03-23-2017 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Joyce M. Kime, 91, of St. Joseph, went to be with the Lord, Saturday, March 18, 2017 at her home.

Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 until 6:45 p.m. Monday, March 27 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph.  A Celebration of Life Service will follow from 6:45-7:00 p.m. Memorial donations in Joyce’s name may be made to The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Those wishing to sign Joyce’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Joyce was born May 11, 1925 in Hartford, Michigan to Fredrick & Weltha (Smith) Goodrich.  She graduated from Hartford High School, Class of 1942.  On March 23, 1946 she married Russell L. Kime.  Joyce was employed by Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. beginning in 1950, retiring in 1995 as accounting supervisor.  She was a member of the Businesswomen of Southwest Michigan & the Emblem Club of Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Elks Lodge #541. Joyce volunteered at the Krasl Art Center and at First Church of God in St. Joseph.  She enjoyed playing a round of golf whenever possible, crossword & word search puzzles, and games shows – especially Wheel of Fortune.

Joyce is survived by her son Randy (Lana) Kime of Hartford; her daughter Kimberley (Don) Karnes of St. Joseph; five grandchildren, Jessica (Andrew) Morgan, Tyler Karnes, Abby Karnes, Marcus Kime & Marcy Kime; one great-granddaughter Grace Morgan; her brother Robert Goodrich & her sister Joanne (Roger) Duncombe, both of Hartford; sister-in-law Joanne Goodrich of Coloma; numerous nieces & nephews; and her best friend Dede Bittner of St. Joseph.  She was preceded in death by her husband Russ on Feb. 5, 2006 and by five sisters, Cecil Ackerson, Helen Hones, Jackie Moses, Mildred Boynton & Jeanne Knapp.


Ernest “Ernie” Santoro passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

Ernie was born in Chicago on May 1, 1926, to Raymond and Pearl (Tedraw) Santoro, both of whom preceded him in passing. He served in the Air Force from 1944-46 as an airplane and engine mechanic. Upon returning to civilian life, Ernie had diverse employment; he worked for the railroad, drove a cab, and was a skilled barber who owned his own shop (with a poker room in the back!)

After spending many weekends in Michigan, he moved to Hartford where the opportunity came up to buy a restaurant, “The Panel Room,” which he owned for over 20 years, then volunteered his services until he was 86.

His love for animals was not to be surpassed especially horses which he raced for many years. His other hobbies included traveling, playing cards, recounting his colorful stories and women! On the eve of his 90th birthday, he went for a joy ride, eluding the cops and when stopped, grinned from ear to ear!

Ernie loved life and lived it to the fullest!

He is survived by his wife, Maryvonne, four stepchildren, 10 step grandchildren, two nephews, and his kitty cat, Martha.

Beside his parents, a sister also preceded him in death.

This farewell song was requested by Ernie upon his demise; “My Way” by Frank Sinatra:

“And now, the end is near/ And so I face the final curtain/ My friend, I’ll say it clear/ I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full/ I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway/ But more, much more than this/ I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few/ But then again, too few to mention/ I did what I had to do/ And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course/ Each careful step along the byway/ And more, much more than this/ I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew/ When I bit off more than I could chew/ But through it all, when there was doubt/ I ate it up and spit it out/ I faced it all and I stood tall/ And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried/ I’ve had my fill; my share of losing/ And now, as tears subside/ I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that/ And may I say – not in a shy way/ Oh no, oh no, not me/ I did it my way.

For what is a man, what has he got/ If not himself, then he has naught/ To say the things he truly feels/ And not the words of one who kneels/ The record shows I took the blows/ And did it my way/ Yes, it was my way.”


Shirley McCarthy, of Coloma, passed away March 20, 2017 at Heritage Crossings Assisted Living in Jacksonville, Florida.  She lived most of her 88 years in the Coloma area before moving to Florida five years ago to live with her daughter Sherri and her husband Kevin.

Shirley is a descendant of Stephen Roger Gilson, co-founder of Coloma, Michigan. She graduated from Coloma High School in 1946 and went on to receive her Master’s degree from Western Michigan University.  She was a teacher in the Watervliet and Coloma school systems for over 27 years and loved every minute of it.  Shirley continued her love of education by volunteering at the Dinsmore Elementary School once she moved to Florida.

She her husband Tom loved to travel and visited 28 countries and all 50 states.  She also loved music, dancing, reading and most of all being with her family.

Shirley was preceded in death by her loving husband of 52 years Tom McCarthy, her parents Allen and Della Cutler, and her sister Mrs. Richard (Phyllis) Pearl. She is survived by her children, Mrs. Victoria (Tim) Woodward of Colville, WA; Mrs. Sherri (Kevin) Gregorius of Jacksonville, FL; and John (Carri) McCarthy of Coloma. Shirley was blessed with six grandchildren: Tamara (Karyle) Ollerton, Timothy (Julie) Woodward, Tina Woodward-Newcomer, John McCarthy, Lexi McCarthy and Cody McCarthy; six great-grandchildren: Samatha, Emily, and Levi Ollerton, Deora and Devin Woodward, and Victoria Newcomer; and several nieces and nephews. Shirley was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt who will be deeply missed.

Friends may visit with Shirley’s family Friday, March 24 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet were funeral services will be celebrated Saturday, March 25, at 12:00 p.m.  Burial will follow in Coloma Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Shirley’s memory to Community Hospice.  You may leave a message for Shirley’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.

Death Notices

Lydia Christene Merfeld, 57, of Benton Harbor died March 18, 2017 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Boyd Estes, 78, of Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, former Hartford mayor in 1978-79 and Van Buren County commissioner died March 17, 2017 in Sharp County, Arkansas as a result of an automobile accident

Patrick W. Walsh, 77, of Benton Harbor died March 20, 2017 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Gladys (Mickey) Hollins Bennett, of Coloma died March 19, 2017 at home. Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, South Haven

Alvin Homer Nixon, 74, of Hartford died March 17, 2017 in Grand Rapids. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Lloyd “Sandy” Sanders, 92, of Benton Harbor died March 21, 2017 at Royalton Manor. Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Benton Harbor


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Gerald Fricke, 92, of St. Joseph died July 25, 2021 at home. Starks & Menchinger Chapel, St. Joseph Elizabeth Kurbis, 77, of Coloma died July 25, 2021 at Lakeland Hospital, Niles. Starks & Menchinger