Debra S. Knoll
Debra Sue Knoll Armstrong, age 63, of Menifee, Calif. passed away Saturday, March 28, 2020 at Loma Linda University Health-Murrieta, Calif. at 8:34 am. She was born August 11, 1956 in Hastings, Mich., the daughter of Phillip Knoll and Lauretta Alden.
Debra was a fun loving adventurer who enjoyed taking photos of old barns and covered bridges throughout Michigan. She loved nature and wildlife of all kinds, especially her own pets. She was a selfless individual who always put the needs of family and friends above her own. She cared for her mother (Lauretta Alden) until her death in 2017, where she continued to look after the welfare of step father (Charles Alden) until her final days. Debra was equally devoted to the care of her 96-year-old mother-in-law (Carol Perry) in California. She always made it a point to keep in touch with family and friends, consistently sending cards, letters and gifts. She especially loved sending gifts to all her nephews and nieces. Having no children of her own, she loved being aunt Deb. She did so much for others and asked for so little. She has touched the lives of so many and will be missed by countless friends and family throughout California, Utah, Arizona and Michigan.
Debra is survived her loving husband Chris Armstrong; mother-in-law Carol Perry; brothers-in-law and their wives, Kent and Diane Armstrong, Doug and Cheryl Armstrong; stepfather Charles Alden (mother’s husband); stepmother Lone Knoll (father’s wife); brothers and their wives Lowell and Carolyn Knoll, Richard and Roxana Knoll; and stepbrothers and stepsisters Janette Laymance, Linda Laymance, Terrie Bursley, Phil Mead, Tom Mead and Candy Carroll.
Cremation services were handled through Evans-Brown Mortuary, Menifee.
Roger L. Rockafellow
Roger “Rocky” Lee Rockafellow, age 68, of Potterville went home to be with the Lord on June 4, 2020, after a lengthy illness. Roger was born on October 4, 1951 in Hastings, to J.C. and Wilma Rockafellow, who have preceded him in death. Roger retired from working as a sheriff’s deputy at the Eaton County Sheriff Department. In addition, he worked for 14 years as the security coordinator at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. He loved riding his motorcycle and was a member of the Goldwing Touring Association. He was an active member of Grace Bible Church. He enjoyed playing his guitar and spending time perfecting his golf swing.
Along with his parents, Roger was preceded in death by his brother, Michael Rockafellow. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Gloria; son, Jared; brother, Steven (Stacy) Rockafellow; sister, Jane (Leo) Swaenepoel; and sister-in-law, Bonnie Rockafellow.
Roger’s family will be honoring his life at a memorial service to be held at a later date. He will be laid to rest at Benton Township Cemetery in Potterville. Contributions to honor Roger’s life can be directed to Grace Bible Church, 1000 S. Canal Road, Lansing MI 48917 or to Sparrow Hospice Services, 1210 W. Saginaw St., Lansing MI 48915. Arrangements were entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home in Leslie.
Helen M. Burgess
Helen Marie Burgess, age 80, of Eaton Rapids passed away on June 7, 2020. As she transitioned from this world to heaven, she looked forward to being greeted by God and reuniting with her true love and husband of 28 years, Claude Wonderful Burgess.
Helen was born on December 21, 1939 to Clair and Mary Jane (Jugovich) Farr. On November 23, 1968, she married the love of her life, Claude W. Burgess, who passed away in January 1996. Helen was a pioneer of her time, being one of the first women to become a general foreman at Oldsmobile, where she worked until her retirement in January of 1988. She enjoyed boating, fishing, camping, reading and listening to county music. Helen loved taking long road trips with family and an occasional trip to the casino.
Along with her husband, Helen was preceded in death by her daughter, Cindy Lou (1989); brother, Dale Farr; and sister, Doris Wheeler. Surviving are two daughters, Patricia (Bob) Herrick and Debbie (Jerry) Vandre; brothers, Wayne Farr and Bob Farr; and several nieces and nephews.
Per Helen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on August 29, 2020. The location will be announced once it’s confirmed. Memorial contributions can be directed to a hospice provider of your choice. Arrangements were entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home in Leslie.
Melvin C. Bartholomew
Melvin Carl Bartholomew, age 86, of Charlotte — a compassionate man with a great sense of humor — died June 8, 2020. Born to Lester and Florence (Lee) Bartholomew on January 29, 1934, Melvin grew up learning about family values and was the glue that held his family together. A car buff and collector of much, Melvin enjoyed his Model A and Packard. He also enjoyed fishing, especially with his great-grandkids, and golf with a unique style that was all his own. A very patriotic man, Melvin was proud of his time in the Navy during the Korean War, and continued to love healthy discussions about politics and the constitution with a true love of his country. He was a member of the American Legion Post 42 in Charlotte and Post 225 in Lansing.
A great family man and story teller, Melvin’s stories will be missed greatly by his family. He leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Lois; daughters, Jill (Jim) Wright and Lori (Steve) Orler; three grandchildren, Jamie (Gerry) Bristor, Kelsey Wright, Maddie Orler; two great-grandchildren, Kohen and Ezra Bristor; and siblings, Ruth Smith, Martha Austin and Harry Bartholomew. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Clifford, Larry and Claude; and sister, Donna Hobert.
Funeral services will be held in the Pray Funeral Home garden on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 1 p.m., with visitation prior to the service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, it is requested that all guests wear a mask. Webcasting of the service will take place so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone or mobile device that has internet access. Go to prayfuneral.com, click on Melvin’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.
Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Melvin on his online tribute page. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church, where Melvin and Lois were long-time members.
Richard I. Brummette
Richard I. Brummette, a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at the age of 78. Richard was born on March 6, 1942 in Lansing, Mich., to Earl and Kressa Brummette.
He served four years in the Army and 38 years in the National Guard as an Aircraft Armament Maintenance Technician. He was federally recognized as Chief Warrant Office ’04 in the Michigan National Guard.
Richard was a man who loved the great outdoors and his family. He knew how to fix anything and generously helped so many with his skills. He was an avid hunter and loved to share this and fishing with his boys.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, Earl; mother, Kressa; first wife, Suzanne (Lutz) and sister, Joy Hicks.
Surviving are his wife, Janet (McCloud); sons, Rick (Cindy), Randal (Esther) and Robert; daughter, Ranae Roberts (Tim); step-children, Billi (Brock), Fred (Julie) and Jennifer (Vladimir); grandchildren, Maksim Kuskovski, Trent (Santrece), Dezirae, Michaela (Ryan) Roberts, Rachelle (Aaron) Sinnard, Shayna (Matt), Rosalyn, Rollin and Rourke Brummette; four great-grandchildren; brothers, Doug (Jonie), Eddie (Marlene); and sisters, Barb Bodell, Bev Geiser and Shirley Crosslan (Richard).
A funeral service was held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at Sunfield United Brethern Church, with Pastor Randy Carpenter officiating. Donations may be sent to your local hospice. Online condolences may be shared at petersandmurrayfuneralhome.com.
Kathleen J. Graham
Kathleen Joyce Graham of Eaton Rapids passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020 at the age of 87. Kathy was raised in Eaton Rapids, the daughter of Arlo and Eva (Kruger) Towns. She graduated from Eaton Rapids High School with the Class of 1950. She worked numerous jobs for many companies over the years, including Boices Bazzar/Candy Shop, Knapps, Consumers Energy, the Eaton Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and Eaton Federal Savings Bank. Kathy was very involved in the community, volunteering with the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Auxiliary, the Eaton Rapids Fire Department, and she worked elections for several years at local polling centers. She was a long-time member of the First Congregational Church, the Red Hat Society and the Moose Lodge of Lansing. Kathy enjoyed spending time with her family, especially having them for dinner on Halloween evening and passing out candy together. She loved square dancing and enjoyed sewing. She leaves 74 years of penned diaries that she began writing at age 13 and consistently wrote until last year.
She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Keith Towns, Clair Towns, Jerry McConnell; and best friend, Mary Montie.
Surviving Kathy are her husband of 67 years, Verlon Graham; daughters, Patti Nyquist, Karen Reynolds, Lori Duling; sons, Eric (Marie) Graham, Matthew Graham; 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 VanWasshenova, Clara Wilson, Ethan and Emma Thomas, Riyah and Amara Field, Zoey and Wesley Colestock, Harper and Hudson Davis; sister, Linda (Keith) Fuller; in-laws, Gary and Caroline Cheadle, Ponnie Bailey, Anne Cantine and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at Skinner Funeral Home Eaton Rapids Chapel. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church. To share memories or condolences, please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.
Pamela K. Shier
Pamela Kay Shier, 76, was called home on May 29, 2020, at Eaton Community Palliative Care in Charlotte, Michigan.
She was born to Grace (Hendricks) and Harold Payne on December 11, 1943 in Flint, Michigan.
After completing high school, she worked as a surgical assistant at Flint Osteopathic Hospital, before transitioning to sell Avon. That career choice was a perfect fit and she excelled at it working her way up to a District Manager before retiring in 2002. Pam won numerous sales awards and reward trips – including to Hawaii, Japan and Switzerland.
A blind date would lead her to find her future husband and soul mate, John (Jack) Shier. They started their married life in Durand, Michigan. Due to his transfer with the Grand Trunk Railroad, they moved to Bellevue, Michigan to be closer to his work in Battle Creek. It was there that they renovated a beautiful 100-year old Victorian home on Capital Avenue. This was a wonderful place to raise their two daughters: Jackie and Chris.
Pam enjoyed cooking, reading, travel (including trips to Italy, the United Kingdom and France), sewing and spending time at her cottage in Coldwater, Michigan with her family. She loved sewing and made her own clothes and many gifts for friends lovingly labeled “Shier’s Attire.”
After raising two daughters, she enjoyed all things boy-related with the addition of four grandsons: Tyler (Brittany) Daniel Burkett, Riley James Beam, Brandon Robert Burkett and Conner David Beam.
Pam was a dog lover and the family raised numerous cocker spaniel breeds: Duffy, Biscuit, Patches and Bella.
Pam is survived by her husband of 56 years, John (Jack) Carl Shier; daughters Jacqueline (Dan) Rene Burkett and Christine Kaye (Jerry) Beam; half-sister Sharon (James Waske) Payne, two nieces, Amanda and Kate and one grandniece, Charlotte; four grandsons and best friends Iva Hopkins and Jerry Yelinek, Sr.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Pawsibilities Rescue, 2200 W. Bellevue Hwy., Olivet, MI 49076. Assistance with memorials is available through the funeral home.
Given the Covid-19 situation, Pam’s sewing fabric will be donated to a local organization to make much-needed face masks.
A private graveside service is being planned for the family at Bellevue Riverside Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 203 N. Elizabeth St, Bellevue MI 49021.
To leave a personal message and sign the on line guest book, please visit https://www.kempfuneralhome.com.
Larry W. Carpenter
Larry Wade Carpenter, age 81, of rural Bellevue passed away peacefully Monday, May 25, 2020 surrounded by his family.
Larry was born in LaGrange, Ind. on December 11, 1938, the son of the late Wade and Mary (Miller) Carpenter. Larry and his family moved to the Nashville area in 1947 where he attended Nashville schools, graduating from Nashville High School in 1957. While in high school, Larry participated in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Larry’s life dream was to be a dairy farmer, so he married a dairy farmer’s daughter, Vanessa (Potter) Carpenter on October 4, 1958. He was a former Assyria Township supervisor, a 35-year member of the Michigan Milk Producers, a member of Farm Bureau and several other farm-related organizations. Larry farmed many years with his in-laws Wendell and June Potter before he and Vanessa purchased the farm in May 1967, where they raised their four sons. In 1983, Larry purchased a milk hauling business which he operated with his sons Brad, Bruce and Barry.
Larry is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Vanessa;four sons: Brad, Bruce, Brian (Vicki Niehaus), and Barry (Sue) Carpenter; two sisters, Karla Murrphy, Barbara (Stephen) Bouwens; a brother, James (Sandra) Carpenter; grandchildren Shelby, Mitchell Carpenter; step-grandson, Matthew (Lindsey) Day; sister in-law, Nianna Jarrard; brother in-law, Charles Potter; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by mother and father in-law, brothers in-law Michael Murrphy and Joe Jarrard.
Funeral services were held at Ellis Cemetery in Assyria Township on Friday, May 29, with Pastor Mikki Sandlin, Baseline Methodist Church officiating. Memorial contributions can be made to the Maple Valley FFA or Maple Valley Scholarship Fund. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville.For further details, visit danielsfuneralhome.net.
Hans A. Langmaack
Hans Adolf Langmaack, age 90 of Charlotte — an outgoing man liked by many, who loved being a farmer — died May 21, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. Hans had very strong German roots, as his parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s. Hans was born April 2, 1930 in Charlotte to Hans Detleif and Wilhelmina (Muhs) Langmaack. He was a Farm Bureau member for over 65 years and a member of both 4-H and FFA in his youth, earning the State FFA Star Farmer degree. He couldn’t have been prouder watching his children and grandchildren as they grew and joined 4-H and FFA, allowing him the joy of attending the fair and watching them compete.
Hans held several jobs over the years, mostly related to agriculture. He began his career as a milk tester for Michigan Agricultural College (MSU) followed by a stint as a driver for Zeeland hatchery in Charlotte. He then transitioned to AE Hoover for a short time before he and his wife Pat purchased their farm in 1956. Hans milked cows at their Chester township farm even after he was able to fulfill a dream by purchasing his own livestock trucking business in 1976. He enjoyed operating his business for over 30 years, earning the 4-H Emerald award for trucking 4-H animals at no charge all those years. Thursday night “farmer suppers” were a joy to both Hans and Pat, giving them a chance to visit with friends. But his biggest joy in life was watching his children and grandchildren grow into good people and great parents.
Hans is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia; children, Peggy (Michael) Papoi, Robert (Debbie) Langmaack, Karl (Kendra) Langmaack, Chris (Kristina) Langmaack; 13 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Amy Hettinger; and sister, Ingrid (Joe) Iauch.
Graveside services took place on Friday, May 29, 2020. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Eaton County Fair Red Barn restoration project c/o Eaton Ag Society, PO Box 38, Charlotte MI 48813. The family would like to thank Residential Health Care and Dr. Ted Coy M.D. and staff for their exceptional care and compassion. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Hans on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com.
Mr. James “Jim” Powers, age 89, of Nashville passed away Sunday, May 24, 2020 at Thornapple Manor, in Hastings. Jim was born in Vermontville on October 23, 1930, the son of the late Thomas and Bernadine (White) Powers.
He was raised in the Vermontville and Nashville areas and attended local schools. Immediately after his schooling, Jim enlisted in the United State Army. He was the widower of Elaine (Downing) Powers. The couple was married Oct 6, 1952 in Fort Wayne and made their home together in the Nashville area where they raised their family together.
After being honorably discharged from US Army, Jim began working at Oldsmobile in Lansing, and later became a supervisor at Clark Equipment where he was employed for over 10 years. After leaving Clark Equipment, Jim took a job at Morman Feed Company as the lead mechanic overseeing the companies vehicles. It was during his time at Morman Feed, that he was able to pursue his passion for automobile restoration, as he refurbished may older vehicles for the company’s owner. In 1971, Jim purchased the Shell Station in Nashville, which he operated successfully until 1990 when it was sold. Jim was a hard worker, who’s passion for automotive mechanics expanded when he purchased a new building in town and opened his own auto repair facility where he worked until 2005 when he retired after being injured.
In his spare time, Jim enjoyed spending time with his family. The family cabin in Luther, Mich. was always a favorite destination when traveling. It was not uncommon for Jim and Elaine to pack up their Winnabago and visit various destinations throughout Michigan. After retiring Jim spent his winters enjoying the warmer climate on South Padre Island in Texas.
Jim is survived by his three daughters, Sharon Varney, Margaret Felder, Maryellen (T.R. ) Myers; two sons, James M. (Dawn) Powers; Patrick (Linda) Powers, 13 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Elaine, three brothers, Glenn “Ed,” Lewis, and Milton Powers, and son-in law Richard Varney.
Funeral services were held at the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville on Thursday, May 28, with Pastor Jeff Hodge officiating. Jim was interred at Lakeview Cemetery Nashville with full military honors provided by the United State Army. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details, please the website at danielsfuneralhome.net.