville, April Cebula of Dansville, Diane (Kevin) Webster of Williamston, Bob (the late Carolyn Grabarczyk) Davis of Williamston, Tom Davis of Williamston, Tracy (Dennis) Putman of Charlotte, Barry (Jennifer) Davis of Webberville, Skip (Jamie) Clark of Lansing, Randy (Lisa) Clark of Springport, Dan (Kathy) Clark of Potterville; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, all whom will miss him very much.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at the Webberville United Methodist Church, 4215 Holt Road, Webberville, MI 48892, with Pastor Marty Johnston officiating. Burial took place at Alchin Farm Cemetery.
To view Carl’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-green-kilgo.com.

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Francis Calnan

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Francis “Wayne” Calnan of Charlotte, a wonderful father, husband and friend, passed away on April 24, 2021, surrounded by his family. Wayne, who was 77, was born on January 30, 1944, in Lowell, Mass. He graduated from Sexton High School in Lansing, Mich., and was a member of the wrestling team. Wayne lived most of his life in Charlotte, Mich., was active in his church and worked for General Motors for 34 years. He enjoyed his retirement, camping trips and poodles, and was very proud of his grandchildren. Wayne was a great cook and enjoyed making homemade soup and spaghetti sauce every time they visited. He was well known for all his stories and could talk to anyone.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Judy; daughters, Shelene (Dave) Hahn, Marcy (Matt) Billings, Lisa (Steve) Creller, and son, Timothy Calnan; and many grandchildren. At Wayne’s request, there will be no service or visitation. Cremation has taken place.  If desired, the family suggests a memorial contribution to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews at ifcj.org.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Please visit millsfuneral.com to place online condolences.

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Paul C. Blatt

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Paul Collins Blatt passed away in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the age of 82. He was born January 25, 1938, in Eaton Rapids, Mich., the son of Francis and Helen (Collins) Blatt. He graduated from high school in Eaton Rapids in 1956 prior to graduating from Lansing Business University. Paul married Bonnie Lee Harshey on December 16, 1961, and together they raised their three children in Lansing and Eaton Rapids. Paul and Bonnie permanently moved to Fla. in 2000. He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Virginia, Clara, and his twin, Robert; and by his wife, Bonnie in 2016. He is survived by his sons, Jeffrey (Linda) Blatt, and Douglas (Tricia) Blatt; his daughter Rebecca (John) Galaudet; and his brother John (Carolyn) Blatt. He also leaves four grandchildren, Alexander Blatt, Anthony (Mina) Blatt, Allison Galaudet, and Matthew Galaudet.
Paul retired from the State of Michigan after 31 years of service. He often spoke fondly of his career as a state employee. After retirement, he and Bonnie traveled extensively throughout the United States and took multiple trips to the United Kingdom and Europe. One of their most recent trips was a cruise through the Panama Canal. When their children were younger, they enjoyed camping throughout the U.S, and as empty nesters, they volunteered in multiple National and State parks. They finally settled in Dunedin, Fla. (the Tampa area). His children found that they were much busier in retirement than when he was working.
Paul was known for watching the news and discussing it with anyone who would listen. He quite often would call his children to discuss the news and politics.
Paul will be laid to rest in Eaton Rapids, Mich. with a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church in Eaton Rapids. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Moffitt Cancer Center (moffitt.org/give) or PBS Station WEDU (wedu.org). To share memories or leave condolences please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.

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James and Rose Marie Lynch

YEARS OF MARRIAGE: 65
ANNIVERSARY DATE: July 7, 1956

Congratulations Mom and Dad on 65 years of Marriage!  James and Rose Marie Lynch were married July 7, 1956 in Suitland, Maryland.  James was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and Rose Marie Lynch managed the homestead and fielded calls and scheduled appointments for  “General Home Company” — the successful business her husband owned and operated for 42 years.  James and Rose Marie have four children, James Lynch Jr. (Vicki) and Regina Lynch (Mark) Wickard, Kevin Lynch (Johanna) and Jennifer (Chad) Camplese.  They have 14 grandchildren and enjoy having everyone over to their home on the water in Charlotte to swim, play games, cook out and just have fun!  James continues to serve his country by serving in the National Honor Guard for the last seven years, by providing the burial services for the men and women who served our country and have now passed on. James performs this service not only in Michigan, with the VFW Post #2406, but also in Florida, where he is also a member of the Honor Guard.  Rose Marie enjoys line dancing and teaching dance classes and performs throughout the county for local fairs, nursing homes and for veterans.   Rose Marie dances in both Charlotte, and in Florida, where they both like to spend a few months in the sunshine, while Michigan is experiencing its cold winters. James and Rose Marie love life, enjoy traveling and seeing the country in their motorhome and stay very active. Every year they hold one of the best garage sales in Charlotte. They are hard to keep-up with!!  We love you Mom and Dad!!

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Karen A. Croyle

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Karen Ann Croyle, 70, of Charlotte, died unexpectedly on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at her home. Karen was born January 13, 1951, the daughter of Roy and Eris Croyle. Karen graduated from Charlotte High School in 1969 and later earned her Associates Degree. She worked 20 years at the State of Michigan Department of Treasury, retiring in 1993. In retirement, she worked in social services, and four years housecleaning. Throughout her life, Karen enjoyed painting, reading, and Southern Gospel music strummed on banjo. She enjoyed time outdoors in her gardens, tending her flowers and vegetables. Many will remember Karen’s giving spirit, both as a volunteer at Hayes Green Beach Hospital, and in her daily service to others.
Karen is survived by her son, Kevin Borgman; grandchildren, Ashley Halliwill, Derek Halliwill, Lexie Jackson, and Tyler Borgman; great-granddaughter, Nevada Halliwill; and her beloved dogs, Hazel, Harlee, and Joey. She was predeceased by her daughter, Angela Halliwill; sister, Cheryl Croyle; infant brother, Kevin Croyle; and her parents.
Friends are encouraged to support Karen’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 19, 2021 at Pray Funeral Home with Pastor Steve Byrens officiating. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Eaton County Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Barbara J. Davis

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Barbara Jean Davis, an educator, collaborator, advocate for the needy, and above all, a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, died Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Barbara was born January 28, 1942, in Manistee, Mich., the daughter of Hugo and Martha (Kivimaa) Troppi. As a Junior in High School, Barbara asked James Davis to attend a Sadie Hawkins Dance. They would later marry on March 21, 1964. Barbara obtained her undergraduate and master’s degree from Michigan State University, followed by a doctorate degree from The University of Chicago. In the 1960’s Barbara worked as an english teacher at Charlotte High School. She then accepted a job at the Eaton Intermediate School District working as a coordinator for gifted and talented. Once she retired from the EISD she accepted a position at Olivet College as the Director of Character Education. Throughout her working career Barbara touched and helped shape the lives of countless students.
Barbara was a proud member of Peace Lutheran Church in Charlotte, where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and bible study. She was active in the Charlotte Women’s Club, AAUW, MEA, NEA, and ABWA. When she was not working, Barbara enjoyed writing, and successfully published two books. She enjoyed painting, attending concerts and plays, listening to music, working out at AL!VE, traveling, and most importantly spending time with her family.
Barbara is survived by her loving husband, James Davis; children, Katherine (Shane) Gonser, James Davis; grandchildren, Shelby and Kollin Gonser, James and Hudson Davis; sisters, Kay (Norman) Jagger, Virginia (Jay) Matheson. She was predeceased by her parents.
Friends are encouraged to support Barbara’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, July 12, 2021 at the Peace Lutheran Church in Charlotte, with Pastor Neil Brady officiating. The funeral was webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to prayfuneral.com, click on Barbara’s tribute, then click on photos and videos from your computer, or media from your smart phone. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to CROP Hunger Walk. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Daniel R. DeBarr

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Daniel “Dutch” Ray DeBarr, a man known as a fun and gentle giant, died Friday, July 2, 2021. Daniel, 74, of Charlotte was born on November 7, 1946 to Raymond and Betty (Miller) DeBarr in Lansing. Daniel was a graduate of Wavery High School. Daniel married Terri Eishen in 1987. He was a retired line worker at General Motors, as well as an overhead door installer, a painter, and a builder. Daniel was a member of the Western Michigan Brittany Club where he worked with Brittanys doing field trials throughout the United States. Daniel enjoyed ice fishing, hunting (deer and pheasant), yearly trips out West hunting, painting pictures, training Brittanys, his horse Sloan, eating pies and cookies, trips to Dairy Queen for sundaes, and a cold beer at the end of the day. Daniel enjoyed daily breakfasts at the Eaton Place with his wife Terri. His favorite pie was lemon meringue. Daniel enjoyed fixing things and he could fix anything. Daniel also enjoyed watching Western movies and news, particularly CNN. One of this favorite shows was Walker Texas Ranger. Daniel was very proud of his family; he was also proud of how he was able to provide for his family. He was a stern, yet calm and quiet man who was a big softy. He gave great advice, and when he talked, others listened. He enjoyed being at home.
Daniel is survived by his wife of 34 years, Terri; two sons, Daniel DeBarr Jr., and Clay DeBarr; daughter Teri (David) Jones; grandsons Jacob and Joshua; and one great-grandchild; brothers Stanley (Jane), Randy (Jackie), and Keith (Sue) DeBarr; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by one brother, Richard, and his parents.
Friends are encouraged to support Daniel’s family by sharing memories on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Barbara D. Spray

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Barbara Dow (Moody) Spray, 70, of Charlotte, Mich., passed away on May 16, 2021, due to complications of COVID.  Born in St. Louis, Mo., on May 24, 1950, she was the daughter of Kenneth and Katharine (Thompson) Moody.  Barbara is survived by two daughters, Rebecca (Jerry Pottruff) of Fife Lake, Mich. and Katharine (Howard) Libs of Huntingtown, Md.; siblings, Ken Moody of Overland Park, Kan. and Paul (Jane) Moody of Quincy, Ill.; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; lifelong friend Diane King and only GOD knows how many “sisters”. She was predeceased by her husband, David Spray; her parents; and her sister-in-law, Sheila Moody.  An amazing mother, friend and member of the community – she will be missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to meet her.  She LOVED being a mom, “grammer,” and GG – her family was her everything.
From the beginning, Barb’s life was filled with the usual ups and downs of any human, but Barb was destined to be just a little different in the way she faced the rise and fall of the world around her.  God gave Barb a special gift and in return a gift to everyone she met; that of a huge heart and dearest friend who selflessly devoted her effort to improving the life of those around her.  Those who knew her would agree that she had a way of “collecting people.”  Their families became her family.  She could chat comfortably with a total stranger and make lifelong friends in any setting, no matter how strained the situation might present itself.  Barb loved everyone wholly, taught forgiveness even though she endured many hurts and challenges – she took those circumstances and loved harder and deeper as her life journey continued.  She faced every challenge, especially her own, with a determined attitude, a good cry, and an easy smile. And this is what drove her life.
Raised in St. Louis, Mo., Barbara always knew she wanted to be a nurse, but life had a way of leading her to college for business prior to finally finding herself in the public service industry as a paramedic.  She wasn’t your typical paramedic – the same devoted person she was in her personal relationships conveyed to her professional realm.  How many people have you met who would climb a concrete barrier during a summer rainstorm, on a busy major Atlanta Interstate in a dress-skirt and high heels to help someone involved in an auto accident and then befriend even the victim’s scared dog? Only Barb would find that “normal.” In the end, the only thing she noticed askew was that she had ruined a new pair of panty hose!
She served as a full-time paramedic and volunteered in local firehouses when off her normal duty for 15 years.  Barb went back to school to earn her degree as a licensed practical nurse.  While she worked normal hospital floors across various units, her true passion was private duty nursing.  These positions afforded her the longer and more personal connections her soul craved, and she was so good at!  She worked diligently in the AID’s epidemic often caring for patients until the end.  Their families became her family, and she even inherited a dog.  Once the girls were grown, she spread her wings and took her heart over the road to travel nursing.  There she met David Spray while working in Easton, Md. and they wed in 2005.  She often threatened to “…write a book” about some of the ambulance calls or nursing episodes, but that never happened. To be honest, it was probably safer that way!
After retiring from Nursing and the passing of her husband in 2016, Barb found herself in Charlotte, Mich. to be closer to family.  She quickly jumped into volunteer work at the Eaton Area Senior Center and Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, now known as Sparrow Eaton Hospital. Being a “senior” never seemed to have crossed her mind because it never slowed her down.  She was the modern-day Nanny McPhee of friends – people didn’t know they needed her until they met her. Barb showed up and coordinated connections and friendships, rallied life around her to live fully with people who may otherwise not have become friends. She loved her friends and card making adventures with the “Cardettes,” playing dominoes until 3 a.m. with a group of her friends, grabbing one or two other ladies and taking road trip adventures sometimes just to see what was beyond the horizon and other times to visit friends back in other states.  Barb’s lifelong bucket list included a hot air balloon ride and a national railroad tour – both of which she got to do just before COVID hit.  She had the time of her life.
The view out of Barb’s home in Charlotte was of the woods, something that she dearly loved. Even as a child, Barb had a pet racoon – mother nature was her second calling.  Barb loved spoiling the wildlife around her with prime treats, peanuts, corn for the deer and a place where the animals felt so safe that they would sit at her screen door on her back porch to greet her.  Her social media and friends often got to see her visitors and when she took her trips, neighbors would come feed the animals for her.
Unfortunately, our mother and best friend passed out of this world this May leaving us physically, but she still lives on in our hearts.  Miss her, yes, but remember her and SMILE. Recall the silliness and the jokes and the uproarious laughter that was her life’s trademark. Take the time to “put on a clown nose” and take a selfie with all your friends or skip down the corridor of a cruise ship arm-in-arm with friends, singing “we’re off to see the wizard…” then, pause at the elevator as the doors open to reveal a dwarf. Remember the good times, the wonderful trips, the absolutely hilarious moments when tears came from laughing so hard you could not catch your breath!  To have known her was to have loved her, and her legacy will continue to be honored as we keep her alive in our memories. We just cannot reach out and hug her, but we can certainly cherish who she was and always will be. Our Big Sister…our dearest friend…the best mom…a shoulder to cry on and a sincere “ear to bend” when we needed it. That is Barbara Dow Spray.
A Celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at the Eaton Area Senior Center, 804 South Cochran Avenue in Charlotte, Mich. on Sunday, July 25, from 12 to 4 p.m. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Lyle H. Hokanson

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Lyle Herbert Hokanson, 74, of Vermontville, a man who could fix anything and would help anybody, died Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at his home. Lyle was born January 29, 1947, in Hastings, Mich., the son of Hale Duane and Arline Inez (Howe) Hokanson. He graduated from Maple Valley High School in 1966 before serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Upon his return home, he married his lifelong love, Mary Margaret Coppess on May 25, 1968. Lyle worked 35 years at General Motors, retiring as a Project Manager in 2001. Throughout his life, Lyle enjoyed woodworking, a skill he used in renovating several apartments in Grand Rapids. He loved time spent in the outdoors hunting, fishing, and gardening. He was an avid gun collector. Many will remember his perfectionist nature, and his kindness to all who knew him.
Lyle is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Hokanson; son, Jay (Jennifer) Hokanson; daughter, Erin (Justin) Campbell; ten grandchildren, Jack, Joe, Jacob, Jon, Josh, Jana and Julia Hokanson, and Elijah, Alexander, and Olive Campbell; three siblings, Gary (Pat) Hokanson, Paula (Gerald) Cole, and Loa (Ben) Kenyon; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents.
Friends are encouraged to support Lyle’s family by haring memories on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com. Funeral services were on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at Sunfield United Brethren Church with Lyle’s nephews, Matthew and Chad Coppess officiating. The funeral was webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to prayfuneral.com, click on Lyle’s tribute, then click on photos and videos from your computer, or media from your smart phone.If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Maple Valley Scholarship Fund. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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