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Obituaries

Wilmena R. Carpenter

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Wilmena “Billie” Ruth Carpenter of Charlotte passed away on Monday, April 2, 2018 at the age of 80.  Billie was born on August 9, 1937, the daughter of William and Eve (Brown) Lyons in Tacoma, Wash. She was raised, in part, by her grandmother, Edna Brown and attended Auburn Adventist Academy in Auburn, Wash., and attended Pacific Union College. She moved to Royal Oak, Mich. in 1960, then to Clawson, Mich. and eventually to West Branch in the late 1960s. While in West Branch she sold books, worked for a pallet company, drove a school bus and worked as a treasurer for the West Branch Seventh Day Adventist Church. Billie moved to Downers Grove, Ill. for a few years to serve as an infant formula representative before returning to Michigan. She has spent the last 13 years in Charlotte, where she is a member of the Charlotte Seventh Day Adventist Church. Billie loved to travel, she loved people, but most importantly she loved her family. In 2000 Billie set off on an amazing journey to walk Route 66 from Santa Monica, Calif. to Chicago, Ill. to raise funds and gain awareness for birth defects. She completed her journey in about five months traveling an average of 20 miles a day.

Billie is preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Ray E. Gardner Jr.; second husband, Herbert Riemann; grandson, Zane Gardner; stepson, Mike Carpenter; stepfather, Raphael Nichols; and son-in-law, Jon Kallioinen.

Surviving are her husband of 13 years, Bruce Carpenter; children, Cindy (Dennis) Kempl, Dean Gardner, Todd (Lynette) Gardner, Julie (Mike) Matyasic; stepchildren, Nancy (Cory) Sheppler, Cathy Kallioinen, Cris Carpenter; grandchildren, Scott Gooch, April Simpson, Wyatt Gardner, Logan Gardner, Sierra Gardner, Savahanna Matyasic, Jeremy Mortenson, Mike Mortenson, Nathan Heinrich, Mandy (Duane) Evans, Mindy (Jonathan) Durner, Tristan Sheppler, Molly Sheppler; great grandchildren, Alexis Simpson, Hunter Simpson, Ashton Rutledge, Brayden Durner, Liam Evans and Gage Evans.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Charlotte Seventh Day Adventist Church.

To share memories or condolences please visit SkinnerFuneralHomes.com.

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Roberta Cartwright

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Roberta “Berta” Cartwright, 74, formerly of Charlotte, died peacefully in her sleep on March 10, 2018 in Chevy Chase, Md., after a long illness. She had a sharp, dry sense of humor and will be sorely missed.

She is survived by her ex-husband, Lawrence “Larry” R. Cartwright of Washington, D.C. (formerly of Charlotte); her brother, Richard T. Jamsen; sister-in-law, Jane (Marinelli) Jamsen of Marquette; her daughter, Sarah Cartwright, son-in-law, Scott McDermott Cartwright; and granddaughter, Shan Shan L. Cartwright of Washington, D.C.; and nephew, Kris M Jamsen, his spouse, Michelle, and their daughter, Mae of Melbourne, Australia.

She is predeceased by her sister, Patricia A. Jamsen (in childhood); her father, Richard “Dick” Jamsen of Copper Harbor, Mich.; and her mother, Lillian A. (Johnson) (Jamsen) Richards of Copper Harbor, and Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Roberta Lynn Jamsen was born Sept. 20, 1943 in Hancock, Mich., to parents, Richard “Dick” and Lillian A. (Johnson) Jamsen. She earned her B.A. in special education from Eastern Michigan University in 1965. “Miss Bert” moved to Bay City where she taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children and was active in community theater. She married Lawrence Robert Cartwright on March 16, 1974, in his hometown of Unionville, Mich. They moved to St Louis, Mo., where they had their only child, daughter Sarah Elisabeth Cartwright. They returned to Michigan in 1976 and lived in Charlotte until 2012. Berta and Larry legally separated in 2012, and Roberta moved to Montgomery County, Md., to be closer to her family.

Roberta’s career and volunteer work focused on early childhood development. She was particularly proud of her position as the home visitation liaison for the early childhood intervention program at Eaton Rapids Public Schools. Roberta’s role was to visit preschoolers and their families in their homes. She truly treasured each relationship and was proud of her colleagues’ teamwork. Roberta retired in 2010.

A memorial open house will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2018, from noon to 4 p.m., hosted by Janet and Dennis Hogan, 2221 Grass Lake Ave, Lake, MI.

Memorial contributions may be made to montgomeryhospice.org, your local hospice, or your local elementary school.

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Merlin F. Guilford, Sr.

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Merlin F. Guilford, Sr., 93, of Charlotte, died April 1, 2018 in Portland. He was born February 7, 1925 in Mulliken, a son of Russell and Agnes (Holbrook) Guilford. Merlin was an Army veteran of World War II, a P.O.W. and a retired employee of Lindell Drop Forge.

He was preceded in death by his wives, Dorothy and Mary; and his son, Merlin F. Guilford, Jr.

Surviving are his daughters, Brenda Harper, Barbara (Paul) Holland and Janet (Tom) Wohlscheid; nine grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 15 great great-grandchildren; sisters, Faye Foltz, Sue (Bob) Walker and Linda (Pat) Patton; brother, Greg Guilford; several nieces and nephews.

Services were held Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Barker-Leik Funeral Home in Mulliken, with Pastor Ross McElroy officiating.  Interment followed at Meadowbrook Cemetery with military honors provided by the U.S. Army and the Portland V.F.W.  Pallbearers were Brian Holland, Paul Holland, Jr., Randy Raines, Brian Richards, Scott Webert and Trenton Webert.

Memorial donations may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice.

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Dale Miller 

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Dale Miller, born December 13, 1948 to Charles, and Betty (Clark) Miller in Hay Springs, Neb., passed away at his home in Bellevue on March 10, 2018.

He grew up on the family farm in Hastings and attended Durfee (One room) School House. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1967. Dale married the love of his life, Cynthia Lou (Smith) on April 28, 1969. They were blessed with three children, Shane, Tammy and Merrie.

He was a Journeyman Sprinkler Fitter (Penn. State) for over 45 years. He was a hard worker and could just about fix anything, and get it done. Over the years he built his own house, was the Baltimore Township Supervisor (Hastings) during the 197’s. He was a State- Hastings High School Wrestler, played on many company ball teams, raised cattle, and hogs (with twin brother “Don”), assisted with coaching wrestling, trained/rode horses, gave roping lessons, and enjoyed the outdoors.

Dale’s passion was Team Roping, which he won many awards for over the years. Also, he was on the board, and belonged to the M.R.A (Michigan Ropers Association). He was an avid reader, and considered a lifelong learner. He particularly enjoyed playing cards “Mississippi Stud,” doing crossword puzzles, mushroom hunting, and camping/ horseback with wife Cindy, and friends for years.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Robert, Donald (twin), Ronald, and recently oldest brother Gerald Miller.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cynthia of Bellevue; sister, Charlene (Daniel) Cheney; sisters-in-law, Christine, Linda, and Lorna Miller all of Hastings; sister-on-law, Diane, and Valery Miller; son, Shane (Joan) Miller all of Battle Creek; daughters, Tammy (Scott) Flower of Charlotte, and Merrie Miller of Bellevue; eight grandchildren, Brooke, Cash, Heath and Clay Flower. Sarah, Olivia, Brayden (Degris), and Luke Miller; many special nieces, nephews, and good friends.

In recent retirement, Dale liked making “Lucky’s” wine, canning, helping his brother Gerald on the family farm, growing flowers, and watching his grandchildren play sports, as well as horse events.

He will be remembered most for his quick wit, and his determined spirit. He voiced his great appreciation for being given a good life. Dale went home to be with his lord and savior with his loving family by his side on March 10, 2018.

There will be a “Celebration of Life” memorial service in his honor for family and friends on April 28, 2018 at his home in Bellevue at 4 p.m. You can find details for the celebration on Facebook @ Dale Miller Celebration of Life/Memorial

Memorial contributions can be made to the Michigan Ropers Association in Dale’s honor in memory of his love of Team Roping and particularly Novice/Youth classes. Donation information: M.R.A. Office, 12100 Fairbanks Rd., Linden, MI 48451 (Send note designating who donation is for), or contact 810-223-4045.

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William J. Morey

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William “Bill” Joseph Morey, a jack of all trades and loving family man, died unexpectedly at home on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Bill, 56, of Hastings, was born September 6, 1961 in Charlotte, the son of Joseph and Mary (Williams) Morey. He graduated from Charlotte High School before marrying Johanna “Joni” Royston on April 24, 1982 in Charlotte. The two moved to Freeport to start their family and Bill took a job with the City of East Grand Rapids, working as a foreman at the city garage, and as a reserve police officer for the village of Freeport.  He received the Freeport reserve officer of the year for his efforts in stopping a bank robbery.

Bill loved time spent with family in the outdoors, especially fall salmon fishing up north along the Manistee River. He loved fishing, hunting, working on his cars and trucks, and racing. Bill built the cars for the county fair races for his son, Joe, to drive, and sometimes wreck. Bill coached his kid’s sports teams and would do anything to help others and lend a helping hand. Above all, Bill loved time spent with his family and friends, especially his best pals, his grandchildren.

Bill is survived by his wife of 35 years, Joni; daughter, Kari (Dustin) VonItter; son, Joe (Kimberly) Morey; six grandchildren, Wyatt, Hazel and Josie VonItter, and Carter, Ethan and Levi Morey; parents, Joe and Mary Morey; brother, Don (Jan) Morey; and his mother and father-in-law, Joan and Duane Royston; siblings-in-law, Arvid and Katie Salisbury and Greg and Marilyn Royston; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the New Faith Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte with Bill’s father-in-law, Pastor Duane Royston officiating. Visitation was from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family in care of Johanna Morey. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Bill on his Tribute Page at PrayFuneral.com.

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Robert F. Burkett

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Robert (Bob) Frank Burkett of Charlotte passed away on March 28, 2018 at the age of 84. He was the son of the late Mildred Proctor Burkett Forent and Joseph Franklin Burkett. Bob was born on June 29, 1933 in Lansing. He married Mary Matheney on September 27, 1952. They were married for 56 years, before she predeceased him in 2008.

Bob graduated from Bellevue High School and immediately began working three jobs, Wilcox-Gaye in Charlotte, excavation, and Kellogg’s. He worked at Kellogg’s for 37 years before his retirement in 1988. In 1954 Bob joined the Navy, but before he was called to service, he was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War. For one month he was in the Navy and Army at the same time.

After the Army Bob returned to work at Kellogg’s and purchased the family farm in Kalamo Township. He was the third generation to own the farm. Currently it is owned and operated by his son, Dan and grandsons, Tyler and Brandon. The business is known as Burkett Farms.   

Bob had many, many hobbies over the years, including: a speedboat, hunting, snowmobiles, motorcycles, antique tractors, an MG car, and a Model A car and truck. He joined several clubs to enjoy the activities more. He also restored many antique tractors, cars, and trucks. Bob enjoyed telling stories. He would ask if we wanted to hear a ‘true story,’ of course how true was always up to the listener to determine. His last project was restoring a doodle-bug and grinding whole-wheat flour and giving it away to friends and family.

In addition to owning the family farm for many years, he owned a cabin on the Chippewa River while his children were young. Canoeing, tubing, and swimming in the river, while mini-bikes and bon-fires were enjoyed on land. In 1993, Bob and Mary moved to Charlotte. In recent years he has enjoyed dancing and going to the casinos with partner Jackie Morris. He attended the Nashville Baptist Church.

Bob is survived by his three children, Dena (Tedd) Hendon, Denise Burkett, and Dan (Jackie) Burkett; four grandchildren, Dr. Courtney (Gavin) Acton, Tyler Burkett (fiancé Brittany Crittenden), Dr. Ainsley Hendon (Navy Chief Petty Officer Spencer Flynn), and Army Specialist Brandon Burkett.

He was predeceased by wife, Mary; son, Joey; and sister, Bonnie Everhart.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date for the immediate family.  Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Eaton Community Palliative Care, website: echospice.org.

The best word to describe Bob’s life is active. Bob was always busy doing, and thinking of the next adventure.  This is the way we will remember him.

You can share memories of Bob on his tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.

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Earnest S. May, Jr.

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Earnest “Ernie” S. May Jr., 67, passed away on March 28, 2018. He was born April 25, 1950 in Dayton, Tenn., son to Ernest and Alberta May.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Linda; children, Jessica (Jay) Wells, Rebecca May and Zachary May; grandchildren, Justin, Jordan, Jenna, Andrew, Savannah, Natalie, Easten, Carter and Madison; siblings, John (Terri), Richard (Leeanne), Julie (Neil), Roger, Ed (Laura), Tina and Paul; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his infant son, Andrew James; parents; and sister, Bonnie.

Ernie was a gifted mechanic that enjoyed working on cars, tractors … anything with a motor. He was always tinkering with something or telling you about what he was currently working on. He loved spending time with his family and telling goofy jokes. He will be greatly missed.

Private family graveside services were held at Oakwood Cemetery in Grand Ledge.

For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 2469 Woodlake Circle Suite 100, Okemos, Michigan 48864, (517) 319-1054.

The family is being served by the Peters & Murray Funeral Home in Grand Ledge. Online condolences may be made at petersandmurrayfuneralhome.com.

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Katherine M. Nagengast

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Katherine Mable Nagengast, 63, of Charlotte, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in Lansing. Kathy was born April 1, 1955 in Charlotte, the daughter of Richard Charles and Dorothy Mable (Sanderson) Stegenga.  She graduated from Olivet High School in 1973 before settling into family life. Kathy went to work on the line for General Motors in 1981, retiring after 28 years. Kathy’s passion was horse racing. She and her husband, Marty, bred and raced several horses throughout the years and travelled the country racing. Kathy is a former member of the Michigan Harness Horseman’s Association and the United States Trotting Association. Kathy and Marty also enjoyed fishing trips and travelling together. Above all, Kathy loved her family.

Kathy is survived by her daughter, Marie (fiancé Mike Morrison) Ostrander; grandchildren, Tyler Vandlen, Brady Brisson, Samantha Hamm and Victoria Hamm; brother, Charles (Margaret) Stegenga; sisters, Mary Stegenga and Sally (Joe) Latta; and several nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, Martin Nagengast; son, Gerald Hamm; brother, James Stegenga; and her parents.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte, with Rev. Fr. Dwight Ezop officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. Interment will take place in Bosworth Cemetery.

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice House of Mid-Michigan or the American Cancer Society.

Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Katherine on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.

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Frances I. Bovee

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Frances Iva Bovee, 95, of Charlotte, formerly of Ingles, Fla., and Traverse City, died peacefully on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Charlotte. Frances was born January 2, 1923, in St. Johns, the daughter of Fred and Delma Robinson. She graduated from St. John’s High School before marrying Olan F. Bovee and starting their family.  Frances worked in the tax preparation office for the State of Michigan for 24 years. After retirement, she worked as a caseworker for the Department of Human Services in Lansing, and in Traverse City, where she lived for nearly 10 years. She then lived 20 years in Florida before returning to Charlottte. Frances loved bowling, enjoying time at the lanes well into her 80s. She even went to the state finals. Above all, Frances loved her family.

Frances is survived by two sons, Michael and Douglas Bovee; two daughters, Susan Whitman and Sharon Bovee; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, Olan; two sons, Richard and James Bovee; and her sisters, Merle Matice and Blanch.

Private services are being held. Interment will take place in North Star Cemetery near Ithaca.

If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Eaton County Medical Care Facility.

Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Frances on her tribute page at PrayFuneral.com.

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Mildred M. Sampson

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Mildred M. Sampson, 97, of Olivet, passed away Tuesday, April 3, 2018. She was born December 19, 1920, in Wheeler, Mich., the daughter of George and Etta Woodcock. Mildred went on to graduate from Lansing Eastern High School with the class of 1937. In June of 1939 she married Fred Sampson, and to this union were born three sons. Mildred was a life-long member of Ainger Bible Church, where she was president of the Ladies Missionary Fellowship and active in AWANA. She enjoyed growing flowers, reading, and painting.

Mildred is survived by her son, Don (Sherry) Sampson of Olivet; four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and four great great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Fred in 2004; sons, Richard Sampson in 1972, and Robin Sampson in 2003.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home in Charlotte, with Pastor Scott Brood and Pastor Brett Myers officiating. The family will receive friends on Monday, April 9, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will take place in Bosworth Cemetery in Olivet.

Those desiring may make contributions in Mildred’s honor to Ainger Bible Church, 5484 Ainger Road, Olivet, MI 49076 or Oak Lawn HomeCare and Hospice, 13444 Preston Dr., Marshall, MI 49068.

To view Mildred’s obituary or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit burkhead-greenfuneralhome.com.

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