Mr. Gordon H. VanderBerg, age 77, of Belmont passed away on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. He grew up on the west side of Grand Rapids, and as a young man Gordon was active in Boy Scouts. After graduating from Union High School in 1950, he began working for Consumers Power Company. Gordon was drafted into the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War, receiving two bronze stars. After the military, Gordon returned to Consumers Power. Even after his retirement he went back and worked as an outside contractor. Gordon met the love of his life, and on January 30, 1960. Astra and Gordon were married and would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this coming January. Throughout their lives, Gordon and Astra were devoted to each other. There was a very special bond of closeness as husband and wife that made it obvious they were meant to be with one another, and those times were an expression of the love they had for each other. When Astra was working, Gordon would stop by and take her to lunch-the simplicity of togetherness. Spending time at their cottage in Irons with Astra and his family was very special to Gordon. Dawn was his hunting and fishing partner, and best of all she enjoyed the quality time that they could spend together. His grandchildren have a legacy of memories of their times with grandpa. Brittany delighted at every moment she could spend fishing with her grandfather (clad in her special chest waders). Brad remembers the hunter safety class they took together, and the memorable times of hunting and fishing with his grandfather. Gordon is survived by his loving wife, Astra; daughter, Dawn Bussing and fiancé Derek Drudy of Rockford; and his very special grandchildren, Brittany and Brad Bussing, who were the light of his life. He is also survived by son, Doug VanderBerg of Cedar Springs; grandsons, Randy and Rusty; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Edna VanderBerg; and sister, Donna Knittle. Gordon was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was loved by all and will be deeply missed. The service for Gordon will be Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor […]
Cara Hahn, a Hope College senior from Rockford, received the Laszlo Tokes Award and the Wall Street Journal Award during the annual honors convocation on Thursday, April 23, 2009. The Laszlo Tokes Award is a cash award given to two rising seniors for writing the best essays addressing a current issue or world situation from a Christian perspective. Laszlo Tokes, in whose honor the award is named, was a pastor in the Hungarian Reformed Church. His commitment to Christian faith and calling played a pivotal role in sparking the demonstration that led to the downfall of the communist regime in Romania in 1989. This award was made possible by the vision and donation of a Hope alumna who would like to remain anonymous. It is facilitated by the CrossRoads Project. The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award of a one-year subscription to the Journal and an individual medallion is presented to the student selected by the economics, management and accounting faculty on the basis of superior performance in the department.
Central Michigan University (CMU) junior Danielle Schmutz of Rockford recently participated in CMU’s Alternative Winter Break volunteer program. Schmutz, a Rockford High School graduate and daughter of George and Tina Schmutz of Rockford, was among more than 120 CMU students who took part in the week of service travel organized by the university’s Volunteer Center. During Alternative Winter Break, 11 teams of CMU students volunteered around the world with organizations that address such social issues as at-risk youth, disaster relief, sexual abuse, hunger and homelessness, terminal illness, care for the elderly, and civil rights. Schmutz was a volunteer at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Mo., working in classrooms and conducting activities for the nearly 700 children served by the center, who are among Kansas City’s poorest-about 25 percent of whom are homeless. She is majoring in child development and sociology and minoring in global justice at CMU. Created in 1994, Alternative Breaks is a program that provides CMU students with opportunities to travel domestically or abroad to experience meaningful service projects. Teams led by trained CMU student site leaders engage in public service and social issue-based education on the trips, which take place during winter, spring and summer breaks, as well as on weekends during the academic year.
Rockford exchange students challenged to join in as well A group of students attending Kent City High School have decided to try to leave a permanent reminder of their time in the United States by putting their name on the Corner Bar Hall of Fame, eating 12 hotdogs in four hours. They challenge students from other countries going to school in Rockford to do the same. Lukas Kutilek, age 18, of the Czech Republic is staying with Cedar-Rock area residents Phil and Laverne Calkins and saw the many names on the walls of the Rockford restaurant. He will try to add his name beginning at noon this Saturday, May 9, along with his classmates who are also foreign exchange students. He will be joined by Manuel Martinez, age 16, of Spain, Nelson Filho, age 18, of Brazil and Kate Podhradska, age 16, of Slovakia. Not participating due to vegitarianism are Anabel Carrillo, age 18, of Ecuador and Chrissy Schuler, age 18, of Germany. Both will be on hand to offer support and would eat vegetarian dogs if the Bar offers them. All the students would love to have anyone else try for the fabled Wall or come on down to cheer them on.
(A day picking up trash is a good day in the outdoors) Mountain bike riders are excited to be allowed to use a beautiful piece of Rockford property to enjoy their sport, but are hoping for some help in cleaning up trash. Members will be meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the Luton barn, 6099 Kies Avenue (from Rockford Ten Mile to Courtland, south to Kies, east to the barn) to pick up litter. The western chapter of the MMBA has been trying to build more trails in Kent County for years. There is currently under 20 miles of single track (natural surface narrow trail) in Kent County. This is a very small amount for a city the size of Grand Rapids. When a large population of hikers, bike riders, etc use one or two small trail systems they can become over crowded. Kent County finally found a home for the MMBA at Luton Park. Luton is undeveloped and suited their needs and the county’s needs perfectly. The MMBA offered to build and maintain the trail system for Kent County and its residents free of charge. So far MMBA members have logged over 900 man hours developing the current 6.5 mile natural surface trail at Luton Park. It is their intent to share it with the community by making it a multi-use trail. The stacked loop system allows for more multi-trail users with less conflict between groups. Most hikers will hike shorter more direct routes such as the Blue Loop and interact less often with the bike riders who are spread amongst all the loops. Removing the trash will be a huge benefit to all. Enjoy the day making this public park cleaner. Luton Park was donated by the Luton family and is a beautiful property with two creeks, fields, and lots of wildlife and a variety of woodlands. It is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts.