Merle Duane Green

Merle Duane Green, age 87, of Elsie, MI, passed away Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor, St. Johns, MI.

Funeral Services will be held at Elsie United Methodist Church, Elsie, MI, on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Ava Williams and Pastor Fred Fischer officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery, Elsie, MI. Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 4:00-7:00 P.M. and on Friday, August 17, 2018 from 4:00-7:00 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.

Duane was born in Elsie, MI on November 5, 1930, the son of Merle H. and Hope (Edwards) Green. He graduated from Elsie High School with the class of 1948. Duane married Grace Ensign on November 19, 1950 at the Bannister United Methodist Church. Duane was a former partner, along with his family, in the Green Meadow Farms operation, Elsie, MI. Duane was involved with many organizations including: past president of the Holstein USA Assoc., Director of the National Ayrshire Assoc., Director of the National Cattlemen Assoc., Director of the North Star Select Sires, and Chairman of the Holstein Foundation. Duane also judged many dairy cattle shows in the USA and South America. He was a member of the Elsie Lions Club and the Elsie United Methodist Church.

Duane and Grace spent many winters on Marco Island, FL. He enjoyed traveling to the UP for the fall colors. Duane loved driving his draft horse Hughey. He also enjoyed his Ayrshire cows; especially Naomi. Duane was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather, and he loved the time spent with them. To the community he was a very generous, but humble man. Those that knew him well probably were victim to his playful teasing.

He is survived by his wife Grace Green of Elsie, MI; son Charles and Susan Green of Elsie, MI; daughter Karen and Arden Densmore of Elsie, MI; grandchildren: Emily and Mike Klingbeil of Cambridge, WI; William Green and Maureen Nagy of Grand Ledge, MI; Sadie Green of Lansing, MI; Michael Batora of Elsie, MI; Kristine Batora of Elsie, MI; Leah Batora of Elsie, MI; and two great-grandsons; Joshua and Matthew Klingbeil. He is also survived by his brother Velmar and Margaret Green of Elsie, MI. Duane was preceded in death by his parents, son Bryon Green, and former son in law Rick Batora.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Elsie United Methodist Church, Clinton County Dairy 4-H, or to the Holstein Foundation, PO Box 816, Brattleboro, VT 05302-0816, holsteinfoundation.org. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.


Marian Maxine Smith

Marian Maxine (Frey) Smith of San Diego, CA formerly of St. Johns, MI was born in Manchester, MI, on June 20, 1915. Marian Maxine Frey was the oldest child of George and Amanda Frey. She passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 11, 2018, just weeks after celebrating her 103rd birthday. She was raised on the family farm with one younger sister Rita who predeceased her in 1996. Marian was the salutatorian of Manchester High School and loved math. After graduation she moved to Jackson, MI, and completed business school. There she met her husband William M. Smith and they were married in January 1936. They were married for 71 wonderful years. Now in death, as in life, they will be joined together forever.

Marian is survived by two children, Shirley (Dave) Fenner and Doug, in the San Diego area, 13 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. She and Bill raised their children in St. Johns, MI. She was the ultimate farmer’s wife and partner, at one point raising over 1,000 chickens to sell the eggs for hatching. She served as a 4-H Leader and taught numerous girls how to sew. Eventually she became office manager for Production Credit Association in St. Johns, retiring in 1973.

After retirement, she and Bill lived seasonally in Michigan and California to be close to their children and grandchildren, before ultimately settling full-time in Chula Vista in 1994. She and Bill loved to fish and spend time on Michigan lakes, but in the early 1960s that passion turned to golf. She was proud of her hole-in-one later at a California golf course. Marian also enjoyed card games, especially bridge, and bowling. She made true friends over the years in various leagues, enjoyed competition particularly in her bowling and bridge tournaments. Marian and Bill traveled across the county several times between Michigan and California, stopping to visit friends along the way, even in Canada.

Like many of her era, she was shaped by the Great Depression and she in turned shaped her family. She was thrifty and offered financial tips to multiple generations, yet generous to her church and favorite charities. She crocheted and donated nearly 100 baby blankets to various causes.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, August 18 in San Diego, and a local viewing/visitation in St Johns will be on August 24, 2018 from 10 AM to noon at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St Johns, MI. The internment will follow with burial next to her husband Bill, in Mt. Rest Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to gather after for a reception.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either St. Vincent De Paul, or to Father Joe’s Villages, 3550 E St, San Diego, CA 92102, or to charity of your choice in her name.


Ashley N. Daoust

Ashley N. Daoust, 30 of St. Johns, MI died on August 12, 2018 in DeWitt Twp. MI. Ashley was born on October 8, 1987 in Flint MI the daughter of James Daoust and Emily Kelly.

Ashley is survived by her daughter, Cadence Soderlund, father James (Debi) Daoust, mother Emily Kelly, grandparents Ruth Daoust, Nan and Pat Kelly, step brothers, Ransom, Austin and Jesse Catlin. She was preceded in death by grandfather, Arthur Daoust.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Friday, August 17, 2018 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 4:00 P.M. with Pastor Rick Ruble officiating.

She loves her animals, dogs particularly. Donations can be made to the Humane Society.


Aylah Renee Nichols

Aylah Renee Nichols, age 24, of Elsie, MI, passed away Sunday, August 12, 2018.

A Memorial Service will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. with Pastor Ron Sischo officiating.

Aylah was born in Lansing, MI on May 18, 1994, the daughter of John Torok and Michelle Benda. She graduated from Laingsburg Christian School in 2012. Aylah married Justin Nichols on July 28, 2012 in Elsie, MI. Aylah enjoyed art and drama. She loved time spent with her family. She was a member of First Baptist Church, St. Johns, MI.

She is survived by her husband Justin Nichols, sons: Simon and Elijah Nichols, mother Michelle Benda, father John Torok, sister Linay Torok, brother Jacob Torok, mother and father in love Sherry and Peter Nichols, sister in love Rachel Nichols, brother in love Christopher Nichols, sister in love Emma Nichols, sister in love Sofia Nichols, and grandparents: Julie and Jim Torok, and Ted and Donna Herig. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by grandparents: Ellen Miller and Donald Benda, and Phyllis and Clyde Isham.

Memorials may be made to the family for an educational fund for her children. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.


Sharon Frances Becker

Sharon Frances Becker, age 75, of Fowler, MI, passed away Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at The Laurels of Carson City, Carson City, MI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI, on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 10:30 A.M., with Rev. Fr. Dennis Howard officiating. Burial will follow at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI. A Rosary will be prayed Sunday at 7:00 P.M.

Sharon was born in Westphalia, MI, on April 10, 1943 the daughter of Aloysius and Louise (Spitzley) Platte. Sharon resided most of her life in Fowler and was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School with the class of 1961. Sharon married Clark Becker August 1, 1962 in Westphalia, MI.

Sharon and Clark owned and operated Becker’s Bridal from 1975 until retirement. She enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Sharon loved to play cards and go bowling. Playing games with her grandchildren and doing puzzles with family and friends brought her much joy. She was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church Fowler, MI and a member of Christian Mothers.

She is survived by her husband Clark Becker of Fowler, MI; son Curt and Lisa Becker of Fowler, MI; son Scott and Becky Becker of Fowler, MI; daughter Michelle Mueller of Ionia, MI; son David and Sherri Becker of Fowler, MI; daughter Beverly and Mike Schaefer of Fowler, MI; son Timothy and Sharon Becker of Grand Rapids, MI; son Thomas and Janet Becker of Rockford, MI; daughter Jennifer Badgett of Fowler, MI; 23 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; sister Marie and Alphonse Thelen; sister Therese Perrien; brother Joseph and Mary Platte; sister Mary Catherine Platte; brother-in-law Celestine Simon; sister-in-law Nancy Platte; and sister-in-law Barb Platte. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, father and mother-in-law Frank and Eva Becker, her granddaughter Brooke E. Becker, sister Grace Simon, brother-in-law Edward Perrien, brother Gerald Platte, brother Duane Platte, and brother and sister-in-law Luke and Joan Becker.

Memorials may be made to No More Sidelines, Fowler, MI. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI.


May Pulliam

Ethel May (Betz) Pulliam, 85, of St. Johns passed away peacefully August 8, 2018, under Hospice care at Grace Haven in St. Johns, slipping from the warm embrace of family and friends and into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ where she is enjoying the company of a beloved granddaughter, Elizabeth Koenigsknecht, who preceded her on the heavenly journey 18 years ago, August 8, 2000.

May was born November 9, 1932, the daughter of Tony and Elizabeth Betz. She loved people and life in general and was particularly enthusiastic about meeting and making new friends. She was genuinely interested in learning about them, gleaning information in a friendly and caring manner.

Her career as a teacher was life-long – beginning when she received a teaching degree from Michigan State University, and continuing well beyond her “official” retirement in 1992. She first taught at Gunnisonville, followed by Valier – a two room school in Midland with her sister, Wanda Betz; Alma Republic and concluding at St. Johns Public Schools.

May married the love of her life, Jerry Pulliam, on June 1, 1951. She and Jerry became the proud parents of twin daughters, Sheila and Sheryl, on July 20, 1952. Family was a mainstay of May’s life She was a devoted wife and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who enjoyed the laughter and spirit of her family. She especially enjoyed talking with and supporting the endeavors of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

May also loved dancing. She and Jerry were well known around the mid-Michigan area for their skill at clog dancing. They enjoyed performing together at various functions, including assembly programs for young students at SJ Schools which suited their background in education.

Along with her dancing partner and husband of 67 years, Jerry, May is survived by daughters Sheila (Gery) Rehmann and Sheryl (Rich) Koenigsknecht; grandsons, Rich (Sara) Koenigsknecht, Chad (Kari) Rehmann and Craig (Stacy) Rehmann; and great-grandchildren Ella Elizabeth Koenigsknecht, Nolan Koenigsknecht, Kathryn Elizabeth Rehmann, Nicolas Rehmann, Kayden Rehmann, Micah Rehmann and Kenley Elizabeth Rehmann. She was preceded in death by 13 siblings and a granddaughter, Elizabeth Koenigsknecht.

Visitation will be Sunday, August 12th from 2-4, 6-8 at Keck Coleman Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m., August 13, at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home with Pastor Tyler Barlage officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Cancer Unit at Clinton Sparrow Hospital, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.


Janet Lou Russell

Janet Lou Russell died Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the age of 82. She was born September 21, 1935 in Oakland, CA the daughter of Frank C. Hansen and Gertrude L. (Carlson) Hansen. Janet and was a Photo Lab Technician in the U.S. Air Force for 3 years, then worked for Accounts Receivable in Lansing. On August 31, 1956 she married William Sherwood Russell in New Hampshire, and he preceded her in death in March of 2015.

Surviving Janet is a daughter, Kathleen (Gilbert A.) Baker of Fowler, and one grandson, Ian Michael Baker. She was preceded in death by her parents and a son Sherwood Dean Russell.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 PM, Monday August 13, 2018 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns with Rev. Dr. Joseph Mlaker officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery with military honors provided by the St. Johns Honor Guard. The family will receive relatives and friends 11:00 A.M. until service time on Monday. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.