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Tag Archive | "Wounded Warrior Project"

Sparta soldier killed in motorcycle crash


Joshua Daniel VanBelzen Facebook photo.

A 26-year-old Sparta man died on Saturday, August 26, when his motorcycle crashed into a pickup truck in southeast Michigan.

Joshua Daniel VanBelzen, 26, had attended an event hosted by Foundation 14, a veteran’s riding group, at a restaurant and bar in Lenawee County. After the event, VanBelzen was heading east on US12 and was west of the public access to Allen Lake when he went into a curve and crossed the centerline. His motorcycle hit a pickup truck, driven by William Szentmiklosi, 90, of Addision.

VanBelzen was pronounced dead at the scene. He was reportedly wearing a helmet. It’s unknown whether alcohol was involved.

The driver of the pickup and his wife, Elizabeth, a passenger in the pickup, went to the hospital to be checked out.

A group of fellow riders came upon the scene shortly after the crash but did not witness it.

VanBelzen did a tour in Afghanistan and was currently serving in the Army Reserves as a drill sergeant, according to his obituary. He was also working as a Federal Corrections officer.

His obituary said that Josh touched many lives, had an amazing sense of humor and could always be counted on to make some smart remark. “He always had a smile and loved cars, trucks and motorcycles. Josh was trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation,” it said.

Services for Josh will be held on Friday, Sept. 1, at Sparta Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. Family will meet visitors on Thursday, August 31 from 2-4:00 and 6-8:00 p.m. at Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home and on Friday at the church for 1 hour prior to the service from 10-11:00 a.m. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery. Those wishing to make a donation in Josh’s name may do so to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.

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Sparta man dies after ORV accident


Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

A Sparta man who died following a tragic ORV accident early Christmas eve morning has given the gift of life to others.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Derek Bellows, 23, of Sparta, was driving a 2000 Yamaha quad westbound on 14 Mile Road NW, west of Phelps Avenue NW, in Sparta Township, when he hit a tree that had fallen across the road. He was thrown from the quad and found lying in the roadway. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a severe head injury.

Police believe the accident occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. He was discovered about 6:25 a.m. It was unknown whether alcohol or excessive speed was involved.

Derek was transported to the hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. He died on December 26.

According to a gofundme page set up in his memory, Derek’s organs were donated to save the lives of several people. It was reportedly close to Derek’s  heart, because his grandfather received a new heart eight  years ago.

According to the gofundme page, “Derek was an amazing young man and full of life. He loved the outdoors, riding horses, snowmobiles, four-wheelers or whatever he could drive fast.  He also had a huge heart for people and animals. Derek loved horses and especially his dog.”

His funeral will be January 2, at 1 p.m. at Ballard Church of Christ. To make a memorial contribution, visit the gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/9ygj28qk. Contributions will benefit the Wounded Warrior project.

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SGT. BOBBIE SUE CHESBRO


49C obit chesbro

Sgt. Bobbie Sue Chesbro, 25, passed away Monday, November 23, 2015 in California. Bobbie Sue was born October 1, 1990 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Patrick and Carlien (Brinks) Chesbro. She was currently serving in the U.S. Marines at the Marine Corp. Mountain Training Center in Bridgeport, California. She was a very tender, caring and loving person. Surviving are her parents, Patrick and Carlien Chesbro of Pierson; sister, Bernice (Alan) Ritter; brother, Patrick Chesbro II; nephews, Nickolie and Alister; grandparents, Mildred Chesbro, Carl and Kay Brinks; fiance, Jonathan Fland; many aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Charles Chesbro and great-grandma VanderWal. The family will greet friends Thursday, December 10th from 10:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Rick Miller officiating. Interment with full military honors by the U.S. Marines at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

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

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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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