Winifred Jean Bearup
Winifred Jean Bearup (nee Crooks) passed away on January 27, 2023 in Charlotte. She was born August 28, 1920 in Allison, Colorado and grew up in Telluride and during the Depression, in Durango, the daughter of native Coloradan Edna Biggs Crooks and Frederick Crooks, a Scottish immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age 17 in search of foundry work with the mines.
Jean graduated from Durango High School in 1938 and worked at a pharmacy for the following year to save money for nursing school. She entered the Denver Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1939 and graduated as a registered nurse in 1942, signing up for military service the month before graduation. While waiting for the Army’s orders as to when and where to report, she worked as a floor nurse at Durango Mercy Hospital for six months before reporting for duty in January 1943.
She was commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant at Fort Carson, Colorado where she immediately was assigned to the base hospital caring for soldiers injured during maneuvers. She served in this capacity for eight months before signing up for overseas duty and was transferred to Fort Jackson, South Carolina in September 1943. Here, too, she was assigned to the base hospital caring for injured and ill soldiers. During this time, her overseas unit formed, the 165th General Hospital. She and her unit, composed of 30 doctors, 50 nurses and 220 enlisted men, departed New York Harbor aboard the British troopship HMS Scythia in early September for a twelve-day crossing to Cherbourg, France which had been liberated by Allied forces only six weeks earlier. During her Atlantic Crossing, German submarines were twice detected, causing evasive action.
Jean’s unit was the first to arrive directly in France, all previous Army units having first arrived in the British Isles. The 165th promptly erected a tent hospital 25 miles south of Cherbourg. Within a week, Jean’s hospital was receiving heavy casualties from Operation Market Garden, the battles for Brest and Aachen, the sieges of German-held areas in Brittany and, ultimately, the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. Jean was assigned as the sole nurse for a 40-cot post-operative tent ward, saying she never once had an empty bed for her first six months with the 165th. The heaviest single event casualties arriving at her hospital were the survivors of the sinking of the SS Leopoldville troopship in the English Channel on Christmas Eve 1944 which resulted in over eight hundred lives lost. Jean worked two days without rest caring for many of the one thousand survivors. Ironically, her future husband, one of the uninjured survivors of the torpedo attack on the convoy, gathered the soldiers under his command to re-group on a hillside only a few miles from her tent hospital.
With the war in the European Theater now beyond the German border, Jean’s unit was moved eastward to Verdun in March 1945, at which time she was promoted to First Lieutenant. When V-E Day was declared in early May, the 165th was decommissioned and Jean boarded a troop train for Marseilles for re-staging and re-training as part of a new hospital unit being formed to go to the Pacific Theater. It was there that she met Captain Stuart Bearup and, after a four-month courtship, they were married on October 16, 1945 in Fontvielle, France by the 66th Division Chaplain. The couple had a five-day honeymoon on the French Riviera. The Army sent Stuart back to the States while Jean was reassigned to the 81st General Hospital back in Verdun. While there, the Army decided to return Jean back to the States as well in late December 1945.
The newlyweds first made their home in Lansing while Stuart completed his degree at MSU and then moved to Charlotte where he became a partner in the Charlotte Insurance Agency. After the war, Jean brought three children into the world and by the mid 1950’s she was hired as a floor nurse at Hayes Green Beach Hospital where she served for 22 years before being appointed Director of Nursing, a post in which she served eight years before retiring. Jean and her husband travelled extensively both before and after their retirements, including returning to the French chateau where they were married thirty years earlier. They went to Europe several times as well as Africa, took cruises in the Caribbean and visited several points around the United States, including many return trips to her beloved Colorado. Jean was also an active partner in her husband’s numerous trips and conferences as part of Rotary International. She was for many years active in the General Federation of Women’s Club-Charlotte, the church choir of the Lawrence Avenue Methodist Church and in her nineties spent a day each week on the campus of Michigan State University mentoring International graduate students at Friendship House MSU. Her most prized activities throughout her life were as Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. Throughout her long life, she was quietly proud of her service to her country during World War II.
Even at 102, Jean was able to live in her own home in Charlotte until October when she was admitted to the Eaton County Health & Rehabilitation Services facility. Although declining and ill, during her four months there she was a delight to the caregivers and made a special point to value and thank each one individually every day.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband of sixty years, Stuart; her parents, Frederick and Edna; and her brothers, Russell and William. She is survived by her children, Pat (Gary) Webber (St. Cloud, Minnesota); George (Pat) Bearup (Traverse City); and Richard (Judy) Bearup (Charlotte); as well as her precious grandchildren Stuart, Grant, Brooke, Jay, Kate, Jessica and Ted. She had eight great grandchildren, Owen, Archer, Willa, Sutton, Winifred, Benjamin, Abbigayle and Zackery.
She is also survived by Lawrence & Carol Fields (Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina) who were like a son and daughter to her; and Charles Schaefer (Charlotte) who was also like a son; and by her beloved nieces, Colette Ferran (Los Angeles) and Carol Bearup (Surprise, Arizona); and nephew, Duncan Crooks (Canton, Ohio).
A memorial service celebrating Jean’s life will be held Thursday, June 29 at 2:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery. For those wishing to share a memory or words of tribute to Jean, they can do so on the website at www.PrayFuneral.com. For those wishing to consider, donations in Jean’s memory may be made to Friendship House MSU, Maple Hill Cemetery, Lawrence Avenue Methodist Church or Sparrow Eaton Hospital.
Larry Douglas Williams
Larry Douglas Williams, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, bid us farewell on June 15, 2023. With heavy hearts, we remember a man whose laughter echoed through every room and whose jokes brought joy to our lives. Larry’s light-hearted spirit and knack for puns will forever be etched in our memories.
Larry was born February 16, 1953 to Lee Robert and Matilda (Schultz) Williams. He was a man with a heart of gold. If you needed a friend, he would drop everything to lend a helping hand. His selflessness and genuine care for others were qualities that made him truly special. Whether it was a shoulder to lean on or a joke to brighten your day, Larry was always there when you needed him most.
The great outdoors held a special place in Larry’s heart. Even in the winter, he would bundle up and find an adventure waiting outside. Yard games were his passion, and he had a knack for croquet, Bocce Ball, and horseshoes. Fishing and golf were also among his favorite pastimes, as he found solace in the tranquility of nature.
Larry had a love for fireworks that would light up the night sky. To him, they were the perfect way to cap off any evening, adding a touch of magic and wonder to every celebration. And when it came to college football, Larry’s unwavering loyalty to the University of Michigan was legendary. The colors maize and blue ran through his veins, and his enthusiasm for the game was unmatched.
Throughout his working years, Larry dedicated his talents to General Motors. Starting at Fisher Body and retiring from GM’s Delta Plant, he made lasting contributions and built lifelong friendships along the way. But above all his accomplishments, Larry was most proud of his family. His world revolved around his loving wife, children, and grandkids. They were the heart and soul of his existence, and he cherished every moment spent with them.
Larry Douglas Williams leaves behind a legacy of laughter, love, and kindness. While his absence brings a profound sense of loss, let us remember the joy he brought into our lives. May his laughter continue to echo in our hearts, and may his spirit guide us to find joy in the simple pleasures of life.
Larry is survived by his wife, Bridget Williams; sons, Dave Williams, and Robert Williams; daughter, Kelly (James) Thornton; grandchildren, Cydney Tulk, Taylor Williams, Jlynn Williams, Abigail Williams, Charles Thornton, Douglas Thornton, Allison Thornton; siblings, Linda Tolliver, Keith Williams, Patti Anderson, and Walter Williams; brothers-in-law, Richard Christian, Clifford (Rhonda) Christian, Daniel Christian; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister-in-law, Teri Christian.
In honor of Larry, a Life Celebration will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, remembering the happiness he shared and the love he bestowed upon us. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service, from 12-2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. It would be a pleasure if guests choose to dress in University of Michigan colors. As we bid him farewell, let us do so with a smile, knowing that his light-hearted presence will forever be with us. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Larry on his tribute page at www.PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, MI.
Rest in peace, dear Larry, and thank you for the laughter.
Mary Jane Milbourne
Mary Jane Milbourn, age 64 from Charlotte, passed away on June 16, 2023. Arrangements are being handled by Pray Funeral Home.Read More
Pamela Ranee Paton Andrews
Pamela “Pam” Ranee Paton Andrews, 70, of Charlotte, Michigan went to be with the Lord on June 12, 2023, after a short battle with illness. She was born September 11, 1952, to Robert and Barbara (Davis) Paton who have preceded her in death. Pam attended and graduated from Olivet High School in 1970. She was a hard-working woman with a strong will. Pam was a committed employee at Mr. D’s restaurant in Olivet, The Eaton Theatre, as well as Eaton County Health and Rehabilitation, where she worked until her retirement in 2015. She loved to collect angels, lighthouses, and carousels; she was always excited when she was able to add to her collections. Pam would frequent garage sales, always on the hunt for a new treasure. If there was a NASCAR race on TV you could always count on Pam watching it. Pam enjoyed a good word search and going on long drives. She was a loving, kind person who always put her family first. Pam had a giving heart; she would go out of her way to help others. Above all else she cherished spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Michael Vaughn Paton. Those left to cherish her memory include her husband of 52 ½ years, Donald E. Andrews; children: Donald “Buck” E. (Katie) Andrews, Stacey A. (Jay) Andrews, Dawn M. (Shane) Bartlett, Shawn (Stephanie) M. Andrews; nine grandchildren: Owen, Anastasia, Ashlyn, AJ, Makkena, Cameron, Aubrie, Briley, Tristen; great-grandchild, Sa’Veregin; siblings, Diane Swift, Sheila Siefert; grand-nephew, Caiden Bailey; special friends: Kevin and Junita Thorton, Randy and Debbie Kelley, David and Dora Howe, Bob and Jackie King, Bob and Pam Curtis, Don and Stacey Lieby, Brian and Melissa Haas, Addriett Balgoyen, and Angel Lepere.
A celebration of Pam’s life will be held this summer on a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to the Arthritis Foundation. Arrangements entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home, 109 N. Church St./P.O. Box 503 Leslie, Michigan 49251. 517-878-6600.
Barbara J. Loveless
Barbara J. Loveless, age 88, of Olivet, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 16, 2023. She was born February 9, 1935, in Charlotte, the daughter of Clayton and Goldie (Baker) Wyble. Barb was an only child and was much loved by her parents. She married the love of her life, Ward E. Loveless, in 1950. They celebrated 65 years of marriage until Ward passed away in 2015. Barb was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She worked side by side with Ward on the farm for many years. She also worked as a substitute rural mail carrier in Olivet and at the Olivet Pharmacy. Barb also served on the local election board until just three years ago and was active at the Brookfield United Methodist Church. In later years her and Ward enjoyed traveling throughout the country in their motorhome. She also loved working in her flower and vegetable gardens. Barb was diligent about keeping a daily journal of the happening of her and her families lives and did so for over 70 years, never missing a single day!
Barb is survived by her children: Larry (Julie) Loveless of Lansing; Linda Loveless of Charlotte, Lori Sedlar of Holt, Lyle Loveless of Eaton Rapids; grandchildren: Terry (Sally) Sedlar of Olivet, Chad (Jennifer) Loveless of Olivet, Jason Becker of Indiana, Brad Hoeve of Holland, Marcus Loveless of Wixom, Kassandra Loveless of Manistique; great-grandchildren: Damien Loveless, Mycaela (Rylan) Ducheney, and Tori Sedlar.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Ward.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 12 p.m. at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home. The family received friends on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. A private burial took place at Bosworth Cemetery.
Those desiring may make contributions in Barb’s memory to Hospice of Lansing, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or the charity of their choice.
To view Barb’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.
Nancy Wotkyns of Eaton Rapids, passed away on January 20, 2023, at the age of 80. She was born on October 13, 1942, in Hastings, MI, daughter of David and Catherine (Wensloff) Barry. She was preceded in death by her parents and John Priesman, her friend of 38 years. She is survived by her sisters, Marie and Janis Barry and brother, David Barry.
Nancy enjoyed teaching and taught for a while at the Naval Base in Alaska. The vast majority of her teaching was in Eaton Rapids. Nancy had a big heart, she loved animals and children. She donated to numerous groups that helped animals and children over the years. Many Eaton Rapids families were recipients of her generosity. For 20 years she was the anonymous Christmas Angel, providing Christmas Stockings and a bag of gifts for many Eaton Rapids students and their siblings. She purchased and wrapped gifts for over 100 children yearly at her own expense hoping to make Christmas better for those kids and their families.
Traveling with friends was also something Nancy loved. She made numerous trips to Suriname and other places with the Oceanic Society tagging turtles, collecting data, and helping with other projects. Get Nancy talking about turtles, and she could talk for hours!
Nancy was a tough woman who fought through many illnesses and conditions, surprising doctors by coming back strong. When diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer six years ago she once again showed us how tough she was. Working closely with Dr. Srkalovic and the staff at Herbert Herman Cancer Center, helped her to be able to enjoy many more years. Nancy had a rough time her last few months, as she was in and out of the hospital. In the end, she was ready to join her parents, John, and her beloved dogs.
A Celebration of Life Open House will be held on July 1, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Barry’s Resort, 2875 S. Charlton Park Road, Hastings, MI. The family would love to have her friends join them and write a note or memory on her board and enjoy some food as they celebrate Nancy. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.
Doris Marie Goddard
Doris Marie (Getter) Goddard of Eaton Rapids, passed away June 14, 2023, at the age of 91. Doris was born in Eaton Rapids, MI on May 19, 1932, the daughter of Harold Getter and Bertha (Don) Phester. Doris was a stay-at-home wife who enjoyed her daily shows, gardening, shopping and going to garage sales with her daughter.
Doris is survived by her daughters, Janet Wallace and Kay (Roger) Parsons; grandchildren, Tammy (Tim) Wallace, Lyle Wallace, Candy Zenker, Kim (Robin) Ghrimes, Lisa (Bill) Adleman and Tara Parsons. She had 12 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Riverus; son, Walter James; and great-grandchild, Ashlee.
Private memorial services have already taken place. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the donor’s choice of charity in loving memory of Doris Marie Goddard. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.
Gary Wayne Puryear
Gary Wayne Puryear died peacefully on June 8, 2023 in hospice care at Emerson Hospital. He was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 5, 1944. He spent much of his childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan and on the farm with his grandparents near Manistee, Michigan. Gary graduated from Michigan State University in 1966 with a BA in Landscape Architecture, lit up the MSU field playing drums in the marching band, and met the love of his life Marcia. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1967 and was then stationed in Germany. Marcia joined him there until the two returned home and were married in 1970. After earning his Master’s Degree as well, Gary became an accomplished landscape architect and contributed to projects around New England, including the Franklin Park Zoo. Throughout much of his career he was a civilian with the Army Corps of Engineers and traveled New England strengthening environmental safety on army bases and training soldiers, until he retired in 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He and Marcia raised their family in Concord, MA, and loved to take family trips, skiing out west or traveling internationally. Gary always connected with the sights and smells of the coast, spending summers in Rockport in the post and beam seaside house that he built, and over the last 15 years relaxing in the quiet beauty of Grey Gables in Bourne, MA. From participating in Revolutionary War reenactments with the Concord Minutemen (and serving as Captain), to being a Boy Scout troop leader, to placing flags at the National Cemetery, he was an active member of his community who loved time well spent in everyday celebration with family and friends. He adored his grandchildren and loved to teach them skills in the kitchen while making good food. Gary loved a good story and a good laugh, drew joy from listening to Jimmy Buffet and cooking up lobster for family, and livened up each space he entered.
He is survived by his wife, Marcia Puryear; daughter, Kristen Puryear (Sean Donohue); son, Corey Puryear (Wendy); grandchildren, Maeve, Ellia, Morgan, and Carson; sister, Penelope VanDam (David); brother, Jeffrey Puryear (Myriam Waiser); and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A visitation was held at Concord Funeral Home (74 Belknap St., Concord) on Friday, June 16 from 2-5 p.m. A wake has also been organized by Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home (40 MacArthur Blvd., Bourne) on Sunday, June 18 from 2-3 p.m. with a service from 3-4 p.m., to be followed by a reception at the Puryear’s house in Bourne. Burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, June 19 at Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, Ma.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Gary’s name to the Bourne VFW at 180 Shore Rd., Bourne, MA 02532. For directions and online condolences please visit www.nickersonbournefuneralhome.com.
Dee Terry DePue
Dee Terry DePue, a man who always wanted it done his way, died on Thursday, May 25, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Terry, 85, was born on January 31, 1938, in Charlotte, the son of Gerald and Helen (Larke) DePue. Upon graduating from high school, Terry worked for a few different companies before settling in at Oldsmobile where he worked on the Line as a Painter until his retirement. On September 15, 1976, Terry married Paulette Wildt and started their legacy together. In his younger years Terry loved to help his father out on the farm. Farming was a big passion for Terry. Most people in the Charlotte, Nashville, and Vermontville area know that Terry was a big fan of the Stanton Auctions and tried not to miss any. Terry was a collector of anything that could be collected, and his pride and joy was his baseball collection. You could also find Terry out working in his vegetable gardens or mowing his lawn, he loved being outside. Terry had a love for animals, he was always willing to help any stray cats that got dropped off on the property. His biggest enjoyment in life was spending time with his wonderful family that he loved.
Terry is survived by his wife of 46 years, Paulette; children, Terry (Larry) Morrison, Darla (Mike) Limmer, Robin (Robert) Osenbaugh, Billie Joe (Richie) Powers, and Robert (Sandra) Wehr; 17 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sister, Linda (Phil) Austin; lifelong friend, Larry Gearhart. He was predeceased by his parents; and sons, John DePue and Steven Wehr.
Friends are encouraged to support Terry’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. A Celebration of Life for Terry will take place later this summer at the family farm. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to any local humane society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.
Betty Lou Wells
Betty Lou Wells, born December 30, 1953, died May 29, 2023. According to her wishes, cremation has taken place and no services are planned.Read More