Reta Lucile Sikkenga, of Dowagiac

Jan. 15, 1936 — May 9, 2018

Reta Lucile Sikkenga, 82, of Dowagiac, died peacefully at 2:08 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, with family present at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, following an extended illness. Her family is grateful for the compassionate and professional care provided by the staff of Borgess.

She was born on Jan. 15, 1936, at the former McLauchlin Funeral Home in Dowagiac to Glenn A. and Lucile D. (Lee) McLauchlin.

Reta Lucile Sikkenga

She was raised in the funeral home, was graduated from Dowagiac Union High School in 1954, and earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1958 from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She taught in several schools, including many years at Saint Patrick Catholic School in Bryan, Ohio.

Her life as a funeral director’s child gave her an appreciation for that vocation, and so she became a licensed funeral director, holding Ohio license #6547. She had assisted her first husband at the former Watts Funeral Home in Bryan and then was employed at the Krill Funeral Service of Bryan. She returned to Dowagiac in 2010.

She was currently a member of the First United Methodist Church in Dowagiac, and had been a longtime member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Bryan. She was formerly a member of the Business and Professional Women, the Order of the Eastern Star, and had been active in local and state education associations. She loved kids, enjoyed teaching, and even tutored students in reading and math.

Even more than teaching, Reta loved music, beginning at Dowagiac schools, playing the flute and piccolo.

During high school, she attended the Summer Arts Camp at the Interlochen (Michigan) Center for the Arts as a student and later returned as an instructor. While teaching general studies in local classrooms, she would volunteer to provide piano accompaniment for the school’s music programs, and she also served as a guest organist in local churches.

More than funeral service, teaching, and music, she loved her family.

She was first married to Jack F. Watts, and later married to Richard L. Snivley.

On Nov. 24, 2007, in Bryan she married Raymond R. Sikkenga who survives.

Also surviving are Reta’s children, Jon (Dawn) Watts of Bradenton, Florida, Jacqueline (Philip) Weaver of Whitehouse, Ohio, Patricia Watts of Belleair, Florida, and Paul (Caroline) Watts of Angola, Indiana; grandchildren Logan Watts, Sam Watts, Wade (Miranda) Weaver, Weston Weaver, Bailey Schreimann, Marena (Michael) Crouch, Ian Watts, Thor Watts, and Raven Watts, and a great-grandson, Bridger Crouch; Richard’s son, James (Roberta) Snivley and family; Ray’s children, David (Sheri) Sikkenga, Steven (Lisa) Sikkenga, and Paul (Terri) Sikkenga; and grandchildren Stephanie, Danny, Matthew, and triplets, Katelynn, Ryan, and Tyler; and Reta’s sister, Glenna (Kenneth) Webster of Tucson, Arizona and her children, Erich Avery and Krista Avery.

The funeral service for Reta Sikkenga will be at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church, 326 North Lowe Street, Dowagiac with Pastor Jodi Cartwright of the church officiating. Committal services will follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Monday at the church from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Contributions in memory of Reta may be made to the music ministry of the First United Methodist Church fumcdow.com/; or the music ministry of the Wesley United Methodist Church, 903 Center St., Bryan, Ohio 43506; http://bryanwesleyumc.org/. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles, Michigan. Online condolences may be left at: halbritterwickens.com

Buchanan

Buchanan celebrates ‘Nicest Place in America’ honor Saturday

Dowagiac

Honor Credit Union gives back

News

MDHHS issues Emergency Order updating requirements for residential care facilities to allow for indoor visitation

Breaking News

Saturday morning shooting causes property damage in downtown Niles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Municipal Airport hangar project progresses

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD participates in teletherapy case study

Berrien County

Halloween activities coming to southwest Michigan

Buchanan

Districts grapple with school bus driver shortage

Cass County

Dowagiac man headed to prison on three counts of domestic violence

Cass County

Cass County’s 43rd Circuit Court awarded grant

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township seeks input on parks plan

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary hosts Army National Guard

Berrien County

Brandywine Middle/High School to go remote Oct. 23 to 30

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 152,862 cases, 7,129 deaths

Cass County

Cass District Library to host annual book sale

Cass County

Missing dog found shot, family grieving after five day search

Dowagiac

Honor Credit Union donates to annual Tree of Love campaign

Berrien County

Spectrum Health reinforces commitment to equity

News

Candidates for 78th district seat participate in community forum

Berrien County

Berrien County Trial Court receives continued funding

Business

Niles businesses collaborate to sweeten their offerings

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report one new COVID-19 death each

Cass County

Overdose fatality linked to ‘purple heroin’ in Van Buren County

Buchanan

Three new projects on the horizon for Buchanan