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Bill Laverne Newman

Bill Laverne Newman
/ Categories: Obituary

Bill Laverne Newman

December 23, 2017

Service Details

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until time of funeral service beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 29, 2017 at Hohner Funeral Home with Chaplain Norm Stutesman of the American Legion Post # 170 officiating.

Interment will be held at Riverside Cemetery with military honors.


Obituary Notice
  Bill Laverne Newman, age 88, of Three Rivers passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, December 23, 2017 at Grace Healthcare.  He was born in Three Rivers, MI on July 22, 1929 the son of Frank and Gladys (Holmes) Newman.

Bill was a lifelong resident of Three Rivers.  Bill graduated from Three Rivers High School and enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps where he served his country honorably for eight years in active duty and reserves.  Upon his honorable discharge he drove truck for two years and went to work for Elkhart Brass in Elkhart, IN.  There he worked as a machinist and went on to become a plant foreman until his retirement after forty three years of service.  On April 13, 1978 he was united in marriage to Carol A. Sanders in Cadillac, MI. 

He was an avid and life member of the National Rifle Association. He participated in the National Matches in Ohio every summer where he won many medals and trophies for his skill.  In 1996 he was the first American citizen to win the Corporation of the City of London 1000 yard rifle match. He was also a life member  and commander of the American Legion Post # 170, D.A.V in Elkhart, V.F.W. of Three Rivers, and Marine Corps of St. Joseph County Detachment 1401.  Bill was active in the Three Rivers Eagles, Moose Lodge, and Three Rivers Elks.  He was always busy assisting veterans and honoring his duties in the community.   He also enjoyed hunting deer every winter in Wyoming. 

Bill was preceded in passing by his parents, one son, and one sister.

He leaves to cherish his loving memory, wife of thirty nine years, Carol A. Newman of Three Rivers; daughters, Paula Noble of Texas and Romayne D. Dray of Florida; son, Bill Newman, Jr. of Elkhart; eight step children; brother, Fred (Carol) Newman of Traverse City, MI;  many grandchildren and great grandchildren, along with beloved Houston and Cory that Bill and Carol helped raise.





Memorial donations may be directed to Marine Corps Detachment 1401, American Legion Post # 170, or The Newman Family c/o of Carol Newman.  Envelopes available at the funeral home.




James “Jim” Lemuel Bippus of Three Rivers, 85, passed away in his home surrounded by family on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Jim had recently been admitted to Borgess Hospital due to complications related to kidney dialysis. When treatments became unsuccessful he determined he would leave this world on his own terms and in his own way. He was an ordinary man that lived an extraordinary life.

Jim was born in Bucyrus, Ohio on September 14, 1932, the youngest child of the late James and Blanch Bippus. When he was seven, his father died and Jim and his five sisters were then raised alone by Blanch, a resilient and strong woman who devoted her life to serving in the Salvation Army.

Jim enlisted into the United States Army. During his service, he earned The National Service Defense Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Army in September of 1955.

Jim attended Ohio State University taking advantage of the G.I. Bill and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. During a six month internship at Essex Wire in Fort Wayne, Jim met and fell in love with Vera H. Mohre; they married in 1958. Jim became employed full time at Essex and took a transfer to Three Rivers, with Vera, and his now six children in tow.

The Essex position didn’t work out the way Jim had imagined, so he quit. After a few months of soul searching he saw the for rent sign in the closed Standard Service Station on Michigan Avenue. So Jim took the test to become a certified mechanic and passed it easily with no formal training. He and Vera opened the station and people started coming.

In 1987 he purchased what would become the Bippus Shell Station on the corner of 131 and Michigan Avenue. Many in the community came to know him for his trustworthy service in auto repair. But more than that, people admired the Bippus family: Vera at the cash register and their children pumping gas, helping to fix cars, or doing inventory on New Year’s Day. In 1997 the station was renovated and instead of offering car repair, now had a restaurant called Vera’s, another sign of Jim’s great love for his wife. Over the years Jim’s business became a cornerstone of the community: a place people met for coffee or lunch and were greeted with warmth and hospitality.

In 2012 Jim and Vera were voted Three River’s Citizens of the Year by the Lion’s Club for their many contributions to the town. Jim made doughnuts on Sunday mornings for the Immaculate Conception Church, read to children at Andrews School, mentored a young student, participated in the County Infrastructure Committee, collected turtles for the Lion’s Club Turtle Derby, and taught auto shop to adults. With his snow plow he kept the Immaculate Conception Church and the Lion’s Club parking lot plowed for free, and also routinely plowed out driveways for others.

Jim was a great lover of classical music. He enjoyed reading books by Thomas Clancy, John Grisham, and James Patterson. He also was a great fan of The Wall Street Journal. Jim loved to play cards and was part of a monthly poker group that met for over 30 years. He and Vera also played in a weekly bridge group for about the same number of years. Equally remarkable, Jim and Vera hosted weekly Sunday dinners for family members and anyone else that wanted to stop by. New people in town were warmly welcomed to the table.

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6 comments on article "Bill Laverne Newman"

Dee Dray

While saying goodbye to you is one of the hardest things I have had to do Dad, I find some comfort in knowing you no longer have to suffer and that you are again with Grandma and Grandpa. I love you!


Waneta Truckey

Bill will be remembered for that continuous smile and gentle way. He, Joe, and the rest of the group spent many years in the green bus hunting and enjoying the outdoors. I have to imagine he, Joe, Chuck, Bob, Bill, and all those who have gone before him having a great time in heaven. RIP.

Kent Roach

Bill was a mentor to many rifle shooters and a welcome sight every summer at Camp Perry. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Robert Steketee

Bill was a pillar to the Michigan rifle teams !

He never seemed to tire of helping anyone who needed it. Bill has left great memories with many people and shooters.

Paula Noble

This was a tough visit Dad, but l’m thankful you no longer have to struggle to breath. Say hi to grandma and grandpa for me. I love you Dad!! 😘

Earl liebetrau

There will be something missing at the national championships in the year s to.come long live the memory of BILL

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