Frannie Stites, of Sister Lakes

Frannie B. Stites, 71, of Sister Lakes, passed away peacefully at home in the presence of her loving husband on Aug. 28, 2021. Cremation has taken place and a life of memories gather will be held sometime in the future.

She leaves behind her husband and soulmate of 49 years, Denny, along with her brother, Frank (Nancy) Randall; sisters, Jan Kirby and Debbie (Joe) Chapa.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Jeanne Wendt and their parents, Frank and Norma Randall. She leaves behind her daughter, Lori (Troy) Chollar; and granddaughters, Kelli Chollar (Neil) Wilcoxson, Caylie Chollar and Ashley Chollar; nieces and nephews, Erika (Jason) Fallin, Orion and Maddie, Jennifer Kirby and Chris Courter, Kat Kirby (Matt) Suwak, Megan Wendt (Tony) Verplancke, Coraline, Cullen and Quinn Verplancke, Randy (Jackie) Wendt, Audrey and Bodhi Wendt, Katie Chapa (Like) Lilevjen, Ellie, Clarence, Ezra and Titus Lilvjen, Joe (Megan) Chapa, Orya and Joey Chapa, Frankie (Kori) Chapa, Deacon Chapa and Becky Chapa.

Frannie was well known in Dowagiac as an Avon lady of 35 years (the one who delivered order by bicycle, motorcycle, unicycle, skis, on foot, roller blades or sometimes even by car).

She also taught ballet, tap, and jazz for several years for Miss Cheri’s School of Dance and for UpStage & Company. She led aerobics classes for many more years for Michigan Aathletic and Aerobics Club and for Cass County Council on Aging. She  was helpful in getting COA’s front Street Crossing aerobics program up and running, and the studio there bears her name on a plaque on the wall.

Frannie was a singer/songwriter performing along with husband Denny at many venues in and around Dowagiac, Sister Lakes and St. Joseph, as the duo “Cool Change.” She also performed with the Champagne Flutes, Wildwood Flowers and sometimes as a solo artist.

Known for her good humor and dedication to any job she held, Frannie always gave everything her best effort. She will be missed by many.

Memorials may be made to Multiple Myeloma Foundation, Cass County COA, Marie Yeager Cancer Center in St. Joseph, or charity of choice.

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Education

New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Berrien County

MGCF awards $121,182 in grants to Berrien, Cass counties

Berrien County

Berrien County reports lower COVID-19 cases in schools following mask mandate

Berrien County

Berrien County amends transportation funding requests

Cassopolis

Dowagiac man found guilty of drunk driving

Cass County

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County wins Michigan Humanities Council 2021 Outstanding Humanities Organization Award

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 17-22

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Log: Sept. 13-20

Business

Boutique yoga, wellness studio opens in Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department hosts educational event in recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Business

Apple Festival Grande Parade is back, looking for participants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 995,910 cases, 20,700 deaths

Education

Parents protest masks at Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting