05-21-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


JR’s life began January 16, 1946, in Bald Knob, Arkansas.  He grew up in Arkansas and proudly served his country in the United States Army.  After returning home JR split his time between Michigan and Arkansas until making Michigan his home.  JR worked as a carpenter for Cook Nuclear Plant, LW Lamb, and he was self-employed in construction for a bit.  When JR wasn’t working you could find him on the golf course or playing cards.

His greatest joy was his family which includes: the love of his life for 30 years Janet Guthrie; three children Ashley Guthrie, David (Julie) Guthrie, and Charlene “Charlie” Watson; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; three siblings Jerry Guthrie, Gerry Guthrie, and Phyllis Boyd; and many nieces and nephews.

JR died Saturday, May 16, 2020.  His parents Everett and Edith (Davidson) Guthrie and a brother Dale Guthrie precede JR in death.  Visitation with JR’s family was held Wednesday, May 20, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet.  His life was celebrated with a private service following visitation. Donations may be made in JR’s memory to the American Cancer Society.  You are invited to leave a message of comfort for JR’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Clarence Schroeder Jr., 81, of Coloma, passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph.

A private graveside service was held Friday, May 15, 2020 at North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma with Pastor Christine Beaudoin officiating. Memorials may be made to Coloma United Methodist Church. Those wishing to share a memory of Clarence online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Clarence was born July 5, 1938 in Munising, MI to Clarence & Ruby (Hill) Schroeder Sr. He graduated from Muskegon Catholic Central in 1956. Clarence then served his country in the United States Air Force. On March 11, 1995 he married Judy Baker in Coloma. Clarence worked as Chief Grounds Keeper for Whirlpool Corporation for many years. In his spare time, he enjoyed golfing, fishing, camping, spending his winters in Florida with Judy and was also known as Mr. Fix It always tinkering on many projects.

Clarence is survived by his wife Judy Schroeder; son Steven Schroeder; daughters Theresa Schroeder and Amy (Phil) Osborn; grandchildren Patricia (Rick) Bosse, Veronica Baker, Amanda (Steven) Busch, Theresa “Tomi” Rodriguez, Hilary (Doug) Hageman, Jake (Ali) Osborn and Sam (Jesslyna) Osborn; 13 great-grandchildren; siblings Virginia (Joseph) West, Barbara Schroeder, David (Char) Schroeder, James Schroeder and Marcella (Steve) Anderson. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Daniel Schroeder.


Gertrude “Trudy” (Cross) Rowe, 98, Lawrence, MI, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2020 at home surrounded by her family.

Trudy was a lifelong resident of Lawrence and she was loved by all who knew her. Graduating as the Lawrence High School Class of 1940 Valedictorian, she went on to attend County Normal (Now Western Michigan University) and fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher.

In 1946, she married Paul U. Rowe and together they become a staple in the farming community.

One of Trudy’s passions was being a 4-H leader for over 30 years for the Corwin Crackerjacks as a cooking, sewing and club head. She was also a member of the Stitch and Chat Club, making quilts and donating proceeds to various local organizations.

Trudy loved being a homemaker for Paul and their children. She loved cooking / baking, sewing and traveling, fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting Germany. She was an avid reader of mystery and history, especially that of Michigan.

Those who preceded her in death include her husband Paul, her parents Edna and Amasa Cross. Surviving family members are Paula Rowe, CA; William & Susan Rowe, GA; Betty Lynn, Kalamazoo, MI; Jerry & Pamala Rowe, Lawrence, MI; Nancy & Pete Hinds, TN; Dana & Judy Rowe, AL; Kathy & David Rozek, NY; Randy and Phillis Rowe, Kalamazoo, MI; 14 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren. All were a special joy to Trudy.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (at hospiceswmi.org) or Lawrence Alumni Association.

A memorial service will be done later this year. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.


Cora Vivien Hanks Rizzo passed away May 6, 2020 in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Vivien was born October 1, 1937 in New Port, Ark. to Frank E. and Norene (Mathis) Hanks. She attended Watervliet schools and was a member of the Class of 1955.

Vivien graduated from Augustana School of Nursing in 1958. After several years working in Chicago, she moved to New Orleans, LA to attend Charity Hospital School of Anesthesia.  After becoming a nurse anesthetist, her career continued back in Chicago for several years. Between 1967 and 1969, she served her country as a WAC surgical nurse anesthetist in Vietnam. She met her husband Richard in Vietnam and they enjoyed 50 years of marriage.

Vivien is survived by her husband Richard of FL, step-daughter Rebecca Hilton and grandchildren Gabriella and Richard of CA, and a brother-in-law Charles Rizzo. Also surviving are her brothers Frank E. Hanks Jr. and Douglas (Margo) Moore and sister Linda Moore (Dennis) Hingst all of Watervliet. She was an auntie of six fabulous nieces and four wonderful nephews and their families. She was loved and will be missed by family and friends.

Death Notices

Daniel Owen Case, 63, of Watervliet died May 16, 2020 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Purely Cremations – Starks Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Benton Harbor

Gerald “Jerry” T. Catania, 74, of Fairplain died May 13, 2020 at home. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Sandra E. Goff-Cornell, 70, former area resident died May 13, 2020. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Geraldine Mabel Glass, 86, of Benton Harbor died May 13, 2020 at home. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Destal Layne Pepple Sr., 67, died May 11, 2020 at The Whitcomb Senior Living Community, St. Joseph.

William Bartholemew Novak, 71, of Benton Harbor died May 9, 2020 at home. Purely Cremations – Starks Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Benton Harbor


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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