Helen Ann Stringer, age 74 of Newaygo MI passed away September 4th, 2022 after a long hard battle with cancer.
Helen was born on January 27th, 1948 in Kings Mountain, Kentucky. Helen is survived by her sister Elsie Aline Ryan (Donny) 12 nieces and nephews, her son Michael (Tammy) 2 grandchildren & 2 Great grandchildren. She was preceded by her parents and 2 siblings.
Ronald Wayne Sanders, 89, of White Cloud, Michigan, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on December 8, 2022, following a short illness.
He was born on February 4, 1933, to Frank and Lois (Woodard) Sanders in Lincoln Township, Newaygo County Michigan. Ron graduated from White Cloud High School in 1951 and upon graduation worked for Consumers Power painting high tension towers at Rives Junction, Michigan. Ron was drafted in late 1952 and served in the Army from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean War. Upon returning from the service, he took on a variety of jobs starting as a milk carrier for Mast Dairy out of Fremont before joining the County Road Commission in 1957. There he worked with County Engineer Conrad Zimmerman surveying (a trade he learned in the service) in the non-winter months and driving snowplow during the winter. Along with working for the Road Commission Ron started his own excavation business in 1962 and continued with this venture when he and partner Pat Salisbury formed Salisbury and Sanders Surveys in 1966 for which they served as County Surveyors. Ever the entrepreneur, Ron sold his share of the survey business in 1970 and purchased a Sunoco bulk fuel delivery business. Starting with just a little over 200 patrons, Ron tripled this number to over 600 in 2 years selling this business to Bill Richards. It was at this time Ron formed Town and Country Real Estate, a company he owned and operated over 50 years.
Coinciding with Ron’s time with the survey business and bulk fuel distributorship he continued his service to the County when he was appointed to serve on the County Board of Commissioners in 1968. He served on the Board until 1977 in a variety of positions including Chair of Finance, Vice-Chair of the Board and finally as Board Chair. It was during the time he served as Vice-Chair and Chair that he and the Board secured funding to build the current Administration Building. He resigned from the Board in 1978 when he took a position as a rural mail carrier with U.S Postal Service out of Bitely, Michigan where he eventually became Postmaster and subsequently retired in 1998. Ron also served on the Newaygo County Road Commission Board from 1993 retiring in 2004 as he rejoined the County Board of Commissioners by winning his election that year. He retired from County politics at the end of his term in 2006.
His accumulated service to Newaygo County in a variety of capacities was over 34 years. Ron served on many local boards following his retirement in 2006 from County politics and was sought out by many seeking his sage advice.
Ron loved the outdoors hunting and fishing all over the State of Michigan, Canada, and the Far West making many trips to Colorado. He was an avid golfer, archer, and bowler winning many archery and bowling tournaments.
Ron had a keen interest in aviation and worked with several folks over many years to improve the White Cloud Airport where he served as assistant to the airport manager. He remained active in airport activities for well over 50 years and in that time was co-owner of a J3 Piper Cub.
Of note Ron took on many large projects and was successful in navigating them to completion. One of those projects was moving the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home from Benton Lake in Spring of 1967. Using his excavating equipment, he cut the road right of way 8 miles with help from family and friends to its present location.
Ron was proud of his family and enjoyed many family gatherings and activities involving each person. He especially enjoyed watching and attending anything to do with Michigan State athletics and the Detroit Tigers.
Ron is survived by his wife Judith Sanders (Perry); sons Stewart Sanders (Cindy) of White Cloud, Michigan, Steven Sanders (Leslie) of Grandville, Michigan; daughter Rhonda Sanders of Troy, Ohio; stepdaughter Tracy Bonstell (Mike) of Hart Michigan; Granddaughters Ashley Sanders of Santa Monica, California, Victoria Sanders of Bordeaux, France, and RyAnn Flood (Justin) of St. Petersburg, Florida; Grandsons Gabriel Hersey-Sanders (Joy) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Kayden Russell of Troy, Ohio, Dane Sanders of Grandville, Michigan, and Brett Bonstell of Hart, Michigan; Great Grandchildren Reese Flood, Ronan Flood, and Scarlett Hersey-Sanders.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Frank and Lois Sanders, sister Velna Kemperman, brother Ward Sanders, and former wife Helen Sanders (Lovell).
Visitation will be held Saturday January 7, 2023, at the Livery Auditorium at the Shack Country Inn, 10am-11am with memorial service at 11am. A luncheon will follow immediately after the service in the dining room of the Shack.
For a lasting memorial please consider a donation to the Heritage Museum of Newaygo County. Their website is www.newaygocountyhistory.org
Mr. Robert Leroy Ball of White Cloud, formerly of Big Rapids, passed away on Sunday Morning, October 2, 2022 at the Newaygo County Compassion Home in Fremont. He was born on August 1, 1940 in Saginaw, Michigan, and was one of the four children of Carl & Vera (Enos) Ball. He graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1959. Robert was in the Army and served during the Vietnam Era. He worked at Howmet in Whitehall, Michigan for 29 years, and retired in 1997. He married Wilma Lee Tinkham on December 4, 1965 and she preceded him in death on May 30, 2020.
He is survived by his children: Carla Ball of White Cloud, Carl Ball of Fremont, David (Diane) Stockwell of White Cloud, and Donn (Shannon) Shafer of White Cloud; grandchildren: Heather (Fiance, Trevor Vandyke), Joshua (Amy) Stockwell, Shana (Matthew) Zeestraten, Jennifer (John) Borgman, Laura Shafer, Megan Russell, Joseph Shafer, Jared Hon, Trevor Hon, & Kiara Witte; and by 20 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Ruth Parker of Big Rapids. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Tammy Provenzano, by his parents, his brother, Arthur Ball, and Sister, Beverly (Jean) Ball. Robert enjoyed watching NASCAR races, hunting, fishing, and spending time with family.
A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at Sherman Township Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the Everett Township Hall.
In Lieu of Flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Newaygo County Compassion Home.
You can sign the online guestbook at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.
Melvin E. Volz, age 95 of Punta Gorda, Florida, formerly of White Cloud, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Cape Hospice Home in Port Charlotte, Florida. Mel was born on April 16, 1926 in Sherman Township to William Karl and Petranella (Hoebeke) Volz and graduated from White Cloud High School in 1944. Mel joined the United States Air Force shortly after graduation where he served during World War II and this be began his career in aviation. After his discharge from the United States Air Force, Mel began a career at United Airlines as a pilot and later served as Vice President at United Airlines until his retirement at the age of 60. Mel met and married Eleanor Ruth Decker on August 5, 1947 in White Cloud and Eleanor preceded him in death on April 3, 2002. Mel later married Linda Luchynsky. Melvin retired in White Cloud and later moved to Florida and was affiliated with the Christ Lutheran Church in White Cloud. Mel enjoyed fishing, golfing and playing cribbage.
Mel is survived by his wife, Linda of Punta Gorda, Florida; his son, Christopher (Pamela) Volz of Hanover Park, Illinois; grandchildren and great grandchildren, grandson - Daniel C. Volz and his son, great grandson – Christian; grandson - Michael Z. (Kelly) Volz and their children, great grandchildren - Ryan, Emily, and Gavin; step children, Darlene Luchynsky; Tammy (Jay) Oleson; Paul (Melissa) Luchynsky, Brian Luchynsky; several nieces and nephews. Mel was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; his sons, Mark W. Volz and Jeffrey C. Volz in 1974; his granddaughter, Mandy Volz; his sisters and brother-in-law, Elinore “Pic” (Dale) Lesman; Leona “Pudge” Volz; brothers and sisters-in-law, William K. (Bernice) Volz Jr.; Richard M. “Dick” (Iva) Volz.
VISITATION : Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 12-1pm at Crandell Funeral Home – White Cloud Chapel 1109 Court Street White Cloud MI 49349. FUNERAL SERVICES : Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 1pm at the Crandell Funeral Home – White Cloud Chapel. INTERMENT : Sherman Township Cemetery. Friends may send a condolence or share a memory with the Volz family online at www.crandellfh.com. Arrangements by Crandell Funeral Home – White Cloud Chapel. 231-689-1492.
Gordon B. Beall, age 47 of Hesperia, beloved son of Susan Beall and the late Earl B, Beall, passed away September 23rd 2021.
Gordon was born in Imlay City on January 7th, 1974 and lived the last 20 years in Hesperia. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and spending time in the woods. For many years he cut wood for a living.
Gordon is survived by brothers William Favell, Earl Beall Jr [Rebecca Beall] Robert Beall, and Dan Beall; sisters Char (Bill) Billington, Margaret Jauquez, and Mindy (Robert) Brauer, as well as his bonus sons Cody (Jaime) Burns and Michael Burns and 6 bonus grandchildren
Gordon was an amazing Uncle to Ryan (Mikayla) LeFaivre, Shyausea (Max) Demagola, True Osantowski, Amerikiss Jennings and multiple other nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
A gathering in celebration of Gordon’s life will be held at a later date.
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