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Jerry Boyd Hall


Jerry Boyd Hall, 87 of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at his home surrounded by his family. Jerry was born September 3, 1927 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Herbert and Gladys (Beugnot) Hall. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-54. His life was summed up by his family on Father’s Day as their mentor, teacher, consultant, doctor, best friend, dad and granddad. He will be greatly missed. Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Elsa; children, Celeste (Scott) Schut, Janice (James) Baker; grandchildren, Angel (Calvin) Brink, Don (Dana) Whidden, Jerrod Roberts, Jenna (Jason) Caniff, Anna (Robert) Cavasos, Cassandra Navarre; 18 great-grandchildren; brother, Jay (Judy) Hall; many nieces, nephews and in-laws. He was preceded in death by his sisters and brothers, Bud Proudfit, Judy Bussema, Jack Hall and Gene Hall. A graveside service will be held Saturday 1:00 pm at Solon Township Cemetery. Pastor Larry Young officiating.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Mary E. Siebert


Mary E. Siebert, 85 of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus. Mrs. Siebert was born July 17, 1929 in Granite City, IL the daughter of George and Sarah (Patterson) Brown. She had been a bank auditor and later enjoyed hobby farming with her husband. She was a member of Cedar Creek Community Church and their Ladies Auxiliary Club. She was an avid golfer and bowler. Surviving are her children, Geraldine Myers, Robert Siebert, Donna Kaye Smith, Roger George Siebert; 8 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandson; brother, Ray (Rosemary) Brown; sister, Donna (Owen) Arney. She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer in 2001; granddaughters, Tonya Gail Siebert and Paula Lynn Silliman; brother, George Brown. The family will greet friends Thursday from 9:30 am until time of service at 11:00 am at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Richard Nichols officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Dorothy M. Blanchard


Dorothy M. Blanchard (Streeter) 92 passed from this life into the next on Monday, June 22, 2015. She was born April 19, 1923 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of Ted and Bessie (Parker) Streeter. She was preceded in death by her parents, son, Robert Blanchard; and husband, John Blanchard; brother, Maurice Streeter. She leaves behind her children, Ron (Joy) Blanchard, Tonnie (Chuck) Smith, Jeff Blanchard, John Blanchard II, and Greg Blanchard; sister-in-law, Gay (Tom) Hudson; grandchildren, Blain (Angie) Blanchard, Tori (Chuck) Smith-VanBelle, Trevor Smith, Brandon (Kristie) Smith, Shelly (Phil) Scheer, Rene Blanchard, Haley (Joe) Saxinger, Jeffrey Blanchard, Samantha (Drew) Dutton, Erwin Blanchard, Tyler Blanchard; many great and great great grandchildren. Dorothy was a lifelong resident of Cedar Springs, her parent’s farm is now the site of the Cedar Springs High School, as well as the Streeter addition to the City of Cedar Springs, including Metron of Cedar Springs. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 6-8 pm and Thursday from 2-4 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Friday at 11:00 am. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Association for the Blind or American Heart Association.

Arrangements by  Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Eloise Margaret Petersen


25C-obit-petersenEloise Margaret Petersen, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 21, 2015, five days before her 100th birthday. Eloise was born June 26, 1915 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of James and Alta (Butler) Russell. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, cooking and crafts, but her true passion was teaching. She still maintained friendships with students from the 1930’s. She will be remembered as an independent, intelligent woman who was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt. Surviving are her daughter, Irene Petersen; son-in-law, Richard Cheslek, Jr.; grandsons, Eric (Heather) Cheslek, Joseph (Amy) Cheslek, Michael (Kristie) Cheslek; five great grandchildren; her very special sister, Mabel Northup; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 71 years, Raymond; son, Gene; daughter-in-law, Ann (Senne); granddaughter, Wendy Jo; sister, Bernice Ambrose; brother, Howard Russell. The family would like to thank the caring staff of Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta for their care. The family will greet friends Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a memorial service will be held at 7:00 pm. Mr. John Lovell officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Kid’s Food Basket or Porter Hills Foundation.

Arrangements by  Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Frank Eugene Gilbert


Frank Eugene Gilbert, 94, of Grant, passed away on June 19, 2015 with his wife by his side. Frank served his country in the United States Army.  He worked for Van’s Plumbing and Heating until his retirement. Frank was preceded in death by his first wife Hazel.  He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Frieda Gilbert (VanderMeulen), children, Janet Tindel,  Gordon (Pat) Gilbert, Kathy Gilbert, Frank (Lori) Gilbert, Jr. stepchildren,  Gary (Cathy) VanderMeulen, Cheri (Monte) Shears, John (Barb) VanderMeulen,   14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.  Visitation will be held  Sunday, June 21, 2015 at Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel and one hour prior to the service at the church. Services will be held 2:00 pm  Monday, June 22, 2015 at Ensley Baptist Church with Rev. John Fields officiating.  Burial will follow at Crandell Cemetery with full military honors.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan or Ensley Baptist Church.  Please share your memories of Frank with his family at www.fieldsmckinley.com

Arrangements by  Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel

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Rebecca Boggs


Rebecca Boggs (Kiko), of Cedar Springs, Michigan, passed away on June 18, 2015. Becky lost a long and hard fought battle to leukemia. Becky spent many years as an X-Ray Technologist before retiring early so she could spend time with her family, garden, and travel with her husband and friends. Becky is survived by her husband of 41 years, Rick; children Anthony and his wife Christina Boggs of Rockford and Melissa Boggs of Warren; grandchild Benjamin; and all of her siblings. Becky was preceded in death by her parents Herbert and Ruth Kiko of East Canton, Ohio. A memorial will be held at the families home in the coming weeks to celebrate her life. Becky lived a wonderful life and will be missed dearly by everyone she knew. She touched the lives of those who loved her and her lessons and teachings will be carried on for generations to come. From the cheerleaders she coached, to her co-workers, to her family and friends; all would agree that she was a great person who had an upbeat, fun personality, and was a joy to have as a part of their lives. We all wish Becky the best on her journey and look forward to seeing her again.

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Lyle Edwin Fisk passed away June 14, 2015. Surviving are his daughter, Sandra Fisk; brothers, Ross Fisk and Doug Fisk; and sisters, Ann Borsma, Dora Polega; also, 4 grandchildren, Todd Fisk, Tom Himebaugh, Nicki & Lyle Frahm; several great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. A memorial and luncheon will be held at the VFW on Main Street in Sand Lake at 11:00 a.m. On Saturday, July 18.

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Paul R. Atkinson


Paul R. Atkinson, age 71, of Newaygo, MI passed away on Monday, May 25th at his home. He is survived by his daughters, Heather Jones and Dawn Bowman; former wife, Jacqueline Baxter Clark; grandsons, Joshua Reese and Nathan Jones; siblings, Sheryl Batcheler and James Atkinson; several nieces, including Sarah Atkinson, of whom he was especially fond. His faithful companions, Duke, his Basset Hound-Lab mix and his cat Sheena, were with him till the end. He served as an MP in the Army during the Vietnam era, and was a kind and caring man who enjoyed photography, nature and the outdoors. A memorial service is to be held on Saturday, June 27th at 10am at his former home– 9522 E. New River Drive in Howard City, MI. All who knew him are invited to attend. In lieu of sending flowers, please make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States @ www.humanesociety.org

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We need both insiders and outsiders in Congress 


By Lee H. Hamilton

Members of Congress get categorized in all sorts of ways. They’re liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; interested in domestic affairs or specialists in foreign policy.

There’s one important category, though, that I never hear discussed: whether a member wants to be an inside player or an outside player. Yet where members fall on the continuum helps to shape the institution of Congress.

Insiders focus on making the institution work. They give fewer speeches on the floor, issue fewer press releases, and spend less time considering how to play the public relations game or how to raise money. Instead, they put in long, tedious hours on developing legislation, attending hearings, listening to experts, exploring policy options, and working on building consensus. They’re the ones who do the necessary work of legislating.

Outsiders pass through the institution of Congress, but many of them are using Congress — and especially the House of Representatives — as a stepping-stone to another office: the Senate, a governorship, the presidency.

On Capitol Hill, these people behave very differently from insiders. They raise money aggressively, put a lot of effort into developing a public persona, and are consumed with public relations. They travel a lot. They churn out press releases and speak on the floor on every topic they can find something to deliver an opinion about. They miss votes more frequently than insiders, and often do not attend committee hearings. They’re often impatient with House and Senate traditions, and are impatient with the democratic process.

I want to be clear that I’m not judging which kind of member is more valuable. I may prefer to spend my time with insiders, but both are needed to make the system work. You have to have members reaching out to the broader public, talking about the big issues and engaging Americans in the issues of the day. And you need people on the inside who are dedicated to resolving those issues by attending to the legislation that will make this possible.

The truth is, Congress wouldn’t work if everyone were an outside player. The process is tedious, and outsiders have little patience for it. Yet if everyone were an insider, the country would be deprived of the dialogue, debate, and sheer spectacle that give Americans a sense of stake and participation in the policy-making process.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University; Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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Flat River Community Players present “9 to 5”

The Flat River Community Players will present “9 to 5” in July. The show opens July 10, with additional shows July 11, 12, 17 and 18. Pictured from left to right is Emily Smith (Doralee), Lindsay Tallian (Judy), Ric Davenport (Mr. Hart), and Brenda Jolls (Violet).

The Flat River Community Players will present “9 to 5” in July. The show opens July 10, with additional shows July 11, 12, 17 and 18. Pictured from left to right is Emily Smith (Doralee), Lindsay Tallian (Judy), Ric Davenport (Mr. Hart), and Brenda Jolls (Violet).

“Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’!” Can’t you just hear Dolly Parton singing this from the iconic movie, “9 to 5”?  Well, get ready because the Flat River Community Players will present their production of Dolly’s stage musical of “9 to 5” at the Greenville Area Community Center coming up in July!

Women who loved the female-empowerment movie in the 1980s might want to bring their daughters to see this production, which is still relevant in 2015. This stage version of the workplace tale still has the three secretaries joining forces to bring their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot of a boss to heel, but their own worlds and backgrounds are more fully developed with songs, mates, and some new scenes. Of course, their plan spins completely out of control bringing wild hilarity with it!

Stage director Amanda Hall and music director Katy McDonough have chosen a funny and diverse cast for “9 to 5.” Brenda Jolls (Violet Newstead), Emily Rice Smith (Doralee Rhodes), and Lindsay Tallian (Judy Bernly) star in the Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda roles respectively. Longtime FRCP veteran Ric Davenport tackles the Dabney Coleman role of Franklin Hart, Jr., the chauvinist who makes the gals’ lives miserable at the office.

The stage musical follows the movie quite closely as the three unlikely friends take control of their office and learn there is nothing they can’t do, even in a man’s world! Music and lyrics are by the great Dolly Parton and the book of the musical is by Patricia Resnick, who wrote the film’s screenplay.

Besides the well known title song, the show features 16 new Parton songs written especially for the show.

“9 to 5” opens at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10. Additional 7:30 p.m. performances are on July 11, 17 and 18, with a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on July 12. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students and senior citizens.

Order tickets in advance with VISA or Mastercard, either by using the ShowClix link at the Players’ website (www.frcp.org) or at the ShowClix site (www.flatriver.showclix.com). If you prefer, call 1-888-71-TICKETS instead.  Tickets will also be available at the door.

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