Category Archives: Obituaries



Mrs. Evelyn D. Palumbo, age 81, of Rockford and formerly of Sparta, passed away on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. She was a member of Peace Lutheran Church.

Evelyn liked crocheting, tatting, knitting, and playing the dulcimer. Evelyn made her grandchildren mittens and slippers. She made a baby afghan for every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren until her illness. Her handiwork became cherished gifts to her family.

Evelyn’s desire in life was that “she had made a difference.” She is survived by her children, Dr. Charles and Lori Palumbo of Hastings, Fran and Mike Reus of Rockford, Thomas and Mary Palumbo of Hudsonville, James and Sue Palumbo of Greenville, and Noreen and Edward Rykse of Sparta; 27 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren with the much anticipated arrival of one more; four great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Mrs. Gloria Prinsen; nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband Joseph on November 23, 2003, and her brothers, Eugene, Raymond and George.

Her family would like to thank the caregivers of Thornapple Manor, especially her granddaughter Christine, for the love, care and compassion given to Evelyn.

The service for Mrs. Palumbo was Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Sparta with Rev. Byran Schneider Thomas officiating. Interment was in Courtland Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Lifespan Hospice, 300 North Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49017.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.




Mr. Edwin Bristol, age 79, of Comstock Park went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.

He grew up in Alpine Township and was a 1949 graduate of Sparta High School. Ed had part-time jobs at the Vinton farm and also the ice cream shop (Bloomstein)—a job that he loved.

As a young man, Ed accepted Christ as his personal Savior. After high school he served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. While in the Navy, he met a beautiful lady, Ethel. On one evening he took her over to the church so he could play the organ for her. The first song he always played was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” After a loving courtship of eight months, they were married on March 7, 1953.

When they returned to Sparta, Ed attended barber school and opened his practice on Courtland Street in Rockford. He made it very clear that there would be no off-colored jokes or cussing in the shop. After 34 years of dedicated service, Ed retired.

He was always playing gospel music. Ed was a man who knew the Lord and walked the walk. He was a lifetime member of Alpine Baptist Church, where he served as Deacon. Ed enjoyed music and played the organ and piano. At special times, his son Jim would play the saxophone while Ed played the organ.

Ed enjoyed preserving his 1943 John Deere M, which was his father’s tractor and now belongs to his son. His daughter Leona would affectionately call her father “Poppy.” Every morning Ed would sit in the sunroom and have quiet time with his devotions.

He is survived by his loving wife, Ethel; his daughter, Leona and William Rusco of Comstock Park; his son, James and Linda Bristol Sr. of Belmont; daughter-in-law, Mrs. Lois Bristol; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren with the much anticipated arrival of one more; his brother, Harold and Faye Ann Bristol; several nieces and nephews. Ed was preceded in death by his son, Edwin Bristol Jr.; brother, Erwin (Shirley) Bristol; and daughter-in-law, Brenda Bristol.

The service of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ for Mr. Bristol was Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Alpine Baptist Church with Pastor Scott Florida officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard with interment in Pine Grove Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the building fund at Alpine Baptist Church.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.




Mrs. Helen Joy Nawrot, age 70, of Rockford went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, April 21, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband John on June 4, 1998; her parents, Joseph and Susanna (Huisman) DeKraker; her sister, Karol Edgar; and her brother, Willard DeKraker. Helen is survived by her children, Michael and Conney Posthuma of Bedford, Ind., Debora and Terry Nawrot of Big Rapids, Sandra Murray and Mick Lantis of Rolling Prairie, Ind., and Cheryl Nawrot and James (Harpo) Richard of Rockford; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sisters, Kathleen (Jerry) Haagsma, Sharon (Larry) Wagner; sister-in-law, Mrs. Charlotte DeKraker; nieces and nephews; Rose Plummer and Sandy and Jerry Patton.

The service was Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Jon Stradtner officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider North Kent Community Service Center, 10075 Northland Drive, Rockford, MI 49341, Faith Hospice of Trillium Woods, 8214 Pfeiffer Farms Dr. SW, Byron Center, MI 49315, or Merritt Lamb Unit #102 American Legion Auxiliary, 330 Rockford Park Drive , Rockford, MI 49341.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.



De Regnaucourt

Tim De Regnaucourt of Rockford passed away on Thursday evening April 7, 2011, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in an accidental fall in his home last week. His parents, Otto and Anne (Kish) and his twin sisters Pam and Gail were there to greet him and help him start his new life.

Tim was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 24, 1942. His family moved to Rockford when Tim and his five siblings were children. They lived in the beautiful old farm on Belding Road across from Grass Lake, now known as Lake Bella Vista. Tim was in the class of 1960 at Rockford High School and went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a business degree. He was a State Farm Insurance Agent for 46 years and made many friends from his years in business.

Tim loved the game of golf and played with a group of buddies several times a week. He was an accomplished horseman and taught the art of riding to his children. He always loved the smell of a horse barn!

He will be forever loved and missed by his wife, Jacquelyn; his three children from his first marriage, Todd De Regnaucourt of Florida, Becky (Bill) Veltema of Hudsonville, and Robert “Timmy“(Gen) DeRegnaucourt of Georgia. He also had two stepdaughters he helped raise, Rebekah (Dan) Brodowski of Rockford, and Anne (Judd) Meyer of Byron Center. His remaining siblings, Jane (Phil) Boettjer, residing in Florida, Judy (Fred) Freathy of Texas, and Jeff (Debbie) De Regnaucourt of Rockford will miss Tim but will have so many memories of their childhood together and the laughs and good times spent with him in his adulthood. Tim also leaves a brother-in-law, Steve (Lois) Suchowolec, who was married to Tim’s sister Pam before her passing. He also has two sisters-in-law, Nancy (David) Schmidt from South Carolina and Sharon Seys of Grand Rapids, who will miss his jokes and hospitality at our Christmas and summer gatherings.

Tim and Jacque have 11 grandchildren and they will miss sitting on Grandpa’s lap, “driving” the boat, learning how to mow the lawn with the proper mix of oil and gas in the mower, how to fish, and snuggle up on his lap to watch a movie. There are many aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and so many others from this large amazing family that will feel an empty place in their hearts.

The family would like to thank the wonderful capable staff at Spectrum for their careful care and tender watchfulness, the amazing women, Joan Meyer, Sue Cadorette, Pat DeJong and Jamie Bailey, who have helped Tim for so many years at his State Farm office, our long-time neighbors who have always been there for us, and all of our friends who have blessed us with prayers and support. Tim will miss all of you and remember how you touched his life.

The Mass of the Christian Burial was on Wednesday, April 13 at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Rockford. Because it is the Lenten season, the family requests that no flowers be sent but suggest instead that any memorials that wish to be made go to the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, 3777 Rector NE, Rockford, MI 49341; Our Lady of Consolation, Education Endowment Fund, or Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School Educational Fund.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


Mr. Robert “Bob” Platt, age 85, of Rockford went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. As a young man he accepted Christ as his Savior. Bob was a member of Grace Evangelical Free Church and was a trustee emeritus. He was a 1943 graduate of Rockford High School.

Bob had various jobs while in high school, and during the summers he worked for many area farmers. He and June (Bailey) were high school sweethearts, who began dating while in the 11th grade. They went bowling on their first date on January 21, 1942, with who would become their lifelong friends, Cliff and Lillian Atwood. After a loving courtship, they were married on November 10, 1944, at the old Rockford Baptist Church by Pastor Carl Wier. Bob worked at Burch Body, Morton Motor Sales, Rowden Ford, and then he opened his own business, Platt Auto Service. Later he became the transportation director for Rockford Public Schools. He set up bus routes, many of which are still used today. Bob then re-opened Platt Auto Service.

Bob enjoyed 24 years of retirement and took great pride in giving his grandchildren rides in his restored ‘40 Ford. He taught his children and grandchildren the value of family, work ethics, and mechanical skills. Bob also had a great dry sense of humor and was a true gentleman and protector. He enjoyed car races, boating and camping. Bob was a man who could not say “no.”

His family would like to thank the caregivers of Renal Associates Inc. for the love, care and compassion given to Bob.

He is survived by his loving wife, June; children, Carolyn Salisbury of Greenville, Suzanne Dahlstedt of Rockford, and Robert “Bob” and Anna Platt of Sparta; grandchildren Dena (Brian) Shotko, Charles (Tracy) Salisbury, Brenda (Steve) Bolin, Jason (Rachel) Blakeslee, Julie (Jason) Hoek, and Brian Platt; great-grandchildren Alek, Blake, Noah, Abbey, Marley, Mallory, Alex, Lucas, Austin, and Tyler; brothers and sisters, Ted (Helen) Platt, David (Marla) Platt, Violet (Jim) Robinson; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Gordon (Irene) Nelson and Mrs. Helen Platt; brother-in-law, Charles Brantner; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charley and Edith Platt; brothers, Howard and Alvin “Buck”; and sister, Jeanne Brantner.

The service for Mr. Platt was Saturday at noon at Grace Evangelical Church with Pastor Kevin Reed officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Grace Evangelical Church, 4714 13 Mile Road, Rockford, MI 49341.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


Paul Peter McGavin, 82, an engineer, lover of nature, avid sailor, and active square dancer, was born and raised in Wilkes Barre, Pa. He received his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University and his master’s degree in industrial engineering from George Washington University. Mr. McGavin died peacefully on Friday, April 8, 2011, in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was the father of Laurie McGavin Bachmann of Ridgefield, Conn., Lynn Marie McIntosh of Rockford, and Paul H. McGavin of Petaluma, Calif., and was the former husband of Maya McGavin of Leola, Pa.

Mr. McGavin held management positions for several large corporations including Martin Marietta, Westinghouse, General Electric and Florida Power and Light. Ahead of his time, he was part of a team that pioneered groundbreaking recycling programs in the late 1970s for the state of Connecticut. He served as commissioner for Upper Saint Clair, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. Mr. McGavin also served in the U.S. Navy in the Philippines.

Mr. McGavin worked hard and played hard, and loved swimming, bicycling, boating, camping, and all kinds of games. A devoted naturalist, he taught his children a love for the Great Outdoors—and how to tell a good joke. Humor was very important to him as were the current business and political events

of the day. We will all miss his intelligent, fun-loving ways.

Paul McGavin is survived by his three sisters, Mary George, Lenie Foley, and Betty McDonald; his three children; and five grandchildren, Kiera McGavin, Katie McIntosh, Maya Bachmann, Carole McIntosh, and Jenny McIntosh.

A Celebration of Life service will be held for the family this summer in Leola, Pa.






Mrs. Alma Wells, age 79, of Rockford went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. She was a 1950 graduate of Rockford High School.

Alma’s sister invited Tom to a gathering and that is where Alma met her future husband, Tom, who happened to be very bashful at that time. After a loving courtship, they were married on March 9, 1951.

Alma was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; she felt her greatest achievement in life was her family. In her free time she went with Tom to his many meetings. She always felt that she met the nicest people when traveling with Tom. Ironing was one of Alma’s favorite activities. She was a member of the Rockford Chapter #215 OES.

Alma is survived by her loving husband, W. Thomas Wells; children, Lesley and Joe Gallatin of Rockford, and William T. Wells Jr. of Grand Rapids; grandchildren, Jeff and Trisha Gallatin, Robert and Sara Gallatin, Larry and Dr. Leighia Wells; great-grandchildren, Logan Wells, Xander Gallatin, Nicolas Gallatin, Madelyn Gallatin, Lucas Wells and one more anticipated arrival; sister, Barbara (Bob) Page; many nieces and nephews; Tom’s family Robert and Joanne Wells, and Richard and Barb Wells. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Irene Cook, Donna Bishop, and Ardith Briggs; brothers, Clair Bishop, Budd Bishop, Clifton Bishop, Arnold Bishop, and Wayne Bishop.

The service for Alma was Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Dick Riley officiating. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Saladin Children’s Trust, 4200 Saladin Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.


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