Latest obituaries

Bernadine Kieffer

Bernadine Kieffer, age 85, of St. Johns, MI passed away Thursday, December 18, 2014 at Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor, St. Johns, MI.

Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes St. Johns, MI on Monday, December 29, 2014 at 1:00 P.M., with Pastor Tom Wilson officiating. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Sunday December 28, 2014 from 4:00-8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

Bernadine was born in Clinton County, Michigan on January 14, 1929, the daughter of Andrew and Mamie (Mead) Leavitt. Bernadine married Richard Kieffer in June of 1953; Richard passed away in August of 1984.

Bernadine enjoyed playing Bunko, bowling, crocheting, sewing and snowmobiling. She loved to travel and go up north to her cottage. She spent part of her life raising dachshunds. Bernadine worked as a waitress at L&L Restaurant in St. Johns. She was a cancer survivor and active in the American Cancer Society. Bernadine loved spending time with her grandsons and family.

She is survived by son Bruce Kieffer of St. Johns, MI, daughter in law Janet Kieffer of Ovid, MI, grandsons; Scott Kieffer of Ferndale, MI, Bryan Kieffer of St. Johns, MI, and Jason Kieffer of St. Johns, MI. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Bernadine was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Dean Kieffer, sister Elsie Moore, brother Harry Leavitt, sister Beatrice Mohammed, brother Cleo Leavitt and sister Mildred Malkin.

Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society. Online condolences can be sent to The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes St. Johns, Michigan.


Rita Rose Motz

motz_ritaRita Rose Motz passed away Friday, December 19, 2014 at the age of 92. She was born June 3, 1922 in Macomb County, MI the daughter of Albert and Margaret (Reis) Sturm. Rita was a devoted wife and mother. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns and the Ladies Altar Society. The love of her life was her husband Art and their family. She dedicated her life to her family and only worked outside her home at age 55, when she worked for the Senior Citizens program. Nearly 70 years have passed since February 10, 1945 when Rita married Arthur Motz and they have lovingly cared for each other since that day.

Surviving is her husband, Art; five children, Jerald Motz of St. Johns, Marilynn (Steve) McDermott of Los Osos, CA, William (Pat) Motz of Grand Ledge, Pamela (Mick) Sheridan of Houghton, MI and Scott (Stacie) Motz of Fowlerville; ten grandchildren, Andrea Pagac, Stacey Tryloff, Nicole McDermott, Michelle Penaflor, Kristin Wuhrman, Steven Motz, Meghan and Patrick Sheridan, Maggie Motz and Ashley Towe; four great granddaughters, Julia, Amanda and Erica Pagac and Harper Penaflor and one sister-in-law, Martha Sturm. She was preceded in death by a daughter Rosemary Motz, great granddaughter, Jacqueline Pagac, two brothers, Gerald and Robert Sturm and two sisters, Margaret Elliot and Bernadette Bissell.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM Monday, December 22, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 109 Linden, St. Johns with Rev. Fr. Michael Williams as Celebrant. Rite of Committal will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends 5:00 to 8:00 PM Sunday, December 21, 2014 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home Home, St. Johns. A vigil service will be held at 7:00 PM Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to St. Joseph Catholic School.


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