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Albert “Bert” Gregory Bleakley, 97, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Born in Northern Ireland, Bert came to the United States at the age of 6. He was raised in Pennsylvania and eventually began working for businessman Louis Reisenstien in a variety of capacities ultimately leading him to Falk Company. After attending Officer Candidate School Bert proudly served in the Philippines with the US Army during World War II. After the war Bert returned to work at Falk which was later taken over by Cargill Inc. Bert had a 54 year career as a Refinery Superintendent for Cargill before becoming a consultant with Oil Dri. After living in Pennsylvania, Illinois and North Carolina Bert retired to Holland, Michigan.

Retirement provided volunteer opportunities for Bert. In North Carolina he was active in NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, working closely with mental health providers and law enforcement to bring a more compassionate law enforcement response to those suffering from a mental illness. Bert also worked at the food pantry at Highland Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Bert continued volunteering in Michigan by delivering meals to senior citizens and working as a painter for PET (now Mobility West Michigan), producing colorfully painted hand powered carts for disabled children around the world.

Bert was preceded in passing by his parents, Robert and Edith Bleakley; wives, Betty Ann King, Paula Wright, and former wife, Joyce Burgess; siblings, Harold Bleakley and Gladys Lawrence; son-in-law, Jim Nogosek; and grandson, Alex Walenga. Survivors include long time companion, Beverly Schlaack, and her daughters, Peggy Jachim and Cheri Briseno (Jose); children, Donna (Arthur) Cornwell, Craig (Catherine) Bleakley, Pamela Ware, Amy Nogosek, Barbara (Greg) Walenga, Linda (Mark) Zagar, and Vickie (George) Mooney; Grandchildren, Angel (Wes) Little, Savannah Aguilar, Sara Zagar, Kelly (Chrissy) Zagar, Scott Cornwell, Mathew (Marie Bricher) Cornwell, Cindy (Ted Sharpenter) Cornwell, Madison Walenga, Chuck Panozzo, Caitlin Panozzo and Ed Panozzo; great grandchildren, Greyson and Langston Little; as well as nieces and a nephew. Bert is survived by a special niece, Yvonne Wright, of Mexico.

A memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 3rd at First Reformed Church, 630 State St., Holland, 49423, where the visitation will take place one hour prior, with light refreshments to follow the service. A burial will take place in the family cemetery at Oak Hill Cemetery in Hammond, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Cumberland County Alliance on Mental Illness, PO Box 87502, Fayetteville, NC 28304 or to Mobility Worldwide West Michigan (previously PET), 3365 John Donnelly Drive, Holland, MI 49424.

At Bert’s request cremation has taken place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Albert’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com 

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids.

  

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5 Condolences

  1. Karen Porter on May 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I’m so sorry, Donna. We are keeping you close to our hearts. May it comfort you to know that others care and are thinking of you, Bev and your family.



  2. Debi Cain on May 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Donna, you are all your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know from listening to you talk about him that your father was a remarkable man.

    Debi



  3. Debbie Felder-Smith on May 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Donna, so very sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I’m holding you and your family in my heart and remembering all the stories you have shared of your dad. Deb



  4. Debbie Felder-Smith on May 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Donna, so very sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I’m holding you and your family in my heart and remembering all the stories you have shared of your dad. Deb



  5. Tom Wolf on May 22, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Sorry to hear of Mr. Bleakley’s passing, prayers for his family!



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