Mrs. Irene Margaret Ryfiak, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, age 81, passed away on the evening of Thursday, August 27, 2015, and rests now, with her dearest Jack, and their Lord and Savior. She was born to Robert and Edith (Ballard) O’Keefe on Monday, November 20, 1933, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had been a lifelong resident of the area. Irene was a faithful and devoted servant to her Lord. She was a member of both St. Anthony and St. Patrick Catholic Parishes, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary. She was also involved in the repairing and painting of the nativity statues at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, as well as creating the Stations of the Cross for the Bishop Baraga Shrine near Indian Lake in Manistique, Michigan. She was incredibly proud of her contributions. Irene was a woman of immeasurable talent— she loved sewing, painting, drawing, and scrapbooking, always preserving her family’s history. She and Jack were also diehard hockey fans, cheering on the Detroit Red Wings and the Grand Rapids Griffins, and they were original season ticket holders for the latter. Irene is survived by her loving children, Christopher Ryfiak, Theodore (Susan) Ryfiak, Sr., Thomas (Kerry) Ryfiak; and Matthew (Bonnie) Ryfiak; grandchildren, Samantha (Genghis) Justiniano, Tyler Ryfiak, Theodore (Beatriz) Ryfiak, Jr., Jonathan “Jack” Ryfiak, Jacqueline, Bethany, Stephanie, Levi, and Nathanael Ryfiak, and Brandon and Jordyn Ryfiak; great-grandchildren Elijah, Theodore III, Adriana, Anthony, and Isaiah Jack; sisters Roberta Ryan and Amy Kirchhoff; sisters-in-law, Carmen (Richard) Maestas and Bonnie Ryfiak Lipke; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband of sixty years, Jack Francis Ryfiak; infant daughter Susie; sister Edith Fisher; and brother Thomas O’Keefe. There was visitation from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The Rosary was said, following visitation at 8:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 4351 Parnell Avenue NE, Ada, MI 49301. Fr. Mark Peacock presided. There was a one hour visitation prior to Mass at church. Following Mass, inurnment was in St. Patrick Catholic […]
Darrell D. Sallee, age 77 of Rockford, passed away Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, Doy and Kathleen (Hill) Sallee; his son, Shawn Sallee, and his sisters, Judy Krause and Cheryl Cowling. Left to cherish his memory are his children, Dawn (Mike) Ellis, Chris Sallee (Mike Perkowski), and Matt Sallee; grandchildren, Cailee Sallee, Andrew Sallee, Gina Ellis, Brian Ellis, Jenna Sallee, Brooke Sallee, Mikelle Sallee, Matthew and Michael Sallee and his sister, Vickie Barna. Darrell retired from the Michigan State Police after 25 years of service; he spent most of his career at Rockford Post #61. He was a loyal Detroit Lions fan. He enjoyed traveling to Florida and Branson, Missouri and fishing. Above all he loved his grandchildren and the good times he had with them. Funeral Services were at 1:00 p.m., Monday, August 31, 2015 at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr. NE, Belmont. The family will greeted relatives and friends on Sunday, August 30 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the funeral chapel and one hour prior to the service on Monday. To share a memory or photo and to sign the family’s online guestbook, please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com. Stegenga Funeral Chapel Belmont – 616.866.7200
Mrs. Ellen Alexandra VanWagoner of Rockford, Michigan, age 65, passed away on the evening of Wednesday, August 26, 2015. She was born to Arthur and June (Coles) Eklund on Sunday, April 30, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan, and had been a longtime resident of the Rockford area. Ellen is survived by her beloved husband of thirty-five years, Jerry Wayne VanWagoner; five children; and four grandchildren. Per Ellen’s wishes, simple cremation has taken place and services will not be held at this time. Pederson Funeral Home pedersonfuneralhome.com
By John Raffel Rockford’s girls golf team dropped a couple of dual matches last week. The Rams lost 210-222 against West Ottawa in a dual at Holland. Maddy Dougherty and Kennedy Stoll both shot 52s. “Because we are a young team, not many of the girls, in fact only two of them, have seen West Ottawa’s course before,” Rockford coach Scott Kruisenga said. “With a lot of them being new to the program and seeing courses for the first time, that will be a bit of a challenge. Looking forward to next year, the girls will have a lot more experience. Also in the week, on Aug. 27, the Rams lost to Hudsonville 189-213 at Sunnybrook Country Club. “This was our first match with one of our leaders, Kendra Donahue,” Kruisenga said. “She’s probably one of the top two players on our team. This was her first match since she’s been on a mission trip. She was little bit rusty but she did play for us. Her short game was a little bit rusty.” Dougherty shot a 46 while Donahue netted a 55. “I see her doing better than that,” Kruisenga said of Donahue. “That will be helpful for her.” Stoll shot a 54. “She’s a freshman and has a lot of potential at her young age,” Kruisenga said. “She’s getting used to courses where she hasn’t played before. I see exciting things for her by the end of the year.”
After a lengthy road trip to the other side of the state to play Saline last week, the Rockford Ram football team opens the home portion of the schedule when they host Holt High School on Thursday, September 3rd. The kickoff is slated for 7:00 P.M. at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. The match up between the two schools has become a regular occurrence over the last several seasons with Holt replacing Brighton High School as a frequent opponent for Rockford. The teams have met nine times over the course of their clashes with Rockford holding a 7-2 edge in the overall record books. Rockford won last year’s game by a count of 40-28 in a game that took two days to play thanks to a seemingly perpetual display of lightning on Friday night that halted proceedings on the gridiron at Holt until the following day. The last triumph for Holt came in the 2009 Division 1 Regionals when they avenged a regular season loss to Rockford with a 27-13 triumph. Rockford returns a familiar face to the head coaching position as Ralph Munger will grace the sidelines for the 24th season for the orange and black. Munger will look to pick up career coaching win number 299 in his legendary career. On the other hand, Holt will field a new face as the head coach as Chad Fulk will take the reins for his initial voyage as a head coach. Fulk has coached for the past 20 seasons of which the vast majority were at Holt. The last four seasons saw Fulk serving as the offensive coordinator. Fulk also had a three-year stint as an assistant at the collegiate level with Olivet College. Both teams fell short in their season openers last week with Rockford falling to Saline 37-24 and Holt dropping a 28-14 decision to OK Red member Hudsonville.