Kenneth James Robbe

Kenneth James Robbe, age 92 of Hastings, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2019 at his home with his family by his side in Tucson, Arizona.

Kenneth was born on May 16, 1926 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of John and Hazel (Winters) Robbe.   Kenneth attended Roosevelt High School in Ypsilanti and graduated with honors in 1944.   He honorably served in WW II with the US Army from 1944-1946.  Kenneth married Cynthia Ann Everett on September 7, 1947.

Kenneth was an educator and taught at Tekonsha High School from 1950-1952 and Hastings Area Schools from 1952-1982 where he was the principal of Hastings Junior High School from 1960-1982.

Kenneth’s hobbies included bowling, card playing, dancing, gardening, fishing, and camping.  He was a member of the Hastings Rotary, serving as the President for one year, the Jaycees, and the VFW.  Kenneth was a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hastings and served as Vestryman, Senior Warden, Verger and Treasurer. 


He was preceded in death by his daughter Rebecca (Robbe) Matthews, parents John and Hazel (Winters) Robbe, sister Doris Sare, stepmother Josie Robbe, father and mother-in-law Bill and Florence Everett, brothers-in-law Merlin Dyball, William Dial, and David Climer.


He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Cynthia (Everett) Robbe, son Gary (Deborah) Robbe, Hastings, daughter Kendra (Robert) Bethell, Tucson, Arizona, son-in-law John Matthews, Phoenix, Arizona, grandchildren Nathan Robbe, Hastings, Benjamin Robbe, Hastings, James (Heidi) Robbe, Austin, Texas, Amy (Kyle) Pohja, Hastings, Ivory Bethell, Tucson, Arizona, Troy Bethell, Tucson, Arizona, Nadia Matthews, Phoenix, Arizona, Janelle (Sheree) Matthews, Los Angeles, California, Luke (Charisse) Matthews, Phoenix, Arizona, 11 great grandchildren, sister-in-law Margaret Climer, Illinois, Elizabeth Dial, Oregon, and many nieces and nephews. 


A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 315 W Center St, Hastings, MI 49058.




Robert Clayton Shurlow


Robert Clayton Shurlow passed away on January 10, 2019 but lives on in the hearts of his family and in the fields and woods of the farm he loved. Born February 3, 1937 to Clayton and Frances Shurlow on the farm he loved and worked his entire life.

Robert was in 4-H, FFA and was a member of MMPA and NRA.

He loved hunting; the love of hunting was inherited by his kids and his grandson Levi Shriber, who is known for his ability to get the biggest bucks on the farm. He shared his love of farming with his family who has carried on this legacy.

Robert married SuAnn Anders on September 7th, 1957. Together they raised 3 children, Jeanie Shurlow, Kelly (Mike) Shriber and Jim Shurlow. He is survived by his wife and three children, Grandchildren Michaela (Chad) Henry, Levi (Danielle) Shriber, and Devin Mckee, and five beautiful great grandchildren.  The little Shriber herd, Paisley, Cole, Sophie, Chloe, and Natalie. Robert is also survived by his sisters Dorothy Flint and Cathy (Dave) White. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Marilyn Shurlow and sister Patty Burd. And his mother and father in law Laurence and Arloa Anders.

Family and farming was Bob’s life, a life he loved and worked very hard at. The farm was his love, not his job. Robert was a dairy farmer, raised beef cows, sheep, and was known as a hardworking man for the long hours he was out working the fields and could be seen with one of his special dogs riding with him, but to him it wasn’t work as much as it was doing what he loved. He loved Case tractors and put many long hours on them. He worked his tractors, but also pulled them in tractor pulls, bringing home trophies. Picnics at the pond, pizza parties when spring planting was done or harvest was over with his family were special to all of us. Christmas, birthday parties and Sunday dinners, any reason for the family to be together are all treasured memories. He shared many stories of his parents and stories of growing up with us which are so cherished. So many memories of a great man. Rest easy, the chores are done. Ride off into the hills on your 730 Dad, we love you.


Patricia Irene Fuhr

Patricia Irene Fuhr passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her son Todd and daughter in law Tracy December 4, 2018.  


Patricia was born August 15, 1935 in Hastings, the daughter of Harry and Ethel (Lawrence) Reaser.  A successful business owner, Patricia and her husband, Franklin, owned Todd Automotive for over ten years.  Patricia loved anything outdoors, especially hummingbirds and gardening.  Patricia enjoyed spending time with her family, reading, and knitting.  She could often be found watching Ellen, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and she even grew to love soccer.  Most important to Patricia was being kind to others and she showed this throughout her life.  


Patricia is survived by her son, Todd (Tracy) Fuhr, grandchildren: Joshua, Jeremy, and Jordan Fuhr, Tyler Duflo; a sister, Phylis Bridenstine; a brother in law, Jerry (Floyd) Bloss; sisters in law, Janet Reaser and Shirley Reaser; several Reaser nieces and nephews; and grand fur babies; Chipper, Pookie, and Sassy.  


Patricia was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Ethel, her husband Franklin; siblings: Joyce Martz, Harry Reaser, Catherine Cisler, Charlie Reaser, Robert Reaser, Lyla Bloss, and Ralph Reaser, and her mother in law, Gertrude Long.  


Todd and Tracy would like to recognize Spectrum Hospice for their loving and special care provided to Mom. 


Patricia’s memorial visitation will be conducted Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:00 to 5:00 PM at Beeler-Gores Funeral home where her memorial service will be conducted at 2:30 PM.  Private burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in the Spring.  


Memorial contributions can be made to Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, 8935 Thompson Road, Lake Odessa, MI 48849, will be appreciated.  


Please visit to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Patricia’s family.


Gary L. "Jake" Jacobs

Gary L. "Jake" Jacobs, age 74 of Delton, Michigan, passed away December 4, 2018 at the Medilodge of Marshall.


Gary was born on November 18, 1944 in Sidney, Nebraska, the son of Russell J. and Hilda (Schubarth) Jacobs.  He graduated from High School in Aurora, Colorado.  Jake honorably served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1969.    Over the years he was employed by E.W. Bliss and D.S. Machine and retired from Grand Rapids Machine Repair.  


Jake enjoyed fishing, hunting, skeet shooting, cutting wood, gardening and spending time with his friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Hilda Jacobs and brother, Jerry Jacobs.

Jake is survived by his daughters, Carrie DeMott of Hastings, Heather (Jeff) Korteway of Mattawan, MI, granddaughter, Autumn DeMott, grandson, Jacob Steidle, great-grandson, Kaison Stridle, and sister, Sandy Jacobs of Nebraska. 


A Memorial Visitation will be held on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  Military honors will be provided by active military personnel.


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, visit  


Mellvo J. Beach

Mellvo (Mel) J. Beach was born April 20, 1938 to Harriet and Henry Beach in Battle Creek, Michigan.  He passed away on October 28, 2018 surrounded by his family after a long battle with COPD.


He was a husband, father, grandfather, and friend.  He and Sue Cullers were married 60 years and raised five children who adored him.  He enjoyed many outdoor activities.  Some favorites were cutting wood, hunting, making maple syrup with friends, gardening, and lawn/landscaping work.  Other favorite activities were vacationing with his family, especially his grandchildren, and family get togethers where he could indulge in favorite meals and share laughs. He was a fiercely loyal and supportive family man. He always enjoyed a good conversation with friends, some of whom he met that very moment. In his younger years, he played and umpired baseball,  Mel enjoyed country music.  His family fondly remembers him singing his favorite songs.


Mel retired after 29 years of working at Bradford White where he was known for his hard work and tenacity.  He was also a former deacon at Quimby Church.


Mel is survived by his wife, Sue, and children Val (Dave), Dawn (Tim), Joe (Kim), and Robin (Michelle); his grandchildren Jessi and Ben, Brianne and Joe Jr.,  Dale, and Courtney and Timmy; as well as 14 great grandchildren.  Sadly, Mel's loving daughter and name sake, Melva Josephine, went to be with the Lord on March 16, 2013.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Harriet, and siblings, Joann, David, Charles, Tom, and John.


Special thanks to Sharon and Tina and their families for all of the love and support.


Memorial contributions may be made to Barry County Youth Day; 1611 S. Hanover street suite #105, Hastings, Michigan 49058 or charity of ones choice. 


Grave side services will be held November 11 at 1:00 at Dowling Cemetery. Luncheon to follow at Baltimore Township Hall in Dowling.  


Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Lauer Family Funeral Home -Wren Chapel; 1401 N. Broadway Street, Hastings, Michigan 49058. 


Joyce Benedict

Joyce Kathalin (Pennock) Benedict, age 89 of Gun Lake Middleville died  unexpectedly on Monday October 22, 2018 at her residence.

Joyce was born October 28, 1928 in Cedar Springs, Michigan, the daughter of Raymond Edward and Lillian Mae (Stevens) Pennock.

She graduated from Maple Valley High School in Nashville. 

Joyce married Stuart J. Benedict on October 29, 1949, they were married 60 years when he died on January 6, 2010.
They traveled the world together and also owned and operated Northside Grocery in Hastings and Acme Bedding in Kalamazoo.

She enjoyed reading, golf, bowling and barbershop music.  

Joyce was preceded in death by her Parents, husband Stuart, son, Michael and his wife Dawn (Burnham) Benedict.

Joyce is survived by her three sons, Tim (Jean) Benedict, David (Kristine) Benedict, Todd Benedict, grandchildren, Brandie Gouley, Jamie Benedict, Kimberly Lane, Brooke, Ryan, Ashly Benedict  and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions would be appreciated to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude Children's Hospital.


Visitation and Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  Visitation from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and the Funeral Service at 12:00 noon.  Interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Hastings.  Pastor Dan Beyer will officiate the service.


Rev. Robert Taylor

Rev. Robert Taylor, age 90, of Vermontville passed away peacefully Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at Sparrow Hospital, in Lansing, MI. 

Robert was born in Buelah, MI on November 11, 1927, the son of the late Benjamin and Aneta (Stormfeltz) Taylor.

He was raised in Buelah Michigan graduating from Benzonia Combined High School in 1946. 

He was the widower of Naomi (Froats) Taylor. The couple were married June 28th 1952 in Central Lake Michigan. Naomi was Bob's lifelong companion in his ministry until she passed away in 2014 after 62 years of marriage.

Shortly thereafter he continued his education at Zion Bible College in Illinois where was training to pursue a career as a minister. After finishing his bible training, Bob went to work at the Pepperidge Pie Factory, while pastoring at the Platt Assembly of God. In 1959 Bob become the Senior Pastor at Charlotte Assembly of God Church, where he served for 3 years. From there Bob and his wife Naomi were called to the Nashville area, where they were initially to evaluate whether the church should be closed; instead Bob & Naomi poured their lives into growing the church, eventually constructing a new church building and parsonage which is still in use today Rev. Taylor served as the senior pastor at the Nashville Assembly of God for 25 years before retiring in 1992. 

After about 2 years of "Retirement" Bob's passion for the ministry was directed toward the RV MAPS program who's mission is to construct churches throughout the United States. He was a valuable addition to the organization for 15 years, because not only did he have a thorough understanding of the ministry as a pastor, he also was extremely proficient in operating heavy equipment. Even during his elder years when he became a resident at Thornapple Manor, Rev. Taylor began a ministry with the residents. Each morning he would visit each individual wing, praying for the residence.

Robert is survived by his two daughters, Roberta (Dale) Thompson, Rita Miller, two sons Ronald (Billie) Taylor, Richard (Lynda) Taylor, two sisters, Geradline Starkey, Betty Wortz, two brothers, Benjamin (Maxine) Taylor, Wayne Taylor, numerous grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Naomi, and son-in-law Eugene Miller.

Funeral Services at The Charlotte Assembly of God Church at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 6th, with Pastor Shane Bryant officiating. There will be a luncheon and time of fellowship immediately following the funeral service at the Charlotte Assembly of God Church

The family will receive visitors Friday October 5, 2018 from 6-8:30 PM at The Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville, MI.

Interment will take place following the funeral luncheon at Hosmer Cemetery in Nashville.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Nashville Assembly of God Church - Building Fund.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details please visit our website at


Glen Mahlan Krammin

Glen Mahlan Krammin, age 57 of Hastings, passed away unexpectedly, September 21, 2018 at his residence.

Glen was born on May 3, 1961 in Hastings, Michigan, the son of Conrad Thomas and Agnes Marie (Fuller) Krammin. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1979 and attended 2 years at Michigan State University studying Agriculture.   Glen was currently employed by Bradford White Corporation in Middleville and he worked the family farm as well.

Glen was raised on the family farm.  He raised hogs, soy beans and corn, cash crops.  Glen also made maple syrup.  He loved bowling, football games, dancing, playing the violin, listening to music, playing golf, cooking and picking fruit on the farm. 

Glen was preceded in death by his dad, Conrad Krammin, grandfather, John Krammin, grandmother, Minnie Krammin, aunt, Joan Krammin, uncles, Gerard, John and Jim Krammin.

He is survived by his mother Agnes Krammin, brother, Lawrence Krammin, sisters, Jean Conway, Loraine (John) Price, son, Stephen Krammin, daughter, Trisha Krammin (Ben Fust), adopted daughters, Lisa Krammin and April Snider, aunts, Mary Ann Krammin-McEachen, Mary Fuller, uncle, Charles (Verle) Krammin, niece, Jeanette Conway, nephew, Kurt Krammin.

Glen was known as a prankster at the White's Corporation.  He loved to see people laugh and enjoyed playing jokes on people.   He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.  

Visitation will be held on Monday, September 24, 2018 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  Visitation will also be held from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on September 25, 2018 at the Woodgrove Brethren Christian Parish, 4887 Coats Grove Rd., Hastings, MI  49058. The Funeral Service will follow visitation at 11:00 am.   Interment will take place at Fuller Cemetery.  Pastor Randall Bertrand will officiate the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family.  


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, visit  


Donald K. Geukes

Donald Geukes passed away Saturday, July 21, 2018 at his home. 


Donald was born July 24, 1940 in East Grand Rapids, the son of Chester and Eleanor (Smith) Geukes.  Following graduation from Thornapple Kellogg High School in 1958, and attending Michigan State University, Don returned home to help run the family business.  He owned and operated Geukes Market for over thirty five years.  Don was instumental in the building of the new Barry County fair grounds, Taste of Middleville, Relay for Life in Barry County. 


Don received many awards for his outstanding contributions in business and community service, and they include; Michigan Meat Association Outstanding Award, Outstanding 4-H Leader Award, Senior Citizen of the Year Award, and the Liberty Bell Award.  A member of the Barry County Fair Board for over thirty five years, Don loved the fair and would often visit other fairs to compare and get new ideas for his beloved fair. Don was also a member of the Leighton Church.  He enjoyed raising sheep and Angus Beef, brush hogging and farming. 


On July 10, 1965, Don married  the love of his life, Janet Solomon, who survives.  Other members of his family include, a daughter and son in law, Jennifer and Dan Myers, a son and daughter in law, Donald Jeffrey and Sarah Geukes, a sister Ruth Geukes, grandchildren: Nicholas, Taylor and Lauren Myers, Jack and Emma Geukes. 


A Memorial Service will be conducted, Sunday, August 19th, 2018, at 3:00p.m. at the Barry Expo Center with Pastor David McBride officiating a Celebration of Life, followed with food and fellowship from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m.  Private burial will take place in Mt. Hope Cemetery. 


Memorial contributions to Barry County Agricultural Fair Improvement-Pavement Fund. or Leighton Church Missions Fund will be appreciated.  Please visit to share a memory or to leave condolence.


Betty Jean Smith Kaub

Betty Jean Smith Kaub, age 87 of Hastings, passed away July 28, 2018 at Thornapple Manor in Hastings.

Betty was born in Holland, Michigan on February 24, 1931, the daughter of Gerrit and Helena (Scholten) Hoogstraten.  She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, class of 1949. Betty received her RN nursing degree from Bronson School of Nursing in 1953.   She worked for Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo from 1952 to 1954.  Betty stayed home to raise her family from 1953 to 1989.  She worked at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan from 1973 to 1988. 

Betty was a Girl Scout Leader from 1964 to 1972.  She was a member of the Kalamazoo Historical Society, Bronson Hospital Alumni, Simpson-Westwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, Faith United Methodist Church in Delton and the Hastings Hope United Methodist Church.  Betty enjoyed sewing, knitting, needlepoint and quilting.  She also enjoyed camping and traveling with her family. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerrit and Helena Hoogstraten, brothers, Bert, Bill, and Bob, sisters, Wilma, Nellie and Tillie. 
Betty was also preceded in death by her first husband, Clair Smith in 1985 after 32 years of marriage and second husband, Richard Kaub in 2001, after 12 years of marriage. 

Betty is survived by her daughter, Ann (Bob) Roobol of Hastings, MI sons, Daniel J. (Diane) Smith of Nashville, MI, David J. (Rosa) Smith of Spain,  Jeffery S. (Missy) Smith of Augusta, MI, sister, Helen (Paul) Force of Bradington, FL, brother, Gerrit (Gail) Hoogstraten of Portage, MI, sisters-in-law, Jo and Joyce Hoogstraten of Kalamazoo, MI, 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the following:  Youth With A Mission, 20136 FM 16 West, Lindale, TX 75771, (Re: For the North Africa Center), Muscular Dystrophy Assoc, P.O. Box 97075, Washington DC 20090,  Hope United Methodist Church, 2920 S. M-37 Hwy., Hastings, MI  49058. 

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 1, at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Hope United Methodist Church.  Pastor Kim Metzer will officiate the service. A luncheon will follow the service.  Interment will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI.   


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, visit



Ingrid Kate Bunde Wilson-Morgan

Ingrid Kate Bunde Wilson-Morgan not only joined her Lord in Heaven on July 28th 2018, but she is surely dancing with her beloved husband Charley. Ingrid was born in Berlin, Germany, on March 9th, 1928 to Karl and Kate Bunde.
She lived through a time in history that was filled with sorrows and with laughter. In later years, she was blessed to recall principally the best of her memories which included her father taking her to the World Olympics in Berlin in 1936 – for which he had welded Olympic rings for the Stadium - where Jessie Owens ran and won gold,; and the generosity of the many pilots in 1948 that dropped packages of food during the Berlin Airlift.
In 1949 post-war Berlin, Ingrid met the love of her life Charley Leroy Wilson. They married on June 14th, 1952 and later that year travelled to the United States where Ingrid then became a proud citizen residing first in Woodland and then in Hastings. In 1953, Charley and Ingrid brought her remaining family to this country – her mother and father, grandmother Anna Marie, and beloved dog Teddy.
Ingrid was known for her wonderful sense of humor, love of dancing, compassion for creatures great and small including her cat Shadow , Plecostomus Oscar, and Grand-Dogs Bella and Teddy Finn, and occasional excitement for an hour at Gun Lake Casino on the penny slots. She was a fierce protector of her family and happiest and at peace in her “Pink Palace” sharing a cup of tea overlooking her garden.
Her cares and prayers were many: for her Wilson family and remaining family and friends in Germany; for her Grace Lutheran Family where she was a member some 65 years, as well as an Assisting and Stephen Minister; for Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital and her fellow Volunteers – particularly her faithful “chauffeur” Rose Wood; and for the many military veterans. Even in her last hours, Ingrid was grateful and gracious, offering her caregivers a glass of “sparkle water.”
Ingrid was preceded in death by her parents Karl and Kate, grandmother Anna, brother Rudi, her first-born Steven Lane, her husband Charley, son-in-law George C.Winick, as well as her second husband James Morgan.
She is survived by her three daughters, “Charley’s Angels” - Carla Wilson-Neil, Kristi Wilson-Winick and Traci Wales; Son-in-Laws Ron Neil and Steve Wales; grand children Misha Neil, Shayna (James) Gibbons, Justin Selleck, Kali Wales, Connor Wales,
Becki Neil Knop, Erin Neil Ginn; great grand children Raylan Gibbons, Alex Knop, Emily Knop, Aaron Knop, Nicholas Ginn, Carson Ginn; great-great grand son Jackson Knop; and anticipated family member Colton Ranguette. Ingrid is also survived by and remains in contact with her cousins in Germany Margrit Weber and Yvonne Klinzman, as well as special friends Hannah GutenMorgan, Peter and Barbel Kebschull, Anita Mika, and Bernd Strauss. She also was a faithful pen pal to Regina Stevenson of Augusta, Georgia.
The funeral is being held Thursday, August 2, at 11 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church with visitation that morning from 10 – 11 a.m., and a visitation will also be held Tuesday, July 31, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Girrbach Funeral Home. Those wishing may honor Ingrid with a remembrance to The Spectrum Health Pennock Foundation designating as desired (Hospice, Cancer, Surgery Suite, etc.) or a hospice of their choice.


James L. Withiem

James L. Withiem age 92 of Hastings. This amazing man sang his way into heaven on Sunday July 22, 2018 at his home after an extended illness.


He was born on March 16, 1926 in Oblong, Illinois to Bradley and Hallie Withiem.


James was a minister since 1960, having the distinct pleasure of officiating at many family members marriages. He served his country during WWII in the Navy.


James was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Orphie Mable Withiem; brothers and sisters; daughter, Vicki Lynn Garrett; grandson, Timothy Lawrence Nevers and a great grandchild, Bryanna Nichol.


He was survived by wife, Patricia; children, Betty (Gene) Nevers, Mitzi Hyatte and Rhonda (Larry) Vincent; step-daughter, Chelle Kenyon, grandchildren, Genia, Jamie, Michael, Nichole, Bradley, Melissa, Jeremy, Tonya and Chelsea; 17 great grandchildren; brother, Robert Withiem.


The family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 from 5-8 PM at Lauer Family Funeral Home – Wren Chapel in Hastings.  Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM at the Hastings Free Methodist Church with Rev. Brian Teed officiating. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery.


For those who wish, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or


Please share condolences with James’ family at



Leonard DeWayne Kidder

Leonard DeWayne Kidder, age 82 of Wayland, passed away June 25, 2018 at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Leonard was born on July 21, 1935 in Freeport, Michigan, the son of Joseph W. and Wilna (Hinton) Kidder.  He attended school in Freeport. On September 15, 1954, Leonard married JoAnn Elliott.  They have enjoyed 63 years of marriage together.

Leonard was a licensed Contractor/Builder and also was a heavy equipment operator.
He was a member of the Hastings Elks, Moose, and Knights of Columbus.  He was also a volunteer at Baldwin Fire Department.  Leonard was an avid ice fisherman.  He loved hunting for moral mushrooms and enjoyed spending time with his family.  Leonard also enjoyed woodworking and would make bird houses, tables and finished boards. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Wilna Kidder, brothers, Jimmy, and David Kidder, several half brothers and sisters and one son, Eddy Kidder.

Leonard is survived by his wife of 63 years, JoAnn Kidder, four sons, Larry (Carol) Kidder, Phillip (Betty) Kidder, Dale Kidder and Morris Kidder, two daughters, Marcia (Jeff) Tyrrell and Minnie (John) Anderson, 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, half brothers, Ike (Gaye) Price, Mike (Gina) Price, Half sisters, Kay (Corwin) Tischer, Peggy (Ed) Noyce and several nieces and nephews. 

In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the family. 

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 from 5-7 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 11:00 am also at Girrbach Funeral Home.  Interment will take place at Irving Cemetery in Middleville, Michigan.


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.   To leave an online condolence visit,


Robert "Bob" VanDenburg

Robert “Bob” VanDenburg, age 94, of Hastings, died on June 18, 2018 at Magnum Care of Hastings. He was born July 13, 1923, in Barry County, the son of George H. and Ruth (Schiefla) VanDenburg. 


He graduated from Hastings High School in 1940. On May 17, 1947 he married June Colvin. He farmed for several years, and owned Safety Service Auto Body for 33 years in Hastings. He loved camping, traveling in the camper, mushroom hunting, walking, fishing, watching Detroit Tigers baseball, and spending time with the grandchildren, especially the great-grandchildren.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth Wayne VanDenburg, brother-in-law Floyd Colvin, sisters-in-law Elaine Steward and Doris Colvin. He is survived by wife, of 71 years, June (Colvin) Vandenburg, sons David (Jane) VanDenburg of Gwinn, Michigan, Jim VanDenburg and Bill VanDenburg of Hastings, Michigan, grandchildren Katherine (Gary) Caplan of Houston, Texas, Kelli (Aaron) Newberry of Hastings, Michigan, Sally (Sean) VanDenburg of Lansing, Michigan, Derek (Sarah) VanDenburg of Hastings, Michigan, great grandchildren Aaron, Andrew, and Kennedy Newberry of Hastings, Michigan, Emma and Adrianne VanDenburg of Hastings, Michigan, Jacob Caplan of Huston, Texas, sisters-in-law Klasiena Vandenburg of Hastings, Michigan, Catherine Colvin of Hastings, Michigan, Mert (Dick) Clark of Middleville, Michigan, Verna Lancaster of Lansing, Michigan, and many nieces and nephews.


Respecting Bob’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no services will be held. Memorial Contributions may be made to Magnum Care of Hastings 240 East North Street, Hastings, Michigan 49058 or a charity of one’s choice. To leave online condolences visit Services provided by Girrbach Funeral Home, Hastings, Michigan.




William "Bill" Merwin Keech

William "Bill" Merwin Keech, age 86 of Hastings, passed away May 11, 2018 at Thornapple Manor in Hastings.

Bill was born February 9, 1932 in Hastings, Michigan the son of Chester and Metha Louise (Kesler) Keech.  He attended Hastings High School, graduating in 1950.   Bill honorably serviced in the U.S. Army, during the Korean Conflict.  Over the years, he worked for Orchard Industries, E.W. Bliss, and Flex Fab.  Bill married Jerrine Joustra on February 2, 1956 and they have enjoyed 62 years of marriage. 

Bill enjoyed Ice Fishing, was an avid gardener, he enjoyed daily walks and walking the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day. He was an avid fan of the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, and Lions, and for many years attended the Lions game on Thanksgiving Day.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Metha Keech and brother, Russell Keech.    Bill is survived by his wife, Jerrine Keech of Hastings, sons: Terry Keech (Angie Evans) and Brian (Amy) Keech, daughters, Vicki (Tom) Butler, and Debbie (Mark) Ulrich, grandchildren: Brent, Kristen, Jeremy, Megan, Erin, Eric, Cory, Crystal, Caleb and Emma, and 12 great-grandchildren, brother, Donald (Nadine) Keech and several nieces and nephews.  

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.   Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:00 am, also at Girrbach Funeral Home.  Interment will take place at Fuller Cemetery with full military honors, provided by American Legion Post #45 and Active Military.

Memorial contributions may be made to Thornapple Manor,  2700 Nashville Rd., Hastings, MI  49058.


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, visit



Fred Teachworth

Fred Teachworth, age 72 of Lake Odessa, passed away on May 10, 2018 at Thornapple Manor, after a three-year battle with a debilitating disease.  His family remained close to him throughout his struggle.

Fred was born June 13,1945 in Alma, Michigan, the middle child of the five sons of Ora and Carol Teachworth.  He married Connie Haskin, in September of 1971 and moved to a house on Clark Road, Lake Odessa where they remained throughout their 46 year marriage.  Together they raised 3 sons and a daughter.

Fred was well know as a masonry worker, having worked for a variety of contractors and eventually having his own business, Fireside Masonry.  One of his last projects was the restoration of the historical Slowins home on Musgrove Hwy.  It was an extensive project that required refabricating the vintage lintels that were in need of repair.  The house is now the home of his nephew Alex Haskin and his wife Rachel.

Fred was an avid fisherman and hunter for many years.  He passed on his knowledge and love of these activities to his children, taking them for rustic camping and fishing trips.  In his retirement he enjoyed going to auctions, collecting antiques and creating unique items by welding scrap metal and found objects. Fred was a movie buff and had an extensive movie collection, which he shared with others.  He especially enjoyed action movies.

Fred is survived by his wife Connie, sons Ryan (Jamie), Ben (Amanda),Brandon (Danielle), daughter Kallie (Josh) Carter, grandchildren; Paul, Michaela, Jesse, Samantha, Braxton, Natalee, Auggie, Kathryn, Emiliah, Henry, Mylie, Jase and 4 great-grandchildren, brothers; Jim and Jack.  Preceeding him in death are his parents; brothers Bruce and Rollie; and an infant daughter.

Visitation will be held on Monday, May 14th, 2018 from 5:00p.m. until 8:00p.m. at Koops Funeral Chapel, in Lake Odessa, MI; with a Vigil Service and Rosary starting at 7:30pm.  A Memorial Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018. at 1:30p.m. at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Lake Odessa, MI.  Memorials in Fred's name can be made to either St. Edwards Catholic Church or the Lake Odessa Library.  Online condolences can be left at


Theron Kent Gibson

Theron Kent Gibson


Born June 14, 1937 at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah to Theron George Gibson and Lorna Grace Carter Gibson. Died April 19, 2018 in Spanish Fork, Utah. He lived and attended schools in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California from 1938 until 1966. He lived in Sunfield, Michigan from 1966 until 1973 and then in Hastings until 2017 when he moved to Spanish Fork, Utah. He was married to Dawne Irene O’Connor on February 14, 1964. They met when they both were working at ITT Gilfillan in Los Angeles.


They have four children: Gregg Gibson (Allyson) of Spanish Fork, Utah, Karin Johnson (Brad) of Hastings, Geoff Gibson (children with Stephanie) of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Grant Gibson (children with Amber) of Lake Odessa. They have sixteen grandchildren: Zach, Kaycee, Brooke, Blair, Matthew, Samuel, Hannah, Micah, Aspen, Ainsley, Asher, Andyn, Allen, Ashton, Abigail, and Arwyn.


He worked at TRW Automotive in Portland, Michigan for thirty one years, retiring in 1997.  He served on the Sunfield Village Council and as Village President. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was the first branch president of the Hastings Branch. He worked for many years in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.


A family memorial service will be held. Burial will be at the Riverside Cemetery in Hastings, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brad and Karin Johnson Scholarship Fund,  Hastings Educational Enrichment Foundation, 232 W Grand St., Hastings MI 49058. To leave online condolences visit Services provided by Girrbach Funeral Home, Hastings, Michigan.


Wilma Townsend

Wilma N. Townsend, age 97, of Woodland passed away on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at the Pennock Campus of Spectrum Health in Hastings.  Wilma was born on August 28, 1920 to Charles and Valenta (Cunningham) King.  Besides being an excellent mother Wilma also served the Lakewood Schools as classroom aide. She was dedicated wife, mother and grandmother who was always there when needed.  Her strength, not only physical but spiritual and emotional was an inspiration to all.  A big part of this was her devotion to her Faith and friends both within and outside of church.

She will be lovingly remembered by her: children Pamela Mix, Peggy (Ron) France, Barbara (Darrel) Bosworth and Shelley Steward, grandchildren; Jeff (Selena) Duits, Greg (Tricia) Duits, Chris (Jodi) Duits, Jennifer (Steve) Haakenson, Manda (Dave) Nurenberg, Tami Bosworth, Trevor (Harvest) Bosworth, Timothy Bosworth, Troy (Mindee) Bosworth, Matt (Jennifer) Steward and Gabe (Melissa) Steward, many great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.

Wilma was proceeded in death by: parents, husband Franklin, daughter Tamara, son in laws Jeff Steward and Terrence Mix, grandson Lucas Steward, great granddaughters Emily Duits and Kelsey Duits.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2018 from 2pm until 5pm at Koops Funeral Chapel in Lake Odessa.  Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 5, 2018 at 10 am at the Hope Church of the Brethren 14275 92nd Street, Freeport, MI 49325.  Burial will take place at Woodland Memorial Park at 1pm following the funeral services.  Memorials can be given to Lakewood Educational Foundation or the Lake Odessa Public Library.  Online condolences can be left at


Kenneth R. Vaught

Rev. Kenneth R. Vaught, age 86 of Hastings went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Saturday, December 16, 2017.


Ken was born on July 9, 1931 in Terre Haute, Indiana, the son of Elbert C. and Eula (Reid) Vaught. He attended Terre Haute Schools, and Indiana State University. Ken graduated from Indiana Central College (University of Indianapolis) and the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois (Garrett Seminary).

Ken married Helen Marie Montgomery in Terre Haute, Indiana on August 26, 1955. They were blessed with 62 years of marriage.

Ken loved people and enjoyed preaching and calling on people. He pastored at Evangelical United Brethren churches in Indiana, United Methodist Churches in Hastings, Battle Creek, Leighton Township and Nashville, Michigan. He retired in 1994 from the Hope United Methodist Church. After his retirement he pastored at the Quimby Church, part-time. Ken spent countless hours calling on people in the hospital, nursing facilities and at home.

Ken enjoyed music and could play both the piano and organ. He enjoyed watching Sports and he had a wonderful sense of humor.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother, mother and father-in-law, and brother-in-law.

Ken is survived by his loving wife, Helen of Hastings, son, Timothy Vaught of Hastings, daughter, Melinda (Thomas) Deckard of Centerville, IN, grandsons, Joel (Alicia) Deckard of Pasadena, CA, Adam (Emily) Deckard of Mt. Pleasant, MI, brother, James (Connie) Vaught of Maryville, TN, brother-in-law, Robert (Joyce) Montgomery of Battle Ground, IN, sister-in-law, Delores Montgomery of Watseka, IL, sister-in-law, Brenda Spencer of Frankfort, KY and serveral nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or Thornapple Manor, 2700 Nashville Rd., Hastings, MI.

Visitation will be held Thursday from 12:00pm - 2:00pm and 4:00pm - 7:00pm and 1 hour prior to service time At Hope United Methodist Church.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 Friday at Hope United Methodist Church 2920 S. M-37 Hwy. Hastings. Arrangements are by the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.


Cleo L. Brown

Cleo Leroy Brown, age 79, went home to heaven on December 11, 2017 at his home in Nashville, MI. He was born on August 4, 1938 in Charlotte, MI to late Clinton and Esther (King) Brown.

He lived many different places and attended many schools later graduating from Adult Education in 1982. He left home at age 16 and worked for Pastoric, hauling lumber and cutting trees. Soon he move in with Raymond and Ardath Wilcox and worked on their farm, of who he formed a loving bond. They survive him to this day. Later jobs included Mitchell Bently in Ionia, Oldsmobile, Johnsons Lumber Co. and Gale Briggs. He served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1967 and was very proud of his duties as a cook. Cleo then worked for Thor-Fabricators driving truck but was away from his family too much, so he started working in construction. He had a real love for building and remodeling and was a talented carpenter. Cleo worked for Lloyd Priddy, Randall Lumber, Don Hughes and then on his own, also building three new homes for his family. He continued in construction until retiring due to health issues.

He was the husband of Lillian (Christman) Brown. The couple was married September 22, 1962 in Vermontville Bible Church. They began their lives together in North Carolina while Cleo was completing duty in the Army, later returning to Vermontville to start their family. After a short time the couple moved to Nashville where they spent the majority of their lives together

Cleo loved making or fixing things and keeping busy with crafts of all kinds. He truly enjoyed spending time and making memories with his family. and in particular his grandchildren. He had such a great sense of humor and was cracking jokes right up the end, even when he was in ill health. He made numerous friends throughout his life with his quick wit and humor.

Cleo is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Lillian, daughter Pam (Rick) Savala, son Bob (Shari) Brown, daughter Dana (Dan ) Gillespie, 13 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren (with one on the way!) and his sister Sandi (Terry) Bullion. He was preceded in death by his parents, Step Father Lawrence Wilson, brothers Cleon Brown & Larry Wilson, and Grandson Brandon Gillespie.

Funeral Services will be held at The Daniels Funeral Home, Nashville, MI, at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 16, 2017 with Pastor Joe Benedict officiating.

The family will receive visitors on Friday December 15, 2017 from 6-8 PM and again 1 hour prior to the funeral service on Saturday beginning at 10 AM at the Daniels Funeral Home, in Nashville.

There will be a time of fellowship and luncheon immediately following the funeral service at Grace Church in Nashville.

Interment will take place following the funeral luncheon at Hillside Cemetery - Kalamo.

Memorial contributions can be made to the family of Cleo Brown, or Vermontville Bible Church.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details please visit our website at


Eralia Emelina (Emily) Nye

Eralia E. Nye passed away December 8, 2017 in Hastings. Eralia was born September 30, 1929 in Lucero, New Mexico; the daughter of Pedro and Maria Montoya.


Eralia attended the University of New Mexico and the University of Colorado. A Licensed Practical Nurse at Leila Post Hospital, she also was a private duty nurse for many years. She enjoyed gardening and most of all she loved her family.


On January 7, 1953, Eralia married the love of her life: Kenneth Nye and he preceded her in death on February 25, 2010.


She is survived by daughters: Deborah Waite, and Linda Gardner, sons: Thomas (Cheryl) Nye, Bradley (Peggy) Nye, and Tim (Laura) Nye, a sister: Arabella Montoya, ten grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Eralia was also preceded in death by her parents and brothers: Ferenando, Laudente, Dennis, Lee and Armando Montoya.


Her family will receive friends, Friday, December 15, 2017, 10:00 to 11:00 AM at the Williams-Gores Funeral Home, Delton where her memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 AM, Pastor Jeff Worden, officiating. Burial will take place in Dowling Cemetery. Memorial contributions to a charity of your choice in memory of Eralia will be appreciated.


Please visit to leave a message or to leave a condolence message for Eralia’s family.


Helen Ressor

Helen Ressor, age 98, passed away on November 25, 2017. 


Helen was born July 13, 1919, the daughter of Albert and Orpha Ressor.  She was a graduate of Woodland High School in 1937 and then was graduated from Michigan State College of Agricultural and Applied Science, now called Michigan State University in 1941.  Following college, Helen started her teaching career in home economics, teaching in the Mecosta, Woodland, Centerville and Colon school districts.  After retiring in 1971, she returned to live on the family farm in Woodland, taking care of her father in his final years.  In recent years, Helen lived at Cornerstone Assisted Living Center, in Hastings, and she enjoyed following and watching the Detroit Tigers and Michigan State Basketball.


Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Orpha Ressor, brother, Hillis Ressor, and niece Jane Rabler.  She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Mulder, nephews and nieces; Stephen Mulder, David Mulder, Marcia Borton, Marvin Ressor and Joan Ressor.


Visitation will be held at Koops Funeral Chapel in Lake Odessa, MI on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 from 1pm until time of service at 2pm.  Burial will take place in Woodland Memorial Park. 


Memorial contributions may be made to the Woodland United Methodist Church, 203 N Main St. Woodland, MI 48897.  Online condolences can be left at


Karen Sue VanBuren

On Friday, November 10, Karen Sue VanBuren, passed away at her home near Woodland, Michigan. She was surrounded by her beloved husband, family and dear friends. Although the cancer she had so bravely fought for over 20 years ravaged her body, it was never able to shake her faith in her savior the Lord Jesus Christ, rob her of being a loving wife, mother, sister and friend, or steal her ability to be compassionate, caring and giving, or of loving the life she was given. In the end, she was victorious.


Karen was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1956 to Max and Noralee Bracy. She graduated from Maple Valley High School, in Vermontville, Michigan in 1974 and went on to get an Associates Degree and serve in the Barry County District court for more than two decades. Due to her illness, she retired in 2012. She attended the Hastings Free Methodist Church for many years. If one were to ask her about her biggest accomplishment, she would undoubtedly reply, “Becoming a student, follower and lover of the Lord.”


On May 18, 2007, she married Kent VanBuren. Together, they built a home and a life full of the God-given blessings of family, and friends. Known for her compassionate and generous nature, Karen’s smile and her ability to say or write kind words of encouragement are legend. Even during the challenging times of chemo-therapy treatments, she never lost her optimism, incredible wit or sense of humor. She enjoyed a good meal, particularly one that included fish caught and prepared by Kent, boat rides, seeing the sun at the beginning and end of the day, a good bonfire, stars in the sky, and sharing a good glass of wine, with the love of her life, Kent.


She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Max and Noralee (Gillons) Bracy, Hastings, Michigan, her Husband Joseph K. Daniel, Hastings, Michigan and nephew Joseph Barton Bracy, Naples, Florida.


She is survived by her husband Kent VanBuren, Woodland, Michigan; stepson Alex VanBuren his wife Heather and children Ty and Kaile, Hastings, Michigan; stepson Christopher, his wife Mallory, Munising, Michigan; brother Bart, wife Sue (Satterelee) and their sons Luke and Wade, Orlando, Florida; sister Christine (Fowler) Stone, Essexville, Michigan; her son Austin Curtis, Tampa, Florida, and daughter Jordan (Curtis) Gonzales and husband Edward Gonzales and their children, Audrey and Edward Jr., Vina del Mar, Chile.


A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on November the 18, 2017, at the Hastings Free Methodist Church, with visitation one hour prior. Due to likelihood of inclement weather, internment at the Woodland Cemetery will be postponed until April 21, 2018.


In lieu of flowers the family encourages donations to the VanAndel Institute, 333 Bostwick Avenue, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or Great Lakes Hospice. Services provided by Girrbach Funeral Home, Hastings, Michigan. 


Agnes Perkins

Agnes Perkins, daughter of Leo and Agnes (Dooley) Taffee died on November 12, 2017.


She was born in Hastings on December 17, 1923. Agnes attended St. Rose School through the 10th grade, then spent the last two years at Hastings High School, graduating in 1941.


She attended Mercy College of Nursing in Detroit and became a registered nurse in 1945. Agnes worked at Pennock Hospital for many years, also at Share Road Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and St. Joseph Hospital in Flint, Michigan.


In 1949 she married Norman Perkins. They lived in Flint for 15 years and then moved back to Hastings for their retirement in 1979. Agnes retired from Pennock Hospital in 1987.


She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Norman, three brothers, Tom, Fr. Robert and Bill Taffee, two sisters, Mary Taffee and Sister M. Laurentina Taffee.


Agnes is survived by her three sons: Mark (Eileen)Perkins of Flint, Michael (Judeth) Perkins of Flint and John (Jeanne)Perkins of Frankfort, IL, also three grandchildren, Kathy (Kevin), Robert, and Joseph and great granddaughters, Kaitlyn, Claire and Luci Leverence.


Visitation will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. A Rosary will be held at 5:30 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 11:00 am at the St. Rose of Lima Church, 805 S. Jefferson, Hastings, MI 49058. Interment will take place at Mt Calvary Cemetery.


Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Rose of Lima Church.


Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, please visit


Otis Hill

Mr. Otis Hill, age 93, of Nashville passed away Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at his home. Otis was born in Nashville, Michigan on May 28, 1924, the son of the late Otis and Hazel (Norris) Hill. He was raised in the Hastings area and attended local schools graduating from Hastings High School. After graduating, Otis worked with his father farming with horses on their M79 farm. In 1955 he began working at Kelloggs as a machine operator. He was the husband of Katherine (Stutz) Hill. The couple was married January 23, 1943 and would be celebrating 75 years of marriage in January. Otis & Katherine began their lives together on the family farm, and in 1955 built their current home which they have lived in their entire lives. During this time, Otis continued farming, and working at Kelloggs until retiring in 1981. While they were raising their family the couple enjoyed spending their free time at the roller skating rink on Thornapple Lake Road. Otis loved to be outside working on the farm, hunting, and fishing. In 1952, he purchased 2 pieces of hunting property one Mancelona, and other in Newberry, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. These properties where so remote the only way access was by boat, traveling up river. Soon after their purchase Otis and a couple friends began construction of the cabin, which was painstaking, labor intensive effort requiring each piece of timber to be hand cut, carried to the boat, then transported down river to the campsite. Throughout its construction, Otis insisted nobody would go hunting until all the work had been completed. Those early efforts yielded several terrific hunting seasons, and throughout the years Otis has bagged over 52 bucks, including several trophy class deer. Otis is survived by his beloved wife Katherine, two daughters, Marsha (Mike) Kerjes, Lisa (Jim) DeVries, two sons Larry (Carol) Hill, Mike (Claudene) Hill, He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, 6 great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sisters Hilda Tobias, Grace Nichols, Ruth Rice, and grandson Don Beck in 1987. The family will receive visitors on Saturday November 4, 2017 from 1:00-3:00 PM at The Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. Funeral services and interment will take place privately. Memorial contributions can be made to Peace Church or Great Lakes Caring Hospice. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details please visit our website at










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