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Willie Sue (Rochelle) Southard, age 83, of Grand Rapids, was called Home and went to be with our Lord peacefully on Monday, January 23, 2017, from Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids. The daughter of Leonard Leslie & Willie (Banks) Rochelle, she was born on December 17, 1933 in Obion County, Tennessee. In the early-1950’s she met the love of her life, Willis Gene Southard, on Blueberry Hill. They married in 1953 and raised two children.


Willie Sue’s family is wide spread throughout the United States and she loved sharing the stories of all of them with us. To know her was to love her. Everyone who crossed her path, was a friend. She touched so many lives, and will be greatly missed and loved. She absolutely loved the color green, and requested it for everything. She loved new life and marked her milestones with each one. She said that her greatest accomplishment, was seeing her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren come into this world, and was blessed and lucky, as she called it, to be around to see it, and to know that it all started with her.


Surviving are two children, Gary Wayne Southard and Cheryl Ann Southard; two grandchildren, Monica Lynn Vogelar and Jacob Kyle Southard; and two great grandchildren, Jaiden Joseph Vogelar and Tyler Jameson Warren (whom she absolutely adored).


Relatives and friends will celebrate Willie’s life on with visitation from 12-1 p.m. on Friday at Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, 3627 Linden Avenue S.E. at 36th Street (one block west of Eastern Avenue), Grand Rapids, where memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday.


To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Willie Sue’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: Arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care.





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3 Condolences

  1. Rob on January 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Our thoughts are with you.

  2. Monica Vogelar & Sons Jaiden and Tyler on January 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    We miss you so much! I know you are at peace now though and am so relieved. You have cared for so many for so long…. It’s time for you to rest and enjoy the kingdom of heaven grandma. Please tell Papa too how much I love and miss him daily.. Until we see eachother again, I will hold you in my heart forever.

  3. Teresa Molnar on January 26, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I only met Willie Sue twice, but she was such a friendly and very nice lady you just couldn’t help liking her. I am Jacob’s Grandma on his Mother’s side and she came to his graduation party. I know she had a difficult time this past year or so and, while it is never easy when we lose those we love most, the blessing in this is that she is no longer in pain and she is again with her beloved husband. She will continue to watch over her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and know she would be a proud Grandma. I only wish she could have come to Jacob & Shelby’s wedding and celebrated with them. She would have had a grand time. God bless you Willie Sue….

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