Ballay, Juanita P.

Juanita P. Ballay

February 16, 1931 - September 19, 2018

OTSEGO - Juanita passed away Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at the Wings Home in Allegan. She was born in Kalamazoo on February 16, 1931 to Spencer and Millicent (Smith) Sherwood. She had worked at the Kalamazoo Sled Company, as a realtor in Otsego and had owned and operated Hilltop Adult Foster Care Home. Juanita loved to dance and sing. She enjoyed music and square dancing with her family as a young girl. Juanita had a green thumb and could grow anything. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed working in her garden and hunting. She was a lifetime member of the Otsego Moose Lodge. Surviving are her daughters, Melodie Sue (Robert) Dobbins and Judy Langford both of Allegan; 7 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Zonna Kridler of Allegan and Lynette Coleman of Otsego along with many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Millicent Ballay, son, Joseph Ballay Jr.; siblings, Wanda Collins, Linda McEwen, Skip Sherwood and Buddy Sherwood. Friends may visit with Juanita’s family starting at 12:00 P.M., Sunday, September 23, 2018 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego until the time of the funeral service at 2:00 P.M. with Pastor Greg Carlson officiating. Burial will take place at 3:00 P.M., Monday, September 24, 2018 at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego Township. Contributions in memory of Juanita may be made to the Wings Home of Allegan. Messages of condolence may be posted at

McCormick, Linda L.

Linda L. McCormick

May 09, 1941 - September 17, 2018

PLAINWELL - Linda passed away peacefully at Wings Home Hospice in Allegan on Monday, September 17, 2018. Linda was born in Kalamazoo on May 9, 1941, the daughter of the late Robert and Bettie (MacDonald) Jackson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Ricki, Ronald and Alan Jackson, and her husband, James McCormick. Linda is survived by her children, Scott Hickman, Tamera (Kirk) Wise and Michael (Wendie Evans) Hickman; grandchildren, Sarah (Sean) Helm, Jessica (Jason) Lindenberg, Mitchell and Lucas Hickman, Jennifer and Michael Wise, and Madison, Emily and Lindsey Hickman; four great-grandchildren; and a nephew, Jeff Jackson. Linda was a prior member of the Otsego Moose Lodge and worked for Parker Hannifin until 1986. She also enjoyed spending time at the Otsego VFW. Friends and family will be received at the Otsego VFW Post 3030, 124 N. Farmer St., Otsego, MI 49078, on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM for a luncheon with a dish to pass. Memorial contributions may be made to Wings Home Hospice in Allegan or the Otsego VFW. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at Arrangements by: Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home - 917 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001 - 269-343-2628

Merrill, Ronald Allen

Ronald Allen Merrill

March 09, 1942 - September 16, 2018

ALLEGAN - Ronald Allen “Ron” Merrill, 76, of Allegan, MI passed away Sunday, September 16, 2018 at Briarwood Assisted Living surrounded by family. Born March 9, 1942 in Allegan, MI, he was the son of the late Floyd and Mildred (VanKeuren) Merrill and was the husband of Joyce (Bowditch) Merrill. Ron was a graduate of Wayland High School. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, even though he was an avid fan of University of Michigan athletics. Ron dedicated his working life to enriching the lives of young students as a teacher, athletic director and coach at Martin Public Schools. He also taught drivers education, both through the school system and at Century Driving School. Ron’s commitment to athletics in Martin was truly remarkable and there was likely a sport that he did not coach at some point during his tenure. One of the many highlights of his career came during the 1996 and 1997 school year when he was the co-director of the MHSAA State Wrestling Finals. Ron was also proud to have been inducted into the Martin Hall of Fame for his years of service to the community. He was a member of the Kentwood Community Church, and was also actively involved in Winding Creek Camp in Hastings. Ron had a fun loving spirit and always had a joke, one-liner or story to share. Ron loved spending time with his family and will be remembered as a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many. Above all else, Ron loved his Lord and Savior, and his faith made him the man he was.

In addition to his wife of nearly 52 years, Mr. Merrill is survived by his children, Robert “Rob” Merrill and wife Jennie, Jennifer Lawson and Jaclyn Johnston and husband Jake; a sister, Mary Merrill; seven grandchildren, Jacob Merrill, Sally Merrill, MaKayla Lawson, Marvin Lawson, Megan Johnston, Macy Johnston and Matthew Johnston; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, on Thursday, September 20, 2018 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM and from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. A funeral service will take place at Kentwood Community Church, 1200 60th Street SE, Kentwood on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM with visitation for one hour prior. Private committal services will be held at Hudson Corners Cemetery, Allegan Township. Memorial donations may be made to the ALS Association West Michigan Chapter, 678 Front Avenue, Suite 410, Grand Rapids, MI 49504; Winding Creek Camp, c/o Aileen Coffey, 161 Summit Street, Allegan, MI 49010; or Hospice of Holland, 270 Hoover Boulevard, Holland, MI 49423. Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Young, Norman "Norm"

Norman "Norm" Young

September 15, 2018

PLAINWELL - Norman “Norm” Young, age 76, of Plainwell passed away on August 22, 2018 at Borgess-Pipp Hospital. Norm was born on September 15, 1941 to Lester & Agnes (McCormick) Young. Visit with his family and friends on Monday, August 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home Marshall & Gren Chapel; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell, MI. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Norm’s family includes his wife of 23 years, Connie; his former wife Vicki Young; his children: Mark (Karen) Young, Bruce (Amy) Young, Kathy (Kathy) Young, Eric (Angela) Young, Stephanie (Steven) Richardson, and Darrin (Crystal) Rinehart; his siblings: Tom Young and Beverly Stephenson; 13 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, 5 nieces and nephews and numerous grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother in law Robert Stevenson and his nephew Jimmy Stephenson. Norm was a well-known community figure, an athlete in high school, K College and throughout his life. He helped everyone he could, loved his family and will be deeply missed. Please visit Norm’s memory page at where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Michigan Pheasants Forever, SPCA or the charity of your choice.

Arnett, Edward R.

Edward R. Arnett

November 24, 1924 - September 15, 2018

ALAMO TWP. - Ed passed away Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Kairos Dwelling in Kalamazoo. He was born November 15, 1924 in Salyersville, Kentucky, the son of Gains and Eunice Arnett. Ed enjoyed farming and loved riding his tractor. He liked tending to his 15 acre garden and caring for his animals. In his free time he enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards, going on picnics with his family and taking trips to the lake. On December 4, 1942 in Salyersville he married Geraldine Begale who passed away in 2007. Surviving are his children, Thelma Hawley of Otsego, Edward Jr. (Trisha) Arnett of Kalamazoo, Linda (Ted) Collins of Alamo, Deborah (Gary) Tefft of Alamo and Delbert (Brenda) Arnett of Ohio; 15 grandchildren; many great–grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Sue Arnett and son-in-law, Tony Gilman. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; children, Phyllis Humphries, Carol Gilman, Mitchell Arnett and Terry Arnett; grandchildren, Brett Humphries, Teddy Collins Jr. and Michael Arnett; great-granddaughter, Dana Purple and son-in-law, Ron Hawley. Friends may visit with Ed’s family from 2-4 P.M. and 6-8 P.M., Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where a funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, September 19, 2018 with Celebrant Bill Rose officiating. Burial will follow at Alamo Center Cemetery. Contributions in memory of Ed may be made to American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society or to Kairos Dwelling. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Wood, Richard "Dick" L.

Richard  "Dick" L. Wood

September 12, 2018

KALAMAZOO - Dick L. Wood of Kalamazoo passed away Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at Rose Arbor Hospice House. He was the son of Fred J. and Alice Wood of Otsego. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Margaret and Gertrude; brothers, William and Robert and his first wife of 60 years, Eleanor. His loving memory is now shared by his wife, Donna; daughters, Holly (Dennis) Swincicki, Kandie Wood and Leslie (Robert) Dreger; grandchildren, Michael (Heather) Henderson, Elizabeth (Eric) Baldwin, Katelynd Dreger and Allyson (Jonathon) Lowis; 5 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandson. He also extended his love to 3 step-daughters; 7 step-grandchildren and 4 step-great-grandchildren. Dick loved the Lord and was very dedicated to his church. He also was involved with Christian Neighbors lending his hand to help others. He loved sports, playing cards and was a true craftsman woodworker. Dick spent over 40 years with State Farm Insurance as an agent and manager. His life was a wonderful example to his family, friends and anyone he met. His spirit will live on in those he loved. According to his wishes cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Friday September 28, 2018 at the Otsego Church of God with Pastor Stephen Burrow officiating. A private family burial of ashes will take place at Mountain Home Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Dick may be made to Otsego Church of God, Christian Neighbors or to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Himmelein, Mary Ellen

July 24, 1935 - September 12, 2018

OTSEGO - Mary Ellen passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 12, 2018. She was born in Kalamazoo on July 24, 1935, the fourth daughter of five to Ray and Catherine (Neeson) Blanchard. The family moved to the Otsego School District in 1938, she started kindergarten in 1940. There was only one bus then and she was the first kindergartener to be in class all day, city children went half days. She became a cheerleader in high school and graduated in 1953. After high school she worked at the Upjohn Company and in 1954 she met Dean Himmelein. They married June 11, 1955 in Otsego. They moved to Plainwell in 1958 and bought and started several businesses. The Garden Hotel, a construction business, they built Two Cities Motel on M-89, A-1 Pools, Corky’s Drive-In in Allegan, Trampoline and Go Kart track at Pine Lake and clothing stores in Allegan and Centreville. Throughout the years she also opened her home to many who needed a place to live. She treated them as though they were her own. She was their teacher, mentor and second mom. She taught them everything she knew, especially history and of course put them all to work. In her free time Mary Ellen enjoyed writing short stories and poetry and her “Count Your Blessings” poem was published in 2003. She also enjoyed playing the piano, writing songs and reading the Bible. Surviving are her sister, Rosemary Berry of Kalamazoo; her children, Rick Himmelein of Martin, William (Gretchen) Himmelein of Plainwell and Sheryl Willis of Otsego; grandchildren, Jennifer Himmelein of Paw Paw, Melissa Mclemore of Paw Paw, Erica Himmelein of Paw Paw, Erin, Paul, Katie and Autumn Himmelein of Plainwell; great-grandchildren, Alexia, Baylee, Mayson, Hannah, Jacob Kaleb, Dexter and Westen. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean; stillborn son; mother and father and sisters, Dorothy Kisinger, Betty Shaff and Esther Zimmerman. According to her wishes cremation has taken place. Burial of ashes will take place at Oakwood Cemetery in Allegan. On September 23, 2018 a memorial gathering will be held at the Old Plank Road Restaurant in Plainwell from 1-4 P.M. Contributions in memory of Mary Ellen may be made to the Wings of Hope Hospice of Allegan. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Kessler, Kenneth R.

Kenneth R. Kessler

August 07, 1944 - September 11, 2018

OTSEGO - Ken passed away Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at his home in Otsego. He was born August 7, 1944 in Hammond, Indiana the son of Russell and Helen (Paswinski) Kessler. Ken moved to the area in 1990 and for many years he had worked for Wise International. He loved to tinker and liked making things for his grandchildren. He also enjoyed working on cars and tractors and restoring refrigerators. On November 27, 1976 in Hessville, Indiana he married Nada Osting who passed away in May 2017. Surviving are his daughter Kristine Adams of Florida and step-son, Scott (Christina) Doelling of Ohio; 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren and sister, Ruth Chovanec of Indiana. He was preceded in death by his wife and daughter, Kimberly Wilson. Friends may visit with Ken’s family starting at 5:00 P.M., Friday, September 14, 2018 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego until the time of the funeral service at 6:00 P.M., with Pastor Barry Lucas officiating. Cremation will follow. Contributions in memory of Ken may be made to Wings of Hope Hospice of Allegan. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Parkhurst, Curtis T.

Curtis  T. Parkhurst

February 24, 1936 - September 10, 2018

OTSEGO - Curtis passed away Monday, September 10, 2018 at his home in Otsego. He was born February 24, 1936 in Grand Rapids, the son of Lawrence and Mary (Beach) Parkhurst. Curtis was a 1954 Comstock Park High School graduate. For many years he had been a surveyor for the Michigan Transportation Right of Way Department until his retirement in 1989. Curtis was a member of Allegan Wesleyan Church for 35 years and currently attended the Otsego Church of God. He also was a founding member of the Western Michigan Friendship Force. In his spare time he enjoyed reading, electronics and volunteering at Kids Hope. On September 3, 1960 he married Darlene Heath who passed away in 1977. On January 24, 1980 he married Jennette Bargwell who survives. Also surviving are his children, Jack (Lori), Jim (Julie), Curt (Tonia), Robert and Kathy (Dale) along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Peggy and grandson, Jacob. Friends may visit with Curtis’ family from 5-8 P.M., Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where a funeral service will be held at 3:00 P.M., Friday, September 14, 2018 with Pastor Stephen Burrow officiating. A private family burial will be held Saturday at Sand Lake Cemetery in Sand Lake with Rev. Lee Zabrocki officiating. Contributions in memory of Curtis may be made to the Otsego Church of God. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Sutton, Kyra A.

Kyra A. Sutton

January 05, 1991 - September 09, 2018

ALLEGAN - Kyra passed away Sunday, September 9, 2018 at her home in Allegan. She was born January 5, 1991 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the daughter of Theron and Hope (Adams) Sutton. Kyra was a 2009 graduate of Lakewood High School in Sumter, South Carolina. She had attended DeVry University and the University of South Carolina. Kyra was proudly serving her country as a Yeoman Second Class in an active unit in the US Navy Reserves. She was also a Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate for the Navy Reserves. Kyra loved the outdoors and enjoyed hiking, working out, spending time with her dog, Casper, playing video games and anime and had started an anime club at her high school. Surviving are her parents, Theron and Hope Sutton of Allegan, husband, Stephen Meyer of South Carolina; brother, Shane Sutton of Allegan; sister, Ashley Moore of Kentucky; the love of her life, nephew, Rayne Sutton who she affectionately called “the kid” along with a large extended family. According to her wishes cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego. With the US Navy Chaplin officiating. Contributions in memory of Kyra may be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Messages of condolence may be posted at