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Keith Graham Harrison

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Keith Graham Harrison, a resident of Holt, Michigan, passed away on Thursday, January 12, 2023 in Holt, Michigan. He was born at Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac, Michigan on January 10, 1950. Keith was a 1968-graduate of Cassopolis (Michigan) High School. He held a 1972 Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Michigan State University and a 1974 Master of Arts degree in Ecology from Western Michigan University. He retired from the State of Michigan in February 2005 after serving for 25 years. In addition to his numerous state Civil Service environmental executive positions culminating as Director of the Office of Special Environmental Projects within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, he also held two gubernatorial appointed positions by then Michigan Governor John Engler (Executive Director of the Michigan Environmental Science Board and Acting Director of the state’s Office of Great Lakes). In addition to state service, he also served as a Special Federal Employee, where he participated in several National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board committees as an invited Ecology Expert. His professional research and work resulted in more than 100 publications addressing a wide range of environmental and natural history issues. Upon his retirement, Mr. Harrison’s public service career was acknowledged with tributes from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan State Senate, then Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the United States House of Representatives, and then President and First Lady of the United States, George and Laura Bush.
Keith belonged to several historical, patriotic, and civic organizations, including the 1865-created Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, in which he served as the National Commander-in-Chief from 2009 to 2011, the 1881-created Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), in which he served as the National Commander-in-Chief in 1994/1995, and Commanding Officer of the SUVCW’s Sons of Veterans Reserve in 1996/97. He also belonged to the Michigan Society of Mayflower Descendants; Society of Colonial Wars; Sons of the Revolution; Society of the War of 1812; Morgan’s Men Association Inc.; Military Order of the World Wars; and Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He was a Mason (Lodge #252 of Okemos, Michigan and Civil War Research Lodge #1865 of Highland Springs, Virginia) and a Rotarian (Rotary Club of Eaton Rapids). He also was a member of the Michigan Civil War re-enactment organization, 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company B, Inc., and the midwestern reenactment organization, Cumberland Guard.
Keith was a Civil War reenactor for 33 years and participated in over 550 reenactments and living histories throughout the United States. He traces his ancestry back to 47 Union Civil War soldiers, 42 of whom served in Michigan regiments and five from non-Michigan regiments. He also had two ancestors who served with the Confederacy. Following the end of the Civil War, several of his Union veteran ancestors joined local Michigan Posts of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Keith served as the Board President of Michigan’s Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall and Museum (Eaton Rapids, Michigan) since its inception in 2013, Chair of the Michigan Civil War History Partners, and Treasurer of the Friends of Michigan History. He published four books, one on the Natural History of Cass County, Michigan in 1979), two family genealogies (Ancestry of Nathan Lewis Harrison in 1989 and Ancestry of Nathan Lewis Harrison – Revisited 19 years Later in 2008), and his most recent book (2020) on Cass County, Michigan in the Civil War and the Grand Army of the Republic.
Keith is predeceased by his father, John Barnard (1915 – 1986), mother, Maxine Pearl (Lewis) (1920 – 2005) [Lyon, Harrison] McCormick, stepfather, Frank McCormick (1911 – 1986), first wife, Linda Diane (Dodson) Harrison (1950 – 2008), and brother, Philip Barnard Harrison (1947 – 2019). He is survived by his wonderful wife, Jean Ann Harrison of Holt, Michigan, his son and daughter-in-law, Nathan Lewis and Sarah Harrison of Grand Blanc, Michigan, brother and sister-in-law, David Dale and Stacie Lyon of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, sister-in-law, Paula Harrison of Niles, Michigan, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the United States and in England.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids chapel with burial and a graveside service taking place later that day at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Cassopolis, MI. The family received friends at the funeral home on Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the nonprofit Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum (224 South Main, Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827) and/or the nonprofit Capital Area Human Society (7095 W. Grand River Ave, Lansing, Michigan 48906).

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Barbara Haigh

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Barbara Louse (Pratt) Haigh, AKA Grandma Haigh, 90, of Charlotte died on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. She was born June 17, 1932, in Lansing, Michigan, to Romine E. and Lucille M. (Martin) Pratt. Barbara graduated from Charlotte High School in the class of 1950. She married her sweetheart, Stanley Haigh, on August 26, 1950, at the West Benton Methodist Church. Becoming a farmer’s wife and raising five children wasn’t always easy, but she loved that job. Barbara retired from the Eaton County Medical Care Facility, serving as a nurse’s aide, housekeeper and finally laundry. Once she retired, she could be found helping students in the Potterville Elementary School with reading. Her title became “Grandma Haigh” to not only her grandchildren, but their friends and most everyone who knew her. After losing her husband of 56 years, she became “Grandma” again to her friends, and crew at Big Boy (her favorite restaurant). She was a Donald Duck fan, enjoyed playing BINGO at the senior center, watching soap operas, crocheting her “fancy work,” sewing, cooking and baking, and watching hummingbirds.
Barbara is survived by her five children, Marilyn (Clark) Hulliberger of Dimondale, Carolyn (Doug) Armstead of Grand Ledge, Evelyn (Don) Kunst of Fowler, Ron (Linda) Haigh of Bellevue and Jackie (Jerry) Mire of Potterville; grandchildren, Dan (Stacey), George (Bullet), Kenny (Kelly), Jossie, Dawn, Donna, Douglas Jr., Jennifer, Paul (Hiroko), Crystal (Dale), Laura, Jodi (Rusty), Jessica (Marshall), Jamie; 21 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren with one on the way; siblings, Virgil Pratt and Nancy Mellor; sisters and brothers-in-law, Elaine Pratt, Gerald Royston, Joan Pratt. She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Stanley; brothers, Jack, Ken, and Dale Pratt; sister, Joan Royston; son-in-law, Dan Bliesener Sr.; and great great-grandson, Adaein.
Friends are encouraged to support Barbara’s family by sharing memories on her Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Funeral services were January 11, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Pastor Randy Royston officiating. The funeral was webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to www.prayfuneral.com, click on Barbara’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 Salvation Army. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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James M. Love, Sr.

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James M Love, Sr., 79 of Pine Island, Florida went home to be with the Lord on December 11, 2022.  Jim was born on February 24, 1943. He was raised on his parents’ dairy and crop farm in Windsor Township, Eaton County, MI. He was a 1961 graduate of Charlotte High School. He married Mariana M. Huntoon the next year; together they welcomed three children.  Jim was a Master Electrician and a member of the IBEW #665 for 55 years. He founded and ran an Electrical Contracting business, “LoveCo Electric” in Lansing Michigan. Jim was a 32nd degree Past Master of Grand Ledge Lodge #179, a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Saladin Temple of Grand Rapids, Michigan, member of the VFW Post #4353 and the American Legion Post #136.  He served as 13th District Commander, Southwest Area Commander and Florida State Detachment Commander for The Sons of the American Legion. In all his posts, Jim served with selfless honor and unwavering integrity.
Jim always had a love for water and boats; one of his joys was being the captain of his yacht, “Lady Love” on Lake Michigan. His children have lots of boat stories! Jim moved to Florida for warmth and water; he settled on Pine Island, his retirement paradise. It was there that fell in love with his wife, Sylvie (Myers) Love.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence B. and Louise May (Parrish) Love.  He is survived by his wife, Sylvie; his beloved dog Sam; his children: Lisa (Kevin) Jackson, Michael (Kate) Love, Loren (Kelley) Love; his grandchildren: Lindsay (Ben) Chargot, Janna (Dan) McKinney, Lee (Dakota) Jackson, Jeffrey (Kylie) Jackson, Jacob (Emily) Love, Blaine (Zoe) Love and Ethan Love. He was a Great Grandpa to 11 great grandchildren.
A private burial has taken place in Eaton County, Michigan.   A life service for family and friends will be held in the Spring of this year.  In lieu of flowers, please donate in Jim’s honor to the Sons of the American Legion Post #136, 4106 Stringfellow Road, St. James City, FL 33956 or Eaton Clothing & Furniture Center’s “Back to School Program,” 135 S. Washington St., Charlotte, MI 48813.

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Mervell Stickles

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Mervell “Merv” Albert Stickles, a caring and loving, father, grandfather, and brother died on Saturday, January 7, 2023. Mervell, 74, of Charlotte, was born November 29, 1948, in Eaton County. Upon graduating from Charlotte High School Merv joined the Army where he proudly served his country in Vietnam. On November 28, 1992, he married Geraldine “Geri” Leonhardt. Merv worked as a builder for Halsey Construction, and later at Spartan Motors where he would retire. Many will remember him for being a man who would help anyone in need. His hobbies included bowling, trips to the casino, playing trivia, and being a jokester. Above all the most important thing to Merv was his family.
Merv is survived by his children, Scott (Tess) Hale, and Robin Hyde; grandchildren, Gerica (Matt) Piggott, Tasha (Steven) Marietta, LaTrisha (Adam) Voorhees, Daysha (Anthony) Eaton, and Natie-Lia (Nathan) Albitz; 11 great-grandchildren; brothers, Bill (Susan) Stickles; Royal (Vickie) Stickles, David Stickles, Robert Stickles, and George (Tami) Stickles. He was predeceased by his wife, Geri; sister, Zelma Loraine McCrimmon; his parents; sister-in-law, Anne Stickles; and brother-in-law, Jim McCrimmon.
Friends are encouraged to support Merv’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation is Friday, January 13, 2023, from 6-8:00 p.m. at Pray Funeral Home. Funeral services are Saturday, January 14, 2023, 11:00 a.m. at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Pastor Bill Stickles 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 Merv’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 Charlotte VFW Post 2406 or Eaton Community Palliative Care. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Janice Marlene Boardman

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Janice Marlene Boardman, age 84, of Charlotte, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. She was born November 29, 1938, in Lansing the daughter of Donald and Barbara (White) Gibson. Janice graduated from Eaton Rapids High School in 1956. On November 8, 1958, she married Jarrad “Skip” Boardman at the Grovenburg United Methodist Church. Family meant everything to Janice and she cherished each and every one of them in a special way. She adored her grandchildren and always kept up to date on all of their happenings. Janice was an ardent supporter of 4H. She served on the Eaton County Fair Board and was the Horse Superintendent at the fair for many years. Janice also volunteered at the Eaton Rapids United Methodist Church where she helped with their grief support program. In her spare-time she enjoyed reading, camping in her younger years, and her many dogs she had throughout her life. Even in her 80’s Janice loved technology and was always up to date on the latest Apple products and how to operate them. She retired after many years of service from the Lansing State Journal.
Janice is survived by her children, Lori Boardman of Charlotte, Lee Boardman of Charlotte, Jenifer (Brian) Epkey of Bellevue; grandchildren, Ashton Epkey, Jarrad Epkey, and Riley Epkey all of Bellevue; sister, Cheryl (Smitty) Smith of Grand Haven; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Skip Boardman in 1989; brother, Les Lee Gibson; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Damon and Pauline Boardman; and brother-in-law, Wilson Portt.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 12 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop celebrating. The family will receive friends on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at church on Saturday. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions in Janice’s memory to the family.
To view Janice’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.

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Lawrence Edward Cole

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Lawrence Edward Cole, a hard-working provider for his family, died on December 18, 2022.  Larry, 90, of Dimondale was born May 15, 1932, in Detroit to Edward and Dora (LeBlanc) Cole.  Larry grew up in Detroit, near the Tiger Stadium/Briggs Field, where as a child he would always watch the Tigers play. Larry had a love of cars.  He bought and fixed-up numerous autos resulting in a constant parade of them passing through the family’s driveway.  Larry had to grow up fast as a teenager, becoming the caretaker of his family. Larry was proud to serve his country in the US Army as a military police officer. Career wise, he was a self-employed carpenter until 1964 during which he built their first home in Holt.  After leaving the construction business he became a tool and die shipping and receiving manager at Oloffson Corp. retiring as a foreman.
Despite being a homebody, Larry was always present at family gatherings. He was an avid card player, and conversations often went on for hours before going home. One time, Larry’s family even convinced him to take a motorhome trip out west to the Rose Bowl. At home, Larry was always friendly and ready to feed anyone who stopped by for a visit. In his spare time, Larry could be found working on house projects to improve their home. You always knew you could find Larry on Sundays at 3 o’clock enjoying dinner with his family. Above all he was absolutely dedicated to his wife Shirley, of 63 years, standing by her and taking care of her as she battled Alzheimer’s. Larry was a Tiger baseball and Detroit Lions football fan. In fact, his last smile came after the Lion’s win on Sunday shortly before he died.
Larry is survived by his sons, Mike (Diane) and Keith Cole, and daughter Karen Berry; grandchildren, Ben (Ashleigh) and Brian (Dayna) Berry; great grandchildren, Cole and Camryn Berry; and sister, Nancy Walker. He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley; son-in-law, Rick Berry; and brother, Jimmy Ronowski.
Friends are encouraged to support Larry’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. A Life Celebration service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, January 24 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. The family will receive visitors from Noon to 1 p.m. prior to the service. Following the services, the family will adjourn to the Forty Et Eight Chateau, 2949 S. Waverly Hwy., Lansing, MI. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Cherish Cook

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Cherish Lynn (Smith) Cook, age 53, of Charlotte passed away on Monday, January 9, 2023, with her family by her side. She was born March 5, 1969, in Charlotte where she spent most of her life. Cheri graduated from Charlotte High School in 1987. On May 21, 1988, she married Bradley Cook of Charlotte, and together they raised two great children, Andrew and Jennifer.
Cheri enjoyed road trips to the lakeshores, rock hunting, and color tours in the fall. For her it was all about being with family no matter what they did. She treated the many kids in her life as though they were her own, including relatives and friends of her children. Whether they needed a hug or a kick in the butt, she always treated them like family.
Cheri is survived by her loving husband of 34 years, Bradley Cook; son Andrew Cook, daughter Jennifer (Tyler Smith) Cook; mother-in-law, Aleene Cook; sisters by heart, Suzalyn Nelson and Darlene Cowling; as well as many brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Cheri was preceded in death by her mother and stepfather, Wanita and Arthur Clark; grandmother, Hazel Miller; and brother, Jim Griffith.
A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home for family and friends to visit and share stories.
To view Cherish’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.

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Richard Wesley Krebs

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The world lost a light when Richard “Dick” Wesley Krebs took the last step of his earthly journey on January 6, 2023 at the age of 98. Richard was born the first of four sons to Cecil and Anna (Nelson) Krebs on June 8, 1924. Growing up on the family farm near Woodbury, Michigan, he began his farming career plowing behind a team of horses, the orneriest he would remind listeners, as his younger brothers always got the tamer pair. This childhood experience likely explains his attachment to tractors. He used many but swore by Allis Chalmers. These years were formative for Richard. For the remainder of his life, he could recite the name and use of about every piece of old farming equipment and usually had a story to go along with it.
Richard answered his country’s call during WWII. He served in the Army in the Philippines. After his honorable discharge, Richard returned home and attended Cleveland Bible College. It was there that he met Mary Helen Winn. Richard disregarded advice to reconsider his attachment to Mary Helen due to her weak heart. It was the best gamble that a non-gambling man ever made. They were wed on June 3, 1949, raised five children together, and enjoyed 61 joyful years of life together.
Richard and Mary Helen moved their family to Charlotte, Michigan in 1964 to run the Eaton County Farm until its closure. Thereafter, Richard took up a career in real estate until his retirement. For the rest of his life, drives around the county with Richard were accompanied by observations of “Sold that house, that one too—twice!”. He also served as a volunteer fireman for Charlotte for eleven years. He was a faithful man of God and was always active in his local church.
Mary Helen passed away after a lengthy illness in 2010. Two years later, Richard married Shirley (Elkins) Betts of Eaton Rapids. They enjoyed time with family, friends and neighbors, traveling, especially their trips to Shipshewana, and just being together.
All who crossed paths with Richard could not help but be struck by his eternally sunny disposition and infectious laugh. He was truly a man who had never met a stranger. Friends and family will remember his mischievous smile that often preceded a practical joke or friendly teasing. We also remember him as a model of devotion, as daily, he faithfully attended to Mary Helen at the Eaton County Medical Care Facility. There, he was always ready to offer a helping hand and friendly ear to the facility’s other residents. Even in Richard’s last days, after becoming the patient himself, he brought a smile to those he worked with and to those who worked with him.
Richard is survived by his wife, Shirley Betts-Krebs, and four of his children with Mary Helen: Barbara (Ted) Scofield of Livingston, Montana; Nancy (Dan) Pick of Cedar City, Utah; Amy (Garth) Banks of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Becky (Frank) Balluff of Charlotte, Michigan. He was a cherished Grandfather to fourteen grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He also greatly enjoyed his relationships with Shirley’s three children, Bob, Betsee, and Mark and their extended families.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Ross, Irving, and Gaylord, his wife Mary Helen, son, Ron and daughter-in-law, Darlene, and grandson, Rich Krebs.
Godspeed, Richard. You are so loved and so missed.
A celebration of life service is planned for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard’s memory can be made to Eaton County Healing and Rehabilitation Services in Charlotte, or the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department.
To view Richard’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com
The family is in the care of Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home in Charlotte, Michigan.

 

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Ray Lawrence

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Ray Lawrence of Charlotte, Michigan, departed his life on earth on January 10, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones. His life on earth began November 18, 1934, in Miami, Florida. Ray and his three siblings were born to parents who moved frequently, living in thirteen different cities during his childhood. He attended college in Arkansas and dedicated his life to the ministry. His commitment to youth developed in college and continued as he moved west to Arizona with his former wife, Betty. Ray was instrumental in establishing the Little League program in Kingman, Arizona before moving to Charlotte, Michigan. Many of you will remember Ray’s involvement in youth sports having seen him referee basketball, baseball, and football games in mid-Michigan. Ray took great joy in working and maintaining a small farm. You probably saw Ray work the garden stand on M-50 over the years. Ray loved this farm and the interaction it brought with the people in the Charlotte community. He loved his life to the fullest and brought much joy to his children and family.
Ray is survived by his wife, Martha (Sederlund); his seven children, Susan (Jay) Chan of Kingman, AZ, Sharon Lawrence of Loveland, CO, Stephen (Danna) Lawrence of Phoenix, AZ, Scott Lawrence of Kingman, AZ, Sheila (Greg) Morley of Spokane, WA, Liz (Peter) Simons of Gilbert, AZ, and Brian (Sunita) Rowe of Gilbert, AZ. Ray was blessed with nineteen grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren who were a big part of his life.
Ray was preceded in death by his three siblings, one sister- in-law, and one brother-in-law.
Special thanks to Sparrow Medical and Hospice for their amazing care and compassion over the years, and many thanks to the friends and neighbors who helped support us over the years.
A memorial service will be in Ray’s honor will be held at a later date.
To view Ray’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com.
The family is being served by the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home.

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Janice May Milbourn

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Janice May (Horton) Milbourn of Eaton Rapids, passed away January 5, 2023, at the age of 78. Jan was born in Flint, MI, May 12, 1944, the daughter of Donald and Rebecca (Mead) Horton. She retired from the Holt School District as an administrator in charge of attendance and discipline, retiring her hat in 2000 after 30 years. Jan attended the First United Methodist Church and was a member of the United Methodist Women. She loved crafting, her flower garden, golfing, reading and absolutely loved being with her entire family. Jan was a very kind and giving lady that treated people, especially her family with great love and respect. She will be sorely missed by so many.
Jan is survived by her daughters, Michelle (Troy) Tucker of Holt, Kimberly (Monte) Gleason of AL, Kelly (Todd Bradley) Ballor of Eaton Rapids, Traci (Brian) Gearhart of Eaton Rapids; son, Mark (Holly) Milbourn of Holt; grandchildren, Jessica (Larry), Rebecca (Robert), Samantha (Nick), Chelsea (Cody), Alexandria, Emeleigh (Kelso), Zackary (Chrissy), Matthew, Cooper and Carson; great grandchildren, ReShelle, Raymin , Madison, Mackenzie, Robbie, Larry, Dominic, Aalayah, Georgie Kate, Riley Jo, Macki Nicole, Casey, and baby Ross; brother, Bruce (Mary Eva) Horton of MO. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Herbert Milbourn; brother, Keith Horton and her dog, Sophia Sue.
Funeral services were at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 8, 2023, at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the VFW National Home for Children, Make a Wish Foundation or the Wounded Warrior Project. To leave condolences for the family please visit our website, www.millsfuneral.com.

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