Michael M. Miller
Michael Monroe Miller, 73, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 7, 2021. Some may have seen Michael as disabled, but the staff at Rainbow Homes helped Michael live a wonderful life full of “Abilities” for many years. His family is truly thankful that Michael’s life was enriched beyond measure because of the nurturing care and experiences they provided. The family also wishes to thank Sparrow Hospital, Regency at Lansing West, and Fairview AFC for their wonderful care of Michael for the last several months.
Previously employed at Felpausch and at Meijer in Mason, he retired from Peckham Industries in Lansing, Michigan in January 2020. Also, a greeter at his church, Michael enjoyed making friends and participating in lots of activities like making rock candy with his friends from Rainbow Homes at sister Ann’s at Christmas time. Michael also loved to bowl, play BINGO, watch Dukes of Hazard, learn to cook, and help fix things at Rainbow Homes. His love of Elvis included listening to all of his CD’s, wearing his Elvis costume, and a great trip to Graceland. If you asked Michael a question you could always count on an answer of “YupYup,” “Sometimes maybe,” “prit near,” or “I’ll think about it.”
His friends and family were all so proud of Michael after several years of “thinking about it” he overcame his fear of swimming and won a gold medal in the 25-meter freestyle and a silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle at the 2008 Special Olympics Summer games.
Michael’s Mom and Dad, J. Robert and Rowena (Castle) Miller have been waiting in Heaven for him. He is survived by his sisters, Ann (Jim) Welling, Margot, and JoEllen; and brother, David. He always looked forward to spending time with his nephews and their families, John, Hattie, Joshua, Christopher, Karey, Kyler, Morgan and Avery, Patrick, Emily, Aiden, Benjamin and Madeline.
Michael has willed his body to the MSU Willed Body program. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. If desired, contributions can be made in Michael’s name to Rainbow Homes, 2111 Adelpha Ave. Apt B, Holt, MI, 48842 or Special Olympics Michigan, 2901 Wabash Road, Lansing, MI 48910.
Steven Wayne Stewart of Charlotte—a very caring but no bull kind of guy—died June 13, 2021 at the age of 65. Steve was born in Rockford, Ill. on August 31, 1955 to Billie and Charlotte (Quackenbush) Stewart. He married Renae Reiland in February of 1977, and worked at General Motors as a skilled tradesman until his retirement. A member of the Capitol Area Harley Owners Group as well as Mid-Michigan Model A Club, Steve enjoyed everything about motorcycles and cars, especially trips to find all the best ice cream shops. A loyal and kind man, Steve was a good friend to many. He also enjoyed fishing, woodworking, tractors, collecting guns, and of course shooting so he could truly enjoy his collection.
Steve is survived by his wife, Renae Stewart; daughter, Stephanie (Andrew) Philo; grandson, Dominic Philo; brother, Dan (Adrienne) Stewart; sister-in-law, Rebecca Reiland; and many extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Michael Stewart; and brother-in-law, Bill Reiland Jr.
Friends are encouraged to support Steve’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was held Friday, June 18, 3 to 7 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with mask, group capacity, and distancing guidelines practiced. Funeral services are Saturday, June 19, 1 p.m. in the Pray Funeral Home Gardens, with visitation two hours prior from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 Steven’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone). The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Gary Lee Kessler
Gary Lee Kessler, 84, passed away October 30, 2020. He was born June 24, 1936 to Raymond and Ardys (Helfridge) Kessler in Wabash, Ind. He grew up in Lansing, Mich. and graduated from Everett High School.
Gary loved life, spending time with his friends and family, and a good joke. He also loved to work and owned his own business for many years. He was a veteran and organized reunions with his Army unit. He also planned and enjoyed many family reunions. One of Gary’s favorite things was teasing his grandchildren, nieces and nephews and watching them laugh.
Gary leaves behind a loving family to cherish his memory, including: Gail (Tarantino) Kessler; five children, Kellie (Greg) Sanville, Kathie Kessler, Kris Kessler, Ky (Deniece) Kessler, and Ken Kessler; twelve grandchildren; twenty-one great-grandchildren; sister, Linda (Andy) Kessler; and many nieces and nephews. He touched many lives with his kindness and humor and will be missed by many.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held July 24, 2021 at the Eaton Area Senior Center in Charlotte from 1 to 4 p.m., with a memorial at 2 p.m.
Reiko (Okano) Davis, of Charlotte a strong-willed woman with a natural sense of humor, passed away on June 9, 2021 at the age of 90 in San Antonio, Texas with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson by her side. She was born April 14, 1931 in Tobata Japan, the first daughter of Shigesumi and Yoshiko (Hara) Okano. In spite of growing up in Japan during World War II, Reiko had a rich and full life. She learned to always look to the future no matter what was happening in the present. Reiko grew to be an independent person with a sense of humor that brought smiles to everyone around her.
Reiko met Roy E. Davis who was serving in Japan with the U.S. Army. They were later married at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan on December 2, 1954 and moved to the USA in 1955, settling down in Charlotte, Mich. Besides raising their three children, Reiko was employed at the Eaton Manor for many years, retiring in 2003. One of her proudest moments was when she became a U.S. citizen in April 1980. Reiko was always in constant motion. At home she would tend to the flowers surrounding their home. And speaking of their home, she kept it spotless and expected everyone else to do the same. Her family remembers how Reiko was a sports addict, enjoying watching college and professional sports, especially professional basketball. A true animal lover, Reiko adopted many furry friends over the years, but had a special affection for dogs and cats. Family was first and foremost in Reiko’s life. She loved gathering everyone together for dinner whether going out to eat, or hosting one of the many memorable gatherings at home. Her children remembered her love of travel and recall many trips in the family camper to visit the sites in Michigan and the Midwest.
Reiko is survived by her sons, Michael (Joyce) Davis of Charlotte, and Mitchell Davis of Charlotte; daughter, Michella (Michael) Wheat of San Antonio, TX; grandchildren, Shawn Davis, Scott Davis, Dyanne (Wheat) Bongiovanni, Marilyn (Wheat) Thompson, Rayce Wheat, Alex Hughes, Alana (Hughes) Ruvolo; and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy E. Davis in 2002.
Friends are encouraged to support Reiko’s family by attending the visitation or memorial services, or sharing memories on her tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation is Thursday, July 29, 2021, 6 to 8 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Reiko’s memorial service will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Friday, July 30 at Pray Funeral Home with Laura Cooper as Celebrant. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Potterville Humane Society or Eaton Community Palliative Care. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Leroy Earl Thomas Engle, 48, of Battle Creek, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at his home. He was born on September 24, 1972, the son of Ancle Phillip Engle and Sandra Susan (Doxtader) Brown.
Leroy was Pentecostal and strong in his faith.
Leroy is survived by his three daughters, Amber, Tayla and Layla; mother, Sandra Brown; siblings, Tim, Ruby, Carol, Sherry and Benjamin; nephews, Dylin, Dalton, Trevor, and Bruce; nieces, Logan and Kylie; and several other aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Ancle Phillip Engle, and his grandmother and great grandmother.
Leroy enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He will be missed by all those that knew and loved him.
At this time, cremation has taken place and no services are being held. Arrangements by the Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service. 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com
Lois Ann (Hice) Hull, 86, of Olivet, Michigan went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, peacefully surrounded by her children. Ann was born at the farm on S. Cochran Rd. in Brookfield Township, Eaton County, Michigan on August 10, 1934, to Bernard and Mary Rose (Snyder) Hice. She graduated from Olivet High School in 1952 and retired from the Eaton County Abstract Company (three times). Ann enjoyed listening to music, reading, and camping. Her greatest joy was spending time with her children and grandchildren along with running the roads in Arizona with her sister-in-law and best-friend, Betty Ludtke. Ann also loved attending, volunteering her time, and showcasing her famous potato salad at Olivet Congregational Church.
Ann was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bud, six years to the day, ensuring their family would only have one sad, sad day; her parents, Bernard and Mary Rose Hice; brother, Winton Hice; sister, Betty Jo Mathis, brother, Jay Hice, sister-in-law, Betty Hice; brother-in-law, Carl Ludtke, stepdaughters, Linda Magruder and Brenda Hull; step granddaughters: Hope Magruder and Krystal Pierce.
Surviving to cherish her memory are her children: Regi (Matt) Knoll, Gregg (Wendy) Butts; grandchildren: Kassondra (Scott) Campbell, Mike (Rebecca) Knoll, Kristy (Jacob) Walters, Bradley (Zoe) Butts; special bond with great-grandchildren: Tyler and Taryn Campbell, Matilda and Mabel Walters, Callahan and Michael Jr. Knoll; step-son, Scott Hull; step-grandchildren: Aaron (Cai Wei) Magruder, Josh (Heather) Magruder, Nicole Pierce, Derrick (Ali) Learned, Casey (Nick) Shaber, Katey (Bobby) Hull, Scott Hull, Billy, Curtis and Jeanine Pierce; along with numerous great and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews; baby brother, Kenneth (Sharon) Hice; sisters-in-law: Betty Ludtke, Joyce Hice; brother-in-law, Pastor Don Mathis.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Olivet Congregational Church with Pastor Jack Brown and Pastor Garry Fisher officiating. The family received friends on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church.
For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to Olivet Congregational Church.
To view Ann’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.
John Mario Bartolacci 68, a man who was truly passionate about sports, passed away June 16, 2021 at his home after a courageous 50-year battle with cancer. A lifelong resident of Charlotte, MI John was born in Charlotte on August 10, 1952 to Joseph and Mary (Hemingway) Bartolacci, one of eight children in a family raised to live the Golden Rule. He married Sue Bower in 1987 and they raised their sons to love sports, almost as much as John did. As an avid sports fan (Go Blue) and athlete, John participated in golf, bowling and especially loved playing softball. He was on numerous softball league championship teams, State championship teams in 1987 and 1989, National Championship team (60 and over) in 2016, and ASA National Championship team (65 and over) in 2018. John volunteered many hours helping out the Charlotte Junior Oriole football program as well as the Charlotte High varsity football team coached by Paul Davis, and never missed a game or event when his sons were playing.
John was a Godly man, strong in his belief and kind, yet very stubborn. Always willing to help anyone, John was well liked, seemed to know everyone, and always found things in common with people he met. In addition to being a proud father, John also took a lot of pride in his lawn, he truly enjoyed doing yard work and keeping it looking beautiful. He also enjoyed working out at AL!VE, watching and participating in many different sports, and waxing his vehicles on Sundays at Bennett Park. John worked at Owens-Illinois in Charlotte until his retirement in 2012.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary Bartolacci; and sister, Ann Grier. He is survived by his wife, Sue; sons, Kevin and Ryan of Charlotte; grandson, Theo; brothers, Joseph (Diana) Bartolacci of Charlotte; James (Lou) Bartolacci of Mason; Jeff Bartolacci of Riverview, Florida; sisters, Mary Jo Palmer of West Lafayette, Indiana, Nora (Anthony) Franzini and Lisa (James) Jones of Bradenton, Florida; and many nieces and nephews.
Friends are encouraged to support John’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation is Wednesday, June 23, 2-4:00 PM and 6-8:00 PM at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, June 24, 11:00 AM at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop officiating. Mask, group capacity, and distancing guidelines will be practiced. 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 John’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 American Cancer Society or Eaton County Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Richard “Rick” Otto, 57, of Palmetto, Fla. (formerly of Bellevue), passed away unexpectedly at his home on June 4, 2021. Rick was born on April 15, 1964, to Richard “Dick” and Jean (Rizor) Otto in Battle Creek. Rick graduated from Bellevue High School in 1982, then went on to graduate from Orlando Career Learning Center. He lived in Florida for 20 years with his significant other, Robin Ingram.
Rick loved to be on the water and spending time with family; boating, waterskiing, fishing and playing cards. He spent many years at the family cottage on Wall Lake in Delton. He was always busy as a handyman, building, repairing and always organizing something. He was “Uncle Rick” to everyone. He was a loving son and brother.
Rick was preceded in death by his father, Richard. He is survived by his mother, Jean (Dick) Otto; sisters, Karen (Mike) Lennon, Connie (Bob) Wagner, and Brenda (Ron) Koziol; several nieces and nephews; and many other special family members including Robin’s three sons, daughter-in law, and grandsons.
Graveside services will be held at Bellevue Riverside Cemetery on Monday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome. The family wishes to invite family and friends to also join them for a celebration of Rick’s life at the Bellevue Conservation Club (8484 Greenfield Hwy., Bellevue) following the graveside service.
Kelly J. Tuttle
Kelly Jo Tuttle, 58, of Charlotte, a woman with a wicked sense of humor and compassion for others, died unexpectedly on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at home in Charlotte. Kelly was born on October 8, 1962, in Lansing. Kelly chose her own path through life, experiencing highs and lows, including the occasional struggle along the way. In the end, she found peace and happiness with her family, and her beloved pets. Recently, she worked at the Holiday Inn in Charlotte, where she developed a strong sense of family with her coworkers. Kelly’s friends will remember her sympathetic nature, penchant for living life to the fullest, and her lasting sense of humor and love.
Kelly is survived by her parents, Karen and Dean Steward; siblings, Missy (Ron) Letts, Eric Steward, Cheril Smith, Steve Steward, Alex (Tina) Steward, Journey (Dennis) Kunstman, and Jeremy (Nick Plakas) Steward; several nieces and nephews and extended family; and her beloved cat, Gabby. She was predeceased by her infant sister, Angela; and her nephew, John Palmer.
Friends are encouraged to support Kelly’s family by sharing memories on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. A private family Celebration of Life will be held later this summer. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Eaton County Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Cora “Susie” Cain, age 85, of DeWitt, passed away Monday, June 14, 2021. Family is being served by the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home.Read More