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Archive | Obituary

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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BARBARA HELSEL

Barbara Jean Helsel age 91 of Cedar Springs went to be with her Lord surrounded by her family on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. She was born January 15, 1929 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of Roger and Helen (Hanna) Fisk. She grew up on the family farm on Fisk Knob where she and her brothers and sisters spent many happy days working and playing on the knob. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting and growing a large garden. Every year you would find her canning as many jars of fruit and vegetables as she could to prepare her family for the year ahead. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ora; grandson, Jason Rideout; brother, Jack Fisk. Surviving are her children, Dianne (John) Rideout, Linda Shotko, Rodney (Jeannie) Helsel; 3 brothers; 3 sisters; 7 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchildren. Family services were held at Pilgrim Bible Church with Pastor David Ward officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pilgrim Bible Church. The family would like to thank the caring staff of Emmanuel Hospice and her personal care givers for their loving care to Barbara. 

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

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AVIS COVEL

Avis Covell age 81 of Cedar Springs died Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus. She was born November 28, 1938 in Wayland, MI the daughter of Raymond (Ruth Wycoff) Schestag. Avis was a social butterfly. She knew people no matter where she went, even out of state. She loved her family, especially the grandchildren and was dearly loved by them. Avis enjoyed Sunday dinners, camping and bonfires and was the bridge that kept everyone together. She is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years Leon; children, Teresa (Rock) Spicer, Tracy (Ted) Spicer, Todd (Sara) Covell; grandchildren, Daniel (Diane) Spicer, Amy Spicer, Randy (Lianna) Spicer; great-grandchildren, Chelsey, Rayann, Megyn, Landon, Cole; great-great-granddaughter, Cecelia; siblings, June Mabie, Harvey Schestag, Margie Ruis, Gary Schestag, Cheryl Schoenborn. She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter, Mandy Spicer. It was Avis’ wish to not have a funeral. In lieu of flowers please consider memorial contributions to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation P.O. Box 4368 East Lansing, MI 48826 or the American Heart Association, 3940 Peninsular Dr. SE Ste 180 Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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

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LOREN W. FREY

Loren W. Frey age 102 of Ensley Township, Sand Lake, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at his beloved family farm with his family by his side. Loren was born August 31, 1917 in Ensley Township, MI the son of Harold and Dora (Borton) Frey. He attended Frey Country School and graduated from Sand Lake High School. He was a member of South Ensley United Methodist Church where he had been church superintendent. He was a member of the 4-H, Sons of the American Revolution and the Ensley School Board. He was a farmer all of his life and had been a die maker at General Motors for 30 years retiring in 1980. He had cared for his grandparents and wife and was a loving husband and father. Surviving are his children, Norman Frey and Hilda, Jack and Holly Frey, Janet and Gary Rogers, Joy and John Alex, Kay Deacey, Karna and Joe Montambo, Paul and Val Frey; son-law, Richard Morris; 33 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Violet and a daughter, Nancy Morris. A private visitation and family service was held at Crandall Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice or South Ensley United Methodist Church. 

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

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RENE MARIE BRAVATA

René Marie Bravata age 62 died Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Valley View Care Center, Grand Rapids, MI. René was born November 23, 1957 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Ernest Brancheau and Joycelyn (Allen) Brancheau. René was very independent. She loved being with her family, especially her grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, cooking and sweets. René also enjoyed doing volunteer work in the Rockford community. She is survived by her children, Heidi (Jeff) Carter, Jason Bravata, and Trisha (Jacob) Schmidt; grandchildren, Gavin and Jakson Bravata, Logan and Brenna Schmidt, Kimberly and Kyle Carter; brothers, Troy (Tammy) Brancheau, Chad (Jessica) Brancheau; sister, Jenna (Troy) Peters; former husband, Joseph J. Bravata, Jr.; several nieces and nephews and her fur companion, Callie. She was preceded in death by her parents. A graveside service will be held at Solon Township Cemetery 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Pastor Rob Schmidt officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund, PO Box 33099, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303. 

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

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JAMES P. SEE

James P. See age 80 of Rockford, died Saturday, May 16, 2020 at his home. Jim was born in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Isaac and Ione (Clifford) See. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1960-65. He was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion where he ran the bingo for 22 years. He enjoyed fishing and hunting and retired from Steelcase. Surviving are his children, Debi (Garrett) Hanson, Patrick (Kathy) See, Gerald See, Dawn and Edward Smith, David Smith, Eric See; grandchildren, Nicole Miller, Jessica Krueger, Breanna Smith, Brayden Smith, Christa See, Kristen See, James See; 10 great-grandchildren; siblings, Bob, George, Ron, Jack, Tom and Betty. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Nancy in 2018; grandchildren, Brendan Smith and Katie Grace Smith; siblings, Don, Roger and Shirley. A visitation will be held Thursday, May 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The family will not be present. A private family graveside will be held Friday at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le officiating. Memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs American Legion. 

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

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PATRICIA K. HOLLAND

Patricia K. Holland age 69 of Cedar Springs died Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Mercy Health-St. Mary’s in Grand Rapids. Patricia was born December 29, 1950 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of Waldo and Mary (Day) Cole. She was everyone’s “Ma” and enjoyed feeding the masses. She was great at remembering birth dates. She is survived by her husband, Pat; children, Bryan (Christine) Holland, Craig (Alexa Hughes) Holland; grandchildren, Jonathan, Justis, Katelyn, Makayla, Emily; brothers, Max (Cindy) Cole, William (Kathy) Cole; brother-in-law, Jerry Parker; sister-in-law, Gloria Cole and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded by her siblings, Ruthann (Gary) Baxter, Beverly Parker, Arthur (Judy) Cole and Jim Cole. The family will greet friends Monday, May 18 from 11:00 am until time of family service at noon at the Jesus Non-Denominational Church, 9206 W. Peck Rd. Greenville, MI. Pastor Tommy Turner officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery, Rockford. Memorial contributions to the family to help with expenses. 

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

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DAVID J. MACKINNON

David J. MacKinnon age 59 of Belding, died Monday, May 11, 2020 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. David was born February 25, 1961 in Ionia, MI the son of James and Dorothy (Edison) MacKinnon. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1979 and worked for Pridgeon & Clay as a set up tech for 30 years. He had a kind, gentle nature and always gave of himself to others. His family loved his great smile and sense of humor. He enjoyed his Victory motorcycle, kayaking, camping and was a huge Spartan and Detroit Tigers fan. He loved spending time with his family including 25 years of family camp at School Section Lake, where he also married his wife. Surviving are his wife, Mindy; children, David MacKinnon, Erin Schaenzer; mother, Dorothy Bishop; brother, Rob (Karen) Bishop; sisters, Sarah (Sam) MacKinnon-Saboo, Sue (Chuck) Lehman, Lisa (Michael) Gillette, Julie Pasley; many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, James MacKinnon; stepfather, Ed Bishop. A private family visitation will be held. A celebration of his life will be held later when it is possible. Memorials may be made to a charity of donor’s choice.

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

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PATRICIA ANNE PORTER

Patricia Anne Porter age 74 of Waucedah Township, MI passed away early morning on Friday, May 8, 2020 at her home. She was born in Chicago on July 20, 1945 the daughter of the late Walter and Margaret (Kozma) Bade. Patti’s adventures led her from Illinois to California to Michigan where she eventually retired to a log cabin on a scenic river with her husband Dan. “Heaven on Earth,” she would call it. Patti’s entire purpose was to unconditionally love and what better purpose is there than that. Her first priority was making sure that others felt good, loved. Whether it was a compliment about “what a nice shirt” a checker was wearing at the grocery store, to a handwritten note to a waiter about what a wonderful job he was doing, she literally left a wake of love and warm feelings wherever she went. Over her life, she traveled, raised her kids, started a business, went to college, fished, and cooked thousands of delicious recipes to show her love. She loved to laugh and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was humble and didn’t realize the magnitude of the joy she brought others throughout her life. What an honor and privilege to know, love, and be loved by Patti Porter. The world is better for having her here, truly. Patti is survived by her husband Dan Porter; her two children Matthew (Shelby) of Seattle, WA and Tiffany (Shawn) of Ravenna, MI; grandchildren Lillian & Isabel; her sister Jeanne (Bill) of Niles, IL; and her nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held later in the year. Memorial Contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital online at St. Jude Honor Funds “In Memory of Patti Porter”. Condolences to family of Patti may be expressed online at www.ortmanfuneralhome.com

Arrangements announced by the Ortman Funeral Home in Norway, MI.

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HARRY W. SHEPARD

Harry W. Shepard “Bud”, 78 of Rockford, passed peacefully at home surround by his family on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Harry began his journey of life on February 20, 1942 the son of Harry Sr. and Lorraine (Benham) Shepard. He graduated from Union High School and honorably joined the United States Air Force serving from 1961 – 1965. Upon Harry’s arrival back home, he began his career in plumbing/pipefitting, which he continued until retirement. In 1983, Harry married the love of his life, Laura. Together they shared a love of camping and fishing. Harry, along with his wife, spent every weekend taking the grandkids up north, teaching them the true meaning of family and of course, how to catch the biggest fish. As the years passed, Harry’s love for coffee, friends, and family turned into traditional morning coffee dates. Harry’s greatest joy came from his family bonds with Kerri, Bridget, Shauna, and Aleisha Smith, along with his great-grandson, and best pal, Ayden Isaacson. Harry wore many hats as he faithfully pursued the life of husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and most of all, friend. He took on multiple roles for many people to ensure that each needed figure in their life was present. Harry’s determined and heartfelt personality created the best role model. He could always be found cracking jokes and being the crowd comedian. Surviving are his wife, Laura; children, Ronda Smith, Harry “Bill” (Kim) Shepard, Wayne Ream, Kenneth (Beverly) Ream, and Aaron (Sarah) Ream; sisters-in-law, JoAnn Shepard and Shirley Mosher; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; his beloved dogs, Roscoe and Rosie; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents: three sisters, MaryLou Shepard, Francis Slavens, and Patricia DeZwaan; brother, Robert “Bob” Shepard. The love and memories that Harry left behind will never be forgotten. The stories of his jokes, camping trips, and life story will forever be shared with friends, family, and great-great-grandkids yet to come. As a family, we would like to hear your stories, see your pictures, and relive the amazing memories that Harry has left with you. A private memorial will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to: Fresenius Kidney Care, 311 Rockford Park Dr. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. 

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

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