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Tag Archive | "U.S. Navy"



E. Ray Gordon, 89, of Cedar Springs, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, November 6, 2015. E. Ray Gordon was born on January 17, 1926 in Sand Lake, Michigan, the son of Fay and Cora Gordon. After graduating valedictorian from Cedar Springs High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He then married his high school sweetheart, Janet Gunnell on December 29, 1945. He went on to graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in civil engineering. He was a founding partner in WBDC, Inc. He was a past president of the Exchange Club of Grand Rapids and a past officer of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers. He had been a scout master for Boy Scout Troop #222. Ray enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling and attending Cedar Springs School athletic events. He was a member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church and the Cedar Springs School Board for 29 years. Surviving are his children, Susie (Ken) Parker, Doug Gordon, Pam (Tim) Covell, Joel Gordon; 16 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; brother, Murry (Eva) Gordon; brothers and sisters-in-law, Cliff Snyder, Fred (Carollee) Gunnell, John (Mayda) Gunnell, Nancy (Ed) Bremmer, Shirley (Charlie) Gumina, Cam (John) Teusink, Maxine Gordon, Suzanne Gordon; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet (Gunnell) Gordon; son, Tom Gordon; brothers, Ken Gordon, Don Gordon, Fay Gordon; sister, Lillian Snyder; brother-in-law, Tom Gunnell; sisters-in-law, Helen Gordon and Lorraine Gordon. The family received friends Monday, Nov. 9 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Tuesday 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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

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Hometown Hero

N-HometownHero-LindermanSarah J. Reed Linderman

HM1(FMF) Sarah J. Reed Linderman USN, a 1995 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, has retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy. She will reside in the Grand Haven area.

Proud parents of Linderman are Ernie and Donna Adams, of Cedar Springs.

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Terrance Arthur Gage II

C-OBIT-gage-webTerrance Arthur Gage II 39 of Cedar Springs, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from accidental injuries. Terry is now walking with the Lord. Terry was met by his Grandpa and Grandma Middleton, Grandpa Gage, Aunt Laurie and Grandson Israel. He was born July 31, 1975 in Lakeview, MI. Following graduation from High School Terry enlisted in the U.S. Navy, he very proudly served his country for 20 years retiring in July of 2014. He traveled a lot while in the service and his daughters were able to travel with him. Terry loved to cook and was known as the chef. He was learning to make bowls from different kinds of wood, enjoyed auction sales and flea markets and loved to hunt. He was always helping people and spending time with his family and friends. He was looking forward to seeing his son Kevin graduate from high school and his daughter Ashley from business college in Virginia. He will be missed by his family and friends. Surviving are the love of his life, Marti; daughters, Mykenzie, Ashley (Danny) Lopez, Kayli (Warren) Armock; son, Kevin; two grandson and one granddaughter whom he loved very much; father, Terry (Judy) Gage; mother, Carol Rowe; grandmother, Carol Gage; Marti’s parents, Charlie (Reta) McKee; sisters, Debbie (Tim) Prins, Sue (Joe) Molyneux, Colleen Maycroft, Chris (John) Sweeny; brothers, Paul (Jane) Ringler, David (Cheryl) Finnila, Todd Finnila; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. The family greeted friends Wednesday, May 27 from 11:00 am until time of service at 1:00 pm at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Avenue, Cedar Springs. Pastor Tom Holloway officiating.

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

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C-OBIT-schmaltz-webHarold E. Schmaltz, 80, died Sunday, April 19, 2015, at St. Mary’s Mercy Health Center, Grand Rapids. Mr. Schmaltz, of Cedar Springs was born January 17, 1935, in Owensboro, Kentucky, the son of George and Elsie (Martin) Schmaltz. He served in the U.S. Navy and attended Cheboygan County Normal and Central Michigan University. He is survived by eight children, two step-children, twenty-four grandchildren, and one great-grand child. Children and spouses are: Deborah Patterson of Cheboygan, Michigan; Robert and Michele Schmaltz of Muscatine, Iowa; Rebecca and Matthew Stanley of Huntington Beach, California; Gregory and Brandy Schmaltz of Cheboygan, Michigan; Rev. David and Andrea Schmaltz of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; Eric and Lisa Schmaltz of Alanson, Michigan; Fred and Jessica Schmaltz of Rowlett, Texas; and Susannah and David Tanis of Sparta, Michigan and grandson Cody who shared a special relationship with Harold; Amanda Watkins of Cedar Springs, and Elizabeth and Jason Holloway Concord, North Carolina. He is also survived by special companion, Betty Schillim and close friend John Colombia. Mr. Schmaltz’ life was remarkable. He was raised on a farm in the Belding area and was awarded FHA and musical accolades as a young man. After graduation, Mr. Schmaltz served in the Navy for a short time, after which he pursued a teaching career at the Tannery School in Cheboygan and Midland’s Greendale #4 School. During this time he met and married Virginia Carlson. Also, of special note, he worked on the first painting crew of the Mackinaw Bridge in 1957, a job of which he was particularly proud. Mr. Schmaltz had such an interest in history, writing, and journalism he was destined for the newspaper business where he worked as manager, publisher, advertising executive, news-writer and reporter for such notable newspapers in the region as the Clinton County News, Gratiot County Herald, North Kent Leader, The Greenville Daily News, The River Valley Shopping News, The Record in Howard City, and the Big Rapids Daily Pioneer newspaper. His articles and reports where enjoyed by mid-Michigan residents for decades. He wrote many historical summaries and memorials for local veterans and was beloved for doing so. Mr. Schmaltz spent many years also in Kentucky and Alabama continuing in advertising, news and magazine writing and farm chemical sales. During this period he met and married Joan Watkins. Harold was an avid outdoorsman and taught his family how to hunt, fish, and enjoy nature by exploring local parks and camping tours throughout the country visiting national parks and historical sites. Mr. Schmaltz was involved in leadership in such organizations as the Rotary Club, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Republican Party Executive Committee, and was an actor and president of the Gratiot Country Players. During his service in these clubs and organizations he received many awards for merit and his communication skills, his favorite being the special commission to Kentucky Colonel. He will be missed by his family, friends and many others for his love and passionate service to our communities. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be announced for this summer.

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

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10 C obit TomsonDouglas Dean Tomson, age 61, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Monday, March 2, 2015. He served his country during Vietnam in the U.S.Navy for 1972 until 1976. He was preceded in death by his father, Carl D; brothers, Martin and Randy. He will be lovingly remembered by his daughter, Crystal Tomson and Jason Grindle; son, Joseph Burns; his mother, Donna Mae Tomson; Crystal’s Mother, Connie Burns; sister in law, Rebecca and Steve Bradley; several cousins, nieces, and nephews; life long friend, Jerry Clock. As Douglas had wished, cremation has taken place. A memorial gathering will take place at the Sparta Moose Lodge on Saturday, March 14, 2:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to The Clock Children’s Hunting Camp.

Arrangements by Hessel Cheslek Funeral Home, Sparta, www.hesselcheslek.com

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Godspeed, USS Gerald R. Ford


Tens of thousands of Navy supporters attend the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at Newport News Shipbuilding. The first in class, Ford-class aircraft carrier, is scheduled to join the fleet in 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

Tens of thousands of Navy supporters attend the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at Newport News Shipbuilding. The first in class, Ford-class aircraft carrier, is scheduled to join the fleet in 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

By Sen. Carl Levin


Over Veterans Day weekend, I had the honor of giving the keynote speech at the christening ceremony of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.

We Michiganians are proud to call President Ford one of ours. That’s not just because he held our nation’s highest office, but because of the manner in which he held that office – with a fundamental goodness of heart and generosity of spirit that all of us in public life should try to emulate.

There is perhaps no more visible, more powerful representation of America’s military strength than the towering hull of an aircraft carrier. No other nation makes carriers like America makes them, and the USS Gerald R. Ford will be the most powerful American carrier ever to sail.

Yet for every time this ship will instill doubt in the minds of our adversaries, it will many more times give hope to our friends and the people of the world. It will be welcome support in a time of crisis, and it will bring comfort and aid in times of disaster and grief. And so it is truly fitting that it will bear the name of Gerald R. Ford.

Gerald Ford sought to replace division and doubt with unity and hope. He took office at one of the most tumultuous moments in the history of our democratic system. His task was to calm America’s stormy waters so that we could regain our self-confidence as a nation. George H.W. Bush observed as Vice President Ford prepared to take office as president, “What we need at this juncture in our history is a certain sense of morality and a certain sense of decency.” That’s the perfect description of Gerald Ford. He was the right man for the time.

He knew our true strength, the strength that would carry us through that trying time, wasn’t just in the force of our arms, but what is in our hearts. In a 1975 speech outlining his foreign policy goals, President Ford spoke of the need to build a strong military, but then said, “I would like to talk about another kind of strength, the true source of American power. … I am speaking here of our belief in ourselves and our belief in our nation.”

That is the spirit this great vessel will carry across the oceans. It embodies our military might, and much more: It carries the name of a president who showed us America at its best, an America that strives to bring hope to every corner of the planet and to do so with strength, but without bluster.

Then-Congressman Ford brought a moment of modest humor to the solemn moment he was sworn in as vice president. He told America, “I am a Ford, not a Lincoln.” He showed us that one need not take on extraordinary trappings to accomplish extraordinary things, just as the men and women of this ship, drawn from every part of this land and every segment of our society, ordinary Americans all, will accomplish the extraordinary.

In the decades to come, when the crew of the USS Gerald R. Ford helps defend our nation from danger, when they protect the innocent from harm, when they sail under freedom’s flag bringing hope in times of despair and calm in moments of crisis – at those times, they will exemplify the greatness and goodness, the steadiness and steadfastness of their vessel’s namesake, and of the nation he loved so much and served so well.

Godspeed to the USS Gerald R. Ford and to the men and women who sail her.

Carl Levin is the senior U.S. senator from Michigan and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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