Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

Please see celebration of life details below.

Gerd Gustav Reuss, passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday, March 13, 2016.  He won many battles fighting cancer with his strength and dignity and passed, surrounded by his wife and family, who he cherished above all. He has moved on to his next adventure with Perry Rhodan and Cookie. 

He was born in in Pforzeheim, Germany, April 12, 1955.  His Mother, Margarte, was a radio operator during the war. As a child he had memories of the destruction and rebuilding in his hometown.

Much of his childhood was spent with his Oma and Opa.  From his Opa he learned the life skills, values and dignity that he lived by.   As an older brother he was always there for his sister (Heide); playing train, reading Perry Rhodan, teaching her to sew and garden.When he got older he formed a lifelong friendship with Peter Ehricke.  They shared many life experiences as boys to men; trips to the public bathing pool, first car antics and walking the streets of Pforzheim with French champagne, just to name few.

In 1977 he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to marry and start his career as a Master Machine Builder.  He worked in several places including; Kelvinator, Steelcase and Imperial Design.  Because of his skill and perfection everyone sought his expertise.  He used his craftsmanship throughout his life, for work, family and friends.    

What mattered most to Gerd was the whole package, his wife, Janet, his home; his family; good food and hard work, were everything to him.  Gerd always made others feel cared for and safe. He was passionate about model railroading and landscaping.  His lawn was like green velvet.  Neighborhood kids knew they were not allowed to walk on it.  His stature and German mannerisms could be startling at first, but once you were around him for any length of time, you could feel the gentleness of his soul. He left such an impression with anyone who met him. He will be missed by so many.

Surviving are his wife, Janet; three children, Erika (Kevin) Kolakowski, Michael, and Matthew; two grandchildren, Izak Kolakowski  and Zoe Reuss; sister, Heide Liese Mahgoub; best friend, Peter (Sonia) Ehricke; along with many nieces and nephews; and his extended Oliver family.

The Reuss family wishes to thank the entire Hospice of Michigan Team, for their tender loving care and support; and the staff at Lacks Cancer Center.  Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Michigan; in lieu of contributions, to honor Gerd; plant a tree, perennials, help a friend with a home project, spay and neuter your animals, adopt a homeless pet and always pay it forward!    

Honoring his wishes, cremation will take place. Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 

Gerd G. Reuss Celebration of Life

April 16th, 2016 – 5pm to 10:00pm

CrossRoads Conference Center
6569 Clay Avenue
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548

Provided:  Hors D’oeuvres, Coffee, Iced Tea, Lemonade and Water  (Cash Bar Available)

Please RSVP Number of Guests to:  Janet: or Deborah:

Schedule of Events:

 5:00pm – 6:00pm    Social Hour (Cash Bar & Munchies)

 6:00pm – 7:30pm   Remembrance,  Eulogies, Individual Family and Friend Impressions

 7:30 – 10:00PM      Socializing  ( Hors D’oeuvres, Sharing, Loving, Laughing, Dancing. and Hugging)

Hotel Accommodation Suggestions:

Holiday Inn Express
6569 Clay – Right next door to CrossRoads CC.
Waiting for info if block of rooms and possible discount – Right now $150.00 per night, rooms booking fast

Hampton Inn
755 44th Str. SW
GR, MI 49509
With AAA or AARP $156.60

WoodSpring Suites
4500 Clyde Park SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
Suite rooms – Standard @ $103.49 (includes Tax) or Deluxe w/two bed or pull out $114.99 (IT)

Hotels are just off 131 North/South As is CrossRoads CC.
Janet and Deb are East/West on 44th just off 131 North/South


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

7 Condolences

  1. Mike Kolarik on March 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Gerd was easy to admire for his skill and craftsmanship, and easy to like for his personality and sense of humor. My condolences to his family.

  2. Mary Kleinjans (formerly Muilenburg) on May 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Dear Janet,
    I am so sorry to hear of Gerd’s passing. What a wonderful, kind and loving man he was and what an amazing example he was to his family and friends and everyone he met.
    It’s been many years since our paths crossed but the last time I saw you both was at COSTCO while going through a divorce. You both showed amazing love and kindness to me that day when I was at a very low point. That act of Kindness is fresh in my mind and true testament of yours and Gerd’s unconditional and non judgmental love for others.
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to grieve the loss of one so dear!
    God bless you always!
    Mary Kleinjans (formerly Muilenburg)

Leave a Condolence