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Dinah K. Watson

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Funeral Services:

Dinah Kay Watson, an accomplished traveler who visited all 50 states, died January 5, 2019. Dinah, 75, of Charlotte, was born July 22, 1943 in Charlotte to Douglas and Helen (Hitt) Rickle. She graduated from Grand Ledge High School, and earned her associate’s degree. Dinah worked for two years as a hairdresser before she married Danny Watson on February 2, 1963. Dinah then worked for the State of Michigan until her retirement in 1999, and then worked in data processing at Auto Owners Insurance. The Eaton County 4H Fair was a big part of Dinah’s life, attending for 37 years proudly supporting her children and grandchildren. Everyone knew Dinah as a very caring person, always doing things for others and making family the center of her world.  In her spare time, Dinah loved gardening, reading, baking, playing poker, eating out, attending musicals, and especially enjoyed time spent with her grandchildren.  Her family laughingly says that she had a large collection of books, teapots, and other things that needed to be dusted.

Dinah is survived by her husband of 55 years, Danny Watson; daughters, Debra (John) Bussard, and Rebecca Ruhlig; grandchildren, Victoria Ruhlig, Katie Bussard, Jeff Bussard and Paul Bussard; sister, Barbara (Dave) Root; and several nieces and nephews. 

She was predeceased by her son, Randy Jo Watson; and her parents.

Memorial services were held Friday, January 11, 2019 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor Jordan Humbarger officiating.

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Lung Association or the American Heart Association. 

Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Dinah on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. 

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Charles Smith

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Charles “Chuck” Smith, 79, of Charlotte, passed away Tuesday, January 1, 2019, at the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home in Jackson. He was born December 26, 1939 in Lansing, the son of Oliver and Flossie (Brendahl) Smith. Chuck graduated from Bath High School with the class of 1958. Soon after graduation he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he proudly served his country. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Chuck went on to earn his master’s degree in business from Michigan State University. On October 24, 1964, Chuck married the love of his life Marilyn Sue Lease in Eaton Rapids. They enjoyed 54 years together. Chuck loved his family and was especially fond of his grandchildren. He and Marilyn hardly ever missed being at the grandchildren’s sporting events. In his free time Chuck enjoyed woodworking and playing golf. Chuck was a devoted member of First Lutheran Church. 

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Sue; daughters, Teresa (David) Johns of Charlotte, Amy (Jason) Engle of Spring Arbor; grandchildren, Torey (Kori) Johns, Taelor (Nate Davis) Johns, Tegan Johns, Tanner Johns, Jonah Engle, Jadon Engle, Alena Engle; great-grandson, Henry Johns; siblings, Joyce Powers, Jim Smith, and Irma Ash.

Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; son, Charles Max Smith in 1969; and siblings, Barbara, Ellen, Carol Mae, and Jerry.

Funeral services were held Friday, January 4, 2019, at First Lutheran Church in Charlotte. Interment followed at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Lutheran Church, 550 E. Shepherd St., Charlotte, MI 48813 or Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047.

To view Chuck’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit burkhead-greenfunerlahome.com.

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Mary Jo Gorsuch

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Mary Jo Gorsuch (Twitchell), 76, of Crystal, died January 9, 2019. Mary Jo was the daughter of Ford and Enid (Geisenhaver) Twitchell, born November 11, 1942 in Charlotte. 

She is survived by her brother, A.G. Twitchell; her children, Kurt (Lana) Hauffe and Dawn (Steffes) Hauffe and their father, Pete Hauffe; step-daughters Julie Anderson, Joy Gorsuch, and Jennifer Lison; 14 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.  

She was predeceased by her husband of 35 years, Lincoln Gorsuch on December 15, 2018.

Mary Jo graduated from Potterville High School, Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree, and San Diego State University with a master’s degree. Her work history included the following schools: Grand Ledge, Harper Woods, Warren, Centerline, Saginaw and Carrollton Adult Ed, Rincon Indian Reservation in Valley Center, Calif. She returned to Michigan and taught at Potterville High School until her retirement in 1998. From 1986 to 2011, Mary Jo and Lincoln lived in an old log cabin on Thornapple Lake where many happy family gatherings took place. Following retirement, she and Lincoln traveled to California and Texas, finally settling in Zephyrhills, Fla., where they spent 15 years.

During the years of 1985-1998 Mary Jo became active in community theater, performing with The ReVue in Vermontville, and the Thornapple Players in Hastings. She fell in love with the theater and expressed that these were some of the happiest times of her life. One of her favorite quotes was, “All the world is a stage.” Her other love was writing and during those years, she often wrote articles for local newspapers. She co-authored two books: Carrollton Centennial 1976 and Rincon Cook Book 1980. For her grandchildren, she compiled a collection of her childhood memories, entitled Notes To My Grandchildren.

Friends are encouraged to support Mary Jo’s family at visitation and memorial services. Memorial services are Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Margaret Hollenbeck officiating.  Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service. 

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Eaton Community Palliative Care. 

Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Mary Jo on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. 

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Charlotte A. Towe

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Charlotte Ann Towe, 84, of Charlotte, passed away Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She was born May 7, 1934, in Millet, Mich., the daughter of Jay and Helen (Kellogg) Lea. Charlotte graduated from Charlotte High School in 1954. Soon after graduation she married the love of her life Larry Lee Towe on January 14, 1955, at her parent’s home in Charlotte. In her younger years, Charlotte helped her mother out in her upholstery business here in town. Charlotte was a devoted caregiver. She gave of herself to ensure that others were always taken care of. Both her and Larry enjoyed taking numerous trips out west on their motorcycle. Charlotte adored her family and was especially proud of her grandchildren. Her faith in Christ was of utmost importance to her. She was a devoted member of the Gresham United Methodist Church for many years. 

Charlotte is survived by her husband of almost 64 years, Larry; children, Jeff (Sheryl) Towe of Charlotte, Cheryl (Kevin) Sobleskey of Charlotte, Beth (Lance) VanAuken of Charlotte, Ann (Kent) Austin of Charlotte, Bill (Tammy) Towe of Clarksville; 15 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and siblings, Jay (Donna) Lea, Ronald “Sonny” Lea, and Albert (Carolyn Toll) Lea.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Joyce Towe; and sister-in-law, Alvetta Lea who passed away just a few hours after Charlotte. 

Funeral services were held on Thursday, January 10, 2019, at Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home in Charlotte. Interment followed at Gresham Cemetery. 

Those desiring, may make contributions in Charlotte’s honor to the Gresham United Methodist Church, 5055 Mulliken Road, Charlotte, MI 48813.

To view Charlotte’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-greenfuneralhome.com.

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Bonnie M. Mead

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Bonnie Mae Mead of Springport passed away January 5, 2019 at the age of 89. She was born in Ninnekah, Okla., November 16, 1929, the daughter of Tracy and Neva (Beckwith) Gray. Bonnie was a graduate of Everett High School, class of 1947. She worked for Seifert’s Dress Shop for many years and also for Springport Schools as a bus driver for 35 years before enjoying retirement. Bonnie was a member of Pope Church. 

She is survived by her daughter, Marlene (Tom) Sebastian of Springport; daughter-in-law, Cathy Mead of Marshall; grandchildren, Jason (Nancy) Sebastian, Carrie (Steve) Davis, Alison, Curtis and Marcus Mead; nine great-grandchildren; brothers, Dwain (Joanne) Gray, Glen (Betty) Gray. 

Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; sons, Wayne and Kenton Mead; brothers, Dale, Edwin, Tracy and Gale Gray; and sisters, Garnet Bywater, Geraldine Bowers and Gwen Gray. 

No services are planned at this time. Interment will take place in Pope Church Cemetery at a later date. 

Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Pope Church or the Springport Public Schools music department. 

Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home in Eaton Rapids. Please visit millsfuneral.com to place online condolences or to sign the guest book. 

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Edward M. Breier

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Edward M. Breier went home to be with our Lord on January 7, 2019. He was born in Lansing on September 28, 1941. He graduated from Eastern High School in January 1960 and finished one term at MSU. 

Edward is survived by his wife, of 57 years, Cathleen; son, Stephen Breier; and daughter, Melissa (Keith) Springstead. He has six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

He worked for Apco Inc. from 1960-1976 then started his own business, ACE Appliance, from 1976-1989. He started a new adventure, with his wife, Cathleen, as OTR drivers for Gainey Transportation out of Grand Rapids until 2004 when they retired. He worked, for a short time, for Advent House Ministries as a mentor for appliance repair. Ed was involved as a 4H leader and loved teaching children. He loved telling stories of his past and sharing his knowledge. You could always count on a smile and an occasional practical joke. Ed had a passion for creating new things out of old things. He was a great craftsman with stained glass and wood. Nothing was impossible. He believed you come into this world with only your name and you leave this world with only your name. That is why Ed believed in doing business with a handshake, with his word as his bond. He will be missed by many whom he met on his journey through life.

There will be no service as per his wishes. Cards are welcome and should be mailed to: Cathleen Breier, (C/O Melissa Springstead) PO Box 16, Woodland, MI 48897.

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David A. DeFrates

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David Arthur DeFrates, 79, of Charlotte, passed away Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at Hayes Green Beach Hospital in Charlotte. He was born March 3, 1939, in Indiana, the son of Arthur and Isabel (Kelly) DeFrates. Dave graduated from Charlotte High School in 1957. On December 12, 1959, he married Margaret Ann Kline. As many of Dave’s friends can attest, he was a walking encyclopedia. He loved knowledge and enjoyed sharing it with others. Dave was a charter member and past vice president of the International Coleman Collectors Club. He was instrumental in organizing and hosting their annual convention, which took place in Charlotte in 2014. He also served as president and was an active member of the Mid-Michigan Model A Club and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. Dave was also currently serving on the Maple Hill Cemetery Association Board and was a member of the Eaton County Buck Club. Dave retired from GM in Lansing after many years of faithful service. He also enjoyed spending time outdoors, either snowmobiling, hunting, or fishing. 

Dave is survived by daughter, Cheri DeFrates; best friend and companion, Joy Mogg; siblings, Doug DeFrates of California and Pat Humphrey of Arizona. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margaret in 2011; brothers, Phillip DeFrates, and Mike DeFrates. 

Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 14, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor John Bailey officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte. 

Those desiring may make contributions in Dave’s honor to the Charlotte Church of Christ, 64 Vansickle Drive, Charlotte, MI 48813.

To view Dave’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-greenfuneralhome.com.

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Mary J. Wilcoxson

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Mary Jeanette Wilcoxson, 74, of Charlotte, passed away Friday, December 21, 2018, at her home with her family by her side. She was born July 3, 1944 in Lansing, the daughter of Marvin and Mary (Parks) Henrys. Mary was a free spirit that lived life to the absolute fullest. She was passionate about having a good time no matter what her circumstances were. She enjoyed fishing, bowling, water skiing, and shopping. She was a fiercely devoted mother and grandmother. She loved spending time together with her family. 

Mary is survived by her daughters, Michelle (Jim) Mead of Charlotte, Pamela (Brian) Wagner of Lansing, Sandra Patten of Lansing; grandchildren, Ryan (Lisa) Patten, Nikki Mead, Mallery Mead, Russell Bernheisel; great-grandchildren, Lily, Landon, Eli, Maci, Isabelle; brother, Norm (Loraine) Henrys; sisters-in-law, Sharon Henrys, Leah Henrys; and brother-in-law, Patrick McClain.

She was preceded in death by her parents; granddaughter, Melanie Posey; and siblings, Marvin “Bud” Henrys Jr., Patricia (George) Kirchmeier, Michael Jon Henrys, and Beverly McClain.

In keeping with Mary’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

Those desiring, may make contributions in Mary’s honor to Grace Hospice, 2205 Jolly Rd., Okemos, MI 48864.

To view Mary’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-greenfuneralhome.com.

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Benjamin L. Hall

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Benjamin Lee Hall, 80, of Alpena passed away Friday, December 21, 2018 at Medilodge-Alpena. Lee was born in Charlotte on January 23, 1938 to the late Theron and Stasia (Holcomb) Hall. He graduated from Charlotte High School in 1957. He attended the University of Michigan, where he played football and graduated in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He went on to earn his master’s degree in mathematics from Boston College. He taught math at Alpena High School from 1964 until his retirement in 1999. He received the outstanding educator award twice, coached varsity football for many years and was inducted into the Michigan High School Hall of Fame in 2005. Lee was a member and served as an elder in the Community of Christ Church. He was a wonderful husband and father.

Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Sandra; four daughters, Lynn (Bob) Hollingshead, Heather (Jeff) Deitrick, Stephanie Hall, Blythe Morales; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; brother, Dennis (Nancy) Hall; two sisters, Ellen Force, Gloria Armbrustmacher; several nieces and nephews.

Cremation arrangements have been handled by the Bannan Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held for family and friends at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Community of Christ Church or Alpena Boys and Girls Club.

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Sandra L. Blodgett

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Sandra Lee Blodgett, of Charlotte, a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, died Saturday, December 22, 2018. Sandra, 74, was born December 27, 1943, in Lansing to Vance Sr. and Evelyn (Moore) Disbrow. On September 26, 1970 Sandra married Dennis Blodgett and together created their legacy. Sandra was a member of the Chester Gospel Church. She devoted most of her time as a volunteer there teaching Sunday school and being the office secretary. Sandra was also very active with the Child Evangelist Fellowship. Her hobbies included reading, sewing in her early years, and spending time with her family.  

Sandra is survived by her husband, Dennis; children, Michelle (Dan) Glover, David Blodgett; grandchildren, Roselynn (Tim) Corcoran, Peyton Burkhart; great-granddaughter, Ashlyn; sister, Judy (Ed) Volz; and many nieces and nephews. 

Sandra is predeceased by her parents and brother, Vance Disbrow, Jr. 

Funeral services were held Friday, December 28, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home, with pastors Marc Livingston and Dennis Weeks officiating. 

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Child Evangelist Fellowship. 

Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Sandra on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. 

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