Obituaries

Barton Eric Frayer

Barton Eric Frayer, age 59 of DeWitt, MI passed away Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

A Memorial Service to be held at a later date.

Barton was born in Lansing, MI on September 7, 1959, the son of Wesley and Rita (Fletcher) Frayer. He was a graduate of St. Johns High School. Bart was married to Nancy Childs for nine years. She passed away on August 18, 2015.

Bart worked at Dunn Development and Lindell Drop Forge in Lansing. Bart was an avid baseball fan, especially the Detroit Tigers. He played softball and played hockey. Bart’s basset hound Moe was very dear to him.

He is survived by his mother Rita Frayer, 2 step-daughters: Stephanie and Gabe Lerma, Allison Bartholomew, and both of their children, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Bart was preceded in death by his father Wesley, wife Nancy, brother Bill Frayer and sister Vickie Frayer.

The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Johns, MI.


Beverly Jane Simon

Beverly Jane Simon, age 83 of Pewamo, MI, passed away Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at SKLD in Ionia, MI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Pewamo, MI, on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 10:30 A.M., with Rev. Fr. Darrel Kempf officiating. Burial will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery, Pewamo, MI. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 and 5-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI. A Rosary will be prayed at 1:45 P.M. Friday at the funeral home.

Beverly was born in Pewamo, MI on September 30, 1935 the daughter of Kenneth and Dorothy (Hattis) Parks. Beverly married Louis Simon on November 8, 1958. They just celebrated their 60th Anniversary. Beverly worked at the Pewamo Post Office for many years. She enjoyed playing bingo, bowling and going to the casino. She also loved to fish and camp. Spending time with her family and grandchildren brought her great joy. Beverly was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Pewamo, MI, and resided her entire life in Pewamo.

Beverly is survived by her husband Louis Simon of Pewamo, MI; 5 daughters: Norma (Bryan Brooks) Simon of St. Johns, MI; Shirley (Dale) Koenigsknecht of Fowler, MI; Janet (Dan) Koenigsknecht of Fowler, MI; Luann (Dennis) Theis of Lansing, MI; Linda (Paul) Wirth of Fowler, MI; 14 grandchildren: Tyler (Gen) Simon, Brooke (Kyle) Brehm, Ashley (Chris) Walker, Amber Koenigsknecht, Scott Koenigsknecht, Andy (Catherine) Koenigsknecht, Abby Koenigsknecht, Cassie (Cameron) Bongard, Autumn Koenigsknecht, Sydney Theis, Olivia Theis, Jaden Theis, Alex Gibbons, and Macy Gibbons; 3 great-grandchildren: Braiden and Camden Walker, and Levi Brehm; sister Harriet McQuillen of Lyons, MI; brother Gene Parks of Ionia, MI; sister-in-law Doris Parks of Maple Rapids, MI; brother-in-law Harold (Regina) Simon of Lansing, MI; brother-in-law Roy (Phyllis) Simon of Lansing, MI; sister-in-law Romilda Fox, of St. Johns, MI; sister-in-law Helen Pung of Fowler, MI; sister-in-law Beatrice (Don) Pung of Lansing, MI; sister-in-law Rosemary (Dick) Thelen of Mt. Pleasant, MI. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Beverly was preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law Clem and Theresa Simon, her sister Betty (Alden) Kirvan, 3 brothers: Lawrence Parks, Lauren Parks, and Jack Parks, 4 brothers-in-law: Carl Simon, Peter Simon, Dennis Fox, Roy Pung, and sister-in-law Doreen Simon.

Memorials may be made to SKLD in Ionia, 814 E. Lincoln Avenue Ionia, MI 48846. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI.


Carol R. Platte

Carol R. Platte died Sunday, February 3, 2019 at the age of 87. He was born December 3, 1931 in Clinton County, MI the son of Ferd and Nettie (Arens) Platte. Carol is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He is an Army Veteran and was a dairy farmer. He owned and operated Carol R. Platte Backhoe Service and was instrumental in digging footings for St. Mary’s School, the grotto in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and dug graves at St. Mary’s Cemetery for many years. He did backhoe work for the Village of Westphalia with the installation of the sewer and water lines plus many other jobs in the Westphalia area. On June 30, 1962 he married Genevieve “Genny” Thelen and she survives him.

Also surviving are his children, Cindy (Dean) Schmitz, Jane (Joe) Theis, Sandy Schmitz (Russell Rademacher) and Bruce Platte; grandchildren, Dylan Schmitz, Brittany (Jarud) Koenigsknecht, Terry Theis, Tyler Theis, Cassie Schmitz, Kaitlyn Schmitz, Holly Schmitz, Brady Schmitz, Halie Platte Hayden Platte( fiancée Angelica), Reece Platte, Weston Platte and Ethan Platte; one great grandson Landon Koenigsknecht; two brothers, Gene Platte, Bill (Connie) Platte; brothers and sisters-in-law, Mary Platte, Bernadette Thelen, Jean Thelen, Regina (Harold) Simon, Rita (David) Witgen, Aggie (Ken) Stump. He was preceded in death by his son and daughter-in-law, James and Tonya Platte; sister and brother-in-law, Dolores (Richard) Fedewa; brothers and sisters-in-law, Marvin Platte, Ken (Joan) Platte and Betty Platte; brothers and sisters-in-law, Bertha (Norbert) Simon, Herm Thelen, Albert (Elaine) Thelen, Anna (Elon) Goodman, Leon Simon, Elmer (Wilma) Thelen and Bruno Thelen.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:30 AM Thursday, February 7, 2019 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Westphalia with Rev. Fr. Eric Weber as Celebrant. Rite of Committal will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends 6-8 PM on Tuesday and 2-8 PM Wednesday at St. Mary’s Funeral Chapel, 210 N. Westphalia St., Westphalia. Rosaries will be prayed at 7:30 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday at the funeral chapel. The family was assisted with these arrangements by Keck-Coleman Funeral Home , St. Johns.


Gary Joseph Romanczuk

Gary Joseph “Hook” Romanczuk, age 63, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.

Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. Visitation will be held at 11:00 A.M. prior to the service.

Gary was born in Hamtramck, Michigan on March 17, 1955, the son of Walter and Carol (Lindner) Romanczuk. Gary was a proud member of United States Army during the Vietnam War and a member of the Vietnam Vets Motorcycle Club for over 25 years. Gary married Loretta Pitchford on October 30, 2009 in Kentucky.

Gary loved his Harley and was very dedicated to his Brothers in the VNV MC. He enjoyed fishing, the outdoors and John Wayne movies. He was passionate about his “84 Monte SS, anything with horsepower, and drag racing.

Gary is survived by his wife Loretta of St. Johns, MI; daughter Becky Perez of Millington MI; son Andrew (Pamela) Romanczuk of Lansing, MI; son Cody (Autumn) Romanczuk of Corunna, MI; granddaughter Lexus, grandson Michael, brother Kent (Tina) Romanczuk, and all of his Brothers in the VNV MC. Gary was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials may be made to Vietnam Vets MC Chapter C, 5884 W. Round Lake Rd., Laingsburg, MI 48848. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.


Wheeler Clare Wilson

Wheeler Clare Wilson age 90, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Thursday, January 31, 2019, at Ashley Care Center, Ashley, MI.

Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Kathy Leydorf-Keck officiating. Burial will be held at Union Home Cemetery, Greenbush Township, MI. Visitation will be held on Monday, February 4, 2019 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. at the funeral home.

Wheeler was born in Clinton County, MI on May 25, 1928, the son of Devillo Clare and Nettie (Dobson) Wilson. As a youngster his family lived with his grandparents James and Alice (Lance) Wilson on a farm in Essex Twp. When he was in the third grade, they moved to Maple Rapids where he finished his school years graduating from Maple Rapids School with the class of 1946. He was active in Boy Scouts, sports, playing varsity basketball and baseball with his buddies: Clare Chick, Lyle Chick, Bruce Bancroft, Don Allen, Rodney Abbott, Lyle Forrest, and many others he often mentioned. Wheeler married his high school sweetheart Shirley Smith on August 2, 1947, at the Maple Rapids Congregational Church parsonage, and they have spent 64 years as a loving team.

He was always a hard working fellow. As a young man he hired out as a day worker. In 1946 he got work at the Clinton County Road Commission, after 5 years there, he started working at Sealed Power in St. Johns, and retired from there after 30 years. All the while he was selling Real Estate. Then in 1963, he and Shirley bought an 80 acre farm on Maple Rapids Road. Never one to be idle, he also served on the Village Council in Maple Rapids, on the Essex Twp. School Board, and the Board of Review. He served on the Board of Directors of the first Clinton County Credit Union that started at Sealed Power founded by Clare Swanson and Dick Wilson and treasured by Rollie Lowe and Lois Lowe. He was a Volunteer Firefighter in Maple Rapids and managed a Little League Team. Wheeler played basketball and baseball on a Sealed Power Team, and managed to get to the north woods to deer hunt almost every year. He and his boys, Wayne and Steve, and his brother Kenneth have many special memories of days spent tenting in the HUGE family tent at Drummond. In the summer his “spare” time was usually spent with family, camping and fishing at Brevort Lake in the U.P.

He is survived by his wife Shirley Wilson of St. Johns, MI; his children: Rhonda and Thomas Rohrer of Alma, MI; Robin Sue Peters of Port Huron, MI; Wayne Alan Wilson of St. Johns, MI; daughter in law Dawn Wilson of Holland, MI, 9 grandchildren: Kimberly Peters, Hollie (Jason) Stambersky, Jon Cooper, Emily Wilson-Fisher, Molly Peters, Tyler Wilson, Betsy (Kenneth) Schellenberg, Sarah Wilson, and Scott Wilson; 8 great grandchildren; sister Mary Lou and Ivan Smith, brother Kenneth and Donna Wilson, sister Doris Parks, and brother-in-law Ivan Smith. Wheeler was preceded in death by his parents, son Steven Lane Wilson in 2013, sister Florine (Robert) Miller, and sister Mary Lou Smith

Memorials may be made to Maple Rapids Fire Dept. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.


John Louis Duda

John Louis Duda, East Lansing, Age 59, a loving and caring son, brother, uncle and friend passed away Wednesday, January 30, 2019. John was born on May 3, 1959, the son of David Duda and Irene (Duda) Ayles. John attended Fowler High School and went on to graduate from Michigan State University. After graduation he became employed at the Diocese of Lansing. John loved dance and was a very talented performer. He left the Diocese upon earning a scholarship to study dance at the University of Arizona. He later returned to East Lansing and became employed at Michigan State University where he spent most of his career. Upon retiring from MSU, he worked part time for the Loomis Law Firm in Lansing. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

Surviving are his mother, Irene Ayles; Stepfather, Robert Ayles; his brother, Tony (Sue) Duda; his sisters, Tina Duda and Valerie Duda; his stepsisters, Robbin (Tom) Clickner and Karen (Dennis) Bartlett; his stepbrother, Robert Ayles Jr; nephews, Matthew (Erin) Duda, and Patrick Duda; and nieces, Chelsey Duda and Katie Duda. Preceding him in death are his father, David Duda, and his grandparents, Matilda and Louis Schafer and Josephine and John Duda. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and humor that touched the lives of his family and friends. He is very much loved and will be greatly missed.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Jerry Ploof at 11:00 a.m. Monday February 4, 2019 at St. John Catholic Church, 327 MAC Avenue, East Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes Lansing Chapel 900 East Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI on Sunday, February 3rd from 6-7:30p.m. followed by a Rosary at 7:30 lead by Dcn. Jim Kasprzak.