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Colen Clem Cole

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Colen Clem Cole age 73 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, October 30, 2018 after a long illness with Dementia/Alzheimers disease. Colen was born April 14, 1945 in Greenville, MI the son of Clem and Rose (Nelson) Cole. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1963 and married his high school sweetheart on August 20, 1965. Together they shared 53 years of marriage. He served proudly in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War Era from 1966-68. He enjoyed the outdoors sporting life: hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and riding his quad around his farm with his dog, Little Joe. He loved best being in the big woods and observing nature. Colen owned and operated United Riggers and Erectors Company, Inc., a construction company in Grand Rapids since 1974. Surviving are his wife, Nancy (Tisdel) Cole; son, Calvin (Carolynn) Cole; granddaughters, Laurynn and Allison; sisters, Marion (Richard) Morris, Marieta (William) Peterson; nephews, Dirk, Bill, Brent; niece, Tresa. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers-in-law, Victor Tisdel and Leon Dennis. Visitation will be held Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 12:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating. Interment with military honors will take place at East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to East Nelson United Methodist Church.

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

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Richard James Hoekstra, of Grant, passed away Friday, October 26, 2018 at home at the age of 88. He was born to Garrit and Ora (Sawtells) Hoekstra May 3, 1930. Richard served his flag and country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He is survived by his children, Gary Hoekstra, Alan Hoekstra, Nancy (Keith) Ruiter, Roxanne Cole, Kandy Kukla, Harry Kukla and Teresa Kukla; 24 grandchildren; 55 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; brother, Kenneth (Char) Hoekstra. Richard was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Murlean and Mary; brother, Gerald Hoekstra; sisters, Waneda and Betty and son, Rick (Stosh) Kukla. There will be a time of visitation with family and friends from 2 to 3 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2018 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. Military Service at 3 p.m.

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Words have power

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson UMC 

9024 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs 


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14 NLT).

Many pastors recite this particular scripture prior to giving their message (sermon/homily). It is a reminder that there is a very significant burden upon us to speak and share the gospel in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. I am also reminded that these words were written by David for the choir master. They were sung at the end of a beautiful song that begins with the words:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 

Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known (Psalm 19 1-2 NLT).

This Psalm is for each of us to hold in our hearts because it reminds us of how words have more power than we appreciate. Even the heavens speak words of beauty! We all talk and converse and many of us are on social media, too. What we type is also the words and meditations of our hearts and our audience is as vast as the whole world now. Words have immense power to build up or tear down, comfort or belittle, help or harm. Our words reflect who and whose we are. Are the words we say AND type pleasing to the Lord? How can we be intentional about reflecting God’s love and the Good News through the words and meditations of our hearts in social media? 

If God was on Facebook would he click on “LIKE” for your posts? Yet, God doesn’t just “like,” He loves and His love is so much more than any of us could ever imagine. With that kind of love given freely and generously we are called to live out our lives in a manner that honors God.

Are our posts kind, helpful, inspiring, necessary and truthful? Forwarding things “as is” without fact checking or not watching a video through to the end before sharing may not represent ourselves well. How awful might it be if we were to share an article that turns out to be hoax or a lie. Would it not be better to respond to posts with grace, mercy and love? “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 NLT)

King Solomon, a very wise man, said, My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.

(Proverbs 23:15 NLT).

So let’s put God first in everything we do including social media. What better way to show how God loves us than to love one another even in this way? 

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Alonzo “Lonnie” Taylor Anthony Sr, age 46, of Sand Lake, passed away Monday, October 8, 2018 at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by his parents, George H. and Io (Amacher) Anthony of Sand Lake; children, Tina Marie Anthony, Alonzo Taylor Anthony Jr (Emily); grandchildren, Branwyn and Dallan, fiancee, Joyce McCallum; sisters, Laurie (Gerald) Reid, Diana (Glen) Roberts, and Michelle Bahmer-Farrell; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by grandparents, Alonzo and Beatrice Amacher and a brother Jeffery Bahmer. Cremation has taken place. A service will be held Saturday, November 17 at 12:00 p.m. at the Pierson Bible Church Community Room. The family will greet friends at 11:00 a.m. 

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

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In Memory of 


January 19, 1967 – October 25, 2017

Uncle Troy

The one who made me stronger

The one who made me believe in myself

The one who gave me faith

The one that made me laugh at the dumbest things

Had the most inside jokes and nicknames with

Who first taught me how to ski

The one that ate all the cookies

Gave the most hugs and love

Always cared for his nieces and nephews

Screamed at the TV

Watched movies all the time

Laughed at me for no reason

Was there for me at my worst

With me through everything

Gave me hope

Knew that I could do anything

Never let us down

Was the best uncle

Stayed with me no matter what

I wish he didn’t leave so soon

Wishing I could be skiing right now

I love him so much and miss him super bad

Why did he leave?

He will never be back to eat all the cookies and laugh at me the same

Nobody will replace my favorite uncle

I will cry every time I go back to Cannonsburg

Thanks for the best uncle

He was amazing

We all miss you

I hope you’re having fun up in heaven

It’s hard without you.

Sailor Rockinger

(written at age 13)

Lovingly missed by his family

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Thank you

Thank you to all that attended the visitation and funeral of James Cole Jr. and Lisa Bradley. We were overwhelmed by so many people showing their love and concern to our family. Thank you Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home. Thank you to all who gave a gift of money, brought food (so delicious) to our home and to the funeral, to Mary, Diane, Wendy, Laurie and Dawn for all your help setting food up that day, the beautiful cards and words given to us, all the flowers, all your hugs and tears, prayers to comfort us, to all that helped and continue to help her on the farm, getting the crops off the fields, feeding the herd, stopping in to check on me. God is good! A big thank you to all the friends and businesses who helped, to Troy (pig roast) and Greg Fisk (bug spraying), also to Inge and Tommy for your beautiful words at the service and in my home. We continue to pray for goodness on this earth and separate us from hate. “God is Love”.

Thank you – God Bless You

Gloria Cole (mom)

Children: Shanda, Jessica, Erica & Hunter

Brothers and spouses: Dave & Dawn, Jon & Sandy

Nieces & nephews, great nieces & nephews

Annette DeVries (mom) & her family

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Thank You

We want to thank all that attended, sent cards, donated food, money or your time to make Charles celebration of life such a tremendous success. We cannot express enough how important family and friends are to make these times more bearable. May you all be blessed for your outpouring of love and support.

The Family of 

Charles McKee

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Church membership

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford


I hear this question all the time. “Where in the Bible does it say that I need to become a member?” The answer is simple, it doesn’t. Becoming a member is not a step of obedience on the same level as following the Ten Commandments, and it’s certainly not an issue of salvation, meaning you can still go to heaven even if you never take the step to become a church member. With that being said though, I do believe that church membership is an extremely important step that every Christian should consider taking. 

There are many reasons why I would say this and I don’t have time to cover them all here, so let me just share with you one reason why I am so big on church membership. Church membership first and foremost is a statement of commitment, it’s a statement of investment; it’s an acknowledgement that you’re going all-in. In a world where commitment and loyalty is a rarity, I believe this is important in the Church because we are supposed to be a family that is committed to each other and to pursuing Jesus together. 

In families, when things get tough you don’t just give up and move on, you hunker down and you do the hard work of persevering and fighting for something better together, something that could never be achieved by giving up, leaving and starting over. Church membership is kind of like the wedding ring in marriage.  It’s a statement that “I’m here, I’m in this, I’m committed and I will fight to create something together that I could never create alone—community.” 

I am not telling you that you need to become a church member, that is a decision you must make on your own; but I am asking you to consider it. Take that step, put down some roots, and commit for the long haul.  


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Norma J. Wert, age 94, of Cedar Springs died Thursday, October 11, 2018 at Metron of Greenville surrounded by her family. Mrs. Wert was born November 11, 1923 in Muskegon, Michigan, the daughter of Ezra and Ellen (Hoxsie) Geesey. She was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. She enjoyed housekeeping, holiday meals and gatherings and was known for the world’s best carrot cake. Surviving are her children, Frederick (Diane) Wert, Timothy (Jodie) Wert; daughters-in-law, Kathleen Wert, Frances Osburn; grandchildren, Cory Wert, Troy Wert, Donald Wert, Chris Ann Rehl; great-grandson, Devin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick in 1995; sons, Donald and Dennis Wert; 4 sisters and 2 brothers. The family greeted friends Monday, October 15 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Tuesday 11:00 a.m. Pastor J.B. Stutts officiating. Interment Idlewild Cemetery, Kent City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

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

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Kaiser Daniel Cook, 20 days old, earned his wings and flew to Heaven on October 4, 2018. He was born in Grand Rapids on September 14, 2018 as the youngest angel of Holli Hegedus and Jesse Cook. Kaiser was born with congenital heart defects caused by Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Even though the road was laden with difficulty, he was the strongest and bravest little fighter. Kaiser was loved and cherished by his family more than words could ever describe. He is survived by his parents Holli Hegedus and Jesse Cook; brothers Landon Hastings and Mason Cook; grandparents Angela Wildfong, Cliff Hegedus, Dawn Cook, and Robert Cook; great-grandparents Donna and James Hegedus, Patricia and Eli Wildfong, Mary and James Cook, and Danny Kilts; as well as by many loving and supporting aunts, uncles, and cousins. Kaiser was preceded in death by his great-grandmother Sharon Kilts. Memorial services will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, October 12, 2018 from the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Chapel, 1200 West Wheeler Street, Midland, Michigan, with Pastor Don Duford officiating. Kaiser’s family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 2 p.m. until the time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association of Michigan or the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation.

Arrangements by Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Chapel, Midland

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