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Lillian E. Wilkinson

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Lillian Edna Wilkinson, of Springport, passed away on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at the age of 84. Lillian was born on September 16, 1935 the seventh of nine children born to Richard and Etta Mae Hicks. She moved around a lot as a child but has called Springport home since 1958. Lillian always enjoyed gardening, restoring old antiques and watching old westerns and soap operas. She worked for a short period at River Rising in Eaton Rapids but spent most of her life dedicated to her family, raising her four children and would never miss a grandchild’s sporting or school event.
She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, William Wilkinson; daughter, Teresa Wilkinson; sisters, Mildred, Jean and Mary; and brothers, Frank, Bud, Ernie, Wayne and Joe.
Lillian is survived by her sons, Rick (Camille) Wilkinson, Rusty (Cindy) Wilkinson, Randy (Connie) Wilkinson; grandchildren, Kristen Wilkinson, Andrew (Cliffany) Wilkinson, Danny Wilkinson, Jessica Wilkinson, Jason Wilkinson, Ashlee Wilkinson, Nicole (Michael) Ryan, Jennifer (Tony) Lewis, Bret Hudson, Blake Hudson; great grandchildren, Jaden, Mia, Chase, Bryce, Taylor, Connor, Christian, Olivia, Lola, Ella, Hayley, Hannah, Tyler, Travis, Kaydee, Allie; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 5 – 8 p.m. Friday, August 7, at Skinner Funeral Home in Eaton Rapids with a private graveside service being held Saturday. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the American Caner Society in memory of Lillian. To share memories or leave condolences please visit skinnerfunneralhomes.com.

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Michael W. Knickerbocker

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Michael Wayne Knickerbocker, age 48, of Eaton Rapids passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Mike was born on June 4, 1972 the son of Daniel Knickerbocker and Rosanna Kay. He attended Eaton Rapids High School graduating class of 1990. Mike was a carpenter by trade and owned and operated Everlast Carpentry and Contracting. He enjoyed watching Fox news and keeping up on current events, especially conspiracy theories. Mike was an avid golfer, pool player and played in a league at Onondaga Tavern. He enjoyed cabin camping, bonfires, spending time at the O.T. and was a true patriot, he loved his country and the American flag. Above all he was a dedicated father, brother, son and companion who cherished his children.
Mike is survived by his parents, Dan Knickerbocker, Rosanna Kay; girlfriend, Nicole Bancroft; children, Amanda (Clemente) Barron, Michael Knickerbocker, Jakob Knickerbocker, Chloe Knickerbocker, Vincent Knickerbocker, grandchildren Brayden and Morella Barron and special brothers and sisters of his children Tyler and Lacey Reichert, Kyler Smith, Justine Torrey, and Emily and Luke Collins; brother, Dan Knickerbocker; nieces Nicole Knickerbocker, Emily Knickerbocker and numerous extended family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Elden and Shirley Knickerbocker, Clarence and Lucille Eddy; uncles, Ted Knickerbocker, Garry Eddy and aunts, Peggy Knickerbocker and Kathy Meoak.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020 at Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids Chapel. There will be a family and friends memorial picnic Saturday ,August 15th beginning at 2 p.m. at Dan Knickerbocker’s (Mike’s childhood home) 5861 Ferris Road, Eaton Rapids, MI where Mike grew up and lived for many years.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to (https://www.gofundme.com/f/2398zmh0ao?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR3WpvwEq7oNIYS_2rAeRbB1MM1EDhjM_mOsu86ftwP5t3UPTUi3isJSrbU) in memory of Mike. To share memories or leave condolences please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.

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Thomas Johnson

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Thomas (Tom) Johnson passed away July 19, 2020 at McLaren Hospital in Lansing. Tom was born December 2, 1941 in Gladwin, Mich. to Roy and Marian Johnson. Tom graduated from Gladwin High School in 1960, then the family moved to Eaton Rapids. Tom joined the family in Eaton Rapids after attending Ferris State College for two years.
Tom was a bookkeeper at Gibson Ford, Sessions Ford, Guy Ford and Candy Ford in Eaton Rapids. He later worked at Eaton Stamping, was a bookkeeper at Duck Lake Country Club, and a bartender for many years at Abies. There was no doubt that Tom loved the City of Eaton Rapids and its people. Over the years, Tom enjoyed going to his cabin in Harrison and stopping at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant. Tom aslo enjoyed playing Keno at both Abies and Darb’s.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Bob and Jim.
Surviving siblings are sisters, Randi Colestock of Charlotte, Cheryl (Kent) Moss of Bushnell, Fla., Penny Johnson of Dimondale, and Sue (Tom) Wilson of Las Vegas, Nev. Also surviving are 13 nieces and nephews that all adored their “Uncle Tom.”
A graveside memorial will be announced at a later date for those wishing to pay respects to Tom.

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Patricia House

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Patricia (Holton) House, age 85, of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, was called home to heaven peacefully on July 29, 2020. Patricia was born the daughter of Manford and Doris Holton on April 18, 1935 in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan. She was an amazing mother and loved spending time with her family. Patricia loved Jesus and spent many hours with the Lord in prayer, reading the Bible, attending mass, and reciting the Rosary. She was always willing to help others and her generosity and caring nature endeared her to all that knew her.
Patricia is preceded in death by her parents, Manford and Doris Holton; husband of 50 years, Ulysses House; and brother, Ronald Holton. Left to cherish her memory until reunited are her children: Kathy (Steve) Dwight, Nancy (Gerry) Gill, Matt (Dianna) House, David (Kathy) House, and Nora (Paul) Dwight; 17 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
A funeral mass honoring Patricia’s life was held on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at the Bunkerhill Campus of The Catholic Community of Sts. James, Cornelius, and Cyprian, with Fr. George Puthenpeedika officiating. Visitation began one hour prior to the service and a Rosary was held prior to the service. She was laid to rest in the Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian Catholic Cemetery after the service. Honored to serve as pallbearers are Kevin Dwight, Trevor Carr, Jake Carr, Steve Lawrence, Derek Lawrence, and James Lawrence. Arrangements entrusted to Vickers Leslie Funeral Home, Leslie.

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Juan A. Valadez

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Juan Antonio “Tony” Valadez of Eaton Rapids, was called into heaven July 30, 2020 at the age of 68. Tony was born in Edinburg, TX, November 12, 1951, the son of Eliodoro and Angelita Valadez. He moved to Michigan in the late 70’s and became an outstanding union carpenter. An honest, hardworking husband and father, he was well respected within the community for these attributes and would not hesitate to help or care for those in need. Tony was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church, a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus and was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys football fan. He will always be remembered as a beacon of light and strength; a kind-hearted loving man who put a smile on the face of everyone around him and never gave up, even in his darkest moments.
Tony is survived by his wife Gloria Valadez; children, Michael J. Valadez of Eaton Rapids and Anthony Valadez of Grand Ledge; grandson, Diego Valadez of Grand Ledge; brothers, Carlos Valadez of IN, Jesse Valadez of IN; sisters, Valerie and Beatrice Valadez of FL; sister-in-law, Susan Valadez of IN; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Mario and Jose Valadez.
A funeral mass was held Tuesday, August 4 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 515 E. Knight St., Eaton Rapids with Fr. George Puthenpeedika officiating. Interment followed in Rosehill Cemetery. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, 1169 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108. To share online condolences and memories please visit millsfuneral.com.

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Derroll E. Cortright

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Derroll Eugene Cortright passed away peacefully with his daughter Jill at his bedside at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, on Saturday August 1, 2020 at the age of 95 years young, following hip surgery and other medical problems over the past two and a half weeks. Derroll was born at his parent’s farm on New Years’ Day in 1925, to Ross Derroll Cortright and Hulda Ruth (Favorite) Cortright in Clarence Twp, near Duck Lake. He graduated from Springport High School with excellent grades, after K through 8th grade at the one room Clarence Center School less than a mile from his rural home. He worked on the farm until marrying Marjorie Rose Blair in 1946 with whom he had four children, all of whom survive him. Jill Marie Cortright of Springport, Daniel Eugene (Jean) Cortright of Albion, Alan Leroy Cortright of Salt Lake City, UT, Debra Rose (Gregg) Lockwood of Albion; sister, Barbara Elizabeth Seger of Elizabethtown, KY; grandchildren, Malissa Eldred, Joseph Hanks, Amanda DeVall, Valerie Bradley and Jaclyn Wheeler; numerous great-grandchildren; a great-great grandchild as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his ex-wife, Marjorie Cortright as well as by his grandson, Kevin Cortright.
During his lifetime, Derroll also did factory work and owned and operated an electronics repair business. He loved climbing up TV antenna towers. He served Clarence Township as an elected Constable, the latter of which he was very proud. Derroll often said that he wished he had pursued a career in law enforcement. He was an avid reader, Time Magazine in particular, and TV News viewer, following current events closely. Derroll very much enjoyed “discussions” of politics. He was a very intelligent man and could discuss almost any subject. Derroll was fiercely independent, opinionated, and determined. Until falling, likely not using his walker or cane at the time, he lived independently at Willow Tree Village in Eaton Rapids most of the last year and a half. Derroll simply had outlived the old farmhouse he had lived in for 70 some years following marriage. He refused to leave until there was no other alternative. Derroll loved that place and never wanted it sold out of his family. He was always particularly close to his grandson, Joseph, his wife, Amanda, great granddaughters, Jordyn and Aryn, great grandson, Dylan. There was much mutual love and affection between them. Grandpa took great pleasure and interest in Dylan playing summer baseball. He had helped coach Joseph’s team at that age, invoking fond memories for him. Dylan says it best, “He was my favorite Grandpa.” Derroll was always very interested in what everyone was doing. He wanted to be kept informed. Derroll made his own decisions with very little oversight, “I’m in control” was a common phrase. Flowers were a love of Derroll’s, all kinds, but particularly spring bulbs and summer Gladiolas. He planted patches of Daffodils all over his yard at his old house. Derroll greatly favored the natural world and the natural look and was always planting many trees throughout his lifetime. He would buy trees every year from the County Conservation Organization and he shared many with others to plant. His property was a haven for wildlife and they had little fear of him. Derroll absolutely loved spending as much time up north as possible. He greatly loved his kitty, “Lucky Girl” now cared for with love by his daughter Jill. Derroll will now be reunited with two other prior beloved kitties, Snoopy, and Buddy Girl (aka Buddy Boy until he discovered it was a she).
Cremation has taken place through the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. A graveside service will take place 11 a.m. on August 23, 2020 for family and friends. Memorial contributions may be made to the family to help with funeral expenses or to the Pawsibilities Rescue near Olivet. Please visit our website to place online condolences at millsfuneral.com.

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Alden D. Barnard I

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Alden David Barnard I, a man of many talents and many friends, died Tuesday, August 4, 2020, in Lansing. Alden, 83, of Charlotte, was born December 12, 1936, in Fowlerville, the son of Harry Lorenzo and Irene Mae (Blair) Barnard. He graduated from Charlotte High School in 1956 before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Following his discharge, he worked briefly as a nurse at the Battle Creek VA Hospital. Throughout his life, Alden pursued many careers. He worked at GM before shifting gears and owning his own group home, where he took care of veterans and those in need from 1972-1979. He then moved to Bradenton, FL, where he opened his own floral shop for a few years. Then it was on to Indianapolis, where he owned his own party store and bar. Finally, he returned home to Michigan, where he helped his friend with a bar and restaurant in Lake Odessa. Upon his retirement, he took to his favorite hobbies, especially creating beautiful works of crochet and macramé, including afghans and doilies. He enjoyed time outdoors mowing the lawn, or travelling up north to St. Ignace and Crystal Falls, or over to “Paradise,” by Hickory Corners. Throughout the years his sons were growing up, the family always made month-long sojourns to the Upper Peninsula and other points of natural beauty in Northern Michigan. Alden will be remembered and missed by a large host of friends and family.
Alden is survived by his sons, Alden David (Julia) Barnard II, Bradley Alan (Chris) Barnard, and Eric Leslie Barnard; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; his 8 siblings, Harry Jr., Marie, Darwin, Norlene, Barb, Dorene, Marshall, and Dean; and special family friend, Lee Oxendale.
A memorial service will take place at a later date, once gathering restrictions are relaxed. In the meantime, interment will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte with Alden’s niece, Ruby Saunders officiating. Memorial donations may be made to any local VA charity of one’s choice. Service updates and condolences will be available on Alden’s Tribute Page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Lillian M. Howe

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Lillian Mae Howe, a selfless and upbeat woman of Faith and love, died peacefully on Thursday, August 6, 2020, surrounded by her family at home. Lillian, 88, of Charlotte, was born August 25, 1931, in Charlotte, the daughter of Frank and Mary Smrchek. Lillian lived a life of devotion to her family, and to others. She married Barton Howe and the two enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage before his death in 2009. When their children were young, she worked for Kroger. Later, she went back to school and earned her nursing degree and served as a nurse at Lansing General for many years. Lillian was always giving of her time, helping her son Neil with his print shop in Ann Arbor, and being sure to be present for all of her granddaughters’ activities and accomplishments throughout the years. Many friends and family will remember her potato salad, the many family pets, her love of travel and adventure, and her vivacious and up-beat personality. In her downtime, she loved to use her hands to create beautiful sewn and crocheted works. She also enjoyed spending time outdoors every weekend, whether it be fishing, boating, or taking trips on a motorcycle with Bart. For nearly the last 10 years, she and Joe Pray supported each other as companions, attending St. Mary’s, traveling, going out to dinner, and enjoying great-grandchildren. She was a member of St. Mary Church in Charlotte, where she found weekly peace. Above all, Lillian loved her family.
Lillian is survived by her daughter, Annette (Jim) Florence; four granddaughters, Erin Florence, Cori (Theo) Hensley, Jamie (Ryan) Scott, and Hayley (Dustin) Stoner; great-grandchildren, Silas, Lucas, Ezekiel, Beckett, and Brooklyn; and her companion of 10 years, Joseph Pray. She was predeceased by her husband, Barton Howe; and her son, Neil Howe; and her five siblings.
Friends are encouraged to support Lillian’s family. Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at Pray Funeral Home Gardens in Charlotte with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop officiating. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020 inside the funeral home, and in the gardens from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., just prior to the service on Saturday. Interment will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to St. Mary Catholic Church. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Lillian on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Asher T. Turner

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Asher Trayce-Joseph Turner, age 0 (Stillborn), of Eaton Rapids, died July 31, 2020. He is survived by his parents Corey Turner and Taylin White. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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Evelyn S. Kreischer

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Evelyn Sue Kreischer, 74, of Charlotte, died Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Evelyn was born April 12, 1946, in Flint, the daughter of J.D. and Edith (Shaw) Wright. She graduated from Eaton Rapids high school in 1964. On March 26, 1966 Evelyn married Darwin Bolles and was happily married for 39 years until his passing in 2005. Evelyn attended her 45th class reunion where she met fellow classmate Robert; they began dating and married on August 22, 2009. Robert passed in 2018.
Evelyn in 2005 dedicated her life to the Lord. She was baptized at the Potterville United Methodist Church, later becoming a member. Evelyn was very strong in her faith, loving, kind, compassionate and always willing to lend a hand to help others. Her hobbies included reading, crocheting, quilting, writing poems, jigsaw puzzles and collecting owl figurines. One of Evelyn’s proudest accomplishments in her life was the poems and songs that she wrote and that were copyrighted. Evelyn was very active and volunteered her time for the Eaton County Craft Project for 9 years. One winter Evelyn knitted over 200 caps for people in need. She will be dearly missed by her beloved family and friends.
Evelyn is survived by her siblings, Lillian Collins and June (Lynwood) Andrews; half-brother, Jay Wright; Robert’s daughter, Katharine Abbott; and her family; several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her first husband, Darwin Bolles; second husband, Robert Kreischer; brothers, Jack Wright, and James Wright; and her parents.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, August 5, 2020 in the Pray Funeral Home Gardens with Pastor Mark Aupperlee officiating.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to The Sycamore Creek Church. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Evelyn on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.

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