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Christopher Ray Carlson, age 47, of Grand Haven, passed away surrounded by the love of his family at his home on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. He was born September 15, 1974, in Grand Haven, to Raymond Carlson and Mary (Marcus) Downey. Chris graduated from Grand Haven High School with the class of 1992. After high school he proudly served his country in the United States Navy. Chris married the only love of his life, Dani Shineldecker, on August 23, 1999, in Rock Island, Illinois. Together they had four children.

Christopher Ray defended his country valiantly in the Persian Gulf and the Somali War during his time in the Navy. Upon his return he went to a trade school for his CDL. He drove over 2 million miles over the course of 23 years. Working for Sweet Express in Grand Rapids granted him the opportunity to become Safety of Operations Coordinator. He also worked for Spectrum Health as a driver moving the portable MRI machine.

Christopher Ray enjoyed driving his motorcycle at high speeds, video games, and playing golf with his friends. But what he enjoyed the most was being home and spending time with his wife and children. He took great pride in being able to support his family allowing his wife to stay home with the children.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Dani; his four children, Christopher Paul (21), Stella Hannah (16), Anthony Ray (11), and Amelia Jeane (9); sister, Beth Scott; brother, Dale Carlson; and stepfather, Jim Downey.

Chris was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Downey; father, Raymond Carlson; and stepmother, Diane Carlson.

A memorial service will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at Grand Haven Gospel church, 1805 Waverly Ave. Grand Haven, Michigan at 2:00 p.m.

Chris’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Spectrum Health Hospice for the care and compassion they showed not only Chris, but also to them during this difficult time.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Chris’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006, exclusive providers of Veterans Funeral Care.


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8 Condolences

  1. Nichole Cossey on March 3, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    My you rest in peace cousin, I love you, my deepest and sincere condolences to your wife and children, Fly high and ride well with the angels. It is not goodbye but see you later.

  2. Kathleen ‘Streng’ Andrews on March 5, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    My deepest sympathies as you grieve the loss of your father and husband! Know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Kathleen ‘Streng’ Andrews

  3. Paul J. McGann on March 6, 2022 at 11:25 am

    My deepest condolences to his family and his friends. I served with Chris aboard the Lake Erie and we became friends. It was always a great time when he visited when he was in NY with his truck. Great spirit, we’ll have a pint again.

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