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Gerald W. Cushing “Gary” passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, at the age of 83. He was born May 13, 1938, in Stratton, Nebraska, to the late George and Thelma (Wilkenson) Cushing.

Gary completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1960. He married the love of his life, Merlena, on August 28, that same year. They made their home and raised their family in Manistee, Michigan. He became a proud Michigan Cornhusker – the CB handle he adopted in the 70’s. He worked for Dow Chemical in Ludington, MI for several years and retired from Morton Chemical after 30 years of service.

He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and boating. His favorite place to be was on Lake Michigan. Having been raised on a farm, he remained a farmer at heart; maintaining a fabulous garden of vegetables, fruits and flowers at his home. He enjoyed skiing, and was on the National Ski Patrol at Crystal Mountain (in Thompsonville, MI) for many years. Just before retirement, he learned to golf and enjoyed being on a league for many years.  Gary was also a dedicated member of the Manistee Rotary club, he enjoyed working on many community projects with his fellow Rotarians.

Survivors include his wife, Merlena; children, Marna Schuelke, Janelle (Paul) Henderson, and Gerald Cushing; and grandchildren, Chance Claiborne, Paige Claiborne, Lena Henderson, Claire Henderson, Jesse Henderson, Abby Cushing, and Greyson Cushing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thelma and George Wayne Cushing; brother, Roy Cushing; and grandson, Lincoln Cushing Claiborne.

A private memorial service will be held in the spring when the family can all be together to celebrate his life.

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

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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6 Condolences

  1. Richard Stahly on January 4, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Gary and I met when we were about 5 years old. We spent a lot of time in each other’s homes growing up. In later years we enjoyed fishing and pheasant hunting together. We will miss him greatly.
    Love, Richard and Delores

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