Howard “Dean” Clarke
Howard “Dean” Clarke, age 85, of Bellevue, Michigan passed away Sunday, December 5, 2021, at Sparrow Eaton Hospital in Charlotte, Michigan.
Dean was born in Eaton Rapids, Michigan on March 22, 1936, a son of the late Velma (Harshey) and Laurence Clarke. He was raised in the Eaton Rapids area and attended a one-room country schoolhouse. Dean was diligent with his studies, graduated early and purchased his first farm at the age of 17 from his grandfather.
In December 1955 Dean joined the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany for the majority of his service time. During his time in Germany, Elvis Presley was also stationed there.
On April 22, 1961 he married the love of his life, Linda Stadel, in Charlotte. They began their lives together on a small family farm in the Eaton Rapids area. After a short time at the Eaton Rapids farm, the couple purchased a farm in the Bellevue area where they raised their family together.
Dean spent his working career as a Fork Truck Operator at General Motors. Dean’s true passion was farming; he was a farmer at heart, and loved being outdoors tending to the livestock and crops, which he actively did until a barn fire in 1983. When Dean’s farming days had drawn to an end, he still loved being active around the property. His passion for being outdoors extended beyond his love of hunting and fishing. Dean loved to cut firewood! Dean took every opportunity to spend a day cutting firewood, which he often gave to family and friends to help get through a cold winter.
Each Sunday, at the conclusion of church service Dean wasted no time getting to the local restaurant, often being the first to be seated. If you wanted to talk to Dean after church, you would have to do that at the restaurant! Each week, Dean enjoyed playing at the local casinos. He absolutely loved the “free” gifts that he received for being a valued customer.
Dean is survived by his children, Scott Clarke, Kevin (Susan) Clarke, Brad (Tiffany) Clarke, Brian (Nicole) Clarke, Deanna (Roger) Ladd, Brent (Kara) Clarke; four brothers, Alan Clarke, Gary (Ruth) Clarke, Maynard (Kathy) Clarke and Morris Clarke; 20 grandchildren; and 14 great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Linda; brothers, Keith and Don; and his sister, Marie.
Services were held on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at the Nashville Baptist Church in Nashville, Michigan with pastors Lester DeGroot and Deano Lamphere officiating.
Interment took place following the funeral luncheon at Hillside Cemetery – Kalamo Hillside Cemetery.
The family is being served by Daniels Funeral Home, www.danielsfuneralhome.net.
Leaving a legacy of love, our kind spirited Eva Sanders, of Eaton Rapids, Michigan passed away on December 11, 2021, at the age of 86. Her battle with multiple medical conditions in recent years showed us her courage in facing life’s challenges with a smile and positive attitude. Eva is now reunited with her parents, Gordon and Alice (Rood) Twitchell and sisters Irene Twitchell, Ellie Shaw and Jeannie Lampman.
Eva started her beautiful life on March 1, 1935, in Dimondale, Michigan. Her family moved to Eaton Rapids where she graduated from Eaton Rapids High School. Eva furthered her education graduating from Lansing Business University, then advanced her career to become Business Manager for the Eaton Rapids Medical Clinic, a position she held for numerous years. There was nothing Eva liked better than meaningful conversations with good friends and offering a helping hand in whatever way she could. Her love of family, friends and the Eaton Rapids community were evident to all.
In 1952, Eva met the love of her life, Army Corporal, Ellis Sanders. They married and enjoyed a caring and collaborative relationship for over 68 wonderful years. Eva was a woman with many passions and gifts. An avid reader, tournament bowler, sports and country music enthusiast, expert card player, board game challenger and family recipe collector. She shared her passions with those she loved the most–her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (or as Eva would call them- Honyocks). They were her pride and joy! She loved traveling to be with her family and friends. Always ready for a road trip, she adventured to Tallman and Loon Lakes, Florida, multiple places out West and even a trip to Europe. Eva’s zest for life will live through many of us for years to come.
In addition to Ellis, Eva will be lovingly remembered by her children: Steve (Ann) Sanders and Julie (Jim) Hannon of Eaton Rapids, Rick (Jackie) Sanders of Henderson, NV. Grandchildren: Allison (Josh) Hummel of Palm Harbor, FL, Jessica (Erik) Smith, Kelsey (Aaron) Look and Zach (Kasidy) Hannon of Eaton Rapids, Stephanie (Jimmy) Wood of Van Alstyne, TX, Grant (Hayley Standage) Sanders of Portland, OR and Gabrielle (Tyler Witte) Sanders of Bend, OR, and nine beautiful great grandchildren who she adored. How thankful she was for her sister-in-law Evelyn (Doug) Stall, brother-in-law Norm Sanders, niece Rosa Hector and numerous other cousins, nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends along with the special women of her Red Hatters Group.
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories on Eva’s tribute page at www.vickersfuneralhome.com. A Celebration of Life will be held on January 29, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 600 S. Main Street, Eaton Rapids. Memorial contributions may be made in Eva Sanders name to Sparrow Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, 1210 W. Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48915. You can make donations online at www.sparrow.org/give. Arrangements entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home, 109 N. Church Street/P.O. Box 503, Leslie, MI 49251. 517-878-6600.
Leonard F. Barnhill, Jr.
Leonard Frank Barnhill Jr., of Rives Junction, passed away December 9, 2021, at the age of 83. Leonard was born in Muskegon, Michigan on May 22, 1938, the son of Leonard and Rose (Hutta) Barnhill. He served with the U.S. Army for two years in Germany, stationed at the Berlin Wall. Upon returning home, he worked as a painter for General Motors for 30 years before retiring in 1991. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, decorative woodworking, and his flowers. Leonard was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church for 56 years and served as an usher for numerous years. He loved to tell jokes and laughed well with a beautiful twinkle in his eye.
Leonard is survived by his wife, Mary Barnhill; sons, Leonard Barnhill and Thomas Barnhill, both of Rives Junction; daughter, Roseann Barnhill of Washington; grandchildren, Cody Barnhill of Leslie, Allisen (RJ) Wells of Holt; great grandchildren, Aubrey and JR Wells; brothers, Larry Barnhill of Baldwin and Robert (Barbara) Barnhill of Louisiana. He was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter, Emilie Barnhill.
Memorial services will take place at a later date at St. Peter Catholic Church. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the church. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave online condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.
Gary L. McCune
Gary Lee McCune age 73 of Charlotte, Michigan passed away on December 5, 2021. He was an assembly worker at General Motors. Arrangements are being handled by Pray Funeral home.Read More
Heather M. Contreras
Heather Marie Contreras, age 38 from Charlotte, Michigan passed away on December 3, 2021. She was a homemaker. Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home.Read More
Melissa L. Bliesener
Melisa Lynn Bliesener, age 49, from Charlotte passed away on December 6, 2021. Melisa worked as a server. Arrangements are being handled by Pray Funeral Home.Read More
Norma J. Howser
Norma Jane (Amos) Howser, First Lady of Wickwire House, died December 4, 2021. Norma, 85, of Charlotte, was born September 14, 1936 in Olean, Missouri, to Clinton and Eula (Martin) Amos. Norma’s mother died shortly after her birth so she was raised by her aunt Freda Lane in Olean, Missouri. Norma completed high school in 1954 in Eldon, Missouri. She attended William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri, where she received an Associate Degree. Norma then enrolled at the University of Missouri in Columbia. She married Earl L. Howser on February 2, 1957 and transferred to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, formerly an all-black institution until it was integrated via the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Topeka. Norma worked at Jacobsons Department store in Jackson for 18 years managing the suits, coat, and fur department. She also enjoyed volunteering; she volunteered for 15 years at the Courthouse Square and for 10 years at the Clothing Center. Norma collected birdhouses and had a collection of 95. She was a member of the Antiques Club in Charlotte for 20 years, was a fair and animal exhibitor, and part of the Princes at American Royal for 18 states.
Norma is survived by her husband of 64 years, Earl; children, Christopher Lee of Traverse City, Steven Daniel of Jackson, and Julie Ann of Charlotte; grandchildren, Ryan Howser of Jackson, Nathan Kimmer of Charlotte, Michael Howser of Traverse City, and Addison Kimmer of Charlotte; and great-grandchildren, Zander, Avery, and Ryleigh Howser of Jackson. She was predeceased by her parents.
Friends and family are encouraged to support Norma’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation is Wednesday, December 22, 2021 from noon – 2 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. 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 Norma’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). Memorial contributions are suggested to Courthouse Square Association or Eaton County Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.
Frank L. Bracy, Jr.
Frank L. Bracy, Jr., of Three Rivers, Michigan, passed away Thursday, December 2, 2021 at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Born March 30, 1933, he was the only child of Pearl (Lehman) and Frank Bracy of Charlotte, Michigan. During WWII, he spent many hours working in his father’s gasoline station, where he overhauled carburetors, automotive generators, and starters professionally, even before graduating from high school. In addition, he was Drum Major of the Charlotte High School Marching Band for two years, and Stage Manager all four years, graduating in 1951 with the Bausch & Lomb Science Award.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1956, married (Audrey) Ann Schaefer of Charlotte, and moved to Hartford, Connecticut to work for Plax Corp., the Plastics Packaging Division of Monsanto, first as a development engineer, and later in Technical Service.
In 1963, he returned to the midwest as a Customer Service Engineer attached to Monsanto’s Chicago district sales office, and after about two years, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked exclusively with the Packaging Division’s largest customer, P&G, on the development of new plastic bottle designs. While working in Cincinnati, he acquired a competition driver’s license through the Sports Car Club of America, and spent three years racing formula cars as a hobby at various tracks in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Late in 1970, he returned to Charlotte to manage the family business, which had become a distributorship for Gulf Oil. Frank was both a Rotarian, and a member of the Charlotte Masonic Lodge.
Ann and Frank separated in 1971 and divorced in 1975. In 1978, Frank married elementary teacher, Joan (Jansen) of Leslie, Michigan, daughter of Margaret (Cassell) and Jack Broker of Three Rivers, Michigan.
After the family business was sold in 1981, he went back to school to acquire a Master’s degree in Education from Michigan State University, with additional credit from Ferris State University, for certification to teach in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. He secured a teaching position in Engadine, Michigan – a rural school system in the U.P. – where he set up the school’s first computer program, wrote a manual on programming, and for a time, taught on the first Interactive Television system in the U.P.
Frank and Joan lived 300 miles apart nine months of the year for 15 years, until Joan retired in 1997, and went up north to live with Frank. He retired in 1998, and the couple moved back to Leslie, where they lived until 2001, when they purchased a home in the Tamarac area of Three Rivers, Joan’s home town.
Over the years, Frank enjoyed cars (both old and new), photography, computers, and traveling. He lived in four different states, and traveled through 45, plus Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.
He wrote two books: Mr. Bracy’s Apple Primer—a textbook for programming Apple 2e computers; and Choices: The View from the Center—a book of political opinion.
Surviving him are his wife, Joan; step-son, Kenneth Jansen of Olathe, Kansas; granddaughter, Kate Jansen; cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold Street, Three Rivers, Michigan, with Pastor James Smith officiating. Frank will be laid to rest at West Carmel Cemetery.
Online condolences may be shared at www.hohnerfh.com.
Bernard J. Geyer
Bernard “Bernie” John Geyer, 93, of Leslie, Michigan – formerly of Bellevue – passed away on Friday, December 3, 2021 at the Divine Nest Assisted Living in Leslie, Michigan.
He was born on October 29, 1928 to Bernard and Ida (Steche) Geyer in Flint, Michigan. Bernie married Arlene Zabell on December 29, 1951 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Flint. He graduated from Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois with his Bachelor of Education Degree and then earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Michigan. He was a Lutheran school principal for many years and his last job was being the principal at Bellevue Elementary School.
Bernie was a member of the Bellevue Historical Society, the Cereal City Barbershop Chorus, MEA, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Battle Creek and was in their choir as well. He loved making his own wine. Bernie played many sports including basketball, football, softball and golf, even into his eighties. He was a sports fan and especially followed the University of Michigan. Bernie enjoyed playing Scrabble, swimming, gardening, caring for his fruit trees, taking his grandchildren to plays, the zoo, walks in his backyard and bike rides. Bernie was very instrumental in moving the old Bellevue schoolhouse to its present location.
Bernie is survived by his daughter, Heidi Geyer of Jackson; his daughter-in-law, Theresa Geyer of Augusta; his grandchildren: Amy Geyer of Augusta, Michael (Kim) Geyer of Traverse City, and Richard Geyer of Augusta; his great grandchildren: Austen Geyer, Levi Geyer, Alexis Geyer and Emmy Geyer; and his special friend, Jan Spranger of Battle Creek.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Arlene Geyer; and his son, John B. Geyer.
Funeral services for Bernie were held on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at Kempf Family Funeral & Cremation Services, 205 N. Elizabeth Street, Bellevue, Michigan 49021. Burial took place at Riverside Cemetery in Bellevue. Memorials are suggested to the Bellevue Scholarship Fund in memory of Bernard Geyer.
Please visit https://kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guestbook or to leave the family condolences.
Michael McKeon, 65, of Bellevue, was a master carpenter. He was born to Joseph and Marie (Anderson) McKeon on October 28, 1956. In 1993 he married the love of his life, Lynn Granger. As a Construction Superintendent for Clark Construction he was proud of the buildings he helped construct these included; the Michigan State Police Forensic Lab, Ferris State University’s Optometry Building, Sparrow Hospital and building for Kellogg’s to name just a few. His years of service with the company earned him many Service Awards. As a craftsman and woodworker he creative numerous items and furniture pieces. One example of his talent was spotting trees that had knots and other interesting features that he carved into exquisite lamps. His friends will remember him as a bold character who spoke his mind and said what he thought. A lover of pulling practical jokes on others he however didn’t take kindly to the jokes coming back to him. Michael, who would do anything for others, often considered his close friends to be more like brothers. Among his quiet hobbies were mushrooming, hunting and fishing in northern Michigan with family and friends.
Michael is survived by his wife, Lynn Granger; children, Nicole Lira, Jennifer McKeon; brother, Harvey (Tami) Bates; sister, Nancy (Ron) Feher; brother-in-law, Bill Dixon, sister-in-law’s, Sue (Gerry Osborn) Granger, Charlene (Greg) Sleight; step-sister’s and brother’s, Laura Granger, Julie O’Donnell, Catherine Granger-Daly, Edward Granger and James Granger and mother-in-law, Doloris Groh and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in death by his parents, his son Michael McKeon; sister, Pam Dixon; and sister-in-law’s, Amy Granger and Nancy Granger.
Friends and family are encouraged to support Michaels’s family by sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.PrayFuneral.com. Memorial service will take place in the Spring of 2022. Memorial contributions are suggested to Eaton Community Palliative Care & to The Capital Area Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.