by BETH ALTENA Business has been good at Blakeslee and Son Inc. in the 10 months since third generation Brian Lovall purchased the company from his dad, Rodd, who in his time had taken over for his own father and company founder, the late Clarence Blakeslee. Now the young businessman has a second purchase behind him, which he believes will dovetail seamlessly with his current operations. Lovall bought a seamless gutter business from a former employee, who has also come back to work for the company. With cross training now underway, Lovall can expect his staff to be busy through a wet rainy summer as well as a hot one. “It’s going to be a good addition to Blakeslee,” Lovall said. “If it’s hot or cold people can call us.” Lovall said the types of equipment and skills for gutter work are similar to what his staff already is trained to do. “We’ll still be driving the same trucks and going up the same ladders. We can just offer more to our customers,” he said. Dirk Dennis, who sold his business to Lovall, had formerly been an employee of the company who went out on his own for years with his father Leon as a partner. With the loss of his dad, he decided to return to the Rockford business and brings with him the equipment and knowledge to get the Rockford staff at Blakeslee trained. Lovall said he sees exciting possibilities and is thinking of offering some sort of discount when customers use the company for both air conditioning and gutter services. He said purchase of the gutter company comes with the trailer and very expensive equipment used in creating seamless gutters. “We will also be able to offer maintenance, repair, gutter covers and related services,” Lovall explained. Business is “rolling along” in the first year of owning his own company, but Lovall said he believes this will add a dimension that will offset the somewhat seasonal aspect of the air conditioning part of his business. “This will keep us going, building momentum,” he said. “When it is a really hot summer, people can call us for their air conditioning. When it’s cold and rainy, they can call us for gutters. It will fill […]
May 26 2011
DeBlaay-Pitsch The marriage of Caitlyn Pitsch and Joseph DeBlaay was celebrated on December 10, 2010 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. The bride’s parents are Michael and Holly Pitsch of Rockford. The groom’s parents are Daniel and Ronda DeBlaay of Rockford. Maid of honor was Meghan Pitsch, sister of the bride. Bridesmaids were Erin Schnautz, sister of the bride, Jessica DeBlaay, sister of the groom, Lindsey Bonner, Kassy Pierson, and Meghan Beimers. Best man was Daniel DeBlaay, brother of the groom. Groomsmen were Bill Pitsch, brother of the bride, Clint Dusendang, Chris Duke, Ezra Penn, and Caleb Schutter. Scarlett Freel was flower girl, Luke Paul was ring bearer, Madison Freel was junior bridesmaid, and Ryan Balkema was junior groomsman. Ushers were Nolan Balkema and Aaron Clark. Joseph is a 2007 graduate of Rockford High School and is in the United States Marines. Caitlyn is a 2007 graduate of Rockford High School and was employed by Spectrum Health Hospital. The couple reside in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
A group of the American Legion Post 102 Auxiliary in Rockford went down to the Grand Rapids Veteran’s Home one Saturday to learn how to make poppies. They learned from our veteran that he earns $55 per 1,000 to make poppies for contributions for the month of May known as Poppy month. He uses the money for gas and car insurance and is one of the lucky disabled vets that can still drive. “The veterans were very happy to accommodate us,” said Jackie Cook. “Being a new member of the American Legion Auxiliary, I volunteered to collect contributions for the rehabilitation and assistance for veterans and their families. I sold them at Weight Watchers, senior bowling in both Rockford and Sparta, a DTE [MichCon] retirees meeting, and my eleven-year-old grandson’s lacrosse game. Of course the seniors and retirees are from another generation than the Weight Watchers and lacrosse game parents, so they know what the poppies are all about. However, I feel the younger generation, unless they are close to an elderly veteran, have not heard of them or the purpose behind the poppy.” Cook made herself a “poppy hat” and dressed in all red, white and blue for her Relay for Life walk for the Relay team Faithful Friends and also an hour for the Rockford United Methodist Church. She visited booths at Relay, selling her poppies while she purchased items from the other Relayers. “I have a Henna tattoo, red and blue nails to match my t-shirt, cookies, water, hot dogs, puppy chow, and catnip sewed inside a knitted mouse. My daughter called later that night and didn’t know which was happier, the eleven-year-old grandson with his puppy chow, or the kitty Rosie with her catnip.” Cook said she would like to thank those who support the veterans and come out to the American Legion to support the post. “We have many who volunteer for many different charities. We most recently had a ‘Spring Fling’ for the vets at the home and they loved to dance, even though 95 percent were in wheelchairs.” If you by chance see anyone with a poppy, please help contribute for our veterans. They sacrificed for our country and freedom and some with their life. Poppies will be […]
Visitor disappointed with closed shops on Sunday Dear Editor, On Sunday, May 22, after a casual breakfast at Arnie’s with a group of out-of-town friends, the Great Northern shop and a resale store were the only two shops open at 11:00 a.m. Our plan was to spend the day there while our husbands golfed. The ladies and I were very disappointed in the fact that shops didn’t have Sunday hours of operation for visitors to Squires Street. I hope shop owners will reconsider their Sunday hours to accommodate visitors to downtown Rockford. Lola Gallant