Violet E. Pittner

February 24, 2011

Violet E. Pittner

Violet E. Pittner of Plainwell, Michigan (formerly of Otsego) passed away Thursday, February 24, 2011, in Plainwell. Mrs. Pittner was born April 1, 1913 in Shelbyville to Ernest and Lula (Knowlton) Doxey and was a lifelong resident of the area.

Violet had attended the Otsego United Methodist Church where she was of member of the United Methodist Women. She had also belonged to the WRC, the Women of the Moose and her Bunco club. Violet and Melvin enjoyed and rarely missed square dancing on Saturdays and she enjoyed shopping. She had worked for Kalamazoo Stationary and then Mead Paper Co. for over 25 years, retiring in 1972.

On July 3, 1937, in Martin she married Melvin Pittner, who died in 1987. Also preceding her in death were her sisters, Jessie Mickelson, Avis Roemer and Ruth Pike; and a grandson, Brian Michael Pittner. Survivors include two sons, Daniel (Nancy) Pittner of Berrien Springs and James (Sarah) Pittner of Garland, TX; 3 grandchildren, James, Nancy and Norman; 2 step-grandchildren, Stephanie and Stephen; 7 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Friends may meet with Vi’s family from 5 to 8:30 P.M. Sunday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, Pastor Joe Shaler officiating. Burial will follow at Germond Cemetery, Wayland.

Contributions in memory of Vi may be made to the Otsego United Methodist Church or Wings of Hope Hospice.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

Timothy S. Risher

February 22, 2011

Timothy S. Risher

Timothy S. Risher of Otsego, Michigan, passed away Monday, February 21, 2011, at his home. Tim was born October 18, 1946, in Grand Rapids to Donald and T. Elizabeth (Hoag) Risher.

During the Vietnam War he served his country in the U.S. Army. For many years he was employed as a machinist with National Waterlift, retiring in October, 2009. In his leisure time Tim enjoyed hunting and leading Boy Scout Troop #99 of Otsego.

On July 31, 1972, in Camby, Indiana he was married to Mary Ames, and they were married for 32 years. Surviving are two sons and two daughters, Tim Risher, Jr., Dorsey Risher, Ramona (Doug) Bennett and Nickie (Cary) Curtiss; 11 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Bob Risher and Jerry (Sandi) Risher; a sister, Pam (Larry) Sutherland; several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Donald L. Risher II.

In keeping with his wishes cremation has taken place. A memorial gathering will take place at a later time.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

Olive M. Digby

February 21, 2011

Olive M. Digby

Olive M. Digby of Plainwell, Michigan,passed away Monday, February 21, 2011, in Kalamazoo. Mrs. Digby was born October 28, 1919 in Otsego Township to Peter and Maude (Dutton) Oswald and was a lifelong resident of the area.

For 16 years she was employed as an LPN with the Kalamazoo State Hospital. Together with her husband she had owned and operated the Digby Fruit Farm in Alamo. In her leisure time she enjoyed gardening, dairy farming, crocheting and flying. Olive was a licensed pilot and flew a ’46 Air Coup. She also owned and loved horses.

In 1937 she married Kenelm James Digby II, who died in 2001. Also preceding her in death were three brothers, Milo, Dale and Max; son-in-law, Ron; daughter-in-law, Irma; and grandchildren Penny and Arnie.

Surviving are her children, Kenelm III (Dorothy) Digby, Marlin (Virginia) Digby and Charlene (Dan) Barnhart, all of Alamo, Larry (Gwen) Digby and Lynn (Phyllis) Digby, both of Plainwell and Glenda (Dale) Barnhart of Allegan; 23 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Friends may meet with Olive’s family from 6 to 8 P.M. Thursday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, where funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday.  Burial will follow at Alamo Center Cemetery.

Contributions in memory of Olive may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Condolences for the family may be left at WinkelFuneralHome.com

Raymond J. Root

February 20, 2011

Raymond J. Root

Raymond J. Root of Allegan, Michigan, passed away Sunday, February 20, 2011, in Ann Arbor. Ray was born November 12, 1947 in Plainwell to Cecil and Maryann (Ransbottom) Root and was a graduate of Otsego High School.

During the Vietnam War he served his country in the U.S. Army. For many years he was employed as a machinist with Plainwell Paper Co. and later with Perrigo Co. In his leisure time he enjoyed traveling, being with his grandkids watching sports, playing Yahtzee and taking afternoon car rides.

On August 21, 1981 in South Bend, Indiana he married Betty Jonas, who survives. Also surviving are four daughters, Lisa (Brian) Kempkers of Hamilton, Lorrie (Aaron Jamieson) Zeran of Allegan, Becky (Jason) Bohl of Otsego and Kristy (Jacob) MacDonald of Plainwell; 12 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Carol (Phillip) Stearns of Plainwell, Rose (Mike) Mentor of Oshtemo and Gwen (Larry) Digby of Otsego; a brother-in-law, Ken Bent of Lawton, OK; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Paul and Diana DeLaMater of Parkland, FL; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Charlene Bent.

Friends may meet with Ray’s family from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 P.M. Wednesday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, where funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Thursday, Celebrant Bill Rose officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta at 12 noon. Contributions in memory of Ray may be made to the American Heart Association.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

Richard E. “Dick” Brenner

February 18, 2011

Richard E. “Dick” Brenner

Richard E. “Dick” Brenner of Otsego, Michigan, passed away Friday, February 18, 2011 at his home. Mr. Brenner was born April 16, 1928 in Shelbyville to Blinn and Jessie (Doxey) Brenner and was a lifelong resident of the area. For 38 years he was employed in the maintenance department with James River Paper Co. retiring in 1991 and then worked at ACRDC delivering meals to seniors, retiring March 1, 2010.

Dick had been a member of the Otsego Moose Lodge since 1972. In his leisure time he enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding his Spree moped. It was Dick’s passion to be the first customer at Corky’s Drive-In on opening day, March 1st.

On December 26, 1963 in Otsego he married Letha “Lee” Goodacre who survives. Also surviving are a son and two daughters, Richard Allen, Judy (Duane) Warner and Sandy (Shane) Allen, all of Otsego; four grandchildren, Christian (Kelly) Brenner, Erica Brenner, Marcy (Matt) Shenck and Jason (Christina) Ellinger; six great-grandchildren, Kalie and Alexis Ellinger, Tavian and Devon McKinley, Paige and Seth Brenner; a sister, Bonnie Koster of Jenison; a brother-in-law, Calvin Leslie of Fennville; several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law, Vione and Chuck Earle; brother-in-law, Bob Koster; a sister, Donna Leslie; his step-mother, Marian Brenner.

Friends may meet the family from 6 to 8 P.M. Sunday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Monday at the First Congregational Church of Otsego, Pastor Don Ray officiating. Cremation will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Dick may be made to Wings of Hope Hospice, the Kalamazoo Humane Society or the First Congregational Church.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

Donna M. Barker

February 18, 2011

Donna M. Barker

Donna M. Barker of Kalamazoo (formerly of Otsego and Gun Lake) passed away Thursday, February 17, 2011 at her home. Mrs. Barker was born April 18, 1922 in Otsego to Melvin and Hazel (Wesler) Hale.

A lifelong resident of the area, she graduated from Otsego High School in 1939. For 20 years she was employed at the Dix Street Elementary School in Otsego, retiring in 1976. Donna had been a member of the First Congregational Church of Otsego and was a life member of the Lady Elks. In her leisure time she enjoyed sewing, crafts and especially shopping.

On June 14, 1941 in Otsego she married William G. “Ben” Barker, who died in 2004. Also preceding her in death were her brothers and sister, LeRoy Hale, June Knoll and Chester Hale.

Surviving are two sons, Jim (Diane) Barker and Bill Barker, both of Kalamazoo; two grandchildren, Jaimie (Brian) Miller of Gobles and Rob (Stephanie) Barker of Arlington, TX; five great- grandchildren, Britni, Asher, Seth, Nicole and Benjamin; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends may meet with Donna’s family from 2 to 4 P.M. Sunday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, Pastor Jeff Meeker officiating. Burial will follow at Mountain Home Cemetery, Otsego.

Contributions in memory of Donna may be made to the Borgess Foundation/Visiting Nurse and Hospice.

Condolences to the family may be left at WinkelFuneralHome.com

Winkel Funeral Home is now on Facebook

February 16, 2011

Winkel Funeral Home is now on Facebook. We will be posting information on our new Facebook page. Please feel free to “Like” us or to contact us through our page.

Eula M. Smith

February 12, 2011

Eula M. Smith

Eula M. Smith of Plainwell, MI passed away Friday, February 11, 2011 in Plainwell. Mrs. Smith was born May 1, 1937 in McGee, MO the daughter of Sherman and Edna (Rodgers) Barks. Eula married Clyde Smith in MO on November 5, 1955.

Early in her life Eula had worked for Gibson Guitar; in 1989 she worked at Big Top in Plainwell for a short time before going to work at MI State Tech at Pine Lake where she worked for 12 years until her retirement in 2002. She was an active member of the Friendship Wesleyan Church in Plainwell. Eula was also a member of the Red Hat Society, the Otsego Moose Lodge, several quilting clubs and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Allegan Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Mounted Division. She was a great wife and mother and a wonderful grandmother.

She is survived by 3 children, Rick (Linda) Smith of FL, Vickie (Jeff) Slunick of Plainwell and Lisa (Bruce) Chapman of MO; 7 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; her siblings, Louise and Marvin both of MO; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Clyde in 1989 and by her parents.

Friends may meet with the family Monday from 5 to 8 P.M. at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, MI where services will be held Tuesday at 11:00 A.M., Pastor Kevin Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery, Plainwell.

Memorials may be left to Friendship Wesleyan Church.

Condolences for the family may be offered at http://www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

James L. Smith

February 3, 2011

James L. Smith

James L. “Jim” Smith of Otsego, Michigan passed away Thursday, February 3, 2011. Mr. Smith was born February 24, 1917 in Delaware County, Indiana to Cecil and Letta (Besser) Smith.

Farming was his passion. For 35 years he was employed with Michigan Bell Telephone Co.

On August 20, 1939, in Gobles he was married to Leona Kelly. Surviving are his wife of 71 years, Leona; three daughters, Janet (Bob) Cushman and Carol (Donald) VerHage and Shirley Hayse, all of Otsego; a daughter-in-law, Roxie Smith of Lyons, Colorado; 13 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Jim was preceded in death by his son, Larry Smith; and a son-in-law, Daniel Hayse.

In keeping with his wishes cremation has taken place. A private graveside service will be held at Alamo Center Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Jim may be made to the United Methodist Church of Otsego or Alamo Nursing Home.

Condolences for the family may be offered at http://www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

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