GERLOFS - Deaths

Elzo "Al" Gerlofs

     Elzo “Al” Gerlofs, 82, of Richland passed away peacefully at his home with his loving family at his side on Monday morning, March 2, 2009.  He was born in Kalamazoo on January 20, 1927 the son of John and Alice (Doorlag) Gerlofs.  Al attended Kalamazoo Christian & Public Schools and then served his country as a member of the United States Navy during WWII.  He retired from W. Soule & Company in 1985 after more than 40 years of faithful service to the sheet metal industry.

     Al married Mary Rose Vormittag in Ludington, Michigan on April 14, 1951; she survives.  He is also survived by his children, John (Gwen) of Kalamazoo, Mike (Michele) of Hickory Corners, Mark (Jackie) of Hudsonville, Kurt (Shari) of Parchment and Ken (Nancy) of Denver, Colorado; six grandchildren, Ben, Annie, Victoria, Haley, Sydney, Kyra and his sisters, Sue Esterline, Harriet Hagadone and Esther Hippen.  Al was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Peter & Uko Gerlofs.

      Al was a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local #7.  Known as the “World’s Greatest Grandpa”, he coached little league for many years & was a Gull Lake Sports Grandpa and supporter of the Richland Public Library.  Al was an avid hunter and also played baseball for years with the Third Reformed Church of Kalamazoo.

     At the request of the family, they will receive friends 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Wednesday at the Farley-Estes & Dowdle Richland Chapel, 9170 East D. Avenue, Richland.  Funeral services to celebrate Al’s life will be held 1:00 p.m., Thursday at the funeral home with his son, Mark Gerlofs, officiating.  Interment with full military honors will follow at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Richland Public Library or Borgess Visiting Nurse & Hospice would be appreciated.  Personal messages for the family may be placed by clicking the link below.

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