Leo ‘Butch’ Kirsch Jr., of Niles

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sept. 11, 1945 — Dec. 6, 2015

Leo C. “Butch” Kirsch, Jr., 70, of Niles, formerly of Dowagiac, went to be with the Lord on Dec. 6, 2015 at his home. He was born Sept. 11, 1945, in Dowagiac to Leo and Gladys Kirsch. He attended Decatur Schools until entering the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and was honorably discharged.

Leo held many jobs. He retired from Tyler Refrigeration Niles in 2007, after 22 years. Butch was a Mechanical Magician. His greatest hobbies were cars, from restoration to just any kind of repair. He was your mechanic. His 1957 BelAire was his ‘pride and joy’. He also loved NASCAR. He was a long time member of Michiana Cruisers.

On July 19, 1969, he married Shirley Closson. They were married 29 years before divorcing, then reconciling after 10 years apart. They lived as best friends until his death.

Butch is survived by Shirley, his ex-wife and best friend, his daughter Becky (Rick) Wicks, stepdaughters Pam (Judy) Closson, Tammy Closson, all of Niles and stepson Steve Closson of Goshen. Granddaughters Baylee Closson of South Bend, Savannah and Payton Wicks of EauClaire, Michigan, his brother Fred (Marge) Kirsch of Dowagiac, sisters Cora Yokim and Lucille Schwerha of Elkhart and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves his loyal canine companion who remained at his side.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Leota Reed and nieces Donna Taylor and Phyllis Schwerha.

Family and friends may gather on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 from 6-8 PM at the Paul E. Mayhew Funeral Home, 26863 West Main St. (US-12), Edwardsburg. There will be a graveside Service of Remembrance on Friday at 11:00 AM in Wayne Township Cemetery, Dowagiac, where all are to meet. Officiating is Pastor Ron Smith. The United States Navy Honor Guard will play Taps and fold the American Flag. Cremation has taken place and he will be laid to rest with his Kirsch family.

Memorial donations may be directed to Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

Arrangements are by the Paul E. Mayhew Funeral, Edwardsburg, MI. 49112-0024