05-11-2017 Tri-City Area Obituaries


 Paul L. Soderborg Sr., 89, of Coloma died Monday, May 8, 2017 at the Hanson Hospice Center in Lincoln Township.

Services celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Davidson Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Coloma.  The visitation will begin at 10 a.m. until service time at the Davidson Chapel.

Burial will follow at the Lakeshore Hagar Cemetery where military rites will be conducted.  Memorials may be made to Hospice at Home or the Alzheimer’s Association.  Please share memories, messages, or photos at www.florin.net.

Paul was born on Dec. 5, 1927 in Chicago to David and Olga Soderborg.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Army during WWII and served in the Occupation of Japan.  He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology.  He married his first wife, Naoma, in 1952 and she preceded him in death in 1987.  Paul then married his second wife, Margaret Allen, and together they have celebrated 25 years of marriage.  He was a mechanical engineer and had been employed at the V-M Corp., Clark Equipment, and Tele-Dyne Corp.  He was a big White Sox, Bears, and Comets fan.  Paul coached Hagar Little League, was an avid bowler, and was a former Moose member.  He liked to travel and enjoyed going to the beach and wood working.  Paul was a quiet and laid back individual who enjoyed his family.

His family includes his wife, Margaret; his children, Paul “Larry” (Beverly) Soderborg Jr. of Coloma, Steven Soderborg of Battle Creek and Daniel (Lynn) Soderborg of Port Richey, FL; his grandson, Joshua Soderborg of Florence, AZ; his step-children, Dr. Otis Allen, Larry Allen, Steven Allen, David Allen, John Koneff, and Michael Koneff and his many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Donald.


 Sue Marie (Reinking) Buckley passed away peacefully on April 19, 2017 in Eau Claire, Michigan, under the care of hospice, her caregiver/sister Sara, and Sue’s dear friend, Pam Herzog.  Sue had been living in Denver, Colorado near her son and his family being “the best Grandma ever” prior to her sudden illness the week before Thanksgiving of 2016.  Sue is survived by her sister Sara Reinking, her daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Jeff Sampson, and son and daughter-in-law Bryan and Danielle Dehmler-Buckley, along with their children Owen and Lucy.

Sue was born in Saint Joseph, Michigan on May 18, 1947 to Robert and Ruth (Pluenneke) Reinking, and grew up in the Watervliet area.  She graduated at the top of her class from Watervliet High School and was delighted to be listed as “the Fashion Queen” in the senior annual, a title appropriate for her lifelong love of clothes.  She attended one year of college at Valparaiso, then transferred to Ferris State where she obtained her pharmacy degree. She married and was blessed with her two wonderful children while residing in Michigan. Sue then made her home in the Virginia/New York areas until retirement. Sue opened and managed several different pharmacies over her 40-year career, being ever cautious and thoughtful regarding her clientele.  She also developed strong and lasting relationships with many of her co-workers. Sue enjoyed reading, clothes shopping, reading, her grandchildren – both the two-legged and four-legged varieties, reading, the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” so she could talk with her sister about it, reading, many childhood family summer vacations, reading, searching for the best tasting enchiladas, playing pinochle, and of course, reading. She enjoyed watching all things in nature grow, and was able to witness the beautiful bursting forth of Michigan’s spring this year.

She was followed in death by her father, Robert Reinking on May 5, 2017.

Sue’s family would like to thank Caring Circle/Hospice at Home staff, especially Charsie, Julie, Kunga, and Valencia. Also, a special thanks to Diedra Yarbrough who provided additional support in Pam and Sara’s home during Sue’s transition.  There will be no service at this time. An inurnment will take place with a private family gathering at a later date. Due to her love of dogs, memorials can be made in Sue’s name to Canine Companions for Independence at http://www.cci.org/. Click on Donate. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 269-556-9450.  Those wishing to share a memory of Sue online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.


 Robert “Bob” Reinking of Watervliet passed away peacefully May 5, 2017 at Woodland Terrace in Coloma with his daughter Sara by his side.

Hospice services were in place through Caring Circle/Hospice at Home. The family would like to thank the hospice staff and Becky Markus N.P. for their prompt response on the day of Bob’s death, and the Woodland family for the loving daily care they provided.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Sara Reinking, Pam Herzog whom he saw as his own daughter, granddaughter Jennifer Sampson and her spouse Jeff, grandson Bryan Dehmler-Buckley and his spouse Danielle, along with their children Owen and Lucy, and Bob’s sister Barb Devries and her family.

His passing is mourned by the Francis Herzog family, including the local grandchildren and great-grandchildren who knew him as Grandpa “R.”

Robert Ennis Reinking was born June 10, 1922 in South Bend, Indiana to Julius and Minna (Bujack) Reinking. His baby picture was in the paper as one of the prettiest babies in South Bend.

Bob joined the Army Air Corps in September of 1942, married Ruth (Pluenneke) Reinking in May of 1945, and was honorably discharged in February of 1946. His last World War II military assignment was on Tinian. Bob started his banking career in 1946 in South Bend, following in his father’s footsteps.

He and Ruth moved to Michigan in 1947 and were blessed with two daughters, Sue and Sara. Sue passed away April 19 of this year. Bob accepted a position with First National Bank in Watervliet, and rose through the ranks to serve as bank president from 1966 until his retirement in 1980. He was a staunch supporter of the small business man, the local farmers, and any honest and hardworking individual who needed a hand up and not a hand out. Bob previously served his community in many ways, including city clerk, president of the Lions Club, and school board member for many years, Twin City Economic Club officer, and chairman of the Watervliet Community Hospital building fund drive (twice), Community Hospital board member/officer, and Salem Lutheran Church president/treasurer/Sunday school superintendent.

During retirement Bob and Ruth traveled in motor homes and trailers in Canada, Mexico, and extensively throughout the United States, where they developed lifelong friendships with their fellow caravanners. Ruth passed away in 1999.

Services for Bob will be held at Salem Lutheran Church, Coloma Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.    Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the funeral services, at 12:00 noon. Burial will be at Riverview Cemetery following the church service.  You are invited to leave a message for Bob’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


 Ellen’s life began January 3, 1932 in Black Oak, Arkansas.  When Ellen was a teenager her family moved to Watervliet where she happily lived and raised her family.

Ellen died Thursday, May 4. Her loving husband John Howley, her parents Wally Latham and Bessie Ashley, daughter Brenda Lents and siblings Jay Latham, Dick Latham, and Jean Ashley precede Ellen in death.

Funeral services were celebrated Monday, May 8, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet.  Burial followed in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.  You may leave a message for Ellen’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.

Death notices

Sherman Eugene Strasser, formerly of St. Joseph, died April 30, 2017 at Boulder Creek Assisted Living Center, Rockford MI. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Nicholaus Ian Kling, 37, of Benton Harbor died May 1, 2017 in Benton Township. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Vernon O. Nothdruft, 81, of Dowagiac died May 3, 2017 at home. Clark Chapel, Dowagiac

Marlene Cuchran, 80, of Coloma died May 3, 2017 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Sheena Nicole Miller, 28, of Watervliet died May 4, 2017. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Michele Lee Simmons, 38, of Coloma died April 27, 2017 in Kalamazoo. Davidson Chapel – Florin Funeral Service, Coloma

Billy Ray Morris, 80, of Bangor Township died May 8, 2017 at home. Calvin Leonard Funeral Home, Hartford


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Death Notices

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