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Lavina Messal lived a long life full of love and happiness. Her sudden recent passing on March 2, 2023 was the result of an accidental fall.

Lavina was born on July 3, 1929, the fifth of the Dings’ family of 10 children and she was the last surviving member. Most of her childhood, she lived happily with her grandparents. She married at a young age to Edward Messal who shared her life for 64 years until he passed in 2010. They were the proud parents of two daughters, Dianne and Deborah.

She began life in Michigan, and lived in Hastings, Covert, Watervliet, and Portage. During the 1960s and 1970s she was employed at Harding’s Market in Watervliet. Her hobby of antique collecting led her to start an antique business with Ed, and later they enjoyed many travel adventures.

In 1980, Lavina and Ed decided to leave the winters of Michigan and joined Dianne in West Palm Beach, Florida where they made their home for over 18 years. There they worked jointly in property management.

Lavina and Ed then moved into their final home in Sunlake, a community of friends near Eustis, Florida. There she enjoyed the pleasures of senior living and fun pastimes and friendships for 24 years. After Ed passed, for nine years of her life in Sunlake she was joined by her loving partner, Arnold Berg who passed in 2021.

Lavina will be deeply missed by her two daughters and sons-in-law, Dianne and Robert Harris of Clarksville, TN and Deborah Messal and David Kazdan from Toronto, Canada. She had a large extended family, for whom she was the matriarch. That included a granddaughter, great-granddaughters, great-great-grandson, sister-in-law, and numerous very close nieces and nephews and their extended families. Her loss is felt by Arnie’s extended family and her many friends and neighbors of the Sunlake Community. She was special and will be missed by many who loved her.

Internment will be later this summer when family and friends can gather at North Shore Memory Gardens.


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Richard W. Dibble, 101, of Hagar Twp., died April 1, 2024 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma


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