Kenneth Dillivan, 97

Kenneth Mearl Dillivan, 97, of Burr Oak, passed away early Thursday morning March 24, 2011, at the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He was born Nov. 30, 1913, in Wilbaux, Mont., a son of the late Albert Irving and Edith Loraine (Keckler) Dillivan.

Mr. Dillivan had resided in the Sturgis and Burr Oak area since 1926 and was a graduate of Sturgis High School with the class of 1933 where he excelled in football and he was also a Golden Gloves boxer.

On Sept. 3, 1938, he married Pauline A Terlep at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Elkhart, Ind. She died Oct. 29, 2002.

Mr. Dillivan retired from farming in 1987. Prior to his retirement he had been employed by the Wheel Camper Company in Centreville in quality control set-up and as a supervisor and the Skyline Corporation in Elkhart, Ind., as a factory sale representative. From 1945-1963 he was the circulation and advertising manager for the Sturgis Journal. From 1935-1945 he was employed by the Kirsch Company in Sturgis as a manufacturing and efficiency engineer.

Mr. Dillivan was a member of the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sturgis where he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and he often attended St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Colon.

He had served over 25 years as a member of the Burr Oak Planning Commission. He had served as Chairman of the St. Joseph County Social Service Board. Some of his other involvements included the St. Joseph County Planning Commission and St. Joseph County Commission on Aging. He enjoyed farming, and his motorcycles and antique automobiles. Mr. Dillivan loved and honored his big family and cherished their very close relationship.

He is survived by one daughter, Monica (James) Walenga of Kalamazoo; four sons, Daniel (Bonnie) Dillivan of Muskegon, Randy (Mary) Dillivan of Burr Oak, Patrick (Louise) Dillivan of Three Rivers and Dr. Timothy (Karen) Dillivan of Muskegon; 14 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife; one daughter, Mary Kay Gushwa; one brother, Michael Dillivan; one sister, Althea Stefanski; and one nephew, Michael Irving “Rowdy” Dillivan.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, followed by a procession to Holy Angles Catholic Church, where a funeral Mass celebrating the life of Kenneth Dillivan will begin at 1 p.m. Monday. The Rev. Father German Perez-Diaz will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the Mass at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak. A luncheon will be served at the Holy Angels Church following the burial.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Dillivan’s memory consider the St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, 602 W. Chicago St., Colon, MI 49040.

His obituary is also at, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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