Posted in Transitions



Ryan G. Martin

Ryan G. Martin, 31, of Potterville died Wednesday, January 3, 2018. He was born on June 2, 1986 in Carson City, Michigan to Marilyn Martin Kieffer. After her death in 1989, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Jack and Jean Martin. He graduated from St. Johns High School and entered the U.S. Army where he was deployed to Iraq. Following his military service Ryan worked as a security guard. He married Megan Foster on July 6, 2012. At the time of his death Ryan was employed by the State of Michigan in the IT Department. He was a firefighter in Potterville and had just been elected to the Potterville City Council.

Ryan is survived by his wife, Megan; 3 brothers, Kyle, David and T.J. (Carrie) Martin.; 3 sisters, Eunice (David) Link, Aleisha (Pat) Leavitt and Kateri (Andy) Konik; his parents Jack and Jean Martin of Alpena, his father and mother-in-law, Wayne and Joy Foster of Potterville, an aunt, Dell Martin and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Gerald and Geraldine Martin and J.D and Mariam Robinson, his uncles Kurt and James Martin, his aunt Joanne Miller and his child, Baby Martin.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Sunday, January 7, 2018, 2-4 and 6-9 P.M. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. with Deacon Marvin Robertson officiating. Burial took place on January 18, 2018 at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Cecil Lloyd Berlin Jr.

Cecil Lloyd Berlin Jr., age 67, of St. Johns, MI passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI.

Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 2:00 P.M., with Pastor Mona Kindel officiating. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 12:00-2:00 P.M. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Cecil was born in Jackson, MI on August 24, 1950 the son of Cecil Lloyd and Dorothy Jean (Baumgartner) Berlin. He was a graduate of St. Johns High School and resided most of his life in Shiawassee and Clinton Counties. Cecil married Heidi on May 15, 2002 in Corunna, MI.

Cecil had an Alpaca farm, called Maple River Alpacas. He liked prospecting for gold and enjoyed his time at the river doing this. He loved the outdoors, camping in the Upper Peninsula and just enjoyed nature. Cecil loved and was an avid gardener. He donated his time at the Salvation Army Food Pantry in St. Johns. But most of all spending time with his family was the most important to him.

He is survived by his wife Heidi Berlin of St. Johns, MI; 2 daughters: Theresa and Steve Johnson of Manistee, MI; Amanda Berlin of Laingsburg, MI; son Lloyd and Angel Berlin of Brownsville, CA; step-daughter Melanie Craner of Holt, MI; step-son Dale Craner of Laingsburg, MI; 3 grandchildren: Rebecca Berlin, John Berlin and Rachell Craner; and 2 great-grandchildren: Alaena and Keegan Davis. Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters: Alice Jackson and Carolyn Beach, and his brother-in-law Roger Beach.

Memorials may be made to the wishes of the Berlin Family. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes – Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.

Gloria Rose Abbey

Gloria Rose Abbey, our precious child, was called to be with the angels in heaven, December 30, 2017 at the age of 9. Gloria was born October 18, 2008 to Dustin Abbey and Erica Southwell. Even though Gloria was a special needs child, memories of her 9 years will be forever cherished by those that she came in contact with. One outstanding memory will be her random smiles which would tug at your heart. Gloria touched the hearts of many, including the staff at Clinton County RESA, as well as her bus drivers. She will be tremendously missed by all who knew her.

Along with her parents, Gloria is survived by her sister Grace Abbey, halfbrothers, Dante Kahalehau, Casey and Jack Morence, all of St. Johns, half sisters Brooklyn and Scarlet Morence; grandparents Lloyd and Brenda Abbey of Lansing, Jim and Connie Southwell of St. Johns, great grandmother Wilma Schmitz of Westphalia, as well as several aunts and uncles and numerous cousins.

The family will receive relatives and friends, from 2-6 P.M. on Sunday January 7, 2018 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home 1500 Waterford Parkway, St. Johns, MI. Gloria will forever hold a very special place in Aunt Jennifer’s heart.

Donald E. Welch

It is with great sadness that the family of Donald E. “Sparty” Welch, 73 of St. Johns, MI announces his passing on January 2, 2018 due to complications during surgery at University of Michigan Hospital. Don was born on November 4, 1944 in Midland, MI the son of Basil E. and Dorotha (Murra) Welch. He graduated from Blanchard High School and had attended Michigan State University.

Don owned and operated D.E. Welch Plumbing and Heating for several years and then worked for the State of Michigan, Fire Marshall Division as a mechanical contractor from where he retired. Don was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved the MSU Spartans, golfing, playing cards and watching his granddaughters play softball.

On July 24, 1965 he married the love of his life, Eileen J. Bennett in Remus, MI. He was the loving father of son Gregory (Katrina) Welch of Lansing and daughter Karri Welch of Portland, proud grandfather “Poppi” to Hunter and Paige, brother to Reita Miller of Sheridan and “Sparty” to many others. Don will be remembered by everyone who met him for his unique ability to listen, ask questions and give advice with quiet, measured wisdom.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. A celebration of Don’s life will be held on May 26, 2018. Arrangements will be announced. In lieu of flowers or donations, we ask that you take a moment to hug your child, grandchild, friend, or walk in the woods for a moment, an hour or a day. Time waits for no one.

Linda L. Taylor

Linda L. (Baker) Taylor, born July 4th, 1937 in Bannister, the daughter of the late Dale and Marian (Hicks) Baker, passed away December 21, 2017 at the age of 80 due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mom was an ardent gardener. She loved growing and tending to her flowers. She enjoyed beautifying her surroundings, both indoors and out.

She is survived by 3 sons, Richard Bramer, Dan (Sue) Bramer, and Rob (Christine) Bramer. She was a loving grandmother to 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Little sister to her brother Allan, and big sister to brothers Guy, Mitchell, Robin, Jeff, and sister Bonnie.

She was proceeded in death by her parents and 2 sons, Brett Bramer and Clint Taylor.

A service will be held at 11:00 a.m., February 10th, 2018 at the Maple Rapids United Methodist Church, 330 S. Maple St, Maple Rapids, MI. A luncheon will be hosted at the church, following the service.

Should friends desire, contributions may be made to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund or any charity of their choice.

Michael F. Johnson

Michael F. Johnson, 62 passed away on December 31, 2017 at Hospice House of Mid Michigan. He was born on March 26, 1955 in Detroit, MI the son of Burton and Margaret (Phelps) Johnson.

He is survived by brothers, William Johnson, Dr. Matthew (Pam) Johnson and sister Laura (Joseph Sr.) Mullaney. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Mary Johnson and Alice (Simpson) Johnson, brother Larry Zimba. He has 25 nieces and nephews and was a realtor with REMAX Finest in St. Johns.

At his request there will be no services. Memorials may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Society of St. Johns, MI. Arrangements by Keck-Coleman Funeral Home.

Mary E. Johnson

Mary E. Johnson, 68 passed away on December 31, 2017 at Gunnisonville Assisted Living Center. She was born on June 9, 1949 in Detroit, MI the daughter of Burton and Margaret (Phelps) Johnson, and she is survived by her daughter Maureen Clark and a grandson, Shawn Matthew Clark, brothers, William Johnson, Dr. Matthew (Pam) Johnson and sister Laura (Joseph Sr.) Mullaney. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Alice (Simpson) Johnson, brother Larry Zimba and Michael Johnson. She has 23 nieces and nephews and was a registered nurse. Mary had worked as a hospice nurse for many years and retired from that.

At her request there will be no services. Memorials may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Society of St. Johns, MI. Arrangements by Keck-Coleman Funeral Home.

Alan Derrell Steavens

Alan Derrell Steavens, 80, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2017 as a result of progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Alan served over 7 years in the Air Force and was dedicated to helping other throughout is life.

Alan was the last of the four Steavens brothers who were born and raised in St. Johns. His brothers were Norris, Donald, and David. Many family members in and around St Johns grieve for the loss of Alan at this time.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Vandalee (McClintock) Steavens, his sister and brother in-law Roy and Eileen Witgen, his cousins, the Barnheart Family, his three children and their spouses: Greg and Margret Steavens of Taylor, MI, Gwendolin and Thomas Schornak of Grand Ledge and Glenn and Lori Steavens of Lincoln Park, MI.

In addition to their biological children above, Alan and Vandalee took in many children into their home and heart over the years to cared for them as their own children. Some were biologically related and others not at all; it made no difference to Alan and Vandalee. Some of these children lived with Alan and Vandalee their entire lives and some for several years, all of them where family to Alan and Vandalee who referred to them as their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Alan is survived by 20 grandchildren and 9 great grand children, who are all heartbroken from the loss.

Condolence can be sent to: Steavens Family 5859 W Saginaw HWY, PO BOX 234, Lansing Michigan 48927. No Flowers Please.

Charles Chapko, Sr.

Charles “Charlie” Chapko Sr., loving husband, father and grandfather, Charles “Charlie” Chapko Sr., age 86, of Elsie, MI, went to be with the Lord on Monday, January 1, 2018. He will be greatly missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Cyril’s Catholic Church, Bannister, MI, on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 10:00 A.M., with Rev. Fr. Bill Gruden officiating. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 from 4:00-8:00 P.M. and on Thursday, January 4, 2018 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes Elsie, MI. A Rosary will be prayed Thursday evening at 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

Charlie was born and raised on a farm in Ashley, MI on October 31, 1931, the son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Skriba) Chapko. Charlie was a gentle, loving and quiet man with a fun sense of humor and was a good listener. He was a member of St. Cyril’s Catholic Church in Bannister, MI. He served in the United States Army from 1954-1956 and was stationed in Nuremberg, Germany. He worked at Elsie Machine Company alongside his brothers Tony, Steve and Frank for many years. He was a huge Detroit Tigers fan and had fulfilled his dream two years ago by attending several spring training games while on vacation in Florida. He also loved to play the accordion, listen to polka music, attend polka dances, fish on summer vacations in the Upper Peninsula and go to the casino now and then. However, his greatest joy in life was spending time with his wife, family and friends.

He married his second wife and best friend Micky Chapko of Elsie, MI on May 30, 2015 and she survives him along with his daughter Christine (Dwight) Boak, St. Johns, MI; son Charles (Carrie Ann) Chapko, St. Johns, MI; son in law Richard Villarreal, St. Johns, MI; grandchildren: Michael (Brittany) Villarreal, Rachel and Matthew Boak, Charles and Christian Chapko, great grandson Gavin Villarreal, step children: Elaine (Jon) Bartholic, Ovid, MI; Marcia (Ken) Pangborn, Elsie, MI; John (Lisa) Chapko, Elsie, MI; Frank (Yolanda) Chapko, Elsie, MI; Lori (Jim) Porubsky, Bannister, MI; Jeff (Camie) Chapko, Elsie, MI; Michelle Bisson, East Jordan, MI; Tamara Bodine-Wilson, Coto De Caza, CA; and Tim (Tammy) Chapko, Atlanta, GA; along with many step grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by 2 sisters: Mary (Stan) Divish and Margaret Chovance, and sisters in law: Rose Chapko, Mildred Chapko and Angela (Howard) Clevenger. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 46 years Patricia Chapko, daughter Lisa Villarreal, parents Stephen and Elizabeth Chapko, 3 sisters: Irene, Helen and Ann, and 7 brothers: Joe, Mike, John, Bill, Frank, Tony and Steve.

Memorials may be made to St. Cyril’s Catholic Church, Bannister, MI or to a Charity of the Donor’s Choice. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, M.

Brigida E. Sible

Brigida E. Sible, 52 of St. Johns, MI passed away at Hospice House in Lansing on Saturday, December 30, 2017. She was born on July 22, 1965 in Lansing the daughter of Joe and Dora (Riojas) Cordova. She graduated from St. Johns Public Schools in 1983 and worked at Turning Point for 15 years. On January 28, 2000 she married Jonathan J. Sible in Lansing, MI. Brigida loved cheerleading, dancing, being with family and cooking Mexican food.

She is survived by her husband, Jonathan, daughter Gabriella and son Jeremiah both at home; her Mother, Dora Cordova of St. Johns and sister Angela Cordova of St. Johns.

The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 2-4 and 6-9 P.M. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. with Deacon Steve Knight officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the family.

Diane June Pease

Diane June Pease, 63, of Dewitt, passed away Wednesday morning, December 27, 2017 surrounded by family. The daughter of Russell and Artis (Stampfly) Sibley, she was born September 26, 1954 in Lansing. Honoring her wishes, cremation has taken place.

A memorial service for our dear friend and Co-worker, Diane Pease is Friday, January 5, 2018 at 5 pm in St. Johns at the UAW Hall.

Marriage licenses filed the week on December 25, 2017

Evan Spencer Sack, 30 of East Lansing and Lisa Marie Stewart, 28 of East Lansing

Russell Vinson Dawson, 40 of Miami, Florida and Tamara Ann Langham, 51 of Miami, Florida

Antonio Eugenio Ortiz, 54 of Bath and Lichelle Leatte Villegas, 49 of Bath

Divorce decrees filed the week of December 26, 2017

Pierson, Sara Clark and David E.

Zampetti, Jordan Michelle and Lucas Michael