On Monday, March 29, 2021, Mariam Avis Gesler, loving daughter of Michael and Danette Gesler, sister of Graydon “Gus” Gesler, passed at age 24.
Mari was born in Barrington, Illinois, on March 21, 1997. She was raised in Grant, Michigan, where she attended high school, was the secretary of the Honors Society, played on the girls’ Varsity soccer team, member of student council, active in Art Club and Latin class, and graduated a year early due to her academic achievements and top 10 of her class. She performed with Lionheart Productions from an early age and was her dad’s go-to assistant for set painting. She attended the Honors College of Michigan State University studying animal sciences.
You can tell a lot about a person’s heart by the way they treat animals, and Mari’s love and compassion made room for anything that creeped, crawled, walked, or flew. Mari had a way of connecting with anyone she met. She would light up a room with her smile and giggle, and just her presence made everyone feel loved. Mari had a great positive attitude, always seeing the roses among the thorns. She will always be her daddy’s Goofy and our little Mari Sunshine.
Mari is missed by her parents, brother, her Grammy and Papa, her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and too many cousins to name.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Patsy Ruth (Riffe) Race, 93, of Fremont passed away on December 20, 2020 at the Newaygo Medical Care Facility. Patsy was born on December 11, 1927 in Houston, Texas to George Lee Riffe and Elsie Marie (Drinkwater) Riffe. She had many fond memories of spending summers at her grandparent’s farm along the Trinity River near Crockett, Texas.
Patsy moved to Kansas City, Missouri when she was 18 and attended art school. While there she met Erwin N. Race Jr. She and Erwin married on June 19, 1948. A year later they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to start their family and lived in the area until retirement. After that they moved to Mench Lake near Baldwin.
Patsy worked as a clerk at Wurzburg's in downtown Grand Rapids in the early 1950’s. She left there to raise her children. When the children were grown she attended Davenport College and went to work for KV Printing which became Spectrum Graphics. There she worked her way up from bookkeeper to company management and remained in that role until her retirement. After moving north, Patsy worked for Webber Township in Lake County as zoning administrator. In her leisure time Patsy was involved in many activities including creating art, flower gardening, reading science fiction, ceramics, swimming, fishing, bowling, bird watching, rock collecting and, in the 1970’s, disco dancing. She loved the outdoors and traveled with Erwin to visit many of the waterfalls in Michigan. She also loved nature walks with her friend Marie.
She is survived by her daughter, Lynn Marie (Francis) Stankus of Fremont; grandchildren Kelly Bolen of Kalamazoo; Kimberlee (Bolen) Johnson of Santa Maria, California; Jason (Karin) Bolen of Arroyo Grande, California; Marilynn and Stephanie Race of Grand Rapids; great-grandchildren Keira and Ethan Johnson; and daughter-in-law Patricia (Price) Race of Grand Rapids and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Erwin; her son Scott Lee Race; her sisters Helen Riffe, Alice (White) Riffe, Grace (Cobb) Riffe, and her brother James Riffe.
As per her wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no services. A celebration of her life will be held at a future date. As a lasting memorial to Patsy, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Friends may send a condolence or share a memory with the Race family online at www.crandellfh.com. Arrangements by Crandell Funeral Home – Fremont Chapel 231-924-0800
Robert Eugene Kole, 89
Faithful follower of Christ and beloved husband, father, great-grandfather, and brother, Bob (Bud) Kole died at sunrise on Thursday, November 19, 2020, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was born to Andrew and Venus Kole on May 3, 1931, in Fremont, Michigan, the second of three children, and he married Ruthan Vontom on November 24, 1951.
After he served in the Air Force, the couple bought a small farm in Fremont, which, through 50 years of hard work, frugality, and resourcefulness, they transformed into a picturesque, high-yield property that was (oddly) entirely free of rocks. At the same time, Bud worked a full-time job at the U.S. Postal Service and owned Kole Roofing. He was a man of integrity, and there was nothing he enjoyed more than putting in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
He was a member of First Reformed Church and a founding member of Church of the Living Christ, both in Fremont. He also served as trustee of Dayton Township. In 2004, the couple moved to Covenant Village in Grand Rapids and became members of First Evangelical Covenant Church. Bud lost much to Parkinson’s, but he never lost his sense of humor or sight of God’s goodness.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Earl. He lives on in the hearts and work ethics of Ruthan; his children, Andy and Linda (Austin) Kole; Mary and Joel Apol; Bev and Al Kraker; Julee and Jon Bode; Margaret and Doug Dosland; and Christine and Brad MacLean; 12 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; and his sister Betty Shetterly.
A virtual service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to World Vision (https://www.worldvision.org/). The family would like to express its deep gratitude to the entire staff of Covenant Village of the Great Lakes for all the kindness and care they provided over the years and to the staff at Faith Hospice for their comfort care at the end. Thank you!
To share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit
Sylvia M. Raquet Lee, age 82 of Fremont, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Sylvia was born on January 15, 1938 in Detroit to B. James and Lavon (Carpenter) O’Halloran. Sylvia was a graduate of Moody Bible Institute where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and later received her Bachelor's Degree in Church Music from the Lewis University. Sylvia worked in the financial services in Chicago for 18 years with tax shelter investments and also taught private piano lessons for over 12 years and voice lessons for over 21 years. Sylvia was a talented china painter and also taught china painting for several years. She loved singing, sewing, had played the piano at various churches in the Fremont area, and reading. Sylvia also had been active in the Fremont Community Choir, and enjoyed attending the symphony in Muskegon. Sylvia married Roscoe O. Lee on December 3, 2011 at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fremont and Roscoe preceded her in death on November 17, 2017. Sylvia was a member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fremont. Her bright disposition and upbeat personality will always be remembered.
Sylvia is survived by her children, David (Victoria “Tori”) Raquet of Fremont; Debra (Lance) Safford of Racine, Wisconsin; her grandchildren, Annelise (Seth) Walker; Kira Raquet; Steven Raquet. She was preceded in death by her mother, Lavon Elizabeth Tinker, her father, Bertram James O’Halloran; and her brother, James O’Halloran.
Due to covid restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date with information to be provided when available. Friends may consider memorial contributions to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Sylvia. Friends may send a condolence or share a memory with the Raquet Lee family online at www.crandellfh.com. Arrangements by Crandell Funeral Home - Fremont Chapel. 231-924-0800
Mike Hamm was known and respected throughout the county for his work in human services and his gift of friendship to many. When we saw what Ms. Trapp had written as a tribute to Mike we asked her permission to include it with his obituary.
She graciously granted it.
Extraordinary. Remarkable. Incredible. Amazing. Strong. Phenomenal. Astonishing. I was trying to think of a word to describe Mike and just one doesn’t come close to describing how great this man actually was. His incredible stubborn streak and intense determination brought him farther than most and he accomplished so much in his 66 short years. Enjoying and excelling in everything he did from hunting to fishing, gourmet cooking, appreciating good scotch and well cooked ribeye! Mike was a true friend to so many and an amazing role model, he never ever complained when he could have, making me have the utmost respect for him. Mike I’ll forever cherish the memories we have with you - especially our Alabama Adventure! With happiness that you are with Jesus and your earthly suffering is over I am so sad our friend is no longer here. Mike we will miss you dearly you made my world a better place by being in it. Walk freely in heaven and rest easy my friend.
Michael "Mike" Jay Hamm
March 17, 1954 ~ September 13, 2020
Michael Jay Hamm, age 66 of White Cloud, MI passed away in his sleep on September 13, 2020 at Faith Hospice, Trillium Woods, in Byron Center, MI. He walks with Angels. Mike was born in Grand Haven, MI on March 17, 1954 to the late Jay and Jacqueline (Hirdes) Hamm.
He was born with Cerebral Palsy (“CP”). His parents were advised that Mike was developmentally disabled. They refused to accept that and insisted Mike receive a mainstream education without special treatment. He learned early in life that CP would not define him and that it would not place limits on him. Mike participated in varsity athletics as team manager. He graduated from Grand Haven Sr. High School in 1973. Mike went on to earn bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University (1977), Grand Valley State University (1984); and an MSW from Grand Valley State University (1987).
He was a Mason and was a former member of Trinity Reformed Church (Grand Haven) and was affiliated with other Christian organizations. He spent most of his career as a psychiatric social worker for Newaygo County Community Mental Health. Mike became the Youth Services Supervisor in 1993 and retired as the Adult Services Supervisor. Following his retirement, Mike continued to be an advocate by serving on various boards that provided oversight to non-profits working on behalf of Mental Health Consumers, as well as entities that served people with disabilities.
Mike was kind, charming, witty, a great friend, a classic bachelor and fiercely independent. He loved a good joke. Mike was known for being an excellent turkey hunter (and guide), and was a dedicated bow-hunter into the early 90s. When his CP made it impossible for him to draw a bow, he focused on hunting with a rifle. Some of the animals Mike harvested included whitetail deer, mule deer, red stag, and mouflon sheep. He was also instrumental in developing several chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Mike introduced many hunters to the sport of turkey hunting and donated time, energy, and money to the cause of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Mike loved watching football, college basketball, and the Detroit Pistons. He enjoyed watching NASCAR with his Dad and was a friend to many. Mike enjoyed gourmet food, fine wines, and scotch. He loved John Wayne. Those that knew Mike knew he was the personification of True Grit. He was a Patriot and a student of American History and especially enjoyed reading books that focused on the military. Mike loved to travel; his last trip (June 2019) saw him travel (by himself) to Normandy, France to attend the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.
Mike is survived by his aunts, Gwen Myles and Linda (Al) Pontarelli (all Grand Haven); his special friend, Leona Royer (Big Rapids); and a village of great friends, colleagues and co-workers. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a couple great beagles.
The Funeral Service for Mike will be at Trinity Reformed Church on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:00 am. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, September 16th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Crandell Funeral Home in White Cloud, and Thursday, September 17th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Klaassen Family Funeral Home. Mike intended his friends and family to have a party where they have a drink and share funny stories about his life. Considering Covid-19, a Celebration of Life will be held in his honor at a later time.
Memorial contributions may be made to Disability Network West Michigan: Mike Hamm Memorial Fund for Outdoor Recreation or the White River Long Beards Chapter of the NWTF: JAKES Events.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael "Mike" Jay Hamm, please visit our floral store.
Wednesday September 16, 2020
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Crandell Funeral Home
1109 Court St.
White Cloud, MI 49349
September 17, 2020
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Klaassen Family Funeral Home
1500 Robbins Road
Grand Haven, MI 49417
September 18, 2020
Trinity Reformed Church
1330 S Ferry St.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
LeRoy Lee Fuller, Jr., age 60 of Bailey, MI., passed away on Tuesday evening, August 25, 2020 in a motorcycle accident. He was born on December 3, 1959 in Muskegon, Michigan to LeRoy Lee & Wanda Rose (Shull) Fuller, Sr. He was a transportation specialist (truck driver) until his retirement, and he was a member of IBEW #876 Union. Lee loved motorcycles, cars, hunting, listening to music, visiting with people, and spending time with his grandchildren who meant everything to him.
He is survived by his wife, Jane (Sabo) Fuller; 4 children: David Lee (Darcy) Torrey, Darcie Kay (Marvin) Ennis, Daniel Richard Torrey, DeAnne Lynn Fuller; 19 grandchildren & 1 on the way: Nathan, Caden, Logan, Jade, Krystal, Ana, Taya, Cameron, Trenton, Yazmin, Sophia, Gabriella, Kolton, Ryan, Makena, Briana, Bianca, Isabella, & Layla. He is also survived by his mother, Wanda (John) Burnham; sisters & brother: Debra (Steve) Renouf, Patricia (Tim) Crandall, James (Jean) Fuller, & Bobbie Jo; many nieces & nephews; step-mother, Margaret Fuller; several step-brothers & step-sisters; several aunts, uncles, & cousins; and by his mother-in-law, Lola Allen. Lee was preceded in death by his father; and by his grandparents: Forest & Rosina Shull, Lawrence & Clara Fuller.
According to his wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Gathering and Luncheon will be held from 12-3 P.M. on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the DeAnn Fuller Residence (1389 N. Ravenna Road, Ravenna, Michigan 49451) with a Memorial Service starting at noon, and luncheon to follow. Suggested Memorials: The American Diabetes Association, or the American Heart Association. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.
Paul E. Cook, 82, passed away on Wednesday morning, July 15, 2020 at his home in Shepherd, MI. He was born on Oct. 10, 1937 in Fremont to Edward and Marion (Harkema) Cook. He was a member of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont prior to moving to Shepherd, and he was currently a member of First Methodist Church in Palmetto, Florida. Paul also attended Central Christian Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He had worked at General Motors in Grand Rapids for 32 years until his retirement in 1996, and he was a member of UAW Local 730. Paul loved to fish, play cards, and spend the winter months in Florida. He also enjoyed attending sporting events of his children & grandchildren, and he always loved a good road trip.
On August 8, 1958 he married Allene Christoffersen who preceded him in death on April 11, 2009. Paul married Roberta Gilbert on January 19, 2013 and is survived by her along with his three sons, David (Chris) Cook of Grant, Michael (Kathy) Cook of Fremont, and Mark (Jill) Cook of Royal Oak; five grandchildren, Tiffany, Jon, Paige (John), Shannon (Adam), and Thad; one great-granddaughter, Claire, and another on the way; sister Mary Lou Wilkins of Grand Rapids; Roberta’s nine children, Pamela, Linda, Denise, Annette, Paula, Carol, Keith, Bobbi, & Jody; and her 18 grandchildren & 19 great grandchildren. Paul is also survived by his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Larry and Jane Hager of Jenison; Richard and Christina (deceased) Christoffersen of Rosenberg, Texas, Greg and Pam Christoffersen of Fremont, Gene and Donita Christoffersen of Fremont, Steve and Mary Christoffersen of Fremont, Barb and Robert (deceased) Hollinger of Grant, Kim and Carl Christenson of Holt, Joni and Tim Boeskool of Fremont, Lon and Tammy Christoffersen of Fremont, Beverly and Roger Flannery of Iowa, Frank (deceased) and Rose Jacobs of Weidman, MI., Bill and Gail Jacobs of Mount Pleasant; and by many nieces and nephews. Paul was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Marion; sister Barb Hager, grandson Joshua Cook, brother-in-law Leonard Wilkins, and sisters-in-law & their husbands: Sheri and Larry Herin, Carol and Elton Machuta.
Visitation will be held at the Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home from 10-12 Noon on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Due to restrictions related COVID-19, a limited number of people will be allowed in at a time, and masks are required. A Graveside Service will be held at 12:30 PM on Saturday at Sherman Township Cemetery with Pastor Doug MacLeod officiating. Please bring your own mask, lawn chair, and umbrella (for sun or rain). Suggested Memorials: Heartland Hospice of Mount Pleasant or Newaygo County, or the Look Left Look Twice Joshua Cook Memorial at Chemical Bank. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.
Mrs. Nora B. Houston, age 88 of Bridgeton Township, passed away on Tuesday morning, May 12, 2020 at her home. She was born on July 26, 1931 in Bellflower, Ohio to William & Clara (Kempton) Fowler. Nora enjoyed fishing, cooking, knitting, & crocheting, which included making baby hats for the hospital, and scrubbies. She had also worked for Gerber Products Company. On December 18, 1948 she married Albert Houston and he preceded her in death on June 6, 2007. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Connie Sue Houston in 1953; by her son-in-law, Earl Gouine in 1990; by her sister Eloda Dorn; and by her brothers: Francis, Joe, & Tom Fowler.
Nora is survived by 3 children: Bonnie Gouine of Montague, Albert W. Houston of Bridgeton Twp, Michael Houston of Bridgeton Twp; 4 grandchildren: Arthur (Hayley) Gouine, Richard (Sara) Houston, Amy (Shawn) Lynch, Richard (Melissa)Gouine; 10 great grandchildren & 1 great-great grandson; sisters & brother: Janet Jones, Martha Hicks, Robert (Sheryl) Fowler, & Keitha Loomis all of the Bridgeton Area.
A private family graveside service was held at Bridgeton Township Cemetery with Pastor Nick Bowling officiating. A Memorial Gathering will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 1-3 PM at the Holton American Legion Post (9150 Holton Road, Holton, Michigan 49425). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be given to Harbor Hospice, or the Holton American Legion Post. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.
Neil (Jeff) Jefferies, age 85 of Cedar Creek Township, passed away on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at home with his family by his side. The family would like to thank Spectrum Health Hospice and Dr. Ceton for all of their care. Jeff was born in Portland, Oregon to William K. & Margaret (Rose) Jefferies on November 26, 1934. Jeff graduated from Cleveland High School in Oregon, and from Muskegon Community College. He was a US Army Veteran of the Korean War.
Jeff had owned many businesses including accounting, Jeff’s Tire Barn, J.T.B. Trucking, and J.T.B. Surplus. He enjoyed hunting & fishing.
Jeff leaves his wife of 63 years, Betty; son, Bill & Kris Jefferies; daughters: Barb & Bob Scott, Brenda & Dennis Bean; grandchildren: Geoff & Jessica, Jordan & Billy, Ashton & Jimmy; great grandchildren: Emrey, Josey, Hadley, Will, Braley, River, & one on the way; step-grandchildren: Trevor & Kiernan & Family, Tristan & Lisa & Family, Alyssa & Josh & Family, Kim & Family, Kraig & Family, Kari & Marc & Family, Kassi & Tony & Family; sister, Mariann & Chan; brothers: Kenny, Jack & Donna; sisters-in-law: Mary Ann Jefferies, Donna Hardy, Linda Parrish & Rick; and many nieces & nephews. Jeff was preceded in death by his mother & father, brother Bill in 2020, and grandson Keith in 2006.
According to his wishes, cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at the Jefferies Residence (3746 Holton Duck Lake Road, Twin Lake, MI. 49457) beginning with Military Rites at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2020 followed by a luncheon and time to visit until 2:00 PM. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.
Wilma Lee Ball of White Cloud , formerly of Hesperia, passed away at home on May 30, 2020. She was born on August 13, 1941 in Fremont, MI., and was one of several children of Franklin & Edith (Davis) Tinkham. Wilma was raised in Hesperia, MI. and graduated from Hesperia High School in 1960. She was always a caregiver and took care of others when they were sick. She especially enjoyed taking care of her grandchildren, and she enjoyed cooking.
Wilma is survived by her husband, Robert Ball of White Cloud; her 4 children, all of White Cloud: David (Diane) Stockwell, Donn (Shannon) Shafer, Tammy Provenzano, & Carla Ball; 11 grandchildren: Heather Stockwell, Joshua (Amy) Stockwell, Shana (Matthew) Zeestraten, Jennifer (John) Borgman, Laura Shafer, Megan Russell, Carl Ball, Joseph Shafer, Jared Hon, Trevor Hon, & Kiara Witte; and 18 great grandchildren. She is also survived by 4 sisters & 1 brother: Ann Campbell, Mary Jane Rossman, her twin sister Wanda (Robert) Kakoczki, Wayne Tinkham, Emery (Betsy) Tinkham; and by many nieces & nephews. Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; by her brothers & sisters: Mernard Tinkham, Olive Hettmansperger, Donna Hettmansperger; Franklin Tinkham, Paul Tinkham, Dan Tinkham, Harry Tinkham, & Donald Tinkham; and by several brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law.
A Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 11, 2020 at Sherman Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be given to Spectrum Health Hospice, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.