02-16-2017 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Ann Ecker Blatchford of Watervliet, Michigan passed away at her home on February 3, 2017.

She devoted her life to the floral industry, first with 30 years as a 2nd generation member of the family business, Ecker’s Flowers. She was director of franchisee training for Flowerama of America, a floral design commentator and motivational speaker throughout the United States, and a floral consultant to the City of Chicago, Macy’s, and FernTrust, Inc., Seville, Florida. She was highly regarded in the industry having been awarded the American Institute of Floral Designers Fellows Designation, the AIFD Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry, the Professional Commentators “Tommy Bright” Award of Excellence, Hall of Fame status in the North Central AIFD Regional Chapter, and the Michigan and Nebraska Floral Associations. In 2012, the AIFD North Central Chapter created the “Bobbi Cup” design competition in her honor held annually at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

In her 50-plus years in the floral industry she was a mentor to many. In addition, she established innovative and cutting edge floral techniques and concepts that are still in use today. She had a passion for marketing and studying trends, and was a lifelong learner and voracious reader.

Bobbi is survived by her children, Cyndi (Lyman) Campbell and Bruce (Kim Folkers) Ecker, Waverly, Iowa; uncles Art Kurtt and John Kurtt (Laurel); many nieces and nephews; and her many, many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Lynn Ecker Barrett; aunts Frieda Kurtt, Dorothea Gleason, Marie Meyne, and uncles Erwin Kurtt and Harold Kurtt.

She had a gift for deep relationships with people, and was well-known for her lively phone calls and prolific correspondence.  A celebration of life gathering will be 4:00-8:00 p.m. Saturday, February 18 at the Waverly Area Veterans Post. Memorials may be directed to the family or the charity of their choice.

Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Bobbi’s family with arrangements.  You may leave a memory at hutchinsfuneral.com

Death Notices

George Norman “Norm” Love, 85, of South Haven died Feb. 6, 2017 at home. Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, South Haven.

Floyd Norman Sanders, 76, of Dowagiac died Feb. 9, 2017 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremations Services, St. Joseph.

Robert F. Stine, 93, of Dowagiac died Feb. 10, 2017 at Pine Ridge Nursing Center, Stevensville. Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, St. Joseph.

Antoinette “Toni” Josephine Ives, 86, of Benton Harbor died Feb. 11, 2017. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph.