09-07-2017 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Kay Diamond Bearty passed on August 4, 2017.  She had been a resident of the South Haven Nursing and Rehab since December 2016. Kay was born in Watervliet on March 25, 1942, and was a lifelong resident of the area. She graduated from Coloma Schools and attended Western Michigan University for two years. She worked at Modern Plastics, the Safe Shelter, and the last 15 years as a greeter at Meijer in Benton Harbor.

Kay is survived by her partner of 40 years, Deanna (Dee) Flagel; her three daughters, Sandra (Jeff) Jester, Stacey (Ben) Adams, and Susan (Doug) Yore; grandchildren Anthony Bearty, Cody (Jordan) Bearty, Amber Hadley, Christopher Bearty, Jeremy Jester, Devynn Yore, and Kayla Yore; great-grandchildren Olivia, Michel, Mikaylah, Savannah, Casandra, Diallow, Jalessia, Naveah, and Amelia.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents Harold and Audrea (Kennedy) Diamond and her brother Keith Harold Diamond Sr.

There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial for Kay Bearty on Sunday, September 17, 2017.  The time to join the occasion will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the residence of Ron Flagel, 530 North County Line Road, Watervliet. Please dress casual, blue jeans and bright colored shirts. That’s the way Kay would want it!  Please bring your stories and enjoy Dee, Susie, Stacey, Sandy, and all the grandkids and great-grandkids.


Edward W. Kafka, 85, of Coloma passed away Sunday, Sep. 3, 2017 at Lakeland Medical Center, St Joseph.

Ed was born February 19, 1932 in Dowagiac to Walter and Francis (Kopacski) Kafka.  He married Ann Handzel on Oct. 24, 1953, together residing in Coloma for over 50 years.  Ed retired from Whirlpool in 1997 at the age of 65 after 32 years of service.  He also was a veteran of the United States Army.

Survivors include two daughters Karen (John) Demis and Roseann (Scott) Clements both of Coloma; three grandchildren, Scott Clements, Nathan (Kelly) Clements, Amanda (Art) Moore, two great-granddaughters Katelynn and Emma, a sister Jeannie (Joe) Schombak, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents Ed was preceded in death by his wife Ann; a daughter Nancy Kafka, and five sisters, Alice, Polly, Helen, Francis, and Ann.


Arthur E. Flagel, 90, of Bainbridge Township died Sunday, September 3, 2017 at the Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.

Services celebrating his lif

Art was born on Aug. 6, 1927 in Benton Harbor to Edward and Anna Flagel.  He married his wife, Annabell Skibbe, in 1948 and together they have celebrated 70 years of marriage.  Art was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served during WWII.  He was a former member of the VFW Post #1137 and the DAV #17.

Art was a mechanic and employed at Karsen Motor Sales for 15 years, then at Rogel Motor Sales for 18 years and lastly at Arnt Asphalt Co. for 18 years before he retired.  Art enjoyed gardening, working outdoors and fishing.  He loved to do activities with his grandchildren and family.

His family included his wife, Annabell; his children, Edwin (Barbara) Flagel of Eau Claire and Jeffery (Vicki) Flagel of Benton Harbor; his brothers, Ronnie (Elnore) Flagel of Sedona, CA, Paul (Lavern) Flagel of Benton Harbor; his sister, Oneida (Louis) Jackson of Anderson, IN; his 7 grandchildren and his 8 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Al and Ted and his sister, Helen.


Pamela J. Zehner of Watervliet died Saturday, September 2, 2017. Pam’s life began November 7, 1952 in Benton Harbor.  She was a lifetime area resident.

Pam worked as a night auditor at Hampton Inn in South Haven and Ramada Inn in Watervliet for many years.  Her favorite “job” was helping take care of her grandchildren.  She loved supporting her children and grandchildren in their various activities including the Berrien County Youth Fair, pageants, sports, or anything they tried

Pam’s world was her loving family which includes: her husband Harold Zehner; children Jenni (Tom) Kiefer, Heidi (Eric) Knight, Brandi McComb, David (Laura) Zehner, Jeff Zehner, Harold Zehner, and Charity Zehner; 15 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; three siblings Renee Harris, Michael Mihalik, and Ron Harris; a niece Erica Mihalik; and a nephew Joseph Mihalik.

Hutchins Funeral Home is assisting Pam’s family with arrangements.  Her family will celebrate her life Sunday, September 24, at 2:00 p.m. at the home of her daughter Heidi and Eric Knight. You may email Heidi for directions knightheidi76@gmail.com.

Pam will be laid to rest at Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek in a private service. Memorials may be made in Pam’s memory to the Berrien County Youth Fair or Hospice at Home.  You are invited to leave a message for Pam’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Charles W. Meagher, 86, of Watervliet, passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at his residence surrounded by family.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, September 5 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford. Private family burial was held at Coloma Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please leave a mass in memory of Charles at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hartford or St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. Those wishing to leave a message or share a memory with the family online may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.

Charles was born April 22, 1931 in Pembina, North Dakota to Edward and Eva (Corbett) Meagher. On February 20, 1950 Charles married Laura DeMaine in North Dakota and in September, they moved to the Watervliet area where he was a mechanic at the Watervliet Paper Mill for 43 years until his retirement in 1993. He was a member of the Moose Club and Knights of Columbus and was always handy as the neighborhood backyard mechanic.

Charles is survived by his wife Laura of 67 years, children William “Mike” (Cathy) Meagher of Jacksonville, Fla., Cathy (Guy) Sliter of Benton Harbor, Leonard (Mary) Meagher of Watervliet and Joyce Kiekenapp of Watervliet, and son-in-law Dave Rodewald of Coloma. Also surviving are 18 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his daughter Mary Rodewald in 2001, his son Richard Meagher in 1952 and 10 brothers and sisters.

Death Notices

Adolf Schlender, 77, of St. Joseph died Aug. 28, 2017 at Caretel Inns of Lakeland. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Mary Warmoth, 73, of Coloma died Aug. 31, 2017 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Phyllis Idell DeFord, 81, of Hartford died Sep. 2, 2017 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Donna M. Beebe, 88, of Coloma died Sep. 4, 2017 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma


Related Posts

See All

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