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Archive | Church Connection


Barbara J. Weeks age 83 died Friday, January 8, 2021 at Crestwood Retirement Community in Mt. Pleasant, MI. She was born July 23, 1937 in Chicago, IL to George and Irma (Zarbeck) Wheelock. Barb sewed for 29 years at General Motors. She and her family always looked forward to the annual summer trip to Iowa to visit the Herbst Family. She and her husband Bob were able to travel to many other states. Barb enjoyed camping and going to the casino, and vacations with her kids. She had a comical sense of humor that continued to the end. You always knew were you stood with Barb. Her grandkids “fondly” remember being chased by her with a fly swatter. Surviving are her children Wayne (Vickie) Weeks, Roger (Tammie) Weeks, Debbie (Gene Perski) Mogdis; daughter-in-law Cathy Weeks; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sister Doris (Lewis) Todd; brother Marvin Monroe; brother-in-law Daniel Herbst. She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Bob Sr.; sons, Greg and Bobby Jr.; granddaughters, Nicole Van Wagoner and Andrea Beeman; sisters Carol, Phyllis and Dorothy. The service was held Wednesday at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home. Pastor Chuck Smith, officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity your choice.

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

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Dorothy June (Wesche) Houghton of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 91, entered into eternal life on January 7, 2021, at SKLD Nursing Facility in Zeeland, MI. Dorothy married Milo (Mike) Houghton on October 22, 1949, he preceded her in death in 2016 after 67 years of marriage. She was a talented seamstress, crocheter and painter. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. Dorothy’s forever legacy will remain her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and will be sorely missed by all. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, August and Mary (Schug) Wesche; son-in-law, Michael Johnson; siblings, August (Bud) and Arlene Wesche, Phil Wesche, Ed and Bev Wesche, Jackie and Joseph Chorman and Bob Hunter, Jerry Wesche, and several in-laws. Dorothy is survived by her siblings, Rosemary Hunter, Beverly Wesche and Richard and Verna Wesche and Gloria Wesche; four children, Christine (Bob) Barnes of Kentwood, Susan Johnson of Grand Rapids, Michael Houghton of Arizona and Sharon (Mike) Lopez of Holland; grandchildren, Ryan (Heather) Ward, Angel (Javier) Guerrero, Mary (Brandon Gohsman) Hyzer and Kelsie Houghton; four great-grandchildren, Kailie, Grayson, Norah and Josie; in-laws, Lois Houghton, Lloyd (Mazel), Pat Houghton, and Jackie Houghton; and many nieces and nephews also survive. The family would like to thank the special staff at SKLD Zeeland and Hospice of Holland for the love and care Dorothy received. A private family service will be celebrated at Pederson Funeral Home prior to a committal service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Elmwood Cemetery, 13603 Northland Dr NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Pastor Bruce Wilson will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy may make a memorial contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter, 25200 Telegraph Rd #100, Southfield, MI 48033. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. 

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Diane R. Rawdon 66 of Cedar Springs died Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at her home. She was born January 27, 1954 to Clarence and Ruth (Haywood) Roman in Detroit, MI. She will be missed but we know her pain has ended and we will see her again. She is survived by her daughter, Jessica Rowden; grandchildren, Ariana Meyers and Addison Fankhauser and special friend and neighbor, Evelyn Fleury. A memorial service will be held Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Jonathan Bergsma officiating. Interment Rosedale Memorial Park, Standale. Memorial contributions to City Impact 288 N. Main St. Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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

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“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Phillip Andrew Wesche Sr. entered the gates of Heaven on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Phil was born the third child of August Wesche Sr. and Mary (Schug) Wesche on May 6, 1932. Multiple stories have been shared about his early years in Detroit, MI and later adolescent years “on the farm” in Cedar Springs. Phil met his wife and best friend, Beverly E. Shick on a blind date. They were married on March 2, 1951. Their love story of 69 years included sons, Steve (Jill) Wesche, Phil (Shari) Wesche and daughter, Cindy (John) Wolfe. Phil was grandpa to Dawn Hurta, Dustin (Shawna) Wesche, Nathan (Crystal) Wesche, Andrew Wesche, Eric (Stacey) Wesche, Joshua (Molly) Wolfe, Lucas (Rachel) Wolfe, Tyler (Kate) Wolfe; great-grandpa to 18 and great-great-grandpa to one. Phil took pleasure in watching his family take part in school activities, athletics and family gatherings. He enjoyed car trips to the Mackinaw Bridge, coffee get togethers at McDonalds and attending Cedar Springs Baptist Church. He proudly received his high school diploma which he achieved in 1973 alongside his son, Phil Jr. He was a master of many skills and finished his employment of 29 years with the Kent County Road Commission. The love of his life became his caregiver and provided for his needs as dementia consumed his being. Beverly is an example of God’s true servant. She helped him remember their love when he could no longer remember. Phil is survived by his wife, Beverly; children and their families; brother, Richard (Verna) Wesche; sisters, Dorothy Houghton, Rose Hunter; brother-in-law, Fred (Carol) Shick; sister-in-law, Gloria Wesche and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings and in-laws, August (Bud) and Arlene Wesche, Edward and Beverly Wesche, Jackie and Joseph Chorman, Gerald Wesche, Milo Houghton, Robert Hunter, Robert and Jean Shick, Harvey Shick, Orvin and Donna Reed, Nelson and Bernice Verstrate. We would like to thank special friend Janet Pike and The Brook of Cedar Springs for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, donations in Phil’s name may be made to Cedar Springs Baptist Church P.O. Box 387 Cedar Springs, MI 49319 and Interim Hospice 1971 E. Beltline Ave. NE Ste. 216 Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Private family services will be held. 

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

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Chic Salisbury, 76, of Greenville, passed away Monday, January 4, 2021 at home under the loving care of his family and Spectrum Hospice. Chic was born on February 28, 1944 in Shepherd, the son of Charles and Rose (Allen) Salisbury. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School with the Class of 1962. In his younger years Chic enjoyed playing golf. Later, he liked hunting, fishing, camping and mushrooming. He always ready for a trip to the casino. Last September, “lady luck” was with Chic when he won big. He had sold cars for many years around the area and loyal following of people that enjoyed doing business with him. He liked people and had a big love of his family. Chic will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his family and friends. Chic is loved and survived by his children, Dena (Brian) Shotko of Belding and Charlie (Tracy) Salisbury of Cedar Springs; long time friend and companion, Sue Lincoln of Greenville; grandchildren, Alek (Sam) Shotko, Blake Shotko and fiancé Alexis, Noah Salisbury, Abbey Salisbury and Marley Salisbury; great-grandson; Ayden. Chic was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Lionel “ Stretch” Salisbury. In keeping with family wishes, cremation has been held. A time to celebrate his life and accomplishments will take place this summer and be announced by Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, Belding where funeral care has been entrusted. Inurnment will be at a later date. Memorials may be given to Spectrum Health Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. To share a message of condolence, light a candle in memory of Chic, please visit the website of the funeral home at www.jffh.com.

Arrangements by Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, Belding

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Karla Roebuck, age 63 of Rodney, left her earthly home and went to be with her Lord on December 30, 2020. She was on vacation in Florida with her family when she passed due to health issues that were complicated by COVID-19. Karla was born December 26, 1957 in Grant, Michigan – the daughter of Roy and Darline (Winters) Newland. Karla was an inspiring mom, wife, and friend who was always there for those in need. Her smile and radiance revealed that she had one of the most loquacious souls. A soul that spoke to you and radiated love, warmth, and joy. Karla was a loving wife, a phenomenal mom to many more than just her sons, and a friend like no other. Karla gave of herself to numerous charities through the Lions with a genuine enjoyment of spreading love and happiness in her community and beyond. She was the recipient of the Mother Theresa award from the Lions club. Karla grew up in Cedar Springs and graduated from High School in 1976. She was working for the Kent County Sherriff’s Department when she met Robert Roebuck in 1978. She married him on April 7, 1979 and together, they made their home in Rodney. Following her marriage to Bob, Karla worked as a respiratory therapist at the Stanwood Hospital. Later, Karla worked as a realtor while raising three wonderful boys. During this time, she decided to take the training and testing necessary to earn her broker’s license. Karla also volunteered countless hours to her community through the Chippewa Lake Lions Club. She served on many committees and as the club’s Secretary and President. She helped young people throughout the world by volunteering for “Youth for Understanding,” the international exchange program. Karla not only hosted children from other countries, but helped place them with suitable families. She formed lifelong bonds, never to be broken. She always made room in her heart for these children. Karla was a member of the Chippewa Lake Community Church where she loved to sing and was a founding member of “The Sunday Night, almost ready for Primetime Singers” church choir. Karla will always be remembered for her million-dollar smile; it was the first thing you saw when she walked into a room. Rest assured that she will continue to smile down on us through eternity. Her happy ways and enthusiasm always made everyone feel as though they truly belonged. She will be missed by many including her beloved husband Bob; her three sons, Randy, Tyler and Jared all of Rodney; two sisters, Shirley Kruis of Cedar Springs, Paula (Tom) Brink of Stanwood; two brothers, Marlan (Bonnie) Newland of Cedar Springs, Randy (Cheryl) Newland of Copemish; many nieces, nephews, children of her “heart” from throughout the world, and the many children her boys brought home that she welcomed with open arms. Karla was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Brian Newland. Due to current restrictions private family services will take place on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Those wishing to view Karla’s recorded service may go to www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com and on to her obituary page; you may also share a memory or sign the online guestbook at our website. Memorial contributions in Karla’s name may be given to her family.

Arrangements by Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home, Big Rapids

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Gail Loraine Brophy of Sparta passed away on November 17, 2020 of Covid-19. Born February 9, 1934, Gail was the daughter of Lucile (Russell) and Hollis Hodell. She attended Cedar Springs Public Schools from kindergarten through high school, graduating as valedictorian in 1952, and then from Western Michigan University. A beloved kindergarten and reading teacher for Sparta Area Schools, she was married to Garold Brophy for 53 years. They were members of the Sparta United Methodist Church, and enjoyed extensive travel in their later years. Gary and her parents preceded her in death. 

Gail was a very creative individual who also ran in many area races over the decades. Donations designated in her memory can be made to the Sparta Recreation Association for the new Sports and Recreation Park, c/o the Village of Sparta, 156 E. Division St., Sparta, MI 49345. She is survived by sisters Joanne Jennett of Big Rapids, Dorothy Brooks of Portage; dear cousins, Betty Cumberworth of Dimondale, and Elizabeth Russell of Medford, Oregon and her siblings; Gail’s children, Steve and Carol Brophy, Rachel and Bob Shangle, and Keith and Sheila Brophy; twelve grandchildren, several with spouses; two great-grandsons; and many nieces and nephews. A celebration of Gail’s life will be held in early summer in Sparta.

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Stay close

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd NE, Rockford

As I think about writing this article, multiple thoughts are going through my mind.  I want to make sure I write about something interesting, something captivating, something that will spur people on towards a closer, more intimate walk following Jesus. I have to make sure I word it just right so that it catches people’s attention, and I need to thoughtfully think through every word so as to not intentionally offend or put a stumbling block in anyone’s path. I want it to be encouraging and uplifting while at the same time challenging and convicting.  It was in this moment that these words came to mind…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:1-8.

These are the words of Jesus, encouraging and uplifting…

  • If we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit and God will work in our life to produce more fruit. 
  • As we abide in Him our prayers will be answered.
  • The fruit that we bear will result in our lives bringing much glory to God and be a testimony to a watching world of our following Jesus.  

These are the words of Jesus, challenging and convicting…

  • Branches that don’t bear fruit (imposter branches) are cut off and good for nothing.
  • We can’t bear fruit apart from Jesus. Abiding in Him is the source of fruit in our lives.
  • Apart from him, we can do NOTHING.  (let that sink in…NOTHING)

I will close with a few more words from Jesus.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” Mark 4:9.

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Robert Lee Fleet Sr., known as Foag to most that knew him, passed on January 4, 2021. He is remembered by his wife Susanne and their three sons Robert (Jody), Randall (Shawn) and Ryan (Lisa). Robert was well known for his larger-than-life flirtations and sense of humor. He adored his ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He lived a very long and full life filled with his love of work, hunting, fishing, farming, family and friends. He will be missed but will live in our hearts forever. A memorial service is planned for this summer.

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Michael (Dziadzia) Kulak Jr. age 86 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, January 1, 2021 at Spectrum Health United Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Mike was born February 7, 1934 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Michael and Josephine (Scczytko) Kulak. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 – 58. He was very independent in caring for himself and in the past had enjoyed fishing and gardening. He was a great father and grandfather and enjoyed being with his family and was often the life of the party. Surviving are his children, Ed (Sandy) Kulak, Mike (Dawn) Kulak, Chris (Mike) Bayne, Teresa Kulak, Dianna (Bob) VanProoyen, Cindy (Brian) Fettig, Dan (Laura) Kulak, Brian (Kimberly) Kulak; 15 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; sisters, Rosie Karpowicz and Josie Kulak; brother-in-law, Frank Bielecki. He was preceded in death by his wife, Della in 2010; sisters, Stella Domanski and Dorothy Bielecki; brother, Edward Kulak. Visitation was held Tuesday, January 5 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Mass of Christian Burial was Wednesday, January 6 at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment St. Margaret’s Catholic Cemetery, Harvard. Memorial contributions may be made to Michigan Special Olympics.

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

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