Karl Anthony Hufnagel

Karl Anthony “Bubba” Hufnagel, a lifelong resident of St. Johns, passed away on January 24, 2023, just one day shy of his 53rd birthday at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan in Lansing, Michigan after a brief, yet brave, battle with cancer.

Bubba, as he was known to family and friends, and even his teachers since an early age, had a happy-go-lucky personality that helped make him a friend of most everyone he met. Bubba’s smile came easily, as did his wit, ability to gently tease, and an uninhibited goofiness to bring a smile to the faces of the people he was with. He was kind, gentle, generous of his time, enjoyed cooking and being with family.

Bubba was born on January 25, 1970 in Lansing to Anthony and Lana (Peiffer) Hufnagel. He was eager to join this world so would only wait through two hours of labor. Bubba graduated with the St. Johns High School Class of 1988. He married Kari Davis in St. Johns on October 3, 1998.

He was a loving father to their daughter, Karson Hufnagel Kachura and son, Karter Anthony Hufnagel, all of whom survive him. Bubba is also survived by brothers, Kurt Hufnagel (Lynn Cech) and Eric (Monica) Hufnagel, both of St. Johns, sister Jeneen (Dan) Savage of Twin Lake, MI, sisters-in-law, Traci Glanz of St. Johns and Sarah (Jason) Hoggard of Alanson, MI, brother, John Lorio and the entire Lorio/Audia family, as well as many cherished nieces and nephews. Bubba was preceded in death by his infant brother, Brian Hufnagel, and sister-in-law, Jennifer Hufnagel.

Bubba was a man of many gifts: repairing autos, operating heavy machinery, doing carpentry and welding. He had a natural ability for being a “jack of all trades.” Bubba held multiple positions in the automotive repair sector, most recently with Joe’s Body Shop. His coworkers were like family to him. Bubba was award winning in auto body restoration.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns. Fr. Michael Williams will be officiating. An additional gathering will be scheduled at a later date for family and friends to celebrate Bubba’s life. For further information visit McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel.

Helen Lewis Huntington

Helen Jean Anderson Lewis Huntington left her earthly home on January 20, 2023 at the age of 98 1/2 years. She was the daughter of Roy and Ella Anderson.

She lived with her daughter Maureen and son-in-law (Dale) Scott in Harbor Springs since the death of her second husband, Charles Huntington last year.

Helen is survived by her two daughters, Linda Williams (Bob) and Maureen (Dale) Scott as well as her stepdaughter, Cindy Stampski, and 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, son (Jeremy Lewis) and daughter (Nancy Lewis Cullity) as well as her two husbands, Frederick Lewis and Charles Huntington.

Mom can be remembered for her love of music, bird watching, reading and gardening. She was able to garden until this last summer. Her two daughters will remember her as a wonderful mother.

A celebration of her life will be held in the spring at Lowe Cemetery.

Timothy J. Anderson

Timothy J. “Tim” Anderson, age 63, of East Lansing, MI passed away Thursday, January 19, 2023 at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, Lansing, Michigan.

Private burial will take place at Union Home Cemetery, St. Johns, Michigan.

Timothy was born in St. Johns, Michigan on April 6, 1959, the son of Samuel C. and Dorris Jean (Morehouse) Anderson. He graduated from Tucson High School in Tucson, AZ with the class of 1977. On March 19, 1999, Timothy married Sandra Kay Sigafoose at the Bannister United Methodist Church.

Tim loved to fish and was one of his favorite activities to do with Sandy. He also enjoyed hunting even though he always missed his first deer due to buck fever. Family outings were always a joy, playing volleyball games and things brought him happiness. Tim loved to eat and always enjoyed a good meal of seafood, but he especially loved desserts and sweets. His favorite cook and baker was Sandy. Tim will be fondly remembered for his wonderful sense of humor. Tim and Sandy had a donkey named “Nester” and a mule named “Festus”, Tim would even brush Nester’s teeth. He also loved to grow flowers in their yard. Tim made the very best beef jerky.

He is survived by his wife Sandy Anderson; sister-in-law Shari Weber; sister-in-law Shelly Sigafoose and David Baese; sister Karen Anderson and Doug Foster; brother John and Paulette Anderson; sister Phyllis and Gordon Squier; sister Jan Anderson; brother Eric and Susan Anderson; brother Dennis Anderson. Tim is also survived by many nieces, nephews and sister-in-law Sandy Sigafoose. Tim was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Everett and Arlene Sigafoose, brothers-in-law: Gary Sigafoose, Steve Sigafoose, and Roger Sigafoose.

Memorials may be made to wishes of the family. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, Michigan.

Edward Kenneth Canfield

Edward Kennth Canfield of St. Johns, died peacefully at home on Monday, January 23, 2023 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.

Edward was born on March 1, 1946 at Clinton Memorial Hospital in St. Johns, Michigan, the youngest of three children born to Earl and Luella (Marten) Canfield. He graduated from Ovid High School in 1964 and shortly after joined the United States Air Force. Ed served in Vietnam, England, Greece and Bay Shore, Michigan. On September 5, 1970 Ed married the love of his life, Cecilia Orr, at St. Monica Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. They made their home in St. Johns where they raised their three sons.

Ed was kind, outgoing and social and made friends easily — he was optimistic, positive and the embodiment of a “people person”. Following retirement as a Telecom Engineer, Ed became involved with Habitat for Humanity and helped build many houses in Clinton County, which combined his two joys in life: building and helping others. He was a talented handyman and woodworker, who helped build and design many projects, including decks, treehouses, house additions and sheds. He also loved to be on the water and at the family cottages on Rose Lake and Bear Lake, where he enjoyed fishing, boating and water sports. Most of all, Ed cherished his family and time spent together.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of fifty two years, Cecilia Canfield; sons, Joel (Harmony) of Lakeway, Texas, Nathan (Sharissa) Canfield of St. Johns and David (Julie) Canfield of Lansing; dear grandchildren, Greyer and Emerson, Stella and Ruby and Austin; brother, Ray (Wanda) Canfield; sister, Joan Canfield-Otto; best friend, Wendell Malinak, as well as many in-laws, nieces, nephews, extended family members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Luella Canfield.

Memorial Visitation will be held at McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel on Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 2—8 PM. Rosary and Time of Sharing 7 PM.

 Memorial Mass and Military Honors will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 109 Linden Street, St. Johns on Friday, February 17, 2023 at 11 AM. A luncheon will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Sparrow Hospice Services, Clinton-Gratiot Habitat for Humanity or to St. Joseph Catholic School.

William Virgil Black

William Virgil Black, Jr., age 68, of Owosso, MI, passed away Monday, January 23, 2023 at his home.

Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI, on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 4:00 P.M., with Pastor Eric Numerich officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery, Elsie, MI, at a later date. Visitation will be held on Friday from 2:00 P.M. until the time of the service at the funeral home.

William was born in St. Johns, Michigan on December 19, 1954, the son of William and Arvilla (Robinson) Black, Sr. He was a graduate of Ovid Elsie High School. Bill worked for Caledonia Township Utilities as a Supervisor. He loved to sing karaoke, had a love of old cars and was an avid sports fan. Bill loved oldies rock-in-roll and 70’s rock. He was a diehard Michigan State fan. Bill enjoyed spending time up north, camping and sitting around the campfire. His children, grandchildren and grand dog, Cash, were the joy of his life. Bill will be remembered for his loving sense of humor, quick wittiness, his love of coffee and always living by the saying “Keep Smiling”. Bill was proud that he became an ordained minister.

He is survived by his son Bill and Heather Black of Laingsburg, MI; daughter Shylo Black of Owosso, MI; son Thomas Black and Sky Deweese of Owosso, MI; son Chad and Ashley Steck of Ohio; son Dennis Steck of Ohio; grandchildren: James and Kylee Black, Leah and Mia Steck, Dalton Otto, Nathan Black and Olivia Sheldon, and Delante Black; brother Rick Tobias of Owosso, MI; brother Calvin Cook of Wolverine, MI; brother Dave and Marcia Black of Owosso, MI; sister Bonnie Flanner of Arkansas and other siblings. He is also survived by many other friends and family members that he was a big part of their lives. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Melony Black, two brothers: Mark Black and Bob Robinson.

Memorials may be made to A Charity of Donor’s Choice. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, Michigan.

Judith Elaine Huffman

Judith Elaine “Judy” Huffman, age 82, of St. Louis, MI, formerly of St. Johns, MI, passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at Masonic Pathways, Alma.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Nativity of the Lord Parish, Mt. St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Louis, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, January 27, 2023, with Rev. Fr. Paul Werley presiding. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, Michigan, on Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 2-8 P.M. with the family present from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M.

Judith was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 18, 1940, the daughter of Ralph and Jennie (Saint Clair) Hussong. She graduated from Leslie High School with the class of 1958 and earned an associate’s degree in Molecular Biology from Lansing Community College. On November 2, 1962 Judith married Clarence Charles Huffman, Jr., in Marion, IN. They were blessed with forty-four years of marriage prior to his passing on December 16, 2006.

Judy was a very talented lady. She enjoyed beading, crafting, painting, and cooking. She liked to go square dancing with Clarence. She loved her family and dedicated herself to caring for them. Judy loved her time with her family, pets, and playing video games.

She is survived by four children: Edward Huffman of DeWitt, MI; Michael Huffman of Bellaire, MI; Timothy (Michelle) Huffman of Maple Rapids, MI; and Jennie Smith-Gates of Alma, MI; step-daughter Michelle (Sherman) Boyd; ten grandchildren: Edward (Haiden) Huffman, Judith Huffman, Amanda Shaler, Carilynn (Tank) Cornell, Timmy Huffman, Chris, Randy, Brandon Wiles, Christopher Cox, and Sierra (Luke Carroll) Cox; fourteen great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Clarence Charles Huffman, Jr., son Clarence Charles Huffman III, son-in-law Randy Gates, and daughters-in-law: Cathy Huffman and Kathy Huffman and grandson-in-law Clifford Shaler.

Memorials may be made to the wishes of the family. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, Michigan.

Karen Snow Arehart

Karen Snow Arehart, 81, of St. Johns, Mich., passed away January 21 after a lengthy illness.

Kay, as she was known to family and friends, was born July 24, 1941 in Grand Rapids. She grew up on the Thornapple River and attended Lowell High School where she met future husband and oft-proclaimed “love of her life” John Arehart. The two began dating as sophomores and stuck with each other from then on.

After graduating from Western Michigan University, Kay married John on August 17, 1963, and the young couple each embarked on teaching careers in the Kalamazoo area. When John and Kay’s family began to grow and the couple put down roots in St. Johns, Kay stepped aside from teaching for a time to be a stay-at-home-mom to her four children who remember her well for her even-keeled temperament (“You just sit there until your father comes home!”) and her unique cooking style (the children survived primarily on meals dubiously described as “Kay’s Creations.”), and she insisted on everyone gathering for dinner as a family every evening.

From that time, Kay is affectionately remembered for the many customs and traditions she instilled throughout her family. Kay’s household was filled with arts and crafts, neighborhood kids, and a succession of beloved pets, mostly cats, which were often treated as favored family members. She loved creating art and could often be found painting. She was the family’s chief event planner and is regularly credited for being the glue who kept four kids, a husband and a dog safe and sane when the family would spend weeks in the summer touring the country in a brown station wagon with a bad muffler.

Kay returned to teaching in 1986 and taught at Eureka elementary school and RBW middle school in St. Johns, where she impacted several generations of students, many of whom continued to stay in touch with her well after she retired in 2000. Kay was named the St. Johns School District “Teacher of the Year” in 1998.

In addition to her life in St. Johns, Kay loved her cottage in northern Michigan and her community of friends on Birch Lake. She spent most of her summers there from 1980 on and had a special love for Lake Michigan.

Her greatest joys always involved gathering with family and friends in St. Johns, at Birch Lake, and also in Lake Havasu, Ariz., and Lakeland, Fla., where she and John often spent their retirement winters and made many longtime friends. Kay could always be found among people – often with a scotch in hand – laughing and enjoying the company.

She is survived by husband John, her children Liz Robbins (Patrick) of St. Johns, Maggie Antcliff (Darryl) of Kewadin, Mich., Jim Arehart (Kim) of Racine, Wis., Joe Arehart of St. Johns, and her grandchildren Jesse Arehart, Alley Helms, Sam Arehart, Drew Antcliff and Emma Arehart. She is predeceased by her parents O.B. Snow (1967) and Marie Snow (1953), and by her sister Sandy Dykhuizen (2018).

A memorial gathering will be held Thursday, January 26 at McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel, 1500 Waterford Parkway, St Johns, MI from 4-6 p.m. with a time of sharing at 5 p.m. Afterward the family welcomes the public to Ryan’s Roadhouse to join them for a toast in Kay’s honor. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Capital Area Humane Society. Additionally a special gathering for Kay’s “Up North” friends is planned for later this spring.

Kirk Vincent Burl

Kirk Vincent Burl age 81, of Ashley, MI, passed away Friday, January 20, 2023 at his home after a long hard-fought battle with prostate cancer, surrounded by his loving family and cherished friends. He lived his life to the fullest until his last day.

Cremation has taken place and A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Kirk was born in St. Johns, Michigan on January 27, 1941, the son of Louis and Esther (Vincent) Burl. He was a graduate of Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, with the class of 1959.

Kirk retired from Federal Mogul. He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, during that time he participated in boxing and the rifle team. Over the years, he played softball, enjoyed golfing and bowling, was in archery and cribbage leagues. For decades one of Kirk’s favorite activities was drinking coffee with his buddies at the Hitching Post. He had an energy that would bring great levels of entertainment to all who met him. He certainly had the gift of gab.

Kirk was an outdoorsman and loved fishing, hunting and trapping. One of his favorite things to do was trapshooting and was in the Michigan Trapshooting Hall of Fame as well as on the All American Team, multiple years. He was a member of the Oak Hill Gun Club where he helped coach the local youth Trapshooting Team. Above all, his favorite time was spent enjoying his hobbies with his kids and grandkids.

He is survived by his spouse Robin Sample of Ashley, MI; son Michael Burl of La Canada, CA; son Mark and Victoria Burl of Fontana, CA; daughter Danielle Sample of Grand Rapids, MI; daughter Jaime Sample of Austin, TX; like a son to him Joel Bohil of DeWitt, MI; brother Mike and Cindy Rademacher of St. Johns, MI; brother Ron and Rhonda Burl of DeWitt, MI; brother Jeff and Judy Burl of Hancock, MI; grandchildren: Orion, Titan, Chiron, Elara, Zachary, and Madison; several nieces and nephews. Kirk was preceded in death by his parents, Louis Burl and Esther Rademacher-Burl, his beloved uncle George Burl, step-brother Dick Rademacher, and niece Lily Burl.

Memorials may be made to the Oak Hill Gun Club or a Hospice of donor’s choice. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.

Carole Jean Benkelman

Carole Jean Benkelman, 71, died January 19, 2023 after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at her home in Saint Johns, Mich., surrounded by family. Carole was born October 26, 1951 in Lansing, the first of three daughters born to Robert and Lorraine (Smith) Benkelman, and grew up in Cass City, where she graduated from high school in 1969.

A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in human ecology, Carole worked as a social worker for several years. After graduating, she worked at Michigan Works, and then served as a case manager at a domestic violence and sexual assault services center in Clinton County. She also worked for several years at Federal Mogul in Saint Johns. Before retiring, she worked for The Salvation Army in Owosso.

From childhood to the end of her life, Carole was a source of joy for everyone around her, always sharing her positive spirit with friends and family even in times of adversity. She cared deeply about her family, especially her sons Jason and Andy and her daughter Carrie. Children brought her particular happiness. If you were lucky enough to be a child in Carole’s life, you no doubt have a story to tell about something special she did for you or a fun place she took you.

Carole found great satisfaction in making connections. She was the keeper of family lore, and used her curiosity and sharp memory to help people understand their ancestors and what life was like for the people who came before us. After her parents died, she kept the pictures and letters they had retrieved from the old Striffler-Benkelman House on Houghton Street in Cass City, which was packed with family history (and a lot of other things) when her parents bought it in the 1960s. When the internet and genealogy web sites came along, Carole and her mother took great pains to post digital versions of the photos so that there were faces to go with the names.

Connections were so important to Carole that she helped people outside her family make them, too. In the last years of her life, she walked her caregivers through Ancestry.com to research their own families, helping them create genealogical trees and using the TV screen to display the app on her phone. She said it was a good way to pass the time, but everyone knew it was more than that. It was a reflection of how she lived her life, believing that time shouldn’t be wasted sitting still, even when her disease forced her to. She loved to go on those journeys of discovery with the people who were helping her.

As a social worker, her generous and empathetic nature made her beloved among clients, as she helped them pay their utility bills or find them a warm place to stay. Once or twice her dedication to this work got her into trouble, like when she went against agency policy to transport clients to a safe place or buy them food with her own money, earning reprimands from bosses in the bureaucracy. But she cared more about the people than the policies — especially if children were involved. She was always thinking about someone else.

Carole adored things that had stood the test of time: old buildings, old furniture, old photographs and old souls. Her sisters remember how she liked to take pictures in cemeteries around the Thumb as a teenager. She cared as much about the elderly as she did children, making time to visit her grandparents to see that they never felt isolated as they aged.

Carole was always active — fixing or painting something, cleaning or working in the garden. She never sat down. So her 2014 diagnosis of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, was difficult to fathom. But it was also the same year that the Ice Bucket Challenge brought about heightened awareness of ALS, so its presence in society, and in her, was hard to ignore. She fought it to the very end, even though ALS is a progressive disease against which there really is no arsenal. That reality brought great frustration to her and her fellow “PALS” (people with ALS).

Carole is survived by her loving husband, Kevin Larke; sons: Jason Tetreau of Cass City, Andrew Larke of Owosso; daughter, Carrie Tetreau of Saint Johns; two sisters: Catherine (Charles) Brooks of Sheridan, AR; Susan (Ken Fireman) Benkelman of Bethesda, MD; two nephews: Steven Brooks, Eric Brooks; two nieces: Catherine Fireman, Alexandra Fireman.

According to her wishes, cremation has taken place. Inurnment will be in Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City in the spring. Carole asked that donations in her memory be made to ALS of Michigan in Southfield, which she said was the non-profit organization that helped her the most, and she’d like to pay that generosity forward. The family is being served by the Kranz Funeral Home.

Divorce decrees filed the weeks of January 3, 9 and 16, 2023

Williams, Lisa Marie / Williams, Ethan

Churches, Brandon / Churches, Ashley

Heyer, Tonya / Heyer, Brent

Gohl, Kathleen / Gohl, Michael

Loynes, Ross / Budd, Sheena

Wolfe, Margaret / Wolfe, Matthew

Sopocy, Kevin / Sopocy, Wendy

Sutterby, Daniel / Sutterby, Kelly