Selma Dorothy Easton, age 96 years, mother, grandmother, neighbor, and Elmer’s wife died peacefully at 8:20 a.m. on Monday, December 2, 2019 at Riveridge Manor in Niles, Michigan following an extended illness.
She was born on October 3, 1923 in Muskegon, Michigan to Joseph H. and Lily M. (VanAmburg) Douglas and came to Niles as a young child with her family. She graduated from Niles High School, and has lived in the Barron Lake community for most of her life. She was first employed for a few years at the former Niles retail store of Montgomery Ward, and then for several years in the offices of the National-Standard Corporation, but for most of her life she was the co-owner of Elmer’s Locksmith Service. While her husband, with his outgoing personality – and white canvas sailor hat – was around the community servicing locksets, she was at home, answering the telephone, scheduling appointments, and keeping the books. She continued in her supporting role as their son Randy became the new owner-operator.
She was a member of Saint John’s United Church of Christ in Niles, and the former Howard Township Home Study, and the former Barron Lake Mother’s Club. Back in the days of the annual Eastside Park Ice Rink, everyone knew that Selma would provide a five-gallon kettle of hot chocolate in “the shanty” warming shed. Above all of those activities, she was a full-time homemaker, raising – successfully – five children, and cooking in a manner that pleased them all and any visitor. She also had the housekeeping skills to make the leftovers from a single turkey last for a week’s worth of interesting meals.
On August 12, 1945 in Niles she married the afore mentioned Elmer Ellsworth Easton who preceded her in death on August 4, 1990, sadly just days short of celebrating their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. She was also preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings, Waneta Long, Almarion Boulton, Joseph Douglas, Jr., George Andrews, and Albert Andrews.
Surviving family includes her children, Cathy (& Scott) VanDenBerg Marsh, Amy (& James) Beaird, Ron (& Carole) Easton, John “Rusty” Easton, and Randy (& Kristi) Easton, all of Niles; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Selma Easton will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, with the Rev. Raymond Fulbright of Saint John’s Church officiating. Committal services will follow at Mission Hills.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday at the funeral home beginning at 10:00 a.m. Contributions in memory of Selma may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at:
Selma was clearly proud to be Elmer’s wife, was proud of her children, and loved by her grandchildren. Their successes owed much to both the example and results her hard work, self- discipline, great laugh, and loving care.
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