Andrew J. Pray
Andrew J Pray, of Dimondale, a gentle giant of a man who was 100% farmer, passed away in his wife’s arms on December 5, 2020 in Lansing, Mich. at the age of 68. Andrew was born on December 19, 1951 to George and Emma (Taylor) Pray in Lansing, Mich.
Even before graduating from Everett High School, he began his lifelong farming career driving the tractor and the one-ton truck to help out with farm chores. On June 5, 1982 Andrew married Kathryn Campbell in Charlotte, Mich. Early in his agricultural career Andrew ran a small dairy farm operation with his father George. Later, in partnership with his brother Henry Pray, Andrew developed a cow and calf operation, breeding and raising calves for sale. The last few years Andrew shifted 100% to crop farming. Andrew will be remembered by others as a hardworking and honest farmer. As part of his dedication to farming, he formerly served as a board member of the Eaton County Farm Bureau.
In his leisure time, which was always at a premium around the farm, he enjoyed historical movies and documentaries, especially war stories. In his earlier years he developed the ability to repair televisions in the days of “tube” televisions. That transitioned to an interest in computers in the early 80’s. He became a “computer guru” as his family referred to him, building and repairing his own computers and assisting friends with theirs as well. Andrew and Kathryn also enjoyed travel when they could coordinate it with the busy farm schedule. Their most recent travels were made in a motor home that Andrew renovated. He made sure to educate his wife Kathryn on the repairs, and how to take care of the motor home so she could be self-sufficient on future travels.
Andrew is survived by his wife Kathryn; step-son Ralph French; granddaughter, Macy Grace French; sisters, Georgina Pray, Ruth Ann (Terry Eitnier) Pray, and Linda Edgar; brothers, Henry (Sandy) Pray, and Joseph A Pray; brother-in-law, Paul (Linda) Campbell; sisters-in-law, Judy Campbell; Veronica (Max Curtiss) Crawford, Marlene (Paul Ulrich) Stavros, and Pauline Bibler; many nieces and nephews; and lifelong friend and best buddy, Ole Olson. Andrew was predeceased by his parents; brothers-in-law Donald Edgar, Leroy (Barb) Cole, Gaylord (Catherine) Campbell, Grover Bibler; and sisters-in-law, Linda Pray, Janet (Donald) Merren; father-in-law, Milo (Frances) Campbell, and mother-in-law, Kathryn Campbell.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial service for Andrew will take place at Pray Funeral Home when family health and COVID-19 restrictions allow. Watch for the announcement, hopefully in the near future.
Friends and extended family members are encouraged to share remembrances and condolences online on Andrew’s tribute page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Robert R. Brimmer
Robert (Bob) Brimmer, age 79, of Charlotte, passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at his home in Charlotte.
Bob was born in Belding, Mich. on February 9, 1941, the son of the late Chester and Helen (Senkowski) Brimmer. Bob spent his early childhood years in the Belding and Carson City areas where he attended local schools. Bob completed his education at Vermontville High School, when his family moved to the area, after purchasing a service station in town.
On November 28, 1959 Bob was married to Mary Jo (Benedict) Brimmer at the Vermontville Methodist Church. They began their lives together in Vermontville living across the road from Mary Jo’s parents. In 1969 they relocated to Charlotte where they established their home and raised their family together.
In 1963 Bob began working at Owens Illinois Glass Plant, in Charlotte. During his career with the company, Bob held several positions completing his service to the company in 1994 as a Production Supervisor. Bob’s ability to trouble shoot, and evaluate production systems, afforded him the opportunity to spend a year at the company’s Puerto Rico facility helping to establish and improve production efficiencies.
Bob enjoyed being outdoors, especially enjoying a day on Lake Michigan with his wife, salmon fishing on their boat. Along with his wife Mary Jo, the couple enjoyed traveling in the motor home to destinations all over the United States—many of these adventures in “work camping,” where Bob & Mary Jo would use their skills to improve the campground in exchange for guest fees. It was enjoyable work, as it kept the couple busy while they traveled. A highlight of their travel adventures was a three-week African Safari, and a week in Hawaii with family and friends.
In his spare time Bob volunteered for the local Meals on Wheels organization, and enjoyed getting out and visiting local friends who were shut in. He enjoyed playing cards and cribbage with the family and was a member of the local euchre club at the Eaton Area Senior Center in Charlotte.
Bob is survived by his three daughters, Patricia (Doug Harmsen) Bondy, Sherri (Gary) Taylor, Candi McMickle; two brothers, Walter and Lester Brimmer; seven grandchildren, Eric and Scott Lipp, Nicole Bondy, Garrett and Marcus Taylor, Brett and Brendan Whitely; three great grandchildren, Darren, Camrie and Garrett; and his former wife Mary Jo Brimmer.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Bobbi Jo (Brimmer) Whitely in 2013, and infant children Robert Harold and Merri Helen Brimmer; sister Jeanette Schulz; and half-brothers Lloyd and Raymond Senkowski.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details please visit their website at danielsfuneralhome.net.
Francene A. Davidson
Francene Ann Davidson, of Eaton Rapids, passed away December 20, 2020 at the age of 81. Fran was born in Springport, Mich. on July 14, 1939, the daughter of Francis and Rena (Webber) Canull. She worked for State Farm Insurance in the claims department for 39 years before retiring. Fran was a member of the First Congregational Church in Eaton Rapids, the Eaton Rapids Medical Auxiliary and the Red Hat Society. She volunteered at the Owls Perch Gift Shop, enjoyed crocheting afghans, bowling, going on trips to the casino, playing Yahtzee with her husband, Bill and making cheese balls for her friends and her favorite bankers.
Fran is survived by her husband William Davidson; daughters, Darcy O’Boyle of Brighton, Debra Livermore of Leslie; grandchildren, Lindsay Bristol of Brighton, Nicholas (Rebecca) Norris of Jackson, Joshua Norris of Jackson; great grandchildren, Kylie Lewis, T.J. Bush, Peyton Bush, Trenton Bush all of Brighton, Layla Norris, Wyatt Norris of Westland, Kora Norris of Jackson; sisters, Sandra (Darrell) Arnold, Terry Poe, Cathy Mead, Patti (Bill) Christoful, Beverly (Ken) Bentley; brother, Ronnie (Karen) Canull. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Fred, Dale, Roger and Donald Canull.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Foundation. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. To place online condolences please visit their website, millsfuneral.com.
Elaine S. Mock
Elaine Susan Mock, of Eaton Rapids, Mich. passed away unexpectedly on December 21, 2020 at the age of 66. Elaine was born in Eaton Rapids, on June 11, 1954 the daughter of Irven and Shari (Owen) Gemalsky. She graduated from Eaton Rapids High School class of 1972 and went on to receive her Bachelor’s of Special Education from Western Michigan University. Elaine worked in the education profession, but spent the majority of her life dedicated to her husband, children and grandchildren. She enjoyed knitting, gardening and spending winters at their home in Holiday, Florida. Elaine loved her shopping trips and weekend getaways with her “sisters”. Above all Elaine was a dedicated mother who never missed a basketball game or horse show and most recently, a chance to spend time with, and spoil her grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband of 41 years, James Mock; son, Jonathan (Amber) Mock; daughter, Meghann (Jeremy) Barnett; grandchildren, Riley, Emmet and Reese Barnett, Anya, Aria and Mila Mock; mother, Shari (Bob) Clough; and niece, Kasey Gemalsky.
Elaine is preceded in death by her father and brother, Edwin Gemalsky.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids Chapel. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society in memory of Elaine. To share memories or leave condolences please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.
Kilomena Kepler, age 92, of Charlotte, formerly of Bari, Italy, a salesperson, passed away on December 13, 2020.Read More
Stephen Fitzpatrick, 74 of Charlotte, a man who proudly kept his lawn looking like a golf course, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on December 11, 2020. Stephen was born July 21, 1946 in Concord, Mich. to Joseph and Perile (Sloan) Fitzpatrick, one of nine children. In June of 1965 he married Mary Lou Carr and they embarked on many adventures together, raising a family and living life to its fullest. Over the years, Stephen did many things to support his family, including many years at Osborne Buick, starting as a mechanic, working into sales, and then finally as the general manager. He later drove truck, and in his retirement found other jobs to always keep himself busy. Although he was a stubborn man, his family shares many fond memories of how his stubbornness worked for him to keep going, even when he was home bound.
Stephen enjoyed doing lots of activities with his grandpuppy, JoJo. Together they would mow the lawn (taking extreme care to make it look amazing and like a golf course), and in the winter they would plow the driveway and the neighbors as well using his Kubota. Stephen also took great pride in cleaning and dusting his car daily. When he was able to, he loved fishing for Bluegill on Duck Lake.
Stephen is survived by his wife, of 55 years, Mary Lou; children, Jennye (Gary) Whitford, Jeff (Tiffany Graham) Fitzpatrick; grandson, Brogain; and eight brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Perile Fitzpatrick.
Friends are encouraged to support Stephen’s family. The family received visitors on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at the Pray Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at Bosworth Cemetery. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions in lieu of flowers to Eaton Community Palliative Care. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Stephen on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Nancy Lou Pruden
Nancy Lou Pruden, 84 years, of West Unity, passed away Thursday, December 10, 2020, at SKLD-Bryan Center, Bryan, Ohio. Nancy was born August 22, 1936, in Grand Rapids, Mich., the daughter of the late William and Marion (Manning) Wrench. She was a 1954 graduate of Dimondale High School, Dimondale, Mich. She married Robert Hale Pruden on July 27, 1956, in Dimondale, and he preceded her in death on April 17, 1974. Nancy was a devoted homemaker, caring for the needs of her family. She was a member of the West Unity United Methodist Church as well as a former member of the Three Arts Club. Nancy enjoyed all her cats, taking daily walks around West Unity, visiting with everybody she met along the way, gardening, sewing and most of all spending time with her family.
Surviving are her five children, Tim Pruden of Marshall, Tom (Kim) Pruden of Charlotte, Tony (JoDee) Pruden of Charlotte, Jeff Pruden of Charlotte, and Tammy (Brent) Hulbert of Bryan, Ohio; ten grandchildren, Mike (Brandi) Pruden, Tiffany (Brian) Matson, Andy (Holly) Pruden, Matthew (Jennifer) Pruden, Joshua (Ashley) Pruden, Greg (Courtney) Pruden, Natasha (Kollin Woolace) Merschdorf, Miranda (Lucas Leonard) Merschdorf, Cody (Morgan) Hulbert, Cory Hulbert; 14 great-grandchildren, Ivan, Ashley, Erik, Haley, Lola, Landon, Piper, Brooke, Brynn, Jackson, Killian, Skylar, Kolbie and Nolan; one brother, Bob Wrench of Hesperia, Mich.; one sister-in-law, Barb Wrench of Howard City, Mich. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Pruden; one brother, Bill Wrench and one daughter-in-law, Kathy Pruden.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation or services at this time. Memorial service for Nancy Pruden will be held at a later date, when it is safe to gather and celebrate her life. Arrangements are under the care of Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 202 North Liberty Street, West Unity, Ohio 43570.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions be made to the Williams County Humane Society, 9464 County Road 13, Bryan, Ohio, 43506.
Condolences may be sent to the family or the online guest book may be signed at oberlinturnbull.com
William J. Partridge
William (Bill) Joe Partridge, first born son of Seth William Partridge and Dorthy Orabell Partridge (neé Gillihan) of Charlotte, Mich., passed to the home of his Lord on Sunday, December 13, 2020. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife Bonnie Ellen Partridge, (neé Ackerson) of Portland, Mich.; his brother, Ronald Partridge and his wife Sharon Partridge (Howard); his five children, Tracey Partridge (Ann Arbor, Mich.), David Partridge and wife Tammy Partridge (neé Crews) (Cedar Springs, Mich.), Larenda Kerns (neé Patrick) and husband Jeff Kerns (Charlotte, Mich.), Tammy Patrick (Charlotte, Mich.), Danielle Partridge Hryniewicz and her husband Wojciech Hryniewicz (LomƵa, Poland); grandchildren Josh, Sunrise, Jazmin, Billy, Seth, Andrew, Jordyne, Jessup, Zosia, Ralph, Michael, Maximillian, and Elley; and nine great granchildren. He was predeceased by both parents.
Bill lived for his family, friends, hunting, and fishing. An avid whitetail deer hunter, he collected over 60 deer antlers from bucks he had taken. He also loved dancing, helping friends, reading novels, NASCAR, Elvis, motorcycles, woodworking, and carving. He loved CB radio when that was a thing–he was Want More and she the Blond Bomber (yes kids, you have superheros as grandparents). Bill was Scoutmaster of Charlotte Boy Scouts Troop 644 in the early-mid 70’s, as well as a member of Carpenter’s Local 1004 Union, Charlotte Chapter 2298 of Moose International, Sons of AmVets, and Charter Member of the Charlotte Eagles 3552. He was lovingly known as Bill, dad, daddy-waddy, poppa, grandpa, pops, bud, and other terms of endearment by his family. His children all own things he made or carved on.
He teased the kids and grandkids with all kinds of silly phrases: PeelekeyHobob, Mugwump, Dutch Irish Whoopee, Five on the beak, I gotch your nose, all the way from my toes, Pull my finger.
We, his family, could write books with all the stories. He will be greatly missed.
In keeping with Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date.
To view Bill’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-green-kilgo.com.
The family is being served by the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home.
Gerald L. VanVleet
Gerald Lee VanVleet, age 81, of Charlotte, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on November 27, 2020. He was born April 23, 1939 in Battle Creek, the son of Eva Mae Butler and Robert Stevens VanVleet. He married his loving wife, Shirley, on July 26, 1969, and they have been married for 51 years. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
An avid race fan, Gerald could be found at Spartan or Springport speedway every weekend during the summer. He also enjoyed fishing, being outdoors, and taking rides on his John Deere tractor.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Shirley; his children, Rebecca Reid of Eaton Rapids, Marjorie (Chris) Bashaw of Charlotte, and Jeremy (Jennifer) VanVleet of Petaluma Cal.; four grandchildren, Thomas Reid of Eaton Rapids, Samantha (Deren) Hoag of Coldwater, Jake Smith of Coldwater, and Richard Harris Jr. of Angola, Ind.; four step-grandchildren, Christopher (Brittany) Bashaw Jr. of Quincy, Samantha Bashaw of Owosso, Hailey Bashaw of Traverse City, and Rose Smith of Ocean Side, Cal.; nine great-grandchildren; his brother, Robert (Donna) VanVleet Jr. of Lake Lavine; and sister, Ruby VanVleet of Coldwater; and many nieces and nephews. Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, David VanVleet of Battle Creek and Ronald VanVleet of Bellevue; son-in-law Michael Reid of Eaton Rapids; and great-grandson Jayden Smith of Hillsdale.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday December 8, 2020 at Faith Assembly of God in Olivet, with Pastor Todd Mclane officiating. Interment followed at Perry Cemetery.
Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Gerald on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.
The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Gerald F. Lehman
Gerald F. (Jerry) Lehman, 81, passed away on December 11, 2020 in Lansing, his life cut short by Covid-19. He was born January 28, 1939, in Clarkston, Michigan, the second son of Percy and Ruth Lehman. At the age of six he moved with his family to Roscommon, a small northern community. After graduating from high school, he first attended Western Michigan University, later transferring to Michigan State University. He and Dyna Parmenter, the love of his life, were married December 15, 1962. Jerry was also the love of Dyna’s life and they were together for 63 years and came four days short of celebrating their 58th anniversary.
Upon earning a B.A. degree in art at MSU, Jerry joined the former Michigan Highway Dept. as a graphic artist. From there he took his artistic skills to the DNR, launching a career that spanned 23 years in parks and wildlife programs.
Upon retirement in 1992, Jerry was commended by the Michigan Legislature in a resolution citing his public service on behalf of the state’s tourism and recreational interests.
Over the years, Jerry was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His three daughters’ credit him for inspiring them artistically while blessing their lives with a steady hand of support and sharp sense of humor.
Friends and others who had the pleasure of knowing Jerry admired him for being easy going and good natured. He was also well regarded for his big heart in helping others. Another plus was his dry humor which he made ample use of with loved ones, much to their delight.
Jerry enjoyed tinkering with things and was blessed with an abundance of patience to see them through successfully. This story started with him spending countless hours as a child building model airplanes. It stretched into devoting two decades in his senior years to renovate his treasured 1967 Pontiac Firebird convertible!
Not only did Jerry have the fortitude to delve into intricate undertakings, but he also had the skills to fix, modify or upgrade projects. He applied this special knack to home improvements throughout his life. For good measure, he was Mr. Fix-It in answering handyman needs of his grown children.
Jerry took on a lifelong love of golf, tracing back to his Roscommon childhood when his parents acquired and brought back into play, an abandoned golf course now known as Ye Olde Country Club. Many years later, as a seasoned ball striker, he had his shining moment in golf: a hole in one at Royal Scot in the Lansing area.
Jerry and Dyna spent the last 20 years wintering in Orange Beach, Ala. playing golf and making more wonderful friends.
The cherished life of Jerry will live on in the hearts of his wife Dyna; daughters Raelee (Ron) Edgar, Lisa (Kevin) Chapin, and Pam (Dale) Nutt; granddaughters Dani (Max) Larson, Brianne Edgar, and Sydney Nutt; grandsons Matt Edgar, Nick and Connor Chapin, Tyler, Keegan, and Mitch Nutt; great granddaughter Molly Larson; brother Dick Lehman. Brothers and sisters-in-law; Bruce Parmenter, Louise (Jerry) Hall, Vivian (Peter) Reed, Tom (Margaret) Parmenter. Nieces and nephew; Kevin, Karen, and Julie; Bruce Jr., Maureen; Glenn, Elaine, Ken, and Dale; Paula; Jennifer, Todd, and Brian. Plus, many great nieces and nephews. Cousins; Frank, Tom, Brian, Mary Jo, and John.
A private family celebration of life was held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at Pray Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held in 2021 in Roscommon, Mich. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions in Jerry’s honor to the First Congregational Church, 106 S. Bostwick Street, Charlotte, MI 48813. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Jerry on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.
The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.