It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Christian Scott Bileth, age 56, of Grand Rapids, MI. He passed away on Saturday, January 2, 2022. Christian will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 25 years, Theresa; their children, Ashley, Julia, Brooke; his parents, Jack (Karen) Bileth, Diane (Kenneth) Ulrich; his siblings, Timothy Bileth, Deanna (Zachary) Cochran, Angie Galey, Jennifer Bileth, Brandi (Bart) Mensinger; mother-in-law, Linda Ashley; brothers-in-law and sisters in law, Bob (Sheri) Ashley, Tamara (Jason) Ashley-Oswalt; extended family and beloved friends.
Christian was born January 10, 1965 at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. He once said the greatest gift his parents gave him was a big family full of characters. He had fond memories of time spent with his family at the lake house, holidays, the family camping site up North, and many other gatherings where he shared laughter with his loved ones. There are many stories of Christian taking on the role of nurturing big brother throughout his life with siblings, cousins, and friends. He also had a special relationship with his Grandparents on both sides. He listened intently as they shared their stories and life lessons. He knew it was a blessing to share that wisdom with his children.
He had many achievements, but no goal was more important to him than being a family man. Christian’s main focus in life was being an amazing parent. He was a natural caregiver. He was present, attentive, loving, supportive, protective, proud, compassionate, and a patient listener. He was always front row center for his children. A nurturer. Christian and Theresa were best friends for nearly 30 years. He was her biggest supporter and the love of her life. He loved family time. Nightly dinners with candles and music were important. He enjoyed cooking, game nights, nature hikes, and countless traditions. Being intentional and creating memories and meaningful traditions out of moments was his specialty.
Christian exuded confidence and lifted those around him. He had many friends who shared his hobbies. He refereed soccer for MHSAA for decades. He enjoyed football and poker leagues, played hockey, loved concerts and live music, theater, dinner parties, jazz nights, and many adventures with dear friends. Christian believed friends were chosen family.
People will remember Christian’s community-minded giving spirit as a man who led by example. He was a leader in many ways. He never hesitated to donate his time and talent to help friends, neighbors, local non-profits, and others in need through his ongoing volunteer efforts. He was a confident public speaker and often in a teaching role. He was an advocate for the underdog. He stood up for people and respected differences without judgment. He treated people with dignity and respect.
Christian fought Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer from late 2018 until Covid took him from us on January 2, 2022. His loving spirit and light lives on in his children, and in all of us who shared his experiences and adventures.
Memorial services will be held at 11am on Friday, January 28 at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4646 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood. Relatives and friends may meet the family for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Masks will be required. The burial at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens will be for immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations of support for the family can be made at https://gofund.me/7b1717e0