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Tag Archive | "obit"

Ruth A. Middleton

Ruth A. Middleton, 85 of Cedar Springs, died Monday, February 27, 2012 at her home. Ruth was born May 5, 1926 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Stephen and Alice (McKrill) Burns. She was a member of Our Lady of Consolation in Rockford. Her family was her life and she was always involved in her children’s activities. She had the gift of hospitality and the coffee pot was on at her house on Saturday mornings. Surviving are her children, Mary Willett of Cedar Springs, Douglas (Pamela) Middleton of Cedar Springs, Ronda (Christopher) Ash of Boca Raton, Florida; 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; brother, Dan (Nancy) Burns; sisters, Bernice Schneider, Barbara Skelonc, Kay (Phil) Hallock, Janet (Paul) Harris; sisters-in-law, Jodi Burns and Delores Burns; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rex in 2011; son-in-law, Kenneth Willett; sister, Bertha Kent; brothers, Stephen, Frank and Robert Burns. The family received friends Wednesday, March 7 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where a Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, March 8 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford. Rev. Fr. Tony Russo celebrant. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs


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Christian D. Bristol

Christian D. Bristol, age 56 of Lowell passed away Sunday, February 26, 2012.  He was preceded in death by his father, Wyman and brother, Stephen. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sue; children, Lisa Bristol, Lauren (Ryan LaCross) Bristol, Jenna (Jason Melnik) Bristol; granddaughter, Peyton Renee; mother, Wenona Bristol; brother, Mark (Susie) Bristol. A private memorial service was held by the family. Arrangements by Roth-Gerst Funeral Home, Lowell www.gerstfuneralhomes.com


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Mary C. VanderWal

Mary C. VanderWal, 42, of Los Banos, CA passed away peacefully in her sleep from natural causes on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Mary was born November 11, 1969 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Jerry and Betty (Salo) VanderWal. She was Red Flannel Queen in 1986 and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1987. She had represented Michigan in the Miss National Rodeo finals placing 4th. She loved animals, especially horses, and received a degree from MSU in horse management. Mary was a very positive, encouraging and charitable person. She loved to help others. Surviving are her companion, Jim Hernandez; sons, Seth Hernandez and Trace Hernandez all of Los Banos, CA; parents, Jerry & Betty VanderWal of Cedar Springs; brothers, Mark (Janice) VanderWal of Ravenna, Todd (Dana) VanderWal of Hudsonville; sisters, Kati (Brent) Fisk of Sand Lake, Kari (Jeff) Paulen of Howard City; four nephews and seven nieces. The family will greet friends on Saturday, February 25 at 1:00 pm until time of memorial service at 2:00 pm at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to United Pegasus Foundation, P.O. Box 173, Tehachapi, CA 93581.

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


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Gretchen Weeks

Gretchen Rebecca Weeks, 93, passed away in Traverse City on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.  Gretchen was born to George and Lena (Lockerby) Bryant on May 6, 1918 at the family farm in Pierson, Michigan.  She grew up on the farm and had a happy childhood. Gretchen graduated from Sand Lake High School at sixteen and attended Ferris Institute, earning a teaching certificate.  She began teaching at the age of eighteen at the Pioneer one-room school in Pierson, earning $35 a month.  She also taught at Kinney and Solon Township one-room schools.  In 1940 she married Lloyd Weeks and stopped teaching to be a wife and mother to three children; Lloyd Jr. (1943 – 1950); Larry (1947 – 1997); and Louise, who lives in Traverse City. Gretchen returned to teaching in 1957 at Cedar Springs Elementary, and taught first grade there until retiring in 1979.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1964. Gretchen and Lloyd enjoyed their retirement years, traveling to many states, as well as Israel, Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. They had many friends and were members of Cedar Springs First Baptist Church. After Lloyd passed away in 1991, Gretchen stayed very active and spent a lot of time with friends and family.  Her grandchildren meant the world to her. In 2003 Gretchen moved to Traverse City to be near her daughter and grandchildren.  She lived at Glen Eagle for the next nine years in the company of many good friends, and enjoyed her life there. Gretchen was preceded in death by her two sons, Lloyd Jr. and Larry; her husband Lloyd; and her brothers and sisters, Fred, Pearl, Isabelle, Beatrice, Carroll, and Martha. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Louise and Jack Scholtus; her grandchildren, Jason Weeks of Marietta, Georgia, Brooke and Neil Fraser of Decatur, Georgia, Hilary O’Toole of Denver, Branden Bearinger of Traverse City, Samantha Packer of Kotzebue, Alaska, and Maggie Packer of Traverse City; her great-grandchildren, Connor, Kaden, Alexander and Aria; her brother-in-law Donald (Beverly) Weeks; and many nieces and nephews.  Visitation was held at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, on Wednesday, February 22. Services will be held there Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Pastors Jim Howard and Bert Boes officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

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


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Calvin D. Campbell

Calvin D. Campbell


Calvin D. Campbell, 83 of Pierson, died Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at his home. Mr. Campbell was born March 31, 1928 in Hastings, MI the son of Alonzo and Fern (Abbott) Campbell. He worked for McInerny Spring and Wire for 40 years retiring in 1987. Surviving are his wife Evelyn whom he married on June 8, 1947; children, Sheila (Douglas) Ostrander of Sand Lake, Judith (Larry) Strunk of Mason, Steven (Lynne) Campbell of Pierson; daughter-in-law, Dawn DeVreugd of Belding; 12 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; stepbrother, Morris Stafford of Arizonia. He was preceded in death by his son Daniel in 1973. The family will receive friends Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services will be held Saturday 11:00 am. Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice.

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Merle Marie Braford

Mrs. Merle Marie Braford, age 92, of Grand Rapids and formerly of Sand Lake, went to be with her Lord on Monday, January 30, 2012, after a long illness. She was born on April 25, 1919 in Grand Rapids, MI to Bert and Mary (Rysdorp) Gotfredsen and passed away at Clark Retirement Center in Grand Rapids. Merle is survived by her children, Dick and Jeanne Braford and Betty and Hal Clegg; grandchildren, Joseph Braford, Gail and Scott Walldorff, David Braford, Steven Braford, Robert and Mary Clegg, Bradlee and Margaret Clegg; great-grandchildren, Kyle Walldorff, Neil Walldorff, Kathryn Clegg, and Sean Clegg. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Braford, step-son, John Braford, and sisters, Alberdene VanHeest and Marguerite Lovett. Merle was a faithful member of Sand Lake United Methodist Church where she held many roles as Sunday school teacher, a member of the United Methodist Women’s group, soloist and choir member, Vacation Bible School teacher, and various other offices in the church. She was also the much loved librarian at the Sand Lake Library for 32 years. Merle was well-known through the community and loved by all who knew her. She will be missed for her ready smile and gentle ways. Her family wishes to thank the staff at Clark Retirement Center for their wonderful care during Merle’s extended stay. The service for Mrs. Braford will be Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Sand Lake United Methodist Church with Pastor Darryl Miller officiating. Interment in Sand Lake Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Sand Lake United Methodist Church, 65 W. Maple St., Sand Lake, MI 49343 or Clark Retirement Center, 1557 Franklin St., Grand Rapids, MI 49506-3331. Relatives and friends may meet the family at the Pederson Funeral Home on Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. and prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Arrangements by The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Kenneth Robert Hunter

Kenneth Robert Hunter, 58 of Big Rapids, MI passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, January 28, 2012 surrounded by several loved ones after a long fearless battle with lymphoma. Ken was born May 10, 1953 and was raised in Cedar Springs by his loving parents, Robert (deceased) and Rose (Wesche) Hunter with his brothers, Roger Hunter of Rockford, Jim (Sallie) Hunter of Caledonia and sister Robin (Dave) Hole of Greenville. He is survived by his loving wife, Paula Newland Hunter whom he married in 2005; children, Rochelle Hunter (Angie Hines), and Braden (Jessica) Hunter; stepchildren, Brenda Risley (Thad Kruger), Denny (Amanda) Magoon, and Kirk (Kristina) Magoon; brothers and sisters-in-law, Shirley Kruis, Marlan (Bonnie) Newland, Randal (Cheryl) Newland, Bryan (Susan) Newland and Karla (Bob) Roebuck; 12 beloved grandchildren, Quentin, Logan, Madison, Riley, Julia, Olivia, Donovan, Kyla, Kaiden, Shaylee, Evie, and Destiny, who couldn’t wait to come to Grandpa’s house where they enjoyed watching the great turkey flocks and crossing the bridge through the woods and playing in Cold Springs Creek. Several caring extended family members will also mourn his loss including many close nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and awesome lifetime friends. He will be deeply missed by all. Kenneth served proudly in the U.S. Air Force, was a member of the Rockford American Legion Merritt Lamb Post #102 for 25 years and enjoyed working at Hurst Mechanical until 2010, taking pride in his work as a mechanic. Ken was a very strong, brave, and loving man whose family, friends and his God meant everything to him. His earthly joys besides family and friends included riding his Harley, watching Nascar, golfing anywhere and anytime with his crew and listening to Classic Rock and Roll. Visitation was held on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, to share his love and loss, and as he requested a “party” and to remember his life. At Ken’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral service. A luncheon was held between visitations on Wednesday at the American Legion Post, 80 Main St, Cedar Springs. Remembrances in lieu of flowers, the family is setting up a fund for educational expenses for Ken’s children and grandchildren. Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.


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Ardath Bowers

Mrs. Ardath Bowers, age 93, of White Cloud, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.  She was a 1937 graduate of Rockford High School.  From 1962 to 1972 Ardath worked for the Meijer store in Cedar Springs.  Since 1942 she was a member of First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs.  Ardath, a godly wife, mother, and grandmother, is survived by her loving husband, Leon “Jack”, whom she married in 1938; children, James and Sharon Bowers, Jerry and Helene Bowers, Nancy and Pastor Mike Bergman, Bruce and Claudia Bowers; 10 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; brother, Bill Sevey; and nieces and nephews. The Service of Praise and Thanksgiving for the gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ for Mrs. Bowers was held Sunday, January 29, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs with Pastor Jim Howard and Pastor Mike Bergman officiating.  Interment in Algoma Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs, 233 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.  Arrangements by The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Virginia M. Bliss

Virginia M. Bliss, 92 of Pierson, went to be with her Lord, whom she loved on Friday, January 20, 2012 at Spectrum Health – United Memorial Campus, Greenville. Mrs. Bliss was born April 22, 1919 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Phylo and Ila Bell (Sales) Fletcher. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Leland Bliss on July 5, 2010 after 72 years of marriage. She spent her life as a loving wife, mother and person. Surviving are her children, Janet Glidden of Cutlerville, Lanette Stevens of Edmore, Muriel Kay Hoover of Grand Rapids, Irving (Elizabeth) Bliss of Sand Lake, Hazel (David) Hawley of Cedar Springs, Ila (Ron) Fisk of Sand Lake, Leland (Debra) Bliss of Cedar Springs, Sherrie (Jeff) Peters of Cedar Springs; 110 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren; brother-in-law, Arthur (Delores) Bliss; sister-in-law, Althea Welch; many nieces and nephews. The family received friends on Monday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services were held on Tuesday 11:00 am. Pastor Larry Young officiating. Interment in the spring at Solon Township Cemetery. Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Edward L. Lepley

Dr. Edward L. Lepley, age 73 of Stanwood passed away Thursday, January 12, 2012 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  He was born October 10, 1938 in Bellevue, Ohio the son of James Edward and Leona Catherine (Buchman) Lepley.
Ed graduated with honors from Bellevue High School in 1956 where he not only excelled academically, but also on the football field and basketball court.  He still holds several school athletic records. Ed enlisted in the United States Army, where he served for two years, furthering his engineering and mechanical skills.  Following his honorable discharge from the service, Ed enrolled at The Ohio State University where he completed his undergraduate and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree.  He then proceeded to practice in Denmark, England and he set up a poultry research facility for the Spanish Government located outside Barcelona.  While in England he contracted with the province of Alberta to eradicate the Brucellosis Abortus bacteria.  Along the way he stopped in Michigan and in December of 1966 he met his wife to be, Sharron Binkley.   The young couple married on December 9, 1967 and resided in Union Lake where their son Erik was born. Ed established the Waterford Veterinarian Hospital in 1968.
Ed, Sharron and Erik moved to their Ore Box ranch, located above Canyon City, Colorado in 1973. They returned to Michigan in 1978 where Ed opened Riversbend Animal Hospital.  Over the next 33 years Ed would open Cedar Springs Animal Hospital and his current practice in Howard City, which will continue to be managed by his family, to his high standards.
Ed was a devout member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Howard City and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church in Pine Island, Florida and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a strong supporter of The Ohio State University “College of Veterinary Medicine” Alumni Association.  He held a specialty degree in the practice of Veterinary Dentistry and his professional memberships included: the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Dental Society, the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, and the West Michigan Veterinary Medical Association.
Ed enjoyed a number of construction projects in both Michigan and Colorado which included, an A frame Cabin and several barns.  Ed was a mentor to numerous students interested in Veterinary Medicine.  His other hobbies included sailing with his wife, Sharron and helping Erik and Tami with chores around the farm and in the field, especially operating his combine this past season.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years Sharron; his devoted son and daughter-in-law, Erik and Tamara and their children, Mallory and Grant all of Stanwood; a brother, S.J. Lepley of Bellevue, OH; three sisters, Suzette Marie Green of Bellevue, OH, Sandra Dillon of Columbus, OH, Gail (James) Miller of Bellevue, OH; two brothers-in-law, Eugene Sanders and Al Flicker both of Sandusky, OH; sister-in-law, Carol Lepley of Columbus, OH and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, Ed was preceded in death by two brothers, James D. and wife Nancy Lepley, John K. Lepley; three sisters, Jacqueline Sanders, Marilyn and husband Ted Fox, Catherine “Kitty” Flicker.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 21, 2012 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Howard City with the family greeting friends at the church from 9:30 a.m. until mass at 11:00 a.m.  Pastor James Wyse, Father Ray Bruck, Father Phong Pham, Father Lou Anderson and Father Phil Wikowski concelebrate the Mass.  The family will greet friends at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids on Thursday, Jan 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Friday Jan 20th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary being prayed that evening at 7:30 p.m.  followed by public personal reflections of Ed’s life.
Immediately following the Mass of Christian Burial, at Christ the King Catholic Church, a luncheon will be served at the fellowship hall.
There will be additional visitations and services in Bellevue, Ohio with interment at the Bellevue Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Ed’s name may be given to his family and directed to the establishment of the “Ed Lepley Scholarship Fund” or to continue Ed’s legacy of aiding underprivileged animals.
Share a memory or leave a condolence at www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com

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