RAY HUGHES (1934-2016)

Ray Hughes 82 passed away on Monday April 11, 2016. He was born March 4, 1934 in Detroit the son of Russell and Marie (Omland) Hughes. He was a 1951 graduate of East Jordan High School in East Jordan. He was a Army veteran of the Korean War. He was a 1961 graduate from Michigan State University with a Masters in Social Work. He was the Director of Ionia Community Mental Health for 19 years, and the in Private Practice as a counselor for the next 20+ years. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years Lucy (Purvis) Hughes. They were married on September 22, 1959 in Chicago and moved to Ionia in 1969. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ionia and former Elder. He was active in Ionia Community Theatre, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Elk's and ICCF Golf Outing. He enjoyed Singing, Dancing, Golfing and Traveling.

Surviving are his son Eric (Christy) Hughes of East Grand Rapids; daughter Stacia (Buck McCoure) Hughes of Lyons; bother Loren (Kay) Hughes; sister Marlynn (Garold Myers) Hughes; grandchildren Alycia, Joshua, Callie, Haley, Kaleb and Nathanial.

A Celebration of His Life was held at the First Presbyterian Church at 11am on April 22nd 2016. Arrangements by lake Funeral Home of Ionia. Published in Ionia Sentinel-Standard from Apr. 15 to Apr. 20, 2016 . 

[Additional Note:  Ray was one of the original Ionia Rotary Club members who created the Ionia Community Theatre in 1967 - last stage performance was in 1988 performance of "Annie"

Terry L. Burton      (1964 -­ 2015)

Terry Lee Burton, age 50, of Ionia, passed away June 15, 2015, in Grand Rapids. He was born September 26, 1964, in Grand Rapids, the son of Roger and Gerry (De Nike) Burton. Terry married Margo Walczak on April 27, 1991 in Petoskey, MI. He was a member of the Ionia Community Theatre, Young Peoples Theater, and elder with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter­Day Saints. Terry enjoyed music & theater. He was a former member of the Great Lakes Chorus, barber shop style singing. Terry was an avid quilter and enjoyed fiber art, knitting, crocheting, and tatting. He liked to grind his own wheat and make his own bread; his goal was making sure everyone was well fed.

Terry is survived by his wife, Margo Burton of Ionia; children, Karri Walczak of Ionia and Steven Walczak of Ionia; father, Roger Burton of Saranac; brothers, Donald (Angel) Burton of Nashville and Roger Burton of Saranac; sister, Florence Clifford of Saranac; and many nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Gerry Burton. Memorial Service was held Saturday, June 20th, 1:00 P.M. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter­Day Saints located at 7943 Keefer Hwy. Portland, MI 48875. President Michael Beam officiated the service.

Published in Ionia Sentinel­Standard June 18, 2015

Harry H. Bliss Jr.    (1933 - 2015)

Dr. Harry H. Bliss Jr. Passed away, June 3rd, 2015, at the Lodge at Mallard's Landing in Gig Harbor, WA. He was born July 2, 1933, to Harry H. Bliss Sr. and Henrietta Bliss in Grand Rapids, MI.

Hal attended Ionia High School and went to Central Michigan University upon graduation. He went on to attend Illinois School of Optometry and opened his own practice in 1957, Dr. Bliss and Dr. Gregory Patera enjoyed serving the community's optometrist needs for 40 years.

Hal met Mary Lou Taylor of Clarksville in 1960 and they were married 6 months later in 1961. They would've been married 54 years this month.

Harry was devoted to his community and served in the Ionia Rotary Club and as President of the Ionia Community Theater for several years. His love of golf, music, theater and hunting was well-known in his large circle of friends. Hal loved to laugh and was cheerful and loving until the day he passed.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Lou; his daughters, Judy Bliss and Amy Bliss-Miller (Nathan Bliss-Miller); grandchildren, Hannah and Taylor Rogers, Soren and Lars Bliss-Miller. Preceding him in death, is his sister Bonnie Rosely and his Parents, Harry and Henrietta Bliss.  A celebration of Hal's life will be scheduled at a later date to be determined.   Published in Ionia Sentinel-Standard on June 9, 2015.

James Kennedy Nichols    (1924 - 2013)

James Kennedy Nichols, 89, of Ionia, passed away Sept. 26, 2013, in Grand Rapids. He was born Sept. 21, 1924, in Highland Park, the son of James and Kathleen (Everitt) Nichols.

James married Nancy Ann Sausser May 9, 1953 in Sandusky, Ohio. He was a graduate of Ionia High School, Albion College, and Capital Law School. James was a Army veteran of World War II in the South Pacific. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ionia, Michigan Bar Association, VFW andElks Club.

James is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Nancy Nichols of Ionia; children, Kim (Leslie) Nichols of Ada, David (Julie) Nichols of Ohio, and Eric (Tracy) of Greenville; half-brothers, Richard (Charlene) Nichols of Florida and Robert (Irene) Nichols of Kentucky; grandchildren, Chad, Brian, Erika, Kevin, Kathleen, Mackenzy, Erin, and Caroline; and great-grandchildren, Conner and Raphael.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, George.

Memorial services was held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church in Ionia with Rev. Clifton officiating. Visitation was held one hour prior to service at the church. Interment at Highland Park Cemetery. 

Memorial contributions maybe made in James' name to the First Presbyterian Church of Ionia or Ionia Public School's Athletic Department.                        Published in Ionia Sentinel-Standard on Sept. 28, 2013


Roberta Ann "Bobbi" (Lippert) Humbracht  (1946 - 2015)

Bobbi Humbracht, born Roberta Ann Lippert, passed away after a short illness in Fort Myers, Florida on April 18, 2015. She was 68. Bobbi was born on November 5, 1946 in Hillsdale, Michigan, third and youngest child of Glen and Ruth (Evans) Lippert, both now deceased. She leaves behind a son, Ryan (Michaela Jirackova) Hauer, of Chelsea, Michigan, a sister, Marilyn (Phillip) Mershon of Marshall, Michigan, a brother, Charles (Janet Cadwell) Lippert of Grand Rapids, five nieces and nephews, and a precious 4-year old granddaughter, Klara. She also leaves her devoted companion, Richard Mullen of Fort Myers, FL.
Bobbi graduated with the class of '64 from Hillsdale High School. She went on to obtain a BA in elementary education at Western Michigan University, graduating in Dec. of 1967. Over the next 30 years, she taught in five different districts, starting with Battle Creek Springfield, Galesburg-Augusta, Marshall, Quincy, retiring from Carson-City Crystal Schools in 1998 after 19 years of service there. She spent four years at Eerdmans Publishing Co. In Grand Rapids as editorial assistant, and did a variety of TV commercials and print work in retirement.

Bobbi was an avid tennis player, as well as a musician. She worked on stage and off with several community theatre groups, notably Ionia Community Theatre where she played leading roles in many musicals including Oklahoma, King and I, Secret Garden, Into The Woods, and Kiss Me Kate. From age 5, she sang in church choirs and continued in high school with training in choral singing, and in the band playing flute. In her adult life she also joined the Sweet Adeline's championship regional chorus of Coldwater (1971) and competed with her quartet. In 1983, she joined First United Methodist Church, Ionia, and sang in the choir until 2001 when she moved to Grand Rapids. There Bobbi joined the church, the choir, and the Westminster Winds at Westminster Presbyterian Church. She remained active there until leaving for FL in Nov. last year. She has been blessed with many loving friends, supportive family, and a rich faith connection.

A Celebration of Life service was held at Westminster on Saturday, May 16, 2015. A visitation for friends and family was held at 12 noon, prior to a 1 p.m. service. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to the Westminster Music Program, or to your favorite charity.              Published in Ionia Sentinel-Standard on April 28, 2015.

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