Kenneth James Merriss Jr., age 77, of Grand Rapids, went to join his heavenly family on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Ken proudly served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. He was a past commander and longtime member of the American Legion Post #154 for many years. He loved fishing, GPS’ 😊, watching “grandpa shows,” and he was a boating aficionado. He will be lovingly remembered by Shelley and Jeff Pratt, Courtney Merriss Prange and Kevin Prange, Justin and Christi Merriss; grandchildren: Tanner and Amy Pratt, Nate and Amelia Pratt, Olivia Merriss, Hailey Merriss; 4 great grandchildren: Holden, Raegan, Oliver, and Ethan; 5 grand fur babies: Bandit, Mara, Khloe, Maverick, Toby; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Sheryl. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 29, 2022 at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4031 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming, with Rev. Scott Nolan presiding. Burial will be held at Fort Custer. Relatives and friends may meet the family Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4031 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming and also Friday one hour prior to the service. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (https://www.michigan.gov/mvh/support/make-a-gift).
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April 29, 2022 12:07am
Shelley, Courtney, and Justin: I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I hope you find peace, comfort, and love during this difficult time. I have so many precious memories of your dad growing up next door to your family. I always got excited when your family would pile all of us kids in the station wagon and take us boating, sledding, and fishing. Sometimes we met at the lake so both of our families could have our boats on the water together. There were a few times where my dad would race your dad with their boats. Your dad’s boat always won; every time! We always knew your dad’s boat would win but it was great fun, nonetheless. Your dad would get his “payback” at the sledding hill. 😉 There were many memories of our endless summer days. I always remember your dad grilling delicious meals and many times during the summer, we could smell your dad’s BBQ cooking from our house. Later, when we were in our teens, your dad once installed a manual switch on the inside of my first car so that I could turn on the radiator fan because my little old, "new" car would overheat. When Courtney was away at college and I happened to be on leave visiting my family, your dad took the day to drive me to see her swim at one of her meets when she was attending St. Mary’s College in IN. He was a very kind and generous person. As I got older, visiting your family would always feel like “home” and it was those visits where we would reminisce of the wonderful times we all had together. Those moments were very special times. It was those moments where I truly began to really appreciate growing up next door to your family. Your dad had many interesting stories and advice to share He will be missed by all. I will always remember that twinkle in his eye when he smiled. “Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us everyday.”
April 27, 2022 12:39am
Shelly, Courtney, Justin and extended family: I extend my deepest and sincerest sympathy for the loss of your dad and grandfather. He was a kind and caring neighbor to our family many years ago. I remember the fun times we all shared taking our boats out so that your mom, you and my kids could go tubing at Reeds Lake and Morrison Lake. I will never forget the many invitations to dinner that your parents extended to me after my kids joined the Navy. It gave me the opportunity to get to know him in a different light as he shared his memories of his time in the service and always told me how proud he was of them for their service to our country. Your dad was a very generous and kindhearted man who easily made friends of those who were once strangers. You three are his legacy and his wonderful attributes will continue to shine in you as you pass them on to your families. May God bless you all and comfort you at this time of loss.
April 26, 2022 10:29am
Ken was a 21 year Member of the Roger B. Chaffee Memorial American Legion Post 154 in Wyoming, MI. Rest In Peace Ken. Thank you for your service🇺🇸 You will be missed by many of your friends and fellow Legionnaires.
- John D. Pike
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