Passed away February 8, 2018 in Largo, Florida.
Obituary for Tommy Lee Brown
It fills our hearts with sadness to learn of the passing of Tommy Lee “Buddy” Brown (71), of Kalamazoo, on the morning of Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Tommy Lee was born on June 30, 1947 in Davenport, Iowa to Thomas Leonial Brown and Irene Louise (Johnston) Brown. He attended and graduated from Vicksburg High School. Before high school could become a distant memory, Tommy Lee enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to play his patriotic role in the war at Vietnam. After serving two years in the USMC, Tommy Lee was discharged with honors and medals for his service to our country.
Tommy Lee Brown displayed an intelligent, yet witty personality. He loved animals and held a strong connection with his pets over the years. A favorite pastime of Tommy Lee’s was spending time outdoors, especially on the water, fishing with his buddies.
Tommy Lee was the kind of guy that would make you laugh about the little things. He had a way to catch you in those little moments that most people would miss. He was creative; an artist, a photographer, and a writer.
Tommy Lee has left behind a legacy in the minds and memories of everyone he met. He will forever be missed by many.
Please visit Tommy’s page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can archive a photo, leave a memory, and sign the guestbook. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 25 at 11am at Fort Custer National Cemetery. A reception will follow at the VFW in Augusta.
The family is being assisted by McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes, 409 S. Main St. Vicksburg, MI 49097, (269-649-1697).
Passed away Thursday, October 8, 2020. Larry was born April 19, 1949 in Vicksburg, MI the son of Donald and Delores Hollenbeck. He was a veteran and served in the U.S. Army.
Larry designed, built and leased residential and commercial properties for 45 years. Most recently, he developed condos and was building a lakefront home in South Haven, Michigan. He spent most of his adult life in South Haven enjoying boating, fishing and being with his friends.
Larry always had a love for motorsports. He spent three decades racing snowmobiles, boats, go-carts and stock cars. His passion was for stock car racing where he devoted many years to his dream of becoming a NASCAR driver.
Larry will be remembered for living larger than life. He is survived by his children, Jody Townsend, James Hollenbeck, Melissa (Ethan) Oertel; 5 grandchildren; brothers, Jeff (Polly) Hollenbeck, Kirk (Judy) Hollenbeck; and several nieces and nephews. There will be no visitation or services. Memorial donations may be directed to The NASCAR Foundation, nascarfoundation.org. To view Larry’s personalized webpage please visit https://www.langelands.com
Passed away on September 24, 2020
Angela Jane Miller, age 70, of Three Rivers passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family on Friday, September 11, 2020. She was born in Caro, MI on November 30, 1949 the daughter of Carrol and Gwendolyn (Dobie) Reid.
She was employed for many years as a dedicated bus driver for Vicksburg Schools where she made many lasting friendships. On June 3, 1967 Angela was united in marriage to Russell Miller. Together they loved to go on short trips and camping with their children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed making many quilts and most of all, going to lunch with her friends.
Angela was preceded in death by her parents and son Rusty Allen Miller.
Surviving to cherish her memory are husband of fifty-three years, Russell Miller; daughter; Shannon Miller; son, Daniel (Stephanie) Miller; grandchildren, Miranda and Ryleigh Smith, Chase, Ryan, and Gunnar Miller and brother, Sandy (Brenda) Reid.
Died June 26, 2020
Debbie will be missed. She was very active with the 50 year reunion and the Alumni Breakfast we hosted in 2018.
Passed away from lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, and a heavy smoker since Junior year in high. He died a few day’s from his birthday on January 6th in Texas
Died August 9, 2018 in Ft.Myers, FL
Kristine Mary Himebauch, beloved sister, aunt, and friend, passed away on February 22, 2018, in Riverside, CA surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her sister, Jaqueline Bishop, numerous nieces and nephews, and her cat, Ginger. She is predeceased by her mother, Ursula Himebauch. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 11, 1948, and lived all but the last few months of her life in Portage, Michigan. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1967 and spent her career in the United States Postal Service. She retired in 2003 as the Postmaster in Climax, Michigan. She had a love of animals and throughout her life provided a loving home to several cats and dogs, and donated to several animal rescue charities. At Kris’s request no services will be held.
Published in Kalamazoo Gazette on Apr. 10, 2018
Jilek, Constance Jill 4/13/1949 – 1/30/2017 Kalamazoo Constance “Jill” Riddle Jilek died at home January 30, 2017, after a heroic battle with ovarian cancer. Jill was born on April 13, 1949, the first child of Jack Duane Riddle and Rosemary Alice (Cripps) Riddle in Vicksburg, Michigan, where she lived her entire childhood and teenage years. She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1967, where she was the marching band majorette, a cheerleader, and an all-around popular student. Jill then attended and graduated from Central Michigan University. She majored in English and Journalism. While at CMU, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority was elected by her sisters as President of the group. She was heavily involved in extracurricular activities at CMU. She chaired the Homecoming committee and participated in other student government causes. She was and remained a leader who people trusted to get things done well and completely. At CMU, Jill met James N. Jilek. The couple married on May 29, 1971 on a hot day at Stetson Chapel in Kalamazoo. Jill and Jim then moved to Utica, Michigan where Jill began her teaching career at Warren Mott High School. She was the yearbook coordinator and English teacher. In 1973, the couple moved to Vicksburg and Jill landed a job at Portage Northern High School as an English teacher. Jill taught at Portage Northern for over 30 years and was “THE” 10th grade honors English teacher. While working at Northern, Jill found time to obtain a Master’s Degree in reading from Western Michigan University as well as mothering her twin children, Jon and Jana. She had tremendous energy. Jill expected excellence from her students and usually got the most out of them. She worked hard at teaching students to write well, read well, and pay attention to detail; skills that served so many of them when they went on to higher education. A number of her students returned to Northern to tell Jill that her class helped them more than any other to do well at college. Jill was given the Significant Educator Award by three of her honor students; an award she had great pride in receiving. Jill retired from Portage Northern in 2004. After retirement she began another phase of her career as Yaya (grandmother), student teacher coordinator at Western Michigan University and volunteer supreme. She was active at Catholic Family Services, now Catholic Charities of Kalamazoo, and acted as Chairperson of the board of directors and received the VanDomelen Caring Network Volunteer Award by the charity. Jill became involved in the First Day Shoe Fund charity and went on to chair that board. Jill worked tirelessly for these charities betterment and truly believed in the causes. Jill belonged to the Kalamazoo Country Club and served on the Board of Governors, handling the swimming pool duties while on the Board. She also was Eucharistic Minister and sponsored several new Catholics at St. Monica Parish, again taking time to help others. Jill also volunteered at the Kalamazoo Public Schools as a tutor, using her educational skills to help children on a one-on-one basis. She also was involved in helping others with Juice Plus (nutritional supplements), spending more of her own money on people than she took in; helping others made her happy. The love of her life after retirement was babysitting and being with her six lovely grandchildren. She spent hours with each one, both as a group and as individuals. Each grandchild had the opportunity to be babysat by Yaya as they spent a day or two per week just having fun and playing games with her. She put the time into that joyful work. Jill had the ability to make the people in her life believe that she loved them the best of all. Jill liked to read endlessly, loved her book club that she initiated, enjoyed yoga, write in her diaries, bicycle, work out at the gym, do water aerobics, swim, golf, water ski and spend time kayaking, SUPping and enjoying her grandchildren, family and summertime friends at the family cottage on Gravel Lake in Lawton. She was a proficient athlete and has passed that trait on to her children and grandchildren. Jill is survived by her husband of 46 years, James N. Jilek of Kalamazoo, her son and daughter-in-law Jon and Carrie (Novak) Jilek of Kalamazoo, her daughter and son-in-law, Gordy Wolfe and Jana Jilek-Wolfe of Howell, six grandchildren: Caroline Constance Jilek, Charles Jonathan Jilek and Catherine Jane Jilek all of Kalamazoo, Ellie Rose Wolfe, Kennedy Elizabeth Wolfe and Berklee Constance Wolfe all of Howell. Also surviving are Jill’s mother Rosemary Holtzer, brothers and sisters-in-law, Steven W. Riddle of Battle Creek, Douglas E. (Kevin) Riddle and family of Houston, Texas and Mitchell T. (Michelle) Holtzer and family of Old Bridge, New Jersey, Aunt Shirley (Bert) Snyder of Colorado, as well as several nieces and nephews. Special thanks to Jill’s care givers at the West Michigan Cancer Center (Dr. Hoekstra and Dr. Caffrey and the wonderful nurses), Dr. Daniel Bozarth and Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (especially Nurse Amy Haskins) for the kind treatment during Jill’s illness. A celebration of Jill’s life will be held on Friday, February 10, 2017, beginning with visitation for family and friends at 9:30am at St. Monica Church in Kalamazoo. The visitation will be followed by a Funeral Mass to begin at 10:30am Father Robert Consani and Father Lawrence Farrell con-celebrators. Following Mass, all are invited to a reception at the Kalamazoo County Club. Jill was a strong, determined, hard-working, intelligent and loving woman. Jill was a leader by example. She will be missed by all those whose life she has touched so deeply. In lieu of flowers consider donation to either: Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo or The First Day Shoe Fund. Please visit Jill’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269-375-2900).
Published in Kalamazoo Gazette on Feb. 5, 2017