Pastor Gary Gladfelter
Pastor Gary Gladfelter’s legacy did not come to an end with his death. Gary met his Savior on January 16, 2022, at the age of 65. He was a loving husband to his wife, Peggy, devoted dad to three children, Alicia, Candace and Micah, and adoring “Poppy” to five grandchildren, Ayden, Ella, Emery, Norah, and Piper. He lived a life loving others and his acts of service knew no bounds, from fixing broken pipes, to mending broken lives with the love of Jesus.
Gary was born on June 7, 1956, in Hanover, Pennsylvania. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Bob Jones University and obtained a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. He went on to teaching and administration in Toledo, Ohio, Greenville, South Carolina, Ft. Lupton, Colorado, and Plantation, Florida. This is where he felt God’s calling to church ministry. He moved to Elk Rapids, Michigan in 1990, and took on the dual role of ministering to his church as well the students of the Elk Rapids School District as a beloved bus driver of 19 years. He also served faithfully for over 32 years at Elk Rapids Bible Church.
If you wanted to find Gary in the fall, if would be safe to assume he was out hunting with his son, Micah. You could also find him helping both of his daughters make their home renovation ideas come to life. He made many Pinterest ideas come to fruition. He loved taking trips with Peggy and sending “selfies” to their kids of their many adventures. His eyes would light up whenever his grandkids ran into the house yelling, “Poppy, we’re here!”
Gary is survived by his parents, Art and Eileen Gladfelter; siblings, 8-minute-younger, identical twin brother, Terry; red-headed siblings, Lynn and Jennifer; wife, Peggy; children, Alicia (Todd) Key, Candace (Joshua) Tomei, and Micah Gladfelter; grandchildren, Ayden, Ella, Emery, Norah and Piper; and many nieces and nephews. Although they mourn the loss of him being gone too soon, they cling to the knowledge that they will one day see him again.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Elk Rapids Bible Church, in Elk Rapids, with visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m.
In honor of Gary’s memory and in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Elk Rapids Bible Church Mission Fund.
Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Covell-Elk Rapids Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. www.beaconfh.com
Harold G. Sanford
Harold G. Sanford, 91, of Whitewater Township, passed away on January 13, 2022 at Munson Hospice House.
He was born on July 21, 1930, in Echo Township, Antrim County, the son of Francis and Segna (Polander) Sanford.
Harold was a resident of Milton Township for many years prior to moving to Whitewater Township in 1978. In his younger years, he was employed by the machine shop Key-2 in Elk Rapids as well as Davis Electric.
He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a member of the Elk Rapids AMVETS. He was also a member of the Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City.
Harold loved to hunt, garden, watch NASCAR, and rebuild Model A’s. He had many friends that he liked to share beers with. He will be greatly missed by many.
On June 4, 1955, in Mancelona, Harold married Alice (Ottgen) Sanford, who survives. Also surviving are five children, Laurie (Chris) Copeland, Kelly (Terry) Stachnik, Katherine Sanford (Robert Beuthin), Tammie (Craig) Barnhart, Christopher (Mariana) Sanford, son-in-law Tony Dean, 16 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren.
He was a loving husband, great father and grandfather.
Preceding him in death were a daughter Stephanie Dean, his parents Francis and Segna Sanford, a brother Burton Sanford and a sister Vivian Birdsey.
Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 403 Traverse St., Elk Rapids, Ml 49629, with Rev. Canon C. Anne Hallmark officiating. Burial will take place in Circle Hill Cemetery, Whitewater Township.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Elk Rapids AMVETS Post 114, P.O. Box 144, Elk Rapids, MI 49629.
Arrangements are in the care of the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.
James Ward Swindlehurst
James Ward Swindlehurst left this earth on December 24, 2021, in Lansing, Michigan with his wife, Kayla, his parents and Kayla’s parents by his side. Born April 15, 1988, at 8:01p.m. in Traverse City, Michigan to Wayne and Mary Ann (Wehr) Swindlehurst, who view the day of his birth as the best day of their life.
James did everything with such purpose and made everyone that he met feel so meaningful. He used his great passion for life to serve others. James loved his wife, Kayla, with every ounce of his soul, her name rolled lovingly off his tongue, and his eyes sparkled at the thought of her. James lived large and loved large with their Great Dane Eli always at his side.
James filled a room with enduring confidence, his presence couldn’t be missed. With a sense of humor, the ability to tell a story, a strong will, loyalty, and compassion, he touched more lives in his short lifetime than most people ever do. An angel placed on this earth to perform God’s work. James rescued people from car wrecks, restarted hearts, birthed babies, saved countless lives, and comforted many more.
James loved to ski on Mt. Hood and go white water rafting in Oregon. He was a three-year captain of his ski team and played lacrosse and football with great passion. When not playing, he was cheering on his beloved Okemos Chiefs. His friendships so deep that many viewed him as their brother. He was a born leader with the ability to think fast and maneuver quickly. He used this skill to become one of the best medics to ever serve. He became a firefighter and was ever so proud of that role.
James had a genius intellect and a memory that forgot no fact or no person. With a never-ending thirst for knowledge his ability to teach was a gift. He courageously took on every challenge. He had a passion for history, especially military history, and a greater passion for people. He was proud of his ability to mentor young medics and took this role with all seriousness for he knew that they would face great challenges and be depended upon by people experiencing the worst day of their life.
James’ father was his hero, and together they spent hours in their woodshop. Every chance he had he’d teach other medics about his dad’s hemophilia. He accepted no mistakes from anyone, he feared no one, and would speak up to everyone. In a short-staffed intensive care unit James corrected an ICU doctor who was incorrectly attempting to start an IV in his father’s arm. The doctor turned the job over to James who skillfully placed the IV. As James left the ICU, he was given the respect of the staff; when he was right, he was right, and he was never wrong.
James was born under miraculous circumstances, placed here to perform miracles and miracles he performed. His was a life well lived. James left hundreds of broken-hearted souls, including family members too numerous to count, friends who will keep him alive in their hearts forever, and a community that he passionately loved. He also left his loving wife and their unborn child. None of it makes sense. James, with such a zest for doing things right didn’t leave business unfinished. God has some plan that is unknown to us. James, you are a hero, and Kayla and your child will now have that family, those friends, and the community to watch over your final miracle, a hero’s wife and his child. Rest in Peace and may God be with you.
Preceded in death by too many close and loving relatives to name, including his maternal grandparents Patricia Ruth (Sleder) Wehr and Ward Thomas Wehr, and his paternal grandfather Aubrey James (Jim) Swindlehurst. James leaves behind his parents, Mary Ann Wehr-Swindlehurst, and Wayne Ivan Swindlehurst; his paternal grandmother, Margaret Greilick and grandmother Shirley Wehr; wife, Kayla Swindlehurst; Kayla’s mom, Barbara Schafer-Spagnuolo and Joe Spagnuolo; and Kayla’s dad, Paul Travis and Barb Travis.
James was a dedicated paramedic who believed strongly in the paramedic program at Lansing Community College (LCC). He wanted nothing more than to have an army of dedicated paramedics in the field. The family asks that James’ memory be honored by a donation to the James Ward Swindlehurst Memorial Scholarship at LCC: https://www.lcc.edu/foundation/givenow/swindlehurst.html