Kevin Cleary, 58, a resident of Grand Junction, Mich., died the morning of Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in an intensive-care unit of Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo, after a brief illness.
Kevin was born in Chicago May 18, 1952, to Joseph and Maryell Cleary. He lived first in the Hyde Park University of Chicago neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side and then in the northern suburb of Deerfield.
Kevin had a serious motorcycle accident during high school that required many painful surgeries and months of recovery. The accident slowed Kevin down but he never complained and always kept moving forward.
His first full-time job was with TRW, but after some years there he became attracted to the field of metrology—the science of precise measurement. As a result, he moved to Rochester, New York, and joined the staff of Optical Gaging Products (OGP), a producer of computer-driven automated measuring machines used by high-technology companies to insure that their products met the demanding requirements of their industry. Kevin was a product manager, software quality-control assurance technician, and an expert in both the hardware and software components of a number of OGP’s machines. He enjoyed working with OGP customers to ensure that their machines performed correctly, and he frequently traveled to visit customers both throughout the United States and overseas to troubleshoot and address their concerns in person.
As a boy, Kevin had vacationed in a two-family cottage on Silver Lake in Grand Junction. He loved the place, the lake, and the peaceful lifestyle. As a man, when the owners of the cottage wished to retire, Kevin and his mother Maryell bought the cottage, and from that point on, Kevin began thinking of living on Silver Lake year round. In 2007, Kevin began working for OGP as a part-time consultant rather than as a more-than-full-time staffer. He sold his house in Rochester and moved to Grand Junction and the shore of Silver Lake. He had spent two winters in Grand Junction and deemed his year-round living there a success, although an ongoing challenge. Just a few months before becoming ill, OGP had delivered one of its machines to the cottage so Kevin could continue his consulting work from his new home.
Kevin is survived by his brother Bruce of New York City (email@example.com).
According to his wishes cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time. Arrangements by the Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home.
Thomas Cyril Desmet
Thomas Cyril Desmet, 62, of South Haven, died Monday, Aug. 9 at his home.
He was born May 18, 1948 in Detroit, Mich. to Cyril and Harriet (Josefiak) Desmet. He graduated from St. Paul’s High School in Grosse Pt. in 1966 and received his Bachelors Degree from Eastern Michigan University. Tom worked for Kalamazoo Lakes Sewer and Water Authority in Saugatuck for the past 16 years. Tom enjoyed reading history and philosophy books. Thomas also loved basketball.
He is preceded in death by his father, Cyril Desmet.
He is survived by his two sons – Sam Desmet of Marquette, Mich. and Joe Desmet of South Haven, Mich.; his mother – Harriet Desmet of Tecumseh, Mich.; three brothers – Chris Desmet of Tecumseh, Mich., John (Cathy) Desmet of Grass Lake, Mich., and Dan (Laura) Desmet of Tipton, Mich.; two sisters – Terese (Joe) Chapin of Milan, Mich., and Julie Desmet of Lexington, Ky. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
No services are scheduled at this time. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s online guest book at http://www.FilbrandtFFH.com.
The family is being helped by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven, 637-0333.
Carl I. Hover
Carl I. Hover, 91, of Bangor, went to meet the Lord on May 4, 2010 in Florida.
He was born August 13, 1918 in Kalamazoo.
Surviving are his wife of fifty years, Dorothy “Bunny” Hover; son, Bill (Judy) Hover of Bangor; daughter-in-law, Demi Serrine of Lawton; daughter, Joyce Barton of Mattawan; grandchildren — David Jay (Tina) Barton, Delyn (John) Kenel, Stacey (Dave) Garvison, Shelly (Steve) Buckman, and Michelle Stratton; great-grandchildren — Kalie and Rae Garvison, James Buckman, Rebecca and Samantha Stratton, and Sammy Barton.
He was preceded in death by two sons — Jim and Richard Hover.
Memorial Services for Carl will be held 11:000 a.m., Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Simpson United Methodist Church, Bangor with Rev. Thomas A. Davenport officiating. The family suggest memorials to Simpson United Methodist Church.
Local arrangements by Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home.
Rolf “Swede” Lofblad
Rolf “Swede” Lofblad, 84, of South Haven, died at his daughter’s home on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.
Swede was born on January 1, 1926 in Escanaba, Mich. to George and Lydia (Olsson) Lofblad. Upon graduation from high school in 1943, Swede enlisted in the Marine Corps and spent his boot camp in San Diego, Calif. He was selected for sea duty, was sent to Bremerton, Wash. for advanced training and was assigned to a 40MM gun crew on a battleship. His training continued from Pearl Harbor to the Solomon Islands. While in the Solomon Islands he became a 20MM gunner. Swede saw his first combat at Peleliu on September 12, 1944, covering the 1st Marine Division D Day landing. His combat group then proceeded to the invasion of the Philippines at Leyte and Luzon where they met the Japanese forces head-on in the Suruga Strait. After Suruga Strait his combat group was sent to Okinawa where the Japanese sent over 4000 kamikaze air craft at the U.S. invasion force. The results were terrifying. Swede was then sent to Tokyo on Aug. 25, 1945 and witnessed the final surrender of the Japanese on Sept. 2, 1945 about the USS Missouri. Once the war ended he was sent home.
Swede has been a long time member of the American Legion and has served the organization in many different capacities, including Commander. In addition, he was a member of the American Legion Post 49, the American Legion Post 362, the VFW Watervliet Post 803, the Marine Corps League of Stevensville Post 722, and a Life Member of the DAV.
Swede loved his Lord and enjoyed playing the piano and accordion. He was a “jokester” and everyone loved him. Swede loved animals, particularly his cat, Elvis.
He is survived by his children — Linda (Richard) Winslow and Ingrid (Scruffy) Lofblad, both of South Haven, and Kurt Lofblad of Las Vegas, Nev.; his grandchildren — Tristan (Jennifer Hopson) Lofblad of Coloma and Chris Thomas of Washington State; his great-grandsons — Caige and Cole Lofblad; and nieces — Sonia (Tom) Sroboda of Ill., and Marian (Pete) DeVito of Fla.
Swede was preceded by his parents, his wife Ema Lofblad, his son Mark Lofblad, and his sister Mari O’Keefe.
Services for Swede were held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Dey-Florin Chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Pastor Paul Koehneke officiating. Burial was at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph with military honors. Visitation for Swede was on Friday, Aug. 13 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Dey-Florin Chapel. Memorials may be made to his family.
Thomas Charles Madison
Mr. Thomas Charles Madison, 77, of Fredericksburg, Texas passed away on Tuesday, July 27, 2010.
Thomas Madison was born February 10, 1933 in Benton Harbor, Mich., the son of Charles Madison and Mary Ryan Madison. Served in United States Army as a Corporal from April 1953 to March 1955, was awarded Good Conduct Medal, Army of occupation Medal, Married Helen Green on November 5, 1955 in Bangor, Mich., was a manager of Yerington road construction co. for 35 years, owner of Fredericksburg KOA 1982 to 1989, lifelong member of American Quarter Horse Assoc., National Cutting Horse Assoc.
Preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Father Hilary Madison.
Tom is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Helen; daughter, Kim (Mike) McCarty of Fredericksburg; granddaughter, Ryan Michelle (Justin) Major of San Marcos; great-granddaughter, Bethany Major; sister, Marilyn McNee (Manuel Guana) of Kalamazoo, Mich.; nephew, Scott (Amy) McNee of Chicago, Ill.; stepfather, Earle Overton of Bangor, Mich.; half-sister Jean Ann (Jerry) Trzeciak of Houston; and many, many friends.
The family had a Celebration of Tom’s Life at 4:00 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the McCarty Ranch.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent at http://www.schaetter.com
Arrangemets and direction by the Schaetter Funeral Home of Fredericksburg, Texas.
Elizabeth S. Verdonk
Elizabeth S. Verdonk of Grand Junction, Mich. passed away on Monday, August 9, 2010, the last survivor of 10 children.
She was born on April 17, 1918 in Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the daughter of John Kieffer and Margaret Gries Kieffer. Her father and mother homesteaded a farm in Canada. When she was a young girl, they sold it and moved to northern Wisconsin. She lived with her family on a dairy farm in Wisconsin until she graduated from high school. After graduation, she enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. She worked her way through college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in dietetics. She married her college sweetheart, John H. Verdonk, on February 2, 1942.
She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bangor, Mich. for 54 years. She was a religious education teacher at Sacred Heart Church as well as a grade school teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School. She was a member of the Daughters of Mary and participated in numerous church activities over the years. She was a member of the South Haven Country Club and the South Haven Yacht Club for many years. Her hobbies included cooking and canning, golf and bridge. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and will be missed by her whole family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, John H. Verdonk, in 2007.
She is survived by four children from that union: John W. Verdonk (Lois) of Bangor, Mich.; Mary E. Thompson of Bloomington, Ind.; Margaret Ann Moran (Bruce) of Bennington, NH; and William P. Verdonk of Grand Junction, Mich.
She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Tara Elizabeth Verdonk Rougle of Brasilia, Brazil; John L. Verdonk of Simpsonville, SC; David A. Verdonk of Riverdale, Mich.; Marisa Moyna of Bloomington, Ind.; Stephanie Gilbert of Fischers, Ind.; Heather M. Bird of Goffstown, NH; William D. Verdonk of Naples, Fla.; Eric M. Verdonk of Bonita Springs, Fla.; Nichlaus J. Verdonk of Lake Forest, Ill.; and by six great-grandchildren: Tyler Verdonk, Xavier Gilbert, Ashley Verdonk, Allanah Gilbert, Eliana Rougle, and Emma Bird.
Memorials may be made to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Shriners Hospitals for Children or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated 11:00 a.m., Saturday, Aug.14, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church with Fr. Gordon Greene celebrant. Interment followed in Grand Junction Cemetery, Columbia Township. Arrangements by Bangor Chapel, D. L. Miller Funeral Home. http://www.dlmillerfuneralhome.com
Viola Lorraine (Wellington) Visser
Viola Lorraine (Wellington) Visser, 85, of South Haven, Mich., died early Saturday, August 7, 2010 at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich.
She was born January 21, 1925 in Battle Creek, Mich. to Oscar and Mary Mae (Birch) Wellington, the youngest of eleven. At the tender age of thirteen, she had to drop out of school and begin working in order to help her parents support her siblings. Her first job was in customer service for the Murphy Company of South Haven. This is also where she met the young South Haven businessman Steve Visser, whom she would marry seven years later.
She became the mother of four daughters, and dedicated her life to their well-being and the well-being of her husband. She worked at the side of her husband in their family business, “Visser & Son Supply Company” and volunteered her time as a room mother, Blue Bird Leader, Brownie Leader, and 4-H Leader. Determined to continue her abruptly discontinued education she graduated from South Haven High School a year before her oldest daughter and then went on to Lake Michigan College at the age of forty-five. Viola was also known as a skilled seamstress, a tailor, and a master pie-maker.
Once her children were grown and making their own way, Viola experimented with other career options, selling life insurance, working as an accountant and finally becoming the business manager for her daughter at Olson Interiors in South Haven. She continued to work there until her late retirement at the age of 75. At that time, she and Steve traveled to visit their daughters all over the United States and even took a trip to the Netherlands to explore the Visser family roots. They established a lasting relationship with Theo and Cora Berends of Emmen (The Netherlands) whom they would consider family members for the rest of their lives.
After Steve’s death in 2008, Viola moved to River Ridge Retirement Community where she continued her dedication to her children and grandchildren while exploring other interests. At the age of 84 she took her first motorcycle ride behind her son-in-law Jim Campbell, and travelled to Maui, Hawaii, with her daughters for an unforgettable week including witnessing a sunrise atop of a volcano, 15,000 ft. above the ground. During her time at River Ridge she learned to play penny poker and participated in the “Tuesday at Two” group with her two friends Joan and Jean thus becoming the third member of the “three musketeers.” She made friends wherever she went and continued making pies to share with her neighbors. She also adopted Pixie, a toy poodle, who would become her trusted companion for the last year of her life.
Viola is survived by her daughters — Susan (Jim) Campbell of Eufaula, Ala., Stephanie Visser of Los Angeles, Calif., Sandra (Al) Wildschut of South Haven, and Sheryll ( Peter) Panagiotopoulos of St. Charles, Mo.; and two grandchildren — Avery Panagiotopoulos of St. Charles, Mo. and John Roche of South Haven. In 1971, Viola became the host mother of Anne Levonius of Finland whom she regarded as her fifth daughter. Anne, her husband Tom Maihofer of South Haven, and their two daughters Sara and Laura held a special place in Viola’s heart. In addition, Viola especially loved her friends David Kellogg, Jeff Ducy of the General Store, and Dick Foster and his late spouse Val, all of South Haven. Their generosity and kindness made her life, and especially the latter part of it, a more enjoyable experience.
No services are scheduled since it was Viola’s desire to end her life quietly and without fanfare, very much in the manner in which she lived. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s online guest book a www.FilbrandtFFH.com In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation in her name to the South Haven Hospice.
The family is being helped by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven, 637-0333.