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Mark Stephen Schupp, 54, of Howard City, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 26, 2015 while on a hiking trip with the youth group. Mark was born February 11, 1961 in Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Doris (Williams) Schupp III. He worked in maintenance at Rockford Public Schools since 1989. Surviving are his wife, Cynthia (Owen); children, Stephen, David, Luke, Isaac, and Jenna; brothers, Kevin and Joel; sister, Linda Thomas; mother-in-law, Joyce Owen; brothers-in-law, Howard and Mick; special uncle and aunt, Clarence (Nancy) Hamilton. He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law, Moses Ray Owen. At the age of 20, Mark gave his life to the Lord under the influence of his friend and mentor, Rich Steptoe. He accompanied Rich in his bus ministry, inner-city ministries, and visitation. Mark will be remembered for being kind and caring, intent on being a warrior for Christ. He lived to serve others with an intense passion and took special pleasure in serving his beloved wife, Cindy, and their five children. He made life fun, coaching their basketball teams, taking them on trips, and creating adventures around their home. Life with Mark was never dull, as his creativity filled their lives with pirates, caped heroes, Indians, cavemen, knights, dinosaurs, fireworks, bonfires, zip lines, forts, tea parties, science lessons, woodworking, wrestling/boxing, and so much more. Every birthday was marked with a special Mark-created cake. Mark proudly invested in his children’s interests by attending sporting events, plays/musicals, and recitals. After all the fun, he was a dad willing to listen, read, talk, and fill his children’s lives with the Word of God. Mark was a member of the First Baptist Church of Newaygo where he taught an adult Sunday school class and was an AWANA leader. In the past, Mark served as a VBS coordinator, visitation team member, youth leader, and basketball ministry helper. His dedication to God was evident in how he served his church and community. When Mark met Cindy, he was a city boy. He let himself be led to the woods of Michigan and never looked back. He assimilated himself into her world, and together they created a life for their family. He worked alongside Cindy to help care for their family members, their children, and their church family. It’s this Mark that will be greatly missed, but we celebrate that he is now enjoying being in the presence of his Lord. The family will greet friends Thursday from 5-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, in Cedar Springs. The celebration of life will be held Friday at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 233 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. Pastors Daryl Crawford, Danny Hicks, Mark Holman, Mike King, and Steve Mackey officiating. Interment at Algoma Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Pine Ridge Bible Camp Sports Discipleship Ministry or to an education fund for Mark’s children.

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

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Sarah Ann Coulson


C-OBIT-CoulsonSarah Ann Coulson, 45 of Allendale died Monday, July 13, 2015 at her home. Sarah was born April 8, 1970 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Richard and Ruth (Sims) Cain. Sarah grew up in Wyoming, MI and  graduated from Rogers High School in 1988. She went on to college and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor degree. She was very outgoing, had a lot of friends, a quick smile and was very giving to others. Surviving are her husband, Scott; children, Sasha, Zane and Zoe; father, Richard Cain of Charlevoix; brother, Shawn (Tammy) Cain of Cedar Springs, sister, Stacie (Francisco) Ramirez of Grant. She was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth (Sims) Cain and brother, Stephen Paul Cain. A graveside service was held Tuesday, July 21 at East Nelson Cemetery, 8700 18 Mile Road, NE, Cedar Springs. Pastor Bruce Chapman officiated. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate help with the funeral expenses. You may contribute at www.thecoulsons.com/funeral

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

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Della May Michaels, 95, of Cedar Springs, died Monday, July 13, 2015 at Arbor Rose Senior Center, Mesa, Arizona. Della was born October 12, 1919 in Grant, Michigan, the daughter of John and Cora (Kennedy) Lamb. Following graduation from high school she attended Western Michigan Teacher’s College and began teaching in one room schools in 1939. She later received her bachelor degree from Western Michigan University and her master’s from University of Michigan. She taught the majority of her years for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Della enjoyed gardening, and along with her husband enjoyed square dancing, ballroom dancing and traveling. Her greatest passion was her family. She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, George in 2014. Surviving are her children, Mary Nunnaley, Gene (Linda) Michaels, John (Carolyn) Michaels; three grandchildren; 10 great granddaughters; several nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and there will be no service. Interment will take place at West Cemetery, Big Rapids.

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

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Leona J. Sheppard, 67, of Sand Lake, passed away Monday, July 13, 2015 at Spectrum Health United Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Leona was born August 29, 1947 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of Eddie and Orvena (Woolston) Johnson. She loved her family and grandchildren and enjoyed knitting, needlepoint, reading and camping. Surviving are her husband, George Sheppard Jr. whom she married on May 7, 1976; children, Lisa (Bruce) Westbrook, Scott (Darci) Harig; grandchildren, Alec, Courney, and Nicole Westbrook, Stephanie, Isabella, and Annalise Harig; sister, Caroline Timmerman. A celebration of her life will be held at the Scott Harig residence. 11274 W. Briggs Road, Trufant, on Thursday, July 16 at 3:00 pm.

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

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28C-obit-Inman28C-obit-Inman-2-webDionna Angeline Inman, age 74, was peacefully escorted by angels into the arms of her Lord and Savior, while surrounded by her loving family, July 9th, 2015. Born in Grand Rapids and a life-long resident of Cedar Springs, Donie was crowned Red Flannel Queen in 1956. A seamstress by trade, her handiwork has clothed many a child, drama team members, and Halloween enthusiasts. Best known for her unconditional love for everyone she met and warm, welcoming smile. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dio and Virginia Shaffer; her husband, Russell Inman; son Stanley Levanduski; and brother, David Shaffer. She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Dawn (Ken) Brecken, Ronda (Lee) Olds, Sherry (Bill) Kerr, Russell (Chris) Inman, Stacy (Paul) Thrasher, Charlie Roberts; grandchildren, Zachary Rogers, Kia Ribic, Paige Rogers and Russell Inman, and many great grandchildren; as well as many other extended and honorary grandchildren; sister, Judy (Keith) Hemmila; and brothers, Phil (Ruth) Shaffer, Doug (Judy) Shaffer, Jeff (Lisa) Shaffer; and sister-in-law, Karen Shaffer; numerous nieces and nephews, and beloved puppies Bella and Misty Bear. A time of visitation was held on Sunday, July 12, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341.The service celebrating Donie’s life was held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, with   Rev. Keith Hemmilla officiating. Interment will be in Solon Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Faith Hospice – Development Office, 2100 Raybrook Street SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home Pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Virginia M. Connor, 91 of Covenant Village, Grand Rapids, formerly of Cedar Springs, passed away Monday, July 6, 2015. Virginia was born July 27, 1923 on the family farm in Algoma Township the daughter of Lewis “Jack” and Marie (Colby) Pennington. She graduated from Sparta High School and was a longtime member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. She loved music and enjoyed singing in the choir at church for many years. Virginia and her husband lived on a farm west of Cedar Springs. She was a homemaker for 62 years and her family was most important to her. Surviving are her children, Carol Connor, Connie (Clare) Kidder, Bill (Peg) Connor, Marilyn (Mike) Slater; grandchildren, David Kidder, Laura (Ben) Courtright, Robert Connor, Andrea (Brian Nadeau) Connor, Stephen Connor, Katie (Chris) Bond, Sarah Bakhan, Todd (Ashley) Slater; 11 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert on the same date, July 6 in 1998 and a sister, Ruth Humphreys. The family will greet friends Thursday, July 9 from 10:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Private family interment at Blythefield Memory Gardens, Belmont. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church or Habitat for Humanity.

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

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Jerome Albert Ratz


Mr. Jerome Albert Ratz of Alma, Michigan, formerly of Cedar Springs, age 89, has completed all the designs laid down on the Trestleboard of Life on Sunday, July 5, 2015, and has answered the summons of the Grand Warden of Heaven and Earth and has entered into the Grand Lodge over which the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe presides. Jerome was born to Albert and Margaret Ratz on Tuesday, March 30, 1926, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.  He was preceded in death by his parents; and beloved wife Annabelle M. Ratz.    Jerry and Ann lived a majority of their lives in the Grand Rapids area and Lakeland, Florida with his resent residence being Alma, MI.  As a truehearted countryman, Jerome proudly and courageously served his flag and country in the United States Army during the final years of World War II. Jerome was always active and incredibly proud of his service with the freemasons. He was a life-member  of Masonic Lodge #344 of Sparta, MI, a life-member of Peninsular Chapter #65 OES, a member of Saladin Shriner’s Big Wheels and a PABG Job’s Daughters Bethel #10. He also worked most of his life as a television repair man, eventually retiring from the Kent Intermediate School District. Jerome is survived by his loving children, Terry (David) Pierce of Dublin, OH, Wendy (James) Echtinaw of Newaygo, MI, Thomas Ratz of Grand Canyon, AZ, Theodore (Kathy) Ratz of Titusville, FL, Jill (Finn) Kilsgaard of Orlando, FL, Todd Ratz of Grand Rapids, MI, and Tammy (Kary) Dankenbring of Cedar Springs, MI; thirteen grandchildren; and sixteen great grandchildren. The memorial service for Jerome will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Rev. Dr.  Steven D. Pierce will be officiating. There will be a time of visitation one hour prior to the memorial service from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., also at Pederson Funeral Home. Inurnment will be at Graceland Memorial Park, Grand Rapids, MI. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, 1200 Wright Avenue, Alma, MI 48801.

Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Marian L. Osech, age 84, of Cedar Springs, passed away on July 4, 2015. She was known to many as “Ma” and had an open door for everyone. She enjoyed routine trips to the casino. She was strong willed, independent, and when times were tough, she knew to say something to make you laugh. She enjoyed being a part of everyday life with her grandchildren, Stacy (CJ) Meade; and great grandchildren, Joseph, Matthew, and Jacob. She was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Roger; son, Skeet; two grandchildren, Patrick and Christopher Conway; brother in law, Ken Lockard. Marian will be greatly missed by her five children, Christie (Henry) Slagter, Deric (Terry) Osech, Leslie Osech, Sherri (Alan) Oberlin, Shelly Osech; 10 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; sisters, Bertha Lockard, Karen (Bill) Barnum, Shirley (Roy) Joppie, and Sandra (George) Kenney; several nieces and nephews. Friends met the family at the funeral home on Wednesday, July 8, 6 to 9 p.m. Graveside services will be held on Thursday, 11:00 a.m. at Solon Township Cemetery, 18 Mile at Algoma Ave.

Arrangements by Hessel Cheslek Funeral Home www.hesselcheslek.com 

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Dolores Marie (Branch) Williams, 89, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, July 3, 2015 at Twin Oaks Retirement Home, Gowen, with family by her side. Dolores was born on April 17, 1926 in Lockport, New York, the daughter of J. Weldon and Olivia (Christensen) Branch. The family lived in various places but settled in Trufant, Michigan in her teen years. She graduated from Lakeview High School in 1944 as Valedictorian of her class. On February 3, 1946, she married Edward L. Williams in Constantine, Michigan. They eventually settled in Cedar Springs. She was a hardworking, loving mother that raised four boys. She came to know Jesus Christ as her Savior along with her boys at Cedar Springs Baptist Church where she was a long time member. Her favorite pastimes were reading the Bible and the newspaper, gardening and collecting antiques. In their retirement, Dolores and her husband had a rabbitry where they enjoyed many great times with their customers who they sold rabbits to. After her husband passed away, she sold printing for Arrow Swift Printing of Greenville for seven years. Later, she had a small antique shop in her home. She will be greatly missed by her four sons, Edward and Judy Williams of Greenville, Dr. George and Lisa Williams, Bill and Linda Williams of Scotts and Robin Williams of Holland; a sister, Peggy Ryckman of Owosso; 13 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Edward L. Williams; her parents, J. Weldon and Olivia Branch; a brother, Jeff Branch and his wife, Marjorie; and brother-in-law, Irwin Ryckman. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, July 11, at 11:00 AM at Calvary Baptist Church, 12501 Montcalm Ave. NE, Greenville, Michigan. Rev. R. Mark Shaw will officiate. A luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the owners and staff of Twin Oaks Retirement Home and Great Lakes Caring Hospice for their loving care of our mother and support to our family. They are all very special people (angels). Memorial contributions in Dolores’ memory can be made to Cedar Springs Baptist Church. Hurst Funeral Home is serving the Williams family, and messages of condolence may be sent via www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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Robert Allen Johnson, 76, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Thursday, June 25, 2015. Bob was born January 28, 1939. Bob lived most of his life as a resident of Courtland Township. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1957. He retired in 1992 after 30 years at General Motors Fisher Body plant on 36th Street. He loved farming and his family. Bob had a stroke in January, 2000. Although life was never easy after that, he always had a smile on his face. He was the kindest and gentlest person you would ever meet who cared deeply about others. He was preceded in death in 1997 by his father, Wesley. He is survived by his mother, Elna, whom he loved dearly. She was his primary caretaker. He is also survived by his children; Bob and Paula Johnson, Tim Johnson and Kathy Kay, and Kathy and Ken Coleman. Bob has three grandchildren, Ryan Coleman, Kate Coleman and Logan Armstrong. He is also survived by his sisters Joyce and Dick Kastas and Judy and Jim Idziak and their families. The family thanks the Green Acres of Standale family who took care of dad the last few months of his life. And also the Porter Hills home health care nurses who took care of dad at home before Green Acres. The family greeted friends on Sunday, June 28 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services were held Monday, June 29. Pastor Robert Eckert officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Paws With A Cause, 4646 Division St, Wayland, MI 49348.

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

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