Obituaries

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Hubert D. Dennise


Hubert Dale Dennis, age 96, died on October 16, 2021. He was a resident of Vermontville, Mich. He was a Journeyman Pipefitter for General Motors. Funeral services are pending.

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Rod Yates


Rod Yates, age 94, died October 16 at Hope Landing, in Charlotte Michigan, due to complications of COVID-19. Born September 30, 1927, to Anne Van Dyk and Joseph Maltby “JM” Yates, Rod lived nearly all his 94 years in Charlotte. His childhood home at 313 East Harris was next door to the Hayes Green Beach Hospital.  After graduating from CHS in 1945 he attended Michigan State College, earning a mechanical engineering degree in 1949.  He met Joyce Cridler that summer at the Barlow Lake roller rink near her home of Middleville and they married in 1951.
Rod started a career with General Motors in Grand Rapids after college.  In 1953 he left GM to take over the business from his ailing father and moved Joyce and baby Susan to Charlotte.  Yates Hardware proudly served customers at 116 East Lovett from 1953 to 1999. Rod’s commitment to customer service and quality merchandise earned him many loyal customers. He was known for his engineering knowledge and ability to explain to customers how to repair anything.  With a machine shop in the back of the hardware he would gladly make parts for customers if one could not be found.
Rod was a lifetime Rotarian and past president. He was active in multiple community organizations. Rod, Joyce, and their girls loved to camp in Ludington State Park and to ski at Caberfae with other local families.
After retirement Rod and Joyce took several memorable well-earned vacations and then settled in as snowbirds in Venice, Florida where Rod co-chaired the bicycle and the cribbage club and hosted “Michigan” dinners with their Florida friends.
Rod and Joyce were very proud of a four generation Spartan legacy. When Joyce returned to college in 1979 he enjoyed premium seats in Spartan Stadium because Joyce’s 1949 enrollment provided top-notch student section tickets. All four daughters attended MSU as did three grandchildren, including one with an engineering degree.
Rod is survived by daughters, Susan Yates of Williamstown, Mass., Judith Yates and Kathryn (Thomas) Cizek of Traverse City; grandchildren include Chris (Gina Dominguez) of Austin Texas, David (Molly Schranz) of Boston, Mass., and Libbie Weimer of Durham, N.C., Andrew (Nisa) Williams of Seattle, Colin Williams of Traverse City, and Cameron Williams of Seattle, Laura (Michael) Gorman of Grand Forks, N.D., and Donovan Cizek of Auburn Hills.  He was preceded in death by his grandson, Jesse in 1983; daughter, Cynthia in 2003; great-grandson, Cristobal Weimer in 2009; wife, Joyce in 2017.
A brief memorial service was held on Friday, October 22, 2021, at the Pray Funeral Home Gardens at 3 p.m. with visitation following until 5 p.m. The family welcomes you to this outdoor service and respectfully request you wear a mask.  The service will also be webcast so you may watch it from any computer or smart phone by going to Rod’s tribute page at PrayFuneral.com and click on the webcast button within the photos and videos tab. Guests who prefer to remain in their car should notify Pray Funeral Home for assistance.  Please honor his Spartan pride by wearing green and white. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Rod’s name to Michigan State University or to the Rotary Club of Charlotte. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Barbara J. Bursley


Barbara Jean Bursley, a humble and loving servant of The Lord, died peacefully October 19, 2021, at the age of 90. Born Barbara Horn on June 9, 1931, to Ray and Amanda (Schlabach) Horn in Eaton County, she later graduated from Battle Creek Central High School. In 1948 she married Philip Lee Bursley. They worked side-by-side as disciples of God with many different church activities, conventions, and traveling the world to help others. Her family remembers Barbara fondly as someone who was always giving of her time and talents to help others, whether it was at work in the Medical Records department at Leila Hospital, church activities, or time spent with family cooking, entertaining, and making Christmas Eve a special holiday creating lasting and loving memories with her family.
Barbara was very active in the Church of God in Battle Creek and Marshall, singing in the church choir, leading the youth group, and attending conventions with them, and active member for many years and President of the Women of the Church of God (now Christian Women Connection). Family and friends knew Barbara had a personal relationship with her Lord and will rest easy in His Loving Arms.
Barbara is survived by her children, Jeff (Linda) Bursley, Sandy (Greg) Lampert, and Debbie (Ken) Gothberg; 7 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; close friend, Norma Krontz; and many extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Philip in 2015; sisters, Merna Wolfe and Evelyn Mitchell; and her parents.
Friends and family are encouraged to support Barbara’s family by attending services or sharing memories on her tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Visitation was Friday, October 22, 6-8:00 PM at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Funeral services are Saturday, October 23, 4:00 PM at the funeral home with Pastor Mary Hirakis officiating. If desired the family suggests memorial contributions to Christian Women Connection. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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Carroll A. Miller


Caroll Ann Miller, age 74, of Charlotte, passed away peacefully at her home with her family by her side. She was born August 29, 1947, in Lansing, Michigan the daughter of Kenneth and Donna (Hill) Hammond. Caroll graduated from Lansing Eastern High School in 1965. On November 2, 1973, she married Don C. Miller in Grand Ledge. Caroll adored her family and cherished each and every moment they spent together. Caroll had a heart for others her entire life. Caroll took in her siblings and raised them along with her own children. In later years both she and Don took care of their elderly parents and Caroll’s grandfather. She enjoyed gardening, writing poems, and her many dogs. Caroll worked for numerous years as a disc jockey for WGWY and later WMMQ. She also worked as an executive assistant for Lyle Skalland Attorney at Law.
Caroll is survived by her children: Tim (Dawn) Kepler of Charlotte, Bret (Callie) Kepler of Onondaga, Cheryl Miller of Waterford; 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; siblings: Venus Hammell, Mike (Diane) Hammond, Pam Nalett, David (Rhonda) Hammond, Chris English; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Don on December 18, 2020; daughter, Karie Kepler-Ellsworth; granddaughter, Kendra Kepler; and siblings: Jim Hammond, Vicki Rouse.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 2:30 P.M. at the Needmore Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 12 P.M. to 2 P.M. at the Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home.
Those desiring may make contributions in Caroll’s memory to the Capital Area Humane Society.
To view Caroll’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.burkhead-green-kilgo.com

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John D. O’Bryant


John David O’Bryant, 93, of Grand Rapids, formerly of Charlotte, died peacefully on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. John was born November 26, 1927, in St. Louis, MI, the son of Edward and Rhoda (Sanders) O’Bryant. He graduated from Perry High School in 1946 before enlisting in the U.S. Army and proudly serving in Japan at the close of WWII. Upon his return, he married the love of his life, Ruth Wilma Jansen, on September 24, 1949, in Haslett, MI. Early on in their marriage, John and Ruth bought a farm in Charlotte, where they moved to raise their family. Farming remained an integral passion in John’s life. He went to work as the Coordinator of County Fairs for the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 1988. He also served on the board of the Michigan Association of Fairs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. He and Ruth also loved to travel, especially to fairs across the state and beyond. They were devoted members of First Baptist Church in Charlotte and kept Faith central to their marriage and their community.
John is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, Ruth; their son, Robert (Angie) O’Bryant; granddaughters, Robin (Robert) Koziol and Andrea (Christopher) Alberts; great-grandchildren, Robert and Johnny Koziol; and brothers, Edward and Daniel O’Bryant; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, David O’Bryant; and his siblings, James O’Bryant, William O’Bryant, Iva Mae Theron, and Uvah Wright.
Friends and family are encouraged to support John’s family by attending services or sharing memories on his tribute page at www.prayfuneral.com. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at First Baptist Church in Charlotte. Visitation will be from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., just prior to the service on Saturday. Interment will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. 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 John’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 First Baptist Church of Charlotte or Honor Flight. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home.

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