03-26-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Lee’s life began September 3, 1932 in Caulfield, Missouri. He spent his youth in the south. Lee married the love of his life, Freda Hutchison, on October 1, 1949 in Leachville, Arkansas. Shortly after marrying, Lee and Freda moved to Michigan making Watervliet their home. Lee worked for over 40 years as a coater operator at the Watervliet Paper Mill where he also served as the union steward. Outside of work Lee enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He would travel out west to hunt elk and head north to Canada for moose hunting. He also could enjoy the outdoors from the sky as he had a private pilot’s license. Lee was a longtime member of Midway Baptist Church.

Lee’s greatest joy was his family which includes his loving wife Freda, a son Dannie (Sherri) Harris, a daughter Lori Cramer, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and his dog Shadow. Lee died Monday, March 23, 2020. His parents George and Maude (Bowen) Harris and 12 siblings precede Lee in death.

Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Lee’s family with cremation. His family will celebrate his life at a later date at Midway Baptist Church in Watervliet. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Lee’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Joseph John Gagliardo, 83, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on March 12, 2020.

He was born Dec. 16, 1936 to Joseph and Mary (Raia) Gagliardo in Chicago, IL. He moved to Michigan as a child and lived the Michigan life to the fullest. He graduated from Coloma High School in 1955. He married Reda Murphy in 1958 and they lived in Coloma their entire lives. He retired from Clark Equipment Company in 1986 and then worked for Arny Construction until 1999. He then spent his time working on their cabin in northern Michigan. His entire family spent many years enjoying time up north. They raised four wonderful children: Jody (Ed) Maher, Jana (Tyler) Baldwin, Anthony (Kelley) Gagliardo, and Amy (Brad) Snyder. Joe was an avid sportsman and loved being in the woods or on a lake (frozen or otherwise) any time of the year. He loved everything having to do with being outside.

Joe cheered for the Irish, Cubs and Lions. Joe will be remembered for being a loving son, husband, father, grandfather and friend. His door was always open and he was always lending a hand to any who needed help. The family would like to extend a huge thank you to Hospice at Home Caring Circle for the amazing care they provided.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Reda, a brother Peter (Marge) Gagliardo, a sister Jean (Michael) Postelli, 4 children, 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary and a brother Anthony.

A Funeral Mass was held Monday, March 16, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. In accordance with his wishes cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers the family encourages individuals to make a donation in Joe’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s’ Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105, Hospice at Home Caring Circle, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085, or Lake Michigan Catholic School education fund for his great-grandchildren, 915 Pleasant St., St. Joseph, MI 49085.

Arrangements are by Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services. Online guestbook is available at www.duffieldpastrick.com.

Death Notices

Paul R. Pflugradt, 80, of Watervliet died March 23, 2020 at home. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Marjorie “Marge” Kesterke, 100, of Berrien Springs died March 20, 2020 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Allred Funeral Home, Berrien Springs

Karen A. Belter, 61, of Watervliet died March 17, 2020 at Ascension Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Idalou “Maurice” Hartlerode, 95, of Manchester MI, formerly of Eau Claire died March 15, 2020 at home. J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Adrian MI