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Tag Archive | "Elmwood Cemetery"

Memorial Day services 


The Glen Hill American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard as they walked through the Avenue of Flags at Elmwood Cemetery. Post photo by J. Reed.

Blue sky, sunshine, and hot weather welcomed area residents on Monday, May 28, as they gathered in cemeteries and parks for the annual Memorial Day services.

The ceremony at Elmwood Cemetery ended with a 21-gun salute followed by taps. Post photo by J. Reed.

Here in Cedar Springs, the Glen Hill American Legion Post held services at Elmwood Cemetery, where the Avenue of Flags memorialized veterans laid to rest there. There were names at each of the flags along the walkway, and flags on all the veterans graves, dating as far back as the Civil War. The American Legion also held services at Solon Cemetery; East Nelson Cemetery; and at Veterans Memorial Park on Oak Street. Nelson Township resident Col. Tom Noreen was the guest speaker. 

Memorial Day services were also held at Algoma, Sand Lake, Pierson, and Sparta.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society held their annual cemetery walk honoring veterans on Sunday, May 27.

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A way to remember: the Avenue of Flags


The Avenue of Flags lines the road through Elmwood Cemetery, a reminder of many of the veterans that have served over the years. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

It’s a majestic site each Memorial Day—hundreds of flags standing proudly, unfurled in the breeze, against the pale blue of a sun-drenched sky. They line the avenue that winds through Elmwood Cemetery on Northland Drive in Cedar Springs. They are beautiful to look at, but what is the story behind them?

According to Paul Schrier, treasurer at the American Legion Glen Hill Post #287, each flag honors a veteran who is no longer living. The flags are casket-sized, and according to Paul, it began years ago when families would give the Legion the flag they received at their loved one’s burial. They would hold on to it for the family, and then fly it once a year on Memorial Day. 

However, some families want to keep the original flag, so the Legion allows families to just buy a duplicate to fly once a year. The Legion also provides a pole and a plate at the base with the name of the veteran.

One thing many people may not know is that the veteran does not have to be buried in Elmwood Cemetery to have a flag on the avenue. But they do need to be a veteran, have been honorably discharged, and have some connection with Cedar Springs. A duplicate flag costs $50, and can be bought from the American Legion Post.

It’s unknown exactly when the tradition started. Schrier said he’s been organizing it for about the last seven years. However, we came across a story in a 1998 edition of the Post where George Cooley, a veteran now deceased, said at the time he had been doing it for 14 years. At the time, there were 101 flags on the Avenue of Flags.

According to Schrier, there are now 180 flags.

It takes some work ahead of time to get the holes in the cemetery ready for the flags, as well as get any new nameplates made. The American Legion also is always looking for volunteers to help put up the flags at 6 a.m. Monday morning, and then take them down again about 4 p.m. in the afternoon. If it is raining, or if rain is forecasted, they will not put them out since they are cotton, and will instead hold services in the American Legion hall.

So what does Schrier want people to feel as they walk through the Avenue of Flags? “It’s pretty impressive. I hope they remember the veterans that have served over the years,” he said.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help, or would like to buy a flag for a future year, contact Paul at the American Legion Post at 696-9160.

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WILLARD B. ROWLAND


Willard B. “Will” Rowland age 69 of Grand Rapids, formerly of Cedar Springs passed away Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Harbor Hospice Poppen Residence in Muskegon. He was born in Grand Rapids on February 16, 1949 to Jack and Dorothy (Tompsett) Rowland. He attended Cedar Springs High School (Class of ’67), Ferris State College and Central Michigan University. Will worked in the automotive parts business and later for 12 years at a pharmaceutical company. He was a member of Teamsters Local 406. He is survived by a sister, Kathleen (Brian) Botbyl; brother, Jack (Ellen Bourke) Rowland and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Steven and Duane; sister-in-law, Mary Jean and special friend, Lee Van Stee. The family will meet with friends Saturday, April 21 from 1-3 p.m. at the Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. at Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Foundation, Pulmonary Excellence Fund in memo line or online at https://give.spectrumhealth.org/donation. 

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

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NANCY J. SEE


Nancy J. See age 76 of Rockford, died Saturday, February 24, 2018 at her home. Nancy was born July 3, 1941 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Earl and Jessie (Irwin) Tyler. She was a member of the 40 et 8 and the Cedar Springs American Legion Auxiliary where she ran the bingo for 20 years. She had a great sense of humor and loved living on the lake. She was a former Sunday School Teacher and loved Jesus, her family and her friends. Nancy was always there to help others and anyone in need. Surviving are her husband, James; children, Debi (Garrett) Hanson, Dawn (Edward) Smith, David Smith, Patrick (Kathy) See, Gerald See, Eric See; grandchildren, Nicole Miller, Jessica Krueger, Breanna Smith, Brayden Smith, Christa See, Kristen See, James See; 9 great-grandchildren; sister, Delores (George) Peterson; special cousin, June Force. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandchildren, Brendan Smith and Katie Grace Smith; sisters, Earlene Hinzman and Jackie Pena. The family will greet friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 am. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs American Legion Auxiliary.

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

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BARBARA JEAN ROWLAND


 

Barbara Jean Rowland age 88 of Cedar Springs died Monday, February 5, 2018 at her home. Barbara was born November 7, 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Rodney and Ruth (Fry) Colby. As a mother raising her kids, she always attended the functions they were part of. In 1982 she opened along with her husband and two children Rowland Warehouse in Cedar Springs and the Public Warehouse in Greenville. She was a longtime member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church and her greatest love was singing in the church choir. She was always busy and enjoyed many activities with her friends. As she lost her sight in past years many of those friends picked her up for choir and to take her to dinner. Surviving are her children Douglas (Sherry) Rowland, Laurie Rowland, Jeffrey Rowland, Jim Rowland and Jodi DeRuiter; grandchildren, Robert Harwood Jr. and Anne Harwood, Libby (Scott) Zeeb, Chad Rowland, Andrew Rowland; great-grandchildren, Bobby Harwood, Jameson Zeeb, Darcy Zeeb. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Rex in 2008; daughter Marcia. The family will greet friends Thursday, February 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. Pastor Bill Johnson officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church.

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

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BRISON CHRISTOPHER RICKER


Brison Christopher Ricker of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 16, passed away on the morning of Saturday, December 23, 2017, after a brave & courageous battle with DIPG brain cancer. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home, and rests now, comfortably in the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Born on January 4, 2001, Brison grew up in Cedar Springs and attended Cedar Springs High School. He was outgoing and driven by his faith in everything he did—always striving for greatness. Brison raced motocross, and played soccer and basketball. He loved watching sports too. Brison had a great sense of humor and a kind heart to match. He was an incredible and loving son, wonderful brother and best friend, grandson and teammate, and was loved by so many. Brison leaves behind his parents Brian and Kimberly (Morris) Ricker; brother Preston Ricker; grandparents Kathryn (Gary Burger) Ricker, Joe (Gail) Ricker; Mark Sheldon; uncle Mark Ricker; and many special friends. He was preceded in death by his grandmother Deb Sheldon. The funeral service for Brison will be celebrated by Pastors Julian Newman and Dawn Damon at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at Resurrection Life Church, 3233 10 Mile Road NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Relatives and friends may call on the family during a time of visitation from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the church. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Brison’s family to assist them with funeral expenses. Brison will be laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs, Michigan.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Ruth L. McMullen


Ruth L. McMullen 87 of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, November 12, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Ruth was born July 17, 1930 in Elmhurst, IL the daughter of Clarence and Olga (Gorling) Yeaw. She was active at the Cedar Springs Senior Center for many years and enjoyed playing cards, games, bingo and puzzles. Surviving are her children, Karen Bansen, David (Sherry) Patterson, Steven (Theresa) Patterson, Ray (Van) Patterson; 11 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; sisters, Elizabeth (Louis) Hartesvelt, Marian Yeaw. The service was on Wednesday, November 15 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Scott Sloan officiated. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice.

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

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BETTY JEAN GOLLER


Betty Jean Goller age 85 passed peacefully from this life on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 surrounded by her family. Betty often spoke about the wonderful life she had lived and that she was ready to go to Heaven whenever God called her name. Born on October 5, 1931 to Fred and Lola Adams in Cedar Springs, Michigan, she was the youngest of seven daughters. Times were difficult for the family growing up during the depression, but even though they lacked financial resources they felt rich due to the love and devotion they shared for one another. The Adams Sunday dinners became legendary celebrations for their family and friends, and in fact it was after a young Dick Goller first tasted Lola’s biscuits, fried chicken, and apple pie that he resolved to marry Betty. It turned out to be the best decision he ever made. Like all of her sisters, Betty continued her mother’s legacy of extending extraordinary kindness and hospitality to everyone she knew. Betty will also be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and creative use of language, which was uniquely her own. Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Richard Goller Sr., her son Richard Goller Jr., her beloved sisters, Edith Hudson, Blythe Becker, Gladys Grzesiak, and Leila Shultz. She is survived by her daughters Carol Brooks and Diane Goller (Hon. David Murkowski); sons Daniel Goller and Edward Goller (Amy); granddaughters Heather Huntoon (Darrell), Sarah Garlow (Rob), Katherine Steffy (Justin), Anne Murkowski, and Anna Goller; great-granddaughter Meghan Huntoon Lindeman (2nd Lt. Ryan Lindeman); grandsons Richard Goller III, Branden Goller, and Adam Goller; sisters Donna Verburg and Helen Hyrns; special sister in law Mary Goller Kilts, many cherished nieces and nephews, and dear friends Jim and Linda Conrad, Mary Anne Frandsen, and Joyce Empie. The family deeply appreciates the love and care provided by the dedicated caregivers at Clark Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Clark Retirement Community’s Employee Christmas Fund or Bethel Lutheran Church would be greatly appreciated. The family will greet friends Sunday, July 9 from 3-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, 13603 Northland Dr., Cedar Springs where the service will be held Monday 10:00 a.m. Pastor Steven Frentz from Bethel Lutheran Church officiating. Private interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

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

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Lest we forget


This photo shows Roger Allen walking the Avenue of Flags at Elmwood Cemetery in 2003. Photo by L. Allen.

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those that gave their lives while defending our country. It’s also a day to remember all those that have served and are now deceased. Inside this issue are the names of veterans buried in area cemeteries, and we honor them with this issue of The Cedar Springs Post, click here to download. If you know of a veteran’s name that is missing from the list, please let us know and we’ll add them for next year.

There will be several memorial activities and ceremonies taking place this weekend that residents are encouraged to take part in:

The Cedar Springs Historical Society will hold its 17th annual Memorial Cemetery Walk on Sunday, May 28, at 2 p.m. to honor veterans of all wars. This year’s veterans will be Samuel Andrus, Civil War; Burton Smith, Spanish/American War; Leon Marsh, World War I; Neal Mackey, World War II; James Remington, Korean War; John Gardell, Vietnam War. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist at the presentation. We will leave from the museum in Morley Park at 1:30 pm and return there for refreshments. In case of severe weather warnings we will cancel the event. In case of rain we will do the presentation in the museum.

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs will hold their annual Memorial Day program on Monday, May 29. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetery at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at 10:45 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at 11:30 a.m. In case of bad weather, services will be held only in the American Legion Hall at 9 a.m. Lt/Col. Tom Noreen will be the speaker.

The Algoma Township Historical Society will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 29, at 1:00 p.m. at Algoma Township Memorial Park, located on the south end of the Algoma township cemetery on Grange Ave., south of 13 Mile Rd.) The service this year will honor Algoma Township’s WWI veterans, in memory of the 100-year anniversary. There will be music, readings, 21-gun salute and taps. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served by the Algoma Township Historical Society.

The Sand Lake/Cedar Springs Tri-Corner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7912 will have ceremonies on Monday, May 29. They will be at the VFW Post in Sand Lake at 10:30 a.m. and at Pierson Cemetery at 11 a.m. Rain or shine. The Tri County Band will also be at Pierson Cemetery.

The Sparta Township Historical Commission will hold their Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Lamoreaux Memorial Park, 150 Park St, in Sparta. The speaker will be Dwight Anderson, Sparta High School Class of 1970 and former SHS principal. The Sparta High School Band will perform under the direction of Jim Walsh. The Kent County Sheriff Color Guard will also be in attendance. There will be a dedication of the John Paul “Sharkey” Badgerow Memorial Bench. Immediately following the ceremony, the Michigan Memorial Wall will be displayed for the balance of the day.

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GERTRUDE J. GUST


 

C--obit-GustGertrude J. Gust, 99 of Cedar Springs, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Gertrude was born November 27, 1917 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Peter and Hattie (Huber) Koster. Her father died at a young age and her mother raised the children. She loved baseball and had played the violin. She enjoyed housekeeping and cleaning and for many years she volunteered to clean the Baptist Church each week. She was the oldest living member of First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs. Surviving are her son, James (Carol) Gust; grandson, Jason (Heather) Gust; two great-grandchildren; brother, Donald Koster; brother-in-law, Robert Remer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred; sisters, Jane May, Madeline “Betty” Remer; brother, Robert Koster. Visitation and funeral was held Tuesday, March 21st at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Robert P. Smith officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

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

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