11-19-2020 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Jessie’s life began June 6, 1950, in Arkansas. He grew up in Arkansas and work brought him to Michigan where he made his home. Jessie worked as a truck driver and farmer raising vegetables and hogs. He loved everything about being outside; riding his tractor, cutting firewood, hunting, and raising his animals. If Jessie wasn’t home farming you could find him taking his dog for a drive to the gas station for a treat.

Jessie leaves behind a large loving family who will miss his story telling and inaccurate weather forecasting abilities including: four children, Aaron Stanford of Benton Harbor, Darrel (Lesley) Stanford of Watervliet, Chrystal (Junior) Neal of Flint, and Jason Stanford of Watervliet; 13 grandchildren, Tyler (Lauren) Jackson, Kelson Johnson, Paul (Autumn) Stanford, Jessie Stanford, Michael Stanford, Derrick Stanford, Shanyia Stanford, Janessa Stanford, Christopher Stanford, Tyler Spoonhold, Mikayla Smith, Caylee Ramos, and Austin Ramos; four great-grandchildren; two siblings, Lilly Golden of Arkansas and Isom (Wanda) Stanford of Vandalia, Michigan; and many nieces and nephews.

Jessie died Monday, November 16, 2020 at home. Grandchild Jase Stanford, his parents Bud and Ollie Stanford, and four siblings Robert Stanford, Stella Flowers, Fanny Thomas, and Junior Stanford precede Jessie in death. Friends may visit with Jessie’s family Friday, November 20, 2020, from 1:30 to 3:00 at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Cremation will follow his visitation. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Jessie’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.


Gary’s life began September 19, 1952, in Watervliet. He grew up in Watervliet where he lived most of his life and graduated high school. Gary worked as a union brick layer for BAC Brick Layers for many years and then ran his own construction and concrete company. Outside of work Gary enjoyed following sports especially the Cubs and NASCAR and meeting up with his friends to talk sports. He also liked to shoot pool and play poker.

Gary was a great guy and will be missed by his family which includes: his son Tyrone Robertson; two grandchildren Taiya Cole and Olivia Kirkwood; his sister Brenda Robertson; a nephew Robert DuMont; a niece Sarah DuMont; and special friends Patricia and Scott Caprez.

Gary died November 11, 2020, at home.

His daughter Keriann Robertson, parents Orville and Wanda (Alexander) Robertson, and a sister Debra DuMont precede Gary in death.

Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Gary’s family with cremation and he will then be buried with his daughter, parents and sister in Watervliet Cemetery. Gary’s friends and family will gather at a later date to celebrate his life. You are welcome to leave a message of comfort for his family at hutchinsfuneral.com.

Death Notices

Steven Stromeyer, 92, of Lawrence died Nov. 14, 2020 at Caretel Inns of Lakeland, St. Joseph. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Willie E. Hudson, 92, of Coloma died Nov. 12, 2020. Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, Benton Harbor

Sandra Lee Whaley, 79, of Covert died Nov. 12, 2020 at Ely Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Allegan. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Norma Louise Turner, 98, of Coloma died Nov. 11, 2020 at Lakeland Medical Center St. Joseph. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Betty J. Smith, 89, of Watervliet died Nov. 10, 2020 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Robert Milo Clem, 58, of Hartford died Nov. 9, 2020. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Karin Bielefeld, 68, of Watervliet died Oct. 28, 2020 at Rose Arbor Hospice Center, Kalamazoo.

James Douglas Madden Jr., 72, of Benton Harbor died Oct. 31, 2020 at home. Robbins Brothers Funeral Home, 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