Obituaries — October 15, 2009



On October 10, 2009, Donna Adeline Judson, age 95, of Rockford went to her final home in heaven.

Donna loved her home. Her childhood home in Courtland Township brought her many happy memories. At the age of 15, she began working her first job at Wolverine World Wide. Since she was so young, she had to be employed under the Child Labor Laws. In 1937, she married Robert Judson in their newly acquired home at Bostwick Lake, and raised her two children there. She was the longest-living resident of Bostwick Lake and very proud of her heritage in the history of Cannon Township.

When she was no longer able to be living on her own, she moved to Wisconsin to be with her daughter, Sue and her family. Donna greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When she required nursing care, she decided to come back home and stay at Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids. She adapted well and was always greatly appreciative to the staff and all who cared for her.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Judson, who died in 1984; her parents, Jud and Millie (nee Johnson) Weller; her brother, Kenneth (Lila) Weller; and her sister, Marian (Theron) Wheat. Donna is survived by her children, Sue and her husband Jim Wheeler and their son, Jim and his wife Robin Wheeler of Atlanta, Ga., their daughters, Jamie (Jack) Shavlik and their children, Max and Jackson Shavlik, Susie and Guy Diske and their children, Riley and Molly, all of Prarie-Du-Sac, Wis.; her son, Ivan Judson and dear friend Samuel Grimes of Rockford; and her niece and nephews.

A homecoming service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Pederson Funeral Home with Rev. Wayne Wheeler officiating. Interment was in Bostwick Lake Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy may consider Bostwick Lake Congregational Church, Pilgrim Manor or the Computer Fund at St. Patrick’s Catholic School. A special thank-you is given to the kind staff of Pilgrim Manor and to Susie (Buyze) Mauro for her wonderful genealogy research of the Weller, Johnson and Judson families. “God has welcomed Donna to her final home.”

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.



Mr. Thomas Forrest, age 79, of Rockford passed away on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.

He was raised on Summit Street in Rockford. Tom was a 1947 graduate of Rockford High School where he participated in track (the half mile), high jump and football. He also played in the band—music was always a part of Tom’s life.

After high school, Tom worked for Doehler-Jarvis until he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After the service, Tom attended Michigan State University (MSU) under the GI Bill and received a BA in economics, and a minor in psychology. He then worked for Traveler’s Insurance and, while in New Jersey, he met Frances on a blind date.

After more dating and falling in love, Tom and Frances were married on May 18, 1963, at St. Rose of Lima in Short Hills, N.J. After their marriage, Tom and Frances lived in Milwaukee, Wis. and while there he accepted a job with Sentry Insurance as a safety consultant and then transferred to New Jersey. After a couple of years, he transferred back to Rockford.

He was an avid golfer and followed MSU sports. Together Tom and Frances loved traveling extensively through Arizona, Mexico, Hawaii, California and Nevada. He taught his children that nothing in life came easily and to always respect others. Tom felt it was very important to teach his sons how to be gentlemen.

He is survived by his loving wife, Frances; children, Michael Forrest of New Jersey, and Rob (Kim) Forrest of Rockford; grandchildren, Kyle, Kayla, Carolyn and Nicholas; brother, Duane (Joan) Forrest of Baldwin; nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister, Norma Forrest.

The service for Mr. Forrest was Friday at 12:00 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home with Rev. Eric Coulon officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard, with interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Our Lady of Consolation Church, designated for God’s Kitchen.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.



Mrs. Letha Beauchamp
Mrs. Letha Beauchamp


Mrs. Letha Beauchamp, age 85, of Rockford was welcomed home on Friday, October 2, 2009, to be with her Lord and Savior whom she faithfully served

and trusted.

As a young woman, she accepted Christ into her life. Letha always made sure her children and grandchildren attended Sunday school. Her Bible was used a lot, with many verses committed to memory. During WWII, she served her country in the Army Air Corps.

Her family has many precious memories of Letha playing the banjo while her husband played the guitar. She enjoyed drawing and painting; many of her artworks were of her early childhood. After Letha traveled to Israel, she captured many of those scenes in her art. She volunteered at the Mel Trotter Mission as a cook, and later in life, Letha took college courses in art.

She is survived by her loving family: her children, Dick and Wanda Beauchamp of Sparta, and Mrs. Dixie VanderMey of Rockford; grandchildren, Melinda Barajas, Lori Danko, Julie and Jason Neumann, Bill and Traci Beauchamp, Bethany Beauchamp and Chris Helmholdt, Brook and Richard Speck, Richard and Deb VanderMey, Marshall VanderMey, Michael and Roni VanderMey, Mrs. Cindy Baldridge; 27 great-grandchildren; brother, Donald and Betty Westbrook; sister-in-law, Helen Platt; sister, Joyce Westbrook; daughter-in-law, Deborah Beauchamp; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Beauchamp, on September 28, 1984; her son, Kenneth Roy Beauchamp, in 1981; her grandson, Caleb Matthew Neumann, on February 11, 2003; her son-in-law, Robert VanderMey, on October 14, 2006; her grandson-in-law, Dr. Rob Baldridge on July 9, 2007; her brothers, William Westbrook, Fred Westbrook, and Merle Westbrook; her sisters, Mary Munson, Jane Kessler, and Dorothy Westbrook.

The service for Mrs. Beauchamp was Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Sparta Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Tim Smith officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the Army National Guard with interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Sparta Church of the Nazarene or Friends of Michigan Veterans Home.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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