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Elsie was born Oct. 23, 1928, in Benton Harbor; daughter of Otto and Theresa (Skibbe) Weckwerth. She was a lifelong resident of Bainbridge Township. Elsie was also a lifelong member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Bainbridge of which she held many duties including Sunday School Teacher, member of the Bell Choir, and treasurer of Adult Fellowship and Sunday School for many years. Elsie was co-leader for Cribbs 4-H for 15 years and a member of Berrien County Farm Bureau for over 60 years.

Outside of serving her community Elsie worked as a medical assistant for Dr. NC and Rama Sckharan for 19 years and Dr A. Lopez for 10 years. She also worked alongside her husband Gilbert Rantz farming. Elsie married Gilbert November 12, 1949 and they raised three daughters together, Catherine, Jane and Judith. When Elsie wasn’t working or volunteering she liked to find time to travel.

Elsie leaves behind a loving family to cherish her memory including: her daughter Jane (Joseph) Martin; six grandchildren, David Hageman, Joseph Martin Jr., Colleen (Jarrid) Bradford, Sara Martin, Stephanie (Shannon) Harrington, and Samantha (Harold) Maynard; 13 great-grandchildren; her godson Ronald Walker; a son-in-law Mike Waldschmidt; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Elsie died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

Her husband Gilbert, two daughters Catherine Waldschmidt and Judith Rantz, four siblings Carl, Albert, Freda, and Cecile, and her companion of 25 years John Yoakum precede Elsie in death.

Friends may visit with Elsie’s family Thursday, Jan. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet. Funeral Services will be celebrated Friday, Jan. 14, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Bainbridge Township. Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Elsie’s memory to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ or the Lupus Foundation. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Elsie’s family at


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