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08-25-2016 Tri-City Area Obituaries

Mildred Kuzma

 Mildred Kuzma of Coloma died Tuesday, August 16, at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph.  Mildred’s life began September 28, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois.  She spent most of her life in Southwest Michigan where she and her husband Joseph raised their loving family.  Mildred enjoyed volunteering at Community Hospital in Watervliet and North Berrien Senior Center. When her children were growing up she volunteered in their school with lunch and school yard duty.  Mildred was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and a member the Altar and Rosary Society.  She loved to bake, cook, sew, and preserve fruits and vegetables with canning and freezing. She was part of a Canasta Club when her children were growing up and in her later years Mildred enjoyed playing bingo and playing the card game War.  Mildred’s greatest joy was spending time with her loving family which includes: her children Marilyn (William) Black, Gregory (Sheri) Kuzma, Karen (Jim) Karr, and Jan (Brett) Bachman; ten grandchildren Kris(Brian) Knotek, Jenny (Joe) Graber, Kate Black, Sarah (Phil) Matteson, James (Marlo Ellsworth) Kuzma, Jessica (Ashlen) Blythe, Matthew Kuzma, Chelsea Karr, Ben (Amanda) Karr, and Zach (Brooke) Bachman; six great grandchildren Anthony Black, Paul Knotek, Emma Black, Irene Matteson, David Blythe, and Aiela Kuzma; a daughter-in-law Sherry Kuzma; and a sister Clarence Golla.   Her loving husband Joseph Kuzma and a son Paul Kuzma precede Mildred in death.  Visitation was held Friday, August 19, followed by a prayer service at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, August 20, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet.  Burial was in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Mildred’s memory to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet.  You are invited to leave a message for Mildred’s family at

Jeffery A. Miller, Sr., 62, of Coloma died Tuesday, August 16, 2016, in Riverside.  Services celebrating his life were held on Tuesday, August 23, at the Davidson Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Coloma.  Cremation followed the service. Memorials may be made to the Michigan Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.  Please share memories, messages or photos at  Jeff was born on Nov. 9, 1953 in Benton Harbor to Jack and Arah Miller.  He enjoyed fishing and woodworking.  Jeff was a handyman in the Coloma area for the last 28 years.  He was a hard worker and loved to spend time with his grandchildren.  He was a strong and passionate individual about his family.  His family includes his children, Jeff Miller II, of Coloma and Jennifer (Larry) Dillenbeck of Coloma; his sister, Sondra (Jim) Doolen, of TX; his grandchildren, Shawn Collins, Alyssa Dillenbeck, Luke Dillenbeck, and Bill Varney III; and his great grandchild, Charli Collins.

Beverly Helene Hope

 Beverly Helene Hope, 93, passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at Autumn Care of Portsmouth.  She was born to the late Peter and Thelma Kraak in Kalamazoo, MI.  She was a member of Green Lakes Baptist Church and the Avion Travel Club for many years.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Bud Hope and son, Thomas Hope.  Left to cherish her memories are her six daughters, Tracy Bunn and husband Jerry, Sandra Martz and husband Jim, Ruth Lynn Galusky and husband Ed, Beverly Kay Kucera and husband Tony, Alice Martin and husband Dan, and Patricia Caughlin; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.  A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A graveside service will follow at Keeler Township Cemetery.

Death Notices

 Vernlee Clayton, 85, formerly of Sodus died Aug. 16, 2016 at home. Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Benton Harbor.  LeAnne Tate, 50, of Hartford died Aug. 17, 2016 at home. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  Donna Polstin, 88, of Benton Harbor died Aug. 16, 2016 at Caretel Inn, St. Joseph. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma.  Phillip Vernon Alexis, 78, of Eaton Rapids, MI died Aug. 18, 2016. Skinner Funeral Home, Eaton Rapids Chapel.  Delores J. Drach, 84, of Coloma died Aug. 19, 2016 at Caretel Inn, St. Joseph. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma.  James Joseph Hinckley, 73, of Hartford died Aug. 20, 2016 at home. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford.  Caroline “Carrie” R. Swingler, 84, of Benton Harbor died Aug. 21, 2016 at Pine Ridge Center, Stevensville. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma.


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