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Obituary for Beverly Gray, 77

Beverly J. Gray, 77, of Huntsville, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2024.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Beatrice and Sherman Chamberlain; a sister, Wanda Alverez; and a sister-in-law, Lucy Krause.

Leaving behind those that loved her dearly is her husband of 52 years, Bill Gray. Others include loving in-laws, Larry and Kathy Gray, Greg and Terri Gray, Debra Williamson, Janie Lawson, Larry Krause; and niece, Renee Peavler; along with other nieces and nephews.

Beverly was a long-time dedicated member of Huntsville Christian Church since 1970, serving in several capacities throughout her many years there. Her last joy of service, along with Bill, was as greeters, being the first smile people received when they entered church. Beverly became a Christian and was baptized in her teens at the Lincoln Baptist Church in Huntsville.

She graduated from Lee High school in 1964 and received her associate degree in Paralegal from Faulkner University. She had a long work history at GE, working on the Saturn space program and many other projects. She retired from Intergraph in 2017.

Her passion for reading often left the library shelves lacking offerings while she was busy learning new things.

Travel and adventure were an integral part of her life with Bill, as they not only traveled internationally, but spent many hours traveling and camping in their motorhome across the country. She was always up for challenges, loved ziplining, and took on a challenge to plow with a team of horses on an Amish farm in Illinois. She loved returning to their honeymoon location in Gatlinburg to celebrate their anniversary every 5 years and ride the sky lift together again.

Tractor shows and parades became another passion, as she proudly drove her John Deere 430 tractor through parades and tractor shows, which also enhanced their love of travel.

Their walking club, the Capital City Wanderers, was a constant highlight of their years as they not only made lifetime friends but created yet another passion for Beverly and Bill. While walking many designated club walks with their other members, they also struck out on their own and walked many cities along their travels.

In 2019, together they walked 21 state capitals and DC east of the Mississippi and followed up with 12 Midwest states capitals in 2021/2022 and fulfilled her lifetime dream of walking up the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota.

Beverly's quiet demeanor and smile will be missed by so many and has left a legacy of kindness and companionship.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Berryhill Funeral Home of Huntsville, with services held at the Huntsville Christian Church at 171 Indian Creek Rd NW, in Huntsville, with her minister, John Lancaster officiating.

Visitation beginning at 1pm with funeral services at 2pm on Sunday, January 14, 2024. Interment will follow the service at Huntsville Memory Gardens.

Nephews serving as Pallbearers are: Chris Gray, John Gray, Lee Krause, Loren Krause, David Lawson, Rob Peavler and Colby Williamson.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor to her favorite charity, St. Jude's Children Research Hospital is greatly appreciated. Donations can be made through: www.stjude.org.

Obituary for Steven Lewis Alkire, 69

Steven Lewis Alkire, 69, of Lexington, Missouri, passed away February 8, 2024, at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, after a six-month battle with cancer. A visitation will be held on Monday, February 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., and the funeral will be held on Tuesday, February 13, at 11 a.m. both at Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren in Warrensburg. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens.

Steven was born to Omar B. and Betty Lamb Alkire on October 28, 1954, at the Warrensburg Medical Center. He was married to Mary Kate McKean in Warrensburg on August 7, 1976.

Steven graduated from College High School in Warrensburg in 1972. He played football for the Colts and was active in FFA. He attended the University of Central Missouri before beginning a 40-year career in the construction field. He was a well-respected heavy equipment operator in the Kansas City area who was a member of Operating Engineers Local 101 and ended his career with Redford Construction.

After retirement in 2016, Steven enjoyed his farms, helping his friend Eddie Bracken with cattle, and working on tractors. He was an active tractor puller, winning many competitions, including the 2023 MSTPA in the 10500 Hot Stock Class. He won the Missouri State Fair pull several times.

Steven loved anything John Deere. Although Missouri was home, he enjoyed travel to the national parks of the West, Alaska and Las Vegas. He enjoyed watching the Lexington Minutemen, the Chiefs and Royals, college basketball and working at his son's high school academic competitions.

Steven was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Dennis Alkire. He is survived by wife Mary Kate and son Bryan, of the home; sister, Connie Unrein and husband Tim; brother, Ronnie Alkire and partner Terry; sisters-in-law Meryl Lin McKean and Lynn Alkire; niece Kimberly Stull, husband Ryan and son Reed; niece Kris Carlgren, husband Brett, children Tyler and Kyanne; nephew Deke Alkire, wife Sarah and daughters Audrey and Darcy, along with other family members and many friends. Steven's quiet strength, dedication and devotion will live on through them.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Lexington Hall of Fame for Career Achievement or Crest Ridge School Clothes Closet for student needs. Contributions may be left in care of the funeral home or mailed to Mary Kate Alkire.

Obituary for Steve Vander Ziel, 61

Steven Mark Vander Ziel, age 61 of Lowell, passed away Saturday, October 28, 2023. He was preceded in death by his father, Henry Vander Ziel. Steve is survived by his wife, Joan Vander Ziel; children, Amy (Foster) Hovey, Andy Vander Ziel, Melissa (Matt) Rozelle, Kelly (Alex) Repke, Kyle Vander Ziel; grandchildren, Noah Hovey, and Baby Rozelle; mother, Yvonne Vander Ziel; brother, Paul (Ann) Vander Ziel; and many nieces and nephews.

Our heavenly Father called Steve home unexpectedly on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Throughout his life, everything Steve did was from the ground up: the dairy farm, his house, pond, barn, tractors and businesses. Out of high school, he started a dairy farm with his parents and brother. Then, he worked on building a loving 35-year marriage and raising a family. He was proud of and cherished each of his unique 5 kids. In the family he had the mentality of "figure it out" - go drive that excavator or back up this trailer - because he knew we could do it; it came from a deep love of family and a desire for his kids to succeed in life. His engineering mind prompted many projects that brought the family together and which he used to teach many life lessons. In business, he believed in treating people how they would want to be treated - with integrity, honesty, and respect. He tried to be fair in business deals, one of his favorite sayings was, "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." Steve built a successful business from the ground up that has reached people all over the world. He served the Lowell community on the township board for many years. In his later years, he ventured first in John Deere tractors and then any brand as long as it was "pre-30". He lived by the mentality that if someone built it, he could fix it. That is exactly what he did; he brought home "tractors" in crates and after a while they would drive out of his barn under their own power. He created a tight knit community of tractor friends which he thoroughly enjoyed. Steve was always two feet in for all of life and his gas tank was always empty. He will be greatly missed by many.

For those who may not know, Steve was the namesake at Vander Ziel Machinery. He founded the company after buying a package of machinery for the farm. He kept a few items and sold the rest. He was a man who believed deeply in getting his hands dirty and leading by example, he built the business on the Christian values of honesty, integrity, and respect. Steve had a gift for planning not just to step two or three but usually to step ten or fifteen. Our family has surrounded his vision and have been involved in the business since the beginning. Still to this day the family is very involved in everyday operations.

As many may know, in his later years Steve used his engineering mind to restore old tractors, in his mind the older the better. He would reverse engineer parts even when he didn’t have the original. His ingenuity and ability to solve a problem brought Vander Ziel Machinery to where we are today.

Visitation will be held from 5-8pm on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at "The Barn" 12166 52nd St. Lowell, MI 49331. A portion of 52nd St will be closed for the visitation - proceed through the closure and park on the road. Funeral Services will be held at 11 am on Friday, November 3, 2023, at NorthPointe Christian Schools, 3101 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to NorthPointe Christian Schools (NPC Foundation in memory of Steve VanderZiel), 3101 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 or Lowell Township for the Parks (Steve VanderZiel Family Endowment Fund), 2910 Alden Nash SE, Lowell, MI 49331.

Obituary for Harlan Wilson, 63

Harlan B. Wilson, age 63 of Marengo passed away, surrounded by his family and friends, on Monday,

April 24, 2023, following a month-long illness.

Born on December 23, 1959, in Zanesville, he was the son of the late John M. Wilson and Gail (Hornbeck) Wilson who survives in Stockport, Ohio. Harlan graduated from Morgan High School in 1978.

He always considered Morgan County his home.

Harlan’s hard work ethic was instilled in him by his father. He was the proud owner of Wilson Tire of Marengo for over 36 years. He was one that always paid his own way, he often mentioned “when you get out of debt….life is easy”.

A tireless worker, he was a simple man, polite, and loyal. He possessed the largest of hearts, was very caring and a true gentle giant. One always knew where one stood with Harlan. He always followed through with his word and taught his family “your word is all that you have”.

An outdoorsman at heart, he was an avid hunter and hunted and fished all over North America. He treasured his time “goin’ down south” to his cabin, where there are walls full of trophy game, which attests to his love for the outdoors. He also enjoyed a passion for antique tractors and tractor shows often selling and trading tractors and parts. His love for John Deere tractors, especially the D models could not be rivaled and he was in the middle of restoring a favorite experimental D.

Harlan loved to mow and was meticulous about his yard. He took pride in keeping everything he owned looking nice. He was the first to lend a helping hand and generous to a fault. He was witty, was gifted in math, and also possessed a sharp memory. He was happiest when working and was proud of his work ethic, but prouder of his children and grandchildren. He met his love of his life, Pam, at The Junction restaurant in Johnsville, OH and married a year later. They enjoyed many travels together and had wonderful adventures.

In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his beloved wife of 36 years Pam (Harris); children: Rachel (Bart) Leist of Galena, OH, Shane (Maryfrances) Krauss of Pointe Vedra, FL, Brandi Engle of Lancaster, OH, Corey Krauss of Marengo, OH; grandchildren: Lauren, Evan, Samuel, Gracie, Annalyse, Harper; sister: Jean Goodnite of McConnelsville, OH, brothers: John (Kim) Wilson and Rusty (Amy) Wilson both of Stockport, OH; his beloved border collie, Chloe; as well as a host of friends who he considered family and “brothers”.

He was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law Max Goodnite.

Harlan is certainly one not to be forgotten, using his words “What it is ….is”.

Friends may call Saturday, April 29th from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 637 N. St. Rt. 61 at St. Rt. 3, Sunbury, Ohio 43074. On Sunday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m., Harlan’s celebration of life services will be held with Pastor Aaron Beacom officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions should be made to St. Jude Children Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Condolences may be expressed at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harlan, please visit our floral store.


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