Obituaries

Submit your obituary from Durand, Bancroft, Byron, Lennon, Gaines, Swartz Creek or anywhere and we will publish at no cost. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those lost in our community.

Mary Ann Sabo, age 86 passed away Friday, October 23, 2020 at Kith Haven Nursing Home, Flint, Michigan. Funeral arrangements will be announced.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com.


Donald Eugene Ellsworth II, 63, of Okeechobee Florida, passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in Durand, Michigan. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be shared at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Keith G. Walker, age 89 of Corunna, passed away Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Memorial Healthcare in Owosso. Mr. Walker was born in Flint, MI on March 10, 1931, the son of Ralph & Pauline (Foster) Walker. He graduated from Kearsley High School in Flint in the Class of 1949. He served his country in the Korean War. Keith was a retired farmer and milk hauler. He is survived by his children: Laurie Walker, Sherrie & Tom Bradley, Mark & Tami Walker, Kurt & Donna Walker, Scott & Lois Walker, grandchildren: Patrick & Heidi Bradley, Kelly Bradley, Josh & Candace Levesque, Alyssa & Levi Prior, Nicole & Riley Cleary, Adam & Megan Walker, Kevin & Samantha Walker, Greg Walker, Danielle Walker and Michael McPhee, Taylor Walker, great grandchildren: Elizabeth & John Walker, Dominic & Knox Walker, Ember Prior, Baby Cleary, Brittnie Dailey and Blake Dailey, special cousin Vivian Clark. He was predeceased by his wives Geraldine Masuch and Clara Klonski and his parents.

Cremation has taken place and there will be no services at this time. Arrangements by Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Sandra L. Ward age 59 of Durand, passed away Friday, September 18, 2020 at her home after fighting a long battle with cancer. A mass of the resurrection will take place at St. Mary Catholic Church on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service with a rosary to be prayed at 10:30 AM. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Sandra Lynn Lampkin was born February 17, 1961 in Flint, a daughter of James and Patricia (Kelly) Lampkin. On August 31, 1994 she married Mike Ward. She enjoyed arts and crafts, gardening, cooking, her dogs, and her family. She was a strong advocate for social justice and was known as mother to everyone.

Sandra is survived by her husband, Mike Ward; children, James Nowak, Elizabeth Ward, Annabelle Ward and Gabriel Ward; son-in-law, Elmer Hernandez; grandchildren, Chloe, Seth, Tyler, Kyrie, Julian "J.J.", Elicio, Anabella and Stella; dogs, Lola and Pip; sisters, Sharon and Sonya; brother, Jim and best friend, Sheri. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Patricia Lampkin and step-father, James Ryan.

Memorial Contributions in Sandra's name are suggested to the family at this time. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Frank H Eddy age 99 of Durand passed away Monday, September 14, 2020 at McLaren Hospital of Flint. A memorial service will at the First Baptist Church of Durand, 804 W. Main St., at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 19, 2020. Pastor Nick Boeke will be officiating. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Frank Eddy was born in Plymouth, MI on June 14, 1921, the son of Frank and Marie (VanArsdale) Eddy. He spent much of his life in the Morrice-Bancroft-Durand areas. On September 10, 1950 he married Mary Lou Graham. She died in 1994. In 1997 he married Ruth (Fleming) Moline.

Frank worked as a mechanic for 15 years, followed by 30 years as a fork-lift operator at General Motors. Frank was known for his musical talent, having been the soloist at many weddings, funerals and church events in the area. He was also known for his humorous stories. These abilities were helpful in his 30 years of leadership as a volunteer song leader and speaker for Sunday morning services at the Durand Senior Care Center. Frank had a strong Christian faith and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Durand for over 60 years. On the practical side, he was a skilled wood craftsman and a true tractor enthusiast. He never missed the county fair or a Tigers baseball game.

Frank is survived by his wife, Ruth; sons, Timothy Eddy and Shannon Eddy; daughters, Claudia Eddy and Julie (Raysin); stepchildren, Deborah (Rod) Sebree, Gerald (Danelle) Moline and Wade Moline; 11 grandchildren and step grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Barbara Eddy and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his first wife, Frank was preceded in death by his brother, Stanley Eddy; sisters, Nina Rumery and Virginia Stinson and great granddaughter, Megan Raysin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Carriage Town Ministries of Flint or the First Baptist Church of Durand. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Michelle Marie Mann
passed away suddenly on September 8, 2020. She had tested positive for Covid-19 in July and was convalescing when she began to complain of feeling unwell. At this time we are assuming her death was related to this virus. 

She was born on October 25, 1968 in Owosso, MI. She attended Durand area schools and was a proud member of the Durand Marching Railroaders and graduated in 1987. She studied at several Michigan Universities.

Michelle lived most of her life in the Durand area before moving to North Carolina. A later move found her in South Carolina; a place she came to love and where she spent her lunch hour watching the dolphins. She returned home to Durand for several years before packing her car and driving solo, across the country, hauling a trailer, to Sacramento, CA. She began the next chapter of her life with Nick Serra.

Michelle was an avid reader and loved acquiring knowledge. Those who knew her knew better than to argue with her, as she was most likely right! She loved working in the yard, traveling, family, Dr. Who and her cats.

She is survived by her mother; Bonnie D. Mann (Durand, MI), her brother; Michael A. Mann (Madison, WI.), Nick Serra (Sacramento, CA.) and many friends and family who loved her.

She was met in heaven by her father, Allan Mann who preceded her in death.

In remembrance of Michelle please wear a mask and encourage others to do the same.

Arrangements through Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be shared at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com.


Gerald M. Chrzan age 87 of Barryton, MI passed away Sunday, September 6, 2020 peacefully at his daughters home in Owosso. A Graveside Service will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon, MI with a luncheon immediately following at the V.F.W. of Durand, 923 N Saginaw St, Durand, MI 48429. The family will receive friends from 4:00 - 7:00 PM on Friday, September 11, 2020 at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, 501 North Saginaw Street, Durand, MI 48429.

Gerald Martin Chrzan was born October 15, 1932 in Detroit,, MI a son of Phillip and Louise (Peer) Chrzan. On May 17, 1980, he married Kathleen Zuver. Gerald enjoyed hunting, puzzles, bird, squirrel and deer watching. In his 20's he rode in a local rodeo for 7 years. Prior to his retirement, he was a painter for over 50 years.
 
Gerald is survived by his wife, Kathleen Chrzan; children, Elaine (Charlie) Knight and Deborah (Robert) Philburn; grandchildren, Jarrod (Raven) Brown, Andria Pakkala and Alexis (Derek) Kottong; great grandchildren, Aubrey, Laekyn and Archer; brothers, Kenneth (Alice) and Ron (Norma) Chrzan; sisters, Janet Mose, Gwen (William) Nelson and Linda (Gary) Vietor; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sons, Timothy and Gary Chrzan; brothers, Richard, Phillip, Don and Delbert Chrzan; and his parents, Phillip and Louise Chrzan.

Memorial Contributions in Gerald's name are suggested to Elara Caring Hospice. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Rose Mary Dubendorf, age 92 of Fenton, passed away Thursday, September 3, 2020 at her home. A memorial service will take place at a later date. Cremation has taken place. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Jack J. Vasicek, age 83 of Durand, passed away Monday, August 31, 2020 at his home after a long illness. Per Jack's wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be announced in spring or summer of 2021. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Jack was born September 11, 1936 in Swartz Creek, a son of Frank and Anna Vasicek. Jack graduated from Swartz Creek High School in 1955. There he played football, ran track, joined the F.F.A. and was class officer for all 4 years. After high school, he attended G.M.I. In 1957 he married Marian Walsh, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso. They built their first home in Corunna on M-21 before buying their farm which they have lived in since 1964. Jack was a family man. Family and farming were his biggest joy. He enjoyed playing accordion, taking his wife Marian on Casino trips, Coho fishing, water skiing and going to farm sales. After 32 years, he retired from General Motors V-8 engine plant in Flint in 1987.

Jack is survived by his wife, Marian of 62 years; children, Pattie Sweet of TN and Greg (Linda) Vasicek of Durand; grandchildren, Courtney (Jeff) Bowen of Gaines, Joshua (Trisha) Vasicek of Durand, Jack (Lane) Vasicek of Durand, Haley (Josh) Koc of Durand and Garrett and Trevor Kett; brothers, Fred (Shirley) Vasicek of Corunna, Don Vasicek of Corunna, and Bob Vasicek of Swartz Creek; sister-in-law, Alice Vasicek of Frankenmuth; many great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by both parents, his in-laws; baby son, John Vasicek; great grandson, Greyson Bowen; brother, David Vasicek and his faithful friend, Bocek.

Memorial Contributions in Jack's name are suggested to St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Durand F.F.A. The family would like to thank all friends and family for their help and love. A special thank you to Travis Ferris for the wonderful friendship and care given to our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Carole Louise (Johnson) Shaw, age 78, of Portland, Oregon, passed away Friday, Aug. 28, 2020.

Carole was born in Durand July 12, 1942, to Richard J. (Dave) Johnson and Margaret (Clever) Johnson, the second of eight children. She graduated from Durand High School in 1960 and graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1963. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, graduating in 1994.

She was married to Bernard (Bud) Griswold from 1963 to 1978, with whom she had a daughter, Susan; and to Gregory Shaw from 1994 to 2007.

Carole was a critical care nurse most of her career, retiring from Ohio State University Hospital in 2007. She loved her last position in neonatal intensive care, giving expert care and love to tiny premature infants.

Gardening and nature walks were two of many interests. She had an innate knowledge of plants and trees. She planted and nurtured 100 trees on her spacious lot in Worthington, Ohio.

As a teenager, she was chosen to attend Interlochen Arts Camp for her vocal talent. A pianist, Carole loved music and the arts, supporting her daughter’s artistic talents and participating in numerous cultural activities in her 40 years in Worthington. An avid reader, she had many long conversations about favorite books with other book lovers among family and friends.

Carole moved home to Durand 2007 for several years. While there, she became an active and loved member of St. Mary Catholic Church, making many new friends and connecting with the friends she made as a teen. Carole was part of a “mothers” group of friends in Ohio for more than 50 years, starting when her daughter was a toddler, until Carole’s passing. She enjoyed their many annual outings, including river rafting and historical and cultural site visits around the United States, Canada and Europe.

She also traveled by herself to Alaska. Her ladies group came to be with her and support her even after her admission to memory care.

Carole’s thoughtfulness and kindness were legendary, remembering birthdays and anniversaries of her extended family and many friends. Her compassion and acceptance of those around her touched innumerable friends and acquaintances. Family and friends meant everything to Carole.

After retirement, she relocated to Durand to be closer to her siblings.

She is survived by her daughter Susan Griswold; son-in-law Kevin Dermond; sisters Catherine (Jeff) Smith), Barbara (Billy) Wilson, Jeanette (Tom) Gomos and Marta Johnson (Kevin Brady); brothers Don (Elaine) Johnson and Dr. James (Patricia) Johnson; 13 nieces and nephews; 18 great-nieces and nephews; seven great-great-nieces and nephews; and many other extended family and friends. She will be deeply missed.

Carole is preceded in death by her parents, brother Douglas Johnson and great-niece Mary Harris. A celebration of Carole’s life will be conducted at a future date to be announced.

Memorials may be sent to Housecall Providers Hospice at 5100 S.W. Macadam Ave., Suite 200, Portland, OR, 97239, or housecallprovidershospice.org. Condolences to her daughter Susan Griswold may be sent to 33470 S.W. Chinook Plaza, No. 208, Scapoose, OR, 97056.

Carole’s family wishes to thank all of those who held Carole in their hearts through her long illness.


Albert Benko, age 83 of Durand, passed away on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at Memorial Healthcare. A graveside service will take place 11:00 AM on Monday, August 31, 2020 at Lovejoy Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Sunday at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel from 2-4 and 6-8 PM.

Albert was born April 25, 1937 in Durand, a son of Steve and Elizabeth (Takach) Benko. He served in the United States Army from 1959-1962 stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. On April 23, 1966 he married Bonnie Best. Albert enjoyed doing yard work, watching old movies, listening to Frank Sinatra and eating a good hamburger (no onions). Prior to his retirement in 1999, he was employed by Buick for 37 years.

Albert is survived by his children, Wes (Shannon) Benko, Wynnette (Tom Thompson) Benko, Wenda "Wen" Benko and Whitney (Michelle) Benko; grandchildren, Audrey and Junius. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Benko.

Memorial Contributions in Albert's name are suggested to Carriage Towns. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Lyle R. Perrin, age 83 of Perry, Michigan born on November 1, 1936 the son of Eldon and Dorothy (Terwilliger) Perrin, entered into eternal life on August 17, 2020 in Durand, Michigan at the Durand Senior Care and Rehab Center.

Lyle was born in Perry, Michigan. He later moved to Tucson, Arizona where he resided for many years. He loved Arizona. He worked for Shamrock Dairy as a mechanic for the machines. He loved Tucson and the mountains, hiking and backroad trips to old Indian ruins which he shared with his family. He was an avid horseman, breeding and raising quarter horses which won numerous ribbons. He loved his corvettes and also NASCAR, his favorite pastime.

Lyle was lighthearted, always joking, laughing, he truly loved life. Lyle was a loving husband, father and grandfather, survived by his 3 children: Lyle Thomas Perrin, Cathy Jansen (Perrin), Bonnie Eakins (perrin) and grandchildren: Ariel Eakins (Ashenbrenner), David Norman, Josh Perrin, James Perrin and numerous nieces and nephews in Durand, Michigan.

He will be truly missed by all. We love you.

There will be no services at this time.


Sandra Sewell, age 78 of Durand was received in Heaven by God and her family on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Cremation has taken place. The family is being served by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Sandra was born on June 14, 1942 on Flag Day. A day which was an immensely proud and precious day to her.

Sandra was and will always be loved by her husband of 60 years, Richard and her parrot Skipper who was her baby. Her 4 children Eric, Sherrie, Cindy, and Jennie. She was blessed with 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, which she loved with all her heart. Her favorite game was chasing the grandchildren through the house, their laughter and giggles brought such joy to her.

She enjoyed fishing. Working in the yard, feeding, and watching the birds. Christmas was her favorite time of the year. She loved to decorate the yard and the family was always together. Spoiling our dogs was a job for her on a daily basis and she was very good at it. She always had the house in the neighborhood that all the kids wanted to be at because she was the fun, crazy, cool mom.
She was the light of our family and she will be missed by many but never forgotten.


Ms. Peggy Lynn, age 81 passed away Sunday, August 9, 2020, at home surrounded by her three children.

Born July 1, 1939, in Bloomfield, Missouri, she was the daughter of George and Ethel Ferguson. She had 5 sisters (surviving are twin sister, Patsy and younger sister, Betty). She graduated from Dexter High School in 1957.
She had a strong faith in her Lord Jesus Christ and was an active member of Faith Baptist Church.

Those who knew Peggy from her 20 years as a food demonstrator at Sam’s Club of Flint Township, knows she never met a stranger. She greeted everyone she met with a warm smile and kind, loving heart.

Many people, spanning all ages, turned to Peggy for guidance, advice, and counsel. Her happy, positive spirit and no-nonsense, but non-judgmental personality, made her a safe place for people to turn in times of need.

She loved deeply and unconditionally and saw the absolute best in everyone. It was often said that she saw the world through rose colored glasses.

She enjoyed the simplest things in life and if you asked her, she was the most blessed person on God’s earth. You could always find Peggy reading a good book and snuggled up with her beloved dog, Molly.

Her beautiful life will forever be cherished by her children: Steven (Elaine) Lynn of Durand, Sherry (Dan) Maurer of Swartz Creek, and Ginger (Ken) Ortiz of Lennon; grandchildren: Jeremy (Monica) Lynn, Ryan (Amy) Lynn, Amber (Shandon) Claspell, Aaron (Alma) Maurer, Chad Ortiz, and Tiffany (Nathan) Thompson; great-grandchildren: Clayton, Cora, Gabriel, Megan, Mason, Royce, Emma, and David.

Family and friends are invited to join in a celebration of life and memorial service at 11:00 AM Saturday August 15, 2020, at Faith Baptist Church of Durand, 520 Kent St. Durand, MI 48429. Visitation will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 AM preceding the service.

For the health and safety of all, face masks are recommended.

A project that was dear to Peggy was the paving of the church parking lot. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in her honor, to the ‘parking lot fund’ at Faith Baptist Church. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Inez Marie Bohman, 88, of Durand, passed away on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at Hospice House of Shiawassee County. The family will receive friends at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel on Tuesday August 11, 2020 from 2-4 & 6-8 PM.
Burial will be at the South Victory Cemetery in Ludington on Thursday at 1:00 PM.

Inez was born in Flint, MI on December 9, 1931, the daughter of Howard & Marie (Johnson) Peterson. She was a graduate of Durand High School in the class of 1949. She worked for GM and Marsh monument for a period of time but was a homemaker. Inez married Peter Forman and then Sidney Bohman. He predeceased her in 1995. Inez volunteered for the Red Hat Society and the Durand Depot.

She is survived by her sons: Paul Forman of Swartz Creek and Kyle Forman of Colorado Springs, CO, one grandson Brian P Forman, step children Bill (Brenda) Bohman, Karon Allen & Brando Kett, her significant other, Sharon (Joe) Cooney, step grandchildren; Kelly Simmons, Ryan Bohman, Kamm Skeels, Kare Skeels, Sean Cooney, Joey Cooney, Shannon Sawyer, Jamie Cooney, her brother Dale D. Peterson of Ann Arbor. She was predeceased by her brother Howard Peterson and step son Dennis Bohman. Memorials are suggested to the Hospice House of Shiawassee County. Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Richard H. Thomsen age 81 of Owosso, passed away Saturday, August 8, 2020 at his home. A memorial service will take place at The First Baptist Church of Durand at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Family will receive friends from 12:00 PM until the time of the service. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Richard Herman Thomsen was born March 11, 1939 in Tustin, MI a son of Herman and Marion (Mishler) Thomsen. On September 21, 1963 he married Susanne Dillon. Richard enjoyed hunting, fishing, going to sporting events, the outdoors and his church. Prior to his retirement, he had been employed by General Motors for 43 years.

Richard is survived by his wife, Susanne Thomsen; children, Melissa (Michael) Raley and James (Julie) Thomsen; grandchildren, Amanda, Brooke, Morgan, Madison, Dayton, Demi and Dylan; and siblings, Eva, Erma, Nadine, Don, Alvin, Colleen and Brian. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Marion; and siblings, Shirley, William "Bill", Jean, Loretta and Tom.

Memorial Contributions in Richard's name are suggested to the First Baptist Church of Durand. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Danny L. Harris age 45 of Lennon, passed away Thursday, August 6, 2020 peacefully at his home after a courageous battle with cancer. A gathering of friends will take place at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel on Thursday, August 13, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Cremation has taken place. Please wear your Strong attire.

Danny was born December 19, 1974 in Owosso, a son of Michael and Dessie (Myers) Harris. On August 24, 2002 Danny married the love of his life, Kimberly Morse. He enjoyed backroads, hunting, cornhole, camping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Danny is survived by his loving wife, Kimberly Harris; children, Tyler Perkins, Jacob and Jordan Harris; siblings, Mike Harris and Bobby Harris; step-siblings, Daniel, David and Shannon Myers. Danny also adored his Ray-Ray, Lou-Lou and Nugget. He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Diana Morse; brother, Denver Harris; both of his parents and many grandparents.


Frank Edgar Wolcott, age 85 passed away on August 4th, 2020. A private family service will be held. The family is being served by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Frank was born February 9, 1935 to Frank and Harriett (Thompson) Wolcott in Holly, Michigan. He was a third-generation miller and the owner and operator of the Wolcott Milling Company in Argentine Twp. until his retirement. He married Nadene (Walraven) on August 22, 1970 in Linden, Michigan. Together they raised their family in the Linden area. Frank was a successful businessman, a son, brother, husband, father, a grandfather, a friend, and an overall caring man.

Frank was a conservative man, but always willing to share what he had. A lesson his children still recognize today. Frank will be remembered for his faith, his love of his family, his compassion for others, his dedication and hard work ethic, and his desire to make a difference in the life of others.

He is survived by his wife Nadene of 50 years, his children; Frank A. (Dena) Wolcott, Lisa Wolcott-Bentley, Matt (Paula) McClure and Jane (Tom) Tata, his grandchildren; Steven, Skyler, Jacob, Matthew, Rachael, Allie, and Carson, his great-grandchildren; Reid, Brooke, Perry and Madison, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister Nancy Barbersek. Frank will be deeply missed by family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, tithe to your local church in memory of Frank Wolcott. Online condolences may be shared at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com.


Gary "Doc" A. Crawford, age 73 of Byron, passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020 surrounded by his family. A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 am Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 700 E. Columbia Dr. Durand, Michigan 48429. A rosary will be prayed Tuesday at 9:30 am at the church prior to Mass. Burial will take place in Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly at 9:00 am Wednesday, August 5, 2020 with military honors.
 
Gary was born on December 16, 1946 in Saginaw to the late Frank and Norma (Block) Crawford. Gary earned varsity letters in football, track, baseball and basketball as a high school athlete. He began working at Grand Trunk in Durand soon after his graduation from Byron High School in 1965. In April of 1966, he joined the Navy and was sent to Great Lakes for recruit training. Gary remained at Great Lakes after boot camp, attended Corps school, and worked with Navy recruits until his assignment to Field Med School at Camp Lejeune. In June, 1967, Gary landed in DaNang and received orders for First Battalion, Twenty Sixth Marines (1/26) at Khe Sanh. While at Khe Sanh, Gary was wounded and received a purple heart. In July, 1968, Gary returned to Great Lakes where he worked as an occupational therapist with some men he had treated in Viet Nam. "Doc" also played football for the Marine team at Great Lakes before his discharge as an HM-3 (E-4) on January 5, 1970. Gary returned to work at Grand Trunk, when he was released from active duty. After 24 years with the railroad, Gary retired in August, 1988.

Gary enjoyed woodworking, hunting and following the Red Wings. In addition to his Marine Corps Lejeune membership, Gary was a life member of the Durand VFW Post 2272 and AmVets Post 2273 as well as the Owosso American Legion Post. Gary was active in the Durand Eagles and was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Durand.

Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lois Crawford; 3 children: Lance (Lisa) Crawford, Melanie (Bill) Boyd, Lori (Jamie) Ladd; 5 grandchildren; 3 siblings: Norma Mott, Dwight "Jocko" Crawford and Sharon Post.

Gary's family would like to give a special thank you to Nurse Lynn from Grace Hospice as well to Jocko Crawford, Pat Crawford, Jenny Weber, Ben Snook, Mike Fayfer and to all the other countless friends that have called and aided them during this time.

Memorial contributions given in Gary's name are suggested to the Durand VFW Post 2272. Online condolences may be shared with his family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Jerome Paul Gavin Sr., 82, of Owosso, passed away on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at his home. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 10:30am at St. Mary Catholic Church in Durand, 700 E. Columbia Dr. Durand, Michigan 48429. Fr. Bill Wegher will celebrate, the Rosary will be prayed at 9:45 at the church by Deacon Greg Middleton.

Jerry was born on June 19, 1938 in Buffalo, New York to the late Dean James and Mildred M. (Rathke) Gavin. He graduated High School in the class of 1957 and on November 6, 1957 he married his High School sweetheart Georgiana Marion in Albany, New York. Jerry and his family moved to California where he worked for General Motors Parts Department for 20 years he then transferred to Michigan and worked for General Motors in Swartz Creek until his retirement. Jerry enjoyed being outdoors; he enjoyed fishing, traveling the United States, riding his bike along the Pinellas Trail, and spending time with his family in the backyard.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Georgiana, their children; Theresa Wood, Sherry (Jim) Chronister, and Jerome Jr. (Kim) Gavin, his granddaughter; Leslie Ann Wood and his grandson, John Scott Wood, also his great-grandson, Ollie Wood. His brother, Dean R. (Rose) Gavin and his sister, Christine (Tom) Kaye.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and infant daughter, Margaret Mary.


Marjorie Lillian (Coakes) Strauch, age 93 of Durand passed away Saturday, July 25, 2020. Per her wish’s cremation has taken place and a gathering will be announced at a later date by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Interment will take place at Greenwood Cemetery, Vernon MI.

Marjorie was born March 4, 1927 in Owosso to the late Roy Robert and Florence Adeline (Spivey) Coakes. She graduated from Owosso High School and went on to attend both Michigan State University and University of Michigan, studying Radiography. She married John William Strauch on August 10, 1963 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Owosso. She always maintained a strong work ethic holding various positions throughout her life, as a church secretary at Redeemer Lutheran, as a manager for Chippewa Hills Golf Course, and as a Dental Assistant for Dr. Parks for many years. Marjorie was a faithful member of Salem Lutheran Church in Owosso, always active in the church’s offerings. She enjoyed the friendships she made over the years while participating in both golfing and bowling leagues and had a passion for quilting. Her greatest joy came from those around her, especially her growing family.

Marjorie is survived by her son; John R. (Jennifer) Strauch, her daughter; Martha (Steve) Mackie, her stepdaughter; Christine Gehring, her stepson Philip (Pam) Strauch, her stepdaughter-in-law; Judie Strauch, her daughter-in-law; Diane Richmond, her 17 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by both of her parents, her husband; John, her son Richard, her stepson; Randel, her step son-in-law John, her sister Mary Conrad and brother Keith Coakes.

Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75231-4596 or by visiting heart.org or the American Cancer Society, 1755 Abbey Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823 or by visiting cancer.org. Online condolences may be shared at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com.


Joe (Maurice) Newman, age 65 passed away Thursday July 23, 2020 at Owosso Memorial Healthcare Hospital. Per his wishes cremation has taken place.

Joe was born June 4, 1955 to Maurice and Marilyn Newman. Joe was a graduate from Swartz Creek High School. He was a retired machinist from GM. Joe enjoyed many hobbies in life like hunting, fishing, woodworking and most of all riding his Harley with good friends.

He is survived by his sisters Teresa Ackerman, Vicki (Jeff) Tullar and Cindy McLean. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Maurice and Marilyn, brother Randy and sister Sue.

Due to the current situation with Covid, the family will hold a memorial celebrating Joe's life at a later date. Family and friends will be notified.

The family is being served by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

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