Our Beloved Friends and Relatives


Eagle & Flag Eagle & Flag

In our minds and hearts always...

Wayne Barnett

Wayne John Barnett

Died Nov. 6, 1995

Wayne John Barnett, 66, passed from Our ranks on Monday, November 6, 1995, at Memorial Medical Center in Ludington, Mich., following an extended illness. He was born Dec.

19, 1928, the son of B.F. Barnett and Catherine (VandenHeuvel) Barnett, grew up and attended school in Carr Settlement and Muskegon. He was married May 2, 1953, in

Ludington, to Winnie Dains. Wayne served in The U.S. Navy, then worked for C&O carferries. He then joined the Merchant Marines, and served on various vessels on The Great

Lakes, Mississippi River, and the oceans. He retired as a Chief Engineer, in 1989. His affiliations included: St. Mary's Catholic Church, Custer, Mich.; Scottville Masonic Lodge –

Free and Accepted Masons No. 445; Volunteer at White Pine Village, Ludington, Mi.; and Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery. We said goodbye to Him with his Family, at St.

Simon Catholic Church in Ludington, Mich., and performed a Taps ceremony at his Interment at Lakeview Cemetery.


Grace Radina

Died June 22, 1999


Grace Radina has gone for her walk in the garden of our Lord, Tuesday,   June 22, 1999.  Whe was born January 21, 1914 in Arbela Township, the daughter of Michael and Katherine Amend.  Grace was a

member of Faith Ev. Lutheran Church.  She was active in the Women of the Church and taught Sunday School for many years.  She loved reading the bible, gardening and most of all cooking.  She leaves a

daughter, a son and their spouses.  Nathalie and Darrell Dixon, of Saginaw, Robert Radina of Hemlock; four grandchildren, eight great grandchildren.  Two sister, Anna Ludecke, Livonia; Katerine Janson, Richville;

two brothers and their spouses, Michael and Pauline Amend, Caro; Conrad and Emma Amend , Akron; many nieces, nephews and friends.  Grace was predeceased aby three brother Anthony, Paul, and Frank

Amend.  She raised her children witkh love and led them into the way of the Lord.


Donald R. Pomeroy
Died Jan. 12, 2000

Donald R. Pomeroy, 74, passed away Jan. 12, 2000. He was born March 5, 1926, in Greenville, and was a retired rural letter carrier in Byron Center, Mi. Mr. Pomeroy graduated in the last class of Maple Valley High School, in 1943 , and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, in the Pacific Theater.

Donald Pomeroy

Evelyn Fitch Keefe

Evelyn Fitch Keefe
 Died Feb. 13, 2000

    Direct quote from Stephen DelSignore, President of Living History Association: The "Grandmother" of the LHA, Evelyn Fitch Keefe, died on February 13, 2000, at 

 Brattleboro Hospital in her beloved state of Vermont. Her life spanned 93 remarkable years. In the early years, way before the electronic age, Evelyn was singularly responsible

 for typing  membership cards and certificates for all its members. Evelyn celebrated her 90th birthday in grand style. at the LHA museum, she was offered a chance to fire a 12pd. 

 Napoleon cannon, which had been named after her many years before. Her 90th birthday blast resonated up the mountainside and, to everyone's surprise, shattered a window on

 the museum! On March 26th, a standing room only crowd paid tribute to Evelyn at the Wilmington Congregational Church.


Dennis G. Kelly
Died May 22nd, 2001
2 Lt. Dennis G. Kelly, organizer and commander of Mulligan's Battery (Co. L, 1st Illinois Lt. Art.), passed on May 22nd, 2001, from spinal cancer at age 47. He was an active member of Chicago Light Artillery, and worked tirelessly, honoring Union veterans and preserving and perpetuating the memory of the GAR in Illinois. A light rain fell as friends and family gathered at Wheaton Cemetery for his internment. A piper played, recalling Dennis' pride in his Irish heritage. A bugle sounded Taps, and the Chicago Light Artillery fired a final salute. And we bade farewell to this tireless soul...this example of selfless service....this good friend...gone from our ranks, but forever in our hearts.

Dennis kelly

Mrs. Heuvelhorst

Mrs. Heuvelhorst
- Died Aug. 19, 2001
On August 19, 2001, Pvt. Lloyd Hevelhorst's Mother was called Home. A gentle soul, a gentle life.




TOTAL: 2996

Innocent Lives –


Died Sept. 11, 2001 and days after September 11, 2001.


Due to a cowardly act, by worthless creatures of hate, ignorance, and fear, the World, and Our Country lost as of yet unknown numbers of good people - Fathers, Sons, Brothers, Uncles, Mothers, Sisters, Aunts, and more. Let us ALWAYS remember them - and vow to NEVER let it happen again.

Rest in Peace.

September 9/11


John Patrick Downey III
Died Oct. 2, 2001
TRAVERSE CITY - John Patrick Downey III went home to be with his Savior on Tuesday, October 2, 2001. John was born April 4, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Southfield, and was a graduate of Southfield High School. John then graduated from the University of Michigan in 1964 with a B.A. in secondary education. He served in the U.S. Army as a Spec 5 from 1969 through 1971. On June 1, 1974, John married Debra K. McKenzie at the Oakland Avenue United Presbyterian Church in Pontiac, Michigan. They were blessed with a daughter, Wendy Kay, on May 13, 1976. John moved his family to Traverse City in June of 1983 so he could attend the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. He graduated from the Cadet program in 1986. Upon graduation, he received several special awards, such as the Maritime Academy Cadet of the Year, and Deck Cadet of the Year. John was employed as a Permanent Second Mate with the Great Lakes Fleet of U.S. Steel Corporation. He spent his service on the 1000 ft. iron ore freighters Edgar B. Speer and Edwin H. Gott. John obtained his masters license for piloting in 1997. Some of the things John enjoyed most were snorkeling, Civil War history, visiting lighthouses and playing hockey. He was a dedicated Red Wings fan, and he waited 30 years for them to win the Stanley Cup. Since 1984, John was a regular attendee of East Bay Calvary Church. He was a loving husband and father. He was a very generous, unselfish person who enjoyed his family and friends. He was known by his dry sense of humor and practical jokes. John is survived by his wife of 27 years, Debra K. (McKenzie) Downey of Traverse City and his daughter, Wendy Kay Downey of Traverse City. Also surviving are his mother, Barbara M. (BeDell) Downey of Torch Lake; sister Patricia E. (Downey) Brummett and her husband Allen of Medford, Oregon; mother-in-law Wanda L. McKenzie of Lapeer; and sister-in-law Diana L. (McKenzie) Bailey and her husband James of Ortonville; three nieces, three nephews, and a great-niece. Preceding John in death were his father, John P. Downey II, on March 11, 1991, and his father-in-law, Kenneth D. McKenzie on August 8, 1996. Visitation will be on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes. A Celebration of John's Life will be held at East Bay Calvary Church, 2368 Holiday Road, Traverse City, on Friday, October 5, at 11 a.m., with Dr. Kendale D. Dennis officiating. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to East Bay Calvary Church.


Patricia Clark

Patricia Ann Clark
   Died July 15, 2002

   Patricia Ann Clark was a happy go lucky woman who took family seriously but had fun on all of her adventures. She was born on August 17, 1928, in Kalamazoo to Harold & Prudie (Grimes) Cleveland. Pat grew up in the Kalamazoo area, attending Kalamazoo Central High School and graduating in 1946.

On a trip to the Silver Star Roller Rink with her friends, Pat set out to meet the cutest guy at the rink, Harry Clark. They started dating even

  though she said the relationship would never last. Despite her thoughts, their love grew and they were married on October 5, 1946. Pat worked for 18 years at MESC and the Department of Social Services, until her retirement in   1991. For a while she was a supervisor and then became an interviewer for the department. She was a lifelong member of the Westwood Church of God. Working in the community was important to Pat, as she volunteered for

  March of Dimes, Cancer Crusades, and the Epilepsy Foundation. Pat enjoyed many things in life including fishing, knitting and crocheting. She loved to watch bull riding and golf on TV, often yelling out advice to the professional golfers. Her thirst for knowledge and entertainment led her to reading every book in sight. Her favorites were   history and murder mystery books. At the age of 40, while still working full time, Pat went back to school and

  received her degree from KVCC with honors. She enjoyed taking trips with Harry, it did not matter the mode of   transportation or the destination. Often they went on short trips to have picnics. However, they also took long trips across the country to places including New England, for Pat to find her favorite food, seafood. Her motto when on vacation was, “I’m on vacation, let me have fun.” While in Vegas Pat won big, but she turned around and spent the

  money because she still wanted to have fun while she was there, she did not want to save it all. Pat was known for how much she spoiled her children and grandchildren. No one in her family ever questioned how much she cared   for them because she was always showing them her love. Her family includes her husband of 55 years Harry, her children: John & Kris Clark of Sherwood, Dawn & Larry Meyers of Kalamazoo, Timothy & Lori Clark of

  Ellensburg, WA, Alice Comai of Gobles, Robert Clark of Kalamazoo, and Michael Clark of Kalamazoo; siblings: Jack & Joyce Cleveland of Kalamazoo, Marjorie Sheppard of Kalamazoo, and Norma & Roger Bos of Pentwater; 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and dear friend Janis Clark. Pat died at home with her loving family at   her side on July 15, 2002.



Albina Lindsey
Died June 14, 2003

Burton, Michigan - Private Jim Lindsey's grandmother, Albina Lindsey, age 93, died Saturday, June 14, 2003 at her residence. She was born on July 1, 1909 (as far as anyone knows), married Jesse (Jack) Lindsey on April 14, 1928, and he preceded her in death on January 19, 1989. She is survived by four children, 13 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her grandson, Jerry Smith, great-grandson T.J. Noyce, and several brothers and sisters.


Albina Lindsey


LaVern D. ‘Peewee’ LeClair
Died Aug. 16, 2003

LaVern D. LeClair, 73, of Ludington, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Aug. 16 after a brief illness. LaVern David was born July 16, 1930 to Alex and Fay LeClair. He grew up in Ludington where he attended school, graduating from Ludington High School with the class of 1948. He was married on Dec. 20, 1980 in Ludington to Wanda Smogoleski and she survives. Peewee retired from the Ludington School District as a bus driver and custodian after more than 20 years of service. He was honorably discharged in 1951 from the U.S. Army, having been stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. He was well known to all and will be remembered for his active role with Battery D., Church’s Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery, as a Civil War reenactor. He participated and appeared in the movie “Gettysburg.” He was a past president of the Eagles and of the drill team. Many will remember him from the local Buttersville campground and the Ludington State Park. Peewee had many hobbies including Civil War reenactment and 36 years on the “chain gang” for the Ludington Junior and Senior High Football Association. He was selected for the 1997 National All Star College Football Game. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and traveling. He was an avid bowler and loved woodworking. Peewee was a great friend to many and loved life. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Wanda LeClair and their children David (Debbie) Smogoleski of Milwaukee, Tina (Ron) Maddox of Texas, Julie Hannah of Ludington, Tim (Carrie) Smogoleski of Ludington, Randy (Kris) LeClair of Ludington and Nancy Smogoleski, U.S. Navy, Virginia Beach, Va. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, his sister Geneva Larabee of Muskegon, his brother Russell (Eunice) LeClair of Sturgis, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, Wayne and Bruce LeClair; his brother Leonard LeClair, brother-in-law Chuck Larabee and stepson Walter Smogoleski. The funeral for LaVern D. LeClair will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 at the Dorrell Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Gary Miller officiating. Interment will follow in Lakeview Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday, Aug. 19 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Dorrell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PeeWee LeClair
June Newkirk

June Newkirk
Died Feb. 3, 2007

rubies... strength and honour are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come. ...Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." These words, from Proverb 31, are but a glimpse into the spirit that was June Newkirk. As a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, June used her days to bless the lives of those around her. June's love of learning spread to her own children as well. Because of her, they are all involved in education, as are many of her grandchildren. Her love of reading and knowledge of the area prompted her to write a book about the history of Scottville, entitled "Back Home With Ruth". Lyana June Newkirk was preceded in death by her parents, her brother David Reinoehl, and her grandson Benjamin David Kelly. She will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by her husband O'Neil James "Boots" Newkirk, her children O'Neil James (Connie) Newkirk Jr. of Scottville, William David (Paula) Newkirk of Sanford, Susan Marie (Bruce) Kelly of Stoney Lake, and Cynthia June (Marc) Yenkel of Clare, 9 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, her sister Susan (Lee) Zajic of Lady Lake, Florida, her sister-in-law Marie (Harry) Michaels of Big Rapids, her brother-in-law Richard George (Peg) Crandall of Vacaville, California, and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life service will be held for June at 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 8 at the Scottville United Methodist Church with Rev. Robert Jones, and Rev. Merritt Bongard officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Custer. Friends may meet with her family for a time of visitation on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Scottville United Methodist Church, or to the Boots and June Newkirk Family Scholarship at Mason County Central Schools. Please visit Lyana's personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a favorite memory, upload a photo, or sign the online guest book. Funeral arrangements are being cared for by the Wyman Funeral & Cremation Services - Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville.




Mary June Duncan
  Died Apr. 27, 2007

     Age 62, of Goodrich, formerly of Lapeer and Hadley, died Friday, April 27, 2007. Services 2PM Monday, April 30, 2007 at Muir Brothers Funeral Home, Lapeer,   

  Pastor Bob Service officiating. Burial in Green Corners Cemetery, Hadley. Visitation 2-4 and 5-8PM Sunday, April 29, 2007. Mary June graduated from Lapeer High 

  School, class of 1962. She married Roger Duncan on March 19, 1966 at the Bethel Methodist Church in Columbiaville, MI. She was a valued employee for twenty

  years at the Davison Country Club. Mary was a member of the Goodrich United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Battery "D" 1st Michigan Light

  Artillery, Civil War Reenactors. Surviving: husband, Roger Duncan of Goodrich; children, Colleen (Jim) Lindsey of Indianapolis, Carrie Thomas of Whitehall, MI and 

  Corinna Duncan of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Noah, Hannah, Mary-Ashtyn, Jamie; mother, Laura (Norman Bowers) Pierson of Hale; siblings, Edwin (Enid) Pierson

  of Clinton Township, Loretta (Lee) Miller of Davison, Roger Pierson of San Francisco, Carolyn (Dan) Miller of Mesa, AZ; special brother-in-law, Max Duncan of

  Lapeer; special friends, Trina Serra of Goodrich, Joanne Minto of Davison and many other friends. Preceded in death by her father, Roderick Pierson. Memorials may

  be made to an Educational Fund set up for the grandchildren.


Mary June Duncan


Lester “Lee” Fay, Sr.

Died Oct.5, 2007
  Lester "Lee" Fay Sr., 69, of Battle Creek, passed away Friday, October 5, 2007 at Lifespan Good Samaritan Hospice Residence. He was born on September 23, 1938 in Lansing, MI to Lester C. and Barbara J. (Bush) Fay.  Lester graduated in 1957 from JW Sexton High School in Lansing. He was employed by Abrams Aerial Survey for 34 years until he retired. Lester had also worked for Diamond Reo in Lansing and Northern Aerial Survey in Hastings.  Lester married Dianne M. Platte on July 5, 1969 in Marian, MI; she survives.  Also surviving are daughters, Kari (Paul) Bennett, of Appling, GA, Dana (Walt) Yearly, of Columbiaville, MI; sons, Richard (Karen) Fay, Steve Fay Jonette Gardner, both of Battle Creek, Barry Fay, Lester II "Chip" (Sally) Fay, both of Hastings, Paul (Valerie) Fay, of Middleville; 18 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Charles (Josephine) Fay, of Holt, Nancy (Gary) Penrose, of Perrinton, MI, Robert (Margaret) Smith, of Okemos, Dianne (Tom) Blessing, of St. Johns, MI, Debi Smith, of Okemos, Caroline Fillwock, of Houghton Lake, JoAnn (Richard) Kezal, of Ruby, MI, Marlene (Monty) Thocker, Jack (Linda) Tarbell, Bob (Dorothy) Tarbell; brother-in-law, Dennis (Janet Rich-Platte) Platte, of Ypsilanti; and stepmother, Edna Fay.  Lester was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and he was a 4th degree, Knights of Columbus. He was a member of Okemos Boy Scouts Council, and had been a volunteer at a Georgia State Park. He enjoyed woodworking and Civil War reenacting (Battery D 1st. MI Light Artillery).  Family will receive friends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home where a Rosary will be held at 7 p.m.  A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Fr. Joseph Xavier officiating. Burial of ashes will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Deepdale Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Lansing.  Memorial contributions may be given to Lifespan Good Samaritan Hospice or "In the Spirit of Community" Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools.


Barbara Mae Downey

Died Nov. 9, 2007

Barbara Mae Downey,  84, of Torch Lake, passed away Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in Traverse City.  Visitation will be on Monday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.  A funeral service will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m., at East Bay Calvary Church, with visitation one hour prior. A full obituary will be in Sunday's edition of the Record-Eagle. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Traverse City Chapel of Covell Funeral Homes. Published in the Record-Eagle on 11/10/2007.


John Heuvelhorst


John G. Heuvelhorst


Died Sat., 26 Apr 2008, at 11pm

 John G. Heuvelhorst, passed away Sat., 26 Apr 2008, at 11pm, peacefully, no pain, just stopped breathing. He was a WW2 Navy veteran. He served in the Pacific Theatre, Chief Aviation Metalsmith, worked on Corsairs and PBYs.





O'Neil J. "Boots" Newkirk


Thursday, June 12, 1924 - Saturday, December 26, 2009




Boots Newkirk

There are some for whom it can be said that the world is a better place because they were in it. O’Neil James “Boots” Newkirk was such a man, touching the hearts of so many, whether as a teacher, a father and grandfather, or simply a mentor. Boots was a vivid storyteller who loved having one-on-one conversations, and telling stories to a group, bringing history to life and sharing lessons learned. His favorite quote came from the character Davy Crockett played by John Wayne in The Alamo, “There’s right and there’s wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you’re living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you’re dead as a beaver hat.” This was more than just a treasured quote to Boots, as it was in many ways his life’s motto. The “Roaring Twenties” were a time unlike any other in our nation’s history. It was in 1924 that The Teapot Dome Scandal was disclosed to the American public, and also the year in which two American aircraft returned from the first 175 day ‘round-the-world flight. On June 12th of that same year Wilfred James and Frances Ida (O’Neil) Newkirk welcomed the birth of their son, O’Neil James. O’Neil was born in Rogers Heights, Michigan, in Mecosta County where his father worked as an operator of Rogers Dam on the Muskegon River. The oldest of four children, he was nicknamed “Boots” when he was only four years old. O’Neil’s Aunt Guyrah Newkirk, a well-known artist living in New York and Arizona at the time, had sent him a pair of cowboy boots that truly caught his fancy. Although they were much too big, he put them on his feet, clomped around the house mightily, and rarely took those boots off. Tragedy struck early in Boots’s young life with the death of his father, who drowned in an accident while fishing in the Muskegon River near the Tippy Dam when Boots was just four. A short two years later, their family suffered another devastating blow with the death of his younger brother, Billy. In many other ways, Boots was a typical young boy, enjoying fishing on the Muskegon River and getting into his fair share of mischief in his hometown of Stanwood, especially around Halloween. During these formative years, he spent a lot of treasured time at his Grandma Newkirk’s. His mother remarried in 1937, to a gentleman named George Crandall and he and Boots enjoyed a close relationship. After Boots graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1941, he enlisted in the Air Force and served aboard a B-29 Bomber, at times stationed in Saipan, Guam, and Tinian, China. He was particularly fond of his time in Tinian where he served as the crew chief of his plane and was well respected by the pilot and crew. This time in the service had a great impact on his life moving forward. Among many serious reflections, one of the reminders of his service time was his desire to never eat rice again! Once he was discharged from the Air Force, Boots returned to the Stanwood area where he met a young girl named Lyana June Reinoehl. She was an elementary school teacher, and they were introduced by one of her students at a local roller rink. June was immediately captivated by his wonderful eyes and truth be told, Boots was a bit smitten too. After dating for a time, Boots and June were married on June 2, 1946 at the Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren in Custer, which began a new chapter in a love story that would span more than 60 years. As a new husband Boots needed to establish a career in which he could support a family. They moved to Mt. Pleasant where he enrolled at Central Michigan University and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Physical Education and Social Studies. His family grew to include four children: O’Neil James, Jr., William David, Susan Marie, and Cynthia June. Boots began his teaching career at Mason County Eastern High School in Custer. The next year he joined the staff at Mason County Central High School in Scottville where he taught history, economics, government, and driver’s education. Boots also served as a student council advisor and coached many teams including football, basketball, and baseball at various times throughout his career. He truly enjoyed sharing Michigan history with his students, and was a master at intriguing his students as he brought the subject matter to life. Boots taught his students by telling stories and sharing both life lessons and experiences. His students also quickly learned that if they wanted to avoid taking a test on any given day, they needed to get Mr. Newkirk discussing anything relating to politics and that discussion would occupy the entire class period. He rarely missed a day of school and by the time he retired in 1986, his teaching career had significantly impacted countless students over a span of 37 years. Teaching was a major component in Boots’s life, but his heart truly beat for his family. He built their family home on US 10-31 with the help of his father-in-law. The Newkirk home was often the place to be, since their door was always open to welcome others. Whether it was prom night, sleepovers, or regular weekends, the living room floor was often covered with mattresses. Boots was a leader in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts while his children were involved, and coached his boys in basketball. His sons truly enjoyed their camping trips to the Sippy Ranch on Woodruff Lake at all times of the year. Since Boots worked nearly all year, vacations were rare. When they were able to get away, their trips included traveling around Lake Superior, fishing at Wawa, Canada, and a trip to Yellowstone National Park just after their youngest, Cindy, was born. Later in life Boots treasured holidays, and there were always big family gatherings for the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Boots was a highly intelligent man whose favorite subject was United States history. He loved sharing stories and revisiting history, especially the Civil War and WWII. Visits from former students and colleagues, not usually short visits, were a favorite past time. He liked to carry around a $50 bill so that when he paid for something, he could start a conversation by asking the cashier who was his or her favorite general, often using the picture of Grant on the bill as his lead-in to engage in a teachable moment. Boots became involved with the local chapter of the Civil War Re-enactment Regiment with his son Jim and his grandson Jimmy. This adventure began when he purchased a cannon with son Jim on December 1, 1979. As Jim became more and more involved in the national chapter, Boots and grandson Jimmy were able to spend time together as well. All three participated in the making of the movie Gettysburg. There were many things that made Boots an extraordinary man. Things were either right or wrong with him - there was no gray area. He was a man of strong moral convictions who paid close attention to the world in which he lived. As a history buff, Boots also was intrigued by politics. His daughter Cindy said, “Dad would have voted for Barry Goldwater every election if he could have.” One of Boots’s proudest moments was when his grandson Jimmy was elected to state office at the age of 18. Boots was always ready to help in any way that he could and never shied away from hard work. He always felt the need to be doing something useful and that sentiment extended to his children as well. In the Newkirk home Saturday mornings were not for sitting around indoors but for getting outside and doing something! Boots worked side by side with his sons who helped him with additions to their home over the years. He and June always made sure their children had whatever they needed, even if it meant going without for themselves. They always came through tough times but never let it show. Their children saw that when faced with a challenge, Boots and June simply overcame whatever obstacle faced them. Boots was fiercely loyal and proud of his entire family, especially of their education. Going to college was never a choice for his children; it was just something they were expected to do. Sixteen members of his family have chosen education fields for their careers and more are headed that direction. Because Boots lost his father at a very young age, he promoted a deep understanding of the fragility of life in his own family and fostered a profound appreciation for those relationships, always striving to enhance those close-knit bonds. He rarely missed any of his grandchildren’s events, often requiring long routes of travel that never slowed his commitment. Boots and his bride June shared an enduring love and genuinely enjoyed one another. Later in life, their backyard became the backdrop for leisurely picnics under the trees, including his favorite sandwich – peanut butter and lettuce – along with other family favorites. Throughout his life, faith was an important cornerstone to Boots. It served as the guide map he used to navigate his life’s journey. He and June were members of Scottville United Methodist Church where he held office and taught Sunday school. They remained active members until health issues limited their involvement. It was also his faith that sustained him when his beloved June died on February 3, 2007. Boots Newkirk was a man of great character, treasuring his family and his faith above all else. He was able to fully embrace one of life’s great truths: the quest is not so much in getting to where you are going, but more in the journey along the way. Boots treasured each and every moment he was given and in doing so, profoundly impacted the lives of others too numerous to count. He was proud of his time in the military and had a deep love for his country; he fully immersed himself in sharing his passion for learning with the many students who shared his classroom; he was truly devoted to his family and considered being a father and grandfather as his greatest blessing. Boots leaves behind an unmatched legacy of integrity, compassion, and quiet strength that will surely withstand the test of time. O’Neil James “Boots” Newkirk died on Saturday, December 26, 2009 at his home. Along with his wife June, he was preceded in death by his parents, beloved grandson Benjamin Kelly, and brother William. He will be greatly missed by his children O'Neil James (Connie) Newkirk Jr. of Scottville, William David (Paula) Newkirk of Sanford, Susan Marie (Bruce) Kelly of Stony Lake, and Cynthia June (Marc) Yenkel of Clare; 9 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; his sister Marie (Harry) Michaels of Big Rapids, his brother Richard (Peg) Crandall of Vacaville, California; his sister-in-law Susan (Lee) Zajic of Lady Lake, Florida, and many nieces and nephews.

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