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Archived Flag Flying Tributes

Archived Flag Flying Tributes are organized alphabetically by recipient's last name. Month and year of the tribute can be found at the bottom of each page. Information was current at the time of the tribute.

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3rd Class Petty Officer

Richard Barber

Richard was born in Detroit, MI on December 4, 1949 to Edward and Ruth Barber. A graduate of Plymouth High School Class of 1968, he soon joined the United States Navy where he served his country as a Radioman 3rd Class Petty Officer from 1969 to 1973. During his time in the military, Richard served in Viet Nam and was part of the ‘Brown Water Navy’ whose job it was to patrol the rivers and also pick up any South Vietnamese survivors. The ‘Brown Water Navy’ utilized Swift Boats (also known as PCF = Patrol Craft Fast) and also PBR’s (Patrol Boat River). Richard was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia at Little Creek Naval Base after Viet Nam.

Richard was united in marriage with Virginia (Burgie) Barber on March 2, 1974 and they celebrated 43 years of marriage. He attended college at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University. He was employed as a Finance Officer with Kalamazoo County Family Court for 26 ½ years and retired in 2003. He was a life member of the V.F.W., Disabled American Veterans and annual member of the American Legion. He enjoyed golfing and spending time with his three grandchildren. He is survived by his loving wife Virginia “Ginnie” Barber; his daughter, Cynthia (Jerry) Dennany; grandchildren, Evelyn, Lazarus and Gabriel; his sisters Dianne Barber, Margaret Carter, Gayle Nelson; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Alecia Barber.

 Mr. Barber was laid to rest in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI with full military honors.

Mr. Barber was honored the month of October 2018.

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Quartermaster 3 

 Robert A. “Bob” Baugher

Bob was born in Kalamazoo on September 13, 1931, the son of the late Al and Alice (Flick) Baugher. Bob graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1949. Bob served in the United States Navy during the Korean War, where he completed four tours in Korea from January 3, 1951 until October of 1954. Bob’s most significant duty was aboard the USS H. W. Tucker. In 1955, Bob married Myra Long and they enjoyed 62 years of marriage. Myra joined Bob in eternal rest December 27, 2018. Three children survive, Teri Charlton of Lawrence, Michael Baugher of Lawrence and Bruce (Karen) Baugher of Paw Paw; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Bob was employed by National Water Lift for fourteen years and retired from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department after 20 years of service.

Bob was lain to rest with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.

Mr. Baugher was honored the month of April 2019.

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Staff Sergeant

Elmer Bonselaar

Mr. Bonselaar was born July 7, 1925, in Holland, MI the son of Henry and Ada (Boeve) Bonselaar and came to Kalamazoo in 1935. He served with the U.S. Army during WWII in France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe and was awarded the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in Action when he voluntarily participated in a reconnaissance patrol into enemy lines. Mr. Bonselaar was also the recipient of 2 Bronze Battle Stars and a Purple Heart Medal. He resided in Bay City, MI from 1947-51, then returned to Kalamazoo where he was employed by Langeland Chapels until 1961. He was then employed as service manager by Art Post American Motors and later by Dick Loehr Auto Sales until his retirement. Mr. Bonselaar was a member of Southern Heights Christian Reformed Church where he served as Deacon. He also taught Sunday School for many years in Alamo Avenue Christian Reformed Church. On February 27, 1947, he was married to Virginia R. Langeland, who survives. Also surviving are three daughters, one son and spouses and their children, Kathleen and David Durian (Vicky, Bob, Steve), David and Carol Bonselaar (David, Lynne, Kristine), all of Portage; Nancy Lemmen Bonselaar (Michelle, Michael, Matthew) of Kalamazoo, and Ellen “Cricket” Hensley (Brock, Trey) of Portage; at the time of Elmer’s passing he was survived by one brother and three sisters and spouses, Julius and Cora Bonselaar of Kalamazoo, Wilma and John Bultje of Parchment, Josephine and John Razenberg of Kalamazoo, Hester and John Koning of Portage; his mother in law, Mrs. Laurine Langeland of Kalamazoo.

Mr. Bonselaar was laid to rest with full military honors in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.

Mr. Bonselaar was honored the month of January 2019.

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Dale M. Brock

Dale was born November 24, 1931 in Kalamazoo to the late Troy and Bernice (Crowe) Brock. He was united in marriage to Gail Pratt on January 28, 1956. Dale was a lifelong member of Kalamazoo Free Methodist Church. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from November of 1951 until 1954. Dale traveled the world while in the Marines. He was a top gunner, but after being asked to train in radio, he spent much of the war time on a Korean hill in a radio van. This change kept him safe, as none of the other gunners came home. Dale led a life full of faith, love, and adventure. He worked in the paper industry for over 40 years, eventually becoming superintendent, and spent two years in the African nation of Rwanda in the mission field with Gail and their young children. He helped build a hospital while Gail taught the children of the community at Happy Hill School. He was a true handyman who was always willing to lend his time and talents to helping others with construction projects. In fact, he built the family home. Hunting (bagging many deer), fishing, trapping, and watching his beloved Pistons and Tigers were some of Dale’s favorite hobbies, especially when done with family and friends. He was an avid sports enthusiast who over the years never missed an opportunity to watch his grandchildren play. Dale’s legacy will live on through loved ones and all the lives he impacted. Dale is survived by his wife, Gail Brock; children, Cameron (Dawn) Brock and Renae (Jim) Baumgart; 7 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; sister, Belva (Dan) Carr; and many nieces and nephews. Dale was preceded in death by a son, Brent Brock; siblings, Allen (Carol) Brock, Wilma (Syd) Hale and David (Dolly) Brock.

Dale was buried with full military honors in East Cooper Township Cemetery.

Mr. Brock was honored the month of May 2018.

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Airman First Class

Jeff Burkey

Jeff was born November 10, 1941 in Kalamazoo to the late Boyd and Theda (Finzer) Burkey. A graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School class of 1959, he later served in the U.S. Air Force at the Grand Forks Air Force Base as an aircraft mechanic until honorably discharged in September 1966. Jeff was employed at the Upjohn Company for 30 years. In 1986 he received the W. E. Upjohn Award as acknowledgement by both his customers and area engineers for his performance as a pipefitter. Jeff invested much energy towards the well-being of others, especially his family, and was always ready to help a friend or neighbor.

Surviving Jeff are his wife, MerriKay Oleen-Burkey; his children, Joel (Deborah) Burkey and David (Julie) Burkey and their mother Sally (Michael) Pickens; 5 grandchildren, Cole, Raeann, Madeline, Joseph, and Samuel; brother, Kim (Leilani) Burkey; niece, Brett (Nicholas) Toman; godson, Jeff Anderson; and other relatives and friends. Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Boyd and Theda Burkey, and his in-laws, Stet and Jo Catton, and Walt and Virginia Oleen.

Jeff was laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.

Jeff was honored the month of January 2020.

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Airman Second Class

Burt “Bud” Preston

Cilley, Jr.

Bud was born October 30, 1931 in Vicksburg, MI, the son of Burt and Geraldine (Hopkins) Cilley. Bud was a veteran of the United States Air Force serving from 1950-1954 during the Korean Conflict. While in the service, Mr. Cilley and his family were stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, where Mr. Cilley used Morse Code to communicate weather reconnaissance information to pilots. He was President and owner of Lake Street Lumber Company. Bud was a member of the Second Christian Reformed Church. He served as elder and deacon at Grace and Heritage Christian Reformed Churches. He also served on the board of Park Village Pines, Kalamazoo Christian High School, Home Builders Association, Credit Managers Association, and Lake Alfred Ministries (Florida), and was a Westwood Little League baseball manager. Surviving are his wife of 65 years: Ruth (Dyksterhouse) Cilley; three children: Kenneth (Ann) Cilley, Karen (Joe) VandenAkker and Kimberly (Robert) Haveman; 14 grandchildren: Rachel (Alec) Kyser, Lydia (Kris Hammond) Cilley, Benjamin Cilley, Sarah (Erik) Furdero, Abigale Cilley, Rebekah VandenAkker, Daniel (Katie) VandenAkker, Julia VandenAkker, Anna (Andrew) Steendam, Leah (Brett) Krosschell, Nicole (Sean Kidd) Wright, Nathan Haveman, Katie (Luke) Zwart and Stacie (Ryan) Strayhorn; 13 great-grandchildren: Jessica, Autumn, Landon, James, Emersyn, Lillian, Arie, Lyla, Madelynn, Charleigh, Avis, Ember, and Adeline; a brother-in-law: Wesley Hauschildt; and several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents and sister: Carla Hauschildt.

Mr. Cilley was laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.

Mr. Colley was honored the month of September 2019.

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Seaman First Class

Eileene A. Cordell

Private First Class

Alfred Truman “Jack” Cordell

Eileene was born on October 4, 1923 in Detroit, MI, the daughter of Willard and Adele (Rohrig) Thompson. She graduated high school then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving her country as a Seaman First Class (WAVE) stationed at the US Naval Barracks at Washington, D.C.

Eileene’s passions were baking for her family and enjoying her grandchildren. She also enjoyed traveling extensively with her daughter, watching football, NASCAR, golf and the Olympics.

Ms. Cordell was laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI

Jack was born December 18, 1924 in Washington to James D. and Edna (Gray) Cordell. A proud veteran, he served in the U.S. Army during WWII, stationed with the 3rd Division E-Company. Mr. Cordell survived the ally landing at Anzio, which he never spoke of in the years following the war.

Jack was a union sheet metal worker for over 32 years before retiring. He was a proud member with the Local 360 and Local 105, and a past officer with the AFL-CIO.

Mr. Cordell was laid to rest in a private cemetery in Redlands, CA.

Mr. and Mrs. Cordel were honored the month of June 2018.

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Burl Andrew Davidson, Sr.

Burl Andrew Davidson, Sr. was born in Texas Township, MI on July 27, 1929 to Frederick and Trena (Blue) Davidson. Burl graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School. He vigilantly served his country, as a military policeman stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, during the Korean War. After the war, Burl worked as a repair technician at Moore TV for over 40 years before he retired. He did not enjoy retirement, so he went to work part time as a delivery man for a local printing company for many years. He enjoyed getting out and meeting people. Burl’s whole life was spent in Kalamazoo, except during his military duty. He loved having his family over especially the grand and great-grand-children. Burl always made time for his hobbies which included restoring antique cars especially his 1937 Ford Pickup. He also enjoyed renewing his friendships at his army reunions in Wisconsin. Burl loved his family. He is survived by his two daughters Shirley (James) Davidson Fankhauser, Gail Davidson Moore; his daughter-in-law Kathleen Davidson; eight grandchildren William (Jen), Christopher, Hilary (James), Tammy (Tom), Robert (Ashley), Darcie (Jim), Kristine (Benjamin) and Burl “Andy” Davidson III; eight great-grandchildren William, Catherine, Genevieve, Jonathan, Austin, Grayson, Alan and Aria; a sister Florence Davidson Haney. Burl was preceded by his wife of 66 years, Mary Ellen (Vleugel) Davidson; his son Burl A. Davidson, Jr.; his parents Frederick and Trena; a brother Jack Davidson; and two sisters Naomi Davidson Ames and Jacqueline Davidson West.

Mr. Davidson was laid to rest at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan, with full military honors.

Mr. Davidson was honored the month of September 2018.

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Signalman Third Class

Robert J. Durian

Bob was called to his eternal home by his Lord and Savior on January 20, 2018. He was born January 4, 1926 in Kalamazoo, the son of Dirk and Tene (Tillema) Durian and was a lifelong Kalamazoo resident. Bob served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years during WWII as a signalman aboard the USS Garrard. The USS Garrard was an attack transport that served with the US Navy during WWII. She carried men, cargo, and mail to various fleets and eventually transported liberated prisoners back to the states. Prior to his retirement, he was employed as an electrician with Engbers Electric. Bob was an active member of both Milwood and Grace Christian Reformed Churches, where he served in many capacities including several terms on the church council. He also served on the boards of the Kalamazoo Christian Schools and Park Village Pines. Bob had a great love of music. He used his voice to sing praises in many settings, including 63 years with the Singing Crusaders. He was a member of the first varsity basketball team of Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1941, and remained a loyal Comet booster for over 75 years. Bob loved his family and was a devoted Christian. On June 19, 1944, he was united in marriage to Jeanette DeVries, the love of his life for 73 years, who preceded him in death on September 26, 2017. He was also preceded in death by his parents, by his beloved son Ken Durian, and brothers Matt, Rich and Bill. Bob is survived by his children, David (Kathy) and Barb (Marc); daughter-in-law Diane; six grandchildren, Vicky (Al), Bob (Karla), Steve (Tammy), Kristy (Jeff) and Susan (Kirk), Chad (Sheri); 14 precious great grandchildren; in-laws Gerrie Durian-Napp, Carol Visser, Joyce (Harold) Alphenaar; several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Durian was laid to rest with full military honors in Fort Custer National Cemetery,

Augusta, Michigan.

Mr. Durian was honored the month of December 2018.

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