Phyllis J. Ackley
Phyllis J. Ackley, 92, of Eaton Rapids, passed away September 16, 2020. She was the daughter of Cecil and Elizabeth (Suman) Langenfeld, born in Centralia, Ill., October 25, 1927.
Phyllis graduated from St. Mary Catholic Church in 1945 as the class valedictorian. After marrying her husband, Carson, they both decided they wanted a large family, so after raising 12 children, she considered that her vocation in life. Phyllis worked at Horner House Interiors for 26 years, was a faithful life-time member of St. Peter Catholic Church, she prayed the Rosary and Novena’s every day, enjoyed making quilts for her children and grandchildren and was very proud to make her special pies for the church auctions. She would frequently tell her grandchildren, “we are all trying to figure the same thing out, how to get into heaven.”
Phyllis is survived by her children, Thomas (Vicki) Ackley of Eaton Rapids, Timothy (Jackie) Ackley of Bellaire, Chris (Loren) Cowles of Springport, Cathy (Bud) Cowles of Eaton Rapids, Carol Clark of Eaton Rapids, Janice (Jim) Boice of Perry, Joseph (Pam) Ackley of Norton Shores, Robert (Annette) Ackley of Eaton Rapids, William Ackley of Eaton Rapids, Mary (Scott) Patrick of Lansing; daughter-in-law, Sue Ackley of Eaton Rapids; 26 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Delilah Langenfeld of Holt; numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Carson Ackley; sons, James and Richard Ackley; granddaughter, Carol Lynn Cowles; two brothers; and two sisters.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Peter Catholic Church, at 11 am Monday, September 21, 2020 with interment following in Rosehill Cemetery. Visitation will take place at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel on Sunday from 2 pm – 4 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm and at the church one hour prior to the service. A Rosary will be prayed at the funeral home on Sunday at 7:30 pm. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to St. Vincent DePaul Charities or St. Peter Catholic Church. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. Please visit our website to place online condolences, www.millsfuneral.com.
Charlotte Ann Markwart of Eaton Rapids passed away September 10, 2020, after a brave battle with Lewy body dementia.
Charlotte was born in Clarksburg, W.V., the daughter of Guy and Eva Powell. Her mother died when she was four and shortly after, Charlotte and her siblings were placed in an orphanage. Although traumatic, it was that experience that led to Charlotte’s lifelong compassion for the poor and downtrodden.
Charlotte is a 1950 graduate of Okemos High School, where she met the love of her life, Bob Markwart. She and Bob wed in 1950 and were married for 42 years until Bob’s death in 1992. They had three sons.
Charlotte was a woman of great faith and a member of St. Peter Catholic Church in Eaton Rapids. Next to her faith, the quality that defined her most was her endless love for her family. She was the keeper of her family history, and the one who could be always counted on to bring her loved ones together. She was passionate about her children and grandchildren and loved nothing more than caring for them and spending time with them.
Charlotte retired in 1991 from Eaton Rapids Public Schools, where she was a beloved librarian at Lockwood Elementary. It is ironic that she worked in a library, because anyone who knew Charlotte knows that she loved to talk. She constantly kept her family and friends laughing with her quick wit and spunk. She had too many classic sayings to count, and those close to her know all her favorite stories by heart.
Charlotte loved books and the movies. She often recalled that she had dreamed of becoming an actress before she fell in love and started a family, a choice she said she would not change for the world. She was an avid sports fan throughout her retirement, and especially enjoyed watching college basketball. She loved to travel and was proud to say she had visited every U.S. state except Hawaii. Her favorite place to travel to, though, was always West Virginia, where her pride in her roots ran deep.
Charlotte came through a lot in her life, and even in the late stages of her battle with dementia, she never lost her feistiness, her fight or her faith.
Charlotte is survived by her sons, Larry (Terri) Markwart of Florida, Garry Markwart of Portland and Barry Markwart of Mayville; grandchildren, Marci Markwart, Mandi Gordon, CharLynn Markwart, Carmelle (Brandon) Schantz, Danielle (Scott) McIntyre, Craig (Kaitlin) Markwart and Jayden Markwart; five great-grandchildren; sister, Joan Kessinger; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Markwart; parents, Guy and Eva Powell; five siblings; and several in-laws.
A Funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 515 E. Knight St., Eaton Rapids, with Fr. George Puthenpeedika officiating. Interment will follow in Rosehill Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Rd. SW, Lilburn, GA 30047. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. To share online condolences or memories please visit, MillsFuneral.com.
Verlon D. Graham
Verlon Dale Graham of Eaton Rapids passed away on September 14, 2020 at the age of 88. Verlon was born in Charlotte, the son of Dan and Arlene Graham. He moved to Dimondale at a young age and graduated from Dimondale High School in 1950. Verlon was the first Eagle Scout from Dimondale Troup 43 and helped form Post 352 in Eaton Rapids for Explorer Scouts. He scouted work at Fisher Body and worked there for 3 ½ years. From there he went to Oldsmobile to be their first Pipe Fitter Apprentice Class and finished his apprenticeship in 3 ½ years. A short time later he was groomed for supervision. Over the years Verlon worked in plant engineering, facilities management and power train. He spent a majority of his years at Oldsmobile Plant 1 and spent his last years at Delta Plant 5. He helped coordinate the installation of the Quad 4 Engine and was a member of the Oldsmobile Supervisor Council. After 37 ½ years of service, Verlon retired from Oldsmobile in 1987 at the age of 55. Verlon was also a member of the Eaton Rapids Fire and Ambulance Service and was one of the first registered EMT’s in the area. He received many awards for saving lives and he is the only remaining member of the Eaton Rapids Fire and Ambulance Service from when he joined in 1953. Verlon received the J.C. Citizen of the year award, was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He received a Mason of the Year Award twice and Distinguished Service Awards. Verlon also belonged to the Lions Club where he helped build handicap ramps, collected eye glasses and helped promote seeing eye dogs. Verlon spent many years helping care for Hospice patients. He also assisted one of his best friends, Max Skinner for 40 years at his funeral home and ambulance service. One of his great life serving memories was when he used saran wrap to save a man’s life and this gentleman lived to be an old man. Verlon has been a member of the First Congregational Church for 50 years and is also a Gideon. He passed out many testaments to college students and school children. Verlon was married to Kathleen (Towns) Graham for 67 years. Together they had 5 children, Karen Lori, Patti, Eric, Matthew. They enjoyed polka dancing, square dancing, playing cards with friends and Bingo. Verlon enjoyed vacationing, camping, snowmobiling, hunting and fishing with his family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Arlene Graham and loving wife, Kathy.
Surviving Verlon are his sisters, Carolyn (gary) Cheadle, Ponnie Bailey; sister-in-law, Ann Cantine; daughters, Karen Reynolds (Mark), Lori Duling and Patti Nyquist (Darin Sargent); sons, Eric (Marie) Graham, Matthew Graham (Wendy); grandchildren, Corey (Amber) Davis, Kerry (Jacob) Colestock, Jennifer (Dan) VanWasshenova, Ashleigh Reynolds, Amber (Jason) Ruttan, Zach Duling, Nathan Graham, Alissa Graham, Brandon Field, Katrina (Jimmy) Thomas, Brooklyn Graham, Chase Graham; great grandchildren, Mason and Mikaylah Ruttan, Sage VanWahenova, Claira Wilson, Ethan and Emma Thomas, Riyah and Amara Field, Zoey and Wesley Colestock, Harper and Hudson Davis and numerous nieces and nephews; good friends, Myron and Leon Montie, Dave Wyatt and many more.
The family would like to extend a very special thank you to Shelley Brooks for taking amazing care of Verlon over the past several weeks.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids Chapel with visitation starting at noon. Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice, The Gideons or a charity of one’s choice in memory of Verlon. To share memories or condolences, please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.
Bonnie M. Jones
Bonnie Marie Jones, age 78, of Olivet, was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior on Thursday, September 10, 2020. She was born August 12, 1942, in Clarion, Pennsylvania the daughter of Paul and Alice (Freebourn) Clinger. On July 26, 1963, in Clarion, Pennsylvania, Bonnie married the love of her life Robert E. Jones. Bonnie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. She cherished her family and always looked forward to preparing Sunday dinner for everyone. Bonnie had a heart of gold and was always concerned about the welfare of others. She was a social butterfly and looked forward to spending time with others. Bonnie enjoyed reading, painting, music, playing Scrabble, going to garage sales, woodworking, and doing crossword puzzles. Bonnie was a true lady and never left the house without every hair in place, a beautiful outfit, and matching earrings to bring it all together. Bonnie was a devoted servant of Christ and an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Charlotte.
Bonnie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Bob; children: Lori (Jeffrey) Oberlin of Marshall, Chris (Amy) Jones of Marshall; grandchildren: Ashley Oberlin, Devin (Megan Schultz) Oberlin, Travis Oberlin, Elaina Jones; siblings: James Clinger of Grand Rapids, Linda Shepherd of Georgia, Norma Martin of Pennsylvania; and brother-in-law, John Duggan of Charlotte.
She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings: Louis (Sue) Clinger, Mary (Walter) Jones, Irene (Bill) Etzel and Nancy Duggan.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church with Pastors Timothy Potter and Mark Booth officiating. The family will receive friends on Monday from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home. Burial will take place at Porter Cemetery.
Those desiring, may make contributions in Bonnie’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, 322 Eighth Ave. 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001 or Elara Caring Hospice, 900 Cooper St., Jackson, MI 49202.
To view Bonnie’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-green-kilgo.com.Read More
Mary L. Hall
Mary Louise Hall, 86, of Charlotte was called to heaven by her Lord and Savior on September 6, 2020. She was born on April 26, 1934 to Lowell and Alice (Fuller) Boyer in Charlotte, Michigan. She attended Charlotte High School, graduating in 1951. On April 20, 1952 she married John Hall in Charlotte.
Mary and her husband John loved to take their children camping. There were many fond memories of time spent in northern Michigan and winter trips with the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club. During those trips Mary loved to spend time playing games with the kids and sitting around the campfire. As her children grew and grandchildren came into the family Mary shifted her attention to being the best grandmother. There were countless hours spent with her grandchildren. One of the grandkids’ favorite activities were her BINGO games where, you guessed it, everybody won a prize!
Mary held numerous positions in the business world of Charlotte. She started in a clerical position for Charlotte Insurance Agency as her children grew up, and concluded her business career as a real estate agent for Real Estate One. Along with her many hours in business she also became one of Charlotte’s most prolific Avon representatives, taking orders until the recent days when she went into the hospital during her final illness. Her family assures her customers that the orders will be fulfilled, just as Mary would have expected!
Mary was known to many as the community’s favorite Mrs. Claus at Christmas time. She had a natural twinkle in her eyes that charmed many children in the community over the years. She was an avid community supporter, volunteering for numerous organizations and programs. If she became interested in a cause or project she became faithful to the cause and threw everything she had into supporting it. Her most notable community positions were as a long-term volunteer for Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital earning the HGB Volunteer of the year in 2019. She also earned accolades as the Modern Woodman’s Hometown Hero in 2017. In 2003 Mary was honored as the Charlotte Frontier Days Grand Marshal. Mary was also active in the Charlotte Business Women’s Guild, and Mobile Meals. When her children were growing up she volunteered as a leader for the Campfire program and Cub Scouts program. There were also numerous organizations she served as a board member. The most notable was the Camp Francis Board. Mary’s children were always appreciative of the many hours she spent as a “Band Mom” supporting her many children in activities with the Charlotte Oriole Band.
As a devoted Christian, Mary was an active member of her church, the Free Methodist Church of Charlotte. It was there, as a church nursery volunteer, that she earned the nick-name “Aunt Mary” to many families and youngsters. Mary also enjoyed serving as a church summer camp volunteer at Somerset Beach Campground.
Above all, Mary was most proud of her family and her church. She will be remembered as a good steward who was compassionate, kind and forgiving.
Mary is survived by her two daughters, Deborah (Michael) Wrubel, Alice Hurst; three sons, John Hall, William (Tamara) Hall, Dennis (Dawn) Hall; seven grandsons, Jeremiah (Tracey) Wrubel, Joshua Wrubel, Curtis (Amanda) Wrubel, Benjamin (Jessica) Hall, Christopher (Andrea) Harris, Kevin Joyce, Brad Joyce; eight granddaughters, Nicole Hall, Melissa (Jordan)Walraven, Sarah (David) Parks, Robin Huntington, Kellie Kridler, Christina Hall, Ericka Rodriguez, Amanda Hurst; twenty great-grandchildren with one more on the way; sister, Donna Thayer; sisters-in-law, Marie Chaplin and Jeanette Boyer; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Thomas Hall; father, Lowell Arthur Boyer; mother, Alice Louise Boyer; and her five brothers and sisters.
The funeral service was held outside in the Pray Gardens behind Pray Funeral Home on Thursday, September 10 with Pastor Greg Nitchman officiating.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Sparrow Eaton Hospital (Hayes Green Beach). Family and friends are encouraged to share remembrances and condolences online in Mary’s Tribute Page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.Read More
Raymond D. Grant
Raymond DeVere Grant, 93, from the comfort of his own home entered the gates of heaven on September 5, 2020. Raymond (Ray) was born on June 9, 1927 in Chester Township, Michigan, the son of Thomas DeVere and Anne (Baas) Grant. There he attended a country school and later met his wife of 54 years, Esther Wright.
Ray, a hard-working man, worked in several industries until he laid the foundation of Grant’s Woodshop in 1972. In his spare time, he used his craftsmanship at craft shows, building wooden games for kids at a local Bible school and Christian camps. He was a charter member of Chester Gospel Church, which he took part in building. Here and at home is where he developed his strong foundation of love, faith and Christian values that he used throughout his life. With this devotion, he gained respect from everyone he met and especially from his family that he so loved and enjoyed.
Ray is survived by his children: Paul Grant, Pam (Nelson) Appelman, Don (Marcia) Grant, Rob (Wendy) Grant; daughter-in-law, Cindy Grant; grandchildren, Dusti (Dennis) Seeley, Tennille (Andy) Stetler, Cassie (friend Matt) Bell, Tony (friend Shannon) Appelman, Joheather Grant, Leslie (Mike) Zook, Jessie (Matt) Grant-Drout, Hillary (Clint) Malinowski, Nick (friend Amy) Grant; along with 11 great-grandchildren that he adored. He is also survived by his siblings, Norma (Wendell) Frantz, Martha (Keith) Moore, Connie (David) Green, Kathryn Burnett; and brother-in-law, Verlie Shaver; plus many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Esther; son, Randy; infant daughter, Sandra Kay; his parents; 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sisters, Barbara Benedict, Marjorie Wagoner, Virginia Shaver; and brothers-in-law, Robert Burnett, Wayne Wagoner, and Carroll Benedict.
Friends are encouraged to support Ray’s family at visitation and funeral services.
Mask and distancing guidelines will be practiced both indoors and outdoors. Visitation was held on Thursday, September 10. Funeral services were Friday, September 11, 2020, at 11 a.m. in the Pray Funeral Home Gardens in Charlotte with Pastor Dennis Weeks officiating. The funeral service will be webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to www.prayfuneral.com, click on Ray’s tribute, and then click on Photos & Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). Just prior to the beginning of the service, a link will appear on this page to watch the webcast.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Chester Gospel Church or Youth Haven Ranch. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Ray on his Tribute Page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.Read More
Sandra J. Miller
Sandra Jean Miller, age 73, of Charlotte, passed away peacefully at her home September 8, 2020. She was born May 8, 1947, the daughter of Orlo and Allison (McDaniel) Taylor in the original Hayes Green Beach Hospital in Charlotte. Sandra graduated from Charlotte High School with the Class of 1965. On January 29, 1966, she married Alfred “Wes” Miller Jr. Sandra was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She adored her family and loved them all to the fullest extent. She enjoyed fishing, hunting, and playing BINGO. Sandra was a tremendously kind hearted lady who was always concerned about the needs of others. In recent years she cherished the companionship of her two dogs, Lacey and Blaze.
Sandra is survived by her children; Scott Miller of Charlotte, Michael (Shawn) Miller of Grand Ledge, Tricia (Ken) Mullins of Charlotte; grandchildren: Blake (Nicki) Miller, Cody Mullins, Samantha Mullins; siblings: Reggie (Julie) Wyman, Alan (Judy) Crews, Gary Crews, Liz (Paul) Forsberg; brother-in-law Larry (Pam) Miller of Charlotte; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Alfred in 2018; and her life-long friend, Kathy Gusey, in 2014.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
A private burial will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte.
Those desiring, may make a contribution in Sandra’s memory to Erin’s Angels Rescue, 498 Ridge Road, Quincy, MI 49802.
To view Sandra’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-green-kilgo.com.Read More
Doris J. Stevenson
Doris Jean Stevenson of Eaton Rapids, passed away on September 9, 2020, at the age of 85. Doris was born in Cambria, Mich. on December 29, 1934, the daughter of Claud and Inez Betzer. Doris and her twin brother, Orris, were salutatorian and valedictorian of their graduating class at Reading High School. Doris married the love of her life, Douglas, on April 22, 1956, and they celebrated their 60th anniversary just before he passed away in 2016.
Doris enjoyed many hobbies, including traveling, golfing, scrapbooking, genealogy, and attending plays and musicals. She was also talented at baking (she made the best sugar cookies), sewing, and playing the organ. Before retiring, Doris worked at Air Lift and Old Mill Furniture.
Doris is survived by her sons, Brian (Terri) Stevenson of Eaton Rapids and Brady (Ann) Stevenson of Lansing; grandchildren, Kyle (Brooke) Stevenson of Eaton Rapids, Lindsay (Calach) Peters of Eaton Rapids, Kate (Brendan) Nordstrom of Texas and Ben Stevenson of Minn.; great granddaughters, Emma and Hailey Stevenson. Doris was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings, Olen, Orris, Elsie, and Kern.
Graveside services were held in Evergreen Cemetery in Ransom, Mich. at 11 am on Friday, September 11, 2020. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Griffith United Methodist Church, 9537 S. Clinton Trail or the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Foundation, 1500 S. Main St., Eaton Rapids. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Please visit our website to place online condolences at millsfuneral.com.Read More
Richard A. England
Richard “Dick” Arthur England, of Eaton Rapids, passed away unexpectedly at his home on August 26, 2020 at the age of 86. Dick was born in McGuffey, Ohio, July 3, 1934, the son of Ray and Ruby (Conley) England. He enlisted and proudly served with the Army National Guard as an Arial photographer. For 34 years he worked for General Motors as a Material Handling Superintendent, retiring in 1987. Dick enjoyed watching the Animal Planet shows on the television, fishing in Canada and was a talented woodworker. Dick had an infectious love for his family and they will miss him greatly. His family was the focal point of his life and he felt truly blessed to be able to spend so much time with them. Even though his birthday was July 3rd, his family made his day special by celebrating with him during the parade in Eaton Rapids on the 4th every year. Dick had a great love of gardening along with his late wife, Beverly. Together they tended to their vegetable and flower gardens and shared them with friends, family and neighbors. With great care, support and love from his family, Dick was able to enjoy life in his own home up until his passing.
Dick is survived by his children, Debra England of Charlotte, Richard (Debra) England of Elsie, T. Michael (Darlene) Swan of Eaton Rapids, Timothy (Laurie) Swan of Charlotte, Michael (Jatana Cripe) Swan of Eaton Rapids; grandchildren, Rachel (Scott) McCune, Jerry England, Joshua England, Ricky (Misty) England, Melissa (Donny) Bever, Teresa (Jamie) Bartley, Mischelle Prill, Tony Swan, Katie Swan, Stacee (Justin) Robison, Dillon (Harley) Swan; 20 great grandchildren; 8 great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Beverly England; grandson, Trevor Swan; great grandchildren, Victoria Tanner and Hayden Bartley; brothers, Danny and Merle England.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Dick’s memory. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Please visit our website to place online condolences, millsfuneral.com.
Marvin R. Ruff
Marvin “Marv” Reinhold Ruff, 95 of Charlotte, a guy who loved breakfast and social time at “Wee Willies” restaurant, died September 2, 2020. Marvin was the son of Reinhold F. and Bertha (Scherbenske) Ruff, born near Lehr, North Dakota on February 4, 1925. He lived with his parents on a farm north of Lehr and attended a Logan County School. They moved into town in 1933, where Marv helped his father in the Standard Oil bulk business and service station. Several years later, he was named the youngest Standard Oil Bulk Agent in the history of Standard Oil of Indiana, which covered thirteen states.
On October 15, 1950, Marv married Viola “Vi” Strehle in Medina, N.D. They moved to Michigan where Marvin worked in the trucking industry. In 1984 he retired after 28 years as an automotive transport operator for Howard Sober, Inc. Marv and Vi enjoyed spending several winters in Florida in their fifth wheel camper. They also made several trips to North Dakota during the summer months. Marv enjoyed horse racing, motorcycles, gambling, and a nice shot of whiskey.
Marv was preceded in death by his wife, Vi, in 2011; as well as his sister, Marlys Nickisch; and his parents. He is survived by his children, Desiree and Weston Ruff; granddaughter, Miranda (Chad Stalker) Bishop; and great-granddaughter, Myla Jane Stalker.
Friends are encouraged to support Marv’s family at visitation and funeral services. Mask and distancing guidelines will be practiced. Services are Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with visitation from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and the funeral service at 1 p.m. with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. The funeral service will be webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to prayfuneral.com, click on Marvin’s tribute, and then click on photos & videos from your computer (or media from your smart phone). Just prior to the beginning of the service, a link will appear on this page to watch the webcast.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Marvin on his Tribute Page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.