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Mary Lou Eitniear

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Funeral Services:

Mary Lou Eitniear, a feisty and strong mother, grandmother, and friend, died on Thursday, November 17, 2022. Mary, 91 of Vermontville, was born on June 27, 1931, in Millet, MI, the daughter of Frank and Laura (Ginter) Seibly. Over the years, Mary worked as a Factory Worker for Hoover and most recently at Eaton County Jail as a Baker. Mary stayed very busy with work to provide for her children. She was known for her ability to make delicious meals out of the leftovers found in the fridge. Many will also remember her molasses cookies and peanut brittle. Family meant the world to Mary; they will always cherish the countless memories that they created over the years. Later in life, her grandchildren became her world. Her hobbies included knitting, spearfishing, and most importantly anything with her family.
Mary is survived by her children, Tom Curtis, Bob (Pam) Curtis, Laura (Ed) Lupini, Tam Adams, and Ike Eitniear; grandchildren, Scott (Lisa) Curtis, Tina Curtis, Tosha Parish, Suzie Curtis-Shook, April (Aaron) Laverty, and Amy Puffenberger; great-grandchildren, Eva, Dominic, Alyvia, Eastyn, Halee, Katelynn, Aiden, and Asher; great-great-grandchild, Oliver; dear friends, Jane Aldrich, and Margaret Cook. She was predeceased by her parents; and siblings, Dick Seibly, and Betty Martin.
Friends are encouraged to support Mary’s family by sharing memories on her Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society or the Eaton County Humane Society. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Robert VanVleet, Jr.

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Robert VanVleet, Jr., 81, of Bronson, MI, formerly of Charlotte, MI, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. Bob was born July 1, 1941, in Battle Creek, the son of Robert Stevens VanVleet Sr. and Eva (Rice) Butler. He attended Pennfield Schools in Battle Creek and eventually moved to Charlotte, where he met his wife of 63 years, Donna L. (Baker) VanVleet. They were married on April 4, 1959 and happily raised four children. Bob worked two jobs for many years. In the mornings, he went to work at the Charlotte Iron and Metal Scrap Yard, then worked afternoons at General Motors Parts Division. After 31 years of service, he retired from GM and he and Donna moved to Bronson to live out their dream on Lake LaVine, where they have resided for over 30 years.
Bob was a handy man in every aspect of his life. His passions included his dogs Buddy and Penny, woodworking, telling jokes, fishing with Donna, and especially hunting. He was at his happiest in the woods. Above all, Bob cherished and loved his family, especially time spent with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his loving wife, Donna VanVleet; daughters, Diana (Robert) Lake of Charlotte and Kathy (Tony) Reeser of Waldron, MI; sister, Ruby VanVleet of Coldwater; 13 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and many close friends and family. Bob was preceded in death by his two sons, Robert L. VanVleet and John C. VanVleet; grandson, Lance Wireman; his parents; his brothers, Ronnie, David, and Jerry VanVleet; and infant sister, Patricia VanVleet.
Friends are encouraged to support Bob’s family at the visitation Monday, November 28, 2022 from 2-4:00 p.m. and 6-8:00 p.m. at the Pray Funeral Home, 401 W. Seminary St., Charlotte, and at the funeral services at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at the funeral home with Celebrant Laura Cooper officiating. Interment will follow at Center Eaton Cemetery. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Bob on his Tribute Page at www.PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Phyllis Jean (Hicks) Moore

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Phyllis Jean (Hicks) Moore, 93, of Charlotte, died peacefully on Monday, November 21, 2022. Phyllis was born February 11, 1929 in Drayton Plains, MI, the daughter of Harold and Thelma Hicks. She graduated from Charlotte High School and married Howard Moore in 1948. Phyllis was a telephone supervisor at the local Michigan Bell Telephone Company office. After her time at Bell Telephone she had various jobs throughout the rest of her working life. Phyllis got up very early and walked every morning until she was in her 80’s. She was a member of the Charlotte Country Club where she faithfully engaged with a weekly bridge gathering. Playing cards was so enjoyable for her that she and Howard took part in several card groups each month. Phyllis was always ready for a game of cards with her long-time friends. She was an active leader in Camp Fire and Girl Scouts for many years. Howard and Phyllis also delivered Mobile Meals for many years.
Phyllis’s grandchildren were so special to her. She was a wonderful grandmother; always had cookie bakes with all of them at Christmas with flour from one end of the kitchen to the other! She even dressed as the Easter Bunny for them and put on roller skates at an elderly age!
Phyllis is survived by daughters, Sue Ann Moore, Nancy (Mike) Uhl and Tamara (Lyle) Piepkow; grandchildren, Brittany (James) Urbaniak, Wesley (Stephanie) Uhl, Ryan (Sarah) Uhl and Sadie (Greg) Hallock; six great-grandchildren, Jimmy and Kieran Urbaniak, Michael and Vincent Uhl, and Gregory and Rylee Hallock; brothers, Jerry (Evelyn) Hicks, Dale (Carol Jean) Hicks, Bruce (Tonya) Hicks, Bobby Hicks and sister, Janette Lewis. She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Howard; her mother and father; brothers, Jack, Richard, and Tink; and her sister, Shirley.
Friends are encouraged to support Phyllis’s family by sharing memories on her Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. At this time no services will be held. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to a charity of your choice. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Roger Lee Newcomb

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Roger Lee Newcomb, 85, of Charlotte, a passionately independent, generous spirit with a heart of gold, died Thursday, November 17, 2022, in Jackson, MI.  Roger was born October 23, 1937, in Huntington, WV, the son of George and Jewel (Foster) Newcomb.  Family was central to Roger’s life.  They often travelled together to the U.P., where they enjoyed their cabin in Paradise, MI.  In later years, they would winter in Florida, where Roger developed many new friendships.  He was always a friendly, outgoing man, who attracted many friends to his circle, and he was always willing to help others and do anything for a neighbor.  In his spare time, he loved watching football, and watching NASCAR races, both on TV and in person.  He also had a tender spot for his own classic cars, especially his trophy Trans Am.  Roger would take time each day to visit his friends and waitresses at Big Boy, where he would typically ask the server to “Surprise Me!” with his meals.  Above all, Roger will be remembered for his unshakable Faith, which he put at the center of his life.
Roger is survived by his daughter, Lisa (Chad) Preston; granddaughter, Kira Gardner; and brother, William (Becky) Newcomb as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Janice Newcomb in 2015; his brother George (Cork), and his sister Barbara.
Friends are encouraged to support Roger’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at Pray Funeral Home with Pastor Brett Myers officiating.  Interment took place in Bosworth Cemetery in Olivet.  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 Roger’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 Ainger Bible Church. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Janis Marie Clinkscale

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Funeral Services:

Janis Marie Clinkscale of Eaton Rapids passed away November 20, 2022, at the age of 80. She was born in Lansing, MI on January 4, 1942, the daughter of Max and Jeannetta (Luke) Shively. Janis worked as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, Governor George Romney’s Secretary, and later was a passionate homemaker. She loved to garden and shared that love with her children. Janis was a generous woman, eager to share with all who had a need; “The only thing that matters is what you do for Jesus.” She was a member of the Church of the Nazarene in Eaton Rapids.
Janis is survived by her children, Donna (Kevin) Rich of Charlotte, Laura (Steven) Frayre of Lansing, Trixie (John) Tanner of Eaton Rapids, Kendra (Robby) Axline of Lansing, Belinda Hoppes of San Antonio, Michael Hoppes of San Antonio; stepsons, Karl (Doris) Hoppes of San Antonio, Edward Hoppes of Olivet; 19 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters, Ronna (Wade) Chipman of Ionia, Judith Hall of Okemos, Susan (Bryan) Danby of Portland; her beloved parrot, Daisy. She is preceded in death by her husband, Mike Wiltse; parents; foster brother, George Darling.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 3, 2022, at the Church of the Nazarene in Eaton Rapids. Visitation will take place Friday, December 2, 2022, 2-4 p.m., 6-8 p.m. at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions can be made to Love a Child, PO Box 60063, Fort Myers, FL 33913. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel. To leave condolences, please visit our website, millsfuneral.com.

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Linda Jean VanKoevering

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Funeral Services:

Linda Jean VanKoevering of Eaton Rapids passed away November 12, 2022, at the age of 75. Linda was born in Pittsburg, PA, May 6, 1947, the daughter of Victor and Marian (Davis) Cuda. She married David VanKoevering, the love of her life, in 1966 at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lansing. Linda attended and received a Masters’ Degree in Historical Preservation from Eastern Michigan University and received a Bachelors’ Degree from Michigan State University. She worked at Everett High School as an Attendance Officer, was a member of the Historic Preservation Society in Lansing, Motorcycle Club in Lansing, and the Home of the Jack Pine Enduro Race Club in Moorestown. Linda enjoyed quilting, motorcycling, going to and looking around at antique shops, sightseeing, collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia and wintering in DeLand, Florida with her husband.
Linda is survived by her husband of 56 years, David VanKoevering; children, Christopher VanKoevering, Joey VanKoevering, Brian VanKoevering, Nicholas VanKoevering; grandchildren, Courtney, Annika, Tenley, Carson and Connor VanKoevering, Cooper and Zachary Wheaton; sister, Emily Cummins; several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Thomas Cuda.
Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, November 18, 2022, at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids, with visitation from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Memorial contributions may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society, 7095 W. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906. Please visit our website to place online condolences, www.millsfuneral.com.

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David Frank Boes

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David Frank Boes of Holt, passed away November 7, 2022, at the age of 84. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 12, 1938, the son of John and Marguerite (Smith) Boes. David received his master’s degree from Western Michigan University. He worked at the Eaton Rapids Wastewater Treatment Plant for over 20 years. David enjoyed traveling, woodworking and sailing. He took great joy in crafting gifts for family and friends. He was a dedicated Lions Club member serving as President, Treasurer, and District Governor.
David is survived by his wife of 47 years, Noreen Boes of Holt; children, Catherine (William) Mitchell of Dimondale and Robert Warren Boes of Arkansas. He made friends everywhere he went and was loved by many. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Richard and Warren.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 am, Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. Visitation will be held 1 hour prior. Memorial contributions may be made to the East Lansing Meridian Lions Club Attn. Lary Hill, 5935 Bayonne Ave. Haslett, MI. 48840. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave condolences for the family, please visit our website, millsfuneral.com

 

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William Ward Burleson

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William Ward Burleson of Eaton Rapids, MI passed away with his family by his side on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at the age of 66. Bill was born on January 13, 1956, in Mason, MI to Clyde and Patty (Hart) Burleson.
Bill grew up in Eaton Rapids as well as Mason, graduating from Mason High School in the class of 1974. In his youth, he played 4-H softball with friends and family. He enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing, and working on cars. Although his family and friends knew of his love of space and the stars, most were surprised to learn that he took flying lessons too. From the age of two, he rode alongside his grandfather on the tractor, and spent many years thereafter farming on the family farm in Mason. Bill worked for the Ingham County Road Commission during summers before hiring into General Motors in 1976. He worked in repair at Fisher Body, then later at the Lansing Delta Assembly, and was a member of the UAW Local 602. After 44 years of service, he retired in March of 2020 and met regularly with the UAW 602 retiree group for lunch.
Bill married Roberta Bosworth on May 25, 1986, and together, with both their families, they commenced work on their dream house located on a peaceful piece of property overlooking the river in Eaton Rapids. It was a labor of love that Bill would continue to work on his whole life. He could often be found sitting on the porch admiring the sunset and wildlife with a glass of iced tea and his faithful yellow lab Aggie by his side.
Bill was a licensed general contractor, working on many projects for friends and family. He also had a fireworks certification, creating many spectacular fireworks shows for family gatherings. Bill enjoyed reading about history, especially Michigan history, and researching genealogy. Bill also spent many wonderful vacations in the Upper Peninsula with family, often in the Marquette area.
Bill was a well-loved person by everyone who met him, whether they knew him for a few minutes or all their lives. His passing will leave a void in the hearts of many, but also thankfulness for all the wonderful memories. He was preceded in death by his father, Clyde and his wife, Robin. Surviving are his lab Aggie; daughter, Mary Burleson; mother, Patty Burleson; sister, Susan (Steve) Pifer; sister, Julie (Rick) Rice; brother, Tim (Lana) Burleson; nephew, Reggie (Melissa) Rice; nieces, Patty (Chuck) Hubbard, Bobbie (Clint) Mayes, Billie Rice, Anne (Travis) VanKirk, Elizabeth (Ian) Wilson, Amanda (Don) Pifer, and Elaine (Tyler) Bandy; several great nieces and nephews, a great-great niece, cousins, and many family friends.
The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Henry Ford Jackson Hospital for their excellent care of Bill. A memorial service will take place in May at Bill’s beloved home, and he will be laid to rest in Meadowbrook Cemetery in Mulliken with his wife. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Eaton Rapids Conservation Club in memory of William Ward Burleson.To share memories or leave condolences, please visit www.SkinnerFuneralHome.com.

 

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Bernard Hartley

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Bernard Hartley of Eaton Rapids, MI passed away on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at the age of 86. Bernie was the forth born of six children to Ernest and Dorothy (DeMitchell) Hartley on July 5, 1936, in Bay City, MI.
Bernie was born into a very talented musical family. The Hartley Family Band was formed in 1949 and played throughout lower mid-Michigan until 1955. Bernie could get that fiddle smokin’ playing “The Orange Blossom Special” while the audience cheered him on! At their peak, they had several radio and TV shows and were voted Michigan’s favorite band! This love of music lasted his whole life. He joined several bands and orchestras over the years and proudly started the Eaton Rapids Senior Center Jam Session, where he was MC for over 20 years.
Bernie met the love of his life, Patricia Diamond in 1953, at the A & W Restaurant in Bay City, where Pat worked as a car hop. They were married on February 3, 1955.
Bernie started working at Farm Bureau in 1956 and attended MSU (’57-’59) full-time. He was hired by Oldsmobile in the early 1960’s; management saw his potential, he was put into a skilled trades apprenticeship, Experimental Sheet-Metal. Bernie gave many guitar lessons to co-workers during his lunch breaks and several of them planned yearly fishing trips to Minnesota. Before retiring, Oldsmobile sent him to Northwestern Elementary School in their Community Service program. He taught music, organized a coat/shoe drive, and a camping trip held at the school for kids who had never experienced camping. In the early 1990’s, he was presented with the “Downhome Hero Award.” Years after retirement, he occasionally ran into some of those kids, all grown up, but they recognized him as their music teacher. Through his time at GM, Bernie was sent to California, Louisiana, and England, to put on Cadam presentations before his retirement in the early 1990’s.
Bernie and Pat raised three children, Mary, Patti and Bernie II in Lansing. He was the best dad ever! His children always knew how much they were wanted and loved; he would do anything for them. In 1978, they moved to Eaton Rapids, and got a Collie they named Lance. Bernie was excited about building his dream home, an earth-sheltered house that he designed. He was so proud of his house that he and Pat built together. Bernie and Pat went on many trips and cruises during their marriage. Their favorite trip was to Alaska, with Pat’s sister/brother-in law, Dudy and Jake. Bernie had so many hobbies/interests, Karate, dancing, swimming, music, reading, traveling, playing bingo and going to the casino. Their love affair lasted sixty-seven years until Pat’s passing in April 2022. Bernie and Pat had a wonderful life together. When Pat died in the spring, the spark in his blue eyes was gone. He missed his girl so much. Life was never the same for him as much as his kids hoped and prayed for a better outcome. His passing has left a tremendous void in their lives and their hearts. Their kids were deeply blessed to have them as their parents and to love them all these years.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Pat of 67 years; siblings, Duane, Danny, Ernest and Bruce; infant daughter, Kimberly; daughter Patti Vogel; and grandson, Jeffrey Hancock. He is survived by his sister, Judy Alexander; daughter, Mary Hancock; son, Bernie Hartley II (Michelle); grandchildren , Julee Hanna (Chris), Natalie Vogel, Nick Vogel, Jesse Hartley; and great-grandchildren, Olivia Hancock, Ryan Hanna and Alex Hanna.
A memorial service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2022, with a visitation one hour prior to the service at Skinner Funeral Home in Eaton Rapids, with a luncheon on site to follow. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Eaton Rapids Senior Center in memory of Bernard Hartley. To share memories or leave condolences, please visit www.SkinnerFuneralHome.com. Special thanks to Jon and Liz at Skinner Funeral Home for handling all the details for us to make the celebration of Bernie’s life so special!

 

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Lawrence Julson

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Lawrence D. Julson, “Larry” to his friends, died unexpectedly November 8, 2022. Larry, 55, of Charlotte was born March 22, 1967 in Lansing to Francis and Laurel Julson. Larry was a skilled heavy equipment operator for over 30 years. For the past several years he has worked for and with his friend, Will Pitylak, owner of Apex Septic and Excavating, Inc. Larry enjoyed working on all things mechanical, starting as a young child when it was too cold to work in the barn, Larry would bring in his bike or motorcycle to the basement, tear them down, just to rebuild them. Larry had a passion for his RC cars, his garage looked like a NASCAR garage, everything neat and in its place. Larry was in the process of building his own track and bleachers to share his love and passion for his toys.
Larry enjoyed many things in life, the Silver Lake sand dunes, motorcycles, snowmobiling, boating, building things for his kids when they were small from a halfpipe to a tree fort. Larry enjoyed the outdoors, from hunting when he was younger to mowing the lawn, making sure the “lines” were just right in his lawn, as long as he was outside he was happy.
Larry is survived by his daughter, Samantha Julson (Trent); son, Lawrence Dean Julson Jr. (Alison); his mother, Laurel Julson; siblings, Ron (Missy) Julson, Jodie (Jim) Julson-Delp, and Ken (Rob) Julson-Romelhart; and many nieces and nephews. Larry was predeceased by his father, Francis Julson; and grandparents, Malbert and Henriatta Julson and Lawrence and Grace Larson.
Friends are encouraged to support Larry’s family by attending a memorial service or sharing memories on his Tribute Page at www.prayfuneral.com. Memorial services are November 19, 2022, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at 4093 Thornton Highway, Charlotte, MI 48813. If desired in lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Samantha Julson to assist with Larry’s funeral expenses (check can be sent to Pray Funeral Home to be given to Samantha). The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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