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Archive | Obituary

DAVID D. PLATT

David D. Platt, age 82, passed away late Friday, July 17, 2020 at home.  He was born on April 19, 1938 to Charles and Edith (Groner) Platt in Grand Rapids, MI.  In his earlier years, Rockford was home for David, he graduated from Rockford high school in 1956.  He then moved around West Michigan for a while before settling in Grand Haven the last few years.  He was a proud veteran, serving his country in the US Army.  David was a jack of all trades, but was a dedicated employee to Wolverine Worldwide, where he worked for about 27 years.  On May 13, 2000 he married Marla (Rasch) Fritz in Rockford, MI.  Together they cherished 20 years of marriage filled with love and laughter.  David had a passion for RC airplanes and boats and enjoyed sharing his love for them to anyone who would listen.  During his youth, he also enjoyed fishing and roller skating.  He was huge fan of classic country music and taking motorcycle rides.  David later upgraded from his motorcycle rides to taking his grandchildren for rides on his “blue hot-rod” mobility scooter.  He was a unique character with a humorous personality who knew how to make the most out of life.  He was a loving and vivacious soul who will truly be missed.  He will always be remembered for all the smiles and laughter he brought to every gathering.  He is survived by his wife, Marla Platt; two children, Vickie Platt and David (Amy) Platt; mother of his children, Lou Platt; five step-children, Sara (Jeffery) Finan, Caryn (Matt Smith) Rasch, Susan Rasch, Jonathan (Nicole) Rasch and Jessica Kurek; 12 grandchildren, Jeffery, Desirae, Claire, Ari, Briar, Ida Mae, Tuesday, Dylan, Simeon, Josie, Delaney and Morgan; and three great-grandchildren, Natalie, Jasmine and Parker.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Edith Platt; two sisters, Violet Robinson and Jeanne Brantner; and four brothers, Robert “Bob”, Ted, Howard and Alvin “Buck”. Memorial contributions in David’s honor can be made direct to the Wounded Warrior Project.  

Arrangements entrusted to The VanZantwick Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 620 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417.  Share memories with the family online at www.sytsemafh.com

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LEON E. AVERY

Leon E. Avery age 86 of Cedar Springs died Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at his home. Leon was born July 5, 1934 in Cedar Springs, MI, the son of Donald and Caroline (Townes) Avery. He served in the US Army. He was Worshipful Master of Cedar Springs Lodge 213 (4 times), a Member of OES Job’s Daughters Bethel 86 Dad. He retired from the Kent County Road Commission after 41 years. After his retirement he worked at Great Day. Leon served on the Cedar Springs City Council for 20 years and the Cedar Springs Fire Department for 25 years. He is most recognized as Mr. Red Flannel driving the Keystone Kop truck for years and was a Keystone Kop for 54 years or more. He is survived by his wife, Janet; daughters, Deb (Harold) Yancey, Nancy (Edward) Johnson; grandchildren, Amber (Eric) Anderson, Mandy (Josh) Tomlinson, Michael Leon (Brandy) Yancey, Mallory Johnson (Christopher Kieda), Mark (Julie) Johnson, and Harold (Jeannie O’Malley) Yancey Jr; great-grandchildren, Brooke (Taylor Krulek) Mason, Chloe Mason, Rebecca Mason, Mia Hurtado, Isabelle Yancey, Michael Leon Yancey Jr., Chase Johnson; great-great-grandson, River Leon Krulek; sister-in-law, Peggy Avery; nephews, Michael (Denise) Avery, Tim (Kim) Avery, Philip (Janet) Stanton; nieces, Ida Clement, Donna Kay Stanton; special niece, Dawnette (Steve) Roberts; special friends, Mark Strypko, Rick and Judy Fisher. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl (Joseph), Jerry, David Avery; sister, Madeline Piasecki; sisters-in-law, Verna Stanton, Jean (Violet) Avery; brothers-in-law, Donald Stanton, Stan Piasecki; special uncle, Edward Townes. The family greeted friends Sunday, July 19 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A private family service was held Monday, July 20. Pastors Larry French and Darryl Miller officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of donor’s choice.

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

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MICHAEL R. GILLETTE

Michael R. Gillette age 60 of Cedar Springs passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday, July 9, 2020. Mike was born September 9, 1959 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Roger and Arlene (Morris) Gillette. Mike attended Cedar Springs High School where he enjoyed wrestling and playing football. He was involved in the FFA and was proud to serve as president his senior year. Mike was humble, thoughtful and a gentle soul. He was a quiet man, but if you got him talking about something he enjoyed, he loved to share that knowledge with others. Mike enjoyed playing his guitar, music, and cooking from his Grandma Jessie’s cookbook. He enjoyed being outdoors and spending time at John Deere Camp. Mike liked antiques, history, gardening, and classic cars. He loved morning coffee with his wife and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lisa; daughters, Jessie (Nic) Pemberton and Erin (Matt) Smith; grandchildren, Gianna, Bennett and Kenzie; brothers, Roger “Rip” (Kenda) Gillette, and Jeff Gillette; many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Cedar Springs Future Farmers of America, 204 E. Muskegon Cedar Springs, MI 49319. 

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

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PAMELA T. BENEDICT

Pamela T. Benedict age 59 of Sand Lake, died Sunday, July 5, 2020 at Mission Point of Cedar Springs. Pam was born September 2, 1960 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Carroll and Susan (Baribeau) Graves. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and organizing all of the get togethers. She loved Lake Michigan. Surviving are her husband, Randall whom she married on September 8, 1979; siblings, Deana (Joe) Oddo, Denise (Paul) Collins, Patty (Roger) Miller, Melissa (Mike) Hekkema, Doug (Ellen) Graves, Stan Slate; mother-in-law, Anna Truman; many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Mark Graves, Tim Graves; sister, Debbie Slate. Cremation will take place at this time and celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

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

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THELMA MAE GOULD

Thelma Mae Gould age 91 of Cedar Springs died June 29, 2020 at Trillium Woods in Byron Center, MI. Thelma was born February 12, 1929 in Belmont, MI the daughter of Murel and Marjorie (Wilkinson) Ball. She is survived by her children, Beth A. Gould Phelps, Bruce E. (Deborah) Gould, Douglas A. Gould; 10 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandsons. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; grandson, Derek Gould; brothers, Howard and Chuck Ball; sisters, Glenna LaValley, Adeline Rusche. Graveside services will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions to Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church or Faith Hospice.

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

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MARIANNE BLANCHARD

Marianne Blanchard, age 89, of Cedar Springs, passed away Thursday morning, June 11, 2020 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born June 8, 1931 in Sand Lake, Michigan to George Arthur and Isabel (Moyle) Blanchard. She grew up in Sand Lake and was Valedictorian of the Sand Lake High School Class of 1949. She attended Michigan State University earning a degree in Home Economics and Education. In 1958 she earned her Master’s Degree in Home Economics Curriculum from Michigan State University. Marianne was employed for 35 years at Battle Creek Public School District, during which time she updated the curriculum guide both in 1953 and 1970. She taught Home Economics at Southeastern Junior High and Battle Creek Central High School and Nutrition at Kellogg Community College. She also taught math and English at Southeastern. She was one of the first Home Economic teachers to establish a Home Economics class for boys. In 1985 Marianne was chosen as the Home Economics Teacher of the Year for the State of Michigan and selected in the top 12 Home Ec. Teachers in the country. When microwaves were new to kitchens she taught microwave cooking at Kellogg Community College, talked weekly on Live at Five Radio and Television Show and also had a television show called “Microwaving with Marianne.” Marianne was a member of the First Congregational Church and its Ruth Vore-Susan Winslow Circle. She served on the Town Hall Board six years serving as president for two years and also served on the Y-Center Board of Directors for five years. She could be seen swimming laps most mornings at the Y-Center. She volunteered for the American Red Cross for 33 years and the Cayman Red Cross for five years in the Cayman Islands where she spent her winters. She was a member of N.E.A., M.E.A. and B.C.E.A., MSU Alumni Organization, Battle Creek Retired Teachers, Electrical Women’s Round Table and The Cedar Springs Order of Eastern Star. She was selected to be a “Kentucky Colonel” in 1969 by Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn. Marianne enjoyed traveling, adventure and domestic activities. She enjoyed scuba diving and para sailing and painted murals and totem poles along with being a sculptress. She was called upon by friends to do seamstress work or bake cakes for events. In 1983 she was the Ladies Champion Skeet Shooter at the Battle Creek Gun Club. Recently, taking an interest in genealogy and working with a genealogist she traced the Blanchard family back to the Mayflower. Surviving are nieces, Darlene Barlass of Spring Lake, Ml and Cheryl (Bill) Green of Rockford, Ml; nephews John (Beth) Blanchard of Jefferson City, MO and George Blanchard of Sarasota, FL; great-nieces and nephews: Amy Donaldson (Bill) and Mark Hoskins (Rebecca), Kristine Thaxton (Jon), Keri Gibbons (James) and Katie Seymour (Ken), Hailie Casteel (Cris), and Renee Blanchard; Robert Jr., and cousins Joan Brown, George Miller, and Tom, David and Meryl Hudson; also survived by a bunch of “adopted” grandchildren who referred to her as “Grandma Blanchard”. Marianne was preceded in death by her parents. She survived her five brothers, George Arthur Jr., Arden Moyle, Ward Douglas, John Moyle and Paul Steward; nephews, Ward Douglas Blanchard Jr. and Robert Blanchard; a niece Kelly Green and her special friend, James A. Shouldice. Due to the COVID-19 virus, a service will be held later when it is safe for family and friends to be together and celebrate Marianne’s life. Inurnment will be held at Sand Lake Cemetery, Sand Lake, MI. Donations can be made in Marianne’s name to The Y Center of Battle Creek and Meals on Wheels of Calhoun County. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

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ROBERT LEE GREENE

Robert Lee Greene, aged 64, of Cedar Springs Michigan, passed away in the company of his family Monday June 1, 2020. Robert was born June 11, 1955 at Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids. He graduated from Union High School and from there spent some time in the US Army. He worked 30 years as head of shipping for Auto Cast. He loved watching sports with his grandson, Detroit Pistons, Red Hawks, Tigers, he even hoped the Lions would see a superbowl. He was preceded in death by his parents, George Greene and Joanne Greene (Shoemaker). He is survived by his brothers, Ed (Michele), Jerry, George (Rosie), and Steve (Joan); his children, Lisa (Cecil), Robert (Charla); his grandchildren, Cecil, Austin, Dominick, Jasmine, Kiara, Alyssa and Ethan; his great-granddaughter, Isabelle and many neices, nephews and cousins. A Memorial Service will be held at Jackson Street Hall, 921 Jackson St., Grand Rapids, MI 49504 from 4 pm to 8 pm on June 14th. In leiu of flowers, please send donations through Go-Fund-Me gf.me/u/x7x5i4

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DOUGLAS DeWAYNE JONES

Douglas DeWayne Jones, 72, passed away on May 26, 2020. Doug was born in 1947 in Greenville, Michigan, to Thelma and Harry Jones. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1965 and enlisted in the US Marine Corp in 1966. Doug served in Viet Nam until 1969 when he was honorably discharged. He was employed by Sparta Foundry until his retirement in 1994. He then pursued his dream of living in the west and relocated to Cody, Wyoming where he worked on various ranches and was an elk hunting guide. Doug enjoyed hunting, guiding, horseback riding, leather working, everything about the American West and many different sports. He was an avid bowler and did a short stint with the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association at the age of 50. Doug was very involved with and held several officer chair positions at the Eagles Lodge in Cody, ending with Junior Past Worthy President. He loved guiding and showing Wyoming to his many out of state visitors. In 2000 he was named “Guide of the Year” by the Cody Country Guides and Outfitters Association. He was hardworking, quick to help and loved his family fiercely. He was proud of his grandkids and their many accomplishments. He will be remembered for his huge hugs, his easy laugh and his fabulous moustache. He is survived by his wife Jan; daughter, Sandy (Joe) Lee; sons, Scott (Colette) Jones, and Darin (Alicia) Jones; step-children, Becky (Chris) Voss, Lisa (Sean) Harmon and Christie (Jayson) Pearson; 16 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; his siblings Pam (Dana) Freas, Vern (Irene) Jones, Calvin (Jan) Jones and Steven (Cathy) Jones. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Trudy Smitterberg and brother Michael. A celebration of life service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 13 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 1101 13th St. in Cody. 

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BARBARA JOAN HARLESS

Barbara Joan Harless age 88 of Cedar Springs, Michigan passed away at her home on May 26, 2020 with her loving family by her side. She was born in Anderson, Indiana on April, 3rd, 1932 to Vesta Ravilla and James Glen Murray. In 1946 she met the love of her life, Mac Harless, while working as a carhop on roller skates at a local drive-in. He stopped to get a sandwich while on leave from the Merchant Marines. His first words to her were “I am going to marry you”. Her reply was “Oh you think so do you”? and skated away. They did marry and celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary on April 3rd, 2020. For the first eleven years they resided in Indiana until 1960 when Mac was transferred to Grand Rapids, Michigan. From there they moved to Big Myers lake in Rockford then moved to Cedar Springs. Barbara was a very dedicated wife and mother and cherished every moment with her family. She has always said that the most exciting days of her life was when she found out she was going to be a grandma. When she was not fussing over her husband or family she could be found in town shopping and talking, never at a loss for words, she always had something to say. She took pride in her home and yard and spent many hours keeping them looking clean and beautiful. In the summer you could find her outside every day with her flowers, and keeping all of the many bird feeders full. All animals were dear to her. There was nothing she would not do for them. In 2016 she met Father Lam of St. John Paul II Catholic Church. She and Mac started RCIA classes and became members of the church in 2017. She dearly loved her faith and all of her fellow parishioners. She has said many times that that was one of the most happiest days of her life. She was proceeded in death by her son, Carl Michael: her parents, brother, Richard Murray and many relatives and friends. Barbara is survived by her husband Mac D. Harless; a daughter, Teressa (Dan) Taylor; three grandchildren, Mike Dykstra, Marci Harless, and Melissa Harless; four step-grandchildren, Lori Kolodziej, Chris Lyon, Andrea Morrow, and Kendra Chapman; three great-grandchildren and ten step-great-grandchildren. There was a Mass of Christian Burial at St. John Paul II Catholic Church in Cedar Springs, Michigan on May 29th, 2020. She was laid to rest at Solon Township Cemetery. There is a video of the service on the church website on facebook. Memorial contributions can be made to St. John Paul II Catholic Church.

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ARVAJEAN I. STONER

Arvajean I. Stoner age 87 of Sand Lake, died Thursday, May 21, 2020 at her home. Arvajean was born April 30, 1933 the daughter of Archie and Berneice (Hudson) Porter. She was a member of the Church of the Full Gospel, Sand Lake. Surviving are her children, Karen Stoner, Gerrilee (Doug) Morell, Gale Magoon (Julian Balderrama), Jeffrey Stoner, Kevin (Nichole) Stoner; 20 grandchildren; many great and great great grandchildren; brother, Carmon (Wally) Porter; sisters, Shirley (Tom) Sharp, Babe Gust, Linda (Jim) Babylon, Sally Brooms, Susan Trader; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerry; son, Michael; and granddaughter, Miranda. A public visitation was held Tuesday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The family will not be present. A family graveside will be held on Saturday, May 30 at Solon Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice, 750 Fuller Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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

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