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05-14-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


The family of Dr. Roy (Bud) Davis shares the sad news of his passing on Tuesday, May 5 at his home, The Vineyard in Kalamazoo, surrounded by many who loved him.

Bud was born to Edith and Leland (Lee) Davis on July 24, 1924, and raised in Hartford with his sister, Wilma, spending most of his years on Linden Street, the location of his parents’ floral business and home. He learned to drive early so he could help his father with deliveries, and always claimed that was the beginning of his love affair with cars. He also credited his love of movies to Sister Wilma who let him tagalong with her to see the latest showing at the Heart Theatre on Main Street.

In 1942 Bud’s graduation from Hartford High School was the kickoff for several long and successful careers. First, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became a pilot. He graduated from flight training as a 2nd Lt. on Aug. 4, 1944, and was stationed in India and Burma, one of the youngest pilots in his outfit to fly the Hump in WWII.

After the war ended Bud married his high school sweetheart, Marion Kling, who had graduated from Nurses’ Training. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Western Michigan University. These degrees led to his second career which included teaching at Watervliet High School, as well as at St. Joseph High School, and at Lake Michigan College.

Bud continued his education at Yale University on a John Hay Fellowship, which was followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he taught while completing his degree. He also taught Literature and Writing in Ann Arbor Public Schools, and remained active in training English teachers for the U of M.

Marion and Bud lived in Ann Arbor until retirement when they returned home to Hartford where Bud continued his third career as a writer. He’s been writing a feature column for “The Tri-City Record” since 1985 and leaves behind several as yet unpublished stories. He also leaves a yet unpublished book, “The End of the Line (Flying the Hump in WWII).” Bud’s three published books include “Student and Teacher Perceptions of a Peak Learning Experience”, “Paw Paw River Times and People”, and “Paw Paw River Days & Nights.”

Most important to Bud were his people! Those who preceded him in death include his wife and Chief Accountant Marion, his oldest daughter Deb Connor, and his sister Wilma Weston. Surviving family members include Gary (Deb) Connor of Farmington, Rebecca (Jim) Steele of Kalamazoo, Rob Davis of Hartford, Laurel (Jim) Jelenek of Holt, grandchildren Catherine Connor of Northville, Dr. Michael (Beth) Connor of Portland, Oregon, Danielle (Michael) Aschenbrener of Denver, Colorado, Kristy (Rob) Davila of San Antonio, Texas, Heather Banks of New Baltimore, Kelly (Brad) Chandler of Lansing, great-grandchildren Maxwell Aschenbrener, Valentina Aschenbrener, Emma Davila, Davis Davila, Alexander Bell, Landon Chandler, many nieces and nephews, and all of the wonderful staff at Vineyard Assisted Living.

Due to current social distancing restrictions, Bud will be laid to rest next to Marion with a small private graveside service in Maple Hill Cemetery. There will be a Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life Luncheon later this summer for all who wish to attend. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at


Marilyn Lewis, 79, of Watervliet, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at Medilodge Nursing Home in Kalamazoo.

Private family services will be held at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma followed by burial in Keeler Cemetery. Memorials in Marilyn’s honor may be made to the Michigan Alzheimer’s Association and either mailed or dropped off at the funeral home. Those wishing to leave a message or share a memory with the family online may do so at

Marilyn was born Oct. 20, 1940 in Coloma, Michigan to Frank and Virginia Willming. She graduated from Watervliet High School and shortly thereafter on June 13, 1959 she married Gary Lewis. The couple enjoyed 57 years together prior to Gary’s passing in 2017. They enjoyed many family trips which included going to their cottage in Baldwin and later to their cottage in Ontario, Canada. Marilyn also loved going to Sandy Pines Recreational Community with the family. Marilyn was the family caretaker. She was an amazing daughter to her parents and took great joy in pride in caring for her own children and grandchildren. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed shopping and ironing clothes. Prior to her retirement Marilyn had worked at Gast Manufacturing for 26 years.

Marilyn is survived by her son Gary Lewis Jr. of Sister Lakes; her daughter Linda (Scott) Brown of Kalamazoo; four grandchildren, Alyssa Lucker, Blake Lucker, Taylor Lewis, Forrest Lewis and three great-grandchildren Lea, Landon and Olivia.

She was preceded in death by her husband Gary, her parents Frank and Virginia; her sister Judy Willming and her brother Frank Willming Jr.


Wanda’s life began February 19, 1925 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. When she was a child her parents moved and made Michigan their home. As an adult Wanda worked at Woolworth’s Dime Store, Whirlpool, and she retired in 1990 as a nurse’s aide at Lakeland Medical Center. When Wanda wasn’t working you could find her doing yard work or relaxing and watching Ellen. She found joy cooking Sunday dinners for her family and Wanda will be remembered for her chicken and dumplings.

Wanda’s greatest joy was her loving family which includes: three children Marsha (Loren) Demler of Stevensville, Michael Zelko of Benton Harbor, and Lynn Zelko of Watervliet; five grandchildren Jeremy (Alexandra) Crow, Shea

(Brad) Curtis, Casey McCormick, Jacob Zelko, and Maren (Juvi) Alfaro; six great-grandchildren Mathieu, Andy (Tatiana), Kevin, Katarina, Colby, and Chloe; three brothers Herbert “Red Hot” Cullum Jr., Noble Cullum, and Randy (Sharon) Cullum; and many nieces and nephews.

Wanda died Thursday, May 7, 2020 at Country Manor Assisted Living in Bridgman. Her parents Herbert and Lula (Prevett) Cullum, a daughter Rhonda McCormick, two brothers Eugene Cullum and Gail Cullum, and two sisters Hazel Liebsch and Bea Alberda, and a daughter-in-law Kathy Zelko precede Wanda in death. A family graveside service was held Wednesday, May 13, at Hickory Bluff Cemetery. Her family would like to extend a special thank you to Country Manor for their loving care and friendship. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Wanda’s family with arrangements. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Wanda’s family at

Death Notices

Clarence Schroeder Jr., of Coloma died May 12, 2020 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Norma Jean Stakley, 81, of Benton Harbor died May 11, 2020. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Zan J. Ballard, 79, of Benton Harbor died May 11, 2020 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

George M. Neff, 84, of Coloma died May 10, 2020 at Hallmark Living, Benton Harbor. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Elisa M. Gutierrez, 40, of Bangor Township died May 8, 2020. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Marcella Ann Puckett, 76, of Watervliet died May 8, 2020 at her daughter’s home. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Robert Pobuda, 91, of Paw Paw died May 6, 2020 in Kalamazoo. Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, Paw Paw

Marlene K. Schalon, 83, of S. Joseph died May 6, 2020 at The Whitcomb Senior Living Community, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Emily Williams, 104, of St. Joseph, formerly of Chicago, died May 5, 2020 at The Whitcomb Senior Living Community, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Trevor D. “Harley” Peterman, 53, of Benton Harbor died May 1, 2020. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Marcus D. “Gio” Purnell Jr., 19, of Benton Harbor died April 10, 2020. Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, Benton Harbor


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