06-04-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


David’s life began November 1, 1956, in Little Rock, Arkansas where his father was stationed in the Air Force. He spent most of his life in Southwest Michigan growing up in first Coloma, and then South Haven. He returned to Coloma to live permanently where he worked for Premier Tool & Die. He also farmed fruit and vegetables. Not only did farming provide an income, but David also considered it a hobby along with his lifelong passion for fishing. His greatest joy came in spending time with his family especially his granddaughters.

David leaves behind a loving family to cherish his memory which includes: his wife of 41 years Tammy Heuermann; daughter Hannah Heuermann; two granddaughters Abigail Schmidt and Delilah Heuermann; his dad Herman Heuermann; four siblings Diane (Jeff) Landry, Richard Heuermann, Robert (Julie) Heuermann, and Sue (Mike) Borr; and several nieces and nephews.

David died Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at home surrounded by family. His mom Esther (Scheffler) Heuermann precedes David in death. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting David’s family with cremation. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for David’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Joyce Elaine (Larsen) Kolenko, formerly of Coloma, passed away on Monday June 1 at Saint Ann’s Home in Grand Rapids, from complications of COVID-19. She was 92.

Joyce was born September 22, 1927 in Temperance, MI to Earl and Helen Larsen. Her family moved around for several years before settling in Watervliet when she was a junior in high school. Joyce graduated from Watervliet High School in 1944. In 1948 she married John Kolenko of Watervliet.

Her greatest joy was her family which included eight children as well as 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Aside from raising her children Joyce found the time to work part time at the Boston Store in Coloma and Watervliet for many years. She was active with the Altar and Rosary Society at St. Joseph Catholic Church and held many officer positions during that time. She was a former school board member at St. Joseph Catholic School and the Coloma school system. Upon retirement from the Boston Store, Joyce became a volunteer at Watervliet Community Hospital, managing the Park Bench Gift Shop for almost 20 years, volunteering over 10,000 hours! You could always count on being greeted with a warm hello and an infectious smile whenever you went into the gift shop.

As if not busy enough, she also directed the choir at St. Joseph Catholic Church, participated and assisted in organizing the World Day of Prayer with many other churches, and performed in the Messiah for many years as well. Music was yet another of her greatest loves and she had the voice of a songbird.

Joyce is survived by her children Nancy (Greg) Nichols, John (Dawn) Kolenko, Julie (Dale) O’Chap, Martin Kolenko, Rebecca (Ken) Faultersack, Dan (Gail) Kolenko, Patrick Kolenko, daughter-in-law Darlene Kolenko; her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and her sister Joan Baty. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years John, her son Ted, sister Doris Distefano and brother Jack Larsen and her parents.

The family will receive visitors on Monday, June 8 from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. Due to current Executive Orders, those attending visitation will be asked to wear a mask and will be directed into the visitation rooms by Hutchins Funeral Home staff to maintain no more than 10 people at a time and social distancing will be maintained. The Celebration Mass will be held Tuesday, June 9, 11:00 a.m. at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet as guidelines will allow 150 people to attend with required masks and social distancing. A private burial for immediate family only, will take place at St. Joseph’s Cemetery following the funeral service. Family suggests memorial contributions be made in Joyce’s memory to the Franciscan Life Process Center, 11650 Downes Street NE, Lowell, MI 49331 where a memorial tree will be planted in her memory.


Jane embarked on her journey to be with God, peacefully at her home on the evening of May 31, 2020.

She was born April 16, 1931, to John and Elsie (Paul) Nothdruft. Jane graduated Watervliet High School in 1949 and married Vernon Hiler June 11, 1949. She farmed with Vern in Bainbridge Township for many years. She also worked as an educator on many levels including multiple positions working with young people with learning disabilities. Jane also spent time working in the Criminal Justice System working with juveniles with learning disabilities. Her career in education started with teaching elementary at St. Joseph Catholic School in Watervliet, then the juvenile justice system, and she retired as an Administrator for the Lewis Cass Intermediate School System.

Jane was very proud of her educational accomplishments. She earned an Associate’s in Liberal Arts from Lake Michigan College, then a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Western Michigan University and a Master’s in Special Education from Western Michigan University. As is true with any good teacher her education didn’t end there, she took various continuing education classes through Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Jane also earned two degrees through Notre Dame’s Graduate Studies Division in School Administration and Individual Rites in the Criminal Justice System. She was a member of the Michigan Association of Learning Disability Educators, Member of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Continuing Education National Juvenile Detention Association, was awarded Golden Nugget Award by the Council for Exceptional Children, and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Collegiate Honor Society.

Jane still found time to participate in the Ministry formation program with the Archdiocese of Kalamazoo. She spent two years with the Peace Corp serving in Jamaica. She also helped open the first migrant daycare in Sodus and was a foreign exchange student coordinator for Berrien County.

Outside of all her accomplishments and passions her greatest joy was raising and enjoying her loving family which includes: four children Bruce (Elaine) Hiler of Virginia, Patricia Molter of Bainbridge Township, Therese (Frank) Simanton of Sister Lakes, and Jon (Cheryl) Hiler of Indianapolis; five grandchildren Holland Hiler, Angie Molter (Ryan Ruhno), Allison (Kevin) Norton, Frank (Rosie) Simanton Jr., and Brenen Hiler; and two great-grandchildren.

Her loving husband Vern, oldest son Gary Hiler, her parents, a sister Betty

Manspeaker and son-in-law Roger Molter precede Jane in death.

Jane was one of a kind and all that knew her are better for the time spent with her. She cherished her children and grandchildren. Jane lived an amazing life and was an amazing woman. Her strength and compassion, and general enthusiasm for life and family inspired us all. Jane enjoyed travels, especially with family members, cherished family gatherings at her home, and was passionate about learning and insuring that all had opportunities for education.

She will be greatly missed and always remembered as feisty, loving, strong and always being her authentic self. We love you Jane. Rest in Peace.

Hutchins Funeral Home has been entrusted to assist Jane’s family with cremation. She will be buried later next to her husband in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Jane’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Karen’s life began December 17, 1949, in South Haven, Michigan. She grew up in Watervliet where she graduated high school. Karen owned her own cleaning service called Karen’s Cleaning. She was an active member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church where she enjoyed singing in the choir. Outside of church and work Karen enjoyed her monthly card games with friends, shopping, and especially spending time with her grandchildren.

Karen was all about family and that loving group includes: two children Nick Hook and Regina Devin; seven grandchildren Liz (Nick) Israel, Andrea Hook, Isabella Hook, Nick Hook Jr., Noah Hook, Shawn Devin and Casey Devin; a great-granddaughter Lina Israel; three siblings Den (Kathy) Schultz, Don (Sharon) Schultz, and Linda (John) Alexander; and several nieces and nephews.

Karen died Friday, May 29, 2020. Her parents Norman and Lena (Plattner) Schultz precede Karen in death. Friends visited with Karen’s family Wednesday, June 3, at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet following social distancing guidelines. A private family service followed visitation. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Karen’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Norma’s life began September 16, 1931 in Watervliet, Michigan. She grew up in Watervliet where she graduated high school. In 1947 she met the love of her life Hershell Harris and they married in 1951, enjoying 68 years together. They made their home in Coloma until 1986 when Florida called their name to enjoy retirement.

Norma loved being a wife and mother to her family which includes: her husband Hershell of Lake Placid, FL; three children Randy Harris of Lake Placid, Carol (Michael) Fulton of Watervliet, and Larry (Gail) Harris of Sebring, FL; four grandchildren Brande VanNiel, Eric Fulton, Adam Harris, and Heath Harris; and two great-grandchildren Kade VanNiel and Tanner VanNiel.

Norma died Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Lake Placid, Florida. Her sister Norene Zuchowski and parents LeRoy and Florence (Camp) Arnold precede Norma in death. A graveside service will be celebrated Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. in Watervliet Cemetery. Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Norma’s family with arrangements. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Norma’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


William N. Beverly III passed away Friday, May 22, 2020, in Kalamazoo.

Bill was born in Fort Worth, Texas on July 29, 1942, son of William N. Beverly Jr. and Jane-Anne Vaupel Beverly. He is survived by wife Martha Staples Beverly of Kalamazoo; one sister, Lisa Beverly Fitzpatrick of Watervliet, Michigan; two sons, Bill Beverly of Hyattsville, Maryland, and Tom Beverly of Ypsilanti, Michigan; daughter-in-law Deborah Ager and granddaughter Olive Beverly of Hyattsville, Maryland; nephew John Fitzpatrick of Oakland, California, and niece Katy Fitzpatrick of London, England.

He grew up in Fort Worth and Waco, and in Watervliet, where his family moved to assume ownership of the Beverly Lumber Company after William Beverly Sr.’s death in 1953.

He attended Watervliet High School, where he sang in the Troubadours and lettered in football, baseball, and basketball, graduating in 1960. He matriculated at Kalamazoo College, during which he studied in Muenster, West Germany. He was a proud Sherwood, Sigma Rho Sigma. After graduating in 1964, he earned a master’s degree in audiovisual media, mostly photography, under mentor Dave Curl.

He met Martha Staples at Kalamazoo College. They married in 1965 and celebrated their 55th anniversary in March.

Bill taught in the Kalamazoo Public Schools for 37 years – primarily German, but also English, Spanish, introduction to languages, social studies, history, photography – at South Junior High School from 1965 to 1985 and Kalamazoo Central High School until he retired in 2002. He was much loved by students and colleagues, and his teaching and mentoring was lifelong; recently he’d returned to teaching German to Osher Lifelong Learning (OLLI) students in Kalamazoo.

He enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter Olive, teaching her to take pictures, photographing her soccer matches, playing board and word games, and showing her around the Gilmore Car Museum.

Bill was known for his amiability, his understated humor, and the rigor and curiosity with which he threw himself into a wide range of hobbies and interests. He read widely on European and Civil War history, languages and etymology. He and Martha were regulars at theatre events in Kalamazoo and Stratford, Ontario; they also enjoyed live music, especially the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Fontana, and Kalamazoo Symphony. He kept multiple cameras and a darkroom, and then transitioned to digital photography and restoration. As his sons played soccer in AYSO and for Kalamazoo Central, he coached and refereed. He kept a large garden and studied and cooked recipes from around the world. His skills making pizza, learned from early years moonlighting at Pizza King, and pies, learned from his mother, were unrivaled. He roasted his own coffee, enjoyed local beer, and reconditioned antique cast iron and gave it away to family and friends. He began learning Morse code amateur radio in the 1980s and by the 1990s had raised a 64-foot antenna rig above the family garage on Pinehurst Boulevard so he could talk to ham radio operators around the world. And he followed his mother’s White Sox and his father’s Bears until the end.

He and his family traveled North America, from bird-watching at Point Pelee, Ontario to the Maritime Provinces, the Pacific Coast, the high Southwest and the Deep South. With Martha, he voyaged abroad with Road Scholar programs to Italy, Germany, Austria, China, Cuba, Spain, France, and more. And he was a marvelous storyteller.

He loved the spectrum of American folk music. Since 1997 he and Martha sang and hosted Sacred Harp shape note music singings, traveling throughout the USA and to points abroad. He was known for leading “Granville” and “Poland,” especially the second verse, and for the rhubarb pies he brought to singings all over the Midwest.

His life was full and his friends were many. When it came time for him to go, he declared that he was ready.

When it is safe to gather once more, we will call his friends and family together to celebrate his life and reconnect his many communities. Hold him in your heart and stay in touch. “Carry on,” as he would say.

Death Notices

Luis M. Zapata, 73, of Lawrence died May 30, 2020 at home. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Julie M. Burfield, 26, of Hartford died May 26, 2020. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Rev. Eldridge L. White Sr., 91, of Hartford, formerly of Covert died May 26, 2020. Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, Benton Harbor

Joyce A. Rudowske, 69, of Charlotte MI, former area resident died May 24, 2020 at home. Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte

Michael A. Apple, 46, of St. Joseph died May 22, 2020. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph


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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