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Esther V. Homan

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Funeral Services:

Esther Viola Homan, 80, of Bushnell, Fla., formerly of Charlotte, passed away Monday, April 1, 2019. She was born May 7, 1938, in Charlotte, the daughter of Jay and Mary (Salter) Homan. Esther was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She adored her family and loved spending time together. She was a passionate gardener who had a special affinity for lilacs. Esther also enjoyed genealogy, crocheting, and puzzles. 

Esther is survived by her children, Cheryl (Alan) Sebastian of Marshall, Richard (Christine) Clark of Floral City, Fla., Connie (Martin) Kill of Olivet, Daniel Clark of Charlotte, Penny (Nina) Clark of Bushnell, Fla.; 21 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren; one great great-grandchild; and five siblings.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles H. Clark in 2017; daughter, Julie Ann Clark in 2006; one grandson; one great-granddaughter; and five siblings. 

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home, with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. The family received friends on Friday, April 5, 2019, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will take place at Millerburg Cemetery. 

Those desiring, may make contributions in Esther’s honor to the American Heart Association. 

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

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Joyce A. Sparks

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Funeral Services:

Joyce Ann Sparks, an inspiration to live life to the fullest (many referred to her as the original energizer bunny), 86, of Charlotte died peacefully on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Charlotte. Joyce was born April 11, 1932, in Battle Creek, the oldest of the three children of Arthur and Hazel (Berry) Schenck. She graduated from Olivet High School and then received her music degree at Michigan State College (now MSU). She met her sweetheart, Kenneth Sparks, and he proposed to her at the MSC stack. They were married July 11, 1953 and together they raised five children. Joyce worked at Schuler’s restaurant for 11 years, taught music at Olivet College and taught private piano lessons to half the town of Charlotte for many years. Joyce was an active, dedicated and enthusiastic leader and participant in many local groups. She was the original pianist and sang in the Charlotte Women’s Club Choir; member of the General Federation of Women’s Club Charlotte Chapter for over 40 years and was elected President and nominated GFWC Charlotte Club Woman of the Year in 2000. She served as Secretary of the Reading Is Fun Committee Program, participated in the City Beautification Program, where she planted thousands of flowers downtown; attended Health by Design for 20 years and volunteered time delivering Mobile Meals. Ken and Joyce were members of the Charlotte County Club, and the First Congregational Church.  Joyce chaired the “Driving Crew” for take-out meals for the church’s annual bazaar.

Joyce enjoyed going to the Michigan State football games with friends and loved snow skiing, snowmobiling, dancing, golfing, walking, exercising and working outdoors. She and Ken visited every state and traveled the world together and with their many friends. She very much enjoyed time spent with family especially when all of them including grandchildren went on a seven-day cruise. She loved playing cards and was a member of a bridge club in Charlotte for 50 years.

Joyce is survived by her children, Jennie (Tom) Richardson, Jodie Leeser, Kent (Susan) Sparks, Kurk Sparks and Judie (John) Bridleman; 11 grandchildren, Jeffrey (Amber) Richardson, Kirsten (Curtis) Wondra, Kyle (Sarah) Leeser, Jay Sparks, Sophia Sparks, Kevin Sparks, Kali Sparks, Kaci Sparks, Kyan Sparks, Jacob Bridleman, Jordan Bridleman; great-grandchildren, Brock, Ella, Colton and Aubrie Wondra, Jace Richardson; brother, Lyle (Darlene) Schenck.  

She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Kenneth N. Sparks; and her sister, Sally Dowding.

Friends are encouraged to support Joyce’s family at visitation and funeral services. Funeral services are April 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. at First Congregational Church in Charlotte, with Pastor Curtis Demars-Johnson officiating. Visitation was Friday, April 5, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte.  

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Sensations Memory Care or First Congregational Church of Charlotte.  

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

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Debra S. Wolf

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Funeral Services:

Debra Sue Wolf of Springport passed away March 29, 2019 at the age of 64. Debra was born in Albion, December 23, 1954, the daughter of Albert and Virginia (Parker) Taylor. She graduated as Valedictorian from Springport High School Class of 1973, played the clarinet in the band and worked for Triangle Plumbing for 46 years. Debra was a member of the VFW auxiliary in Springport, was an avid reader, enjoyed gardening, knitting, crocheting and being at the lake.   

She is survived by her husband, Sanford Wolf; brother, Chris (Kristin) Taylor of Charlotte; several nieces and nephews. 

Debra was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Mitch and Stan Taylor.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Those desiring, may make memorial contributions to the VFW in Springport or the Hospice of choice. 

Please visit millsfuneral.com to leave online condolences.

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Corrina E. Bates

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Funeral Services:

Loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, an aunt, Corrina Ellen (Rogers) Bates was born September 25, 1956 to the late Edward and Marjorie Rogers. She graduated from Lansing Eastern High School, there she met her high school sweetheart, Larry Bates. They were married in 1976, and shared 42 amazing years together. She worked at Whitehills Healthcare Center as a CNA for 15 years, and finished her career as the Activity Director. 

She was a devoted member of Crossroads United Brethren Church of Charlotte, for many years. She accepted Jesus when she was very young. She enjoyed camping, spending time with her family, arts and crafts, and had a love for collecting and painting rocks.

Leaving to cherish her memory, is her mother-in-law, Dorothy Bates; siblings, Eddie Rogers, Bill (Gayle) Rogers, Doug (Deb) Rogers, Wanda (Jeff) Bancroft; and sister-in-law, Robin (Ken) Hill; children, Timothy (Nikki) Bates, Christina Gentilozzi, Victoria (Anthony) Singleterry, Ricky(Skylar) Bates, Heavenly Bates; grandchildren, Trenton, Sedric, Emmalee, Paige, Jeremiah, Logan, Gabriella, Oliver, Alyssa, Esmeralda, and several nieces and nephews. 

She was predeceased by her father, Edward Rogers Sr. and mother Marjorie Ellen Rogers; father-in-law, Jerry Bates; and her husband Larry Bates. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations to be made to McLaren Hospice 

The family would like to say “thank you” to Missy and Kim, and the staff from McLaren Hospice, for their heartfelt care. A special ‘Thank you’ to her special care giver, Nikki.

The family will be holding a memorial service, officiated by Pastor Michael Arnold, followed by a luncheon in honor of Corrina on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the Eaton Area Senior Center, located at 804 S. Cochran Avenue in Charlotte. 

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Evelyn E. Cutter

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Funeral Services:

Evelyn Eleanor King Cutter, 83, loved the Lord and treasured her husband, Gilbert, who she is now walking in heaven with. She spent most of her life in Charlotte and died March 29, 2019. Evelyn was born in Buhl, Idaho on March 24, 1936 to Clarence and Ireta King. Evelyn graduated from Eastern High School in Lansing. She met her sweetheart, Gilbert Cutter, at Miller Road Bible Church where they married on August 28, 1954. They built their home in Charlotte, and raised four children. Evelyn was active at the Charlotte First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School, served on the deaconess board and worked with the bereavement committee. After working the swing shift at Owens/Illinois for 20 years, Evelyn retired and enjoyed antiquing, shopping and traveling with her husband.

Evelyn wanted everyone to know three things. She loved her God, she loved her husband and she loved her children.

Greeting her in heaven are her parents, Clarence and Ireta; her beloved husband, Gilbert; her half-brother, Charles King; and her granddaughter, Ruth Cutter. 

Left to celebrate her life are her sisters, Pearl Johnson and Alberta Wilmore; her children, Brenda (James) Caplan, Steven (Sue) Cutter, Lynda (Darrell) Moster, Ken (Debra) Cutter; nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren; along with several nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services are Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor Ray Black officiating. Visitation is Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9 to 11 a.m. just prior to the service. 

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society or Alzheimer’s Association.  

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

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Donald L. Stiver, Jr.

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Funeral Services:

Donald L. Stiver, Jr., 75, of Merritt Island, Fla., passed away March 31, 2019. He was born June 9, 1943, in Alexandria, La., to the late Donald, Sr. and Ann Stiver. Donald graduated from Charlotte High School, and then attended Michigan State University. He then enlisted in the United States Army, served a tour in Vietnam, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of honorable service. While in the Army, he attended the Navy Test Pilot School. After retirement he was an avid airplane builder and pilot as a member of the Experimental Aviation Association. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Martin’s University and his master’s in systems management from USC. After his career in the Army, Donald worked for several government contractors (FMC, Lockheed Martin and DRS).

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; children, Carri F. (James) Grady of Viera, Fla., and Sarah C. Stiver of Alpharetta, Ga.; grandchildren, Katherine E. Banks-Smith (Travis) and Matthew D. Banks. Donald has one brother and three sisters.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing. The Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lansing. His family will receive friends beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Online condolences may be left for his family at EstesLeadley.com.

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Ellen C. Kays

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Funeral Services:

Ellen Christie Kays passed away on April 2, 2019 at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, N.C., following a short illness. Ellen was born June 22, 1934 in Dowagiac, to Arthur and Hazel Moore Kays, who predeceased her, as did her brother, Morey Kays.

Ellen spent the majority of her life in Lansing before moving to Hendersonville in 2014. She dearly loved the State of Michigan and her two cats, Taco and Lollipop.

Ellen was a legal secretary for some years but spent most of her career in the office of the Governor of Michigan.

She is survived by her sister, Beth (John) Saurer, of Englewood, Fla.; brother, Paul Kays of Hendersonville; and sister-in-law, Neva Kays of Harbour Heights, Fla.; plus several nieces and nephews.

Ellen’s life will be honored with a graveside service at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2018.

In lieu of fowers, the family requests donations to Best Friends Animal Society at bestfriends.org.

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Aleta B. VanAuken

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Funeral Services:

Aleta B. VanAuken, 98, of Vermontville, died Sunday, March 10, 2019 at her home. Aleta was born in Battle Creek on September 10, 1920, the daughter of the late Alston and Beatrice (Harrington) Penfold. She was raised in the Battle Creek, and attended local schools there. Her family relocated to the Nashville area while she was in high school, and she graduated from W.K. Kellogg High School in 1939.

Aleta spent her working career at Kellogg’s, where she served the company in many capacities throughout the years. The majority of her career, however, Aleta worked in the shipping and packing departments, retiring in 1981 after 26 Years with the company. Along with her husband Donald, the couple enjoyed fishing, gardening, and traveling together. Aleta was also an extremely talented seamstress, who enjoyed making clothing for her family.

Aleta is survived by her daughter, Tina Miracle; son, Tom (Teresha) VanAuken; sister, Thelma Linsley; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Donald; sons, Donnie and Terry VanAuken; son in-law, Dennis; and brother-in-law, Lloyd Linsley

Funeral Services were held at The Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville on Saturday, March 16, 2019, with Pastor Joe Benedict officiating. Interment took place immediately following the funeral service in Wilcox Cemetery in Nashville.

Memorial contributions can be made to the family of Aleta VanAuken.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details, please visit danielsfuneralhome.net,

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Ruth M. Umbarger

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Funeral Services:

Ruth Marion Umbarger of Eaton Rapids passed away March 18, 2019 at the age of 92. Ruth was born in Springport on August 7, 1926, the daughter of George and Mary (Price) Mock. She was a graduate of Eaton Rapids High School Class of 1944 and was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary 80thDivision WWII Veterans Association. Ruth worked at Horner Woolen Mills for four years and later retired from Owens-Illinois in Charlotte after 24 years of service. She enjoyed watching baseball, quilting, traveling and listening to music. She particularly liked this poem, “God saw the road was getting rough. The hills were hard to climb. He gently closed your weary eyes and whispered, ‘Peace be Thine.’”

Ruth is survived by her daughters, Sue Ellen Thurston of Traverse City, Sally (Douglas) Knorr of Traverse City; sons, Keith (Carol) Umbarger of Holt, Kerry Umbarger of Eaton Rapids; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; half-sisters, Bonnie (LeRoy) Beagle of Eagle, Celia (Raymond) Ainslie of Empire, Sharlene (Dan) Winslow of Eaton Rapids, Becky Mock of Grand Ledge; half-brother, George (Geneva) Mock of Eaton Rapids; sister-in-law, Louise Mock of Eaton Rapids; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Howard Umbarger; sisters, Fern Caldwell, Grace Firebaugh; brothers, Kenneth and Neil Mock; and half-sister, Patricia Trumble.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 22, 2019 at Mills Funeral Home, located at 518 S. Main Street in Eaton Rapids. Interment followed in Oakwood Cemetery.

Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the Eaton Rapids Historical Society.

Please visit millsfuneral.com to place online condolences.

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Caroline R. Nelson

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Funeral Services:

Caroline R. Nelson, born on August 12, 1930, died on March 13, 2019 with her family by her side. She married Oliver Nelson on September 1, 1948. They are from the Rudyard and Pickford areas of the Upper Peninsula and moved to lower Michigan, where they raised their family. Together they had purchased the Chance School House in Vermontville, and lived there until their deaths. She was a member of the Nashville Baptist Church and had volunteered at Pennock Hospital for 18 years.

She is survived by her children, Earl, Karen (Earlyn) Huff, Robert (Louise); twins, Christine (Henry) Bouthiette and Christian (Lisa), James (Toni), and Helen (Jim) Misner; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; her brothers, Charley (Margaret) Izzard, Verne (Margene) Izzard and Duane; and her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Oliver Earl Nelson; her parents, Nelson and Fannie (Vincent) Izzard; her brothers, and sisters-in-law, Wesley (Irene) Izzard, Carl, Claude (Eleanor) Izzard, and Russell (Bernice) Izzard.

Funeral services were held at The Nashville Baptist Church on Monday, March 18, 2019, with pastors Lester DeGroot, and Deano Lamphere officiating. Interment took place at Woodlawn Cemetery in Vermontville.

Memorial contributions can be made to The Nashville Baptist Church.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details, please visit danielsfuneralhome.net.

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