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Freddie E. Mitchell, a proud U.S. Navy veteran of Coloma, passed away on Sunday, July 24, 2022 at the age of 81. Fred was the son of Lorene & Roy Mitchell, born in Leachville, AR on December 5, 1940.

After serving as a Damage Controlman aboard the USS Bennington during the Vietnam War, he moved to Berrien County where he spent the remainder of his life, before being called to the Lord after a long battle with cancer.

Fred spent several years traveling the U.S. as a semi driver. He enjoyed showing horses with his wife and granddaughter, as well as camping with friends and family in his later years. He loved animals and nature, especially the Grand Canyon. Most of all he loved his family, and instilled good values in his children and grandchildren that have served them well. He was a very compassionate and humorous man who will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Fred is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Darlene; daughter Tammy (Eddie) Morris, son Tim (Karee) Ishmael, son-in-law Andy Haines & daughter-in-law Sherry Ishmael. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren, Amber (Christopher) Blaine, Eric (Meg) Reeves, Stephanie Wright, Andy & Brittany Haines, Lauren & Rachel Morris & Chance Ishmael; along with 11 great-grandchildren including Gabriel, Cadence, Erica, Emily, Jacob, Brianna, Miranda, Alaina, Trenton, Chloe & Connor.

He is preceded in death by his middle daughter, Trina Haines, his parents, Lorene & Roy Mitchell, and his sister, Diana Haskins.

Visitation will take place at the Hutchins Funeral Home located at 209 S. Main St. in Watervliet on Thursday, July 28 from 6 – 8 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Riverview Cemetery on Friday, July 29 at 12 p.m., followed by a luncheon at Riverview Park, in the Woodbine Lodge.

In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation in Fred’s name to the VFW. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Fred’s family at


Robert (Bob) Charles Deam, 97, formerly of Watervliet and now of Sarasota, FL entered into the presence of the Lord on July 17, 2022. He was born Dec. 17, 1924 in Chicago, IL to the late Henry and Lois (Alford) Deam. Faith is the Victory was his favorite hymn and his favorite scripture was Proverbs 3:5-6.

Services celebrating his life will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Watervliet Free Methodist Church. The visitation will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, at the Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in Benton Township. Military Rites will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at the Fairplain Chapel. He will be laid to rest beside his wife in North Shore Memory Gardens. Please share messages or memories at or cards may be sent to Deb at 5471 Regent Pl., Sarasota, FL 34233.

Bob joined the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in WWII until 1946. He moved to St. Joseph, MI in 1949 and married Joan Tillman on Oct. 4, 1953. He and Joan attended and graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

He was a mechanical engineering draftsman and spent his career working for V-M Corp, Whirlpool and Benton Harbor Malleable. Following his last 20 years with Auto Specialties, Bob retired in 1988.

For many years, he and Joan performed comic readings and skits at parties, church banquets and other special occasions. He owned many classic cars over the years and was a member of the Southwest Michigan Car Collectors Club.

Bob was very active in Youth for Christ rallies in his earlier years as well as helping to build their Quiz Boxes following his retirement. He then served at Grace Christian School, Child Evangelism Fellowship and Forgotten Man Ministries. He was a member of Bethel Baptist Church in South Haven, MI where he served as a Deacon. He also led congregational singing for many years. He and Joan were more recently members of Watervliet Free Methodist Church until they moved to an ALF, Inspired Living, in Lakewood Ranch, FL to be closer to their daughter, Deb.

When Joan passed away in March of 2019, Bob moved in with Deb to the community of Camelot Lakes, Sarasota. He used to ride his Hoveround scooter to the Clubhouse to play pool with the guys and he became quite the pool shark. They called him “Good Shot Bob”.

In addition to his parents, Bob is predeceased by his wife Joan, in 2019 and his only brother, Don, of Watervliet, MI.

Left to cherish his memory is his daughter Deb Deam, who took such loving care of him over the years. Also surviving is a sister-in-law, Rose (Bob) Tillman; nieces and nephews, Donna (Mike) & Ashlee Langston, Denise (Chuck) Morgan, Kathy (David) Bauer, Kim (Ron) Hoover, Don Jr. (Jeannie) Deam, Dennis Tillman, Randy Tillman and Wayne (Lynn) Tillman.

Death notices

Kathy Peapples, 61, of Watervliet died July 23, 2022 at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet

Joel “Joe” Morrow, 77, of Coloma died July 22, 2022 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Roger W. Jordan Sr., 81, of Bridgman died July 20, 2022 at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Julie A. Steinhaus, 60, of Coloma died July 20, 2022 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma

Daniel C. Edmonds, 53, of Hartford died July 19, 2022 at home. Purely Cremations – Starks Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Benton Harbor

Leonard J. Casario Jr., 78, of Stevensville died July 16, 2022 at home. Starks & Menchinger Chapel, St Joseph


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