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Lucille Marie Middleton, age 97, of Cedar Springs, went home to her Lord and Savior on Monday, June 20, 2022. Lucille was born to Clyde and Ila (Moore) Ashley on March 30, 1925, in Rockford, Michigan. She loved to dance and listen to music, which she was still doing a few weeks ago. Lucille was such a people person with a bubbly personality and with a heart of gold. She also would never miss an opportunity to give hugs. Lucille enjoyed being with her family and a very simple lifestyle. She is survived by her children, Arnold (Naila) Middleton, Teresa (Dan) Pountney; grandchildren, Shelly (Allen) Campbell, Steven Middleton, Stephanie DeBoer, Todd (Tonya) DeBoer; great-grandchildren, Alyssa DeBoer, Damon Middleton, Haylee DeBoer, Taylor DeBoer, Tessa DeBoer, Elizabeth Campbell, Andrew Campbell; great-great-grandchild, Christian Middleton; and many nieces and nephews. Lucille was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clair; sister, Dorothy (Edward) Lanesky; brothers, Clayton (Nellie) Ashley, and Loren Ashley. There will be a time of visitation with the family from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 27, 2022 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Lucille will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at Pederson Funeral Home. Memorial donations in Lucille’s name can be made Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Ramon Morris Bassett, age 94 of Gowen MI, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 18, 2022 into his heavenly home after suffering several mini strokes followed by pneumonia. He was born on March 28,1928 in Cedar Springs, MI to Alden & Irene (Morris) Bassett. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alden & Irene; his sister, Joan Weldele and his loving wife of 64 years, Louise in 2016. He is survived by his brother, Gerald; 4 children, Renae & (Stanley) Kimes of Belding, Debra & (Norman) Chee of New Mexico, Judy & (William) Fish of Rockford and Jeffrey & (Debbie) Bassett of Sparta; 10 grandchildren, Abby & (Nick) Gould of Sand Lake, Whitney Bassett of Sparta, Matthew Kimes of Belding, Michelle & (Jaime) Pyne of Cedar Springs, Peter & (Brandilyn) Fish of Cedar Springs, Kathryn Fish & (Brooks Hobson)of E. Grand Rapids, Emily & (Kevin) Ritzema of Cedar Springs, Hannah, Brian & Benjamin Chee of New Mexico; 11 great-grandchildren: Colten, Dakota & Shalynn Schreiner, Mason & Madison Hobson, Aiden, Blaire & Brynne Ritzema, Parker, Emmett & Reid Fish. Ramon graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1947. One of his first jobs was at the Kent Theatre in Cedar. He went from passing out flyers to making popcorn to running the movie reels for all the shows. After high school he entered into the Navy. He served from 1948-49 at Glenview Naval Air Base. He operated 2 Amoco service stations, 1 on Main St and 1 at the 131 freeway in Cedar. Upon retirement in the early 1980’s he helped his son Jeff start a new business, Bassett’s Auto & Towing on 17 Mile Rd near freeway in Cedar. His hobbies included drawing, building a canoe, model airplanes (big-small-tiny) and HO scale trains. He also loved to ride motorcycles and owned several different Harley’s including one with a side car (for Mom of course). He was a loving husband, best father ever, a fun grandpa and great grandpa. We will miss his humor, his sweet smile and the wave of his hand to welcome you or say goodbye. Visitation will be Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. till the services at the church. Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City with Pastor Richard Townes officiating. A luncheon will immediately follow. Burial with Military honors will take place at Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers those wishing to make a contribution in Ramon’s name are asked by the family to contribute to the American Heart Assoc, American Cancer Society or St Jude’s Children’s Hosp. 

Arrangements are by the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville with complete online at www.marshallfuneralhomeinc.com where you can leave a message of condolence for the family.

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Audrey Jean Johnson age 85 of Cedar Springs, passed away Friday, June 17, 2022 at her home. She was born August 15, 1936 in Sand Lake, MI the daughter of Gordon and Hazel (Crispin) Cook. She worked at Kelsey Memorial Hospital, Lakeview for over 20 years and was a longtime member of Ensley Baptist Church. Audrey enjoyed crocheting afghans for her kids, grandkids and many others. She was an avid Pistons and Tigers fan and enjoyed bird watching and reading books. Her favorite hobby was camping! Surviving are her children, Paul Johnson, Lois (Craig) Timmer, Tom (Christi) Johnson, Ginger (Charlie) Phillips; 11 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Norm Namminga, Cliff (Judy) Johnson, Jud (Linda) Johnson; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Lewis; her parents, Gordon and Hazel Cook; daughter-in-law, Rebecca Johnson; sister, Shirley Namminga. The family will greet friends Thursday, July 28 at Magnify Church-Ensley Campus, 7078 E.120th St., Sand Lake from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Joseph Timmer officiating. Interment Crandall Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice. 

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

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Kyle Scott Chaney, age 28 of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with brain cancer on Saturday, June 18, 2022. His family was at his side and he is now in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Kyle was born on July 12, 1993 to Ron and Patti Jo (Anderson) Chaney in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2011 and attended Michigan State University. Kyle was known for his genuine smile, free spirit, selflessness, and fighting heart. He had a passion for sports, gaming with friends, and traveling the world. Kyle’s adventurous soul led him to 50 states and 30 countries. He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Charlene Anderson. Kyle is survived by his parents, Ron and Patti Chaney; his brother, Ryan (Caitlin) Chaney; his sister, Alysha (Timothy) Karafa; his niece, Riley and nephew, Henry; his grandparents, Tim and Vicky Chaney and Lee Anderson; and his puppy, Chewy. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 310 E Division St NE in Rockford.  Rev. Jason P. Peterson officiating.  Following the service there will be a time of visitation and fellowship from 2-4 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. A graveside committal will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Solon Township Cemetery on the corner of 18 Mile NE and Algoma Ave. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests those who desire to remember Kyle to please make a contribution in his memory to: American Brain Tumor Association online at https://www.abta.org/ or via mail: The American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. #550, Chicago, IL 60631.

Please share your memories of Kyle online at www.northridgefuneral.com

Arrangements by North Ridge FuneralHome, Sparta

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Ranger Steve (Steven Joel) Mueller was born on August 13, 1950, to Richard and Elaine Mueller in Saginaw, Michigan, and died in his Cedar Springs home on June 16, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Karen; daughters, Jenny Jo (Michael) Collin and Julianne (Charlie) Lemmink; grandchildren, DJ and Matilda Collin and Walden Lemmink; brothers, Mike (Janet) and Tom; in-laws, John (Marie), Jeff (Sally), and Steve (Betty) Duzan; as well as a niece, nephews, and many great friends. He had special bonds with dogs, Josh Wolara (favorite), Ody Brook (best), and BeeGee (most wonderful). He became an unofficial “Big Brother” for Ted, Amie, and Ross McNeel when their father, Wakelin, was hit and killed on his bicycle. Wake was Ranger Steve’s friend, college advisor, and mentor. As a child, Ranger Steve explored habitats near his home and developed a passion for nature and conservation. He enjoyed a varied and rich career as a park ranger, urban forester, teacher, professor, and director of multiple nature centers, including a lengthy career as director of the Howard Christensen Nature Center. Surrounding his home, he established Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, a nature preserve for enhancing biodiversity and cultivating native species. The site is a hotspot for birds and butterflies. Rare federally threatened American Chestnut trees live in the sanctuary, including the largest one most people have seen. With the support of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, the sanctuary has recentlay acquired a conservation easement ensuring that the land cannot be developed. Ranger Steve welcomed visitors who valued and respected the needs of plants and animals. Many local nature groups made regular field trips to the sanctuary, and college interns gained work experience under his guidance. The sanctuary not only provided purpose for his life but was essential medicine while combating Multiple Myeloma, as important as his chemotherapy treatments and bone marrow transplants. Ranger Steve remained active in professional organizations, including the Lepidopterists’ Society (butterflies and moths), the National Association for Interpretation (park naturalists, museum and zoo educator professionals), the Land Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, and numerous other conservation and education organizations, as well as the Grand Rapids Camera Club. He served as president for multiple organizations, and received several prestigious awards for his contributions and accomplishments. He celebrated his faith and shared his passion for creation as a member of the United Methodist Church in Cedar Springs. His Lepidoptera research collections are deposited in research facilities, universities and museums across the USA and Canada. He has been acknowledged by authors in several butterfly books for his contributions, and he discovered a new species of moth, Grammia brillians (now called Apantesis brillians) at Bryce Canyon National Park. He led nature tours, coordinated natural history outings and field trips, and took students to the tropical rainforests of Belize and Costa Rica. He authored the “Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche” newspaper column and contributed articles to more than 25 conservation and education publications. He published hundreds of popular articles that encouraged people to explore the natural world, wrote scientific papers for journals, and promoted Creation Care for all species with whom we share the world. He considered people “a part” of nature and not “apart” from nature. In 1970, he wrote that, “people are made of the environment and are born into it; therefore, they cannot be divorced from it, even by death.” More recently, he said that when he dies he will flutter away on the gossamer wings of a butterfly and will be among us when we commune with and protect nature. May those who loved him find joy in this communion. His parting thought was that 1,000 lifetimes are inadequate to provide service for the benefit of others or for project completion, so carry on his efforts to ensure future generations inherit a sustainable planet. Make your actions for “we” and not “me” and you will enjoy a prosperous purpose and meaning for your life. Donations in his honor may be made to the Lepidopterists’ Society, the Howard Christensen Nature Center, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or organizations of your choice that actively promote Creation Care. A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25, 2022 at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, (140 S Main, Cedar Springs). Visitation: 11:00 a.m. Service: 12:00 p.m. Luncheon: 1:00 p.m.

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It is with compassion that we regret to inform you of the passing of Kris R. Hawley, 52, of Sand Lake. He passed away on Friday, June 10, 2022. He was born on Sunday, February 22, 1970, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kris’ selfless attitude and fun-loving humor was always sure to positively touch the hearts of those he shared it with. He was a proud redneck and in true fashion he was an avid outdoorsman that enjoyed junking, fishing, mushrooming, hunting, and especially caring for his animals. One man’s trash always had the potential to be his favorite yard ornament. His collecting of trinkets for his grandchildren or his endless donut dinners for them will be greatly missed. He was always a kind shoulder to lean on. Kris loved his family and the memories he left as an amazing dad, papa, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, and friend, will always remain and will be greatly cherished. Kris is survived by wife, Nicole Hawley; their children, Vanessa (Brandon) Kelly, Trevor (Richele) Hawley, Prussia Hawley; grandchildren, Caden, Brinleigh, Emmit, Rowen, Laiken, Gavin; his sisters, Denise Veltkemp, Jennie Magoon, Kathy Trader, Margaret (Mike) Carriere; his brothers, George Hawley, Tim (Jen) Hawley, Jeff (Dawn) Hawley, Brian Hawley, Sam Hawley, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Marjorie Hawley; sisters and brothers in law, Reno (Tommy) Lee and Bonnie (Robert) Clayton; brother-in-law, Norm Trader; and sister-in-law, Gayle Hawley. The Hawley family invites you to a Celebration of Kris’ Life on Friday, June 24th, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m. at the Pierson Village Hall, 190 Grand St, Pierson, MI 49339. Food will be served after a short eulogy and memory sharing at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Kris’ honor may be made to The Hawley Family; please mail to North Ridge Funeral Home, in care of Hawley Family, PO Box 427, Sparta, MI 49345 or consider donating online. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.northridgefuneral.com for the Hawley family.

Arrangement by North Ridge Funeral Home, Sparta

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Reconnecting through creation

Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley UMCs


“Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 Common English Bible).

This was a great weekend for me see the closeness of God.  We were camping and because I mixed up some dates, I had to return to do the Sunday morning services. Actually, I should say that I was able to return to offer them. It was anything but a burden. I spoke about the wisdom that we can find in creation and how we can grow close to God when we recognize the wisdom of His grace. Sitting in camp, in nature, drove that point home. There was a beautiful moon, birds, and trees, and most of all, a little quiet. In addition, when we returned home on Monday, I opened my email and the daily verse I receive every morning was from Psalm 19, a wonderful Psalm about finding God in all things. 

I get the feeling sometimes that God is making a point.  We seem to forget the wonder of creation.  We forget to “stop and smell the roses.” One of my favorite quotes is from an Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story where (and I am paraphrasing) Holmes reaches out a window and cups a rose in his hand.  He says, “God made the trees and the plants for our survival, to make oxygen and food. But flowers He made for our pleasure.” What a great reminder to stop occasionally to observe the blessings that God has placed around us.

Have you been stressed lately? Has the burden of the world become heavy on your shoulders? Has it felt like you have lost touch with the loving God who calms your heart? Then maybe it is time for you to take a minute to step outside and remember that God has made this amazing world for you. The birds sing, the trees rustle, and there is a peace beyond the world’s understanding.  A peace that has been promised to you by God Himself. 

Take a moment to reconnect with creation and more importantly, with the God who loves you.

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Steve wasn’t a formal kind of guy, so I’ll dispense with the usual obituary-speak. Mention his name in any of the places he spent time (Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs, Howard City, Lakeview, Coral and Mackinac Island) and the response will be pretty much the same: “Great guy!,” “So generous,” “Animal lover,” “Good son,” “Best teacher I ever had,” “Loved a good laugh.” He was all those things and much more. He was eccentric, different, interesting, honest, and one of the most curious and questioning people around. He was unconcerned about following the acceptable ‘norms’ of society. He dressed the way he chose, and didn’t care who stared. He lived the life he wanted, and who wouldn’t envy that? He befriended the Amish people up north and would drive the youngest children to their schoolhouse so they wouldn’t have to walk miles in the morning darkness on country roads. He was always available to drive his Amish friends when needed, and when he was younger and stronger, he worked side by side with them to help build or repair their homes and barns. He frequently said he ‘loved their gentleness.’ His students in Cedar Springs will tell of wonderful adventures that their teacher, Mr. Horowitz, provided them. He’d rent a bus and take them to Chicago or Mackinac Island. He brought them to their local cemetery and taught about the history of their town and the people who came before. He’d bring them to his own home and teach them about his gardens and the responsibility of respecting and caring for animals. He would buggy up his beloved horse Isabel, and proudly march in the yearly Red Flannel Parades in Cedar Springs. His mom, June, would frequently come to school and do magic for the class. Steve would rescue any creature he could: chickens, ducks, goats, geese, turkeys, cats, ferrets and an occasional raccoon or opossum if they happened by. And then there were the bunnies! At one point, he had two fallow deer fenced on his property. There were many rescued dogs: Zeus, Ak Shav, Ludington and Bear – and sweet Hydie who was with him every day and everywhere. The basics? He was one of two sons adopted by June and Sam Horowitz. He went to Sunday school and taught there later on. He went to WMU. He moved to Cedar and began a quarter century of teaching grade school. Eventually he taught a second generation of kids! He leaves cousins and friends and former students and assorted strangers to whom he handed $2 bills freely – thanking them for being good drivers or being friendly or kind. Steven Abe Horowitz will be remembered with loving smiles and joyous stories by all who knew him. Let’s honor his memory by being as loving, caring, kind and generous as he was. And maybe – just a little bit ‘different.’

If you feel the need to make a donation to honor Steve, any animal/dog/cat/farm no-kill shelter would be lovely.

Phyllis Horowitz

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Leonard Raymond Stoner of Howard City, Michigan, age 73, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, June 12, 2022. He was born to Raymond and Barbara (Snyder) Stoner on August 21, 1948, in Grand Rapids, MI. Leonard enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Kay Stoner; children, Scottie (Lisa) Sosnowski, Christina Stoner, Rick (Lynda) Sosnowski, and Jody Stoner-Forbes; grandchildren, Jennifer, Amanda, Marica, Andrew, Michael, Cody, Haley, Wyatt, Raymond, Joshua, Ashley, Tyler, Cassy, Desirae, Alex, and Haley; many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and sisters, Helen, Ellie, and Sharon. Leonard was preceded by both parents, Raymond and Barbara. There will be a time of memorial visitation from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16th, 2022, at Howard City Funeral Home, 225 E. Edgerton Street, Howard City, MI 49329. Everyone is invited for a dinner at 6:15 p.m. at 20899 W. Cannonsville Road, Pierson, MI 49339. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to send potted flowers to the funeral home or donate to the American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Arrangements by Howard City Funeral Home, Howard City

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Richard Charles Kroes age 82 of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was born October 7, 1939 in Grand Rapids, the son of Marvin and Jocoba (Stoof) Kroes. Richard grew up as the son of a die maker, but as he grew up, he developed his life-long love of cars. This love grew into his work in auto-body. Richard was a man with a gift for working with his hands, and good enough was never good enough when it came to quality of workmanship. His other loves were gardening, bluegrass music, anything old, family, and his love of the LORD. He always had time to spin a yarn about the good old days or dream about the perfect car restoration, woodworking shop, or the benefits of an old barn. Richard was preceded in death by his brother and sister, Ronald Kroes and Marcia Foss. Richard will be dearly missed by wife of 62 years, Mary Kroes; sister, Judy Kwekel; 2 sons, Rick (Teena) Kroes, Ben Kroes; daughter, Rachel (Brian) Pickerd; grandchildren, Trevor Davis, Dylan and Allison Kroes, Morgan (Kroes) Vanette, Collin and Anna Pickerd; great-grandchildren, Wesley and Timothy Vanette. Visitation and service was held on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church, 860 Peachcrest Ct. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505. Interment East Nelson Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Donations in Richard’s name may be made to Right to Life of Michigan. 

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

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Richard F. Hunter, age 85, of Cedar Springs, Michigan passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family in Sun Lakes, Arizona on June 3rd, 2022. He was born on April 16th, 1937 to Florn and Doris Hunter. After surviving a heart attack and pancreatic cancer, he finally succumbed to Parkinson’s disease. He was a true fighter to the end. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School, where he lettered in four sports, and then received a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Ferris State University. He worked construction to help pay his way through college, even building his family’s eventual home in Ionia, Michigan. He served in the National Guard. He had a long career as a pharmacist, including a stint at the Veterinary Clinic at Michigan State University, making him the only veterinary pharmacist in the state at that time. He was a devoted Michigan State Spartans fan, which showed through as he and his son Kam analyzed every play and every player of the MSU sporting event on TV. His passions for sports and family also shined through his eyes, coaching his grandchildren on the courts of basketball. Additionally, the spark for building and fixing up houses was reflected in the many home improvement projects and fixer uppers that he acquired in his early days of construction. These tools have now been passed down to his children and will live forever in their homes. He married his high school sweetheart Sally Wilkins in 1958, whom he loved more than life, and who survives him. He is also survived by his brother, Marty and wife Jeanne; son, Kam and wife Susan; daughter, Kyi and wife Angel; daughter-in-law, Trina, and grandchildren, Britney, Dwight, Jakob, and Samantha. He was predeceased by his brother, Bob; sister, Ruth, and son, Kne. Anyone wishing to make a contribution in remembrance of our beloved Richard may send a contribution to White Rose Hospice, 4131 North 24th Street, Suite A116, Phoenix, AZ, 85016

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Robert Lewis Nowack, age 80, of Rockford, passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2022. He was born to Herman and Lucille (Thorpe) Nowack on January 3, 1942 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Robert worked as a sawyer in the metal fabrication industry for over thirty years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. Robert also enjoyed participating in shooting sports and raising and training Springer Spaniels. He also collected outdoor sporting memorabilia. Robert is survived by his sister, Kimberly Nowack; brother-in-law, Gary Nitz; and niece, Angela Robertson. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Carol Nowack. There was a memorial visitation for Robert from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. The family welcomes messages and memories in their online guestbook at www.plaisierfuneral.com.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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