Obituaries



Gerald L. Bast

Gerald L. “Jerry” Bast died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at the age of 85. He was born March 11, 1934 in St. Johns to Isadore and Gertrude (Karber) Bast. Jerry was a graduate of Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, Class of 1953. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns and was an Army veteran. Jerry was an attendant for the former AAA Ambulance Service and worked for over 20 years at the St. Johns Co-op later known as Countrymark.

Although Jerry had several jobs throughout his working career, he primarily was a farmer and loved working the land. On December 29, 1956 he married Helen Nemcik and she preceded him in death May 22, 2008. In September of 2010 he married Marge (Bissell) Hallenbeck, and she survives him.

Also surviving are his children, Doug (Michelle) of Lake, MI, Cathy (John) Kochensparger, Carolyn (Craig) Smith, Carlene (Todd) Dietrich and Connie (Bruce) DeLong all of St. Johns; eleven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren with one on the way; sister, Mary Jean (Rick) Kerr of St. Johns; three stepchildren, Leisa (Pete) Ratu, Steven (Teresa) Bissell and Kellie Seman; four step grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Jerry was also predeceased by a brother, Donald and twin grandsons, Brandon and Brennen DeLong.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Monday, November 11, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church 109 Linden, St. Johns with Rev. Fr. Douglas Osborn as Celebrant. Rite of Committal will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery with military honors provided by the St. Johns Honor Guard. The family will receive relatives and friends 6-8 PM on Saturday, November 9 and 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Sunday November 10 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. A rosary will be prayed at 7:30 PM on Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Compassus Hospice 801 S. Waverly Rd. Lansing, MI 48917 or the Arthritis Foundation Michigan 888 W. Big Beaver Rd. Troy, MI 48084.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Compassus Hospice especially caregivers, Allie, Laura and Eric and to Dr. John MacDonald for his friendship and long time compassionate care of Jerry.


Joan M. Jorae

Joan M. Jorae died Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at the age of 91. She was born February 23, 1928 in St. Johns to Irving and Ethyl (Desprez) Eaton. Joan was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns and worked as an aide at Eureka Elementary School for several years. In her younger years she was a beautician but primarily she was a homemaker taking care of her family and home.

Surviving is her husband of 70 years Bernard; her children, Renae Larsen, Deanne (Bill) Blank, Bernadette (Kevin) Hayes, Daniel (Margaret) Jorae, Colleen (Jerry) Smith and Michael (Renee) Jorae all of St. Johns; 15 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; three half sisters, Rosemary (William) McCarthy, Sharon (Ing) Ragoonan, and Betsy (Gary) Lehman and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two half sisters, Carolyn Spitzley and Priscilla Schutzenhofer and a daughter-in-law, Sharon Jorae.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM Saturday, November 9, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church 109 Linden, St. Johns with Rev. Fr. Michael Williams as Celebrant. The family will receive relatives and friends 4-8 PM Friday, November 8 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Debra S. Mathews

Debra S. (Nobis) Mathews passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Her last moments were spent with her children, Emily (Tom Wolan) Mathews and Sarah (Troy) Tahvonen. Debbie was 65 years old.

For more than two decades, John and Debbie were the proud owners of Mathews Hardware (later Mathews Paint and Decorating) in downtown Portland. After selling the business, Debbie worked as the Attendance Office secretary at Portland High School. She loved being around “her kids” and watching them grow up, graduate, and go out into the world.

Debbie was at her happiest when she was in the sunshine, hanging out by the pool, working on interior decorating projects, or cuddling with her kitties.

In addition to her daughters, Debbie is survived by her brothers, Jeff (Alice) Nobis, Terry (Ann) Nobis, and Chuck (Connie) Nobis; her two grandchildren, Kellan and Sienna Tahvonen; and extended family and friends. Debbie was preceded in death by the love of her life, John, to whom she was married for 42 years, and her parents Carl and Phyllis (Witte) Nobis.

A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, November 8, at St. Paul Lutheran Church (329 N. Sorrell, Fowler), with Pastor Paul Clark officiating. The family will receive relatives and friends from 5-8 PM on Thursday, November 7, at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home (1500 Waterford Pkwy., St. Johns) and one hour prior the service on Friday at the church. Memorials may be made to the Ionia County Animal Shelter 3853 Sparrow Dr. Ionia, MI 48846.


Mary Frances Cole

Mary F. Cole, born on April 2, 1930, passed away on November 1, 2019 at Mother Teresa House in Lansing, Michigan. She was the daughter of Anna and Ralph Lobert.

She is survived by her daughters, Johnette (Jim) Simmons, Marlene (Dennis) Howland, Loraine (Rex) Courtright, Ava Jo (Glenn) Pung; son-in-law, Robert Thornton; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Harold “Bud” Cole; her daughter, Kirstie L. Lockner Thornton; and three brothers, Dale, Ron, and Wayne Lobert.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Mother Teresa House Hospice Care Home, 308 N. Walnut St, Lansing, MI 48933, or St. Vincent de Paul Society. Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.grlansing.com.


Ronald E. Holder

Ronald E. Holder, age 71 of Maple Rapids, MI, passed away Friday, November 1, 2019, at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Funeral Services will be held at Maple Rapids Congregational Christian Church, Maple Rapids, MI at 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 with Pastor Jerry Kissling officiating. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 11:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M. prior to the service at the church. Burial will take place at a later date at Union Home Cemetery, Maple Rapids, MI.

Ronald was born in Howell, MI on January 28, 1948 the son of Delmer and Ethel (Sherwood) Holder. He was a graduate of Sexton High School. Ron married Linda Chick 43 years ago in 1976 and resided most of his life in Maple Rapids.

Ron retired from General Motors and worked many years with the Fire Department in Maple Rapids. At one time Ron had a gas station in Maple Rapids. He enjoyed anything to do with cars, fishing, quilting and going antiquing. Ron also enjoyed NASCAR and camping on the infield at MIS. He had a race car with his father-in-law and they raced in Crystal and Lansing. His favorite puppy, Rosie, was dear to his heart. Ron loved making yearly trips to Zephyrhills, FL. He was a member of Oddfellows.

Ron is survived by his wife Linda Holder of Maple Rapids, MI; daughter Christina Valero and Johnny Everet of Charlotte, MI; daughter Deanna and Rodney VanDeusen of Ovid, MI; daughter Corrina Kramer of Nashville, MI; step-son Wayne and Rena Bond of Olivet, MI; step-daughter Regina Bond of California; step-daughter Maryann and Jason Beck of St. Johns, MI; step-son Christopher Ryan and Tammy of Perrinton, MI; 18 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; sister Carol Holder of Lansing, MI; brother Tom Holder of Ludington, MI; brother Delmer Holder of Lansing, MI; sister Barbara Holder of Lansing, MI; brother-in-law Larry Bidle of Elsie, MI. He is also survived by several other sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law as well as several nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Cheryl Bidle, one brother Kenny Holder, mother-in-law Margie Chick, father-in-law Lyle Chick and son-in-law Jack Kramer.

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


Mart W. Smaltz

Mart W. Smaltz died Thursday, October 31, 2019 at the age of 56. He was born June 8, 1963 in Carson City, MI to Kenneth and Joan (Bond) Smaltz. Mart enjoyed helping friends work on cars as a hobby and was employed for almost 30 years at Triton Industries.

Surviving is his wife, Melanie; a daughter, Anna Powell (Marshawn Curtis); step-children, Tamara Pohl (Paul Roberts) and Michael Pohl; five granddaughters; one great grandson; his mother and stepfather, Joan and Rodney Sutfin; and a sister Korine (Robert) Kristofferson. He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, November 10, 2019 at West Lansing Church of Christ 5505 W. St. Joseph Hwy. 48917. The family will receive relatives and friends from 1:00 PM until service time at the church. Memorials may be made to the family.

The family was assisted with these arrangements by Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns.


Sheila A. Ordway

Sheila A. Ordway died Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the age of 74. She was born May 31, 1945 in St. Johns, MI to Wendell and Mildred (Ballinger) Sleight. Sheila was a graduate of Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, Class of 1964. She was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church and enjoyed travels in Michelle and Kevin’s RV. She was a people person and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She loved her pets, listening to her police scanner and riding her “Gator” around the county. Sheila was an avid deer hunter and enjoyed fishing also.

Surviving is her husband of 53 years, Terry; one daughter, Michelle (Kevin) Bailey of St. Johns, one son, Mark of DeWitt; one brother, Richard Sleight of DeWitt; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim (Cheryl) Ordway of Holt, Roger (Cindy) Ordway of Highlands Ranch, CO; William (Londa) Ordway of Bannister and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Linda and in-laws Aaron and Lucille Ordway.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Monday, November 4, 2019 at St. Peter Lutheran Church 8990 Church Rd. St. Johns with Pastor Timothy Bayer officiating. Interment will follow at South Bingham Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Sunday, November 3 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. Memorials may be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church or the Capital Area Humane Society 7095 W. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906.


Divorce decrees filed on October 28, 2019

McCain, Kasey B. / McCain, Andrew J.

Wiggins, Carmen S. / Wiggins, James A.

Brunner, Stacey L. / Brunner, Richard L.

Warzecha,Richard J. / Warzecha, Melody L.

Thompson, Shannon / Thompson, Eric J.

Carpenter, Jason / Carpenter, Pamela