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Benzie County, Michigan
Obituaries and Death Notices

O.M. Baker, formerly a Michigan Central conductor, and for over 40 years an employe of the company, died at Honor, Benzie county. [The true northerner. (Paw Paw, Mich.), 09 Nov. 1900]


- 54, "God, grant that I may fish until my dying day."And he did. Rex passed away after a successful fishing trip on Thursday July 21, 2016. Rex loved to be on any body of water in any sort of vessel as long as he had a fishing pole in his hand. Whether targeting barracuda in the gulf or pulling bluegill out of Glover's Lake he was happiest with a line in the water.

He shared his pastime and his heart his wife, Brenda of almost 22 years and their blended family, Josh, Jacob, Aaron and Nathaniel. Rex loved deep and he loved strong. If you were lucky enough to be his friend you know he would do anything for you. He will be greatly missed. Visitation will be on Tuesday July 26 at 4:00PM at Crystal Mountain Resort in the James Bay Room. A memorial service will follow at 5:30PM with Pastor Nick Toomey officiating. Donations beyond final expenses will be forwarded to the Outdoor Dreams Foundation, an organization that gives terminally ill children an opportunity to go on a guided hunting or fishing trip. Thank You for being a part of his life. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service. [unknown newspaper, c. July 2016]

Pioneer Dead
Benzonia, Nov 24 - Loren Barnes, a pioneer of Benzie county, died suddenly at his home Thursday morning.  He was 76 years old and had been in his usual health to the time of his death.  He leaves an aged widow to mourn his loss. [The True Northerner. (Paw Paw, Mich.), 29 Nov. 1899]

COLLINS, Roberta Ann
- 72, of Cadillac passed away Thursday, July 28, 2016, at Munson Medical Center, and went home to heaven. Bobbi was born May 7, 1944, to her beloved parents, Marian Lutz and the late Bob Lutz. Bobbi was so very proud to be named after her Dad. The Lutz family called Dundee, Michigan home. As a young girl, Bobbi was a self-described "tom-boy" and a little spitfire, saving her allowance to purchase her own rod and reel and her trusty Hop-a-long Cassidy cap gun pistols. Growing up into a vibrant young woman, Bobbi often spoke proudly of the cherished memory of her Dad reminding her that she had a great gift of an outgoing personality and the "gift of gab", endearing her to anyone she met. While in high school, Bobbi enjoyed chorus and drama club, where she became lovingly known as "Bubbly Bobbi". Bobbi and her older sister, Donna, became the best of friends and were so very close throughout their lives. Bobbi has two younger brothers, Dick and Jim, and a baby sister, JoAnne. Bobbi spoke of how she and Donna cared for their younger siblings, and sometimes they wouldn't get along as all siblings do. However, Bobbi loved all of her siblings deeply and shared a special bond with each of them. Bobbi often spoke of the great strength, dignity and love that her parents shared while they dealt with her father's diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. After graduation, Bobbi worked in the admissions department at the University of Michigan. It was during this time, she met her forever love William Donald "Don" Collins at the wedding of their mutual lifelong friends, Ron and Carol Peterson. Bobbi and Don were married on January 25, 1964 and began their forever love story. Bobbi became extremely close to her in-laws, Frank and Floss Morton and would often say how much their love and support meant to her. Bobbi and Don were blessed with their son, Cliff, and a daughter, Michelle. Bobbi adored her children and she and Don instilled in them perseverance, a dedication to family, and that love always endures. Bobbi often spoke of what a blessing her daughter-in-law Christine and son-in-law Jesus were in her life and loved them deeply. Bobbi and Don, along with her sister Donna and her husband John, took many family trips together and shared many happy memories. All of their children fondly remember the hilarious stories Bobbi and Don would share during these family gatherings. Bobbi cherished spending time with her Mom and looked forward to her visits. Bobbi especially enjoyed when all of her siblings would get together with their families. Bobbi was known for her deep love for all of her family and pride in their accomplishments. Bobbi deeply loved working with children and she worked as a teacher's aide, reading tutor, and school librarian. In business for themselves, Bobbi and Don operated their own business, Collins Tool and Gage (a tool and die shop) successfully for several years. Bobbi was very proud of not only managing the shop's office, but also being able to run production on the machinery. Bobbi attended Cleary College for Business Administration. Thereafter, Bobbi worked as a medical office receptionist for several years, where her warm smile and caring personality, made her beloved by her coworkers and patients alike. Bobbi and Don were also active in building and the local B and I Group in Benzie County, which became one of the most active and successful Groups in Michigan.
Bobbi and Don were active in the Benzie Sportsmans Club, where Don served as President. Bobbi enjoyed helping to organize the Club's Christmas party along with other events throughout the year. Bobbi and Don were also members of the Benzie Muzzleloaders, where they made lifelong friends and very happy memories during the annual rendezvous. One of their great enjoyments was riding their motorcycle, exploring the Michigan countryside and taking day trips with their church motorcycle group, Heavenly Thunder. Moreover, Bobbi and Don enjoyed traveling and seeing the country, along with camping and fishing. Bobbi and Don were most passionate about spending time with their children and their grandchildren. Bobbi often spoke of how proud she was of her children and grandchildren and that they were the center of her heart. In 2007, Bobbi and Don retired to Florida to enjoy the sun and warm winters. They returned to Michigan in 2015, wanting to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They found "the perfect house" in Cadillac, Michigan. Bobbi was very proud of her home and delighted in decorating it with her favorite colors of red and blue. Bobbi and Don were rejoicing in being married almost 53 years. Bobbi often spoke of how Don was her dream come true and was so in love with him. Bobbi is survived by her forever love, Don, her son Cliff (Christine) Collins, her daughter Michelle (Jesus) Guerra, her dear mother Marian Lutz, her brother Dick (Jill) Lutz, her brother Jim (Rosemary) Lutz, her sister JoAnne (Jim) Eisenman, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Carl and Nancy Rupert, her much-loved grandchildren Nathan, Will, Joe, Justin, and Alexandria, several much-loved nieces and nephews, and many close friends. Bobbi was preceded in death by her Dad, Bob Lutz, her sister Donna and brother-in-law John Adams, her in-laws Frank and Floss Morton, and her grandson Geronimo Robert Guerra. Bobbi will always be remembered by her beautiful smile that lit up the hearts of those around her, her incredible sense of humor, her endlessly giving heart, her warm hugs, and her deep love for her family and friends. Bobbi's love and vibrant spirit will shine on in her family and friends. Bobbi will be deeply missed by everyone who loved her. Bobbi's Celebration of Life will be held at the Eden Bible Church, 7991 Worden Rd., Beulah, MI 49617. Visitation for family and friends will be from 11AM-12PM. The Celebration of Life will begin at 12PM, with a luncheon to follow. The grave site service will be held at Cleon Township Cemetery, in Copemish Michigan at 3:30PM. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation.  [unknown newspaper, c. July 2016]

DEMERLY, Kenneth C.
Kenneth C. Demerly, 55, of Joyfield township, Benzie County, died of an apparent heart attack Saturday night at his home. Funeral services will be held at  2 p.m. Wednesday at Bennett funeral home in Banzonia. Rev. Marshall Rogers officiating, with burial in Joyfield cemetery.  Mr. Demerly was born September 7, 1915, in Joyfield township, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Demerly, was a lifelong residence of the area and a farmer, and also was supervisor of Joyfield township. Surviving are the widow, Pearl; a son, Benjamin of Beulah; a daughter, Retta Blahnik of Frankford; four grandchildren; a brother, Donald of Alto; and two sisters, Maxine Truax and Marion Gillis, both of Grand Raids. [Traverse City Record-Eagle (Monday, 14 Dec 1970) transcribed by NEB]

HART, Earl
Earl Hart, son of L.C. Hart, of Benzonia, died very suddenly.  The deceased was a young man, not quite 21 and had worked all day in his usual health.  He hadn't an enemy in the whole world, and was esteemed by all who knew him. [Crawford Avalanche. (Grayling, Mich.), 17 May 1894]

HAZEL, Sydney C.
-- 80, of Inland township, Benzie county, died Monday at Munson Medical Center, Traverse City, after an extended illness. His body was taken to the Bennett funeral home, Benzonia, to await funeral arrangements.  [Traverse City Record-Eagle (Tuesday, 17 Feb 1970) transcribed by NEB]

LAWRENCE, Stephanie
-- 36, died July 23, 2016. She had an adventurous spirit, she liked playing whether it was with her kids, riding ATV's, gardening, hunting or just being outside. Stephanie enjoyed life. She is survived by her husband Derek; sons Cody and Dakota Dawson; daughters Kaylah Dawson and Cambrie Lawrence; Dad and step mother Albert and Michelle Stevens; Mom and step father Lori and Dan Heinss; brother Albert (Marilyn), Brandon, Jeremy (Raquel), Joseph, Albert "AJ" and Benjamin Stevens; Sister Chelsea Phillips (Rogelio Llaneza); grandparents Robert & Brenda Lafrance and Ronald and Barbara Stevens. She is also survived by her father in law Tim and Kathy Lawrence; mother in law Kathy Lawrence (Ike Crandall); sister in law Nicole Lawrence. Funeral service will be held at 1:00PM Monday August 1 at the Jowett Family Funeral Homes in Benzonia. Family will receive friends starting at 11:00AM until the service. Burial will be in Champion Hill Cemetery. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service. [unknown newspaper, c. July 2016]

Mrs. Leona M. O'Donnell, 68, Inland Township, Benzie County, died Wednesday evening at her residence after a brief illness. She was born April 23, 1901 in Buchanan, Mich., to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Shinn.  Mrs. O'Donnell is survived by her husband, Patrick; two sons, Walter of Bay City and Peter of Baltimore, Md.; two daughters, Mrs. Mary Ellen LaPalma of Southgate and Sister Rose Patrice of Carson City; a brother, Leon Shinn of Melvindale; and 16 grandchildren. The rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Benett funeral home in Benzonia and the body will be taken to the Aleks funeral home at Lincoln Park afterward. Funeral services will be held Monday at St. Mary Magdalene Church at Melvindale and burial will be in Holy Cross cemetery, Detroit. Arrangements for the time of the funeral Monday are incomplete.   [Traverse City Record-Eagle (Friday, 26 Dec 1969) transcribed by NEB]

ROGERS, Dorris J.
-- 94, of Benzie County, died Tuesday, July 28, 1998. She was born June 12, 1904, in Battle Creek to Otis L. and Sarah J. (Gurd) Fisher. She was a homemaker. She married Glenn J. Rogers on Dec. 9. 1923. He died May 23, 1963. She married Truman Rogers on July 15, 1973. He died Jan 8, 1985. Surviving are daughters, Rita Gilbert of Frankfort, Kathleen Sillery of Kalamazo and Marjory Crandall of Battle Creek, stepsons, Delos Rogers of Canadian Lakes and Bruce Rogers of Midland; seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Also preceding her in death were a sister , Bernice, and a son in infancy. Visitation: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in Crystal Lakes Baptist Church in Frankfort. Services: 2 p.m. Friday at the church with her grandson, the Rev. Roger Gilbert, officiating. Burial: Blaine Township Cemetery. Memorials: Benzie Community Services Home Health Care or Crystal Lake Southern Baptist Church. Arrangements: McElduff Funeral Home, Frankford.  [Battle Creek Enquirer (Thursday, 30 Jul 1998) transcribed by NEB]

 - 92, of Homestead township, Benzie County, died Monday afternoon at  Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankford after an extended illness. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Beulah Methodist church, Rev. Morris Warren officiating, with burial in Homestead cemetery. Mr. Sollenberger was born  May 21, 1876 in Garrett, Ind., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Sollenberger, and had been a Homestead township resident for 52 years. Surviving are: the widow, Anna; two sons, Jimmie of Caledonia and Don of Kendallville, Ind. four grandchildren, and a number of great-grandchildren.  The body will repose at Bennett funeral home in Benzonia until being taken to the Beulah church at noon Thursday.  [Traverse City Record-Eagle (Tuesday, 19 Nov 1968) transcribed by NEB]

TOMPKINS, Betty Jean
Passed away on Friday, July 29, 2016. She was born on March 20, 1925 in St. Johns, Michigan to Mina and George Moore. Betty grew up on a farm in the rural town of Elsie, MI. She attended Elsie High School where she met her future husband William (Bill) E. Tompkins. After high school, Betty went to the US Cadet Nursing Corps and graduated in 1945. She and Bill were married on March 22, 1947 upon Bill's return home from serving with the Marine Corps. On May 19, 1949 she had a son named Thomas William Tompkins. Betty worked as a nurse for Dr. Lider during Tom's childhood. After Bill retired from the State Police, they moved to Beulah where they lived ever since. Together they opened a gift shop named Beulahland where Betty also ran a popular ceramics shop. In addition, Betty pursued and enjoyed a variety of other interests including gardening and volunteering at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah, MI where she was a charter member. Betty is survived by her grandchildren Ann Tompkins (David) Hallgren and Cayle (Tracy) Tompkins, greatgrandchildren Ryan Hallgren (Cary, NC) and Savanna Tompkins (Madison, WI), and daughter-in-law Leslie Tompkins (Madison, WI). A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews Church in Beulah, Mi at 4:00 PM Friday, August 12. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Frankfort & Benzonia.  [unknown newspaper, c. July 2016]

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