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Archive | Obituary

RALPH G. BERGMAN


Ralph G. “Jerry” Bergman age 90 of Sand Lake died Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at his home. Jerry was born June 24, 1931 in Ensley Township to Ralph and Mellicent (Woodman) Bergman. He served in the U.S. Army. Jerry was a member of the Cedar Springs Rotary, Tri-Corner VFW 7912, Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce, G.R. Real Estate Board, Independent Bank Board of Directors, Tri-County Eagles 4467, Tri-County Area School Board, Sand Lake Village-former President, and Sand Lake Fire Department. He was owner of Jerry’s Service for 15 years and was a real estate owner and broker with Century 21 and a realtor with Greenridge Realty. Surviving are his children, Gail (Ed) Prentice, Rick (Patty) Bergman, Rosemarie (Gary) Ells, Mike (Lisa) Bergman; grandchildren, Courtney (Matt) Steers, Kerry Prentice, Nicole, Amber, Kyle (Ashley) Bergman, Kelsey (Nate) Kidder, Jasmine, Krista VanDyke, Stephanie (Tim) Kisner, Chad, Jason (Samantha), Nicholas Bergman; 11 great-grandchildren; brother, Edward (Luisa) Bergman; sister, Nancy Northup; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine; son, Jack; grandson, Michael. The family will greet friends Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a Rosary will be prayed at 4:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday 11:00 a.m. at Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery with military honors by the U.S. Army. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

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AUDRA L. VAN HAREN

Audra L. van Haren age 46 passed away Sunday, January 16, 2022 at her home with her family and close friends present. Audra was born December 18, 1975 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Edwin and Theresa (Burnham) Rogers. Audra was a mother, daughter, sister and friend. Her three beautiful daughters were the light of her life and she was so incredibly proud of each of them. There really isn’t enough room on this page to speak about how many lives Audra touched and changed in 46 years. She exuded love and joy. She said once, “I ask God every day to increase my faith and that I can get up with joy every day. I don’t always get up with joy, but I CHOOSE to be joyful nearly every day.” She embodied this with how gracefully she handled her cancer diagnosis. Audra wanted her faith and trust in God to be a testimony to others and never waivered. She was impressive and inspiring, grateful and funny, a lover of life and adventure. A uniquely beautiful soul. Audra was a light to this world we so badly need and anyone lucky enough to meet her saw that instantly. Surviving are her daughters, Darion (Spencer) Gordon, Mallory van Haren, Maiya van Haren; parents, Ed and Terri Rogers; brother, Adam Rogers; many aunts, uncles, and close friends. She was preceded in death by her brother, Aaron Rogers; aunt, Sheila Drenton. A memorial service and celebration of her life will take place in the spring. Details to follow. A private family burial will take place at Solon Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice or Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 

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

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LYLE PERRY JR.

Lyle Perry Jr., age 94, passed away early Wednesday morning January 12, 2022 at his home in Cedar Springs, MI. He was born October 20, 1927 in Grand Rapids, MI to Lyle and Mildred (Sharp) Perry. His little sister was Betty Jane Perry. Lyle graduated from Sand Lake High School in 1946. He was in the US Army, 25th Division (Tropic Lightning), 35th Infantry Regiment on occupied duty in Japan, 1946-1948. Lyle married Gwendolyn Claire Motyer on October 28, 1949. He earned a B.B.A. degree at Western Michigan University in 1953, and a M.B.A. and teaching degree in secondary education with a vocational education teaching certificate in 1965. He and his wife owned and operated Perry’s Super Market in Trufant. He taught at East Kentwood High School for 23 years. Lyle was a member of Pierson Methodist Church, then Trufant St. Thomas Lutheran Church and for the past 58 years a member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Lyle was a member of Sparta Lodge #334, Free and Accepted Masons. He enjoyed travels with his wife Gwen, playing cards, playing piano, singing in church choirs, writing poems, writing letters to newspaper editors, reading books, talking with friends and family and he loved the ways of nature. He thoroughly enjoyed eating out at Kelly’s Restaurant and visiting friends. Lyle is survived by four of his five children, Lyle III (Ellen) Perry, Lizabeth (Dennis) Boe, Lenn Perry, Lonn (Ruth) Perry; grandchildren, Jessamine (Frank) Sicotte, Max Perry, Chace Perry, Johannes (Elizabeth) Boe, Nicholas (Desi) Boe, Suzy (Jared) Goulart, Aaron (Rachael) Perry, Joe Perry, Nathan Perry; great-grandchildren, Kalysta, Jaiden, Ailie, Ole, Thorren, Dodger, Bronte, Thatcher, Verity, Lilija, Annika, Braxton; great-great-grandchildren, Daejah, Novella, Jayse; favorite sister-in-law, Shirley (Motyer) Ehman; several close cousins, nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gwendolyn; father and mother; sister, Betty Frandsen; brothers- in-law, Elwood Frandsen, Douglas Ehman, and Derwin Motyer; sister-in-law, Imogene (Grimes) Motyer; son, Lee Perry; niece, Thais (Ehman) Van Ginhoven; granddaughter, Emily and great-great-granddaughter, Deylani. The family would like to thank Dr. Mark O’Brien, DNP Maria Kurlenda, Elders’ Helpers, Spectrum Health VNA, Interim Healthcare Home Care & Private Duty, and brother Lenn for the excellent care and support of our father. The family will greet friends Friday, January 28 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Memorial service will be Saturday 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St, Cedar Springs. Pastor Michelle Vallier officiating. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to C.S. United Methodist Church PO Box K, Cedar Springs, MI  49319 or the Alpha Family Center 6 N First St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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

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MARILYN JEAN MOYER

Marilyn Jean Moyer (Hitchens), age 82, was born April 4, 1939, went to be with Jesus on December 22, 2021. She spent her 1st Christmas in Heaven this year; it was her favorite time of year celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Marilyn will be forever loved by her husband Jerry Moyer, married on January 2, 1999. Born in Detroit, MI., she attended Ludington High and graduated from Monroe High School. She studied Accounting/Business at Lansing Business University. Marilyn had a long successful career of 43 years as Kent County Circuit Court Clerk; she truly enjoyed her job and loved the people she worked alongside; she celebrated her retirement in 2001. She had a gift for organizing and assisting; she used her talents for her church, Frost Creek Church; Women’s and Children’s ministries, organized meals for family members of the sick, helped weekly in the church office, and organized the annual craft show. Marilyn also gave her time for the community using her abilities for Engedi Youth Center by mentoring at the school and the Silent auctions. Marilyn will be remembered with love by Pam (Mike) Swan, grandchildren, Kali (Terry), Krista (Adrain), and Kamie; Tom (Kim) Holloway, grandchildren Taylor (Nathan), Christian (Shelby), and Jackson, Deb (Duane) Granger, grandchildren Jonathon (Andrea), Krista (Dirk), Andy (Yolanna), Timothy (Tracey); (Robin (Steve) DeYoung, grandchildren, Shannen (Ross), Scott (Becky), Brian; Randy (Carri) Moyer, grandchildren Tiffany (Joe), Jenny (Jason), Shalynn (Cody); Lisa Pappas, grandchildren James, Stephanie (Tommy); Jerry (Deb) Moyer, grandchildren Jay (Tiffany), Marilyn leaves a total of 34 great-grandchildren; Marilyn, a mother to many, so grateful for the life she gave them. Mel and Kim Holloway, family members, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. John and Dorothy Hitchens, son-in-law Mark Pappas and grandson Chris Moyer. Marilyn lived each day as a gift – celebrating and spending time with her family, Her love was unconditional, her faith in God was at the Forefront of Her Life. Marilyn’s love will go on in our Hearts and in our Minds. Marilyn’s Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, January 22nd, at 11 a.m. at Frost Creek Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs, with Pastor Dylan Mason officiating. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Frost Creek Church or Alpha Family Center, PO Box 450, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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DAN M. CHRISTIE

Dan M. Christie age 76 of Sand Lake, died Monday, January 10, 2022 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Dan was born November 14, 1945 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Robert and Eleanor (Reminga) Christie. He was a graduate of Rockford High School and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He retired from SBC (Michigan Bell) after 30 years. He loved horses and was a member of the Michigan Trail Riders Association and the Red Flannel Saddle Club. He enjoyed sports of all kinds and following his sons, especially wrestling. He drove bus for Rockford Schools for 10 years after retirement and for many of their sporting events. Surviving are his wife, Diane (Kilts) whom he married on May 2, 1970; sons, Kyle and Kirk; grandchildren, Karrigan (Daniel) Atkins, Kamri, Kalette, Kyrianna, Casey, Kylen, Evelyn, Hazel; great-grandson, Julyian; sister, Darla Ransom; many nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dave, Dale and Doug. The family will greet friends Thursday, January 13 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. Viewing will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Ben Lester officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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

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RUTH E. HAYDEN

Ruth E. Hayden, age 82, of Sand Lake, Michigan, passed away on January 5, 2022. Ruth was born on May 17, 1939 to Clayton and Mable (Gibson) Simpson. After graduation from Sand Lake High School in 1957, Ruth eloped with Nile Hayden and spent the next eighteen years as a military wife traveling with his career in the United States Air Force. Ruth was a very talented lady and known as “Mrs. Mouse” from her days owning The Mouse House Craft Store in Sand Lake. Her talents ranged from cake decorating to tole painting, and everything in between. Ruth took pride in being a Life Auxiliary Member of both the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans. Ruth is survived by her devoted husband of sixty-four years, Nile Hayden; her children, Cherrie Camilleri, Carrie (Warren) Smith, Charles (Martha) Hayden; six grandchildren; and her sister Carol Simpson. There will be a life-tribute gathering for friends and family this spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ruth’s name can be made to the Sand Lake Fire Department, 2 E. Maple St., Sand Lake, Michigan 49343 or to the Nelson Township / Sand Lake Library, 88 Bass Lake Rd., Sand Lake, Michigan 49343.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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LONNIE DWYAINE ARMSTRONG

Lonnie Dwyaine Armstrong, age 65 of Sand Lake Michigan, took his last breath on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. He was born to Lenny Gordon Jackson and Alexander Dwyaine Armstrong on April 17, 1956. He is remembered and is dearly missed already as a faithful servant, bold leader, intensely loving dad, tenderly fun grandpa, transparent friend, passionate coach, generous giver, and aggressive teddy bear. Lonnie grew up in Cedar Springs, Michigan and graduated from Cedar Springs High School, Class of 1974. CSHS is where he first found his passion for the sport of wrestling as a lightweight. It was also there that he met Gail Maureen Bailey, his best friend, confidant and love of his life. They married January 24, 1975 and began their adventure and legacy of unconditional love together. He may have been a lightweight in high school but when he started coaching wrestling around 1981, his larger-than-life personality thundered into the spotlight. It was also around 1981 that he came to know Jesus as his Savior and the legacy grew. Lonnie and Gail loyally raised four children in their beloved hometown. He worked at American Seating and then transitioned to business owner for FedEx all while coaching wrestling. Lonnie passed on the acceptance that he experienced from his high school wrestling team and from his wife’s family. It translated as a deep desire for every wrestler/young person to have the chance to know that they were capable, valued, and accepted – as the many youth that he coached and led over the last 40+ years can attest. He wanted everyone to be intentional about a purpose-driven life, to believe in each other as the power of a team, and to know that there is an opportunity of unconditional love because we are first loved unconditionally by our Heavenly Father. The walls of the Armstrong home are adorned with family photos and memories at every turn. He loved his family even more fiercely than wrestling and would get in his own way showing it. He loved to have control and actually chuckled with Gail at his pride during his abrupt illness. Lonnie was good at laughing at himself and knew that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. He lived that out by pushing other people to shine out their strengths, and trying so hard to learn to be better himself. Though you probably know he loved his land, business, and competition, his true legacy is the relationships that were built with those things as the tool. His family will treasure the memories of walks down the trails, dirt bikes at the sand dunes, camping at the cabin, quad rides with grandpa, learning lessons while chopping wood and delivering it to people in need, learning to hang deer stands and hunt, the lesson-based stories he told.. and re-told. He will be missed by the Calvary Baptist Greenville Middle School small groups, the 2022 Rockford Middle School Wrestling Team, the Men’s Saturday morning small group, all the people that called on him as a capable and loyal friend and brother, many others we don’t even know about, and most of all his family that he loved so dearly and truly, cherishing every relationship. Lonnie is survived by his gracious wife of 46 years, Gail Armstrong; children Aaron (Missy) Armstrong, Holly (Troy) Anderson, Sara (Jeremiah) Gitchel, Lee (Lindsey) Armstrong; the grandkids, Austin (Julia), Dawson (Ashely), Casen, Quaden, Brody, Ryker, Léda, Isaac, Avery, Eden, Porter, Brecken; the great-grandkids, Stella and Arbor; his sister Rhonda Davis; brother Rick (Jan) Pierman, many in-laws, nephews, nieces, and cousins. His memorial service will be held at a later date, to be determined. To honor his memory, please send a card to 16913 Penny Ave, Sand Lake MI 49343 with a note of a lesson, memory, or story that you remember of Lonnie or of the impact that he had on your life. Memorial contributions can be made to Calvary Baptist Church 12501 Montcalm Rd. Greenville, MI 48838 memo: Lonnie Armstrong Memorial – Student Ministries.

A friend accurately wrote “He loved Jesus and is spending eternity with Him. He would love nothing more than to see you in Heaven with Him.”

Pass it on.

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VIRGINIA LOU CHRISTENSEN

Virginia Lou (Frandsen) Christensen, lifelong resident of Trufant, passed away Monday, January 3, 2022 at Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville after a brief illness. She was born May 18, 1936 in Trufant, the daughter of William and Christine (Albertson) Frandsen. Her brothers always told her she was born during a thunderstorm, and they had to stay in the barn with their dad. On March 20, 1954, Virginia married Charles Christensen. Together, she and Chuck owned and operated Chuck’s Standard Service from 1959 to 1971. From 1971 to 2014, they owned and operated Christensen’s Farm and Home Center. Virginia loved everything “Trufant”. She was original Chamber of Commerce member since its inception in 1978. She was a member of the Fireman’s Auxiliary for many years. She was a girl scout leader, a member of the “Mother’s Club (similar to the PTA)” in the 1960’s, and a member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church. Virginia was a correspondent for the Lakeview Area News, writing “Trufant Talk” about the Trufant area. She was a big supporter of local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, but her passion was for the Trufant Jubilee. She was a volunteer for the Jubilee from the beginning, and served as event chairperson for several years. While she loved everything about her Trufant community, her greatest love was her family. Virginia is survived by her children, Vickie (Ralph) Krantz of Trufant, Keith Christensen of Trufant, Roger (Deb) Christensen of Greenville and Scott Christensen of Greenville; granddaughter, Linda Christensen of Greenville; grandsons, Phillip (Katie) Krantz of Greenville, Paul (Amy) Krantz of Trufant, and Michael (Ashley) Christensen of Trufant; great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Christensen of Trufant, Alex and Abby Krantz of Greenville, and Peyton and Cohen Krantz of Trufant; sister-in-law, Shirley Frandsen of Spring Lake; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and many beloved frienids. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Chuck; grandson, Reed Christensen; brothers, Andrew (Mary) Frandsen, Albert (Betty) Frandsen, and Algar Frandsen; nieces, Marcia Tisdel and Connie Williams; father-in-law, Erving Christensen; foster parents-in-law, E.J. and Louise Hall; foster sister-in-law, Marlene (Don) Keeler; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The family would like to thank the staff at Spectrum Health United Hospital for their excellent care and support during her brief stay. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 7, 2022 at Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville, Rev. Terese Whitten officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Interment will be in Trufant Cemetery. Masks are recommended for both visitation and the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to St. Thomas Lutheran Church, the Trufant Firemen’s Scholarship Fund, or a charity of your choice, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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SUE ANN REXFORD

Sue Ann Rexford, age 67, of Kent City, Michigan, passed away peacefully in her home on December 21, 2021. Sue loved her horses, dogs – Cinca and Penny (and many more that proceeded her in death), her goats along with her first and only love – Cary Rackett. She was happiest outside on her lawn mower or gator. Sue was a hard worker with a very big heart. She did not have much, but was always willing to help or give even though that meant keeping her heat down to 62 degrees to save on the heat bill so she had money to buy gifts. You never had to guess what was on Sue’s mind! She would tell you more than you wanted to hear. Sue is survived by her brother, Lyle Rexford; sister, Shirley Afton; and two nieces, Theresa (Tim) Beach and Tammy (Rolando) Soto. Sue was proceeded in death by her parents, Darrell Rexford and Dorothy Anderson; stepdad, John Anderson; brother-in-law, Tom Afton; aunts and uncles, Ramon (Donna) Rexford, Bob (Alice) Place, and Ward Rexford. Sue has asked that all contributions be sent to the Kent City Fire Department. She was very proud of her cousin, Mike Rexford (Fire Chief) and the department for all they have contributed to Kent City and the surrounding area over the years. A Memorial gathering will be held at a later time. Please check back on the Sparta funeral home website for updated information.

Arrangements by Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home, Sparta

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ALBERT JAMES ROEMER, JR.

Albert James Roemer, Jr. age 81 of Sand Lake, died Thursday, December 30, 2021 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. He was born June 18, 1940 in Meadville, PA the son of Albert and Mary (Gay) Roemer Sr. He had owned and operated Roemer Auto Parts from 1970-82 and Roemer Muffler & Brakes from 1991-2010. He loved his motorcycle, traveling and antique cars. He was a member of Community Christian Reformed Church, Wyoming. Surviving are his wife, Kandy; children, Renee Keil, Karla (Barb) Page, Terri (Tim) O’Neill; granddaughter, Karly Perkins; great-grandson, Jaxon; sisters, Janet Roemer, Ruth Roemer. The family will greet friends Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Dave Struyk officiating. Interment Pierson Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Community Christian Reformed Church, 150 Burt Ave. SE, Wyoming, MI 49548.

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

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