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Bernard D. Otto

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Funeral Services:

Bernard D. Otto, 96, of Bellevue, Michigan passed away on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. He was born on May 18, 1925, the son of Doris (Augustine) and Sidney Otto.
Bernard graduated from Bellevue High School in 1942. After high school he joined the United States Army 7th Infantry Division, Company A 82nd Mortar Battalion from July of 1943 to January of 1946. During that time he was stationed in the Philippines during World War II. He married the love of his life, Joyce Oaster in 1946. Bernard owned and operated Otto’s Clothing Store in downtown Bellevue for 20 years. He also served as Bellevue Mayor from 1962-1963, City Clerk/Village Manager from 1974-1987 and the Bellevue Township Supervisor from 1996-2012.
Bernard and Joyce loved their family, spending time with their children and grandchildren were always their favorite things to do. They spent countless hours traveling to every athletic event, concert and many other extra-curricular activities their children or grandchildren participated in. The two attended and were active in the Bellevue Methodist Church for over 70 years. Bernard was active in the Village Players, Historical Society, Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce and also played a role in obtaining grants for developing the Edward Keehne Environmental Park.
Through his many involvements Bernard received rewards for his accomplishments. Many of which include, Michigan Minuteman Award in 1973, Bellevue Citizen of the Year in 1976 and Michigan Volunteer Award in 1977.
Bernard is survived by his son, Michael (Mary) Otto; 10 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Joyce Otto; parents; sons, Gary, Donald and Steven Otto; grandson, Quinton Otto; brothers, Charles and Richard Otto; and sister, May Lou Vogt.
Visitation was held at the Bellevue United Methodist Church, 122 West Capital Avenue, Bellevue, MI 49021 on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 with the funeral service to immediately follow.
Interment will take place at Bellevue Riverside Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bellevue United Methodist Church in memory of Bernard.
Arrangements by the Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service. 269-788-9800.

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Kevin Ripley

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Kevin Lynn Ripley Sr., an avid outdoorsman, died January 16, 2022. Kevin, 61, of Vermontville was born November 6, 1960, to Richard and Janice (Ruperd) Ripley. With profound love, admiration and gratitude, Kevin’s family highlights what he meant to each of them. He was always tinkering on projects for others. This hard working, generous, soft spoken mentor loved helping others. A great lover of nature, Kevin enjoyed hunting and being outside on the family farm. A lifelong friendship with his father encouraged Kevin to frequently visit his father’s farm. He and his father, Richard, took great pride in Richard’s ponies and draft horses. Kevin was a captivating story teller, his humor and good nature making each narrative interesting. With a great love of family, Kevin was very supportive and loving to his wife, family and close friends. Without anyone ever feeling smothered, he knew intuitively what each one needed. Never lacking for intellect and varied expertise, his skilled diesel mechanic hands helped Kevin to keep the trucks dependably running for the Ryder Truck Rental Company. As a sports enthusiast Kevin spent many hours viewing the sport channels on TV. The time he spent watching sports gave him immense knowledge when it came to coaching his children’s various sports. He could always be counted on for his repertoire of ideas during games. He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.
Kevin is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sally; sons, Kevin (Michelle) Ripley Jr., Derek (Kim) Ripley; mother, Janice Ripley; mother-in-law, Barbara Carter; brothers, Kenneth (Renee) Ripley and Kris Ripley; sister, Kaylene Shumaker; 7 grandchildren and 5 four legged children. He was predeceased by his father, Richard Ripley; father-in-law, Stanley Carter; brothers-in-law, Tom Carter and Stanley Russell Carter; and sister-in-law, Heidi Hackett-Ripley; grandparents, Burt and Eva Ruperd, Lemuel and Marietta Ripley.
Friends are encouraged to support Kevin’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was Thursday, January 20, 2022, from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. Funeral services were January 21, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, Michigan. 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 Kevin’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 the family with personal checks being made out to: Sally Ripley. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Charles E. Viele, Sr.

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Charles E. Viele Sr. was born to Rolla and Cleo (Crook) Viele on October 19, 1925 in Vermontville. The third of five children, he was raised on the family farm on Brown Road in Sunfield Township. He graduated from Vermontville High School in 1943 and tried to enlist in the military during WWII but was refused because of his colorblindness and instead found other ways to serve and contribute. On May 19th, 1946, he married Louise Joppie. Together they had five children and were married for 75 years. Charles passed away on February 1, 2022 at age 96 after living a long and very full life. Charles was very community conscious. He joined the Volunteer Vermontville Fire Department in 1953 and served into his 80’s, even becoming Fire Chief. He served nearly 30 years on the Vermontville and Maple Valley school boards. He was a member of the village council for many years, retiring in 2020. His volunteering extended beyond the village to the county level as well. He was a member of the Eaton Intermediate School District Board for many years and also a member of the Eaton County Road Commission for 10 years.
Charles started out farming but after watching some heavy equipment working on a neighboring farm, he fell in love with Caterpillar bulldozers. He bought his first CAT, a D6 dozer, in 1954 and formed the Charles Viele Bulldozing Company, adding other CATs one by one over the years. He worked hard, following his passion until he was in his early 90’s. Though Charles was usually all business, he did have one hobby and that was snowmobiling. He and Louise owned a place near Cadillac for that purpose and enjoyed many years of friends, family, and fun.
What Charles loved the most was his 5 great-granddaughters: Juliana, Charlotte, Mary Louise, April, and Evelyn. He took great pride in them and always had the biggest smile for them. He also loved and was very proud of each of his 5 grandchildren: Brandy, Justin, Ethan, Nichole, and Eren. He was predeceased by his parents; son, Raymond N. Viele, DVM; brother, John Viele; and his sisters, Jeanette Strait and Mary Trowbridge. He is survived by his wife, Louise; son, Charles Viele Jr. (Kathy Kolodica) of Charlotte; daughters, Jeanne Straub (Mel) of Lowell, Denise Berry (Dale) of Vermontville, and Maurene Viele (Karl Sorensen) of California; sister, Rachel Weiler of Pennsylvania; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
There will be no services at this time but a memorial will be held in the summer of 2022. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Vermontville. Memorial contributions can be made to either the Maple Valley Memorial Scholarship Fund, Box 715, Nashville, MI, 49073, or the Vermontville Fire Department, 125 W. First Street, Vermontville, MI, 49096. Friends and family are encouraged to support Charles’ family by sharing memories on his tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Harold L. Eitniear

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Harold “Roy” Leroy Eitniear, a man known for his sense of humor and commitment to his family, died on Friday, January 21, 2022. Roy, 86, of Potterville, was born August 30, 1935, the son of Freddie and Mazzie (Lamphere) Eitniear. He was a graduate of Potterville High School class of 1954. Following graduation Roy began working for a candy distribution company, Schaefer’s Bread Company, and later at General Motors where he worked as a Machine Repairman, for 30 plus years before his retirement. In 1962 Roy mourned the loss of his dear wife, Mary Margaret, who died at the age of 24. Roy would later marry Harriet Durbin who was also a widow. The two created numerous memories together and with their blended family. Roy was a man who loved being outdoors, from camping, bicycling around Europe, canoeing, canoe races, stock car racing, hunting, and also fishing. He enjoyed woodworking, his children said he could make anything he set his mind too. The family camping trips were a big deal during the summer. Roy had constructed a trailer that would haul the supplies, canoes, and rowboats. Roy and Harriet attended Clown school, and together brightened other people’s day with their clowning. Many will remember Roy for the stories that he told; he was one that could talk your ear off. Above all, Roy adored his family and his years with General Motors.
Roy is survived by his wife, Harriet; children, Terri (Gary) Ross, Robin (Michael) McCain, Kim (Richard) Artibee, Cathy (Michael) Larson, Laurie Savage, Sally (Mark) Coleman; grandchildren, Jennifer Crane, Lisa Volz, Keith Ross, Deja Chavez, Staci Lowe, Jason Artibee, Matthew McCain, Joseph McCain, Rachel Hayes, Ann Larson, Rebecca Coleman, Tyler Larson, Bailey Coleman; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Phyllis Ruth Eitniear; sister-in-law, Diana Boyce. He was predeceased by his first wife, Mary Margaret; brother, Phillip Eitniear; son-in-law, Theo Savage; parents; and stepfather, Vern Snyder
Friends are encouraged to support Roy’s family by sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. A private visitation will be held at this time. At a later date the family will hold a Celebration of Life for Roy. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Marilyn Monroe-Hart

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Marilyn Monroe-Hart, 81, of Charlotte, a woman of keen intellect, creativity and spirit, died unexpectedly at her home on Sunday, January 23, 2022. Marilyn was born June 8, 1940, in Lansing, the daughter of James Henry and Florence Irene (Kirkwood) Mahan. As a young girl in grade school in Olivet, she met her life-long friend, soulmate and future husband, Bruce, on the 4th of July. They remained best friends throughout high school, participating together in many activities. The love story of Marilyn and Bruce would pause for several decades as they took different paths through most of their adult lives.
Marilyn attended the University of Michigan as a dual major in English and Music. She played lead roles in Oklahoma, Carousel, and Fiddler on the Roof. Offstage she enjoyed the music of Bread, The Eagles, and Frank Sinatra. She eventually earned master’s Degrees in both English Literature and Special Education. Marilyn went on to become a very intelligent, highly educated, accomplished teacher in the Chicago area. She taught high school advanced placement English Literature and Drama for over 30 years, coached the speech team, and was on the English faculty of Lake Forest College. Marilyn treasured her years in education, and was known for combining her sense of humor, discipline, and innovative pedagogy to shape the minds of thousands of students. She was a voracious reader and life-long student of literature and writing. She was also a very musically inclined vocalist and played the piano, oboe, and saxophone. Marilyn took voice lessons in Lansing as a child and soloed in countless weddings and special events throughout her life. She lived an extremely organized, well-planned life, and was trusted by many to coordinate details and communicate to perfection. Marilyn was easy to befriend as she openly shared her thoughts, opinions and interests with all who crossed her path, not to mention her striking beauty and meticulous grooming.
Marilyn loved her parents, caring for them throughout their lives. She was proud of her Irish heritage and lived a life of independence and responsibility. Perhaps her darkest hour was enduring the tragic death of her beloved daughter, Michelle. Marilyn would never fully recover from the overwhelming grief. Her Faith in Jesus Christ sustained her and led her to fulfill the rest of her life purpose with vigor and tenacity.
Bruce and Marilyn, despite decades living separate lives, both returned home to Charlotte within a few years of each other. They were married January 1, 2000, and lived a life of love, Christian Faith, and community service. They were members of Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church in Charlotte and volunteered for many local groups and helped countless people in many capacities. In their spare time, Bruce and Marilyn both enjoyed being staunch U of M fans. Marilyn was active as a GFWC-Charlotte member and past president and chair of Libraries 2000, an initiative within GFWC to provide resources and technology to local schools. She held district and state committee membership in GFWC.  She was a coordinator and volunteer for Mobile Meals Inc. of Charlotte, volunteered with the Hayes Green Beach Gift Basket, and achieved many professional and community accolades throughout her life.
Marilyn was predeceased by her husband, Bruce Burleson Hart in 2018; daughter, Michelle Monroe; her parents; brother, Richard Gene in 1942; an infant sister in 1944; and her beloved “Uncle Dale.” She is survived by her brother, Dr. James (Barbara) Mahan of Maple City, MI; her nieces and nephews; several cousins; and many close and loving friends.
Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Marilyn on her tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. A graveside Memorial Gathering will take place in April. Details to follow. Memorial contributions are suggested to GFWC Chorus, GFWC Helping Hands, and the Charlotte Community Library. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Eugene H. Fancher

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Eugene “Gene” Harley Fancher, 80, of Charlotte, died Sunday, January 30, 2022, in Charlotte. Gene was born August 26, 1941, in Grand Rapids, the son of Aubrey Morries and Marvella Eleanor (Hood) Fancher. He went to work on the line at Oldsmobile in 1969 and retired after 30 years in 1999. Gene served in many capacities at Oldsmobile over the years, including playing Euchre with many of his coworkers. He married Rita Fancher on October 31, 1997, and enjoyed 18 years of marriage. In retirement, Gene worked alongside his daughter, Debbie, at Wendy’s for 9 years while also serving as a crossing guard for Ionia Public Schools. Gene loved motorcycles and new cars, always looking out for his next ride. He was an avid fisherman in his early years, and absolutely loved everything Elvis Presley. Gene made several pilgrimages to Memphis to visit Graceland. In his last years, he listened to old Elvis music and watched his movies on rerun. Above all, Gene loved time spent with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, especially Christmas breakfast.
Gene is survived by his daughters, Marlena (Chris) Arras and Debbie (Eric) Troll; son, Brian (Erica) Fancher; grandchildren, Danielle (Shelby) Smith, Ashtin (Travis) O’Dell, Jared (Kelsey) Arras, Grant (Jill Manning) Arras, Chelsea (Ronnie) Raymond, Baily Fancher, Casey Fancer, and Katelynn Troll; and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rita Fancher in 2015, and his parents.
Friends and family are encouraged to support Gene’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Funeral Services were held on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at Pray Funeral Home with Pastor Chuck Jenson officiating. Visitation was held just prior to the service. A private interment service will take place at Easton Township Cemetery. 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 Gene’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). Memorial contributions are suggested to Sparrow Hospice. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Raul B. Luna

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Raul B. Luna was born in Crystal City, Texas, on October 28, 1934. He was the eldest son of Manuel and Julia Barragan Luna. After moving to Michigan, Raul began his working career at the Grand Ledge Clay Factory and then worked at Oldsmobile for 32 years as a paint repairman. He was a proud member of UAW Local 652.
Raul had a great work ethic and taught his family the value of work, even taking them to work in the fields around Charlotte on their summer vacation. He was also a great carpenter who took care of numerous apartments he owned in Charlotte.
Raul was a winter Texan, spending the winter in San Benito and his summers at his Chippewa Lake home in Michigan. While at his home in Chippewa Lake, he loved fishing on his pontoon. He was born with a guitar in his hands and especially loved playing Mexican music. He played statewide in bands with friends and family over the years and at his church, where he was a deacon, and also enjoyed playing on weekends with his cousins and friends. He enjoyed playing baseball and hunting in his younger years and was an avid Detroit Tigers fan. And enjoyed his cowboy movies. His grandchildren cherished every moment they got to spend with grandpa, or “great papa.” He will forever be remembered as a man with a great sense of humor and he will always be loved and missed by his family and friends.
Raul went to be with the Lord at the age of 87. Raul, of San Benito, Texas, passed away at his home on January 26, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Mercedes Cruz Luna; his five children and their spouses, Virginia (Randy) Day, Arthur (Lou Anne) Luna, Linda (Dean) Bongiovanni, Julia (Paul) Tucker, Teresa Luna, and son-in-law, Don Andrews; grandchildren, Donald Lee Andrews, Jeremy Andrews, Jennie Reichert, Arthur Luna Jr., Michael Luna, Christina Koetsier, Eric Luna, Elijah Luna, Aundrea Bongiovanni, Joshua Lambka, and Chantel Jones; 24 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren; brother Manuel (Benigna) Luna, Mario (Irma) Luna; and sisters, Maria Rice, Yolanda Zavala, and Modesta (Wes) Whitworth. Raul was predeceased by his parents; daughter, Natalia Andrews; great-grandson Austin Reichert; brothers, Refugio and Roberto Luna; sister Dolores Zagun; and second wife Estela.
Funeral services are Friday, February 4, 2022 at noon at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 3, 2022 from 4-7:00 PM and Friday, February 4, 2022 from 11:00 AM – noon. 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 Raul’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). Family and friends are encouraged to share remembrances and condolences online in Raul’s Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, MI.

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Bryan A. Zanola

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Bryan Anthony Zanola, age 31 from Olivet passed away on January 26, 2022. Bryan was a line worker with General Motors. Arrangements are being handled by Pray Funeral Home.

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Marie E. Gee

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Marie Ellen Gee, age 96, from Charlotte, passed away on January 29, 2022. She worked as a Claims processor Auto Owners Insurance. Service date: to be announced and service location: Deepdale Memorial Park. Arrangements being handled by Pray Funeral Home.

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Wesley J. Colling

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Wesley Jay Colling, age 64 from Charlotte formerly of Bay City passed away on January 31, 2022. Wesley worked in Automotive Body Repair at General Motors. Arrangements are being handled by Pray Funeral Home.

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