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Categorized | Obituary

JOHN. H. TOW, SR.

JOHN. H. TOW, SR.

John H. Tow, Sr., age 82, formerly of Crystal and Clifford Lake, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus at home on Thursday, November 19, 2020, under the loving care of Laurie and his family. The son of Merle & Clela (Race) Tow, he was born on May 6, 1938 in Grand Rapids. On October 7, 1961, he married Barbara Ann Greenhoe and together they enjoyed 48 years of marriage and raised two children. John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara (Greenhoe) Tow in 2009; and infant son, David Mark Tow in 1969. Surviving are his “Sweetie” of eight years, Laurie Bowen; his children, Johnny H. & Kelly Tow, II of White Cloud; Jackie Tow-Zerka of Stanton; six grandchildren including Sarah “too pretty for a nickname” Tow, Joshua “Dozer” Tow, Jacob “Hammer” Tow & Sarah VanderMeer, Katie “too pretty for a nickname” & Travis “Traverse” Johnson, Eric “Tractor” & Chelle Zerka, Benjamin “Boomer” Zerka & Katelynn Epple; great-grandson Rowan “Pumpkin Seed” Tow; two brothers, Norm & Christi Tow of Chippewa Lake, and Dick & Sharon Tow of Florida; one sister, Shirley & Fritz Strautz of Stanton; siblings-in-law, Betty & Rev. Jim Wilcox of Greenville, Ronald Greenhoe, and Wilber Jr. & Laura Greenhoe, all of Sheridan; and many, many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and especially the family of Laurie Bowen. John began his career in retail with Tow’s Leonard Service, a gas station in Crystal that he ran with his father, which he later converted into a convenience store. John and Barb worked together with their family in many of their business ventures including the Paris Hardware & Grocery, Crystal Hardware, Brookside Dairy Freeze in Big Rapids, Tow’s General Store in Crystal, as well as several family rental properties. What made John unique was that he genuinely loved talking with people and made every person feel special; he remembered your name, he remembered your story, and he always had a smile. Even in retirement he delighted in being the official greeter at his son’s stores at Lincoln Lake and Coral and we salute those that survived his Handshake of Steel! John’s last years were filled with love as he and Laurie enjoyed each other’s company greatly. When they were not driving the roads in his golf cart bottle hunting, they enjoyed spending time together playing cards, visiting with friends and family, and spending time at Little Rainbow Lake. But, if you knew John, you know his biggest delight after his grandchildren and newest great-grand, was in cheering for his Spartans! Go Green! Go White! We will miss him greatly. Due to current state orders, a private graveside service for immediate family will be held at Evergreen Township Cemetery near Sheridan. A celebration of life will be held in the future when COVID restrictions are more forgiving. Instead of flowers, contributions in memory of John to Spectrum Health Hospice would be appreciated as we can not say enough about the loving care their team provided to John and our family throughout this journey. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign John’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.

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