01-09-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Joseph “Joe” Swetay, 75, of Covert Township died Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at the Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Services celebrating his life will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Red Arrow General Baptist Church with Rev. Rich Kiser officiating. Burial will follow in North Shore Memory Gardens. Visitation was held on Wednesday at the Davidson Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Coloma. Memorials may be made to family in his name. Please share messages, memories or photos at www.florin.net.

Joe was born on March 20, 1944 in South Haven to Joseph and Grace Swetay. He married his wife, Sharon Annette, in 1971 and together they have celebrated 48 years of marriage. Joe was employed at Menasha Corp for 36 years before retiring in 2003. He was a member of the Red Arrow General Baptist Church. Joe was avid bowler for over 50 years and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also loved the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. Most of all Joe loved being with his family.

His family includes his wife, Sharon Annette; his children, Adella (Randy) Wells of Coloma and Josh (Starla) Swetay of Watervliet; his sister, Shirley Somers of Hartford; his brother, Donald Swetay of Kalamazoo; his grandchildren, Alanna, Skylar, Jonathan, Heavyn, Randy Jr. (Kayla), Breanna and his great-grandchildren, Addison, Jace, and Derrick. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Alfred.


Sue’s life began July 1, 1953, in Wisconsin while her dad was serving in the Air Force. After his service he moved back to Southwest Michigan and made his home in Watervliet where Sue would grow up.

She was a graduate of Watervliet High School and enjoyed being a cheerleader and playing the flute. Her talent with the flute found her touring Europe with the United States Woodwind Tour. Sue loved to learn and that drive translated into a degree in criminal justice and a certificate in education where she shared her love for learning through being a special education teacher, dance teacher, and taught exercise. Sue’s adult life took her to live in Florida for many years where she was an active member of the local Moose Lodge. She moved back to Watervliet a few years ago to be closer to family.

Sue’s greatest joy was spending time with her loving family including: her daughter Tessa Young; her granddaughter and light of her life Kelsey; her dad Donald (Fran) Young; and siblings Kimberly Young (Paul Elenbass) and Jeff (Rhonda) Young.

Sue died Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

She is preceded in death by her mom Lois (Butler) Young, a sister Lori Coleman, and a step-sister Tina Bender.

Funeral services were celebrated Monday, January 6, with visitation prior at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet.

Memorials may be made in Sue’s memory to Winter Haven, Florida Moose Lodge. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Sue’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.

Celebration of Life Service


Longtime Bainbridge Township Supervisor Leonard C. (Larry) Smith Jr. died December 10, 2019 at Hanson Hospice Center after a brief battle with cancer. He was 86.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. at Fairplain Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Napier Avenue, in Benton Harbor. Visitation will be at the church where friends may call from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. prior to the service.