Obituaries Archives for 2019-08

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

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