Obituaries — January 7, 2010


Mr. Jack J. Schwab, age 80, of Rockford passed away in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, January 1, 2010.

He was a 1947 graduate of Rockford High School, where he played football and track and was co-captain of the football team during his senior year. Jack was a member of the National Honor Society and also worked at his father’s business, Schwab Oil Company. He received an academic scholarship, attended junior college, and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Jack was a pilot who flew a T-6 and had 46 combat missions, was a 6147th TAC Con called the “Mosquito Squadron,” leaving the service as a First Lieutenant. He finished college, graduating in 1957 from Michigan State University, and then worked with his father.

After his father’s heart attack, Jack and Jeanne purchased the business and operated it for 22 years. He and Jeanne remodeled the service station at Bridge and Main streets, giving quality service to the Rockford community.

Jack served on the board of directors of MI Petroleum and was executive secretary for West Michigan Oilmen’s Club.

Jack ‘s whole life was about giving back to the community. He served twice as president of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, had several terms on the Rockford Board of Education and then served as president, was a Rockford City Council member, and then was chosen mayor, served four terms as Kent County Commissioner, was a member of the Merritt Lamb Post #102 American Legion, was a life member of the Rockford Lions Club, where he twice served as president, and was a member of the Golden “R” Club.

AirForceEmblem-fcJack was an “outdoors” man and enjoyed hunting and especially playing golf, having achieved four holes-in-one during his lifetime. He enjoyed playing Bridge with Jeanne, and played Setback on Wednesday at the Moose Lodge in Sparta.

Since 1942, Jack was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, where he served on many committees and on the board.

He is survived by his loving wife, Jeanne; children, Richard Schwab of Cedar Springs, Jayne and David Schemmel of Rockford; grandchildren, Marcie Schwab, Eric Schwab, Daniel Schemmel, Jacqueline “Jackie” Schemmel, and Jacob Schemmel; sister, Alma and Robert Mills; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Letha (Blakeslee) Schwab; and his brother, L.J. “Red” Schwab.

The service for Mr. Jack Schwab was Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at Rockford United Methodist Church with Pastor Dick Riley officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force with interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the building fund at Rockford United Methodist Church or the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


Mrs. Julia Maxine Gould, age 76, of Rockford passed away on Sunday, January 3, 2010. She grew up in Spencer Township at 21 Mile Road and Harvard Avenue, and attended Griswold and Trufant schools, and then Lakeview High School.

When she was picking potatoes at Ralph Pratt’s farm, she had her “eyes” on a young man named Ralph Gould who had his “eyes” on her. From the beginning, they fell in love (ask about the story of the culvert) and were married on December 16, 1950. After only three weeks of marriage, Ralph was drafted and sent to Japan and Korea. Julia wrote to Ralph nearly every day and cherished the letters he sent home to her.

Julia was a stay-at-home wife and mother and cared for her children and offered child care for others. When her children were older, she worked in food service at Rockford Public Schools. After her retirement from the school, her need was to care for babies and children again. She was an excellent cook, baker and “immaculate housekeeper.”

Julia and Ralph traveled with the Rockford Senior Citizens and also traveled in their “spotless” travel camper. She was very close to her sisters, and lived by this motto: “Love your kids and grandchildren like crazy, and spoil them.”

Julia is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Ralph; children, Carol L. and Robert Mosher, Richard L. and Randi Gould, Cheryl M. and Eugene Jr. Kime, Phillip F. and Pamela Gould; grandchildren, Kimberly (Ryan) Chinn, Jennifer (Jon) Zerkle, Richard G. Gould, Christine Schmidt, Amy (Bill) Flynn, Brian (Ellen) Porter, John Porter, Jessica (Steve) Wellman, Samantha Gould; great-grandchildren, Ernest Lee III, Chelsey Lee, Troy Sanders, Lana Zerkle, Autumn Zerkle, Andres Gould, Brenton Evans, Elliot Flynn, Abigail Porter, Derek Porter, Brady Porter; many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; sisters, Velma G. Becker, Stella M. White, Ida Loraine Morris; brother and sister-in-law, James H. and June Roberts; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Becker, Leonard and Thelma Gould; many nieces and nephews; and very close and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Etta Roberts; sisters, Elizabeth E. Drake, Erma I. Becker; brothers-in-law, Maxwell Drake, Wayne White, Carl Becker, Lawrence Heft, and James Morris; grandchildren, Ronda and Kevin McIntyre. “Julia is now resting in peace with her mother, father and many family members who have gone before her. We give the glory of life and death to God our Creator.”

The Gould family would like to extend their special thanks to the staff at Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Health Center for the care and love given to Julia.

The service for Mrs. Gould will be Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Interment will be in Elmwood Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Health Center, 100 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Relatives and friends may gather at the funeral home from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


Mr. Donald G. Herrington, age 79, of Rockford passed away on Sunday, January 3, 2010. He was born in Belding to Claire and Jessie (King) Herrington.

As a young man, Don worked at many of the Cannon Township cemeteries. After he left school, Don worked at Wolverine World Wide.

While attending a football game, Don met Nedra. They dated, fell in love, and were married on April 28, 1950, at the Old Bostwick Lake Congregational Church.

For 40 years, Don worked for the Kent County Parks Commission, first as a laborer and then as a carpenter. He built shelters, outhouses, picnic tables, and worked on signage.

He, Nedra and the children loved camping. Don was an outdoorsman who liked to hunt and go camping. For many years he volunteered as the Scoutmaster for Troop #228 and Cub Scout Pack #3228.

Don is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Nedra; children, Mike and Mary Herrington of Rockford, Deb and Frank Sheldon of Cedar Springs, Scott and Sally Herrington of Rockford, Connie and Patrick Rose of Rockford, Mark and Ann Herrington of Ionia, Lynne and Richard Kahn of Mecosta; 16 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; brothers and sister, Gordon and Pat Herrington, Victor and Barbara Herrington, Mrs. Doris Jewell, Clair “Bill” Herrington, Harry and Sandy Herrington; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Todd Herrington, and his brother-in-law, Alger Wildey.

The service for Mr. Herrington will be 1:00 p.m. Thursday at the Pederson Funeral Home with Rev. Mark Peacock officiating. Interment will be in Blythefield Memory Gardens. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Lack’s Cancer Center at St. Mary’s, 250 Cherry St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Relatives and friends may gather at the funeral home from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


Mr. Max Charles Wingard, age 85, of Rockford passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

Max was a lifelong proud resident of Rockford and graduated from the “old” Rockford High School, was a member of the football and track teams, Golden “R” Club, Rockford Boosters Club, Rockford Lions Club, Rockford American Legion Merritt Lamb Post #102, a variety of other organizations, and enjoyed being with the Jody’s Restaurant morning coffee crew. He was an avid rooter of the Rockford Rams, Notre Dame, and officiated football for a number of years.

Max retired from the Rockford Post Office after 25 years and then worked for 20 years for the Pederson Funeral Home with his friend, David Pederson. Max was a Navy veteran of WWII but never learned to swim, so he said. While stationed in Minneapolis, Max met his wife, Betty. After the service, Max and Betty lived for a short time in Boston, Mass., with Betty’s family, but eventually returned to Rockford to raise their family. During the last few years of his life, Max suffered from dementia and moved to assisted living where he was supported by the wonderful staff at Northview Manor.

Max is survived by his children, Kathleen Vogel, Ken (Anna) Wingard, Allan (Suzann) Wingard; grandchildren, Alison, Wendy, Kimberly, Andrea, Amy, Sarah, Holly, Dirk, and Becky; a sister, Carol (Charles) Street; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces including Jackie (Nelson) DeWitt, nephews, and special friends, including Carol and Doug Luther. Max was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Betty, in 2001; his parents, Ray and Bertha; a sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Wayne Lavendar; and son-in-law, Frank Vogel.

Those wishing to express their sympathy are asked to consider the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Our Lady of Consolation Church in Rockford, or the charity of your choice. Max’s wishes were to have a family-only private gathering followed by a gravesite service. Max will be greatly missed by his family.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

About Squire News 6222 Articles
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.