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Archive | Obituary

PAMELA T. BENEDICT

Pamela T. Benedict age 59 of Sand Lake, died Sunday, July 5, 2020 at Mission Point of Cedar Springs. Pam was born September 2, 1960 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Carroll and Susan (Baribeau) Graves. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and organizing all of the get togethers. She loved Lake Michigan. Surviving are her husband, Randall whom she married on September 8, 1979; siblings, Deana (Joe) Oddo, Denise (Paul) Collins, Patty (Roger) Miller, Melissa (Mike) Hekkema, Doug (Ellen) Graves, Stan Slate; mother-in-law, Anna Truman; many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Mark Graves, Tim Graves; sister, Debbie Slate. Cremation will take place at this time and celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

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

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THELMA MAE GOULD

Thelma Mae Gould age 91 of Cedar Springs died June 29, 2020 at Trillium Woods in Byron Center, MI. Thelma was born February 12, 1929 in Belmont, MI the daughter of Murel and Marjorie (Wilkinson) Ball. She is survived by her children, Beth A. Gould Phelps, Bruce E. (Deborah) Gould, Douglas A. Gould; 10 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandsons. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; grandson, Derek Gould; brothers, Howard and Chuck Ball; sisters, Glenna LaValley, Adeline Rusche. Graveside services will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions to Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church or Faith Hospice.

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

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MARIANNE BLANCHARD

Marianne Blanchard, age 89, of Cedar Springs, passed away Thursday morning, June 11, 2020 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born June 8, 1931 in Sand Lake, Michigan to George Arthur and Isabel (Moyle) Blanchard. She grew up in Sand Lake and was Valedictorian of the Sand Lake High School Class of 1949. She attended Michigan State University earning a degree in Home Economics and Education. In 1958 she earned her Master’s Degree in Home Economics Curriculum from Michigan State University. Marianne was employed for 35 years at Battle Creek Public School District, during which time she updated the curriculum guide both in 1953 and 1970. She taught Home Economics at Southeastern Junior High and Battle Creek Central High School and Nutrition at Kellogg Community College. She also taught math and English at Southeastern. She was one of the first Home Economic teachers to establish a Home Economics class for boys. In 1985 Marianne was chosen as the Home Economics Teacher of the Year for the State of Michigan and selected in the top 12 Home Ec. Teachers in the country. When microwaves were new to kitchens she taught microwave cooking at Kellogg Community College, talked weekly on Live at Five Radio and Television Show and also had a television show called “Microwaving with Marianne.” Marianne was a member of the First Congregational Church and its Ruth Vore-Susan Winslow Circle. She served on the Town Hall Board six years serving as president for two years and also served on the Y-Center Board of Directors for five years. She could be seen swimming laps most mornings at the Y-Center. She volunteered for the American Red Cross for 33 years and the Cayman Red Cross for five years in the Cayman Islands where she spent her winters. She was a member of N.E.A., M.E.A. and B.C.E.A., MSU Alumni Organization, Battle Creek Retired Teachers, Electrical Women’s Round Table and The Cedar Springs Order of Eastern Star. She was selected to be a “Kentucky Colonel” in 1969 by Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn. Marianne enjoyed traveling, adventure and domestic activities. She enjoyed scuba diving and para sailing and painted murals and totem poles along with being a sculptress. She was called upon by friends to do seamstress work or bake cakes for events. In 1983 she was the Ladies Champion Skeet Shooter at the Battle Creek Gun Club. Recently, taking an interest in genealogy and working with a genealogist she traced the Blanchard family back to the Mayflower. Surviving are nieces, Darlene Barlass of Spring Lake, Ml and Cheryl (Bill) Green of Rockford, Ml; nephews John (Beth) Blanchard of Jefferson City, MO and George Blanchard of Sarasota, FL; great-nieces and nephews: Amy Donaldson (Bill) and Mark Hoskins (Rebecca), Kristine Thaxton (Jon), Keri Gibbons (James) and Katie Seymour (Ken), Hailie Casteel (Cris), and Renee Blanchard; Robert Jr., and cousins Joan Brown, George Miller, and Tom, David and Meryl Hudson; also survived by a bunch of “adopted” grandchildren who referred to her as “Grandma Blanchard”. Marianne was preceded in death by her parents. She survived her five brothers, George Arthur Jr., Arden Moyle, Ward Douglas, John Moyle and Paul Steward; nephews, Ward Douglas Blanchard Jr. and Robert Blanchard; a niece Kelly Green and her special friend, James A. Shouldice. Due to the COVID-19 virus, a service will be held later when it is safe for family and friends to be together and celebrate Marianne’s life. Inurnment will be held at Sand Lake Cemetery, Sand Lake, MI. Donations can be made in Marianne’s name to The Y Center of Battle Creek and Meals on Wheels of Calhoun County. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

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ROBERT LEE GREENE

Robert Lee Greene, aged 64, of Cedar Springs Michigan, passed away in the company of his family Monday June 1, 2020. Robert was born June 11, 1955 at Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids. He graduated from Union High School and from there spent some time in the US Army. He worked 30 years as head of shipping for Auto Cast. He loved watching sports with his grandson, Detroit Pistons, Red Hawks, Tigers, he even hoped the Lions would see a superbowl. He was preceded in death by his parents, George Greene and Joanne Greene (Shoemaker). He is survived by his brothers, Ed (Michele), Jerry, George (Rosie), and Steve (Joan); his children, Lisa (Cecil), Robert (Charla); his grandchildren, Cecil, Austin, Dominick, Jasmine, Kiara, Alyssa and Ethan; his great-granddaughter, Isabelle and many neices, nephews and cousins. A Memorial Service will be held at Jackson Street Hall, 921 Jackson St., Grand Rapids, MI 49504 from 4 pm to 8 pm on June 14th. In leiu of flowers, please send donations through Go-Fund-Me gf.me/u/x7x5i4

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DOUGLAS DeWAYNE JONES

Douglas DeWayne Jones, 72, passed away on May 26, 2020. Doug was born in 1947 in Greenville, Michigan, to Thelma and Harry Jones. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1965 and enlisted in the US Marine Corp in 1966. Doug served in Viet Nam until 1969 when he was honorably discharged. He was employed by Sparta Foundry until his retirement in 1994. He then pursued his dream of living in the west and relocated to Cody, Wyoming where he worked on various ranches and was an elk hunting guide. Doug enjoyed hunting, guiding, horseback riding, leather working, everything about the American West and many different sports. He was an avid bowler and did a short stint with the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association at the age of 50. Doug was very involved with and held several officer chair positions at the Eagles Lodge in Cody, ending with Junior Past Worthy President. He loved guiding and showing Wyoming to his many out of state visitors. In 2000 he was named “Guide of the Year” by the Cody Country Guides and Outfitters Association. He was hardworking, quick to help and loved his family fiercely. He was proud of his grandkids and their many accomplishments. He will be remembered for his huge hugs, his easy laugh and his fabulous moustache. He is survived by his wife Jan; daughter, Sandy (Joe) Lee; sons, Scott (Colette) Jones, and Darin (Alicia) Jones; step-children, Becky (Chris) Voss, Lisa (Sean) Harmon and Christie (Jayson) Pearson; 16 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; his siblings Pam (Dana) Freas, Vern (Irene) Jones, Calvin (Jan) Jones and Steven (Cathy) Jones. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Trudy Smitterberg and brother Michael. A celebration of life service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 13 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 1101 13th St. in Cody. 

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BARBARA JOAN HARLESS

Barbara Joan Harless age 88 of Cedar Springs, Michigan passed away at her home on May 26, 2020 with her loving family by her side. She was born in Anderson, Indiana on April, 3rd, 1932 to Vesta Ravilla and James Glen Murray. In 1946 she met the love of her life, Mac Harless, while working as a carhop on roller skates at a local drive-in. He stopped to get a sandwich while on leave from the Merchant Marines. His first words to her were “I am going to marry you”. Her reply was “Oh you think so do you”? and skated away. They did marry and celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary on April 3rd, 2020. For the first eleven years they resided in Indiana until 1960 when Mac was transferred to Grand Rapids, Michigan. From there they moved to Big Myers lake in Rockford then moved to Cedar Springs. Barbara was a very dedicated wife and mother and cherished every moment with her family. She has always said that the most exciting days of her life was when she found out she was going to be a grandma. When she was not fussing over her husband or family she could be found in town shopping and talking, never at a loss for words, she always had something to say. She took pride in her home and yard and spent many hours keeping them looking clean and beautiful. In the summer you could find her outside every day with her flowers, and keeping all of the many bird feeders full. All animals were dear to her. There was nothing she would not do for them. In 2016 she met Father Lam of St. John Paul II Catholic Church. She and Mac started RCIA classes and became members of the church in 2017. She dearly loved her faith and all of her fellow parishioners. She has said many times that that was one of the most happiest days of her life. She was proceeded in death by her son, Carl Michael: her parents, brother, Richard Murray and many relatives and friends. Barbara is survived by her husband Mac D. Harless; a daughter, Teressa (Dan) Taylor; three grandchildren, Mike Dykstra, Marci Harless, and Melissa Harless; four step-grandchildren, Lori Kolodziej, Chris Lyon, Andrea Morrow, and Kendra Chapman; three great-grandchildren and ten step-great-grandchildren. There was a Mass of Christian Burial at St. John Paul II Catholic Church in Cedar Springs, Michigan on May 29th, 2020. She was laid to rest at Solon Township Cemetery. There is a video of the service on the church website on facebook. Memorial contributions can be made to St. John Paul II Catholic Church.

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ARVAJEAN I. STONER

Arvajean I. Stoner age 87 of Sand Lake, died Thursday, May 21, 2020 at her home. Arvajean was born April 30, 1933 the daughter of Archie and Berneice (Hudson) Porter. She was a member of the Church of the Full Gospel, Sand Lake. Surviving are her children, Karen Stoner, Gerrilee (Doug) Morell, Gale Magoon (Julian Balderrama), Jeffrey Stoner, Kevin (Nichole) Stoner; 20 grandchildren; many great and great great grandchildren; brother, Carmon (Wally) Porter; sisters, Shirley (Tom) Sharp, Babe Gust, Linda (Jim) Babylon, Sally Brooms, Susan Trader; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerry; son, Michael; and granddaughter, Miranda. A public visitation was held Tuesday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The family will not be present. A family graveside will be held on Saturday, May 30 at Solon Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice, 750 Fuller Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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

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BARBARA HELSEL

Barbara Jean Helsel age 91 of Cedar Springs went to be with her Lord surrounded by her family on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. She was born January 15, 1929 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of Roger and Helen (Hanna) Fisk. She grew up on the family farm on Fisk Knob where she and her brothers and sisters spent many happy days working and playing on the knob. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting and growing a large garden. Every year you would find her canning as many jars of fruit and vegetables as she could to prepare her family for the year ahead. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ora; grandson, Jason Rideout; brother, Jack Fisk. Surviving are her children, Dianne (John) Rideout, Linda Shotko, Rodney (Jeannie) Helsel; 3 brothers; 3 sisters; 7 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchildren. Family services were held at Pilgrim Bible Church with Pastor David Ward officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pilgrim Bible Church. The family would like to thank the caring staff of Emmanuel Hospice and her personal care givers for their loving care to Barbara. 

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

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AVIS COVEL

Avis Covell age 81 of Cedar Springs died Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus. She was born November 28, 1938 in Wayland, MI the daughter of Raymond (Ruth Wycoff) Schestag. Avis was a social butterfly. She knew people no matter where she went, even out of state. She loved her family, especially the grandchildren and was dearly loved by them. Avis enjoyed Sunday dinners, camping and bonfires and was the bridge that kept everyone together. She is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years Leon; children, Teresa (Rock) Spicer, Tracy (Ted) Spicer, Todd (Sara) Covell; grandchildren, Daniel (Diane) Spicer, Amy Spicer, Randy (Lianna) Spicer; great-grandchildren, Chelsey, Rayann, Megyn, Landon, Cole; great-great-granddaughter, Cecelia; siblings, June Mabie, Harvey Schestag, Margie Ruis, Gary Schestag, Cheryl Schoenborn. She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter, Mandy Spicer. It was Avis’ wish to not have a funeral. In lieu of flowers please consider memorial contributions to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation P.O. Box 4368 East Lansing, MI 48826 or the American Heart Association, 3940 Peninsular Dr. SE Ste 180 Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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

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LOREN W. FREY

Loren W. Frey age 102 of Ensley Township, Sand Lake, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at his beloved family farm with his family by his side. Loren was born August 31, 1917 in Ensley Township, MI the son of Harold and Dora (Borton) Frey. He attended Frey Country School and graduated from Sand Lake High School. He was a member of South Ensley United Methodist Church where he had been church superintendent. He was a member of the 4-H, Sons of the American Revolution and the Ensley School Board. He was a farmer all of his life and had been a die maker at General Motors for 30 years retiring in 1980. He had cared for his grandparents and wife and was a loving husband and father. Surviving are his children, Norman Frey and Hilda, Jack and Holly Frey, Janet and Gary Rogers, Joy and John Alex, Kay Deacey, Karna and Joe Montambo, Paul and Val Frey; son-law, Richard Morris; 33 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Violet and a daughter, Nancy Morris. A private visitation and family service was held at Crandall Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice or South Ensley United Methodist Church. 

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

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