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John William Weidenfeller, age 82, of Grand Rapids, passed away Tuesday, June 13 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. The son of John and Virginia (Gray) Weidenfeller, he was born on August 24, 1934, in Grand Rapids.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Fritz Weidenfeller; brother-in-law, Skip Fabbro; sister-in-law, Mary Jo Gourley; and brother-in-law, Tom Owczarzak.

On September 14, 1957 he married the love of his life, Frances (Owczarzak) Weidenfeller. Their love endured for 59 years. He is survived by his wife; children, Mary and Robert Shannon, Tammy and Ron Staal, Cindy and Paul Boeve, Cathy and Tom Lovell, John and Lisa Weidenfeller, Jenny and Mark Barrett; Grandchildren, Erin (Doug), Meghan, Connor (Jacquie), Ron, Jake (Hope), Stefanie (Mike), Toni, Eric (Jill), J.T., Nick, Brianna (Wade), Laci, Adam, Olivia, Madeleine (Justyn), Brad, and Gracie; Great-grandchildren, Natalee, Courtland, Abel, Justyce, Andrew, Alex, Eliza, Ryann, and Kamryn; John is also survived by his sister, Marlene Fabbro; brother, Richard Weidenfeller; and sister-in-law, Sandra Weidenfeller; as well as many nieces and nephews.

John was an avid outdoorsman and lover of nature. He was never happier than he was at his “farm” up north. He loved working on projects there, especially with his beloved Skidsteer. He was a fanatic about planting trees. He created many wonderful memories for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at his property. He was the founder of the County Line Club, which included his hunting buddies. They spent many years together enjoying their time at hunting camp.

John was a very creative man, a true dreamer to the end. He was an avid reader and writer. He especially loved the poetry of Robert Service, and shared this with his family. John was an entrepreneur who worked for himself for most of his life. He never tired of coming up with new ideas.

He taught us all the value of family and hard work. He also believed in having fun and had a marvelous sense of humor. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, often creating the most unique learning and just plain fun activities for them.

John loved ice cream, especially Jones’ in Baldwin. He loved his wife Fran’s fantastic homemade cooking, and loved trying new foods. He never met a vegetable he didn’t like. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We are quite sure he is now driving his Skidsteer and planting trees at his big “farm” in the sky.

A celebration of life will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, 3627 Linden Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, 49548.  

Honoring his wishes cremation will take place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign John’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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4 Comments

  1. Anne Leonard & family on June 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    We are so sad to hear of the loss of Uncle John. We have so many memories of such a wonderful man. To my Aunt and cousins may you find peace that he is no longer suffering. We love you!



  2. Mike and Doris Price on June 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Our deepest sympathy. Grief can be so hard, but special memories help us cope. John was always optimistic. He always knew where to get a stainless steel sink and he always thought of us when he purchased smoked fish. He was a great man. We will always remember John.
    Our condolences,
    Mike and Doris Price



  3. Ron Hawkins on June 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    So sorry to hear about John’s passing.



  4. Tonja on June 29, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Dearest Fran & family,
    I will truly miss seeing and talking to John at the credit ! We had a lot of good talks. He was a very special person!
    Take care and with much love,
    Tonja



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