Obituaries



Ronald Charles Dilts

Ronald Charles Dilts, 65, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

A Memorial Service will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at 6:00 P.M., with Pastor Travis Whittaker officiating. Visitation will begin at 4:00 P.M. until the time of service at the funeral home.

Ron was born in St. Johns, MI on July 22, 1954, the son of Richard and Jean (Marten) Dilts. He graduated from St. Johns High School with the class of 1972. Ron worked for General Motors for 43 years prior to his retirement in 2015.

Ron was a selfless, warm hearted friend to all who knew him. He enjoyed playing games, bowling and watching movies, especially The Three Stooges. He liked the outdoors and recording the wildlife in his backyard. Most of all, Ron loved his family, especially his grandsons Cameron and Colton.

Ron is survived by his mother Jean Dilts, daughter Jessica (Aaron) Cash of New Hudson, MI; son Tim (Nicole) Dilts of Dewitt, MI; and 2 grandsons: Cameron and Colton Dilts. He is also survived by his sister Barb Burke, brother Kevin (Kim) Dilts and several nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his father Richard Dilts.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fight CRC (www.fightcolorectalcancer.org – 134 Park Central Sq. STE 210, Springfield, MO 65806). The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.


James S. Gurski

James S. Gurski died unexpectedly Monday, January 20, 2020 at the age of 71. He was born July 29, 1948 in St. Johns, MI the son of Stanley and Margaret (Hopko) Gurski. Jim was a graduate of Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, Class of 1966 and a member of Sleepy Hollow Conservation Club. He also was a member of the NRA, the Eager Beaver Camping Club, UAW Local #652, and the Mid-Michigan Motorcycle Club where he was known as “Jim the Shirt Man”. Jim worked as a pipefitter for General Motors retiring in 2006 with 41 years of service. On April 11, 1981 he married Wanda Womack and she survives him.

Also surviving are children, James (Cindy) Gurski II, Monica (John) Ladiski, Debi (Bill) Price and special Spanish son, Fernando; grandchildren, Will (Krystal) Price, Bonham (Chelsea) Hollis, Mercedes Price (AJ Smith), Brendan Seyka, Tryston Bancroft and Jordan Scofield; great grandchildren, Payton and Tate Price, Kinser Hollis and Alizza Smith; brother, Ed (Kelley) Gurski; many nieces and nephews and long time special friends, Frank Chvojka and Pops, his coffee buddy next door. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Friday, January 24, 2020 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns with Pastor Andy Croel officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Thursday, January 23 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society.


Rita Marion Frayer

Rita Marion Frayer, 83, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Monday, January 20, 2020, at her home.

In following Rita’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no services. Burial will be held at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI at a later date.

Rita was born in Ypsilanti, MI on May 8, 1936, the daughter of Raymond and Marion (Wright) Fletcher. She married Wesley Frayer on September 10, 1955 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hubbardston, MI. Wesley preceded her in death on February 10, 2004 after 48 years of marriage.

Rita was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church St. Johns, MI. She worked at Michigan National Bank and Michigan Bell Telephone. Rita enjoyed traveling with her family, walking and sightseeing all things in nature.

Rita is survived by 6 siblings: Jerry (Donna) Fletcher, Sharon (Lewis) Hagle, Phil (Linda) Fletcher, Richard Fletcher, Mark (Kay) Fletcher, and Kathleen (Fred) Hearld; sister-in-law Mary Fletcher, many nieces and nephews, and goddaughters: Teresa O’Neill and Jessica Hunsucker. Rita was preceded in death by her parents, husband Wesley Frayer, 3 children: Vickie Frayer, Barton (Nancy) Frayer, and William Frayer; and 3 brothers: Roger, Ronald and Terry Fletcher.

Her family wishes to thank her goddaughter Teresa O’Neill for her care of Rita. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.


Sandra M. Simon

Sandra M. Simon, age 64, passed away on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids following a long illness. Sandra was born on September 18, 1955 in Greenville, MI to Floyd and Wava (Fields) Messer. She graduated from Fowler High School in 1973 and, on September 22, 1973 she married Dennis E. Simon at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler.

Sandra was a homemaker who loved sewing, quilting, knitting, baking, decorating cakes, traveling, and being with her children and grandchildren at their events. She also loved gardening and planting flowers.

Sandra is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dennis, and their children Jeremy (Jen) Simon of Union, KY; Jason (Kim) Simon of Fowler; Jeff (Shelly) Simon of Burleson, TX; and Julie (Nick) Schafer of Taylors Falls, MN. Her nine grandchildren include Joshua, Jacob, Justin, Noelle, Nash, Travis, Taylor, Courtney, and Bryce. Sandra has three brothers, Doug, Gene, and Dave Messer. She was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd and Wava Messer.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home in St. Johns, MI on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 from 6-8 P.M. and Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. The Rosary will be prayed at 4 P.M. on Wednesday. Mass of Christian Burial will be at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler MI on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. Burial will be at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery. Memorials will be donated to various local charities.


Richard Morton Rodgers

Richard Morton “Dick” Rodgers, age 65, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI, on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 10:30 A.M., with his son Rev. Fr. Mathias Thelen officiating. Burial will take place at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-5 P.M. and 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI. Rosary will be prayed at 3:00 P.M., a Final Salute Ceremony at 6:00 P.M., provided by the Fowler VFW Post #3733, and a Scripture service will be held at 7:00 P.M.

Richard was born in Lansing, MI on October 26, 1954, the son of William and Patricia (Henry) Rodgers. Dick graduated from Mason High School with the class of 1972. He went on to LCC and received his associate’s degree in criminal justice. Dick married Lois (Miller) Thelen on August 22, 1997 and again on April 9, 2006 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Dick was a corrections officer and food service supervisor for Ionia Max Prison. He retired in December of 2019. He was an avid golfer and really enjoyed shopping. He was a Michigan State fan through and through. His family was very important to him and he loved spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dick was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and Knights of Columbus, Fowler, MI. Dick proudly served his country for 4 years in the United States Coast Guard and 23 years in the Army National Guard.

He is survived by his wife Lois Rodgers, children: Dawn Thelen, Pam and Ryan Fabus, Alex and Melissa Thelen, Fr. Mathias Thelen, Jonathan and Kristie Thelen, Amy and Scott Hoard, Charlie Rodgers, Kali and DJ Garcia, Ashley Rodgers, grandchildren: Monica, Daniel, Chloe, Samuel, Jonah, Blake, Josiah, Leah, Reuben, Brady, Clara, Abraham, Rose, and Levi. sisters: Betty and Roger Becker, Mary and Norman Williams, brothers: Al and Karen Rodgers, John and Kim Rodgers, Stan and Karen Rodgers, and Mike and Young Rodgers. He is also survived by sisters and brothers-in-law: Joanne McNamara, Alan and Sheila Miller, Marty and LuAnn Miller, and Chuck and Joanne Miller. He was preceded in death by his parents Patricia and William Rodgers, in-laws Marvin and Julia Miller, sister Donna Robles and brother-in-law Gary McNamara.

Memorials may be made to Most Holy Trinity Education Fund Fowler, MI or to the Knights of Columbus, Fowler, MI. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI.


Divorce decrees filed on January 13, 2020

Hayden, Jessica L./Hayden, Kris P.

Porter, Donald L./Porter, Louise C.

Dugan, Rebecca/Dugan, Eric