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Tag Archive | "United States Army"

It’s never too late to thank a veteran 


Honoring service men and women at end-of-life

Ron Nitchie, spiritual care advisor for Hospice of Michigan and US Air Force veteran, pins an American flag on Nicholas Smith, a 100 year old who served from 1941 to 1946 in the United States Army Air Corps. The veterans pinning ceremony is part of the We Honor Veterans program, of which Hospice of Michigan is a Level Four participant.

From Hospice of Michigan

All his life, Lewis Woodruff was proud of his service as a United States Army Air Forces crew chief. Between 1944 and 1946, he worked on the B-17 and B-28 bombers used during WWII, sacrificing and dedicating his life to his country. After his discharge from the Army Air Forces, Lewis built a house in Southfield, where he and his wife, Helen, would spend the next seven decades raising seven children, who gave them 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Lewis lived a good life.

He enjoyed being a veteran and was a member of AMVETS and the American Legion. While he never spoke of the details, Lewis would fondly remark about his time in the service.

Ron Nitchie, a United States Air Force veteran and spiritual care advisor for Arbor Hospice and Hospice of Michigan, had the privilege of supporting Lewis in his final days. Coupled with his own military experience and clinical pastoral education training from the VA hospital in Detroit, Ron provides special assistance and spiritual guidance to help veteran patients, like Lewis, at the end-of-life.

Veterans who work or volunteer with hospice have the unique ability to relate and connect with other veterans at a critical time in life due to their shared military training and history. They share a cultural bond that opens a door of trust and communication, as they understand each other’s physical (war injuries) and emotional needs (survivor guilt, post-traumatic disorder, etc.).

Part of support Ron provides to veteran patients involves pinning ceremonies for members of all the military branches. When Ron learned of Lewis’ service to his country, he offered his family the opportunity to honor Lewis with an American flag pin and a certificate to honor and thank him for his service.

With Lewis in his hospital bed, located in the family room of the house he built in 1946, his wife Helen, and daughters Lori and Lisa, gathered with the HOM care team at his bedside, as Ron read the words of appreciation on the certificate aloud.

“We pay special tribute to you for your military service to America, and for advancing the universal hope of freedom and liberty for all,” said Ron as he placed an American flag pin on Lewis’s hospital gown. Asked if he still loved his country Lewis, holding back tears through his closed eyes, responded with a resounding “yes.”

During the final moments of that pinning ceremony, Ron succeeded in getting Lewis to open his eyes for a moment to see Ron saluting him. Lewis proudly saluted back, as a WWII Army Air Forces veteran.

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), one out of every four dying Americans is a veteran. For Hospice of Michigan, veterans account for 25 percent of all its patients. The nonprofit hospice agency offers enhanced care specifically designed to meet the unique needs of veteran patients, celebrating and honoring those who have served in the U.S. military through pinning ceremonies, like the one that paid tribute to Lewis Woodruff.

Through We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Hospice of Michigan integrates veteran-specific content into training staff members and volunteers, and educates its patients and their families on services and benefits offered to members of the military. The organization makes every effort to pair veteran patients with those who have a military service background. Hospice of Michigan is proud of its Level Four status with We Honor Veterans, which signifies the organization has met the highest standards set by the VA and NHPCO for this national program.

As America celebrates Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Hospice of Michigan extends special appreciation to all military service members and their families for their sacrifice to protect the freedom of others. For information about Hospice of Michigan and its involvement with We Honor Veterans, please visit www.hom.org.

 

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HUGH D. MABIE


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Hugh D. Mabie, age 80 of Cedar Springs, went to be with his Lord on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Hugh was born in Cedar Springs, Michigan on March 12, 1936, the son of Roy and Margaret (Pierson) Mabie. He was a veteran of the United States Army. Hugh retired from Keeler Brass as a Master Die Maker after 43 years of service. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Genevieve Imanse; and his brother, Roy Mabie. Hugh is survived by his wife of 47 years, Janet (Posthumus); his children, Timothy Vander Heide, Mary Jean Mabie, Jill (Nick) Landers, Beth (Craig) Brown, Matthew (Shannon) Vander Heide Mabie, and Samantha (Michael) Mabie-Tuinstra; his thirteen grandchildren; his five great-grandchildren and one on the way; his sister-in-law, Beverly Covell and his brother-in-law, Jerry (Janet) Posthumus; and many nieces and nephews. At Hugh’s request, his family will be holding private services.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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HAROLD E. NAFFZIGER


 

20C--obit-NaffzigerFCwebHarold E. Naffziger, age 87, died late Friday, May 13, 2016 at his son’s home in Greenville surrounded by his family. He was born August 9, 1928 in Grand Rapids, the son of Peter and Blanche (Jones) Naffziger. He was a proud veteran, having served his country in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, and was a Past Commander and life member of the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101, Greenville, as well as a life member of the Lester J. Sitts VFW Post 5065, Sheridan, and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Grand Rapids. He was also a member of the TPA, Post G in Greenville, the Forty and Eight, and an involved member and officer at the Greenville Senior Center. Harold was a faithful Christian and longtime member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, where he served in many capacities, including as elder and trustee. He is survived by his sons, Harold E. (Darlene) Naffziger, Jr. of Greenville, Jeff (Gayla) Naffziger of Greenville, Ken Naffziger of Sand Lake; daughter, Milly Dempsey of Gowen; 20 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brother, Eugene (Frieda) Naffziger of Cedar Springs; and sisters, Lorraine Wiggins of Sparta and Patricia (Russell) Merlington of Cedar Springs. He was preceded in death by his parents; great-grandson, Hunter Naffziger; Harold, Jr., Jeff, Ken, and Milly’s mother, Judith Harmon; brothers, Leo Beard, Leland Beard, and Richard Naffziger; sisters, Irene Wright, Virginia McClendon, Geraldine Batchelder, and Virgilean Bradley; and special friend, Wanda Lippert. Funeral services were held at 11:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Rev. Mark Pflug officiating. Visitation was Wednesday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Hurst Funeral Home. Interment will be in Blythefield Memory Gardens, Belmont. Memorial contributions may be given to Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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Gary Lee VanSchuur


12C-obit-VANSCHUURMr. Gary Lee VanSchuur, of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 66, passed away on the afternoon of Monday, March 21, 2016, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family. Gary was born to Gerrit and Leona Marie (Beduhn) VanSchuur on Sunday, September 11, 1949, in Sparta, Michigan, and had been a lifelong resident of the area. As a truehearted patriot, Gary proudly and courageously served his flag and country in the United States Army, fighting in the Vietnam War. Following his honorable discharge, he worked for the Farm Bureau of Kent City and then as a supervisor for Knoll Furniture until his retirement in 2008. Gary enjoyed the simple things in life he was a great Michigan outdoorsman who loved to go deer hunting, and as a farmer, Gary loved working the land. He was also a very talented woodworker, crafting many things with his parents in their woodshop. Family was everything to Gary. He was a loving and devoted husband, wonderful father, proud grandfather, and dear brother and friend. He cherished every family get-together, being with his grandchildren whenever he could, and he especially loved taking them for rides on the Gator. Gary is survived by his beloved wife Sharon (Fisk); loving children, MaryAnn (K.J.) Decker and Keith (Laura) Goltz, Sr.; adored grandchildren, Whitney (fiance Cory Wimmer) Decker, Hailey Decker, Devon Cole, Keith Goltz, Jr., Abby Goltz, and Kaylee Goltz; mother Marie VanSchuur; sister Janice; brother-in-law Carl; father and mother-in-law James and Shirley Fisk; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim (Annetta) and Ruth (Stan); and numerous nieces, nephews, and other beloved members of the VanSchuur and Fisk families. He was preceded in death by his father, Gerrit; and brother-in-law Steve. There will be a time of visitation from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, 2016, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Gary will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 25, 2016, at Pederson Funeral Home. Pastor Rick Miller will be officiating. Under the auspices of the Kent County Veteran’s Honor Guard and the United States Army, full military honors will be conducted. Gary will be laid to rest in Crandall Cemetery, Ensley Township, Michigan.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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DONALD JON ROELOFS


 

Mr. Donald Jon Roelofs, age 62, of Howard City, passed away unexpected Thursday, November 26, 2015 at his home. He was born to Howard and Beatrice (Boersen) Roelofs on October 6, 1953 in Zeeland, Michigan. He served his country and flag in the United States Army. Don worked for Blackmer Pump for 30 years. In his free time he enjoyed fishing and driving his dune buggy on the sand dunes at Silver Lake State Park. He also enjoyed walking the Lake Michigan beach and watching the sunsets. He is survived by his soul mate, Kathy; mother, Beatrice; brothers, Gary (Susan) Roelofs, Martin (Sally) Roelofs, Douglas Roelofs; sisters, Linda (Bruce) McGoffin, Gloria (Gerry) Gebhardt, Sandra (Ron) Starr, Beth (Mitch) Cole. He was preceded in death by his father, Howard; sister, Susan. A time of visitation with the family was held from 5:00 – 8:00 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service was held at 11:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at the Pederson Funeral Home. There was also a time of visitation one hour prior to the service. Those wishing to offer gifts of sympathy are encouraged to donate to a charity of your choice in Donald’s name.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home pedersonfuneralhome.com

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William Walter Phillips


C-obit-Phillips-webMr. William Walter Phillips, of Sand Lake, Michigan, age 69, passed away in the comfort of his home and into the arms of his Lord and Savior, on the morning of Sunday, May 10, 2015. Bill was born to Darrell and June (Cross) Phillips on Thursday, November 22, 1945, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had been a lifelong resident of the area. Bill was a graduate of Grandville High School, and as a truehearted countryman, he proudly and courageously served his flag and country in the United States Army, stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. Before his retirement, Bill worked for CSX Railroad as a conductor for forty-years. He enjoyed many things in life. Bill was a great outdoorsman and loved to go hunting, camping, and fishing, especially with his grandsons. He also loved a perfect and pure Michigan summer day to spend the afternoon golfing. Bill was a loving and devoted husband, wonderful father, dear brother and friend, faithful servant to his Lord, and the best grandfather anyone could ask for. His soul will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered and celebrated by his family, friends, and anyone who knew him. May his thirst for life and laughter, and the immeasurable love for his family live on through our cherished memories. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Monica Bills; and sister Eulalie (Ted) Olewinski. He is survived by his beloved wife of eighteen years, Theresa Mae (Jackson) Phillips; loving children, Lisa (Mike) Cook and Tyler Baker; son-in-law Jimmy Bills; grandchildren Ashley Phillips, Richard Phillips, Michael Gryzen, Michael Cook, III, Darren Trader, and Katelynn Bills; great grandchildren Skylar and Colton; brother Darrell (Barbara) Phillips, Jr.; sister Elaine (Charles) Post; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation was held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Bill will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home. Pastor Dick Riley will be officiating and under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard and the United States Army, full military honors will be performed. There will also be a one hour visitation prior to the funeral service. Interment will be in Reynolds Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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