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Mrs. Grace Eileen Appel, age 90, formerly of Greenville, passed away Thursday evening, Feb. 1, 2007, at Porter Hills Retirement Village in Grand Rapids. The daughter of Fred H. & M. Agnes (Andersen) Rhoades, she was born on Aug. 20, 1916, in Greenville. Following her graduation from Greenville High School as salutatorian of her class, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Western Michigan University. She then taught kindergarten in Marlette, Michigan, where she met her husband, Roger J. Appel. She married Roger on July 5, 1941, and then shared the anxieties of many young brides with husbands stationed overseas.

After her children were grown, Grace returned to work as a secretary at the former Commercial State Savings Bank in downtown Greenville. An avid reader, she was also a member of the First Congregational Church, the Flat River Historical Society, the Thalia Club and the WMU Alumni Association. She supported several causes devoted to economic development, nature and health, including Heifer International, UNICEF, the Nature Conservancy and the hospice movement.

Grace was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. Surviving are two children, Jan Andersen of Kalamazoo, and Alan Appel of Leesburg, Virginia; a granddaughter, Emily Appel of Washington, D.C.; a sister, Janet H. Fayling and her husband, Clarence, of Southern Pines, North Carolina; a sister-in-law, and three nephews.

Memorial serviceswill be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2007 at the First Congregational Church, Greenville, with the Rev. Jerry Jones officiating.Interment will be in the chapel columbarium of the First Congregational Church, Greenville. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Graces online guest book, or share a favorite memory, please click the “Sign Guest Book” link above.


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