12-05-2019 Tri-City Area Obituaries


Theodore Clark Johnson, former Mayor of Hartford, passed away at home on Nov. 29, 2019 surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 83. He was born in Ann Arbor, MI on May 15, 1936 to Eloise Fay Parker and Nelson Van Brunt and raised by Arthur Carl Johnson. He was lovingly taken care of by his mother and grandparents Clinton Clark and Eleanor Belle (Hardenbrook) Parker.

He grew up in Breedsville, went to school in Bangor and graduated from South Haven High School in 1954. Ted married his childhood friend and sweetheart Donna Jean Drake on November 3, 1956. They were married for 63 years. He moved to St. Joseph in 1954 where at the age of 18 began working as a lab technician for Whirlpool Corp. gradually through the years making Master Dryer Lab Technician. Ted retired from Whirlpool in 1998, where he continued on as a contract hire for an additional ten years.

Ted and Donna moved to Hartford in 1971 when they purchased Donna’s Uncle Murl Haney’s home. This is when Ted became involved in community service. He served on the Hartford Fire Board and four years as a city commissioner. He was first elected mayor from 1980-1985 and returned to the chair in 1996 until 2017. He was honored and so proud to serve the community of Hartford and be recognized as the longest sitting mayor.

Ted was an excellent handyman and an amazing woodworker. He enjoyed and was quite proud of his home and of the sunroom that he built himself. He enjoyed working in his garage tinkering and building projects.

Ted is survived by his wife, Donna; two children: Terry Clark Johnson and Sally Lyn (Eric) Germinder, both of Hartford; grandchildren: Lena Nicole (Johnson) Jenkins, James E.C. Johnson, Ryne William (Shelly) Germinder, Cody Lee (Kayla) Germinder, Cory Tyler (Priscilla Alvarez) Germinder; great-grandchildren: Olivia, Xavier, Elijah, Brian, Desirae and his buddy, his great-grandson, Kyler William Germinder. In addition, he is survived by his wonderful brothers and sisters: A.L. “Lonny” Johnson of Grand Junction, Louise (Wayne) Nelson of Gobles, Elizabeth (Ed Bowen) Taylor of Bloomingdale, Chester Johnson of Grand Junction and George Parker.

Ted was preceded in death by his mother; grandchild, Christina Ann Johnson; sister-in-law, Joan Johnson and brother, Carl Johnson.

Cremation has taken place and visitation for family and friends was at Calvin Funeral Home in Hartford on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Burial will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hartford at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ted’s name may be made to the Hartford Fire Department or Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.


Ann was born on July 16, 1931, in Hastings, Michigan, the daughter of Errol and Beatrice (Hicks) Wells.

Ann went home to be with the Lord, at the age of 88, on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, at Graceway at Countryside, South Haven.

Ann married Elvin Nyhuis on Nov. 4, 1950, and for the last 69 years, they served together in the Gospel ministry at several churches. At an early age at her grandmother’s church in Nashville, MI, Ann made her testimony to God and asked him to forgive her of her sins, and asked Jesus to be her savior. She was a member of the Hartford Federated Church (now the Hartford Bible Church). Ann loved going to church when possible and singing in the church choir; however, spending time with her family was her most precious times.

Ann is survived by her children, Guy and Nancy Nyhuis of Otsego, MI, Paul and Sylvia Nyhuis of Alto, MI, Margaret and Mark Baeza of Liberty Hill, Texas, Thomas and Jean Nyhuis of Buchanan and Beth Ann and Jeffery Rumbaugh of Reisterstown, MD; daughter-in-law, Cindy Nyhuis of Hartford; brother, Alan and Linda Buchanan of Grant, MI; sister, Joyce and Doug Roossien of West Olive, MI; 19 grandchildren: Amy Nyhuis, Karin Nyhuis, Jeffrey Nyhuis, Zachary (Karina) Nyhuis, Amanda (Cory) Belka, Bridget Nyhuis, Zebulun Nyhuis, Casandra (Denny) Nuwagaba, Daniel Walker, Kandyce (Aaron) Reese, Kristyn Walker, Brittany (Logan) Filipek, Rachel (Luis) Garza, David Walker, Andrea (Chris) Waterloo, Brandon Nyhuis, Mike (Grace) Nyhuis, Trista Nyhuis and Jenifer Nyhuis (Veronica Pena’); 29 great-grandchildren: Jobe, Marianna, Zachary, Lex, Elijah, Jewel, Emily, Hannah, Asher, Korbyn, Alyssa, Anya, Nahalie, Noah, Nina, Isaiah, Alana, Elijah, Isabella, Micah, Noelle, Connor, Presten, Blake, Kyle, Octavia, Cheyenne, Jasmyn and Georgia; and one great-great-grandchild, Preeya.

Ann was preceded in passing by her son, Pastor Timothy Nyhuis; her parents; brother, William Wells; three sisters, Mary Jane Conigliaro, Carol Burman and Margaret Wells; granddaughter, Jill Phillips; and son-in-law, Joey Walker.

The family will welcome friends from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Hartford Bible Church, where a celebration of life service to honor Ann’s memory will commence at 3 p.m., with Pastor Benjamin Williamson officiating. Ann will be laid to rest in Georgetown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ann’s name may be made to Samaritan’s Purse or Our Daily Bread. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.

The family wishes to thank Juanita Skipper and Jackie Trux for their encouragement and support over the years.


Francis A. “Vince” Nilles, 85, of Hamilton, NY, passed away Saturday, November 30, 2019 at his home.

He was born December 20, 1933 in Chicago, IL, a son of Joseph and Barbara Marie Steffans Nilles and graduated high school in Coloma. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. On August 20, 1955, he married Janet J. Kolenda in Southampton, NY. She predeceased him on September 14, 1986.

Vince started the Nilles Ford dealership in Hamilton in 1977 where he served as the president of the company until retiring at age 82. He was a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). He was an avid golfer and enjoyed cars. Vince was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton.

Surviving are his daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Robert Slutsky of Hamilton; son and daughters-in-law, Gregory and Diane Nilles of Dresden, NY and Jill Nilles of Madison; brother-in-law, Edward Mileski of Coloma; grandchildren, Brian Nilles and fiancé’, Sarah Rosario of Fairport, NY; Kimberly and David Ennis of Boston, MA; Brianna Slutsky of Atlanta, GA; and Benjamin Slutsky of Waynesville, NC; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Jeffrey J. Nilles on April 3, 2019; a sister, Barbara Mileski; a brother and sister-in-law, Joseph and Carol Nilles.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton, NY. Spring interment will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Hamilton.

Arrangements are by Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 25 Broad St., Hamilton, NY.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Community Memorial Hospital Foundation, 150 Broad St., Hamilton, NY 13346; or to St. Mary’s Church, 16 Wylie St., Hamilton, NY 13346.

To send a condolence and sign the Book of Memories online go to www.burgessandtedescofuneralhomes.com.

Death Notices

Sally N. (Brown) Dombroski, 89, of Stevensville died Nov. 26, 2019 at home. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

James W. Brumitt, 83, died Nov. 24, 2019 at Countryside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community, South Haven. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Jeraldine “Jerry” M. Hall, 84, of Ravenden Springs, Ark., formerly of Watervliet, died Nov. 25, 2019 at St. Bernards Medical Center, Jonesboro, Ark. Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home, Jonesboro

Kathryn Strawbridge, 82, of St. Joseph died Nov. 26, 2019 at Royalton Manor, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Vera Walther, 75, of Mishawaka, IN, died Nov. 24, 2019 at Northwoods Assisted Living, Mishawaka. Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Niles

Carolyn Fowler, 82, died Nov. 24, 2019 at Select Medical Center, Battle Creek. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Rodney Stanford, 46, died Nov. 27, 2019. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Isabel Ione Bower, 19 months, died Nov. 12, 2019 in Suwon, Korea. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Terry W. Molter, 78, of Bainbridge died Nov. 27, 2019 at Caretel Inns of Lakeland, St. Joseph. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Jean Alice Walker, 82, of Lawton, formerly of Hartford, died Nov. 28, 2019 at White Oaks Assisted Living, Lawton. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford

Marion E. Lavoie, 93, of Coloma died Dec. 1, 2019 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Sarah May Bachleda, 74, of Covert died Nov. 29, 2019 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Shirley L. Beck, 81, of South Haven died Nov. 26, 2019 at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo. Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, South Haven

Pauline C. Montgomery, 88, of St. Joseph died Dec. 1, 2019 at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville. Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, St. Joseph

Mary C. Murphy, 78, of Coloma died Dec. 1, 2019 at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville. Davidson Chapel – Florin Funeral Service, Coloma


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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