Kingsley Lemuel Church III
Kingsley Lemuel Church III of Eaton Rapids, passed away at home June 29, 2023, at the age of 68. Kingsley was born in Lansing, MI, October 13, 1954, the son of Kingsley and Lucille (Turpening) Church II. He was a 1973 graduate of Eaton Rapids High School and retired as a corrections officer with the State of Michigan with 29 years of service. He enjoyed playing softball, watching MSU basketball and football, fishing, hunting, NASCAR, woodworking, and the family poker parties.
Kingsley is survived by his wife of 30 years, Pat Church; children, Kingsley (Maggie) Church IV, Kristopher (Courtney) Church, Kodee (Andy Adkins) Church; step-children, Scott (Kim) Felice, Joseph (Lindsay) Felice; 11 grandchildren; siblings, Pam (Bill) Amsdill, Toni (Jim) Nelson, Scott (Laura) Church. and his dog, Sadie Mae. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Charyl and her husband, Ric Cervantes.
Cremation has taken place and no services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Kingsley. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.Read More
Jon P. Kaufmann Sr.
Jon P. Kaufmann Sr., age 77, of Bellevue, Michigan, passed away peacefully at his home, on June 29, 2023.
Jon was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, on March 31, 1946, to the late Albert and Louise (Phillips) Kaufmann. He graduated from Climax High School. He served his country, serving in the United States Army. Jon was a true entrepreneur. After completing barber school in Hamtramck, MI, he worked in several barbershops in the Battle Creek area before returning to his hometown of Climax opening his own, The Climax Barber Shop. Jon then changed career paths, investing and working with what would become his family’s company to this day, Fun Services. Something he took great pride in, building a successful business with family, and wonderful employees that became a second family to him. He would often say, “It takes all of us.”
Jon found great interest in aviation and flying his own airplanes for many years, as well as hunting and fishing with “the kids,” he was a father figure to many. Jon found enjoyment in spending numerous holidays and family events in Germany with his wife Sabine and her family.
On January 19, 1976 he was united in marriage with Sabine (Kipp) Kaufmann.
He is survived by his loving wife Sabine; two sons, Jon (Wendy) Kaufmann Jr., and Robert (Holly) Kaufmann Sr.; three grandsons, Kurt Lee Kaufmann, Robert “Bobby” Kaufmann Jr., and Charles Paul Kaufmann; two brothers, Albert (Linda) Kaufmann Jr. and Michael (Priscilla) Kaufmann; three nieces, Michelle (Ted) Gostomski, Kelly (Shingo) Matsubara, and Kathryn (Jordan) Lerner; and a special cousin, Verna Beach. Jon was preceded in death by his son, Stephan Kaufmann.
Friends were welcokmed to visit with the family from 4 – 7 p.m. with a Rosary immediately following, on Friday, July 7, 2023, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 312 S Main St, Bellevue, MI 49021. A Funeral Mass will be held at the church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2023, where friends may visit with the family from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Friends and family are invited to join the family for lunch at the church following the Mass and then a graveside service will take place at 2 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery in Bellevue. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to St. Ann Catholic Church or Oaklawn Hospice. Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 205 N Elizabeth St, Bellevue, MI 49021. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the guest book, and leave messages for the family.Read More
Delmar Laverne Leffler Jr.
Delmar “Del” Laverne Leffler Jr. (a.k.a. Cookie Monster), the kindest and sweetest man ever known, died at his home surrounded by love on June 28, 2023. Del, 89 of Charlotte, MI, was born June 20, 1934 in DeWitt to Delmar and Pearl (Bliven) Leffler Sr. As a loving, Christian man, Del was always thinking of ways to help others. Singing with his son-in-law and in his church choir brought him great joy, and so did mowing and maintaining his yard, always making sure it was just perfect. With a love for sweets, especially chocolate chip cookies, he earned the nickname of Cookie Monster. Del was the voice on the radio for a while, with radio talking books, news and obituaries on WKAR radio. During his working career he worked at many different grocery stores, including Goodrich, Hammady’s, Tom’s Shopright (where he retired from), and at L&L after he retired and decided to go back to work part-time because he loved what he did so much. Del enjoyed being a Big Brother for many years.
While he will be dearly missed by those left behind, they are comforted to know that he is in Heaven singing. Del leaves behind a legacy of love, including his wife, Beverly; stepchildren, Cindy (Don) Hoffman and Tim (Debra) Julson; grandchildren, David, Kristina, Matt, Donald, Tommy, Victoria, Nichole, Alex, and Chase; four great-grandchildren; special nephew, Dee Wakefield and niece Marion Parsons; and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; sister, Jacqueline Hastings; and stepson, Tom Julson.
Friends are encouraged to support the Leffler family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was Sunday, July 2 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte and Monday, July 3 at Peace Lutheran Church in Charlotte. Funeral services were Monday, July 3 at Peace Lutheran Church 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 www.prayfuneral.com, click on Del’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 Peace Lutheran Church. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.Read More
Donald Peter Colizzi
Donald Peter Colizzi, 85, of Charlotte, MI, a patriotic storyteller, proud Italian and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, died peacefully on Sunday, June 25, 2023, surrounded by his adoring family. Don was born March 20, 1938, in Charlotte, the son of Pietro and Caterina (Capodiferro) Colizzi. In his younger years, he helped in the family business, Liberty Sweets, alongside his parents and siblings. Following graduation from Charlotte High School in 1956, he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA, where he attained the rank of Corporal. He remained on inactive reserve duty until 1962. Don attended Lansing Business University where he earned a diploma in accounting and Ferris Institute where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Commerce. While at Ferris, he served as President of Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity, Delta Rho Chapter, was recognized as Who’s Who Among Students, and received the Annual Award from the Big Rapids Chamber of Commerce. After graduation, Don went to work for his then future father-in-law at Sackner Products in Grand Rapids. After moving back to Charlotte, he became the Director of Admissions for Lansing Business University, where he remained for 10 years and was awarded the Idea of the Year Award and Idea Exchange Award. In 1973, Don was selected as one of 75 students for the first class at Cooley Law School, where he attended for a year. In 1979, Don received a call from Davenport College where he would begin his most admired career journey. He was instrumental in starting the first branch campus of Davenport College and rose through the ranks of Associate Dean, Dean of the Lansing Campus, Vice President and, in 2003, retired as Senior Vice President, overseeing the Great Lakes operations. While at Davenport, Don started the Michigan National Guard Davenport Training Partnership and also received the Distinguished Alumni Award. One of his greatest achievements upon retirement was receiving the Distinguished Service Medal from the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Active in all things that aided in community, education and youth enrichment, Don was a member of Rotary Club of Lansing (1984-2023), served on the Boards for Junior Achievement, Lansing Safety Council, and Michigan Freedom Foundation (25 years), was President of Michigan Freedom Academy, President of the Charlotte High School Alumni Association, served as a mentor on the Ingham County Veterans Treatment Court, member of the “Has Beens” group, and was recognized by Charlotte Chamber of Commerce for his leadership in creating and dedicating a monument honoring Charlotte’s Medal of Honor recipient, Navy Ensign Francis C. Flaherty. Don also served as a consultant to the East Lansing Rotary Club for their project honoring Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Lieutenant Sherrod Skinner. Don’s patriotism remained a central part of his life. He was always willing to share historical stories and make public presentations to service clubs and military organizations (more than 30), throughout the tri-county area. Don was highly involved in bringing the remains of Francis Flaherty home to rest at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte in 2021, and organized the Medal of Honor ceremony for Flaherty at that time. Many would call Don a Medal of Honor scholar for his indepth knowledge.
His true loves were the Charlotte community and hot dogs! In addition, Don loved to research, label and date everything, was creative, a visionary, articulate and never far from his reach was a gadget of some sort, a remote, pen, note card, and yellow highlighter. He enjoyed nature, daily walks, hot dog roasts, traveling, playing the harmonica, as well as history, his family pets (goats and dogs), and taste testing baked goods. He loved hosting parties, organizing events and building indestructible woodwork masterpieces. As a father, Don was proud of his daughters throughout their years in 4-H showing horses and forming lasting friendships with the 4-H families. He enjoyed making people laugh and had the larger than life “Colizzi Smile.” Don appreciated life, valued family and cherished friends and was an adviser to many. He loved his grandchildren, was proud of their unique traits and talents, and they sure loved their Papa the same.
Don is survived by his wife of 57 years, Elaine M. (Tisch) Colizzi; daughters, Nikki Colizzi-Corr of Westport, CT, Monique T.K. Colizzi of Charlotte, Angelique T.M. Colizzi-McCrumb (Richard L. McCrumb, Jr.) of Eaton Rapids; grandchildren, Curtis G.P. Colizzi, Alexander F.D. Corr, Ashley N. Corr, Richard Owenn McCrumb and Donald Brogan McCrumb; nephews, Tony Colizzi, Greg (Jeannine) Colizzi, and Lenny Stango; nieces, Kristina Colizzi-Windom (Robert) and Neysa Colizzi; great-nephews and nieces, John Colizzi, Joseph Colizzi, Max Windom, Morgan Windom, and Arabella Colizzi. He is also survived by his loving and supportive brother John (Joy) Colizzi of Northville, MI; brother-in-law, Dan Stango of Fort Wayne, IN; many cousins; and extended family in Italy, France and the U.S., as well as special friends who he considered family, Pat Mahan, Neal Christiansen
and Lacey (Brumm) Johnson. He was predeceased by his father Pietro in 1979; sister, Anna Marie Colizzi Stango in 1990; mother, Caterina (Kate) in 1995; foster sister, Lucille LaPointe DeWitt in 2015; brother, Sam Colizzi in 2016; and sister-in-law, Marlene Colizzi in 2018.
Thank you to Sparrow Eaton Hospital, Sparrow Home Care, Mary Free Bed Rehab, Sparrow Main, Compass Health, Eaton Community Palliative Care and Hospice of Lansing for your unending compassion and care for this special and courageous man.
Friends are encouraged to support Don’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation will be from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 7, 2023, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop officiating. The funeral 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 Don’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary School, Eaton County Fair Horse Program (checks made payable to Eaton County Agricultural Society) and Eaton Community Palliative Care. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte
Dorothy Louise Smith
Dorothy Louise was born to Leslie R. Pierce and Mary Smith Pierce on September 19, 1924 at her grandparents’ farm in rural Upland, Kansas. She had two older sisters, Kate and Irene. Four years later brother Bob was born. Upland was a town of about 30 residents and Dorothy or “Dot” as she was called, was well known to all. She and her best friend Teddy got into lots of mischief. They were known for painting the neighbor’s new blue car with yellow paint, filling another neighbor lady’s new wringer washer with dirt, adding water and turning it on to mix up for mud pies. The local shop keeper also kept a close eye on them, as they were likely to grab the end of the string used for tying packages and pull it as far as they could through their little town.
When Dorothy was about 15 her parents divorced so she and her brother moved with her dad to Chapman, Kansas. She attended high school there and was a cheerleader. At that same time her mother opened her own restaurant called Mary’s Place in Junction City, Ks. Mary passed her love for baking onto her daughter and many of Dorothy’s favorite recipes are from her mother.
After graduation Dorothy took a job at the local army base, Ft Riley. It was there she met the recent ROTC graduate, First Lieutenant Jack Sterling Smith. Dorothy was working at the ice cream counter, and he ordered a chocolate milkshake. It wasn’t long before he was escorting Dorothy home every night on the bus. They met in February and in September they took the train back to Michigan. Jack and Dorothy were married in Lansing on Dorothy’s 20th birthday (he refused to marry a teenager) and they celebrated 54 years of marriage. They returned to Junction City/Ft Riley for 5 months before he shipped out for the Philippines. At Jack’s insistence Dorothy returned to Lansing to live with his parents, Art and Lola, and enrolled at Michigan State and took a job at Knapps Department Store. But it wasn’t long before she became homesick and returned to Kansas to be with her family.
It was understood that when Jack returned from deployment and was discharged from the Army they would return to Michigan and live in Sunfield. Jack’s life’s desire was to take over his great grandparent’s (David and Sarah Shaffer) farm on Round Lake Rd. Dorothy had decided early in life that she would NEVER marry a farmer but here she was married to the man of her dreams living on a farm. She took on the role. Jack’s mother taught her to drive a car (unusual for a woman in those days) also got her started in her pie making. She had a coop full of chickens to take care of (locked herself in the coop one day and her neighbor Harold Bishop heard her yelling and came to her rescue), learned to churn butter, butcher chickens, drive a tractor and help with all other farm chores. Dorothy did acclimate to Sunfield and made many friends. She was so pleased to be chosen as Grand Marshal in 2004.
After Dorothy and Jack had been married for about five years their first child, Jacqueline, was born. Two years later Raymond arrived and four years later Phillip came along. Dorothy combined her farm responsibilities with parenting. When the babies arrived, Dorothy says she felt complete and stopped missing Kansas so much.
In the early 50s Jack and Dorothy accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and became devoted members of the Sunfield Methodist Church. They both served in multiple positions for over 50 years. Dorothy enjoyed singing in the choir that Jack directed.
Jack was always one for prank or practical joke-sometimes Dorothy was the target but more often she was the accomplice as he told a joke, wore a wig, delivered presents anonymously to his grandchildren or jogged around their house shaking sleigh bells on Christmas Eve.
Around 1955 the family moved to a farm on Sunfield Rd. For the next 20 years Dorothy’s life was very busy. Jack and Dorothy built a hen house which housed nearly 1000 birds, which meant she had an egg business to run. Eggs were sent to the Lansing Farmers Market and also traded to Elliott’s IGA.
She was always willing to work outside on the farm, often driving a tractor, running for parts, or delivering a meal to the fields.
Her sons tell a story about her wrangling an angry mother pig and winning. She was a 4H leader, scout leader, Sunday School teacher, Farm Bureau member, and a sports mom. She and Jack both worked with Theo Lenon at the Sunfield elevator and he became one of their dearest friends. Later she went to work in Lansing at Knapps again. In 1969 she went to work for Ray and Ethlyn Elliott and worked there for about 8 years.
In 1978 Dorothy became very ill and was near death at one point. It took until 1980 to diagnose her with Lupus. The doctor who finally diagnosed her illness was Dr. Richard Pittsley and she was still under his care when she passed away. Dorothy stated many times that without his 45yrs of supervision she would not have lived such a long life. Jack and Dorothy owned a few different campers and traveled to Arizona in 1978 to volunteer at an Indian Mission. They were well loved there and always wanted to return. As grandchildren came along there were several trips to Strawberry Lake and Scottsville.
After Jack’s death in 1997 Dorothy needed something new to do. Her first idea was to volunteer at the local elementary school as a reading mentor. Being there also gave her a chance to be near her youngest grandchildren. Most days they came home to her house after school. One day Dorothy walked into the local Sunfield Diner and asked for a job. She was hired and that’s where she became known to many as the “pie lady.” About this time, it became evident that her hearing loss was getting worse due to a birth defect- no hearing aid was going to be able to fix it. Dorothy’s hearing loss became a major contributor to her aging and caused her and her family great emotional distress.
When the restaurant closed Dorothy continued making pies, often taking special requests from as far away as Lansing. Many times a visit to the doctor also included the delivery of a pie. Dorothy was willing to share her pie making skill-often giving lessons to her younger friends. A few weekends were spent helping Great Granddaughter Brayden make 75 homemade apple pies that were sold for a fundraiser. So now the skill lives on in Brayden!
Dorothy also spent a lot of hours with a crochet hook in her hands. There were many afghans created and a baby blanket made for any baby she knew was on the way. There are even a few made in advance for future generations. And many of us have crocheted angels for the top of our Christmas tree. Dorothy was an avid reader and always had a pile of future reads stacked up beside her chair. She was always the first in line for a new Karen Kingsbury or a Danielle Steele book at the Sunfield District Library.
When Dorothy had the opportunity to start volunteering and cooking at the Hospice House in Charlotte (now known as Eaton Community Palliative Care) it changed her life. Dorothy had always been known as Mrs. Jack Smith but now she was known as Miss Dorothy from Hospice. It was the fulfillment she needed. She found another purpose for her life. She could extend her love to all she encountered there. She made many friends among the other volunteers and offered comfort to patients with her homemade meals. And in some way it prepared her and her family for the reality of dying. It was a great relief and comfort to her and her family to have her cared for by her friends at Eaton Community Palliative Care as she waited for her earthly departure.
Besides being very hard-working Dorothy was a caring, kind, forgiving, and loving person. She tried very hard to follow what she learned from her Bible. She took great joy from her family, Jackie and Ken Carr, Ray Smith, and Phil Smith. Grandchildren Kendra, Sara, Amanda, Brandy, Jeff, and Marlena. Dorothy made a great effort to teach her grandchildren and great grandchildren about Jack, sharing letters, stories, and pictures with many of them. And she was always ready to encourage them to have a relationship with Jesus. Her great-grandchildren are Brayden (whose birth she attended), Lainey, Carrson, Grant, Noah Jack, Nevaeh, Eliott, Jeremiah, Eva, Remy, and River. She looked forward to Jeff and Dana bringing River for her daily visit.
At 98 years old Dorothy had seen the passing of many of her dearest friends but shared many happy times and conversations with friends Nancy Harms, Lee Martz, Jan Wilford, Sandy Rebec, and caregiver Verna Hough.
Words from Dorothy: “When i became a Christian I was given eternal life. When you are healthy this doesn’t seem important but when you feel death is near it becomes very important. I found a peace that non-Christians do not have. I have a joy because I know Jesus. I have no fear of death. I will be with God!”
Per Dorothy’s directions, a Celebration of her life, led by grandson-in-law, Josh Good, and nephew, Karl Schad, will be held at the family farm on July 14, 2023. A time for greeting and visitation will begin at 1 p.m., service at 2 p.m., and in true Dorothy hospitality, pie and ice cream will be served following the service.
Those desiring to honor Dorothy may make donations to Eaton Community Palliative Care, Sunfield District Library or the Welch Museum.
Ernest Chad Woodman
Ernest Chad Woodman of Eaton Rapids, passed away peacefully with his son and mother by his side, June 21, 2023, at the age of 50. Chad was born in Lansing, MI, February 16, 1973, the son of Ernest and Nancy (Wolfe) Woodman.
He worked at General Motors for 29 years, where he was currently a manager. He was also a Pastor at Mt. Hope Church and a Band Director at Charlotte Christian School. Chad enjoyed playing the drums, fishing, and gardening.
He is survived by his son, Benjamin Woodman of Eaton Rapids; mother, Nancy (Wolfe) Woodman of Eaton Rapids; siblings, Kathy (Bobby) Sanne of Port Charlotte, FL, Karen (Chris) Morgan of Eaton Rapids, Kelly Balch of Gladwin, Erik (Crystal) Woodman of Eaton Rapids and several nieces and nephews. Chad was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Claude Woodman Jr. and grandparents, Ernest and Audrey Woodman and Vern and Wilma Wolfe.
Funeral services were held 11 a.m. Thursday, June 29, 2023, at Mount Hope Church, 202 S. Creyts Road, Lansing MI 48917, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment took place thereafter in Oakwood Cemetery. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Mount Hope Church Missions or Speed the Light Missions in loving memory of Ernest Chad Woodman. Arrangements were entrusted to Mills Funeral Home,, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.
Colleen Elaine Ott
Colleen Elaine Ott of Eaton Rapids, passed away June 25, 2023, at the age of 71. Colleen was born in Jackson, MI on October 10, 1951, to Richard and Marnette (Bigg) Kilburn. Colleen enjoyed collecting antiques and Fenton Glass. She was a generous person who got great pleasure out of giving to others even if that meant going without. She was known to give the coat or sweater off her back to people in need. But more than anything, she enjoyed spending time with her grandbaby. Colleen was very involved in church activities and found peace and comfort in her church family, and in her relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Colleen is survived by her daughter, Kathryn (Tanja) Rupert of Ontario, Canada; one grandson, Tryn John Douglas Rupert of Ontario, Canada; step-siblings, Sue Young of Charlotte, Lois Franklin of Charlotte, Bruce Hanes of Charlotte, Kenneth Hanes of Charlotte; special friends, Bev and Denny Beutler of Charlotte; and several step nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Charles Ott; parents, Richard and Marnette (Bigg) Kilburn and stepmother, Dorine Kilburn.
Memorial Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2023, with visitation a half hour prior to the service from 10:30-11:00. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society in loving memory of Colleen Elaine Ott. Arrangements were entrusted to Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.
Rodney Allen Sebrell
Rodney “Rod” Allen Sebrell, a determined, loving, and reliable father, grandfather, son, and brother, died on Monday, June 26, 2023. Rod 69, of Charlotte, was born November 22, 1953, the son of Lloyd and Patricia (Freese) Sebrell. After graduating from Maple Valley High School Rod enlisted in the Army where he proudly served as a Fuel Truck Driver in Germany. His passion for truck driving led him to a career in driving truck. Rod was known for his penmanship and his ability to keep a neat and tidy trucking log. Rod’s friends at The Eaton Place will miss their daily visitor. He ate breakfast just about every morning there for many years. Rod was a tall, thin man but he sure loved his food, attending family gatherings. He was also known for his green thumb and ability to tend a garden; he helped his mother each year with hers. Above all, Rod enjoyed being around people whether it was at The Eaton Place, or at other functions around town.
Rod is survived by his daughter, Scarlet Eggleston; grandchildren, Zoe Hood, Ava Hood, and RJ Hawkins; mother, Patricia; siblings, Randy (Donna) Sebrell, and Carla (William) Myers; dear friend, Bryon Wells. He was predeceased by his father, Lloyd; and brother, Craig Sebrell.
Friends are encouraged to support Rod’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation is Saturday, July 1, 2023, from Noon until 2:00 p.m. A funeral service will follow beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home with Pastor John Bailey officiating. The funeral 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 Rod’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 VFW Post 2046 or the American Legion 42. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Michael “Mikey” Higgins, 72, of Bellevue, passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on June 25, 1950, to Billie and Doris (Everett) Higgins in Battle Creek. Michael worked as a Clerk for Canadian National Railroad in Battle Creek, retiring in 2010.
Michael was a 1968 graduate of Bellevue High School. On November 22, 1969, he married Marilyn Burkart in Bellevue.
Michael was a long-time member of the Battle Creek Eagles, the PNA Club in Battle Creek and the Barry County 4-H. He enjoyed bowling at M-66 Lanes, golfing mainly at Marywood Golf Course with the Bellevue league, watching TV especially Gunsmoke, hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, playing cards and going to the casino. He especially loved attending his grandchildren’s sporting and school events.
Michael is survived by his loving spouse of 53 years Marilyn; his children, Scot (Sarah) Higgins of Bellevue and Jennifer (Dennis) Dingman of Bellevue; his grandchildren, James (Shannon) Angus, Cole (Sierra) Madry, Ryan Madry, Joseph Madry, Gabrielle Higgins and Everett Dingman; his great grandson, Sawyer Angus and his sister Barbara (Don) Chase.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023, from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Bellevue First Baptist Church, 122 S. Main St. Bellevue, Michigan 49021 with the memorial service to follow at 4:00 p.m. at the church with Pastor Don Francis officiating. Burial will take place at Bell Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Bellevue Fire Department or the Baseline 4-H Club-Bellevue.
Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services 205 N. Elizabeth St., Bellevue, Michigan 49021. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.
Todd Leroy Marriott
Todd Leroy Marriott of Eaton Rapids, passed away June 24, 2023, at the age of 60. Todd was born February 15, 1963, in Battle Creek, MI to Donald and Joanne (Dean) Marriott. He graduated from Eaton Rapids High School with the Class of 1981. For over 36 years, Todd proudly put his heart and soul into his work at the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, where he impacted the lives of countless children and families.
Todd was known for being a man of integrity. He was caring, compassionate, and humble. He lived a selfless life of service in and out of work – always a phone call away if you needed help. Todd had a gentle, easy-going nature about him. He was a friendly “people person” to his core – being the first to say hi and engage in a quick conversation with someone at the gas station or grocery store. With a heart of gold and a fun-loving spirit, he was easy to adore. And deeply adored he was, by so many.
An avid outdoorsman, Todd spent many hours in the woods or on the water. Whether hunting or fishing, he found joy and peace being outside in the presence of those near and dear to him. He had a deep appreciation for nature, where he loved to spend time on the shores of Lake Michigan, search for mushrooms, watch birds from his window, and – time and time again – pull off to the side of the road to move a turtle to safety.
Todd loved his family immensely and had many dedicated roles. He was especially proud to be called husband, father, and papa. To be his wife, children, or grandchildren meant that you felt like the luckiest person alive. He cherished spending time with his three young granddaughters, who brought a special twinkle to his eye. One of the best things about Todd, though, is that whether related or not – he made us all feel like family.
Todd Marriott was truly larger-than-life. He will be greatly missed, but because of the way that he lived and the lives that he touched, his legacy will undoubtedly live on. He gave his family, friends, community – this world – 60 beautiful years. And for that we are forever grateful.
Todd is survived by his wife of 37 years whom he adored, Patti Marriott; children, Matthew (Amanda) Marriott of Eaton Rapids, Meghan Marriott of Minneapolis, MN; siblings: Julie (Patrick) Marriott Carey, Jeff (Sean) Marriott, Donna Marriott; grandchildren: Joanna, Ruthie and Evalyn Marriott; nieces and nephews: Amanda Morelock, Valery Halsey, Michael Carey, Anthony Hernandez and Brandy Benson. He was preceded in death by his parents; and niece, Emmalee Morelock.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2023, at The First United Methodist Church of Eaton Rapids with visitation one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will immediately follow the service. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Don and Joanne Marriott Scholarship Fund or the Michigan Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in loving memory of Todd Leroy Marriott. Arrangements were entrusted to Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.