Carlton Theodore Pursley, age 79, of Sturgis, passed away Saturday evening, Aug. 28, 2010, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
He was born April 6, 1931, in Sturgis, a son of the late Carlton Theodore and Blanche Ruth (VonMeter) Pursley.
Carlton was a lifelong Sturgis area resident and a graduate of Sturgis High School with the class of 1950.
On Dec. 21, 1952, he married Ann Elaine Hibbard at Centreville United Methodist Church in Centreville.
For many years, he owned and operated Carlton Craft Greeting Card Company in Sturgis. Following his retirement, he worked at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis and later assisted in the development of Life Care Center in LaGrange, Ind., and for several years worked as a support staff member with Hackman-Foglesong Funeral Home in Sturgis. He always considered it a privilege and honor to work for and serve all the people with whom he came into contact.
He was an active, longtime member of First United Methodist Church in Sturgis, where for many years he was a member of the choir and the adult Sunday school class. For a number of years, he and his wife, Ann, were leaders of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship and he loved immensely working with children.
Carlton was a former member of the Sturgis Kiwanis Club and he had served as an advisory board member with the Sturgis Salvation Army and also had volunteered with Hospice of Sturgis.
In his younger years, he was an accomplished pianist. Carlton enjoyed fishing, traveling, especially throughout Michigan, and most of all his HO model railroad. He had a true appreciation for the writings of Louis L’Amour and he loved to go to model train meetings and take jaunts to Elkhart and Garrett, Ind., for some train-watching with his good friend, Stan Zimmerman.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 57 years, Ann; two daughters, Debra A. (Rick) Korando of Murphysboro, Ill., and Beth E. (Matt) Schwartz of Bronson; seven grandchildren, Jenny (Tracy Garvaglia) Korando of Freeman Spur, Ill., John Michael Korando of Murphysboro, Ill., Kari (Andy) Winters of Murphysboro and Katelyn Schwartz, Cody Schwartz, Abbey Schwartz and Emma Schwartz, all of Bronson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Carl Adam Pursley and Daniel Charles Pursley; and a daughter-in-law, Karen Pursley.
The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis.
Funeral services celebrating the life of Carlton Pursley will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Sturgis. The Revs. Deb Johnson and Robert Keim will officiate. Cremation will follow the funeral services.
A graveside committal and burial of the ashes will take place at 1 p.m. Oct. 2 at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Pursley’s memory consider the First United Methodist Church music program, 200 Pleasant Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091.
His obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.