Keith A. Kleinfelt
Keith Alan Kleinfelt, age 65, passed away unexpectedly on June 30, 2021 in Winchester, Ky. He was affectionately known to many as Bully or Moose. He was born on January 9, 1956, in Charlotte, Mich., the son of William and Dolores (Crilly) Kleinfelt. He graduated from Olivet High School in 1974. During high school he worked at Airway Manufacturing in Olivet, approximately 1976 to 1980, at Carefree General Aluminum in Charlotte, approximately 1980 to 2007, at Kleinfelt Well Drilling in Charlotte, and retired from Goodwill Industries in 2018 in Charlotte.
He was an easy going, quiet man, but was always up for conversation if you stopped by. He was always willing to help you out with any task and let you do it your way, as long as the job got done. “Whatever works,” he would say. He was also a man who would always have your back in any situation. He was at his happiest working on anything mechanical and he could fix anything. It didn’t matter if it was a car, truck, motorcycle, lawn mower or household appliance, he could make it work. He loved to tinker with all his treasures in his garage and over the last few years he enjoyed traveling to Kentucky to help his daughter Kali on her horse farm.
He is survived by his wife, Kelli (Morgan) Kleinfelt of 30 years; children, Kali Kleinfelt (Justyn Harper) of Mt. Sterling, Ky., Liesl Hansen-Spence (Steve) of San Diego, Calif.; his grandchildren, Sean, Isaac and Phillip Spence; brother, Bryan Kleinfelt (Wanda); and sister, Jane Sobleskey (Steve); in-laws, Leo and Virgilene “Sue” Morgan; brother-in-law, Greg Morgan; sisters-in-law, Trina Clark and Vicki Mitchell; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother in 2019 and his father in 2021.
There will be a private family viewing and a public memorial service held on July 10 at 11 a.m. at Celebration Church, formerly Five Corners Church, Charlotte. A luncheon will follow the service. Memorial contributions can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Friends and family are invited to share memories of Keith on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com.
James D. Emery
James Delbert Emery, 68, of Charlotte, passed away Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in Corbin, Kentucky on his way home to Michigan. He was born February 21, 1953 in Charlotte, Michigan, the son of Thomas Alva and Geraldine Evelyn (Grundstrom) Emery.
James was a devoted family man and loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was a hard worker, a ‘jack of all trades,’ and always kept busy. He worked for Owen Illinois, Dowding Industries, and finished his working career with his passion at Netterfields P&L. He loved to play his guitar and serenade his friends and family. He was always in for a night at the casino or bingo and loved watching Christmas and Hallmark movies (especially Christmas in July) with his family. James was only a phone call away when it came to helping his friends, family, and co-workers for troubleshooting any issues that they came across.
James is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Nancy Emery (Norris); mother in-law, Mary Norris; children, Vanessa (Caroyll) Camp, Justin (Lacie) Emery, Jesse (Cassie) Emery, Virginia Norris; siblings, Gerald Lewis, Thomas Emery, Kathi (Tom) Dominguez, Eugene Emery, Carmen Harris, James Norris, Joe (Shirley)Norris; 15 beloved grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews; all his Netterfield family and Mia Emery the cat.
James is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Geraldine Emery; father in-law, Max Norris; sister, Charlene Vaughn; sister-in-law, Barb Emery and Linda Emery; grandson, Benjamin Emery; and Hallmark Emery the cat.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, July 11, 2021 from 2:00-5:00pm at the Charlotte American Legion, 1000 W. Lawrence Hwy, Charlotte MI 48813.
Donations can be made, in his name to one of his two favorite charities: Charlotte Christmas Kiddies (mail or drop off a check at the Charlotte Fire Department. Make checks payable to: Charlotte Fire Christmas Kiddies), or Shriners Hospitals for Children – www.lovetotherescue.org.
Chase D. Jesse
Chase Dylan Jesse, age 20, died unexpectedly in a kayaking/drowning accident on July 5, 2021 while vacationing in Mackinaw City with family. Chase was born on February 26, 2001 to Jack and Elizabeth Jesse at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI. Chase grew up in Eaton Rapids and graduated from Eaton Rapids Public Schools in May of 2019. Early in 2021, Chase moved to Canton, with his brother, Cody Jesse, and took a full-time job with Fuyao Glass America, where he worked hard and received several promotions.
Chase loved all different music genres. The music relaxed his gentle spirit and inspired him to learn to play the piano and guitar. Chase also loved playing video games with his friends online and was rumored to be quite a good gamer, too! Chase was a huge help to his parents and enjoyed helping out the neighbors by shoveling their walks in winter with no expectation of praise. He just wanted to be a nice guy. Chase was such a good son, brother, uncle, nephew, neighbor and friend, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. Chase had a beautiful soul, and his life here ended much too soon, but his family takes comfort in knowing that he is now in Heaven, with his dad, who passed away earlier this year, in March.
Chase is survived by: his mother, Elizabeth Jesse; his brother, Cody Jesse; and by his half brothers, Michael, Andy, Jaremy, and Andrew; and by his half-sisters, Heather and Heidi; as well as his nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. He was preceded in death by his dad, Jack Jesse.
Chase will be cremated and his memorial service is being planned. Contributions in memory of Chase may be made to the charity of your choice. To share memories of Chase or for updates on service date and time, please visit www.SkinnerFuneralHomes.com
Ruth A. Houghton
Ruth Ann Houghton, of Eaton Rapids, passed away July 3, 2021, at the age of 79. She was born in Lansing, Mich. on July 11, 1941. Ruth retired from Eaton Rapids Public Schools as a bus driver. She loved playing games with family. As long as Ruth was with family, she was happy.
Ruth is survived by her children, Jeff (Susan) Houghton and Shelly (Randy) Morrison both of Eaton Rapids; four grandchildren, Jeff (Michelle) Houghton, Justin (Ashleigh) Houghton, Jessica (Richard) Skursky, and Jennifer (Jon Miller) Cokonougher; and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Virginia (Miller) Nevins; husband, Louis; brother, Butch Reinhart; and sister, Beverly Bailey.
A celebration of life was held at 1 p.m. on July 9, 2021 at Calvary Grace Assembly, 915 Water Street, Eaton Rapids. Visitation was one hour prior to the service. The family has entrusted arrangements to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. Please visit millsfuneral.com to place online condolences.
Richard J. Guajardo
Richard Joseph Guajardo, 65, of Grand Ledge, a great conversationalist who put family first, passed away on June 30, 2021 at his residence in Grand Ledge, MI. He was born on August 25, 1955 to Jose and Beverly Ann (Adamson) Guajardo in Jackson, MI. He was a graduate of Jackson Lumen Christi High School. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy serving his country. On December 22, 1978 he married Paula Camp in Olivet, MI.
Richard loved his work as a Tool and Die Journeyman for Demmer & RSTG. He was proud of his ability to earn his card and create. Above all else he considered himself a man of God and the caretaker of his family. He lived that role so much that even after becoming stricken with his final illness he was busy canning and making sure that his list of things was completed so that his family and wife would be cared for after he was gone. Richard was an avid reader. It is said that when he set down with a book he would “devour it.” He gathered so much knowledge from his reading that he was full of all kinds of random knowledge. His family often said, “he could be a Jeopardy Champion.” Richard was an involved dad. He was a Charlotte Junior Orioles coach for a number of years. He was always in the stands cheering his boys on.
Richard is survived by his wife Paula, and their two sons, Nicholas Joseph (Jacki) Guajardo, Isaac James (Siara) Guajardo; many grandchildren; two brothers, Allen Ricky Guajardo, Christopher Lee Guajardo.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 6 at 11:00 a.m. at the Liberty Christian Church in Lansing with visitation beginning at 10:30 a.m. A luncheon will be held after the service, and then interment for Richard in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte will follow.
Family and friends are encouraged to share remembrances and condolences online in Richard’s Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, MI.
Lawrence S. Green, Sr.
Lawrence Stoyan Green Sr. of Charlotte, a hardworking, fun-loving man of many interests, passed away on June 27, 2021. Lawrence was born in Lansing to William and Katherine (LeBlanc) Green. Much of his childhood was in Holt, Mich. After marrying the love of his life, he and Jerralee moved to Charlotte and lived above the Shopping Guide downtown and then moved to Potterville. Never missing a day of work at Fisher Body was quite an accomplishment for 36 years of employment where he began working on the line and retired as an inspector. Even during his retirement Lawrence always stayed busy.
His life interests included motorcycles and muscle cars. He traveled the tri-state area with his best friend and father-in-law, Waldo Sweezy. In Larry’s younger years he could be found tinkering with his favorite muscle car, the 1966 GTO in the garage, or drag racing it at Onondaga Speedway. Larry enjoyed watching NASCAR, the Chicago Bears, drag racing, and Michigan vs. Michigan State games with all the rivalry. In his later years he enjoyed John Wayne westerns, completing crossword puzzles and complaining about politics. Lawrence took joy in a good argument. Most political discussions included the phrase, “Our country is going to hell in a hand basket.” He found ways to encourage family and friends with his humor. Larry was just as happy watching family members play a game of euchre as well as playing it himself. No matter what was on the menu Larry would often come up with his favorite meal: ¼ lb. cheeseburger, french fries, and a vanilla shake. After his wife Jerralee died, Larry adopted four cats: Smoke, Patches, Tutu, and Callie. The family dog, Odin, was also a favorite of Larry’s. While Larry was confined to a chair, he would toss a ball for Odin to chase down until he wore Odin out and fell asleep at Larry’s feet.
Above all, Larry cherished his time with his family. He usually had a big smile on his face at fun holiday gatherings and family reunions with all the little kids running around. A favorite recent memory is Larry taking the grandkids to a drive-in movie last summer.
Larry is survived by his son, Lawrence (Paula) Green, Jr. of Charlotte, Mich.; daughter, Tracie Ellison of Parma, Mich.; ten grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; sisters, Nancy (George) Dunivon, Deborah Green; and brothers, Robert (Susie) Green, and William (Chris) Green. He was predeceased by his wife, Jerralee Green; and brothers, Richard Green and Gerald Green.
Friends were encouraged to support Lawrence’s family at his memorial service on Friday, July 2, 2021, 11 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home with Joe E Pray as the Celebrant. The family received guests for visitation from 10 to 11 a.m., immediately preceding the memorial service. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Lawrence on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.
The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
David Ted Dotts
With heavy but forever grateful hearts, we announce that David Theodore Dotts (“Ted”) left this earth on Sunday, June 27, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at his home on Lacey Lake. The eldest of seven siblings, Ted was born in Ann Arbor on August 9, 1939, to Raymond Theodore Dotts and Florence Marjorie (Densham) Dotts. He was a lifelong resident of Michigan.
Ted grew up at the family home, fondly known as the Ranch, near Whitmore Lake. He graduated from Dexter High School in 1957 and joined the United States Navy. After his honorable discharge, he attended Michigan State University before returning to Ann Arbor. He was married to Barbara (Dieterle) Faulkner on August 31, 1961. They raised three children together and remained close friends throughout his life.
The young family moved to Charlotte in 1967, where Ted immediately immersed himself in the community. He deeply believed in giving back. Among other service activities over the years, Ted was a past member of the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department, Charlotte City Council, the Eaton County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse, and the Charlotte Jaycees. He volunteered for many years for Eaton Hospice, was an active part of the congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church and was a member of American Legion Post 42.
His great life became even better when he met Gayle Sanborn, to whom he was wed on October 21, 2000. They were truly soulmates and helped each other and the entire family through life’s inevitable ups and downs. They enjoyed traveling and highlights included England, Alaska, Savannah, Ga. and visiting family in Hayes, Va.
Ted was the Charter President of the Charlotte Optimist Club, founded in 1976. He held many roles at local and state levels, including Governor of the Michigan District of Optimist International. He followed the Optimist Creed to a tee and worked tirelessly to help the organization in its mission to bring out the best in our youth.
Speaking of tees, golf was a big part of Ted’s life—watching and playing. He also enjoyed fishing, gardening, and being a spectator at any event in which his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participated. Ted loved good food, playing cards, and was a voracious reader. We believe the word “hangry” was coined especially for him, and he always had a little room left for Boston Coolers, rhubarb pie and the famous Dotts family mint roll.
After retiring from Farm Bureau as an insurance salesman, Ted knew idle hands were not for him. As well as continuing his volunteerism, he held post-retirement positions at local car dealerships before his ultimate retirement position at Byrum Ace Hardware. Ted enjoyed serving the customers and his camaraderie with his coworkers.
Ted had a great sense of humor and continued to crack jokes right up until the end, even when we didn’t think he was listening to the conversations going on around him. He cared deeply for his family and friends, and it was clear this was reciprocated with the enormous outreach and number of visitors when he fell ill. His large, extended family and friends provided tremendous support and comfort in his final days.
Our beloved Ted was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brother, Richard Dotts, and Richard’s wife, Louise (Haddon) Dotts. He is survived by his wife, Gayle (Sanborn) Dotts of Bellevue; daughter, Lori Dotts of Grass Lake; daughter, Lisa (John) Kozitzki of Hayes, Va.; son, Stephen (Ahnika) Dotts of Charlotte; grandchildren Alyssa (Brent) Bos, Brandon Kozitzki, Brittany Kozitzki, Kelsey Meyer, McKenna (Kenny Dennis) Kozitzki, Silver Dotts, Stevie Dotts, Zoë Dotts-Brown, Avery Dotts-Brown, and Abigail Dotts; great-grandchildren Natalie, Charlotte, Callum, Sykes, Taevyn, Wilder, Calliope, Annabelle, Peyton, Dawson, and Aidan; siblings Barb (Russ) Soffredine of Gaylord, Sally (Robert) Schlupe of Munith, Nancy (Duane) Nagel of Grand Rapids, Wendy (Lynn) Arntson of Chelsea, and Ray (Julie) Dotts of Jackson; sister-in-law, Bethany (Don) Grubb of Midland; brother-in-law, Roy (Linda) Sanborn of Cincinnati; son-in-law, Charles Brown of Grass Lake; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family sincerely thanks Ted’s medical care providers, including Dr. Ted Coy, Dr. Carol Rapson, Sparrow Hospital, and the wonderful staff at Elara Caring.
Friends and family were received on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home in Charlotte. On Thursday, July 1, 2021, an Episcopal service was hosted by the Charlotte Congregational Church. Ted will be interred at Fort Custer Memorial Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered to the Optimist International Foundation or Helping Hands Food Pantry in Charlotte.
To view Ted’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit burkhead-green-kilgo.com.
Norma M. Bristol
Norma May Bristol, a caring and loving mother, sister, grandmother, and dear friend, died peacefully on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at her residence in Charlotte, Mich. Norma was born September 2, 1937 in Ann Arbor, Mich., the daughter of Milo and Anna (Bennett) Covell. She was the seventh child of 14 children. She eloped to Angola, Ind. in 1957 to marry the love of her life, Howard G. Bristol, before he deployed in the United States Army. Together the couple spent the next 49 years in pure bliss before his passing in 2006. Norma enjoyed cooking and working at Joe’s Potterville Inn as a bartender, cook, and waitress until her retirement. Having a heart of gold, Norma was a very loving person that would go out of her way to help any family, friend, or neighbor. Always thinking of others before herself. Norma also enjoyed crocheting, traveling, fishing and anything Elvis Presley.
Norma is survived by her daughters, Rita (John) Dunham, and Yvette (Kevin) Beachnaw; son, Ron (Kathy) Bristol; six grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; sister, Nellie Bloom; and lifetime best friend, Joyce Edgecomb. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Howard; parents; 12 siblings; and lifetime best friend, Joyce Russell.
Friends are encouraged to support Norma’s family by sharing memories on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. A private family Celebration of Life has been planned for a later date. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of Lansing. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Elizabeth K. Fast
Elizabeth “Liz” Kay Fast of Lansing passed away on June 27, 2021. Elizabeth was born on August 7, 1965 in Lansing, Mich. to Rodney and Constance (Shaw) Fast. Many of her family and childhood friends knew her as “Betsy” however, later in life she preferred to be called “Liz.” After graduating from Charlotte High School in 1983, Liz joined the Navy and served her country. From childhood on she attended the Trinity Episcopal Church.
Liz was a warm, generous and kindhearted soul. She sought work where she made a difference. First, she used her abilities to help troubled children at St. Vincent DePaul. She had a natural ability to identify and help redirect the youth in a positive direction. Later she worked at Fabiano Candy Shop and finally became an advocate and volunteer at the Capital Area Humane Society helping animals find a better home.
Liz enjoyed fishing, riding horses, playing with her dogs and spending time with friends and family. She was an avid reader and enjoyed writing poetry. Her poetry would often reflect her deep thoughts and perspective on life. Liz had a crazy sense of humor and would tend to laugh at things that many would not find humorous. Her laugh will always be remembered.
Liz is survived by her mother, Constance Fast of Lansing, Mich.; sisters, Kellene Fast of Charlotte, Mich. and Deborah (Jason) Terzis of Charlotte, N.C.; nieces, Madison and Jillian Terzis; and her dog, Daisy. She was preceded in death by her father, Rodney Fast.
Friends are encouraged to support Elizabeth’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. Visitation was on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge, followed by her funeral service. She was interred in Gresham Cemetery following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Capital Area Humane Society or American Cancer Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Jill L. Thorndyke
Jill Lorraine (Jacox) Thorndyke, age 66, of Battle Creek, Mich., passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 27, 2021, after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. She was born October 26, 1954, in Marshall, Mich. to the late Virgal and Joan (Devine) Thorndyke.
Jill worked as a teacher’s assistant at Doris Klaussen Developmental Center for the Calhoun County School Systems until her retirement. She also took pride and joy in caring for mentally handicapped folks in her home. Jill loved all animals and thunderstorms. She knew how to make people smile and laugh and was loved by all who knew her.
Survivors include her three children, Jodi Hargis, Gregory (Audrey Gilbert) Klont, and Shannia Crawford; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; five siblings; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents and brother, John Thorndyke.
Per her wishes cremation has taken place and no formal services will be held at this time.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Glenn Arbor Hospice for the exceptional care they showed Jill and the family throughout her time there.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be donated to Glenn Arbor Hospice Facility.
To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jill’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit MichiganCremation.com