Carmen Prestidge, 74

Carmen Ann Prestidge, age 74, of Sturgis, passed away Sunday evening, April 15, 2012, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

She was born Dec. 20, 1937, in Sturgis, a daughter of the late Richard and Ruth (Antonides) Lapham Arklie.

Carmen was a lifelong Sturgis resident and a graduate of Sturgis High School with the class of 1956.

On Oct. 26, 1956, she married Larry L. Prestidge in Sturgis.

She retired from the Sturgis Public Schools transportation department following more than 20 years of serving as a bus driver. Prior to becoming a bus driver, she had been employed by Elaine’s Dress Shop in Sturgis, and a job that was special to Carmen was the years she worked as a candy striper at Sturgis Memorial Hospital.

Carmen was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Sturgis, where she was a longtime member of the choir and could always be counted on to help with funeral luncheons and the annual rummage sales.

She was a member of the Red Hat Society and the National Audubon Society and a past member of the Mintdale Women’s Club. Carmen was happy when she could be of help to others and received great joy in helping the homeless and being of aid to the homeless shelters. She had many passions and involvements, but what made her truly the happiest was when she was surrounded by her family, especially her grandchildren and great-granddaughter.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Larry; a daughter, Tracey (Richard) Shady of Golden, Colo.; a son, Timothy Prestidge of Three Rivers; five grandchildren, Jessalynn Shady, Parker Shady, Dalton Shady, Samantha Prestidge and Shauna Schlabaugh; a great-granddaughter, Olive Shady Diaz; a brother, Richard (Rebecca) Arklie of Jacksonville, Fla.; a brother-in-law, Ray Ward of Sturgis; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Terry Lee Prestidge; a son, Clifford “Toby” Prestidge; a grandson, Colton Isaac Shady; and a sister, Mary Frances Ward.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis.

Funeral services celebrating the life of Carmen Ann Prestidge will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Deb Johnson and Mr. Robert Keim will officiate.

According to her wishes cremation will follow the service. Private burial of the ashes will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Prestidge’s memory consider the American Cancer Society, 1400 West Milham, Kalamazoo, MI 49024 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.

Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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