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Faith I. “Tena” Schmitt

Faith I. “Tena” Schmitt, age 88, of Fowler, MI, passed away Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at The Laurels of Carson City.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI, at 10:30 P.M. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, with Rev. Fr. Eric Weber presiding. Burial will take place at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held on Monday, November 22, 2021 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI and also on Tuesday from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the funeral Mass at the funeral home.

Faith was born in St. Johns, Michigan on January 15, 1933, the daughter of Lial and Eva M. (Bowser) Gifford. She graduated from Rodney B. Wilson in 1950 and went on to attend Lansing Business University graduating in 1951. Tena married Hilary G. Schmitt on July 10, 1954 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI.

Tena retired from Clinton County Friend of the Court after 20 years. She worked as a seamstress for Boron’s in St. Johns making custom draperies and also did alterations for people out of her home. She was a master quilter, making many quilts for friends, family, church events and charity. Tena had a green thumb, loved flowers and she took pride in the flowers around her home. She was a wonderful cook and her german chocolate cake was always a staple at their family Christmas party.

She was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Christian Mothers Association, and Capital City Quilt Guild.

She is survived by her husband Hilary Schmitt of Fowler, MI; daughter Eileen and Thomas Hattis of Fowler, MI; grandchildren: Michael of Westphalia, MI; Jeffrey and Amanda Hattis of Eagle, MI; great-grandsons: Thomas and Alexander Hattis; brother Homer and Martha Gifford of Traverse City, MI; in-laws: Regina Feldpausch of Fowler, MI; Rose VanElls of St. Johns, MI; and Don and Joan Schmitt of St. Johns, MI. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Joyce (Dick) Hart, in-laws: Herman (Romayne) Schmitt, Marvin Feldpausch, and Dick VanElls.

The family would like to thank the Laurels of Carson City for their excellent compassion and care of Tena.

Memorials may be made to the family’s wishes, They will select a charity at a later date. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, Michigan.


Richard Melvin Thelen

Richard Melvin Thelen, age 77, of Fowler, MI, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI, at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, November 22, 2021, with Rev. Fr. Dennis Howard presiding. Burial will take place at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held 5-7 P.M. with a Rosary Service at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler

Richard was born in St. Johns, Michigan on February 25, 1944, the son of Leonard and Rose (Schomisch) Thelen. He graduated from Fowler High School with the class of 1962. Dick proudly served his country in the United States Navy Seabees.

On August 14, 1965 Dick married Patricia Ann Braska at St. Isidore Catholic Church, Laingsburg, MI. They were blessed with 56 years of marriage. They were members of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. He worked for Fisher Body for 32 years, retiring in 1997.

Dick lived his life for the Lord. He had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling on his motorcycle with his wife, whom he loved immensely. Lake Michigan has been a favorite vacation spot for the yearly family camp outs. Each year his children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren looked forward to sitting around the fire to listen to his advice, quick wit and to just be with him as he was a great storyteller, and was always good for a laugh. Family was very important to him; he enjoyed getting them all together, whether it is a cookout with his wife, kids and grandkids or simply playing cards with all of his siblings. Dick was also known by many for his big bear hugs. He was a proud member and previous commander of the VFW and enjoyed playing cards with his many friends there.

Dick is survived by his wife Pat, children: Wendy (Jeff) Armbrustmacher of Fowler, MI; Amy (Alan) Martin of Fowler, MI; Richard “Rick” (Jessica) Thelen II of Fowler, MI; Tina (Jon) Thelen of Westphalia, MI; Shelly (Gary) Martin of Fowler, MI; and son-in-law Bruce Fox of Fowler. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren: Kyle (Kendra) Armbrustmacher, Chelsea (Evan) Crisler, Mitchell (Ashley Bowers) Armbrustmacher, Kristal (Josh) Thomas, Dylan Armbrustmacher, Brittany (Eric) Thelen, Alyssa (Garry) Gurk, Ashlyn Martin, Austen (Kenzie) Martin, Ambrea (fiance’ Jacob Folske) Martin, Kaylah Thelen, Richard Thelen III, Collin Thelen, Ellie Thelen, Kassidy Thelen, Makenna Thelen, Jadyn Thelen, Landon Thelen, Wyatt Martin, Savanah Martin, and Hunter Martin; 8 great-grandchildren, 2 great step grandchildren: siblings: Gary (Sue) Thelen, Dale (Dottie) Thelen, and Sandy Steed. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Tammy Fox, great-grandson Gunner Thelen, and sister Judy Finkbeiner.

Memorials may be made to Most Holy Trinity Catholic School. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, Michigan.


Michelle Marie Harter

Michelle Marie Harter, age 67 of St. Johns, MI, passed away Sunday, November 14, 2021, at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, Michigan.

Cremation has taken place and there will be no services.

Michelle was born in Lansing, Michigan on August 23, 1954, the daughter of Harold Denoise and LaRaine Yvonne (Hopkins) Maag. She graduated from Ovid-Elsie High School with the class of 1972. She loved and enjoyed her grandchildren. Her dogs were also important to her. She retired from General Motors after 30 years of service.

She is survived by her mother LaRaine Maag, her daughter Rebecca Perez, her son Michael and Ashley Harter, 5 grandchildren: Lexus Gardenhouse, Michael Saxton, Madilyn Harter, Lilian Harter, and Jacob Harter, her brother James and Kelly Maag. She was predeceased by her father, and 2 brothers: Michael Richard and David Charles Maag.

Memorials may be made to Disabled American Veterans, 110 East Walker Street, St. Johns, Michigan 48879. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.


Michael J. Werbish

Michael J. “Mike” Werbish, 78, Perrinton, Michigan passed away Thursday, November 11, 2021, at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. He was born on June 1, 1943, in Saint Johns, the son of John and Mary (Krupa) Werbish. Mike graduated from Saint Johns High School and later graduated from Northwood University.

He worked in the computer department of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, retiring in 2008 after 45 years of service. Mike was a diehard MSU Football Fan having season tickets for many years. He went to every game he possibly could. He enjoyed hunting, boating around Rainbow Lake, and attending his grandsons’ sporting events.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many people. He had a strong faith, he loved serving the Lord, and showed this love in his everyday actions with family and friends. His strong Christian faith, belief in the resurrection and the reward of Heaven guided Mike throughout his life.

Michael is loved and survived by his wife Jessica, and his children, Cena (Doug) Antes, of Perrinton; Raelyn (Zach) Zeilinger, Bay City; Renae Werbish, East Lansing; two grandsons, Colton, and Nicholas; and his siblings, Marie (Ken) Buxton and John Werbish, all of Lansing; Al (Jan) Werbish, of St. Johns. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Linda (Zimmerman) Werbish of 45 years and his sister-in-law Linda Werbish.

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Thursday, November 18, 2021, at Maple Rapids Congregational Christian Church, 410 S Maple Ave, Maple Rapids MI 48853, with Pastor Jerry Kissling officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the funeral at church. A luncheon will follow the funeral at the church. Committal prayers will follow the luncheon at Payne Cemetery. Memorials may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Envelopes will be available at the funeral and Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, Belding, where funeral care has been entrusted.


Frank J. Bernath

Frank J. Bernath, age 95, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Friday, November 12, 2021, at his home. He was the last surviving sibling of Andro and Katerina Bernath.

Frank resided in Elsie and the Clinton county area for over 90 years and the last few years in St. Johns. Frank was proud to serve in the United States Marine Crop enlisted on December 13, 1943. Frank was a World War II veteran serving in the Pacific Front. Upon completion of his tour of duty Frank returned home and finished his senior year of high school; and was one of the founding members of Elsie American Legion, of which he was a member for 76 years.

Frank married the love of his life Mary Lucinda Cornell on January 17, 1948. Mary passed away in 2017. They raised 6 kids, Jerry (Helen) of Portland, Sherry Allan of Speedway, IN, Terry (Phyllis) of Lansing, Larry (Paula) of St. Johns, Garry (Sid) of Elsie and Barry (Martha) of St. Johns. He has 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

In his free time he spent time at his cottage at Houghton Lake with his wife, fishing and enjoyed the outdoors with his family. Frank enjoyed visiting the casino and garage sales with his wife. Frank worked for General Motors, Consumers Powers and found success with State Farm Insurance as an agent for 34 years until retiring on December 31, 1999.

He served his community at St. Cyril Catholic Church where he served as commentary on parish counsel; he was a Elsie Village Council member and part of the Elsie Business improvement Association.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Cyril’s Catholic Church, Bannister, MI, at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, November 18, 2021, with Rev. Fr. Bill Gruden presiding. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 3:00-8:00 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes Elsie, MI. A Rosary Service will be held 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Cyril’s Catholic Church Bannister, MI 48806 or American Legion Post # 502, Elsie, MI 48831. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.


Sharon Lou Ruby

Sharon Lou Ruby, of St. Johns, died on November 10, 2021. She was 88 years old.

Sharon was born on June 10, 1933, one of three children born to Jay and Olive (Downing) Potter. Sharon attended Wilton Cake School and operated Sharon’s Cakes & Supplies. She proudly made birthday, wedding and graduation cakes for over two decades.

She is survived by her children, Kim Butcher, Leigh Ann (Dan) Thompson, Brian (Ashley) Butcher; grandchildren, Kim Butcher II, the late Jamie Ladisky, Chadwick Butcher, Dan Thompson Jr., Josh Thompson, Skylar Thompson, Cammylle Thompson, Bre Thompson, Evie Thompson, Nathan Thompson, Nicole Butcher, Scout and Jersie Wicker; great-grandchildren, Jacob and Matthew Butcher, Abigail Orweller, Elijah Price, Lexi Lange, Dominic Harper; great-great-grandchildren, Jamie & Harper Orweller. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Lorna Sebring and brother, Don Potter.

A private service will be held this week and a memorial service will take place next summer.

For further information contact McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel.


Grace Arlene Wood

Grace Arlene Wood, a longtime resident of St. Johns, died peacefully, surrounded by her family on November 9, 2021. She was 89 years old.

Grace was born on June 8, 1932 at home in Middleton, Michigan, the youngest daughter of eight children born to Clark and Gladys (Burgess) Struble and attended Fulton High School. Grace was a talented artist and musician and devoted her life to her craft. She could paint with various mediums and she could play a variety of instruments by ear.

She met Donald Wood in Lansing and after a whirlwind courtship, they married on November 15, 1968. Grace and Don were perfectly matched – their fondest memories were traveling and playing music together. They jammed in Texas and Florida, ran their own jamborees, were the first couple to sing at the St. Johns bandshell and played with the Mint City Jammers for many years. They loved traveling together and visited every state in the Union, cruised the Bahamas and traveled to England with a church group. Grace was a great teacher and a role model for her girls. She taught each of them how to cook and keep a clean home, and their houses are decorated with her art. Grace adored spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her husband of nearly fifty-three years, Donald Thomas Wood; her beloved daughters, Debra Crose, BettyJo (Doug) Peck and Tammy (Mark) Gifford; grandchildren, Stacey (the late Greg Brown) Zserdin, Randy (Sherry) Zserdin, Adam (Tammy) Zserdin, Rachael (Stephen) Copley, Rebecca (Chris) Pugsley, Doug Jr. (Jessica) Peck, Michael (Amy) Ward, Amy (Patrick) Flanner, Robert Ward, Mark Gifford, John Gifford; Twenty great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clark and Gladys; her siblings, Pauline, Evelyn, Lucille, Harry, Clark, Warren and Bill; grandchildren, Jason, Olivia & Isabelle and Brenden.

A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 11 AM at McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel, 1500 Waterford Pkwy, St. Johns. Friends may visit the funeral home on Friday, November 12, 2021 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM and on Saturday from 10 AM until the time of the service. Burial will follow at Mount Rest Cemetery, St. Johns and a luncheon at Grove Bible Church.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Clinton County Arts Council, 215 N Clinton Ave, St Johns, MI 48879


Divorce decrees filed the weeks of November 1 and November 8, 2021

Hanson, Scott / Hanson, Donice

Evans, Rachel / Tilley, Brandon

Miller, Gabriel / Miller, Amanda

Nethaway, Stephanie / Nethaway, Adam

Allen-Feltenberger, Julie / Feltenberger, Scott

Schutt, Jeffrey / Schutt, Jessica

Zatzke, Kari / Zatzke, Christopher

Lalonde, Melissa / Lalonde, Eugene