Obituaries — November 25, 2009



Mr. Donald “Don” Bylsma, age 63, of Rockford passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, following a brave and courageous battle with his illness.

Don graduated from Union High School in 1964, and served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

After returning home, he worked for VanAndel & Flikkema, Carstar, and then opened his own restoration business of classic and antique automobiles, the Body Shoppe in Marne. He liked going to car shows and NASCAR races.

His children were taught good work ethics by Don’s example. There are many special memories of camping, bonfires and fireworks. He enjoyed fishing and could drive for hours to look at the scenery. Don, with the help of Pam, kept their lawn in perfect shape. He also liked to fish, collect antiques and lighthouses, but his lifelong dream was to finish restoring his 1940 Ford.

Don is survived by his loving wife, Pam; children, Scott Bylsma and special friend Stacie of Grand Rapids, Kurt and Andrea Bylsma and their son Drew of Grand Rapids, E-5 Chad Bylsma (serving with the U.S. Navy), Brittany Bylsma of Rockford; brothers, David and Florence Bylsma, Chuck and Sharon Bylsma Raymond, Ira “Ike” Bylsma and special friend Sandy Hahn; mother-in-law, Mrs. Marilyn Stallman and special friend Bill Midyett and her family; and many nieces and nephews. His parents, Charles and Ruth Bylsma, preceded him in death.

ArmyEmblem-fcThe service for Don was Sunday afternoon, November 22, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church with the Rev. Timothy Gauger officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the U.S. Army. Interment was in Algoma Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods or the American Heart Association.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.



LaMonte “Monte” William King of Rockford, aged 89, died Friday, November 6, 2009, at Metro Hospital in Grand Rapids after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Blanche Pullen and Owen King.

He was born on July 8, 1920, in Grand Rapids. He was a veteran of WWII and served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in India.

ArmyEmblem-fc5He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Shirley J. King (Lee) of Rockford; son James G. (Vivian) King of Grand Rapids; and daughters, Nancy J. (Michael Gaudy) King of Midland, Mich., and Merri Beth (Tim McClellan) Richardson of Rockford. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Kristopher (Diane LaPreze) Richardson, Kerri (Mike) Herweyer, Kristia (Paul) Cnossen, Marci (David) Hammond, Brent (Nikki) Rayce, Molly (Craig) Puckett, Melissa (Mike) Laplow; two step-grandchildren, Craig Baker and Cheryl (Dennis) Benham; 12 great-grandchildren, and many step-great-grandchildren.

In accordance with his wishes, Monte has been cremated and a private family memorial will be held in Rockford at a later date. In lieu of flowers and memorials, please consider a donation to your local Humane Society in Monte’s memory.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.