Cover photo for Juanita Brassell's Obituary
1938 Juanita 2024

Juanita Brassell

February 13, 1938 — June 14, 2024

Niles, Michigan

Juanita Juliaminna Brassell, age 86 years formerly of Olivet, Michigan; mother, grandmother, sister, Licensed Practical Nurse, gardener, and seamstress died peacefully at 1:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14, 2024 under the care of fellow LPNs and nurses at West Woods of Niles following a brief illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Caring Circle Hospice. 

She was born on February 13, 1938 in Lansing, Michigan to Ralph and Juanita (Johnson) Cortright, and graduated from Olivet High School. She continued her education at Lansing Community College; Lansing, Michigan, where she earned her certification as an LPN. She served as an LPN in several physicians offices, hospitals, and in a nursing home, and – most notably – an area hospice organization, which is the role in which she found the greatest satisfaction.

After retirement, she lived for a while in Bronson, Michigan, and then in Coldwater, Michigan before eventually moving to Niles.

Juanita was a member of the Lockwood Community Church in Coldwater. She maintained a wonderful vegetable garden, and when raising her family, she canned much of the produce from that garden, including one attempt at sauerkraut, which produced a fragrance in the house that she was unwilling to ever reproduce again. She was a proficient seamstress, tailoring clothing for her daughters when they were young. When she was young, she was raised on the family farm, participating in 4H, including showing cattle at the county fair.

She was sadly preceded in death by a daughter, Cheryl Hurst on September 2, 2022; and just a few months later, by a granddaughter, Trista Miller, on December 5, 2022. Juanita was also preceded in death by a granddaughter, Michelle Miller who was stillborn, by Juanita’s parents, and by her siblings, Mayn Cortright, Rosalie Schneider, and Ralph Cortright.

Surviving family includes her children, David Brassell, whereabouts unknown and Kris Miller of Niles; grandchildren Jessica Brassell, Joseph Brassell, Benjamin Hurst, Aimee (& James) Reilly, and Molly Miller; great-grandchildren, Isaac, Hunter, Tapaynga, Alexs, Chloe, Sylvia, and Eli; and Juanita’s brother, Cleo Cortright of Battle Creek, and many nieces and nephews.

A time to honor the life of Juanita Brassell and share memories of her life will be hosted by her family on Saturday, June 29, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge #2094, 34 Sycamore Street in Niles. Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences and memories may be left at:

Juanita lived a life of service, as a child helping on the family farm, as a young mother providing fresh produce and clothing for her children, and as an LPN, providing care to patients at every stage of life. But her greatest interest – and love – was reserved for her children, her grandchildren, and for all of those great-grands.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Juanita Brassell, please visit our flower store.


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