Leo C. ‘Butch’ Kirsch

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sept. 11, 1945 — Dec. 6, 2015

Leo C. “Butch” Kirsch, 70 years old 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 US Navy at the age of seventeen, 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 hobby was cars, from restoration to just any 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. He is also survived by grandchildren, Baylee Davis of Niles, Savannah and Peyton Wicks of EauClaire, Michigan, stepgrandchildren Zach and Samantha Closson of South Bend, his brother Fred (Marge) Kirsch of Dowagiac, sisters Cora Yokim and Lucille Schwerha of Elkhart, as well as many nieces and nephews. He also leaves his loyal canine companion, Betsy, who remained by 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 p.m. 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 a.m. in the Wayne Township Cemetery, Dowagiac, where all are to meet. Officiating will be 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 the 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 Home, Edwardsburg, MI 49112-0024.