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  • Visitation:  6-8 p.m.  Monday
  • Funeral:  11:00 a.m.  Tuesday

Mr. Bruce Alden DeForest, age 58, of Greenville, passed away Friday morning, Nov. 2, 2007 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans after a long and courageous battle with Huntingtons Disease. The son of Alden Ben & Lela (Collins) DeForest, he was born on Aug. 30, 1949 in Sheridan. After high school, Bruce served with the U.S. Navy as a radio operator from 1968-1972 and was a combat veteran of the Vietnam conflict. After returning home, he worked at the former Gibson Refrigerator Company for 19 years, until illness forced his retirement.

Bruce loved to play cards and board games and was an avid chess player. In the 1970s he formed the Greenville chess club, Checkmate Inc. He participated in numerous chess tournaments throughout Michigan and various other states, and brought home many trophies and awards. He often played chess, via computer, with a friend in Boise, Idaho. For several years he was a faithful volunteer at United Memorials Long Term Care Unit, where he played lively games of chess with Ivan.

He was preceded in death by his father; a brother, Jack Sharp; and his maternal grandparents, Fred & Roxie Collins. Surviving are a son, Israel Bruce DeForest of Greenville; a grandson, Matthew DeForest of Crystal; his parents, Lela & Harry Junior Johnson of Greenville; a sister and brother-in-law, Mary & Larry Snow; a brother and sister-in-law, James & Joyce Sharp, all of Greenville; two step-brothers, Robert & Salle Johnson of Fenwick, and Jimmy & Marsha Johnson of Comstock Park; two step-sisters, Bets Johnson of Belding, and Judy & Randy Draper of Battle Creek; several nieces and nephews; a special cousin, Roxie Poulsen of Lakeview (who faithfully sent cards and remembrances at every holiday and occasion); very special friends and volunteers at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, the Mike Struve Family of Grandville; and special friend and former co-worker, Harry The King Bissell.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 at the Brown-Teman & Christiansen Funeral Home, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville, with the Rev. Jerry Jones, pastor of the First Congregational Church, officiating. Military honors, rendered by the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101, will conclude the service and burial will take privately at Richland Township Cemetery near Vestaburg.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bruce to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Spectrum Health Hospice, or Huntingtons Disease Research would be appreciated. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home, where the family will receive relatives and friends on Monday from 6-8 p.m. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Bruces online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please click the “Sign Guest Book” link above.


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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on November 2, 2007 at 12:00 am


    11/06/2007 –

    pat Flashaar

    Mary, I want to tell you how sorry I am that you lost your precious brother, and also how proud I am to know you and the special person you are and what a special sister to Bruce. Love in Christ Pat

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