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.
National Breast Cancer Foundation
2600 Network Blvd., Suite 300
Frisco, TX 75034
Your local animal rescue
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Vonnie would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was gracious and kind with a heart that was as big as they come. Vonnie was completely devoted to her family, and she was thrilled to witness her family tree blossom to include children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren later in life. Life was not always easy for her, but she was a woman of strength and courage who was such an inspiration to those around her. Although she will be deeply missed, Vonnie leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will forever cherish.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Although we were uninvolved, our neutrality came to a screeching halt when President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on December 8, 1941, after the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor the day before. While deeply entrenched in the war in 1942 Vonnie and her twin brother were born on April 3rd. She was technically the youngest of the family as she was six minutes younger than her twin brother, Vern, and they joined their older siblings, Betty, Lloyd, Ervon, and Vivian in the family. Vonnie and her siblings were raised on a farm in Almena, Michigan, where her brother, Vern, still lives on the farm today.
In many ways Vonnie was a young girl of her generation. She and her sisters often helped inside the home while all of their brothers helped carry the load outside. From the time she was a young girl, Vonnie loved reading, and she also loved horses, especially their work horse, Old Bill. She attended a one-room schoolhouse that was located one mile away, and she went on to Paw Paw High School where her outgoing personality naturally led her to establish numerous friendships.
There was never anything of greater significance to Vonnie than her loved ones. As a young woman, she married a man named Ronald Fischer in 1958. Although they divorced after eight years, she was forever grateful for their three daughters, Debra, Robin, and Tammy. Vonnie and Ronald also had a baby boy named Ronald, but they were deeply saddened with his death when he was only a couple months old. Vonnie focused her time and attention on her home and children, living in a few different places in the Kalamazoo and Portage area. She soon married Douglas Knox Smith in 1967, and together they were blessed with the birth of their son, Christopher Knox Smith. They divorced after 12 years. Vonnie later married Charles Enochs in the early eighties. During these years they were foster parents to several children. In 2004, she was widowed as Charlie passed away and she never remarried after his death.
Throughout her life Vonnie was a woman of many interests. She was an animal lover who was partial to dogs including smaller dogs like Yorkshire terriers. Vonnie’s love for reading continued, and it has been said that she read all the books they had at school during her younger years! She was a card player, and playing cards was a holiday tradition with cribbage, pinochle, and euchre being her most regular games. Vonnie was an amazing cook whose Thanksgiving meals were to die for including her stuffing made from her mother’s recipe, cakes, and her salisbury steak. She loved having fun in the water and for 15 years she enjoyed living in the warmth of Cape Coral, Florida. Vonnie had an eye for unique things and enjoyed picking up antiques and bargains at flea markets and garage sales. Rather handy, she often had some sort of household project going on, and when combined with her creative side she really created some beautiful things. Vonnie repurposed and repaired furniture, and she was also a talented seamstress who made things for the home like drapes as well as clothing for her children while they were young. When it came to music, she was an Elvis Presley fan, and she also enjoyed the golden oldies.
Vonnie was a strong woman who was truly inspiring. She was only just over five feet tall, but she made sure that others knew they wouldn’t get away with any guff! Vonnie was a breast cancer survivor and had lung problems during the last few years of her life. Eventually, she moved from Florida to Sturgis to be closer to her children and their families.
A true people person who was outgoing, genuine, and gracious, Vonnie was a blessing in the lives of everyone she met. She could be a bit stubborn at times, yet it was only when it came to matters she felt passionately about. Vonnie was stylish and pretty and was always well put together with her own sparkle, too. She loved Christmas as her family was her greatest treasure. Deeply loved, Vonnie will be forever missed.
Vonnie’s family includes her children, Debra (Terry) Nelson, Robin Clark, Tammy (Scott) Carpenter, Christopher (Barbara) Smith; 6 grandchildren: Amy (Jake) Bills, Michaela (Brandon) Sears, Shantelle (John) Ashbrook, Courtney Hall, Thomas Carpenter, Samantha (Dustin) Bovee; 10 great-grandchildren; and twin brother, Vern Ritter. Vonnie was preceded in death by her son, Ronald Andrew Fischer in 1966 and several siblings. Memorials can be made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation or your local animal shelter.