Posted on 25 August 2016.
William Frederick Tetzlaff, age 75 passed away, Saturday, August 20, 2016, from lung cancer, in his home at the lake surrounded by loved ones. Bill was one of seven children born to William and Marion Tetzlaff on March 14, 1941 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the eldest son he was expected to work in the family grocery store where he learned his butchering skills and developed a strong work ethic – it’s where he also developed hands of steel and the superman strength that took Belding’s football team to the Championships and ultimately the Hall of Fame. After graduating from Creston High School, he entered the US Navy and worked on a supply ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He came home to West Michigan and began his civilian life as a butcher at D & W and finally found his calling as a fireman for the city of East Grand Rapids retiring as a public safety officer. This was not his only job; on days off he was a Jack of all Trades including butcher, window washer, tree cutter, house painter, chicken slayer, and the list continues. The man could fix anything with duct tape & wire – he was the original MacGyver. Along with working hard, he played hard; hunting for sport and to provide “mystery meat” for his family as well as fishing, camping, playing cards, and whatever adventure resulted from having five kids. What we all most appreciated about our dad is he accepted us for who we are and we could count on his unconditional love, loyalty & support. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Deborah; grandson, Kyle; his parents and brother-in-law, Geary Rummler. He is survived by his five children, whom he shared with his former wife, Sandy (Wiersum) Lyon (now deceased); Dawn Wolfe (Mark), Amber Toews (Kirk), Amy Wiersema (Ray), Billy Tetzlaff (Colette) and Jennifer Dunleavy (Jim). His grandchildren who he loved to throw high into the sky – missing only occasionally; Ashley (Joel), Brittany (David), Owen (Rosey), Justin (Angelina), Morgan (Tim), Nick, Paige, Mikey, Beth(John), Kymber (Aaron). He also leaves behind 12 great-grandchildren; Anthony, Ava, Molly, Hendrix, Reese, Sadie, Elianna, Tyler, Adalynn, Zaden, Melaina, Ryker, and another due in October. His Magnificent 6 siblings, Margaret, Richard (Jane), Charles (Karen), Sue (Chris), Christine (Dave), Connie (Gary), stepsisters, Bonnie, Shari (Tim), and stepmother, Sally. Bill loved his place on the lake and the friends he had there were like family. Their support during his illness is appreciated beyond words. A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 26, 5:00 p.m. at the Wabasis Lake Park Shelterhouse, 11220 Springhill Dr, Greenville. Cremation has taken place. The family will be available for visitation two hours prior to the service, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., with dinner to follow. In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of his unending generosity to others, please perform a random act of kindness or pay it forward in his memory.
Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.