OBITUARIES
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those that we've lost in our community.  We have a list of resources that may be able to help you during the grieving process.  They are posted in the right column of this page.

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Owen A. Rood Jr. age 94 of Swartz Creek, formerly of Durand passed away Monday, February 27, 2017 at his home. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Pastor Jim Martin will be officiating. Family will receive friends on Friday from 5-8 PM and one hour prior to the service.

Owen was born October 24, 1922 in Joliet, IL, a son of Owen and Euphemia (Ferguson) Rood. In 1937 His father bought him his first printing press. He graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. On November 3, 1942 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated USMC, OSC and ROS Quantico, VA, Second Lieutenant. He served in the Pacific Area, World War II, First Marine Division, Seventh Marine Regiment, First Battalion, Baker Co. Third Rifle Platoon Leader Okinawa and North China June 1, 1945 - April 6, 1946. Relieved from active duty June 18, 1946. He was promoted to First Lieutenant July 8, 1947. He was ordered back to active duty during the Korean War November 7, 1950. Promoted to Commanding Officer in August of 1951. Relieved from active duty May 1, 1952. Discharged from the military in May of 1957. Owen bought the Durand Express in July, 1952 after being released from active duty. He sold it in 1988 and retired to Zephyrhills, FL. In July, 1992 he returned to ownership of the Durand Express and Shiawassee County Journal in Perry. In December, 1997 he sold publications to the Argus Press. He married Inez Packard-Rood in 2003.

Owen was a active member of the Michigan Press Association from 1952-1997, he served on the Board of Michigan Weekly Newspapers Inc. for 29 years. 4 years as President. He was a life member 3DX, Professional Journalism Society. He was past President and honorary life member of the Durand Area Chamber of Commerce, life member of Reed-Raymond Post 2272 VFW, life member of North Newburg Masonic Lodge 161 and member and past President of the Durand Rotary Club.

Owen is survived by his wife, Inez Packard-Rood; son, Dale (Karen) Rood; daughter, Janice (Kent) Van Kleeck; grandchildren, Steven (Christy) Rood, Dustin Van Kleeck, Gena (Phillip) Durrett and Kristin (Van Kleeck) Guildford; great grandchildren, Ian Durrett, Thomas, Bryson and Cameron Rood, and Clark and Casson Guildford; also several step-children and step-grandchildren.

Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Lawrence J. Curey, age 65 of Bancroft passed away Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Memorial Health Care Center in Owosso.

A memorial celebration will be held on Sunday March 12, 2017 at his home from 2-6 p.m.  His family is being served by Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel.

Lawrence was born on February 17, 1952 in Flint, the son of Ernest Sr. and Mae (Williams) Curey.  On September 17, 1977 he married Jackie Conklin in Fenton, MI.  Lawrence was a truck driver where he hauled cars.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jackie, two brothers, Ernest Jr. and Dennis(Cheryl) Curey, sisters, Diana Michael, Karen (Marvin) Martin and Ellen (Jim Carter) Curey, many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by sisters, Doris Lannigan and Brenda Curey.  Memorial contributions are suggested to A.S.P.C.A.
On-line condolences can be made to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Betty L. Jones, age 90 of Durand passed away Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Genesys Health Park in Grand Blanc.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel with Pastor Rick Story officiating.  Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon.  Family will receive friends on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Betty  was born on October 23, 1926 in Bell Oak, MI, the daughter of L.B. and Vera B. (Rosser) Chase.  She was a graduate of Webberville High School and married Basil Jones on August 10, 1946 in Durand and he predeceased her in 2014.  She was retired as a EMT for DVA Ambulance for  32 years.  Betty was a member of First Methodist Church, Citizen of the year in 1992 in Durand and EMT of the year for the State of Michigan in 2000.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Diane Reeves and son, Gary (Lynette) Jones, grandchildren, Keith Jones, Shane (Amy) Jones, Nicholas (Nicole) Jones and Blake Jones, ten great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, sister, Kathleen Stewart, brothers, James and Robert Chase and sister-in-law, Geraldine Jones.  She was predeceased by brothers, Arthur and Richard and sister, Dorothy and granddaughter, Misty Reeves.  Memorial contributions are suggested to; Shiawassee Harvest Church.  On-line condolences can be made to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Bobbi Jo Perry age 40 of Durand passed away suddenly on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. A gathering of friends will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 1-4 PM at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Bobbi was born September 24, 1976 in Owosso. She is survived by her mother, Patti Perry; brothers, Mathew (Amy), Michael (Felicia) and Nicholas (Danielle) Perry; nieces, Kylie, Alyssa and MaKayla; and nephew, Cole. She is preceded in death by her father, Charles.

Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Katrina M. Petty age 51 of Durand passed away Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at Memorial Healthcare Center in Owosso. Funeral services will be 4:00 PM Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Byron Baptist Church. Pastor Gary Barber will be officiating. Family will receive friends from 1:00 PM until the time of the service. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Irene Stiles, age 90, of Durand, died Wednesday, February 8, 2017. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, February 11, 2017 10:30 AM at St. Mary Catholic Church 700 E. Columbia Dr. Durand, MI. Services will be officiated by Fr. Jonathan Perrotta with Interment following at Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon. Family will receive friends at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes in Durand on Friday February 10th from 2PM-4PM and again from 6PM-8PM with a 7PM Rosary.

Irene was born to Joseph and Rose Svajlenka on March 6, 1926. She worked for A.C. Sparkplug for 38 years retiring in 1993. Irene was a member of St Mary’s Catholic Church and Altar Society.

She is survived by her sons: Gary and Brian of Durand; her grandchildren: Andy, Ashley, Stacy (Adam), Nicole, Brian II(Lisa); great grandchildren: Cole, Cadence, Corbin, Iam; her two sisters Rose Chalk and Marguerite Tony. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years Harold Stiles Jr.

Memorial Contributions suggested to St. Mary’s Catholic Church. On-line condolences can be sent to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Betty May Murray, age 88 of Durand, formally of Flint, passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the Argentine Care Center.  Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 11am at the Durand Congregational Church, Pastor Steve Wood will officiate with burial to follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon.  The family will receive friends at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, on Monday, February 13, 2017 from 6pm-8pm and again on Tuesday from 10am-2pm.

Betty was born may 8, 1928 in Durand, Michigan to the late Henry Ralph and Fernande Pasquline (Augizeau) Liestenfeltz.  She graduated from Dye High School in Flint in 1946 and on January 11, 1947 she married Richard "Dick" Murray in Durand.  Betty spent her career in automotive manufacturing, she worked 19 years for the Smelzer Corporation, 9 years for Electrical Mechanical, and was in housekeeping at Durand Senior care for 2 years.  Betty enjoyed anything to do with nature, especially bird watching, gardening, and flowers.  Betty was a long standing member of the Durand Congregational Church, she served on various church boards, church social projects, and sang in the choir, she was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary #2772 for 51 years. 

Mrs. Murray is survived by her six children; Diane Brown, Michael (Janet) Murray, Alan (Belinda) Murray, Mark (Julie) Murray, Timothy (Jeanette) Murray, and Patrick (Kimberley) Murray.  She also leaves to cherish her memory, 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.  

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Richard, her brother Chester Liestenfeltz, sisters, Audry and Blenna, and her son in-law James Brown.

Memorial contributions in Betty's name are suggested to Loaves and Fishes or the RAVE Center in Owosso.


Rose M. McLaughlin age 87 of Durand passed away Monday, February 6, 2017 at Memorial Healthcare Center of Owosso. Funeral service will be 11:00 AM Monday, February 13, 2017 at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Pastor John Walworth will be officiating. Family will receive friends on Sunday, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM and one hour prior to the service.

Rose was born September 20, 1929 in Ferris Township, MI a daughter of Clyde and Elizabeth (Stoeckle) Sigourney. On April 28, 1956 she married William McLaughlin. She enjoys playing B.I.N.G.O., solitaire, walking, traveling, church and hosting family gatherings.  She was a member of Topps and The First Congregational Church in Durand.

Rose is survived by her husband, William McLaughlin; children, Marion Booth and Tamhra McLaughlin; grandchildren, Joseph Holloway, Cassandra Huffman and Cole Huffman; great grandchildren, Jordon Holloway, Mason Luchenbill and Jakob Patierno; and brother, Rick Sigourney. She is preceded in death by both of her parents; 4 brothers; 3 sisters; and great grandson, Joseph Holloway II.



Roger Roy Bannister, age 74 of Perry, passed away at his home on Monday, January 31, 2017.  A memorial service to honor Roger's life will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1pm, at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.  The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 11am until the time of the service.


Christina A. Welch, age 60 of Durand, passed away Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at her home.

Cremation has taken place and no services are planned. Arrangements were handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel. Christina was born on November 5, 1956 in Flint, the daughter of Jack and Joan (Molina) Blair.  She worked as a waitress for many places in Genesee County.

She is survived by her daughter, Joanie (Micheal) Lawrence and son, Michael Welch, grandchildren, Allyssa and Talan and sister, Becky.  She was predeceased by sisters, Debra and Tammy and niece, Amanda.  On-line condolences can be sent to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Joyce M. Baker age 90 of Durand, passed away Saturday, January 21, 2017 at The Lodges of Durand. There are no services at this time. Cremation has taken place. Arrangements are being handled by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.

Joyce was born July 31, 1926 in Lansing, MI a daughter of Clyde and Florence (Grindling) Nelson. On September 22, 1945 she married Herbert Baker. Joyce enjoyed quilt making, choir, study club at the Bancroft Congregational Church, going to Florida, doing puzzles and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Joyce is survived by her husband, Herbert Baker; children, Dawn Bentley, Rod (Lori) Baker, Ron (Loraine) Baker, Bob (Cindy) Baker and Roger Karen Baker; 8 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; and brother, Richard (Janet) Nelson. She was preceded in death by both of her parents; grandson, Steven Bentley; and brother, Marvin Nelson.

Memorial Contributions in Joyce's name are suggested to the Bancroft Congregational Church or the American Alzheimer's Association.


Joseph Andrew Coady, age 80, of Durand, died January 5, 2017. There will be no services. Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes have been entrusted with the arrangements.
Online condolences can be sent to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


James R. Langdon, 79 of Durand passed away Thursday, January 5, 2017 at Durand Senior Care and Rehab. Cremation has taken place and there will be no services at this time. The family is being served by Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel.


Jennie P. DeNolf age 92 of Durand passed away Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at her home. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 AM Monday, January 9, 2017 at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Richard Groshek will be officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon.  The family will receive friends on Sunday, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. A Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 PM.

Jennie was born January 10, 1924 in Durand, MI a daughter of Remi and Marie (DeKoninck) DeNolf. She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, she loved gardening, reading and animals.

She is survived by good friend, Gary Stiles.

Memorial Contributions in Jennie's name are suggested to St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Shiawassee Humane Scociety or Union Station. Online condolences may be sent at www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Charles Emmett Wiseley Jr., age 69 of Gaines, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.  Cremation has taken place and a memorial service to honor and celebrate Charles's life will be announced in the spring. 

Charles was born on March 21, 1947 in Durand, Michigan to the late Charles Emmett and Ina Mattie (Whitehead) Wiseley.  On October 8, 1977 he married Darlene Marie Willis at the Durand United Methodist Church.  Charles spent 28 years at General Motors as an engine tester before his retirement.  He enjoyed traveling whether it be by car, boat, motorcycle, or snowmobile.  He enjoyed time spent at the cabin in Gaylord, and most of all, any time spent with his family. 

Charles is survived by his wife of 39 years, Darlene, his children; Charles (Dawn) Wiseley, Dawn (David) Schuetz, Jeffery (DeeAnn) Wiseley, Jeffrey (Bobbie Jo) Gipson, Tina (Wyatt) Beach, and Tiffanie (Dan) Witherell.  His sisters; Roann (Louie) Warner, Linda Patsey, and his only brother Butch (Marion) Wiseley. 

He was predeceased by both of his parents. 

Memorial contributions in Mr. Wiseley's name are suggested to a charity of your choice.

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


Michael J. Pavich, 93 of Perry,  passed away on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at Hospice House of Shiawassee County.  A memorial service will be held at Perry United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM.  Interment will follow at Fremont Cemetery in Bancroft.  Pastor Nancy Powers will officiate.  The family will receive friends at the church 1 hour before the service.

Michael was born in Flint, MI on November 20, 1923, the son of Marko & Ellen (Lybci) Pavich.  He graduated from Brand Blanc High School and on August 21, 1954 he married Julia Anna Szakal in Bancroft, MI.  Michael was a member of the Perry United Methodist Church and enjoyed his time on the computer.  He worked as a tractor trailer hauler for 30 years and then a real estate agent in the industrial and commercial fields.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Julia, sons Richard Michael (Debbie) Pavich of Montgomery, NY and Mark Andrew (Melissa) Pavich of Pensacola, FL, 6 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren.  He was predeceased by his daughter, Pauline O'Brien and his sister Mary Grossmayer.  Memorials are suggested to Perry United Methodist Church or Hospice House of Shiawassee County.  Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Wilbur (Abe) George Reimel, 97 of Durand, passed away on Saturday, December 31, 2016.  Funeral services will be held at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home in Durand on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 1:00 PM.  Pastor Todd Evans will officiate with burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon.  The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service.

Abe was born in Lennon, MI on August 17, 1919, the son of William & Dorothy (Nelson) Reimel.   On October 5, 1940 he married Helen Reynolds in Durand, MI and this past October celebrated 76 years of marriage together.  Abe served his country in the Navy from 1944-46.  He attended Bancroft Congregational Church, was a member of Durand Masonic Lodge, and enjoyed painting and woodworking in his leisure.  He worked for over 30 years for Simplicity in Durand as a welder and supervisor before his retirement.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, 4 daughters; Judy (Gerald) Viener of Byron, Becky (Steve) Durling of Bancroft, Sue (Ron) Tomalia of Owosso, and Martha (Bill) Gillett of New Lothrop, 12 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren with twins on the way, 3 sisters; Gloria Harding of Lennon, Eileen (Ron) Hawley of Swartz Creek, and Peg Abrams of Swartz Creek, 2 sisters-in-law; Norma Reimel & Glenda Reimel, nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his brothers, Jerry and Nelson and granddaughter Susan Durling.  Memorials are suggested to the Bancroft Congregational Church.  Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com


Robert Wayne Bell, age 82 of Durand, passed away on Friday, December 23, 2016 at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 11am at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel, Rev. Fr. Jonathan Perrotta will celebrate with burial to follow in Great Lakes National Cemetery, on Friday, December 30, 2016 at 10am.  The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 3-7pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. 

Robert was born on August 6, 1934 in Canton, Missouri to the late Frank and Pearl (Alford) Bell.  He served his country faithfully in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged on July 5, 1951.  On July 15, 1989 he married Diana (Anderson) Padgett.  Bob was a building contractor and built several homes, he was also the owner of Bob Bell Home Repair and Remodeling.  Bob was a member of the Durand Eagles where he served as trustee for two years and also the Durand Moose Lodge.  Bob enjoyed shooting pool, bowling, golfing and going to watch his grandchildren's school activities. 

Mr. Bell is survived by his beloved wife, Diana, his son, Robert Jr. (Glenda) Bell, his daughters; Lisa, Cindy, and Serena, step-children; Krystal (Duane) Kuran, John A. Padgett and David (Brendi) Padgett, 13 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, 5 great-grandsons, and 1 great granddaughter.  

He was predeceased by parents, his first wife, Marilyn Jo McDaniel, 3 brothers and 2 sisters.

Memorial donations in Robert's name are suggested to his family.


Mary A. Soldan, age 79 of Durand passed away Thursday, December 22, 2016 at her home.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home, Durand Chapel with Pastor John Walworth officiating.  Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon.  Family will receive friends on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mary was born on December 14, 1937 in Durand, the daughter of Clifford and Anna (Fladinsky) Riddle.  She attended Durand High School and later received her G.E.D.
On October 25, 1988 she married Lloyd Soldan in Durand and he predeceased her in 2012.  Mary was a homemaker.

She is survived by five children; Cheryl (Ward) Simpson, Beth (Michael) Soldan, Scott Fox, Rick Fox and Brian Fox, many grandchildren and many great grandchildren, step children; Evelyn (Rex Rose) Fox, Phillip Soldan, Katherine (Bruce) Case and Kimberly (Lloyd) Bates and one sister Sharon Yerian.  She was predeceased by her daughter Robin Herrick, great granddaughter Morgan Fields, sister; Pat Gunsel and  step- children;; Edward, Brenda and Floyd Soldan.  Memorials are suggested to the family.  On-line condolences can be made to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com