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Michael E. Parish

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Funeral Services:

Michael Eugene Parish, age 73, passed away June 4, 2020. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than seven decades. Born September 6, 1946, Mike was the oldest of five and led his siblings with a reckless love of life. He proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. With a seemingly endless supply of energy, Mike’s work ethic was unmatched.
Mike is survived by his love, Patti Parish; children Brian, Cassi, Mike Jr., Stacie, Shannon; brothers Jim and Jack, sisters Sandi (Butch) and Elaine (Dave); along with several grand and great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Jack Sr.; mother, Mary Lee; daughter, Kelly; and nephew, Trent.
Services were held Monday, June 8, 2020 at the home of Micky and Pete in Bellevue. Interment was at Center Eaton Cemetery.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Charlotte Relay For Life or the Wounded Warriors Project. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Mike on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Joyce M. Smith

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Joyce Marie (Edington) Smith, age 90, of Potterville — a devoted wife, mother and grandmother — died peacefully on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Joyce was born on October 19, 1929 in Lansing, the daughter of Walter J. and Vernie E. (Conrad) Edington. She graduated from Potterville High School in 1947. On April 21, 1947 she married Carl Smith Jr. and spent the next 55 years creating their legacy together. Joyce stayed at home to raise their eight children. She was an extremely hard-working woman who farmed, milked cows and could often be found lying on the ground under the farm equipment fixing something. Joyce worked outside the home at one point at Baryames Cleaners in Lansing. After the youngest, Jerry, was born, Joyce started driving school bus for Potterville Public School, until she retired after 22 years. Joyce spent her entire life devoted to her husband and family. When she wasn’t working around the farm or driving bus, Joyce enjoyed babysitting her grandchildren, mowing the lawn, attending Eastern Star meetings and collecting mallard ducks. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family.
Joyce is survived by her children, Anne (Al) Aseltine, David (Grace) Smith, Brian Smith, Jill (Phil) Roehl, Judy (Larry) Zakora, Gary (Karen) Smith, Debbie (Earl) Blasen, and Jerry (Nikki) Smith; 22 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren with another on the way; and brother, Clyde (Carol) Edington of Melbourne, Fla. She was predeceased by her husband, Carl Jr.; her parents; grandson, Richard Hill Jr.; and great-grandson, Seth Zakora.
Due to current quarantine and sheltering guidelines, the family is going to have a private graveside service at Benton Township cemetery. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Diabetes Foundation. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Joyce on her tribute page at prayfuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Crystal A. Sumerix

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Crystal Ann (Marsh) Sumerix — July 21, 1953 to June 12, 2020 — passed peacefully after a year-long battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Joyce (Caswell) Marsh.
Crystal grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Charlotte High School in 1971. Most recently, Crystal lived and worked in Grand Rapids before moving to Holt in 2019. Crystal was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, enjoyed crafts, gardening (she was a lover of all things that grow), and dearly loved her three grandchildren. She is survived by her children; Adrianne Surian (TJ Balderman), Whitney (Eric) Wasser, and Luke Sumerix; her grandchildren, Raya and Roman Surian and Emily Sumerix; her brother Steve (Deb) Marsh and sister Karla McCandless; as well as many nieces and nephews. A memorial service is expected be held at a later date at the Holt Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints.

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Donald Mills

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Donald (Donny) Mills, age 57 of Lake City, Mich. (formerly of Charlotte), passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at Traverse City Munson Medical Center. Born on August 10, 1962 to Thomas and Alice (Smith) Mills in Charlotte, Donny was raised there and graduated from Charlotte High School in 1980 and later from Lansing Community College. Donny served in the Navy during the Persian Gulf conflict on the USS FOX that would seek out ocean mines.
A welder at Spartan Motors, Donny worked on the first fire truck off their line and was later sent to Universal Studios in California to weld on the trans built by Spartan. He later worked at Bannish Welding and various other companies. Donny loved the outdoors, loved riding his Harley and camping and canoeing with his beloved dogs always by his side.
Donny is survived by his son, Jason Mills of Lansing; sisters, Vicki Ball of Lake City, Dianne Webb, Jacque (Jeff) Sage, and Barb (Gary) Wells all of Charlotte; brother, Randy (Carla) Mills of Charlotte; significant other, Sharon Wright of Indiana; his faithful companions, Ringo, Big Dog, Pepper and Yoko; and his cat, George. Donny was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Douglas Mills; and brother-in-law, Brian Ball.
Pray Funeral Home will be assisting the family with a memorial service Sunday, June 28 at 2 p.m. with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. The family will receive visitors from 1 to 2 p.m. before the service. Due to gathering limits designated in current executive orders for the state of Michigan, the funeral home staff will guide guests through visitation and funeral service to assure the safety of family and guests while maintaining compliance. All guests will be asked to wear a face mask. Pray Funeral Home will have masks available for those who may not have one. The family is requesting in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Munson Healthcare Hospice or the Missaukee Humane Society. Share memories of Donny on his tribute page at prayfuneral.com.

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Brenda L. Lynch

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Brenda Leah Lynch was born Dec. 12, 1960, in Hastings, and she passed away Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in Dallas.
Brenda grew up in Vermontville and graduated from Maple Valley High School in 1979. In 1982, Brenda made Alvord her home, where she began a family of her own. A few of Brenda’s favorite things were sipping a hot cup of coffee on the porch, sitting on the beach with a close friend, a long road trip, baking one of her many infamous food dishes, and time spent with her daughters — but especially her grandbabies. All who knew her will always remember her outpouring of love and service as some of her trademark characteristics. Her kind heart, generous soul and compassion for others was exemplified in her relationships with her family, love for her grandchildren and the friends she dearly cherished.
Brenda is survived by her father, Lawrence Musser; brother David Musser and his wife, Sue; and daughters, Leah Marie Nordell and husband, Aaron along with grandchildren Abbott, Aden, and Lindyn, Jessie Jean Durban and her husband, Ryan, Macy Kaye Ekery and her husband, Ian and Madison Raye Bowen and her husband, Austin. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and beloved friends. She is now reunited with her loved ones: her mother, Barbara Musser; and siblings Larry Neil Musser, Diane Priesman and Garry Musser. A Celebration of Life will be held in Michigan at a later date due to COVID-19. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America, which can be found at lcfamerica.org.

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Debra S. Knoll

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Debra Sue Knoll Armstrong, age 63, of Menifee, Calif. passed away Saturday, March 28, 2020 at Loma Linda University Health-Murrieta, Calif. at 8:34 am. She was born August 11, 1956 in Hastings, Mich., the daughter of Phillip Knoll and Lauretta Alden.
Debra was a fun loving adventurer who enjoyed taking photos of old barns and covered bridges throughout Michigan. She loved nature and wildlife of all kinds, especially her own pets. She was a selfless individual who always put the needs of family and friends above her own. She cared for her mother (Lauretta Alden) until her death in 2017, where she continued to look after the welfare of step father (Charles Alden) until her final days. Debra was equally devoted to the care of her 96-year-old mother-in-law (Carol Perry) in California. She always made it a point to keep in touch with family and friends, consistently sending cards, letters and gifts. She especially loved sending gifts to all her nephews and nieces. Having no children of her own, she loved being aunt Deb. She did so much for others and asked for so little. She has touched the lives of so many and will be missed by countless friends and family throughout California, Utah, Arizona and Michigan.
Debra is survived her loving husband Chris Armstrong; mother-in-law Carol Perry; brothers-in-law and their wives, Kent and Diane Armstrong, Doug and Cheryl Armstrong; stepfather Charles Alden (mother’s husband); stepmother Lone Knoll (father’s wife); brothers and their wives Lowell and Carolyn Knoll, Richard and Roxana Knoll; and stepbrothers and stepsisters Janette Laymance, Linda Laymance, Terrie Bursley, Phil Mead, Tom Mead and Candy Carroll.
Cremation services were handled through Evans-Brown Mortuary, Menifee.

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Roger L. Rockafellow

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Roger “Rocky” Lee Rockafellow, age 68, of Potterville went home to be with the Lord on June 4, 2020, after a lengthy illness. Roger was born on October 4, 1951 in Hastings, to J.C. and Wilma Rockafellow, who have preceded him in death. Roger retired from working as a sheriff’s deputy at the Eaton County Sheriff Department. In addition, he worked for 14 years as the security coordinator at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. He loved riding his motorcycle and was a member of the Goldwing Touring Association. He was an active member of Grace Bible Church. He enjoyed playing his guitar and spending time perfecting his golf swing.
Along with his parents, Roger was preceded in death by his brother, Michael Rockafellow. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Gloria; son, Jared; brother, Steven (Stacy) Rockafellow; sister, Jane (Leo) Swaenepoel; and sister-in-law, Bonnie Rockafellow.
Roger’s family will be honoring his life at a memorial service to be held at a later date. He will be laid to rest at Benton Township Cemetery in Potterville. Contributions to honor Roger’s life can be directed to Grace Bible Church, 1000 S. Canal Road, Lansing MI 48917 or to Sparrow Hospice Services, 1210 W. Saginaw St., Lansing MI 48915. Arrangements were entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home in Leslie.

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Helen M. Burgess

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Helen Marie Burgess, age 80, of Eaton Rapids passed away on June 7, 2020. As she transitioned from this world to heaven, she looked forward to being greeted by God and reuniting with her true love and husband of 28 years, Claude Wonderful Burgess.
Helen was born on December 21, 1939 to Clair and Mary Jane (Jugovich) Farr. On November 23, 1968, she married the love of her life, Claude W. Burgess, who passed away in January 1996. Helen was a pioneer of her time, being one of the first women to become a general foreman at Oldsmobile, where she worked until her retirement in January of 1988. She enjoyed boating, fishing, camping, reading and listening to county music. Helen loved taking long road trips with family and an occasional trip to the casino.
Along with her husband, Helen was preceded in death by her daughter, Cindy Lou (1989); brother, Dale Farr; and sister, Doris Wheeler. Surviving are two daughters, Patricia (Bob) Herrick and Debbie (Jerry) Vandre; brothers, Wayne Farr and Bob Farr; and several nieces and nephews.
Per Helen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on August 29, 2020. The location will be announced once it’s confirmed. Memorial contributions can be directed to a hospice provider of your choice. Arrangements were entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home in Leslie.

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Melvin C. Bartholomew

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Funeral Services:

Melvin Carl Bartholomew, age 86, of Charlotte — a compassionate man with a great sense of humor — died June 8, 2020. Born to Lester and Florence (Lee) Bartholomew on January 29, 1934, Melvin grew up learning about family values and was the glue that held his family together. A car buff and collector of much, Melvin enjoyed his Model A and Packard. He also enjoyed fishing, especially with his great-grandkids, and golf with a unique style that was all his own. A very patriotic man, Melvin was proud of his time in the Navy during the Korean War, and continued to love healthy discussions about politics and the constitution with a true love of his country. He was a member of the American Legion Post 42 in Charlotte and Post 225 in Lansing.
A great family man and story teller, Melvin’s stories will be missed greatly by his family. He leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Lois; daughters, Jill (Jim) Wright and Lori (Steve) Orler; three grandchildren, Jamie (Gerry) Bristor, Kelsey Wright, Maddie Orler; two great-grandchildren, Kohen and Ezra Bristor; and siblings, Ruth Smith, Martha Austin and Harry Bartholomew. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Clifford, Larry and Claude; and sister, Donna Hobert.
Funeral services will be held in the Pray Funeral Home garden on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 1 p.m., with visitation prior to the service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, it is requested that all guests wear a mask. Webcasting of the service will take place so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone or mobile device that has internet access. Go to prayfuneral.com, click on Melvin’s tribute, and then click on photos & videos from your computer (or media from your smart phone). Just prior to the beginning of the service, a link will appear on this page to watch the webcast.
Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Melvin on his online tribute page. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church, where Melvin and Lois were long-time members.

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Richard I. Brummette

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Richard I. Brummette, a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at the age of 78. Richard was born on March 6, 1942 in Lansing, Mich., to Earl and Kressa Brummette.
He served four years in the Army and 38 years in the National Guard as an Aircraft Armament Maintenance Technician. He was federally recognized as Chief Warrant Office ’04 in the Michigan National Guard.
Richard was a man who loved the great outdoors and his family. He knew how to fix anything and generously helped so many with his skills. He was an avid hunter and loved to share this and fishing with his boys.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, Earl; mother, Kressa; first wife, Suzanne (Lutz) and sister, Joy Hicks.
Surviving are his wife, Janet (McCloud); sons, Rick (Cindy), Randal (Esther) and Robert; daughter, Ranae Roberts (Tim); step-children, Billi (Brock), Fred (Julie) and Jennifer (Vladimir); grandchildren, Maksim Kuskovski, Trent (Santrece), Dezirae, Michaela (Ryan) Roberts, Rachelle (Aaron) Sinnard, Shayna (Matt), Rosalyn, Rollin and Rourke Brummette; four great-grandchildren; brothers, Doug (Jonie), Eddie (Marlene); and sisters, Barb Bodell, Bev Geiser and Shirley Crosslan (Richard).
A funeral service was held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at Sunfield United Brethern Church, with Pastor Randy Carpenter officiating. Donations may be sent to your local hospice. Online condolences may be shared at petersandmurrayfuneralhome.com.

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