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Cleo Minnis

January 2, 1917 - November 24, 2008
Fulton, MI

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Visitations


Friday, November 28, 2008
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions
Web Site

Friday, November 28, 2008
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions
Web Site

Services


Saturday, November 29, 2008
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Wakeshma Community Church
16732 East UV Avenue
Fulton, MI 49052

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Rosewood Flowers & Gifts
118 South Main St.
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(877) 649-1685
Map
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Print

Cleo Minnis was a woman who saw every day as a gift, a day to live to its fullest, to laugh, and to love those around her. She was a delightful optimist who not only saw the silver lining in every situation, but tried to brighten the darker days of others around her. Cleo was a cherished sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother who embraced the life she lived each and every day.

As the end of the 1910’s was approaching, the face of America was changing; there was an escalation in various social problems like immigration and poverty, women had finally gained the right to vote, and America was first being viewed as a world leader. Leroy and Mary (Bunting) Homan, of Hesperia, Michigan were also preparing their three children for a big change in their family landscape as Mary was due to give birth to a baby at any time. They were thrilled to welcome a baby girl just as the new year began on January 2, 1917 whom they named Cleo. There would be eight children that would join the Homan family after Cleo which gave her the opportunity to nurture and love young children, a skill that would affect Cleo in her adult life many years later. The Homan family moved from Hesperia to Vicksburg, Michigan, a modern but quaint community located just south of Kalamazoo, when she was a child and where Cleo attended a country school. Some of her favorite subjects were math and Latin; she would eventually keep this Latin book throughout her entire lifetime! Her father worked hard as a farmer and at any additional work he was able to find to support his large family. As was common of children during this era, Cleo left school early, after the eighth grade, and moved to town to help another family take care of their children. After the ninth grade Cleo went back home to help her own mother tend to her younger siblings. Tragedy struck early in Cleo’s life as her sister Evelyn died from the chicken pox at the age of 12 and her brother Harrison was also killed in a sawmill fire; Cleo took these deaths especially hard. Cleo did experience a bright spot in her life when she met a man named Robert Minnis at a dance in nearby Leonidas and a love story which would span over 40 years began. After dating for a time, Cleo and Robert became husband and wife just one day after her nineteenth birthday, on January 3, 1936. The Minnis family expanded over the years that followed as they welcomed the births of four sons: Robert, Ronald, Willard, and Norman. They raised the boys on the farm until 1963.

Life was very busy for Cleo as she ran the house with her four active boys while Robert worked. It was no secret that “The Boss,” as she was affectionately called by her kids, valued her family more than anything else and was a superb homemaker who enjoyed being at home, enjoying the loving atmosphere that she created. She was an open, supportive, and loving mother who embraced the women that her sons married as daughters of her own. Cleo was known as the matriarch of the family who was happiest with her family around her in her home, especially during the holidays. She was an excellent cook who was famous for both her chicken and dumplings and beef tips with noodles; of course there were always cookies available for anyone who wanted some as well! During the last few years of her life, her children and their spouses would bring dinner over on Sunday evenings for a time of sharing and laughter.

In addition to her family, Cleo gained much fulfillment from various other aspects in her life. She was an independent business woman as an Avon representative for 43 years. She was successful in her career as a sales woman for Avon as she won awards like the President’s Club and the Honor Society which were established to recognize top achieving representatives, but what Cleo relished the most about her work was the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that she gained, as well as the numerous customers that turned into friends over the many years that she sold Avon products. She also loved playing cards and had a standing Friday night card game for several years. Cleo loved to crochet and sew and was excellent with mending anything that needed a little tender loving care at a moment’s notice. She enjoyed her life of faith and was a member of the Wakeshma Community Church, located near her home where she lived for more than 40 years. She embraced her role as a grandmother who attended as many of her grandchildren’s school and sporting events as she could.

Cleo lived a long, healthy life perhaps due in part to her zest for life. She had a great sense of humor, enjoyed joking around with others and was quick to offer comebacks, all in the name of fun. She still called herself “The Boss,” and even signed her Christmas cards this way! Her positive attitude was contagious and she brought enormous amounts of joy to those around her. Her good health continued until she caught the flu a few weeks ago and was never able to recover.

Cleo Minnis was one of those people who everyone wanted to be around. Her optimism and love radiated from her and like a ray of sunshine, warmed all who were blessed enough to know her. She continually sacrificed her own needs to better care for those around her. She will be warmly remembered by all who knew and loved her.

Cleo Minnis of Fulton, Michigan died at her home on Monday, November 24, 2008. Members of Cleo’s family include her 2 sons: Willard (Lois A. ) Minnis and Norman (Lois M) Minnis., a daughter-in-law Phyllis, her 3 brothers: Robert, Stanley and Walter, 11 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 8 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert, 2 sons: Ronald and Robert, and 8 brothers and sisters. Visit with Cleo’s family and friends and share light refreshments on Friday from 1-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg, 409 S. Main (649-1697). Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the same location. Please visit Cleo’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can read and archive a favorite memory or photo, sign her memory book online before coming to the funeral home or make a memorial donation to the Wakeshma Community Church.

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