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Time


Pastor Bill Dixon 

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

 15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs 


Most families have traditions that they have learned from their parents or they developed as adults. My family has several traditions but one that stands out was started about four years ago. It’s called “hero week.” Each of our four kids are given a week out of each month where they are the one who gets to pray for each meal, get to stay up a little longer than the other kids at the end of the week (extra hang out time with mom and dad), get to choose what we eat for one meal during the week, and they get to pick the movie on family night. 

This past week, it was my oldest daughter’s hero week, and she picked one of her favorite meals, noodles with alfredo sauce and shrimp. The girl loves shrimp. For her movie, she chose to watch one of the Spy Kids movies. We have seen this movie multiple times but this time something stood out to me. The bad guy in this movie was known as the “Time Keeper.” As I paid attention to the movie this time around, it stuck out to me that everything this bad guy did was for a reason. What this bad guy wanted most of all was to get back to the time that he had lost with his dad growing up. So, he builds a time machine to take him back to the past to spend more time with his dad, but things didn’t end up the way he thought.

Watching this movie, I realized how important it is for us to use wisely the time we have been given. We have to realize that our time on earth is relatively short (Psalm 144:3-4) and if we are not careful, time will fly by and we will miss out on a lot of things that we will regret when we reach the end of our lives.

Up until three months ago, I had not used my time wisely, especially with my children. Instead of spending time with them, I spent more time working, hunting, or consumed with whatever was going on in my own world. My son is almost 13 years old and I finally taught him this past summer how to mow a yard, shoot a basketball (properly), and how to hunt. If you were to ask me six months ago, I probably would have given you several reasons as to why this was, how busy I was, etc. After I put aside all of the excuses, I realized that I was not using wisely the precious time that God has given me. After I realized this, I began to make some changes. Here are my new priorities. 

• My relationship with the Lord. This is my first priority because it is the most important (Matthew 22:37). 

• My family. Above work and hobbies is my family. Instead of making excuses, I am actually being intentional about spending time with my kids. Likewise, I’m intentional about my time with my wife and immediate family, making the most of the time that I have with them. 

• Work. My third priority is my work. I love what I do but what I have had to learn is that at the end of the day, what I do is only a job and should never take priority over my relationship with the Lord or my family. I encourage you to have the same attitude. 

Like the bad guy in the movie that we watched this past week, I had to learn a hard lesson. I had to rethink how I’m using my time here on earth. Three months ago, I was not using my time wisely but now I’ve made the decision to make the most of my time, especially with my family. I would like to tell you that it’s been an easy process but that would be a lie. I’ve had to ask for forgiveness from my family and the Lord and have had to reprogram the way I think and do things. In other words, I had to get my priorities in order. The good news is that because I have started to use my time wisely and have kept my priorities in check, I’ve experienced more joy than I have in a long time. You can too. 

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Families flock to Easter Eggtravaganza


By Judy Reed

Kids had a great time hunting eggs at the Easter Egg Extravaganza. Photo by K. Mabie.

Laughter filled the air as kids scrambled over the lawns at Solon Center Wesleyan Church last Saturday, April 20, excitedly picking up colorful plastic Easter eggs filled with goodies. It was a beautiful day for the event, with over 650 people attending the church’s annual Easter Eggtravaganza.

Rachel (Reed) Hunt and her boys, Maverick, 2, and Atlas, 4, showing off their eggs. Photo by J. Reed.

According to Kathy Mabie, Administrative Assistant at Solon Center Wesleyan, located on Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Rd, they have always had an Easter Egg hunt, but in 2009 it changed to an Easter Eggtravaganza. This year was the biggest one yet, with 10,000 plastic eggs filled with candy. Last year they did about 7,500.

Over 50 volunteers manned the event, which featured three hunts, bounce houses, balloons, face painting, free hot dogs, chips, and water, the Solon Fire Department, Rockford Ambulance, Michigan State Police with fingerprinting, and more. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit was scheduled to be there, but the dog had to work that day, explained Mabie. At the end of the hunt, they gave away two girls bikes and two boys bikes, several Easter baskets, and gift certificates.

Mabie said it wasn’t just the kids and parents that had a good time. Their volunteers had a blast working the hunt and interacting with everyone.

“We do this solely to serve our community and break down the barriers of people coming to church. We want to show the love of Christ to our community,” she remarked. 

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He said wut?!


Pastor Bill Dixon. Solon Center Wesleyan Church. 15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs

Have you ever heard someone say something so shocking that it made you take a step back and say to yourself, he or she said wut?!. A few weeks ago, I started a series called, He Said Wut?! As a church, we began to look at a few shocking things that Jesus said about everyday stuff like, anger, lust, marriage, promise-keeping, retaliation, and loving our enemies. 

Throughout this section of scripture, which begins in Matthew chapter 5 verse 21, Jesus follows a pattern. He always starts off by saying, “You have heard it said…” or something similar to that and then He goes onto mention an Old Testament Law. After this, Jesus always goes onto say, “But I tell you…” which is Jesus’ way of saying, listen to what I’m about to tell you. 

I want to do is share with you just one of the topics that Jesus addresses. It is a topic that is out of control in our world today—anger. Listen to what Jesus has to say and then I will point out a few things for you to chew on. 

21 “You have heard it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You Fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (NIV)

Jesus equates being angry with…murder. Here is what I believe Jesus is getting at. I believe that He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (could mean anyone) you are no better in God’s eyes than someone who literally takes an innocent life. I believe He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (again, could mean anyone), you are a murderer. So, are you a murderer? Maybe not in your own eyes, but in God’s eyes you are. 

Before you decide to stop reading hear me out on a few things. 

1: Jesus is not saying that all anger is bad. There is such a thing as good or righteous anger. We know this because the Bible clearly teaches that God gets angry. And we know that God is good so there must be such a thing as good or righteous anger. In fact, if you look at the Gospels, Jesus gets angry. Go and read Matthew 21:12-13. Not long after Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, He entered the synagogue (Jewish Church) and looked around and saw that a lot of people were doing things that they should not of have been doing. So, what does Jesus do? Listen to what was written… 

“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling droves. It is written, he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers” Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV).

There are plenty of things going on in our world today that should make us angry, especially as Christians. The problem is our anger often times goes off the rails and becomes unrighteous/sinful. Jesus is talking about the type of anger that holds grudges towards others. He is talking about the times when we say and do things that are meant to hurt others—maybe not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. 

Here is the second point I want you to chew on. 

2: Jesus is clarifying (making known) the spirit of the law. 

The spiritual leaders of the day had the letter of the Law down pat. They knew and understood that God did not want them to murder folks. Many of us have the letter of the Law down pat as well. We get it. Murdering people is bad. But here is the thing. Jesus makes it clear that stopping short of murdering people is not good enough. He is making it clear that, like the leaders of His day, we are missing the spirit of the law. 

God is not interested in us becoming people who just stop short of literally murdering each other. No. He is interested in us becoming people who constantly value others. In other words, God is interested in us becoming people who constantly treat others with dignity, respect, and love. This is the spirit behind the law of ‘Do not Murder’ (Exodus 20:13). 

Let me end with a few questions: 

1: Are you in need of open-heart surgery? The reality is, unrighteous/sinful anger is a heart problem. Matthew 15:19 makes this clear. If this is you, if you are struggling with anger (valuing others), do this. Stop what you are doing and go to the Lord. Ask Him to do what only He can do, and that is this, to forgive you and to begin to transform you inside out by the power of His Holy Spirit. 

2: What is one relationship that you have that needs reconciling? Have you done or said something to someone in the past or maybe recently that has caused an offense? Instead of ignoring that you have wronged someone, here is what you need to do. First, ask God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) then, go to the person, acknowledge your error, ask them for forgiveness, and then do everything in your power to bring about reconciliation to that relationship (read again verses 23-26). 

God wants us to become people who constantly value others. Who constantly treat others with dignity, respect and love. 

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Don’t ring the bell


Solon Center

Wesleyan Church

Pastor Bill Dixon

15671 Algoma Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Don’t ring the bell

For those of you who may not know, the Navy Seal or BUD/S training is one of the most difficult military training in the world. Here is a brief description of the training known as hell week from NavySeals.com: Hell week “is the defining event in BUD/S training. It is held early on in the third week of the first phase before the Navy makes an expensive investment in SEAL operational training. Hell week consist of five and half days of cold, wet, brutally difficult operational training on fewer than four hours of sleep. Hell week tests physical endurance, mental toughness, pain and cold tolerance, teamwork, attitude, and your ability to perform work under high physical and mental stress, and sleep deprivation. Above all, it tests determination and desire. On average, only 25 percent of SEAL candidates make it through Hell week.” 

Now, in order for a candidate to quit or to end his training, he has to walk over to a bell and ring it. My goal with this message is to encourage ALL of us not to Ring the Bell, meaning, not to give up, not to lose heart, not to lose hope. The reality is, life can be hard at times. Right? Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble” (NIV). Jesus is not talking about lose your cell phone type of trouble here, he is talking about a type of trouble that has the ability to turn your world upside down and even shake your faith. Some of you reading this article might be facing what Jesus is describing here. Some of you maybe in a difficult season of life where it seems like nothing is working out, at least the way that you thought things would. Some of you might be struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed. Some of you might be thinking about ringing the bell—giving up. I’m here today to tell you, no matter what is going on, no matter what struggles you may be facing, DON’T RING THE BELL. Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. 

Here’s why. 

1: You are not alone. God knows what you are going through and He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:4) 

2: Your situation may look big but God is bigger. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2) 

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No fear


Pastor Bill Dixon

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Fear is something that we all experience and struggle with at times. For some it may be fear of the unknown. For others, it may be fear of not having enough. Fear of the future. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of disease. Fear of death. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not being strong enough. Fear of not being worthy enough. Fear of not being loved. Fear of being alone. The list could go on. The point is, fear is a powerful emotion that we all struggle with at times. Fear is so powerful that it has the power to immobilize us, to take control of our lives, to rob us of the joy and peace that is ours in Christ. But listen, here is good news. Fear doesn’t have to control our lives. Fear doesn’t have to have any power in our lives unless we allow it to. 

So, the question is, what do we do when fear comes knocking on the doors our hearts? The way I see it, we have two options. Option one is to do nothing and allow fear to wreak havoc in our lives. Option two is to do something about it. One of the last sermon series I preached in Indiana before moving back to Michigan was called, No Fear. In this series, I challenged everyone to make a stand against fear. One of the best ways to stand against fear is to stand on the Word of God. 

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 23. I forgot who said it, but I remember someone saying that this was a Psalm that “calmed the soul.” I would agree. Verses 4-5 say, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

Here it is, King David knew that no matter what challenge or difficulty came his way, his God was right there by his side. David knew that his God was not a God who left His children hanging. David knew that there was nothing too great or too difficult for his God to overcome. 

Here’s good news, we too serve the same God as David. We too have a God who is right by our side no matter what comes our way. We too have a God who will not leave us hanging. 

I encourage you today to not allow fear to gain one inch of ground in your life. Make a stand against fear by standing on the Word of God. Commit to memorizing Psalm 23 and other passages that deal with fear and every time fear pops its ugly head up in your life, squash it with the truth. 

My family and I are excited to be part of this community. We are honored to lead Solon Center Wesleyan Church. We are looking forward to partnering with other local churches in our community to help change one life at a time. Be encouraged today and fear not. 

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Bad day


Rev. Chadrick Brown

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

As you read this, let me ask you a question and then I want you to pause and really think about it. How’s your day going? How has your week been? Good? Bad? Here’s a little way you can tell if it’s going to be a rotten day. 

You know it’s going to be bad when you see a Fox news team in your office. Or, you call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold. It’s going to be a bad day when you turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city. Or, when your twin sister or brother forgot your birthday. It’s going to be a bad day when your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway. Or when your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat. It’s going to be a bad day when your income tax check bounces. Or when you put both contact lenses in the same eye. All these scenarios will create one bad day.  

I hope some of those things put a smile on your face, but here is the reality—we are in for some bad days no matter what we do or don’t do. So, friend, this may be a lame encouragement, but it helps get me through some tough days and brings some perspective. There is always someone who has it worse off than I do. Be thankful you’re not that person, put a smile on your face, walk tall and stay strong. The bad day will end. Another day will come. God is watching over you and He cares and loves you so very much. And just a word of advice… as Spring comes, watch out for those Hell’s Angels that may be coming down 131. 

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PAULETTE L. FITZPATRICK


Paulette L. Fitzpatrick age 69 of Cedar Springs, passed away unexpectedly and went to be with her Lord on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus. Paulette was born December 12, 1948 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Kelly and Eloise (Armstrong) Covey. She had been a longtime member of Solon Center Wesleyan Church and worked with her husband at Ed’s Auto Body. She enjoyed never sitting still, housekeeping and making her home neat and tidy inside and out. She loved her grandkids, making people laugh and helping others. Surviving are her husband, Edmund; daughter, Lynette (Aron) Bowser; grandchildren, Delaney, Macey and Preston; sister, Sonya Bigelow; brothers, Bryan (Sandy) Covey, Dean (Marie) Covey; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Dawn Heim. The family greeted friends Wednesday, January 31 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Thursday, February 1 at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Kevin Reed officiating. Interment Algoma Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

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

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Problems


Rev. Chadrick Brown

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

It’s hard to believe that we find ourselves in another New Year. Congratulations… you made it! The problems of last year are over and we can look to this New Year with great optimism. Yeah, but wait a second. Is that really true? Do all we need is more optimism and the problems will go away? Well, before we start celebrating again, let me tell you what some old preacher once told me about problems. The old preacher said, “I’ve got problems, you’ve got problems. All God’s children got problems.” Now that is a profound statement. Isn’t that true? It’s called “Welcome to the human race!” And do you know what?  I hate to be the kill joy, but in this New Year, it doesn’t matter how much optimism you may muster up, you’re still going to have problems to face. The issue, then, is not whether we’ll have problems, but how we’ll handle them.

I love what Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote. Listen to what she said: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, until it seems as though you cannot hang on a minute longer, never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” 

Did you hear that? Did you really read that? She said, “…never give up…” Now that is some great advice, isn’t it? I think many of us give up too quickly when the solution to our problem was right there, ready to be discovered and enjoyed. 

God’s Word tells us in Philippians 4:14 this powerful truth. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So, let’s break this scripture down a bit. Where do I get the strength? I get the strength from Jesus Christ. What do I get that strength for? To do all things. My friends, it’s not in our own strength that will get us through the difficulties of life. It’s in and through His strength, which is ours for the asking.

Are you struggling today with a problem? Are you tired? Then take a moment right now and ask Jesus to give you the strength to do whatever it takes to overcome that problem. I promise you this, He will answer you as you surrender your life to Him. And my friend… never give up. 

So, in this New Year, let’s not be surprised by the problems, but let’s surprise the problems in how we handle them.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


American Legion Holiday Bazaar

Nov. 4: The American Legion Auxiliary is having their annual Holiday Bazaar on November 4th from 9 am to 3 pm at the Cedar Springs Legion, 80 S. Main Street in Cedar Springs. Along with garage sale items and arts and crafts, we will also have a bake sale. #44

Sand Lake Lions Club Variety Sale

Nov. 4: The Sand Lake Lions Club will host a Variety Sale on Saturday, November 4th from 9 am – 3 pm at the Sand Lake United Methodist Church ED building. Located on the corner of 6th and Maple Streets. Antiques/Vintage collectibles and crafts, quality used clothing, miscellaneous items. #44

Dinner at the Legion

Nov. 6: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday, November 6th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, stuffing, salad, roll, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #44p

TOPS weight loss support group

Nov. 7: Need help getting through the holiday season? Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. #44

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Nov. 7,14,21,28: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #44

Help Promote Literacy

Nov. 8,17,21: The need is urgent at this time! The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled  information sessions for prospective volunteer tutors. These sessions last one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Literacy Center and its programs. At the end of the session there will be a chance to sign up for tutor training. Sessions are Wednesday, November 8th at 6 pm, Friday, November 17th at 10 am and Tuesday, November 21st at 2 pm. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 616-459-5151 (ext. 10) or email us at info@literacycenterwm.org to register. #44

Voters Not Politicians Educational Town Hall

Nov. 9: Voters Not Politicians Town Hall with an educational presentation to explain what is gerrymandering and the Voters Not Politicians proposal to end it plus an opportunity for registered voters to sign the petition to get the proposal on the ballot. The event will be held on November 9th from 6 to 7 pm at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 107 Main St., Cedar Springs. Hosted by Voters Not Politicians, a non-partisan ballot committee seeking to put before voters a proposal to end gerrymandering in Michigan. The proposal would ask voters to amend the Michigan State Constitution to deny partisan politicians the ability to manipulate voting district boundaries to secure their own hold on power. It would instead give the authority for drawing those boundaries to an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. This event will help educate and gather signatures to support the petition drive to gather nearly 316,000 valid signatures needed to put the anti-gerrymander proposal on the 2018 ballot. #44

Library Book Sale

Nov. 9-11: The Friends of the Nelson Twp./Sand Lake Library is hosting a book sale on Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10th from 10 to 6 pm and on Saturday, November 11th from 10 am to 2 pm at the Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Drive in Sand Lake. #44,45p

Solon Center Wesleyan Church Holiday Bazaar

Nov. 11:Do your Christmas shopping! Saturday, November 11th from 9 am–2 pm, delicious fresh baked goods, 100’s of hand crafted items, jewelry, and many other vendors. There’s definitely something for everyone! Rolls & coffee and a lunch counter are also available. The church is located @ 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road. Come early, stay late! #43,44p

Cookie Walk at Holy Spirit Episcopal

Nov. 11: Holy Spirit Episcopal Church is holding its annual Cookie Walk and Christmas Delites sale on Saturday, November 11th from 9 am to 3 pm. The church is located at 1200 Post Drive NE in Belmont (corner of Post and Pine Island drives, just off Exit 95 of US 131). Featuring our “world-famous” Cookie Walk – Come early for the best selection. There will also be baked goods, crafts, Santa’s Attic and a silent auction. The Christmas Delites sale is sponsored by the Holy Spirit’s Episcopal Women group and funds their support for various church activities, such as kitchen supplies, funeral refreshments, the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, the Explore & Soar Reading Club, and more. More information can be found on the church’s website: www.holyspiritbelmont.org. #44

Free Veterans Event in Sparta

Nov. 11: Join in the Sparta Community Celebration to Honor our Veterans! On November 11th at the Sparta High School Auditorium, there will be a documentary film “The Unknowns” about the unique perspective to the rigorous and intricate training of the Sentinel Training Program soldiers must endure to be assigned duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Sparta’s Specialist 3rd Class Don Bradford will narrate and share his story as Sparta’s only guard to have served at the Tomb. The event is at 2 to 4:30 pm (doors open at 1pm). The event is free. Present will also be Sparta’s Robert Shangle, LiveStatue. A color guard of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp recruiters will present the colors. There will be displays inside and out including about the Sparta POW camp in 1944 For more information please see our website at: www.spartahistory.org. The Sparta Township Historical Commission. Following the event these Sparta restaurants are serving a Free dinner to all Veterans after 5 pm! – Cellar Brewery – Downtown Trini’s – Garden Patch – Big Joe’s. #44p

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JOSEPH WATSON SR.


 

Joseph Franklin Watson Sr. “Joe or Pappy”, age 82 of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Joe was born September 6, 1934 in Lexington, Virginia, the son of James and Melinda (McCormick) Watson. Joe served 10 years in the United States Air Force and 10 years in the Michigan National Guard. During his time served, Joe played minor league baseball for the Air Force. Joe had a heart for coaching and umpiring for the Little, Pony and Silver Baseball Leagues. Joe was a founding member of Cedar Springs Amateur Athletic Association, member of the Roundtable Coffee Drinkers, a Keystone Kop, and was the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Red Flannel Parade. Joe considered his greatest life achievement being a grandparent to 14 grandchildren. Surviving are his beloved wife, Florence E. (Clark) Watson; children, Joseph Michael Grove of Virginia, JeDonne (Jerry) Morton, Joseph (Connie) Watson Jr., Kelli Watson, Charlie (Ladonna) Watson, Merri (Rich) Moore; grandchildren, Steven, Megan, Hollie, Nick, Jake, Jeff, Chris, Mandi, Charli Anne, Ashley, Ricky, Elizabeth, Erin and Carlee; great grandchild, Addison; brother-in-law, Virgil R. (Sandie) James; sister-in-law, Mary Ellen (Melvin) Cole; brother-in-law, J. Thomas Bundy; many nephews, nieces and cousins who he adored; and friends that he loved as family. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Mayhlon James “Tarzan” Watson, James Alexander Watson, Geraldine “Binky” Bundy, and Margarite “Moe” Sweeney; Nephew, James Alexander “Butch” Watson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles O. and Mary (Caverly) Clark; brother-in-law, Herman O. Clark; and sisters-in-law, Maxine M. (Clark) Manteufel and Alice J. (Clark) Haubenstricker. The family will receive friends Saturday at 10 a.m. until time of service at 11a.m. at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. N.E., Cedar Springs, Pastor Larry Young officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Cedar Springs Veterans Park Fund.

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

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