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Tag Archive | "obituary"


Raymond C. Deblock Sr., age 74, of Ensley Township, Sand Lake died Monday, December 3, 2018 at Spectrum Heath Butterworth Campus. Ray was born August 28, 1944 in Fremont, MI the son of Frank and Kathryn (Spahr) Deblock. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He enjoyed working as a groundskeeper at Crystal Springs Golf Course and hunting and fishing. Surviving are his wife of 37 years, Sharon (Hill); children, Raymond Deblock Jr., Jeffrey (Vickie) Deblock, Kristal (Patrick) Deblock; stepchildren, Kenneth (Donna) Green, Terry (Terri) Green, Tamara Mosher, Robin Green, Robin (David) Fillers; 20 grandchildren including a special grandson, Austin; 5 great-grandchildren; brothers, Frank (Terri) Deblock, Mike (Charleen) Deblock. He was preceded in death by his parents. The family will greet friends Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Military honors and a closing prayer will be held at 7:00 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

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Louis T. Gryka, age 90 of Rockford, passed away on Monday, December 3, 2018. Louis was born on December 21, 1927 in Algoma Township, the son of George and Helen (Pawlowski) Gryka. He graduated from Rockford High School in 1945 and was a Veteran of the United States Army. Louis was a member of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Belmont. He retired from Wolverine World Wide Tannery in 1990 and also had snow plowing and landscaping business. Louis was preceded in death by his parents; his sons, Larry, Eric and Tom Gryka; his brother, Walter Gryka; and his sister, Josephine Hikade. Surviving are his wife of 67 years and best friend, Maude (Fessenden) Gryka; his children, Paul (Terri) Gryka, Anne (Steve) Rowloff, Nicholas (Lynne) Gryka, Helen Metzger, Jennifer Kwiecinski, and Christina Clonan; daughters-in-law, Mickey Gryka and Cheryl Gryka; 21 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; brother, George (Rosemary) Gryka; sisters-in-law, Della Fessenden, Beverly Leys, Sharon Jacobson and Laurie (Douglas) Potter; and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 7, 2018 at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Belmont with visitation one hour prior to the service at church. Military Honors will be rendered at church with burial at Assumption Cemetery to follow. Visitation will also be held from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe Street in Rockford. The Praying of the Rosary will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home Thursday.

Arrangements by Pederson 

Funeral Home, Rockford

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Sharon R. Cramer of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 78, passed away on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. She was born to Boyd and Jeanne (MacFarland) Condon on October 12, 1940, in Lowell, MI. She enjoyed motorcycles, gambling, and traveling, especially to the Soo Locks in the Upper Peninsula. Sharon is survived by her son Tom (Dee) Cramer, and their children, Tommy II Cramer, David Cramer, Ronnie and Mandi McMeeken, Kimmie McMeeken, Zack McMeeken, and Macy Herber; daughter Sherri (Mark) Sias, and their children, Jay Cramer, Crystal and J.P. Deason-Johnson, and Donnie and Amiee Smith; son Terry (Kitty) Cramer, and their children, Terry II and Cassy Cramer, Micheal Cramer, and Crystal Rayapureddy; and daughter Sue Cramer Frost (deceased 2013), and her children, Fawn Reedy and Tim Frost; several great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years Keith Cramer, sister Elise Waller, brother Boyd Condon, and daughter Sue Cramer. The family would like to thank Sharon’s neighbors and Faith Hospice for all of their care and compassion during her illness. A private celebration of life will take place at a later date.

Arrangements by Pederson 

Funeral Home, Rockford

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Dennis R. Verburg, age 68, of Sand Lake passed away on Monday, November 26, 2018 at his home. Dennis was born January 23, 1950 in Sand Lake, MI the son of Ervin and Donna (Adams) Verburg. He was a volunteer firefighter in Sand Lake for 25 years and a truck driver for over 20 years. Surviving are his wife, Cherry (Mosher) Verburg; daughter, Amy (Sam) Rodriguez; grandchildren, Hannah and Maya Slagel; mother, Donna Verburg; sister, Sharon Knapp; brothers, Richard and Bob Verburg; mother-in-law, Velda Mosher. He was preceded in death by his brother, Tom. There will be a visitation at the VFW in Sand Lake on Sunday from 2:00-5:00 p.m.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Sand Lake Fire Department.

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

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Robert Hoover, age 84, of Greenville, formerly of Howard City, passed away November 22, 2018 at Metron of Greenville. He was born January 22, 1934 in Grand Rapids, the son of Raul and Gertrude (Potter) Hoover. During his working years he worked in the factory industry for 25 years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and never missing a grand kids ball game. He was a member of the Howard City VFW Post #3306 where he served for two years as commander. He also served as a volunteer fireman for 25 years, as a Keystone Cop in Cedar Springs for 41 years and as the grand marshal in 2009. In 1964 he married Eva Potter, who survives, also surviving are his children, Kathy (Scott) Poole of Howard City, Bob (Tammy) Hoover of Greenville; 5 grandchildren, Clinton & Tayler Hoover, Allisan (Edward) Rayes, Mike Hoover, Zachery & Rachael Hoover,  Aaron Poole; 4 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; a half brother, Ed, and a son, Clifford. Funeral services were held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Howard City VFW Post, Pastor Teri Cummins officiating with burial in the Reynolds Cemetery. The family greeted friends at the Heckman Funeral Home on Monday evening from 7-9 p.m. and prior to services at the VFW.

Arrangements by Heckman Funeral Home, Howard City

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Barbara J. Nuffesse, age 76, of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at her home. Barb was born March 6, 1942 in Mancelona, Michigan the daughter of Floyd and Orrilla (Bonney) Bisard. She had been a Cub Scout Den Mother in Cedar Springs and a member of the Red Hats. She enjoyed traveling, gardening and the outdoorsincluding hunting and shing. She was verydevoted to her family and friends. Surviving are her husband of 53 years, Joseph; sons, Michael (Linda) Nuffesse, Douglas (Amy) Nuffesse; grandchildren, Michael “Dennis” Nuffesse, Delilah Nuffesse, Kathryn Foss, Seth Nelson; brothers, Charles Bisard, Frederick Bisard; sisters, Peg Bonney, Shirley Merkle, Mary Sparks, Adah Osga, CarolBotma,GeraldineDavis;manynieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Robert Bisard. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook St. SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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

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Bessie E. (Bess) Russell died peacefully at

Angel’s Garden in Dacula, GA on November 2, 2018 at the age of 94. Bess was born on December 1, 1923 in Cedar Springs, MI to Edgar and Elsa Burg. Bess is survived by her children, Paula Jeanne (John) Rau of Sand Lake, Glenn (Betty) Russell of Grand Rapids, Donna Faye (Patrick) Valentine of Dacula, GA, Dale (J Ann) Russell of Phoenix, AZ; sister, Helen Pike of Sparta and brother, George of Cedar Springs. She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard E. Russell. She retired from the U.S. Postal Service as acting Postmaster in Conklin, MI, moving to Zephyrhills, FL before moving to Sun City Center, FL in 1994. She actively volunteered for many years at South Bay Hospital. In 2007 she moved to Lawrenceville, GA to be close to her daughter, Donna Valentine. She leaves behind 9 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great- grandchildren. As a young woman she was an original “Rosie the Riveter” in Ypsilanti. She was an avid Bridge player, still playing three times a week. Her children remember her as a driven worker who insisted they pursue their goals.

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Terry Alan Shears

Terry Alan Shears, 70, of East Jordan formally of Greenville Michigan passed away November 11th 2018 in Kalkaska. Terry was born on September 16, 1948 in Grand Rapids Michigan to the late Otis and Lillian Shears. Terry is survived by his Wife Laura Shears. Married on June 20th 1969, at Algoma Baptist Church. He is survived by his children, Tina Scarbrough (Gary husband), and Laura Ensley (Patrick husband), his two grandchildren which he held close to his heart, Aubrianna Ensley and Jakon Fletcher. Survived by his brother, Harold Shears (Donna). Survived by several nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by Jason Harold Shears. (Nephew) Terry worked at Gallmeyer and Livingston a number of years before opening his own business. Terry’s Used Cars in Cedar Springs Michigan. He ran the business with his daughter Laura Ensley for twenty years. He loved spending time at Lake Charlevoix during the summer, in the winter he lived in Florida. He was an amazing father, grandfather and husband. He loved fishing with his grandson and his buddy Pete. He loved riding motorcycle with his daughter Tina. He loved snowmobiling with the whole family. He really liked fast cars. He always looked forward to deer hunting every year with friends and family. He graduated from Sparta High School in 1966. A memorial service will be held at the Moose Lodge in Sparta Michigan. Greeting guests from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. November 17th. 11510 N. Division Ave.

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Brison Ricker passes away

Brison Ricker (left) playing soccer for the Red Hawk Varsity Soccer team in the fall of 2015, before he began showing symptoms of brain cancer. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

By all accounts, Brison Ricker, 16, was a fighter. But his fight with DIPG, a rare and deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG), came to an end Saturday morning, December 23, when he passed into the arms of his Lord and Savior.

Brison, the son of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township, and brother to Preston, 14, was a happy, athletic, well-liked teen with a strong faith in Jesus Christ. Before his symptoms began in the fall of 2015, he loved riding dirt bikes with Preston, and playing soccer. According to Kim, Brison raced motocross and supercross, and came in second place in the state for the two classes he raced in. He also was on the Varsity soccer team as a freshman that fall and voted offensive player of the year.

Brison Ricker at age 9, with his father, Brian. He played soccer and was training for the Riverbank Run. Courtesy photo.

Brison also loved to run; the Post ran a story on Brison in 2010 when he was nine years old and a third grader at Beach Elementary. He was training to run the Riverbank run—and his dad was going to run with him. 

In 2012, we reported he won first place for boys in the 55m dash at Cedar View, as well as first place in the 100m dash for 11-12-year old boys at the Hershey Track and Field meet that summer.

Brison’s symptoms started around Thanksgiving 2015—dizziness and blurred vision. By January he had a diagnosis of DIPG, which is nearly always fatal and lacks an effective treatment, according to Stanford University. 

According to a news article from Stanford’s medicine news, DIPG affects 200-400 school-aged children in the United States each year and has a five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent; half of patients die within nine months of diagnosis. Radiation gives only a temporary reprieve from the tumor’s growth. In addition, it is inoperable.

By June of 2016, their oncologist advised them to bring in hospice because there was nothing more they could do. It was then that Kim and Brian sought alternative treatment for Brison through the Burzynski Clinic. However, it was not covered by insurance. And the community then began to put on numerous fundraisers to try to help the Rickers fund the expenses related to Brison’s treatment—fundraisers which continued through this Christmas season.

Brison and his younger brother, Preston.

By December 2016, the Rickers found that Preston also had cancer—not DIPG but thyroid cancer, for which he underwent conventional treatment.

Brison had a lot of ups and downs medically, but the treatment did shrink the tumor and the area where it was located (the pons) eventually became scar tissue. Unfortunately, the cancer eventually spread to his spleen and other parts of his brain.

Toward the end, he could not hear or see, and had become unresponsive. The Rickers called in hospice last week, and a prayer vigil was held at their home on Friday evening, December 22. Brison then passed away on Saturday morning.

“He fought so hard until the end, he had big dreams with the determination, perseverence, and talent to make those dreams come true and he did not want to leave this earth,” Kim wrote on her Facebook page. “Brison had unwavering faith until the end and believed he would be healed. Now he is playing soccer and racing dirt bikes in heaven.”

She also thanked those who have supported them. “Thank You to everyone who has provided love and support to our family over the past 23 months since Brison was diagnosed. Our mission to save him did not end with success, but because of so many of you who selflessly gave we were able to provide treatment that extended his life and time with us for an extra 18 months. We made so many memories during that time. He celebrated is 16th birthday, he went to high school dances, we went on vacations, and became closer than ever before. That is time our family will always be grateful for.”

Brison’s funeral will be held on Saturday December 30 at Resurrection Life Church in Rockford at noon, with visitation from 10 to noon. See his obituary here.

Brison is the third Cedar Springs student to pass away this year. Earlier this fall, Emma Orr, a student at Beach Elementary passed away from terminal neuroblastoma; and Cora Gonzalez, a 5th grader at Cedar View, passed away after being hit by a car.


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Edith L.M. Boss

Edith L. M. Boss 96 formerly of Sand Lake passed away Sunday, October 8, 2017, at Clark Retirement Community, Grand Rapids. Mrs. Boss was born June 9, 1921, in Petoskey, Michigan the daughter of Alfred and Julia (Pierson) Heynig. A loving & devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend & Christian woman. Edie (as she preferred) loved spending time laughing, telling stories, jokes, singing and volunteering time to build God’s kingdom. She was able to travel the world with the love of her life, Bill. She told her nurse & friend Ricki, “When we traveled Bill would be in charge of the camera equipment & I the children.” Then they’d have a big laugh. She loved her church family, Christian service & looked forward to sharing her time, talents & treasures to build God’s kingdom. She looked forward to her weekly trips collecting items and food to donate to organizations like Helping Hands in Howard City. After living in Sand Lake for decades she & Bill moved into Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids. At Clark, she spent a lot of time encouraging her friends in the nursing unit to eat. She created stained glass lamps & night lights used as fund-raisers. She also participated in their young children’s reading program. Everyone who knew Edie said she lived her life with an uplifting & positive spirit, sharing the love of Christ with everyone. Edie will be remembered with love. We will remember how with every sunrise she prayed for her family and praised “God’s beautiful paintbrush.” On behalf of all her family, we’d like to thank you for your support and prayers. We wish all of you Christ Jesus’ peace and comfort. God bless and keep you. Surviving are her children Gregory Boss, William (Rebecca) Boss, Laurae Stumpf; grandchildren, Marie (Roy) Meyers, Becca Boss, Adam (Alexis) Stumpf, Jeffrey (Bonnie) Boss; four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, William; daughter-in-law, Pamela; grandson, Mark; brother, Charles Heynig all in Heaven. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 14 at 10:00 am at Clark Retirement Community, 1551 Franklin St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI. Interment Sand Lake Cemetery.

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

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