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Tag Archive | "American Cancer Society"



In the early morning hours of Monday, July 11, 2016, Mildred Wesche Robertson, age 94, died surrounded by those who loved her and cared for her during her long battle with dementia. She had played her last game of Solitaire and written her last letter to her grandchildren. Mildred prepared her children for life by her example. She loved her family unconditionally and supported them during the challenges in their lives and celebrated all of their accomplishments. Mildred was born to Raymond and Gladys McIntyre on Monday, May 8, 1922, in West Olive, Michigan. She graduated valedictorian from Cedar Springs High School in 1940, and just one year later, married Raymond Wesche. Together, they owned a farm on 18 Mile Road, just east of Algoma Avenue. It was there she raised her family, taught them the value of a good education, and to put in a day’s work for a day’s pay. Those values are now being honored by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every week they were in college, she would handwrite each of them a letter with encouragement and immeasurable love. Mildred worked for Rockford State Bank and for Wolverine Worldwide. She loved her community and was very active in it. When time allowed, she loved to read, crochet, and was an avid crafter and puzzler. Mildred was also an adventurous woman. She traveled often with her second husband, Earl Robertson, and even went whitewater rafting with her family at the young age of 81. Mildred is survived by her children, Ronald (Marcella) Wesche, Joyce (John) Hansen, Kenneth Wesche, and Nancy (Tim) Gerlich; daughter-in-law, Alice Wesche; grandchildren Brian Wesche, Krista (Jason) Noel, Andy (Tonya) Wesche, Aaron (Agnes) Wesche, Amy Marie Lovall, Alissa Wesche, Randy Wesche, Amy Michelle (Greg) Tribe, James Hansen, and Jeff (Sara) Hansen; great grandchildren, Jacob, Shane, Harleigh, Karissa, Alex, Logan, Ava, Kai, Zane, Pierce, Faith, Kimberly, Brittany, and Candice; one great-great granddaughter, Izabellah; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other beloved members of the Wesche family. In addition, she is survived by her special caregiver, Marlene Downes; and her faithful visitors, Michael Barwacz, and Keira and Kayla Painter, who will love and remember their “Pinkie” forever. She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Raymond Wesche on January 30, 1967, and Earl Robertson on August 16, 1994; son Milford “Mick” Wesche; brothers and sister, Lawrence (Ardath) McIntyre, Bob (Marie) McIntyre, Don (Doris) McIntyre, Jim (Kletis) McIntyre, Edna (Harvey) Hyde; sister-in-law Ida (Ralph) Hineline; and brother-in-law Gus Wesche. There will be a time of visitation from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2016, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Mildred will be celebrated by Pastor Steve Lindeman at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15, 2016, at Pederson Funeral Home. There will be an additional time of visitation, one hour prior to the service. Mildred will be laid to rest in Solon Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; or to the American Lung Association, P.O. Box 966, Grand Blanc, MI 48480.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford


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Jean Ellen Engstrom, age 88, of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

Jean was born in Harvard, Michigan, on June 4, 1928. She was one of thirteen children born to Eli and Dorothy (Butts) McNees. She worked for Keeler Brass and was a member of the American Legion. Jean is survived by her daughter, Shirley Christensen; her son and daughter-in-law, Garry and Charlene Wybenga; her grandchildren, Robert and Shannon Rowland, Lisa Santoyo, Leigh Ann Wybenga, Nick Wybenga, and Chad and Julie Bonter; her six great-grandchildren; her sister, Margaret (Bruce) Longcore; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral Services for Jean were conducted at 1p.m. Monday, June 13, 2016 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341. Visitation was held one hour to the funeral service at the funeral home on Monday. Burial of her cremated remains will take place in Pierson Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Franklin John DePue


Franklin “Frank” John DePue, 75 of Greenville, passed away Sunday, April 17, 2016 at home. Frank was born October 5, 1940 in Eaton Co., Michigan, the son of the late Maurice “Mike” and Helen (Holbrook) DePue. Frank is loved and survived by his wife of 56 years, Judith (Ellick) DePue; his children: Monique (Dave) Doolittle and Vincent (Kayleen) DePue; grandchildren: Trafford (Ashley Hattis) Giles, Stephanie Doolittle, Nick Doolittle, Michael (Ceara) DePue, Kyle DePue, Donald Eikenhout, Andrea (Larry) Wiley and Graham DePue; sisters: Dorothy Fisher, Carol (Ron) Stevens, Shirley (Dick) Rinckey and Dee (Ron) Corwin; great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. Frank was preceded in death by his siblings: M. Jean Schafer, Edwin Maurice DePue, Kathleen Marie Cooper, Jennifred Joan Schrauben, David Lee DePue and Dean A. DePue. Frank was a graduate of Greenville High School in 1976. He retired from Meijer as Loss Prevention Manager after 30+ years of service. In addition to a long career at Meijer, he and his wife Judith were owners of Animal Crackers Farm Petting Zoo of Greenville. Frank and Judy touched countless lives, spanning several generations by taking their large traveling zoo to schools, festivals, churches, parades and more local events than can be documented. Frank donated time, along with Judy, at Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Optimist Camp and the American Cancer Society, and he walked his beloved camel Shalamar across most of Montcalm County to raise nearly $1000 for that cause. Frank also enjoyed greeting Mejier customers every Christmas Eve dressed as Santa with his reindeer and sleigh. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Frank always appreciated being embraced by the community and enjoyed sharing his love of his animals. He got great enjoyment making people laugh and smile with his wit and a wink. His contagiously happy spirit will be missed by so many, but never forgotten by anyone. We are sad that you are gone, but find peace in knowing we will someday see you again. We love you. Memorial services were held at 1:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Hurst Funeral Home, with Pastor Ken Harger officiating. Visitation was Wednesday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Cancer Society, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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4C obit johnson

Sandra A. Johnson, 73, of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at her home surrounded by her family. Sandra was born March 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. She was a dedicated employee of CS Manufacturing in the accounting department with 20 years of service. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, which was very important to her. She loved animals, sunshine, enjoyed gardening, and made amazing dill pickles. Surviving are her children, Bob (Paula) Johnson, Tim Johnson and Kathy Kay, Kathy (Ken) Coleman; grandchildren, Ryan Coleman, Kate Coleman, and Logan Armstrong; sisters, Kathy Carlson, and Ricci (Larry) Freeman; two nieces and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Luella Stine; sister, Judy Carlson Alden; infant sister, Nancy Jo. The family greeted friends Sunday, January 24 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home Cedar Springs, where the service was held Monday, January 25. Pastor Robert Eckert officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Kent County or the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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William L. Sevey 86 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at his home. Bill was born July 24, 1929 in Cedar Springs, Michigan, the son of Clinton and Gladys (Fisk) Sevey. He was a lifelong dairy farmer and had been Solon Township Supervisor. Years ago he had a milk route and drove school bus. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, flying and riding his four wheeler. He loved his grandkids. Surviving are his children, LouAnn (Brian) Wheat, Deborah Sevey, William “Rick” (Tanya) Sevey; grandchildren, Stacy and Kyle; great grandchildren, Logan, Hannah, and Avalyn; brother-in-law, Jack Bowers. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Annabelle in 2011; sister, Ardith Bowers. A private family service will be held in the spring at Crandall Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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

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Lela R. Spicer, 87, of Traverse City, formerly of Cedar Springs, passed away Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Grand Traverse Pavilions with her family by her side. Mrs. Spicer was born August 18, 1928 in Barryton, Michigan, the daughter of Joseph and Edith (Adams) VanSyckle, she was one of 17 children. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard in 1988 and a son, Danny in 2015. Surviving are her children, Patty (Steven) Osburn, Bruce (Rose) Spicer, Roger (Pat) Spicer, Debra VandenHeuvel, Rockland (Teresa) Spicer, Theodore (Tracy) Spicer, Gail (Dave) Spicer; countless beautiful and gorgeous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. A private family graveside service was held at East Nelson Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Larry and Debbie Eadie sang and led the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimers Association.

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

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David L. Wallace

C-OBIT-WallaceDavid L. Wallace, 38 of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, May 10, 2015 at his home. David was born March 20, 1977 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Dale and Judy (Moos) Wallace. He graduated from Kent City High School in 1995 and had worked at Federal Mogul. He enjoyed working on vehicles, vegetable gardening and deer hunting. Surviving are his wife, Faye whom he married on July 12, 2003; children, David, Ethan and Leah; father, Dale Wallace; sister, Carolyn (Rich) Straub; brother, Bryan (Jodi) Wallace; nieces and nephews, Adrianna, Brooklyn, Caroline, Blake, Megan, Bryce and Emily. He was preceded in death by his mother. The family greeted friends Tuesday at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services were held Wednesday 10:30 am. Rev. Fr. Lam Le officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

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Reva Marvetta Benedict, 88 of Holland, formerly of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at her home. Marvetta was born February 4, 1927 in Kewadin, Michigan the daughter of Espy and Edith (Wildi) Hubbell. She graduated from Elk Rapids High School in 1944 and had worked at Knape & Vogt for 28 years retiring in 1991. She had been a member of First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs and was presently attending New Vision Church, Holland. She was a 40 year very active member of the Cedar Springs American Legion Post 287 Ladies Auxiliary and the 40 et 8. Surviving are her children, Gerald (Joni) Nelson, Douglas Nelson and fiancee, Crystal Scott, Sarah Nelson; stepchildren, Herbert (Sandy) Benedict, Colleen Benedict; 14 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert in 1995; four brothers, three sisters, a great-grandchild, and a stepson. The family will greet friends Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Friday 11:00 am. Dr. Anthony Adams officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Cedar Springs American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

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

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October is breast cancer awareness month

pink-ribbonAmerican Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms


Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.

Current evidence supporting mammograms is even stronger than in the past. In particular, recent evidence has confirmed that mammograms offer substantial benefit for women in their 40s. Women can feel confident about the benefits associated with regular mammograms for finding cancer early. However, mammograms also have limitations. A mammogram can miss some cancers, and it may lead to follow up of findings that are not cancer.

Mammograms should be continued regardless of a woman’s age, as long as she does not have serious, chronic health problems such as congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and moderate to severe dementia. Women with serious health problems or short life expectancies should discuss with their doctors whether to continue having mammograms.

Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a CBE by a health professional every year.

CBE is done along with mammograms and offers a chance for women and their doctor or nurse to discuss changes in their breasts, early detection testing, and factors in the woman’s history that might make her more likely to have breast cancer. The chance of breast cancer occurring is very low for women in their 20s and gradually increases with age. Women should promptly report any new breast symptoms to a health professional.

Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.

Research has shown that BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer compared with finding a breast lump by chance or simply being aware of what is normal for each woman. Some women feel very comfortable doing BSE regularly (usually monthly after their period) which involves a systematic step-by-step approach to examining the look and feel of one’s breasts. Other women are more comfortable simply feeling their breasts in a less systematic approach, such as while showering or getting dressed or doing an occasional thorough exam.

Sometimes, women are so concerned about “doing it right” that they become stressed over the technique. Doing BSE regularly is one way for women to know how their breasts normally look and feel and to notice any changes. The goal, with or without BSE, is to report any breast changes to a doctor or nurse right away.

If a change occurs, such as development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a discharge other than breast milk (such as staining of your sheets or bra), you should see your health care professional as soon as possible for evaluation. Remember that most of the time, however, these breast changes are not cancer.

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get an MRI and a mammogram every year.

This includes women who:

Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20 to 25 percent or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history (such as the Claus model – see below)

Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.

Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves.

Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years.

Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes.

The American Cancer Society recommends against MRI screening for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15 percent.

There is not enough evidence to make a recommendation for or against yearly MRI screening for women who have a moderately increased risk of breast cancer (a lifetime risk of 15 to 20 percent according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history) or who may be at increased risk of breast cancer based on certain factors, such as:

Having a personal history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH)

Having dense breasts (“extremely” or “heterogeneously” dense) as seen on a mammogram.

If MRI is used, it should be in addition to, not instead of, a screening mammogram. This is because although an MRI is a more sensitive test (it’s more likely to detect cancer than a mammogram), it may still miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.

For most women at high risk, screening with MRI and mammograms should begin at age 30 years and continue for as long as a woman is in good health. But because the evidence is limited about the best age at which to start screening, this decision should be based on shared decision-making between patients and their health care providers, taking into account personal circumstances and preferences.

There is no evidence right now that MRI is an effective screening tool for women at average risk. While MRI is more sensitive than mammograms, it also has a higher false-positive rate (it is more likely to find something that turns out not to be cancer). This would lead to unneeded biopsies and other tests in many of the women screened, which can lead to a lot of worry and anxiety.

The American Cancer Society believes the use of mammograms, MRI (in women at high risk), clinical breast exams, and finding and reporting breast changes early, according to the recommendations outlined above, offers women the best chance to reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer. This approach is clearly better than any one exam or test alone.

Without question, a physical exam of the breast without a mammogram would miss the opportunity to detect many breast cancers that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel but can be seen on mammograms. Mammograms are a sensitive screening method, but a small percentage of breast cancers do not show up on mammograms but can be felt by a woman or her doctors. For women at high risk of breast cancer, such as those with BRCA gene mutations or a strong family history, both MRI and mammogram exams of the breast are recommended.


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C obit CramerMr. Keith Douglas Cramer of Cedar Springs, age 73, passed away on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born to Wayne and Iva (née Becker) Cramer in Rockford, Michigan on June 27, 1940 and had been a life-long Kent County resident. Keith enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors, hunting and fishing, as well as traveling with their camper; and it must also be said that Keith loved touring on his Harley, especially with his wife Sharon by his side. He was also a fifty-one year member of the Local #1102. Keith was a loving and devoted husband and wonderful father and grandfather. He will be missed by all those who knew him. Keith leaves behind his beloved wife of fifty-six years, Sharon; children Tom (Delene) Cramer, Sherri (Mark) Sias, Terry (Kitty) Cramer and Lee Frost; grandchildren David Cramer, Tom Cramer II, Jay Cramer, Crystal (J.P.) Deason Johnson, Donny (Aimee) Smith, Terry (Cassandra) Cramer II, Michael Cramer, Fawn (Jon) Reedy, Tim (Brandy) Frost, Kimmy (Don) McMeeken, Zack (Alexis) McMeeken, Ron (Mandi) McMeeken, and Crystal (Ray) Rayapurredy; twenty-eight great grandchildren; and one great, great grandson Hunter Lee. He was preceded in death by his daughter Sue Frost. As per the wishes of Keith, services will not be held. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to: The American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

 Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com


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