Robert Henry Fekkes

Robert Henry Fekkes passed away on September 4, 2019 at the age of 85. 


Robert was born in Penfield, NY on June 7, 1934, the son of Jan and Thea Fekkes, Dutch immigrants.  As a young child, the family returned to Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he was raised.  Robert later returned to the US, and started his family in Indianapolis, IN.  He married Renate Berta Weber on April 25, 1959 and enjoyed 45 years of marriage until her death on October 28, 2004. 


Robert was a licensed landscape architect and President and Owner of the Fekkes Landscape Company in Indianapolis, Indiana until he retired in December of 1999.  His lifelong interests included nature, animals, travel, and above all, his family.  Robert was a member of several Catholic churches in Indianapolis, IN and Naples, FL before moving to Hastings, Michigan. 


Robert is preceded in death by his wife, parents, and siblings, Rita, Hans, Maryke, and Peter.

He is survived by his daughters Andrea Fekkes Dynes of Alexandria, VA, Stephanie Fekkes (Cordova) of Hastings, MI, son-in-law Tomy Cordova of Hastings, MI, grandchildren Christopher Robert Dynes of Alexandria, VA, Madeline Fekkes Dynes of Chicago, IL, and step-grandson Gabriel Cordova of Naples, FL. 


A special thank you to the caregivers in his final years, Melissa Winick, Kathy Covey, and other caring staff at Woodlawn Meadows in Hastings, Michigan.


Services will be held at Noon on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at St. Rose of Lima Church, 805 S Jefferson St, Hastings, MI 49058 with a visitation held from 5:00-7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at Girrbach Funeral Home, 328 S. Broadway, Hastings, MI 49058.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Serenity Village of Barry County, PO Box 414, Hastings, MI 49058 or a nature conservancy of your choice.   


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




Michael Alan Kelly

Michael Alan Kelly of Hastings, died on August 15, 2019 at age 74.


He was born on April 2, 1945 in Kalamazoo, Michigan the son of William Henry and Myrtle Irene (Palmatier) Kelly. On March 20, 1981 he married Phyllis Lenz.


He lived, he loved, and he laughed.


Michael was preceded in death by his parents and many siblings. He is survived by his wife, of 38 years, Phyllis Kelly, sons Michael (Ronda) Kelly of Martin, Michigan, and Robert (Dawn) Kelly of Delton, Michigan, daughter Tracy Kelly of Shelbyville, Michigan, grandsons Dustin Kelly, Curtis (Tricia) Kelly, Lucas (Bethany) Kelly all of Plainwell, Michigan, granddaughter Tara Kelly and Michael of Bradley, great-grandsons Theodore Kelly, and Stryker (Sniper) Heers and Noonie, 5 sisters, 1 brother and many friends.


Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice. Honoring Michael’s wishes there will be no service. Services provided by Girrbach Funeral Home. To leave online condolences visit




Laurence Eldon Conklin

Laurence Eldon Conklin, a man known for his love of family, sparking a good laugh, and traveling the world with friends and family, took a peaceful journey to heaven on Tuesday, August 6. 


Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Larry’s life to be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 17, at Cedar Creek Bible Church, 9213 Cedar Creek Road in Delton. 


What follows is a short synopsis of his fun-filled life as reported by Larry, who admitted to a history of “stretching the truth.”


Born March 11, 1931, in a Dowling snow bank, Larry survived a bout of polio at a young age to become an accomplished runner in high school. 


After marrying Dorothy Adams on September 7, 1952 and later having two daughters, Larry supported his family as a barber and working factory jobs, including “running” Kellogg’s in Battle Creek. He also helped Dorothy and her daughters run River Bend Travel Agency, Heart’s Desire Gift Boutique and the Back Door Deli in Hastings. 


Known for his harmonica and singing voice, but not always in a good way, Larry turned to the Bible as a defense. “The Lord said make a joyful noise. He didn’t say it had to sound good to others.”

Raised eyebrows were always a giveaway that Larry was beginning a tall tale or joke. He also loved getting laughs in other ways, including one time while enjoying coffee at a diner. He suddenly looked at his watch, said he had to go and proceeded to pour his cup of coffee into his shirt pocket, which he had lined with plastic.


By far Larry’s favorite pastime was spending time with family and friends at baseball games, auto racing events, playing pool, and simple family get togethers. He traveled the world with Dorothy, escorting travel agency trips and was often pictured holding her purse as she took the group photos. He said his family “was about the only thing I am proud of.”


Larry passed away after a brief illness that family blamed on the poor effort of his beloved Detroit Tigers. He was 88. At Larry’s request, his body has been cremated.


Larry is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 66 years; daughters Lou Ann (Colin) Cruttenden and Connie (Marty) Haywood, all of Hastings; brothers Charles Conklin, of Dowling, and Robert Conklin of Hastings; four grandchildren, Tim Cruttenden and Kelli Cruttenden, Jeff Haywood and Sabrina Christy; and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Leslie and Agnes Conklin and sister Hazel Skidmore. 


Family asks that donations be made in Larry’s honor to Spectrum Health Hospice and Cedar Creek Bible Church.  Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home.  To leave an online condolence, visit


Phyllis Augusta Olmsted

Phyllis Olmsted (nee Schmidt, formerly Kaufmann), 93, transitioned peacefully from this life to her next adventure on August 1, 2019. 


She was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota to August and Josephine (Kapsa) Schmidt and lived in the Black Hills area through her college years. Phyllis graduated from Black Hills Teacher’s College (now Black Hills State University) with a teaching certificate and then taught in Casper, Wyoming for three years until marrying Richard Kaufmann of Mt. Clemens, Michigan.  They made their home in Mt. Clemens, had three children - Kathy, Nancy, and Tom - then moved to Hastings in 1958.  The marriage ended in 1969. In 1964, Phyllis achieved her BS Degree from Western Michigan University in order to begin teaching again.  That fall, she began teaching Second Grade at Northeastern School and continued in that capacity until her retirement in 1984. On June 10, 1978, Phyllis and Clare Sylvan (Hank) Olmsted were married and enjoyed 27 years of love and partnership until Hank’s death in 2005. After her retirement from teaching, Phyllis became an active volunteer and participant for many years in many organizations including the Barry County Retired School Personnel, Thornapple Garden Club, Friends of the Hastings Public Library, Pennock Hospital Volunteers, and Red Cross Blood Drives. 


Preceded in death by her parents and husband, brother-in-law Daniel Popielski, son-in-law Bob O’Casey, stepsons John Olmsted and Terry Raesley, and step-son-in-law Jim Kinney.  Survived by sister (Betty) Jo Ann Popielski (nieces Andrea Popielski and Gail West, nephews David and Kurt Popielski), daughters Katherine O’Casey (step-granddaughters Robin and Heather Casey) and Nancy Kaufmann, son Thomas (Judy Childs, grandchildren Miles and Elise Kaufmann), stepson Mark (Tammy) Olmsted (step-grandchildren Sherri (Dan) Wolfe, Johnathan (Rochelle) Olmsted, Christopher (Michelle) Olmsted, Tanner Olmsted), stepdaughters Sal Kinney and Linda (Michael) Bingman, step-grandchildren Jessie Wood and Ben Olmsted, many other step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, grandnieces and grandnephews, and special “gardening” daughter, Anita (Jerry) Lyons. 


A Celebration of Love will be held Wednesday, August 21st, with 4 pm graveside services at Fuller Cemetery, N. Charlton Park Rd. followed by a light supper at Welcome Corners United Methodist Church, N. M-43.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the Hastings Public Library or Thornapple Garden Club or the charity of your choice.  Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home.  To leave an online condolence, visit


Richard Allen Smith

Richard (Rick) A. Smith, age 74, of Hesperia, MI; formerly of Bellevue, MI, passed away unexpectedly Friday, June 7, 2019 at his home.  He was born September 16, 1944 in Battle Creek, MI, the son of Lyle and Fern (Kinsey) Smith.  Rick graduated from Bellevue High School, class of 1964.  He married the love of his life, Rebecca McCandless on July 8, 1966.  He was employed with Union Pump in Battle Creek, MI for 43 years, known as Dick Smith by his coworkers.  He was the Union President of the IATC, (International Assoc. of Tool Craftsman) for many years before retiring at age 63 in 2008.


Rick loved the outdoors, animals, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. He enjoyed family trips to Alaska.  The most recent trip to Alaska included a family wedding on Mount McKinley.  He enjoyed camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes and spending time at their cottage in Hesperia, MI; just 6 years ago it became their permanent residence where neighbors became friends, and friends became family.  In his younger years he enjoyed golfing, hunting, and fishing. 


Richard is survived by his loving wife, Becky of 53 years; children, Ginny (Mike) Durow, Jeff (Teresa) Smith; grandchildren, Ryan and Reese Durow; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews and his Saint Huberts family.  He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Bruce, Robert, Myrna Avery, Carroll, and Alvetta Lea.


Family will receive friends at Kempf Funeral & Cremation Service, Bellevue on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. Visitation will also be held at the funeral home at 11:00am on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Funeral services will immediately follow at 12:00 noon with Reverend James Gysel officiating. Interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery. 


Rick says he really doesn’t need flowers and would prefer to help support local animals. Memorial donations in his name can be made to All Species Kinship, a nonprofit that cares about animals as much as Rick did. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 4055, Battle Creek, MI 49016 or donations can be made at Memorial contributions may also be made to the organization of your choice. Online condolences and memories can be left at


Donald Clair Springer

Donald Clair Springer, age 95 of Hastings, went to be with the Lord on May 31, 2019.


Donald was born on April 30, 1924 in Bowens Mills, Michigan, the son of James Harold and Gertrude (Anders) Springer. He graduated from Delton High School in 1942.


Donald was a US Navy Pilot, serving in World War II and retired from the Navy Reserves in 1963. He worked for EW Bliss in the 1950’s 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1976 he went to Marion Power Shovel and retired to Florida in 1984.


On August 21, 1947, Donald married Maxine Bennett, and they enjoyed 71 years of marriage.


Donald attended the First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Michigan; Marion, Ohio; and Venice, Florida. He was a member of the American Legion Post #45, and the Coin Club in Venice, Florida. Donald and Maxine loved traveling all over the United States and overseas. Both being pilots, Maxine and Donald served as the second managers of the Hastings Airpark from 1949 through 1954.


In retirement, Maxine and Don have traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states and Alaska twice. Outside the United States, they have cruised throughout the Panama Canal, visited their exchange student daughter in Finland and made multiple trips to Canada to vacation and visit friends.


Donald was preceded in death by his parents, brothers James and Francis, sister Gloria (Springer) Russell, son Val Bennett Springer, nephew Phillip Springer and great-granddaughter Kyomi Linai Culpepper.


Donald is survived by his wife Maxine (Bennett) Springer; daughters Janice Springer Miller and Sue (Michael) Murphy; grandchildren, Michael Dean (Brooke) Miller, Amanda Dubay, Micah (Jesi) Murphy, Chad (Maggie) Murphy, Jamie (Amy) Murphy, Shana (Cliff) Bush, Catherine Hawthorne, Meghann (Tony) Russell, 21 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter, Claire Marie Miller.


A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM, Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Girrbach Funeral Home, 328 S Broadway; Hastings, Michigan with a visitation one-hour prior. Interment with Military Honors presented by the Hastings American Legion Post 45 and active Navy at Riverside Cemetery in Hastings following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Val "Bub" Bennett Springer Scholarship at the Hastings Education Enrichment Foundation (HEEF) or Kyomi’s Gift. through the Barry Community Foundation. Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home. To leave an online condolence, visit



Elvetta Geiger

Elvetta Geiger of Woodland, surrounded by the love and kindness she showed others, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2019 at the age of 91.


She was born January 12, 1928 to Charlie and Winnie (Jones) Vandlen of Hastings. A bright young student, Elvetta graduated from Hastings High School in 1946 alongside many friends she would keep her entire life. She married Fred Geiger on November 28, 1947; and began their life together on the Geiger farm in Woodland. There, alongside Fred, Elvetta would raise their five children, tend to the family farm, and show the love of Christ to all who found themselves at her door.


Through her music at the organ, crafts, letters and compassion, Elvetta will be remembered as a mother, grandmother, neighbor and friend who made our world more beautiful.

In death, Elvetta joins her parents, husband Fred, son Gary, grandson Douglas Geiger and granddaughter Betsy Geiger and sister Janet Rowley.


Elvetta is survived by son Randy (Sharon) Geiger and granddaughter Jill; daughter Diane (William) Ramey and grandsons James (Sarah) and David (Rebecca); daughter Marilyn (Thomas) Simmons and grandchildren Thomas (Natasha), Brian (Bri) and Rebecca (Doug Sarver); son Roger (Mary) Geiger and grandchildren Benjamin, Gregory (Heather), Alexander (Katherine) and Kerissa; 18 great grandchildren; honorary daughters Kathy Chase, LeeAnna Geiger and Lori Geiger; and in hearts of the congregation of Nashville Nazarene Church.


Visitation will be held Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Church of The Nazarene in Nashville starting at 10am until 11am when funeral services will begin.  Burial will take place at Woodland Memorial Park in Woodland Township.  Memorials are suggested to the Gideons International or the Nashville Church of the Nazarene for missionaries.



Pastor Calvin E. Kidder

Pastor Calvon “Cal” E. Kidder, 91, of Woodland went into the loving arms of his Savior on May 9, 2019 at his home with his loving family.  Cal was born on January 6, 1928 to Glen and Alice (Pritchard) Kidder in Boone, MI.  Cal married Alice Soderquist on February 21, 1948.  They were blessed with 71 years of marriage and four daughters.   He was an avid wood worker most of his life.  In 1950 he was called by the Lord to serve as a minister in the Church of God, pastoring seven churches spanning many states in his 62 years of service.


He will be dearly missed by:  wife Alice, children; Joy (Jerry) Swiger, Janet (Mike) Long, Mary Kidder and Vee (Phil) Grimwood; grandchildren; Kelly (John) Donlin, Michelle (Steve) Crouch, Christy (Jeff) Molenaar, Tiffany Watson, Caleb (Dacia) Watson, David (Melissa) Grimwood, Heather Parrish; great-grandchildren; Shane Willette, Andy Donlin, John Munro, Alley Munro, Brittany Molenaar, Evan Molenaar, Tanner Yanz, Brody Cheesbro, Charlotte Watson, Myles Watson, Devin Grimwood and Dalton Grimwood; siblings; Treva Dewey, Lewis Kidder, Lila (Bob) Rosenburger; along with many nieces and nephews. 


Preceding Cal in death are:  his parents, siblings; Cylia Bowen, Mark Kidder, Lee Kidder and Larry Kidder.


Visitation will be held on May 14, 2019 at the Kilpatrick U.B. Church from 11am until 12noon with service starting at 12noon.  Burial will take place in Woodland Memorial Park at 3:30pm on May 14, 2019.  Memorials can be made to the family to help with expenses.  Online condolences can be left at


Stephen Leroy Pennington

Stephen Leroy Pennington

( March 13, 1957 - April 13, 2019 )


Stephen Leroy Pennington, age 62 of Hastings, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly April 13, 2019. 


Steve was born on March 13, 1957 in Hastings, Michigan, the son of Lloyd and Susan Pennington.  He graduated from Hastings High School in 1975. Steve was co-owner and operator of Pennington Construction, for the past 40 years, with brother, and best friend, Mike Pennington. 


Steve married Judy Johnson on December 18, 1987 and they enjoyed 20 years of marriage until her passing on August 13, 2007.  Steve married Beverly Wood on February 21, 2014 and they have enjoyed the last five years together.


Steve loved the great outdoors.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, and lately riding his bike and fishing in Florida. Steve also enjoyed bowling, which he did for many years with friends and family, and going to the casino.   After Steve retired, he enjoyed spending winter months in Florida with his wife, Beverly.  He enjoyed spending time with his two children who live in Florida as well and spending time with family and friends. 


Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Susan Pennington, first wife, Judy Pennington, brother, Michael Pennington, and daughter, Jessica Merrill Pennington.


Steve is survived by his wife, Beverly Pennington of Hastings, MI, daughter, Natalie Pennington and fiance' Joe Lynch of Winter Park, FL, son, Ryan Pennington of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, step-daughter, Erika Wood of Middleville, MI, step-daughter, Alexis (Blake) Newbold of Middleville, MI, sisters, Sandy (Dave) Nichols of Hastings, MI, and Teresa (Jay) Beckwith of Newberry, MI, brother, Joe Pennington of Punta Gorda, FL, five step-grandchildren, many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 6-8 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 11:00 am also at Girrbach Funeral Home.  Interment will take place at Irving Township Cemetery.  A luncheon will follow burial at the Hastings Elks Lodge.


Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association or a Charity of One's Choice.   Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings. To leave an online condolence, visit


Mary Lou Schantz

Mary Lou Schantz, age 83, passed away on March 13, 2019 at her home surrounded by her loving family.


Mary Lou was born August 23, 1935, the daughter of George and Gladys (Bowerman) Eggleston. On September 6, 1952, Mary Lou married the love of her life, Ralph Schantz, and he preceded her in death on April 28, 2017.


An accomplished seamstress, Mary Lou was employed by Baby Bliss for many years. She also enjoyed knitting, crocheting, making porcelain dolls, and watching her favorite movie, State Fair. Mary Lou was also an avid collector and in her younger years she belonged to a social quilting club. Mary Lou could often be found in the kitchen, cooking, canning-especially tomatoes, and baking. Her family always looked forward to her Easter Bunny cake. Mary Lou loved animals, especially her dog, Chichi.


Mary Lou is survived by daughters: Cindy (Greg) Wieck, Dawn (Lloyd) Kilmer, and Karen Nicholson; sons: John (Doris) Schantz and Randy Schantz; seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews; and foreign exchange children: Tewe Pannier, Ada Steen, Kiyomi Itakura. Mary Lou was also preceded in death by her parents, son in law, Robert Nicholson; infant brother: William Eggleston; brothers, George Eggleston Jr. and Ray Eggleston; special cousin, Katego Sorlas, and foreign exchange son, Lars Maelen.


Mary Lou’s family will receive friends Sunday, March 17, 2019, 2:00 to 3:00 PM at the Beeler-Gores Funeral Home where her funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 PM, Pastor Tony Shumaker, officiating. Private interment will take place in Mount Hope Cemetery where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Ralph.


Memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association or to a charity of one’s choice will be appreciated. Please visit to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Mary Lou’s family.


Gordon Burdett Barlow

Gordon Burdett Barlow passed away on March 12, 2019.  He was born on May 29, 1932 in Hastings, Michigan, the son of Paul and Mary (Smith) Barlow. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1952. On December 14, 1957, Gordon married Jane Brownell.


Gordon was an auctioneer from 1969 until the late 1990’s when he retired. He opened Barlow Auction House with his wife, Jane, in 1972. Gordon helped build the Gun Lake beaches from 1956 to 1959 and worked in manufacturing at Flexfab and Hastings Piston Rings. He started Barlow Realty in the mid-1970’s. He was also the producer and editor of Michigan Horseman’s Magazine. Gordon proudly served as a Flight Engineer in the Airforce from 1952-1956.


Gordon enjoyed growing and grafting trees, gardening, and collecting antiques and postcards. He looked forward to spending time with his family and loved having picnics with them. He was skilled at breeding and training horses on the family farm and enjoyed attending auctions and garage sales. Gordon was a member of the Hastings Area Rotary Club, the Gideons, Michigan State Auctioneers Association, and the Michigan Nut Grower’s Association. He was the President of the Michigan State Auctioneers Association in 1977 and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hastings.


Gordon is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jane (Brownell) Barlow, daughters Deborah (Tim) Wisniewski, Diane (John) Haines, son David (Deborah) Barlow, grandchildren Sarah (Michael) Hofmann, Tyler (Hannah) Wisniewski, Michelle Krebs, Ashley (Dan) Terpstra, Brandon Haines, Alex Barlow, Dylan Wisniewski, and great-grandchildren Molly Krebs and Olivia Terpstra.


A service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 15, 2019 at Girrbach Funeral Home, 328 S Broadway, in Hastings, with the family receiving visitors at 1:00 PM. Burial will occur directly after the service at the Rutland Township Cemetery on North M37 with a memorial dinner to follow at Hope Township Hall. Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings. To leave an online condolence, visit



Jack Nelson Lambka

Jack Nelson Lambka, age 88, of Hastings, died on March 3, 2019 in Middleville, Michigan.  He was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, the son of Roy and Sydona (Jennings) Lambka.  He graduated from Battle Creek Central High School.  He married Beverly Fountain on March 4, 1950.  He honorably served his country in the US Airforce, stationed in England.  He worked at E. W. Bliss Company for 25 years and The Viking Corporation for 15 years.


Jack was passionate about cars, built dune buggies, and was the president of the Corvette Club in Battle Creek.  He loved doing woodworking and building.  He built 2 houses and remodeled one. 


He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert Lambka, and grandson Barrett Sherwood.  He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Beverly, twin daughters Linda (Jim) Wright, Brenda (Brad) Sanders, grandchildren Kristen Smith, David (Jen) Wright, DeeAnne (Nathan) Stencel, Joshua (Val) Sanders, Kathryn Sanders, and 6 greatgrandchildren.


Memorial Contributions may be made to Boy Scouts of America Troop 175 c/o American Legion Post 45, PO Box 152, Hastings, MI 49058.


Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at Girrbach Funeral Home, 328 S Broadway, Hastings.  Services will be at 11:00 AM on Thursday at the funeral home with visitation one hour prior.  Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings. 


To leave an online condolence, visit


V. Lorene Wellman

Lorene Wellman, age 90 of Hastings died peacefully at home February 22, 2019. She was born on June 11, 1928 in Broken Bow, Nebraska to Harold and Beulah (Speer) Moore. She attended Broken Bow Public Schools.


On January 1, 1946, Lorene married Neil Wellman in Battle Creek while he was serving in the military from June 1945 to November 1946.


She worked for HCB from 1961 until her retirement in 1987.  Lorene and Neil had two daughters, Sandra (Larry) Gidley and Marla (David) Smith. Granddaughters, Lisa (Bryan) Travis, Christa (Shawn) Rowley, Beth (Bill) Moss, Stacey (Trent) Baker, Jennie (Jim) Stafford and Gina Lorene Pierce. Great-grandsons, Andrew Bolton, Quinton Stafford, Ben and Levi Moss, and Sam Fenstemaker. Great-granddaughters, Amelia (Dustin) Clark, Meg Travis, Emily and Tessa Fenstemaker. Great-great-granddaughters, Harper and Maddie Clark.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association, Pennock Hospice or a charity of one’s choice.


The memorial service will be held Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings, Pastor Todd Clark, officiating.  Arrangements by Girrbach Funeral Home in Hastings.  To leave an online condolence, visit


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








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