54, of Nashville, Michigan, died April 2, 2005. Mr. Dies was born August 7, 1950, in Charlotte, MI, the son of Ernest A. and Pauline (Lynd) Dies. He was a man who loved his large family, being a grandpa, and being surrounded by his family and friends. This big-hearted gentleman was not scared of work, loved fishing, enjoyed his Handyman Club Magazines and Crossword Puzzles. He was employed over the years at Owen-Illinois in Charlotte, Woodland Schools, and Carefree Aluminum in Charlotte until the plant closed. He is survived by his wife, Ginger; daughters, Priscilla Dies and her fianc Michael Laymance and Sabrina (Floyd) Fender of Nashville; mother, Pauline of Whitmore Lake; brothers Charles (Jude) Dies of Charlotte, Steven Dies of Virginia, Dennis (Dottie) Dies of Indian River, and Patrick Dies of Charlotte; sisters Pam (Dennis) Woodworth of Whitmore Lake and Cheryl (Darren) Ayles of Nashville; grandchildren Denise Woodbury, Devin and Gary Thatcher and Brittany and Taylor Fender; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Ernie, in 1986 and brother, Rod, in 1988. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 7, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, MI. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Vermontville. Visitation will be 2 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at Pray Funeral Home.
Velma C. Potter
86, of Charlotte, died peacefully in her sleep on April 4, 2005, at Moore's Country Living Adult Foster Care Home where she was recovering from a stroke. Mrs. Potter was born September 17, 1918, in Battle Creek, Michigan to the late Vorhees and Leona (Pierce) Minor. She attended Bellevue schools and graduated from Bellevue High School in 1936. On February 13, 1937 she married Lynn H. Potter. They were happily married for over 56 years, until Lynn's death on July 28, 1993. They lived in Bellevue/Battle Creek area until they settled in rural Charlotte in 1945; they moved into the City of Charlotte in 1990. Velma was the consummate homemaker: she was an excellent seamstress, cook, baker, and wallpaper hanger. She preserved produce from her extensive garden and was a tireless helper with farm chores. Her children were active in 4-H, and she supported them as a leader in sewing, canning, and home improvement. She was extremely patient and always offered encouragement to these who sought her advice and help. When her children established their own households, Velma became the idealized grandmother and then great-grandmother. She always had time to assist tiny fingers, play patty cake or hide and seek. She was a tough competitor in croquet and played softball until she was well into her 70's. She was an avid fan of crossword puzzles and deer hunting. After Lynn retired, they played a game of cards every morning after breakfast for over 25 years. She was kind and fun, and she is missed. During the early 1990's she selflessly devoted her time to nursing Lynn. After his death, she also devoted much time to the West Carmel Congregational Church, West Carmel Circle and the birthday club. She also traveled extensively, including a cruise and overland trip to Alaska. She also made many trips to California to visit her family, and she leaves many friends there too. She is survived by her daughters, Judith Smith from Napa, California and Claire and her husband, Frank Pruden of Dowling, Michigan; her third daughter, Linda (Merle) Rochester predeceased her on February 8, 1983; her grandchildren are Andrea and Todd Smith, Scott (Carol) Pruden, Lori (Kenneth) Kleinfelt, Rick (Trisha) Pruden, Jeffrey (Carol) Rochester, Charles Rochester, and Christine (Todd) Garrison; great-grandchildren are Jason Smith, Cody, Caitlin, and Sage Pruden, Edward, Kenneth, Casey and Alexis Kleinfelt, James Pruden; Linda, Jeffrey, and Mariah Rochester, and Abigail Garrison. Two brothers survive, Sheldon (Phyllis) Harrison and William (Ann) Harrison of Bellevue, nieces and nephews, other relatives, and many friends. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Willard Minor and Eldon Harrison, and four sisters, Wilma Drews, Madelyn Gjukis, Mertice Zimmerman and Harriet Legion. Funeral services will be held at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte on 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 7th with the Rev. Darwin Kuhl from the West Carmel Community Church will officiate. The service will be followed by burial at West Carmel Cemetery. Relatives and friends are welcome at Pray Funeral Home, on Wednesday 2 - 4 and 7 - 9 p.m. A memorial fund at West Carmel Community Church has been established in her name. Her family is especially grateful to Roxanne and John Moore, their staff (Claudia and Jackie) and their children (Shelby John, John Michael and Heather) for all there help and care. They took her into their home and made her one of their family.
Monica Rose Siarny
age 22, of Charlotte, MI, formerly of Oak Park, IL. Loving daughter of William and Cynthia, nee Skarbek, Siarny; dear sister of Gerard B., David B. (Julie), Matthew A. (Michiko) Goto and Elizabeth M. Siarny; fond granddaughter of Herbert C. and Catherine B. Skarbek, of Cedar Rapids, IA and Ann E. and the late William D. Siarny, Sr., of Chicago; loving niece, cousin and friend of many. In lieu of flowers, donations to University of Michigan Brain Research Center, 1914 Taubman Center, Box 0316, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0316, appreciated. Visitation Friday, April 8, 9:15 a.m., til time of Mass at 11 a.m., at Ascension Church, East Ave. & Van Buren St., in Oak Park.
Frederick Arland Craig
72, of Charlotte, Michigan, died Wednesday, April 06, 2005. Mr. Craig was born January 7, 1933, in Rimersburg, PA, the son of Frederick T. and A. Estella (Swartz) Craig. Fred loved the outdoors and enjoyed bird watching. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War. He retired from Owens Illinois as a machine operator. He is survived by his daughter Cynthia K. (Larry) Jones of Charlotte, grandchildren Shane Risher and Craig Jones, 4 brothers Thomas (Fay) Craig, Robert (Betty) Craig, Dale (Trudy) Craig and Doyle (Martha) Craig, sister-in-law Carol Craig all of Pennsylvania. He was preceded in death by his parents, son Michael Craig in 1979, brother Ronald Craig and sister Beverly Craig. Family Affirmation Service will be 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 11, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, with R. Raymond Rossell facilitating. Interment will be at Center Eaton Cemetery in Charlotte. Visitation will be 2 - 4 and 7 - 9 p.m. Sunday at Pray Funeral Home.
Ralph Earl Byron
87, of Newberry, Michigan, died Friday, April 8, 2005. Mr. Byron was born March 27, 1918 in Saginaw, Michigan the son of Ernest and Mary (Walker) Byron. Ralph was a retired Skilled Trade Pipefitter for General Motors. He enjoyed plumbing and was a Licensed Journey Plumber and had worked for Luce County as a Plumbing Inspector. He loved nature and fly-fishing. In 1934 he was awarded a Hero's Award by the Saginaw Chapter of Automobile Clubs of Michigan for saving a person from drowning. He is survived by his wife Agnes (Richards) Byron, step-son Carl (Lorraine) Burton of Charlotte, son Ralph (Tina) Byron Jr. of Nevada, daughter Carolyn (Merle) Anderson of Newberry, 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren. A private memorial service will be held. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203-1606.
Daniel Leon Bracy
50, of Bellevue, Michigan, died Friday, April 15, 2005. Mr. Bracy was born June 18, 1954, in Battle Creek, Michigan the son of Leslie Junior and Dorothy Anne (Fleming) Bracy. He was a Tool & Die Maker for 29 years for Progressive Dynamics in Marshall. He enjoyed fishing, movies, travel and family and friends. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth 'Beth' (Daly), son Jerry (Jodi) Bracy of Charlotte, daughters Laura Bracy of Bellevue and Carrie Daly of Bellevue, mother Dorothy Fuller of Nashville, grandchildren, Brooke, Kirsten, Olivia, Chayne and Dalton, sisters Margaret (Tom) Andreas of Olivet and Virginia Barrett of Charlotte. He was preceded in death by his father Junior Bracy in 1983. Funeral services will be 2:00p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte. Interment will be at West Carmel Cemetery in Charlotte. Visitation will be 2 - 4 & 7 - 9 pm Monday at Pray Funeral Home. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Battle Creek Health System Cancer Care Unit.
Deldee M. Grate
97 of Charlotte, died Saturday, April 16, 2005 at the Eaton County Medical Care Facility. Mrs. Grate was born January 28, 1908 in Lawton, Michigan, the daughter of Mack and Alma (Palmanteer) Pearson. After her marriage to Willis Grate in 1934, which began a lifetime of 57 years together, the couple moved to Elkhart, Indiana where they ran an office supply store. In her 50's, she graduated with honors from Hinsdale School of Nursing, and worked as a licensed practical nurse in Elkhart until 1972 when she and her husband moved to Iron River, Michigan. After her husband's death in 1991 she moved to Charlotte to be closer to her daughter. She was a member of the Charlotte Seventh Day Adventist Church and especially enjoyed needlework, knitting and crafts. She is survived by her daughter, Betty (Donald) Claussen of Sunfield, grandchildren Cheryl Canada and Douglas Claussen, and 5 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Percy Pearson. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Interment will be in Rice Cemetery in Elkhart, Indiana. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Charlotte Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Leta Ann Rogers
81 of Charlotte, died Friday, April 22, 2005 in Nashville. Mrs. Rogers was born February 22, 1924 in Bellevue, Michigan, the daughter of Richard and Margaret (Jewel) Fruin. She was a great cook and loved cooking for her family and farm workers anytime they gathered. She was a member of the Gresham United Methodist Church and had been head of the Cropwalk at church. She is survived by husband of 60 years, Forrest, children Rebecca (Mike) Lord of Charlotte, Mary (Gary) Goris of Vermontville, David (Debi) Rogers of McMillan, Michigan and Richard 'Dick' (Teresa) Rogers of Charlotte, 5 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren,2 step-grandchildren, and sister Elizabeth Shaffer of Okemos. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor Kathy Smith officiating. Interment will be in Gresham Cemetery in Charlotte. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. the day of the funeral. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Flower House A.F.C. or the Gresham United Methodist Church.
Erna M. Elias
77, of Charlotte, died Sunday, April 24, 2005, at the Eaton Community Hospice House. Erna Elias was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 9, 1927, the daughter of Edgar and Hazel Rambeau, and the stepdaughter of Herman Buckley. She graduated from Charlotte High School in 1945 and worked twenty years for the Eaton County Abstract Company. On March 25, 1967, Erna married Wallace Elias of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Together they have run their Watkins business in Charlotte for the past thirty years. Erna was a member of the Jackson Bible Students class. Erna is survived by her husband Wally, son Nathan W., and daughter-in-law AnnG (Lin Hutchins), three grandchildren Andrew, Will and Dan, her brother Edgar Buckley and sister-in-law Marquetta, three nieces and one nephew. Memorial service will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2005 at the Eaton Area Senior Center.
Carolyn Rose Fickes
72, of Vermontville, Michigan, died Wednesday, April 27, 2005. Mrs. Fickes was born October 28, 1932, in Warsaw, Indiana, the daughter of Russell H. and Layretta C. (Ransbotlom) Kelly. She was a member of the Vermontville Bible Church and she loved her Lord and her family. She was a Health Care Facility Administrator and sold Tupperware for many years. She is survived by her husband Robert A. Fickes, sons Mark S. (Julie) Scott of South Bend, Indiana, Robert A. (Myna) Scott of North Carolina, daughter Cheryl Vanscoyk of North Carolina, 13 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, brothers Richard (Jeannie) Kelly of Utah, Larry (Linda) Kelly of California, sisters Louise (Forrest) Dunnick of Indiana, Marlene (Jerry) Shand of Arizona, Alice (Wilmer) Lower of Indiana and many nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 30, 2005 at Vermontville Bible Church with Pastor Chuck Steiner officiating. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Vermontville. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Vermontville Bible Church.
Martha Ann Walker
age 93, of Charlotte, Michigan, died Thursday, April 28, 2005. Mrs. Walker was born June 12, 1911, in Maumee, Ohio, the daughter of the late Purley Everingham and the late Carrie (Shafstall) Everingham. She owned and operated Martha's Cafe' in Vermontville and Dick's Restaurant in Charlotte. She enjoyed crocheting and crafts. She is survived by her husband William Walker; daughter, Tillie (Thomas) Kilgore of Kalamo, Donald (Rose) Thompson of Vermontville, Harold (Pug) Thompson of Hastings, Junior (Rosie) Thompson of Tennessee, many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by sons Robert Thompson in 1955, Ray Thompson in 1992, daughter Joyce Joppie in 1994, a brother and 2 sisters. Funeral service will be 1:00 PM Monday, May 2, 2005, at Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, with Rev. Robert G. Clinton officiating. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Vermontville. Visitation will be 2 - 4 PM and 7 - 9 PM Saturday and Sunday at Pray Funeral Home.
Mary Jean (Owen) Partridge
82, of Tyler, Texas, formerly of Bellevue, Michigan went home to our Lord on May 1, 2005. Mrs. Partridge was born August 12, 1922, in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, the daughter of Martin and Eva (Lindsley) Owen. She married Vance A. Partridge on October 20, 1946, he preceded in her death in 1972. She enjoyed traveling and working in her flowers. She is survived by her four children Reggie Juenker, Elsie (Carl) Holcomb, Vance Partridge, and Lyn (Rosa) Partridge all of Bellevue, Michigan, 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, 2 sisters Shirley Norton of Charlotte, Michigan, and Betty Beck of Iowa, and a brother George Owen of Iron, Michigan. She was preceded in death by her parents, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers. Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 7, 2005 at Pray Funeral Home, with Chuck Jenson officiating. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Crime Victims Foundation, P.O. Box 16015, Lansing, MI 48901, or her children ask for you to 'Save a Life, Plant a Tree'.
Ilene M. Ellison
69, of Saranac, Michigan, formerly of Charlotte, passed away Thursday, May 5, 2005 after a brief illness. Mrs. Ellison was born July 4, 1935, in Charlotte, Michigan, the daughter of the late Vern and Golda (Wyrick) Sharp. She and her husband were owners/operators of a party store for many years and enjoyed helping people. She was a member of the West Berlin Wesleyan Church, the Wesleyan Women and the Church Choir. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles. She is survived by two sons Bruce (Mickie) Ellison Jr. of Belding, Brian (Michelle) Ellison of Lowell, daughter Bonna Berge of Saranac and 6 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bruce Ellison in 2004 and son-in-law Steve Berge. Graveside service will be 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2005 at Maple Hill Cemetery, Charlotte, with Pastor Mark Lipscomb officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ebenezer Center of the West Berlin Wesleyan Church, 5110 W. Portland Road, Lake Odessa, MI 48849.