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Miscellaneous Mecosta County, Michigan Obituaries


Frank Karas
BIG RAPIDS -- Frank Karas, father, grandfather, coach, professor and fine example to anyone he met, passed away early May 31, 2000, surrounded by his family at Mercy Hospital in Cadillac. Most of us try to include acts of kindness in our lives. With achievements too numerous to mention, Frank Karas lived kindness every moment of his life, but never considered himself remarkable. Born August 22, 1919, in Menominee, Frank lived in and loved Michigan's U.P. To that end, in lieu of flowers, his family requests any donations be made to the Frank Karas Scholarship fund Ferris State University established to benefit U.P. students attending the university. Donations may be sent to Frank Karas Scholarship, Ferris State University, 330 Oak Street, West 100, Big Rapids, Mich., 49307. Frank's family and friends will meet at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids on Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to remember him as we knew him.

Rosella J. Corey
BIG RAPIDS -- Rosella J. Corey, 76 of Big Rapids, died Tuesday, May 30, 2000, at Mecosta County General Hospital. She was born June 22, 1923, in Onaway, the daughter of Clinton and Julia (LeBonville) Lytle, and moved to Big Rapids in 1957 from Merrill. In 1974, she married Eugene V. Corey, who survives. Also surviving are three sons, Earl (Cindy) Brennan of Mecosta, Harry (Peggy) Brennan of Big Rapids, and Charlie (Vicki) Brennan of Paris; one step-son, Robert Corey of Big Rapids; four sisters, Georgeanne, Rosie, Betty and Irene; three brothers, David, Dick and Jerry; and several grandchildren, great-granchildren, nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, June 2 at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with Pastor Gregg Shewan officiating. Burial will be in the Pine Plains Cemetery. Her family will greet friends at the funeral home today (Thursday) from 2 to 6 p.m. and prior to services on Friday.

Maycle I. Malcolm
BIG RAPIDS -- Maycle I. Malcolm, 84 of Big Rapids, died Friday, June 2, 2000, at Altercare of Big Rapids. She was born July 18, 1915, in Barton Township, the daughter of William and Mabel (Schooley) Hoffman, and lived in Muskegon as a child. In 1934, she married Thomas Malcolm, and they moved to Big Rapids in 1944, where they had lived since. For several years, Maycle worked at Fashion Industries and later A & W, and then retired from Wolverine World Wide. She was a member of the United Church of Big Rapids and the B.P.O. Elks #974 Daisy Chain. Her husband preceded her in death in 1984. Surviving are one son, Ronald (Joyce) Malcolm of Wyoming; one daughter, Cindy (Ed) Roberts of Big Rapids; five grandchildren, Sheila (Bryant) Domina, Laura (Steve) Gorkowski, Carol (Scott) McCormick, Heather (Lyle) Tolfree and Thomas (Susan) Roberts; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Audrey Steffens of Big Rapids, and Roberta (Jack) Wright of Paris; two brothers, Oren (Margaret) Hoffman and Maynard (Ello) Hoffman, both of Texas; one sister-in-law, Lorraine Hoffman of Chase; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 6 at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with Rev. Jean Winther officiating. Burial will be in the Highland View Cemetery. Memorial contributions to the United Church may be left at the funeral home, where her family will greet friends on Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., and prior to services on Tuesday.

Marlene K. Fisher
REED CITY -- Marlene K. Fisher, 46 of Reed City, died Saturday, June 3, 2000, at University Hospital in Ann Arbor. She was born Nov. 3, 1953, in Mishawaka, Ind., and received her B.A. degree from Cornerstone University of Grand Rapids and her M.A. degree in Sacred Music from Pensacola Christian College of Pensacola, Fla. She also attended St. Luke School of Nursing in Kansas City and graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She taught music for many years and most recently taught at Chase Baptist Academy, also serving as school principal. She was married June 1, 1973 to Rev. Garry Fisher, who survives. She also is survived by seven sons, Joshua (Amy) of Howard City, Benjamin of Reed City, Jonathan of Reed City, and Peter, Andrew, Zachary and Joel, all at home; five daughters, Sarah, Emily, Rebecca, Leah and Anna, all at home; her mother, Doreen Wogatzke and her grandmother Nedra Horton, both of Baldwin; and three sisters, Darlene (Wes) Bennett of Edwardsburg, Deborah (George) Majewski of Edwardsburg, and Cheryl (Randall) Strausborger of Mishawaka, Ind. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 7, 2000, at 11 a.m. from the Chase Baptist Church, with Rev. Peter Van Kleek officiating. A graveside service will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Adamsville Cemetery, Edwardsburg. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chase Baptist Church and Academy, and friends may call at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home, in Reed City, on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Helen M. Weed
BIG RAPIDS -- Helen M. Weed, 79 of Big Rapids, died Sunday, June 4, 2000, at Metron of Big Rapids. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Northland United Methodist Church in Stanwood, with visitation hours on Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home.

Walter W. Schermerhorn
REED CITY -- Walter W. Schermerhorn, 74 of Leroy, died Tuesday, June 6, 2000, at Spectrum Health -- Reed City Campus. He was born June 27, 1925, in Reed City to Giles and Edna (Westonburg) Schermerhorn and was employed for 30 years with Fisher Body Division of General Motors in Flint. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II and was a member of the Disabled American Veterans. He returned to live in the Reed City area in 1977. He was married Dec. 4, 1954, to Dorothy Rolston, who survives. Also surviving are his son Kerry (Christine) of Paris; his grandchildren Benjamin and Alison; two brothers, Harold of Mesa, Ariz., and Lyle of Mount Morris; and three sisters, Bernice Parks of Hale, Luella Osterhout of Columbiaville, and Beatrice O'toole of Kingston. Funeral services will be held Friday, June 9, 2000, at 1 p.m., with Rev. Larry Rolston officiating. Burial will be at Davenport Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Gerald H. Helzer
BAY CITY -- Gerald H. Helzer, 70 of Bay City, formerly of Morley, the son of the late Henry C. and Grace A. (Stark) Helzer, passed away Tuesday evening, June 6, 2000, at the home of his daughter Karen in Bay City. He was born June 24, 1929 in Harrison Township. He was a member of the American Legion Post #0381 in Croton, served with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and retired in 1985 as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He is survived by wife, the former Alice Barton; two daughters and one son-in-law, Karen and Bernard Friend of Bay City, and Cindy Noble of Port Huron; two step-daughters, Kathy and Shirley; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Donald Sonnenberg; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; one daughter, Sherry Helzer; two brothers, Howard and John; and one sister, Geraldine King. Military services will take place Friday, June 9, 2000, at the Aetna Township Cemetery in Morley at 11 a.m. at the graveside. Arrangements are in care of the Gephart Funeral Home in Bay City. There will be no services or visitation at the funeral home.

Stanley Elwood Brandes
MOUNT PLEASANT -- Stanley Elwood Brandes, age 86 of Barryton, died Wednesday, June 6, 2000 in the Central Michigan Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Mr. Brandes was born in West Branch, the son of the late Henry and the late Leigh Barton Brandes. Mr. Brandes married Lavada E. Cobbs. He is survived by his wife, Lavada E. Brandes of Barryton; two sons, Barton Brandes of Flint and Daniel Brandes of California; a daughter, Bernice Brandes of California; a brother, Victor Brandes of Florida; a sister, Mary Olney of Zephryhills, Fla.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2 p.m., June 15 in St. Michael's Church in Remus with Father William Zink celebrant. Burial will be in the St. Michael's Cemetery in Remus. Arrangements are by Crittenden-Hansen Funeral Home of Remus.

Earl G. Rehkopf
BIG RAPIDS -- Earl G. Rehkopf, 84 of rural Big Rapids, died Friday, June 9, 2000, at his residence after a lenght illness, surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 19, 1915, in Osceola County's Lincoln Township, the son of Herman and Della (Stieg) Rehkopf, and attended Fuller School. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army in the European Theatre, and was honorably discharged in 1945. On May 16, 1946, in the village of Hersey, he married Lousie M. Tift. They made their home in Grant Township, where he owned and operated a dairy farm for over 40 years. For 10 years, Earl served as the Grant Township Supervisor. He also served as an officer of the Big Rapids Creamery Board, and was a long-time member of the Reed School Board and the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Earl also worked as a local carpenter. Surviving are his wife; two sons, Ronald (Deborah) of Big Rapids and Richard of Gaylord; one daughter, Juila Greenleaf of Big Rapids; nine grandchildren; special family members Kathy Rehkopf and Russell Greenleaf; four brothers, Norman (Doris) of Paris, Harvey (Wilma) of Big Rapids, Lloyd of Mount Pleasant, Leonard (Dorothy) of Rodney; two sisters Carol McLachlan of Evart and Naida (Larry) Larson of Morley; and many nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. today (Monday), June 12, at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with Rev. Wayne McKinney officiating. Burial will be in the Grant Center Cemetery. Memorial contributions in his name may be left at the funeral home, where his family will greet friends prior to services.

Harold l. Miller
REED CITY -- Harold L. Miller, 69 of LeRoy, died Saturday, June 10, 2000 at Spectrum Health Hospital Reed City. He was born October 21, 1930, to Rayburn and Gladys (Robbins)Miller in Luther and was a lifelong resident of the Luther-LeRoy area. He was a 1950 graduate of LeRoy High School and was employed with the Tubelite in Reed City for 26 years and later with Purchase Forest Products and Hinkle-Whitbeck Insurance. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved to camp. He was an active member of the LeRoy United Methodist Church and a life member of the Luther Lodge F&AM. He currently served as a Trustee for LeRoy Township. He was married September 16, 1950, to Elaine Garnett, who survives. Also survived by his son, Darren of LeRoy; daughters Shelly (James) Hinkle of Reed City and Sherry (Jack) Kirk of Clio; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three sisters, Virginia (Wayne) Dagen of Luther, Aileen (Wayne) Miller of Tustin and Leenora (Roger) Wright of Satsuma, Fla. He was preceded in by one brother. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 13 at 11 a.m. from the United Methodist Church of LeRoy with Rev. David Cheyne officiating. Burial will be at LeRoy Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church and may be left at the Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City where friends may call Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Selmer H. Johnson
BIG RAPIDS -- Selmer H. Johnson, 84 of Big Rapids, formerly of Reed City and Midland, died Sunday, June 11, 2000, at his residence. He was born June 27, 1915, in Henning, Minn., the son of Jens and Clara (Johansen) Johnson. During World War II, he served witht the U.S. Army as a Sergeant in the 90th Infantry Division, and was honorably discharged in 1945. Selmer worked for the Pioneer as a pressman until retiring in 1978. He was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church of Midland. In 1955, he married Esther E. Keso, who survives. Also surviving are one daughter, Marlene (Jim) Schaper of Big Rapids; two grandchildren, Karen Schaper and Mike (Dee) Schaper; one great-grandson, Trenton; two sisters, Lillian Peterson and Hazel (Red) Johnson, both of Minnesota; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by six brothers. Funeral services wil be 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with Rev. Thomas Fisher officiating. Burial will be in the Hersey Village Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Our Savior Lutheran Church may be left at the funeral home, where his family will greet friends today (Monday) from 6 to 8 p.m. prior to services on Tuesday.

Ivan 'Junior' Armstrong
CHASE -- Ivan "Junior" Armstrong, 65 of Chase, died Sunday, June 11, 2000, at Grand Oaks Nursing Center in Baldwin. He was born July 23, 1934, in Muskegon to George and Frances (Simcox) Armstrong. He attended Reed City schools and, after serving in the U.S. Army, he attended barber school in Flint. He lived and worked in Muskegon, Winn and McBain before moving to Chase several years ago. He is survived by his mother, Frances Spears of Chase; and six children, Tony of Georgia, Lori of Iowa, Bill of Wyoming, Mich., and Roxanne, Sherry and Mark, all of Grand Rapids; and one step-sister, Margaret Munsell of Birch Run. He was preceded in death by his father; one brother, Jack; and one daughter, Susan. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 14 at the McDowell Funeral Home, with Rev. Fr. Daniel Aerts officiating. Burial will be in Chase Township Cemetery. Visitation will be today (Tuesday) from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

James E. Waite
GRAND RAPIDS -- James E. Waite, 63 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord on Monday, June 12, 2000. He was born and raised in the Big Rapids area. Surviving are his wife, Susan; four daughters; two step-children; 14 grandchildren; one brother, Delwin (Shirley) Waite; six sisters, Jenny (Frank) Troupe, Adeline (Richard) Williams, Carolyn (Melvin) Sinclair, Joyce (Roger) Sage, Audrey (Fred) Clemens and Jan (Tom) Moon; one brother-in-law, Dave Boone; two sisters-in-law, Jean Waite and Shelby Waite; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Esther Waite; two sisters, Alice Waite and Kay Lynn Boone; and two brothers, Jesse Waite Jr. and Russell Waite. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday at Clyde Park Church of the Nazarene, 2545 Clyde Park SW, Grand Rapids, with Pastor Edward Koteskey officiating. Interment will be at Winchester Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Stroo Funeral Home, 1095 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids. Memorial contributions may be given to help the family with expenses.

Jack Mitchell Corbett
BIG RAPIDS -- Few people blazed more trails in the Big Rapids area more than Jack Mitchell Corbett. One of the key founders of the Big Rapids Rieth-Riley plant, the 80-year-old Rogers Heights resident died Monday, June 12, 2000, at his residence following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born May 2, 1920, in Stanwood, the son of James and Addie (Mitchell) Corbett. In 1942, he married Beulah Mae Higley, and then began his service with the U.S. Army during World War II. Following his discharge in 1945, he returned to Rogers Heights, where he had lived since. Jack began his road construction career in the late 1940s, when he built many roads in the Big Rapids area with his own bulldozer company. During several decades with the Rieth-Riley Construction Company, he received state and national awards for highway, airport and high-speed test track projects. In 1966, Jack helped to establish the Big Rapids Rieth-Riley plant. He retired in 1983 as the group manager of portable plants for the company. Jack was a life member of the Big Rapids B.P.O. Elks #974, and a member of the Morley American Legion Post #554. A beloved father, grandfather and father-in-law, Jack is survived by his wife; two sons, Ken of Lansing, and Rex (Carol) of Rogers Heights; two daughters, Marianne Hunt of Dimondale, and Ella Rehkopf of Big Rapids; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, June 15 at the Rogers-Heights Christian Church, with Rev. Michael Keeney officiating. Burial will in the Stanwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Big Rapids Hospice of Michigan may be left at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, where his family will greet friends today (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. and prior to services on Thursday.

Jeanne Baar
WHITE CLOUD -- Jeanne Baar, 79 of White Cloud, passed away on Monday, June 12, 2000. She is survived by her husband, Stewart; her daughter, Teddi; a sister, Peggy Volink of Grand Rapids; and a brother, William Bousman of California. A memorial service celebrating Jeanne's life will be held on Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the funeral home chapel, with Steve Decanter officiating. Friends may meet the family beginning one hour prior to the service. The family is being served at the Bliss-Witters Cedar Chapel, 13603 Northland Drive NE, Cedar Springs.

Cecilia M. Stokely
BIG RAPIDS -- Cecilia M. Stokely, 99 of Big Rapids, died Friday, June 16, in Phoenix, Ariz. She was born May 30, 1901, in Trufant, the daughter of Paul and Kristina (Jensen) Christiansen. After graduation from Big Rapids High School, Cecilia attended County Normal and taught at the Brick and Mecosta schools. In 1923, she married John D. Stokely, who preceded her in death in 1972. Cecilia was a long-time member of the Rodney United Methodist Church. Surviving are a son, Val (Phyllis) of Big Rapids; three daughters, Marion (Wilson) Ashley and Ruth Ann (David) VanWestrienen, both of Phoenix, Ariz., and Pauline Stokely of Hawthorne, Calif.; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a son, John T. Stokely; a daughter, Mary A. Simon; and a brother, Alfred Christiansen. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with Rev. Robert Jones officiating. Burial will be in the Pine Plains Cemetery. Memorial contributions for her church or to a favorite charity may be left at the funeral home, where her family will greet friends today (Tuesday) from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., and prior to services on Wednesday.

Virginia E. Musser
BIG RAPIDS -- Virginia E. Musser, 76 of Franklin County, Tenn., died Monday, June 19 in Chattanooga. In 1943, she married Glen E. Musser, who preceded her in death in 1984. Surviving are three sons, David of Tennessee; Kenneth of Washington; and Michael of California; three daughters, Donna Fletcher and Susie Fletcher, both of Mo.; and Glenda Galagher of Wash.; and several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Funeral and committal services will be noon Wednesday, June 21 at the Amble Cemetery in Amble. Arrangements are by the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home.

Catherine M. Henry
WESTLAND -- Catherine M. Henry, 30 of Westland, formerly of Big Rapids, died Sunday, June 18 in Westland. The funeral mass will be 11 a.m. Thursday, June 22 at St. Paul's Campus Parish, with Fr. Wayne Wheeler officiating. Visiting hours will be Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rogers-Mohnke Funeral Home, with a Scripture Service beginning at 8 p.m.

Timothy G. Bechaz
BIG RAPIDS -- Timothy G. Bechaz, 49 of Stanwood, passed away from injuries sustained in a work related accident Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000, in Norwich Township. He was born April 10, 1951, in Big Rapids to George and Erma (Fredrick) Bechaz. A lifetime resident of the area, Tim graduated from Morley Stanwood High School. He had been employed for many years at Hydaker-Wheatlake and for the past 20 years he had worked for ANR Pipeline. Tim was presently a football coach for Big Rapids High School and an active member and past exalted ruler of Elks Lodge #974 of Big Rapids. He enjoyed hunting and farming. He is survived by his wife, Linda of Stanwood; his son, Timothy L. Bechaz of Big Rapids; his daughter, Dawn Benoit of Arizona; his parents, George and Erma Bechaz of Big Rapids; his brother, William (Mary) Bechaz of Big Rapids; his sisters, Nancy (Tom) Sage of Big Rapids, Jan (Russ) Eckert of Morley, Joyce (James) Walsh of Big Rapids, Donna (Steve) Westberg of North Carolina, and Beth (Steve) Dillsworth of Lansing; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 4 at the Morley Stanwood Middle School gymnasium with the Rev. Edward Slate officiating. The family will greet friends Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with an Elks memorial service being conducted by the members of Lodge #974 at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers it is the family's request that memorial contributions in Tim's memory be made to either the Big Rapids High School football program or the Michigan Elks Major Projects. Memorial contribution envelopes will be available at the funeral home.


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