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Martha Jean Moss

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Funeral Services:

Martha Jean Moss, a gracious and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Jean, 89, of Charlotte, was born on April 7, 1934, in Philippi, West Virginia, the daughter of Mary and Charlie Manning. She graduated from Phillip Barbour High School. On June 7, 1954, she married Howard Ronald Moss Sr. and together they created many great memories until his passing in 2013. Jean was a dedicated Homemaker, and while the children attended school, she managed the school cafeteria. She was a devoted Baptist. Jean was a lifetime member of the Charlotte Eagles Aux. 3552, and an Auxiliary member of the American Legion in Philippi, W.V. Hobbies that she enjoyed were gardening, reading, doing word search puzzles, and watching old western movies. In her younger years, back home in W.V. she enjoyed dancing in the dance halls with her cousins. Above all her proudest accomplishment in life was the family that she created and her marriage to Howard.

Jean is survived by her children, Deborah Moss, Ron (Jane) Moss, Jeanne (Butch) Hussey, and Keith (Sandra) Moss; grandchildren, Nick Moss, Chad Dallaire, Dar Dallaire, Megan (Matt Fisher) Andres, Mallory (Mike) Crowner, Brooke (Chad) Jacobs, Kati (Buck Andrews) Moss, Casey Hussey, Cody (Mandy) Hussey, Lindsey (Isaac) Weeks, Robert (Ashlee) Moss, Brandon (Jenn) Colegrove, and Josh (Mae) Moss; dear friend, Phyllis Christie; and numerous extended family members. She was predeceased by her husband, Howard; siblings, Charles Reed, and Peggy Manning; and her parents.

Friends are encouraged to support Jean’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was Thursday, February 15, 2024, from 2-4:00 p.m. and 6-8:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. A memorial service was held on Friday, February 16, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home with Pastor Charles Jenson officiating. 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 Jean’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 Diabetes Association. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Richard Coleman Avery

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Funeral Services:

Richard “Dick” Coleman Avery, 75, of Bellevue, Michigan, passed away Sunday, February 11, 2024, at home with his family nearby. He was born March 12, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, to W.K. and Margaret (Fraser) Avery. Dick married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Martens, on December 21, 1968.

He worked for Grand Trunk/Canadian National Railroad for almost 40 years as a truck driver/heavy machine operator. He credited his successful marriage to working long hours on derailments and snow removal, having no time for fights. Over the years, he enjoyed fast cars, volunteering at the Bellevue Rescue Squad as an EMT, crewing for the Kandi II hot air balloon (only on the ground – he would not ride in it), working in his yard, volunteering at the Leila Arboretum, and driving his restored 1949 Ford Truck. For many years, Dick also enjoyed going to the local restaurant to “stir the pot,” but it was well known that if anyone needed help, he was always willing to lend a hand.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; son, Darren (Katy) Avery; daughter, Amanda (Paul) Hubinsky; grandchildren, Gwendolyn, Josephine, and Coleman Avery; and his special cat, Smokey, who sat with him and watched TV.

A visitation was held at Kempf’s of Bellevue, 205 N. Elizabeth Street, Bellevue, MI 49021 on Friday, February 16, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. A memorial service began at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Dale Williams officiating. Immediately following, Dick will be escorted in his restored 1949 Ford Truck to the graveside service at Riverside Cemetery, 201 N. Main Street, Bellevue, MI 49021.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Bellevue Fire Department, 115 East Jackson St., Bellevue, MI 49021; Centrica Care Navigators (Hospice), 7100 Stadium Drive Kalamazoo, MI 49009 or at https://centricacare.org/giving/; or Kalamo United Methodist Church, 1475 South Ionia Rd., Vermontville, MI 49096.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 2838 Capital Ave. SW., Battle Creek, MI 49015. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.

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Michelle Whitman

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Funeral Services:

Michelle Trowbridge Whitman passed away peacefully at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI surrounded by her family on Friday, February 9, 2024.

Michelle was born on October 21, 1966, to Lou and Emma (Degner) Trowbridge in Eaton Rapids, MI.

Michelle attended Maple Valley Schools and graduated from Maple Valley High School in 1984. She was on the Maple Syrup court in 1983 and was employed by IGT for 20 years, where she worked as a sales representative.

Family was very important to Michelle. She loved spending time with her nieces and nephews and working at her parent’s bookstore. She loved camping and spending time at her family’s lakefront property at Saubee Lake. Michelle also loved going on scavenger hunts with her friends, which was a yearly event. She enjoyed helping her family collect sap for Maple Syrup and cheering on MSU. Michelle was outgoing and had a smile that lit up the room. She was loved by all.

Michelle will be deeply missed by her life partner of 18 years, Steven Whitehead; Parents, Lou and Emma Trowbridge; brother, Michael (Debra) Trowbridge; Nephew Brody and Niece, Madison; stepsons, TJ McArthur and Alex Whitman.
Visitation will be Monday, February 19 at Sunfield United Brethren Church, 8436 Grand Ledge Highway (M43), Sunfield, MI. from 6-8 p.m. Funeral Services will be Tuesday, February 20 at 11 a.m. at the same location, with a luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Sunfield SPYS. Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Rosier Funeral Home of Sunfield, MI. 48890

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Norris Ralph Stark

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Funeral Services:

Norris “Cy” Ralph Stark, 90 of Charlotte, an extraordinary tractor mechanic and farmer, died February 12, 2024 at home with his family by his side. He was born October 16, 1933 in Battle Creek, the son of Norris and Dorothy (Hoag) Stark, attended Central High School in Battle Creek his freshman and sophomore years, and then Olivet High School his Junior and Senior Years, playing basketball and earning many awards. The biggest award ever, though, was meeting his future wife at a basketball game just after he graduated from high school. Since he had already graduated and she was still in high school, their courtship took several years, often with distance being an obstacle in their relationship, but in the end they married on New Year’s Day 1956.

Instead of attending college, Cy decided to become a farmer. With his dad, he purchased his first farm on 5 Point Highway in 1956 which included an old farmhouse, and while it needed lots of repairs, Cy and Shirley did so together and filled the home with love as they raised their four sons. Cy was a full-time farmer until 1968, when he was hired by D.E. Wertz as a tractor mechanic by day, and continued farming at night. He was great with all types of tractors, but specialized in the more modern models. A mechanic’s mechanic, Cy was never too busy to answer a question on how to fix something or help someone out. He never relied on modern technology, he would trouble shoot simply by listening to the tractor and its symptoms. After 22 years at Wertz, he also worked at J.R. Fueslein Inc. for five years, and Filmore’s Implement for three years.

Cy is survived by his sons, Richard (LeAnn) Stark, Bob (Lisa) Stark, John (Connie) Stark, and Thomas (Linda) Stark; ten grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; and sister, ZoeAnn Baxter. He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley; and one great-grandson.

Friends are encouraged to support Cy’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was Wednesday, February 14, 5-8:00 p.m. Funeral services were Thursday, February 15, 11:00 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Pastor Josh Burt officiating. 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 Cy’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 Elara Caring Hospice or Grace Community Church in Nashville. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Linda Dianne Groleau

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Funeral Services:

Linda Dianne (Cooper) Groleau, a beloved and dedicated wife, mother, and friend, died peacefully with her husband Bill by her side, on Friday, February 9, 2024, in Charlotte. Linda was born July 6, 1943, at the family home in Vermontville, the daughter of Hugh and Almary (Root) Cooper. She grew up in the farmhouse on the corner of Stine and Kinsel for 19 years. As a child, Linda contributed to the family work, particularly in helping to catch the chickens so her brother, Bill, could do the dirty work in preparing them for meals. She attended Millerburg Country School from Kindergarten through 6th grade, where she often helped care for the younger students. She went on to Charlotte High School and graduated in the class of 1961. During her high school years, she stayed busy on the family farm, thus was too busy for sports, but she did excel at baton twirling, even winning awards.

Linda’s first job was in the front office of the pickle factory in Eaton Rapids, MI. Her big career break came on February 5, 1962, when Charlotte High School business teacher John Smith, then the Chairman of the Board of Eaton Federal Savings and Loan, recommended Linda to the bank president, Huey Stall. She went to work at the bank starting for $1.25/hour but worked her way up the ladder to Secretary/Treasurer (a modern day CFO), before her retirement on December 30, 2006 after 44 years of service. It took four and a half employees to fill Linda’s shoes when she left the bank. Many of her coworkers affectionately referred to her as “boss,” “guidance counselor,” “marriage counselor,” but most importantly, “friend.”

Linda met her husband, Bill Groleau when her brother, Bill, set her up on a blind date on April 11th, 1970. They hit if off immediately and were married just six months later on October 24, 1970, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte, where they would remain lifetime members. Bill recounts their marriage as in saying, “Wedded bliss it’s not always been, what it has been is a slice of heaven.”

Linda is survived by her husband, Bill Groleau; son, Michael Groleau; daughter, Kara Groleau; brother, Bill (Martha) Cooper; and many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Dick (Lila) Cooper and Bob (Bev) Cooper; sister, Nancy (Roger) McDonald; and her parents, Hugh and Mary Cooper.

Friends are encouraged to support Linda’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was on Monday, February 12, 2024, with a Rosary held at 7:30 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop officiating. Interment will take place in Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte. 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 Linda’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 St. Mary Catholic School. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Mary Lorna DeBar

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Funeral Services:

Mary Lorna DeBar, a 59-year resident of Grand Ledge, and a beacon of love and faith, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2024, at the age of 86. Mary had experienced a sudden and unexpected medical event the prior Monday giving family and several dear friends a chance to gather around her in prayer and love at the end. Born on Valentine’s Day in 1937, in Charlotte, Michigan, Mary’s life was a testament to the power of kindness and devotion.

Mary’s journey began as a spirited young girl in Charlotte, where she attended Olivet High School, graduating with the class of 1954. Her high school years were filled with joyful memories as a cheerleader and a talented member of the band, where she played the trombone with gusto. Like many living in rural Michigan, she also helped out with various duties on the family farm, and for a time, road her horse to school.

After high school, Mary bought her brother’s car and left home for the big city of Lansing, and enrolled in what was then Lansing Business University (later Davenport University). After obtaining her Associate of Business degree, she embarked on a administrative career with the State of Michigan in the Department of Education where she worked for several years.

During this time, Mary met, and later wed, the love of her life, Raymond L. DeBar. Their love story spanned 65 beautiful years, 63 of those married. Together, in 1962 they welcomed their beloved son, Brian, who, along with his wife Teresa, eventually blessed Mary with two grandchildren, Brianna Marie DeBar and Christopher Raymond DeBar. After Brian was born it was their decision she would be a stay-at-home mom while Raymond worked extended hours as a local car salesman. In 1964, they moved from the East side of Lansing to the Grand Ledge area. This focus on family continued for 15 years and then she returned to life as a business professional working as a legal secretary for Reid, Reid, & McKay. In 1988, she followed Joseph D Reid (II) to Capital Bancorp, where she worked as his executive assistance until her retirement at age 75.

Her work ethic was matched only by her passion for music and her church, and her life was one of deep commitment to community and faith. Mary’s voice graced her church’s choir for over 30 years. She found solace and joy in the pages of Nicholas Sparks books and had a remarkable talent for nurturing her rose bushes, which bloomed beautifully under her guidance and care.

She cherished every moment spent with family and in later years traveled regularly to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in California. Her extended family included her sister Doreen (Dale) Weber, sister-in-law Ruth (Albert) Mix, brother-in-law Rex (Frances) DeBar, and her many nieces and nephews who will miss her dearly. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Loren and Doris (Weeks) Hogle, and her brother, Norman (Lucille) Hogle and his wife. Our faith gives us solace in their long-awaited reunion (Mary lost her mom when she was only 30 – both mom and brother passed as a result of cancer).

A Funeral Service was held Friday, February 9, 2024 1:00 p.m. at the Grand Ledge Baptist Church, 1120 Willow Hwy, Grand Ledge, MI 48837 with a visitation one hour prior to the service; a luncheon will be provided after the service and then interment to follow at Delta Center Cemetery. For those wishing, donations can be made in loving memory of Mary L. DeBar to the American Cancer Society. The family has entrusted arrangements to Mills Funeral Home, Peters & Murray Chapel, Grand Ledge. For online condolences please visit www.millsfuneral.com.

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Cody Scott Pruden

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Funeral Services:

Cody Scott Pruden, age 41, of Grand Ledge, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, January 25, 2024. He was born on November 9, 1982, in Charlotte, the son of Franklin Scott and Carol Ann (Starkweather) Pruden. Cody graduated from Charlotte High School with the Class of 2001. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and faithfully served his country in the Second Persian Gulf War-Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was honorably discharged from the Army after fulfilling his duties. Cody was a gentle giant. He had a heart for others. His sense of humor and smile were larger than life and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He loved playing golf with family and video games with his boys. He was extremely proud of his three boys and loved each one deeply. Cody was a scientist at heart and was currently studying to become an Astrophysicist at Michigan State University. Cody touched many lives throughout his life and his loss will be keenly felt by his family and countless friends.

Cody is survived by his parents, Scott and Carol Pruden; boys, Aidan Ray Pruden, Braylen Dean Pruden, Alec Xander Scott Pruden; soulmate, Sarah Palacios; siblings, Chad (Jennifer) Loveless, Catie (Dustin) Slaght; grandmother, Claire Pruden; and many nieces, two nephews; one great-niece; service dog, Chronic; and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Frank Pruden, Enos and Lorraine Starkweather; and aunt, Carla Jones.
A celebration of Cody’s life was held on Monday, February 5, 2024, at 11 a.m. at the Charlotte Assembly of God with Pastor Shane Bryant officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday, February 4, at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home.

Those desiring may make contributions to the family to be used for his three boys.
To view Cody’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.

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Jerry Hansbarger

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Funeral Services:

Mr. Jerry Hansbarger, age 88, of Vermontville, MI passed away peacefully on January 26, 2024, at his home in Vermontville, MI. He was born in Hastings, MI, on June 12, 1935, to the late Lee and Elsie Hansbarger.
Jerry was raised in the Woodland area, graduating from Woodland High School in 1953. He continued his education at Michigan State where he studied Forestry before beginning a career at Fisher Body in Lansing, MI. Jerry had a passion for operating heavy equipment and after a short time, he left Fisher Body to pursue a career as a heavy equipment operator.

On February 8, 1958, Jerry married Anna Lou (Marcum) Hansbarger in Woodland MI. Jerry and Anna Lou began their lives together in the Vermontville area, then relocating to Colorado in 1982 where Jerry worked as a construction Superintendent. The family returned to Michigan in 1993 and Jerry began his own excavating company, Hansbarger Construction.

Jerry was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing. Jerry loved his children and grandchildren deeply and especially enjoyed attending their many sporting events whenever possible.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Anna Lou; his two sons, Mike (Lorraine) Hansbarger, Doug (Kathy) Hansbarger; eight grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Ken Hansbarger; and his brother, Larry Hansbarger.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made to the following organizations: St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, Maple Valley Memorial Scholarship Foundation Fund, Maple Valley Schools – Maple Valley Athletics for Jerry Hansbarger.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Daniels Funeral Home-Nashville, conveniently located at 9200 East M79 Highway Nashville, MI. For further details please visit our website at www.danielsfuneralhome.net.

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Mary Helen Marietta

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Funeral Services:

Mary Helen Marietta, a beloved resident of Eaton Rapids, MI, peacefully passed away on Monday, February 12, 2024, at the age of 95. Born on March 20, 1928, in Eaton Rapids, MI, Mary was the daughter of a first-generation Irish immigrant, Margaret (Livingston) Puffenberger, and father, Fred Puffenberger. Following the untimely loss of her parents, Mary assumed the responsibility of raising her brother Henry from the tender age of 13 and maintained a close bond with him until his passing in 2019. In 1946, Mary married Richard Marietta, and together they welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives.

Mary dedicated herself to various endeavors throughout her life. She spent many years working at Eaton Stamping and devoted over two decades to the Eaton Rapids Flower Garden. Mary and her husband shared a love for travel, often embarking on adventures in their motorhome to destinations such as Arizona and Mexico. Active in her community, Mary was a familiar face at the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center, where she organized events, sold fundraising tickets, and particularly enjoyed the Saturday evening dances.

Renowned for her strong will and spirited demeanor, Mary remained steadfast and directed until her final days. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and sister, cherishing the moments spent with her family.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Wyckoff; grandchildren, Angela (Dan) Kidder, Matthew Wyckoff; great-grandchildren, Madelyn Kidder, Carson (Maddy) Kidder; as well as special nieces and nephews, Fred Puffenberger, Randy Puffenberger, and Karen Miller. She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Richard Marietta; son-in-law, Don Wyckoff; and brother, Henry Puffenberger.

The family expresses profound gratitude to Dan Guy and Brian Ross, who provided care for Mary’s home over the past decade. Special appreciation is extended to Sharon Corbeil, Jill Skinner, Brenda and Allison Wineman, Diana, June, Kim, and Mary’s neighbors for their unwavering support. They also thank Dr. Marissa Miller, Paula, and other staff for their exceptional care. Samantha from Landmark and the compassionate team at Sparrow Eaton, particularly Dr. Hillman and the nurses in Comfort Care, provided compassion during Mary’s final hours.

A memorial gathering will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids chapel on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Light refreshments will be served. Those wishing to honor Mary’s memory may contribute to the First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids or a charity of their choice. Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.

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Kenneth L. Cleeves

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Funeral Services:

Kenneth L. Cleeves was called to Heaven on Saturday, January 19, 2024, at the age of 96. He was born on the 7th of September 1927 to Frederick D. and Mary V. (Perrin) Cleeves.

Kenneth was a man who was very devoted to God, the Church and his wife of over 65 years, Geraldine P. Cleeves, who so sadly preceded him in death in 2013.

They were High School sweethearts that were married at Eaton Rapids Baptist Church on Nov. 26, 1947. They became active members of that very Church and raised their family together in Eaton Rapids. In their retirement, Kenneth and Geraldine had moved to Mesa, Arizona to enjoy the warmer weather and there became members of Calvary Baptist Church. They lived the rest of their lives together in Mesa.

Kenneth was also preceded in death by his loving eldest son, Thomas A. Cleeves, and is survived by his other two children, Catherine M. (Lon) Cook and Kenneth J. Cleeves. He was also blessed to have four Grandchildren, Kevin M. Cleeves, Lisa A. (Andrew) Thornsberry, Laura E. Cleeves, Jeremy T. Cook, and seven great-grandchildren, Coya, Leia, Hannah, Thomas, Cassandra, Timothy and Sebastian.

Kenneth’s siblings are all but one deceased, Robert E., Frederick O., Jack D., and Dorothy L. (King). He is survived by his sister, Ruth Ann Thuma of Eaton Rapids, and many nieces and nephews.

Kenneth Cleeves was retired from his career as a Die Designer at General Motors, which he proudly did after his service in the United States Navy, where he served as a Seaman 1st Class on the USS Princeton Aircraft Carrier, during WW2.
Kenneth and Geraldine, lovingly known by friends and family as, ‘Ken and Gerry’ shared a strong love of God, through the Son, Jesus Christ. They often expressed this love through music. Ken played Guitar and Gerry the mandolin, at family gatherings and reunions, churches, State and County Fairs, rest homes, hospitals and rescue missions. They often sang about the love and grace of God or vibrantly played country western and folk music. Their singing brought great joy to others, and we will now carry the sound of their voices in our hearts as we remember them.

Kenneth’s Military Memorial Service was held on February 8, 2024 at his place of burial. He was buried with his loving wife Geraldine at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, at Cave Creek.

A regular Service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church: 3810 E. University Dr., Mesa Arizona 85205. The date and time will be announced at a later time. To share memories or leave online condolences please visit www.SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.

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