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Onalee Austin

Onalee Jean Austin (Baese) 93, passed away peacefully on February 9th, 2023.

Onalee was born on August 6, 1929 in Elsie Michigan to Onas and Thelma (Doten) Baese. She was lucky number 5 out of 12 siblings, some in the area might know of the famous Baese family. Onalee loved her siblings deeply and even help raise some of the younger ones. The stories she would tell of growing up in a three-bedroom house, with a house full would make you smile and laugh.

Onalee knew of the man she would eventually marry; his name was Jerry Austin. He lived one town over in Ovid, and he knew the moment he saw her he would marry her. One of the fondest stories Onalee would tell was how Jerry showed up to her family’s house and told her that he was going to take her on a date, and of course Onalee didn’t believe it and brushed him off. Well sure enough he did. They dated and then soon married. They moved to Kalamazoo, MI where Jerry was still in college and started their life together as any other happily married couples do. They started a family together with Barbara and Brian then came Beth and Bryce. The children were all named with the letter “B” in honor of her maiden name: Baese. Onalee would always say with the age differences of the kids “They just couldn’t stop at one, the other needed one to grow up with and play with”. Onalee and Jerry would raise their kids in Otsego MI, and later move to Lansing MI.

Other than having children, Onalee’s other passion was having grandchildren. She has 14 Grandchildren and 19 Great-Grandchildren and 5 Great-Great Grandchildren. Her traits of being compassionate, nurturing, creative, loving, warm, stern when needed, and a great singing voice where all the ingredients needed to be a wonderful grandmother; which she was. No matter what stage of life you were in, Onalee was always there with coffee, stories, hands to wipe tears away or just to be there with you. Onalee was very creative; she could make simple things magical. Onalee at age 93 lived such a rich, loving and long life. She was reunited with her greatest love; her “big guy” Jerry finally and her family that has long passed. We all can just imagine right now she is sitting at the table with Jerry and a cup of coffee and they are just enjoying themselves once again.

“So long, and God bless the Baeses’, wherever they may be.” – Onalee Austin,

Memories of My Family.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

On October 30th, 1955 at the Ovid Methodist Church, Onalee Jean Baese married Jerry Brian Austin. Also surviving are her children, Barbara (Dave) Blanchard; Brian (Sheryl) Austin; Beth (Alan) Charles; Bryce (Toni) Austin. Also surviving are her siblings, Mary Lou Hanold; Gale (Marcy) Baese; Merle (Carol) Baese; Richard (Linda) Baese; Diane (Dick) Bates. Surviving sister-in-law’s Shirley Baese; Dorothy Baese and Diane Baese.

Preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 50 years Jerry, brothers; Versil Baese; Robert (Shirley) Baese; Eldon (Jean) Baese; Lewis Baese; Raymond Baese; Owen Baese and Bryce Kevin Baese, also brother-in-law Ed Hanold.

A “Celebration of Life Memorial” will be taking place on May 20th, 2023 2-6pm at Barb and Dave Blanchard’s, 1256 12th St. Martin, MI 49070.

In lieu of flowers, Onalee’s children request if you would like to donate, please do so to Wings of Hope Hospice, Allegan or Allegan County Medical Care Community.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages


February 13, 2023 at 3:52 pm

Brian and Sheryl and Family,

I pray that you are feeling the arms of Jesus and the love of your family and friends

during this difficult time. If there is anything Our family can do for you please Call.

You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Love, Jim and Ellyn Deneau


Theresa Hall

February 13, 2023 at 4:04 pm

I am so very sorry. She was a kind and caring lady.


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 16, 2023 at 9:30 am

Thank you Terri. I know she enjoyed chatting with you during our family parties which involved my layered taco “stuff” !


Josie Pape

February 13, 2023 at 4:51 pm

Brian and Sheryl,

So sorry for the loss of your dear mother. You are so blessed to be able to have had her for such a good number of years. From reading her obituary it sounds like she had a very rich and full life.

God be with you and your family during this time.


Josie Pape

February 13, 2023 at 4:58 pm

Brian and Sheryl,

I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear mother. What a blessing to have been able to have her for such a long time.

Reading her obituary it sounds like she lived a very busy life.

So many wonderful memories for you to cherish.

May God be with you and your family during this time of loss.


John Hutchinson

February 13, 2023 at 5:18 pm

Barb: So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing.


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 16, 2023 at 9:38 am

John thank you for the condolence. When I was on 2nd shift we would have coffee together. She would listen to me rattle on about work. I’m already missing those moments.


Brian Ullrey

February 13, 2023 at 5:39 pm

So sorry for your loss


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 16, 2023 at 9:47 am

Brian, our mom so enjoyed your Gramma & Grampa Abbott. I remember raking leaves for them. Then your family moved to Otsego into your grandparents home; the Austin Family was blessed with the Ullrey Family!


Penny Baker

February 13, 2023 at 7:18 pm

Dear Families, What a significant life, and what a significant loss to the world. Always fun and bubbly, Onalee Austin knew where she was headed, in this life and the next. She loved life! She loved her family! I recall the Otsego Christmas Parade she attended, in her 80’s, in her wheelchair, and as excited as a kid! “Wasn’t that Somethin’!” She said.

I can imagine how excited she is now!

With Great Love,

Penny Pulver Baker


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 16, 2023 at 10:01 am

Hey Pen thank you for the long talks and especially the listening part. You and Lark have always been supportive and provided a place for me to just breath. Love ya bunches. Barbie


Richard and Linda

February 13, 2023 at 8:54 pm

God bless you sister. We will miss you now and the Lord willing we will be together again.


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 17, 2023 at 8:29 am

Uncle Dick and Linda family meant everthing to Mom. Last couple of years she would mention how much she missed Jerry and her folks. Mom loved the Lord, she is home now with family. Onalee is at peace.



February 13, 2023 at 10:15 pm

We will miss you Aunt Onalee. I always could ask you anything and you would tell me the truth, and explain. You were so kind and giving. Love you always.


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 18, 2023 at 4:45 pm

Thank you Louanne. Your Aunt Onalee was always truthful. Everyone knew where she stood, there was no grey area with Mom. She loved the Blackburn kids. Love ya Cuzin-sis.


Paul Ullrey

February 13, 2023 at 10:17 pm

So sorry for your loss, your family will be in my prayers


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 18, 2023 at 4:49 pm

Thank you Paul, the Austin Family was blessed with the Ullrey Family.


Lauri Connor

February 14, 2023 at 7:15 am

Barb, Dave and Family So sorry for your loss, your Mom was a sweetheart full of kindness. I always enjoyed seeing her and talking with her. Deepest sympathy, I will miss her.


Barb & Dave Blanchard

February 18, 2023 at 4:56 pm

Lauri & Jerry, my Mom loved meeting my Parker Family. Once you talk with her you will know where my gift (yup a gift) to gab comes from! Thank you so much. Dave & I treasure the both of you.


Tim Quigley

February 14, 2023 at 4:35 pm

Dear Family,

Ona was a dear friend of the Quigley family for many years! When I married Tim (53 years ago!) she welcomed me as a friend and was always so very nice to me! Loydeen Kivell gave me a bridal/kitchen shower and Ona gave me many recipes to have – I still have them in my recipe box! Please know she is now an Angel in Heaven watching over you! Fly high, Ona, and Rest in Peace!


Diane Belden

February 15, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Barbie and family-

Sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. Didn’t really know her but knew she had great kids!

No matter how old we are; it’s hard to lose your mom.

I’m sure you have tons of wonderful memories to get you through this difficult time.

Diane Belden


Randi Deneau

February 15, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Barb I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing she was such a nice person what a wonderful life she lived you and your family are in my prayers as I know this will be a rough time


Wendy Hendricks Moyer

February 17, 2023 at 2:41 pm

I have such fond memories of Ona growing up on Hammond St with Barbie and Brian. Sending my love and prayers to you all.


Cheryl Quillico

February 17, 2023 at 3:41 pm

Dear sister, loving aunt,

Sending love and prayers to the Austin Family. I think I can speak on behalf of my Dad and Mom, Gaele and Marcy, that Onalee was dearly loved and cherished sister. Se was a beautiful aunt and lovely person who raised her children with love and shared kindness with everyone. See will be dearly missed!

Cheryl Quillico


Agnes Vanarsdal

February 18, 2023 at 8:51 am

Barb and Family my deepest sympathy!

Your mother, grandmother was such an amazing role model . A beautiful lady inside and out!! She was such a huge impact on your family! You were totally BLESSED ❤️


Jan Jameson

February 18, 2023 at 9:16 am

Forever ,I will miss Ma. Though in recent years have not seen her as much as I would have liked,she will always miss our dear friendship.

I WILL NEVER FORGET how mom and dad supported me throughout my Moose career. And Loved me as their own.

Rest in Peace dear lady.


Connie Vanarsdal

February 19, 2023 at 10:36 pm

Sorry Barb my prayers are with you and your family


Sandy & Dan Fleming

February 21, 2023 at 12:59 am

Barb, so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. Dan be and I want to extend our deepest and most sincere sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with You, Dave and entire family at this most difficult time. Sandy and Dan Fleming


Julie Andrua

February 28, 2023 at 6:05 pm

Dave, Barb and family, so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. Sending hugs and prayers of comfort to you and yours.

Dan and Julie


Jane Casler

May 19, 2023 at 4:21 pm

So sorry to hear about your mom’s passing she was a very nice lady and she sure will be missed sorry we won’t be able to come for her memorial but we are out of town . LOVE AND PRAYERS


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