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Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI

OBITUARY

George Richard Grettenberger

April 16, 1930July 28, 2019

George Richard Grettenberger died Sunday, July 28, 2019 at the age of 89. George was born on April 16, 1930 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Louis and Edith Grettenberger.

He graduated from high school in Grand Rapids in 1948 and from the University of Michigan in 1952 with a BA in History. He then attended Boston University School of Theology, where he earned a Master of Divinity in 1955, and also met his future wife, Diane.

He entered the ministry with the United Methodist Church in 1955, and served churches in Middleville, Lansing, Cadillac, Mason and Jackson, Michigan. He also served as a missionary in Cordoba, Argentina from 1959 to 1964. He “retired” from the ministry, and moved to Okemos, Michigan, where he served as an associate pastor at Okemos Community Church until 2015.

George was active in the community, serving as president both of Friends of Historic Meridian Village and the Okemos Kiwanis.

George loved gardening, reading and travel, and he led mission trips to Bolivia, Haiti and Nicaragua. He served for many years as chair of the Michigan Area Haiti Task Force for the United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Diane; and his 4 children, John Grettenberger (Mary) of Olympia, WA, Susan Grettenberger (Nicole) of Lansing, MI, Charlotte Fitzgerald (Bruce) of Houghton Lake, MI and Louis Grettenberger (Karen) of Grand Haven, MI. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

A celebration of George’s life will be held at 2:00 PM Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at Okemos Community Church. The family will receive friends and family from 6-8 PM on Monday, August 5, 2019 at Okemos Community Church.

An interment service will be held at a later date at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Arrangements by Gorsline Runciman, East Lansing.

Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.greastlansing.com

Services

  • Visitation Monday, August 5, 2019
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Memories

George Richard Grettenberger

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Karen Wheat

August 15, 2019

Dear Family.
Deepest sympathy at George's passing. He was a fine man and a great pastor. He will be missed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Reverend Karen Slager Wheat

Jean Bement

August 4, 2019

I have many pleasant memories of Rev. Grettenberger from my youth when he was pastor of Mason FUMC. He was always so caring and genuine. A perfect example and my fondest memory of him:

One day, he ran into my dad in town and simply expressed that he missed seeing him in church. Dad allowed as how we had hay to put up over the weekend for our dairy cattle and most likely would not make it to church (meaning his teen children and farm hands). Saturday morning, as I stood on the wagon unloading hay bales on an elevator to get them high up in the barn, who should drive in? Reverend Grettenberger -- dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt and ready to work. And work he did -- putting up hay through the afternoon, so we got everything in the barn before the inevitable rain came. The next morning, our father came to church with us, and we even went out to lunch after -- a special treat.

My prayers are with Mrs. Grettenberger (my beloved high school Spanish teacher) and the entire family as you mourn. May your happy memories, and God's grace bring you much comfort. Blessings to you...

Cindi McKenney

August 3, 2019

Dear Diane and family I’m so very sorry for your loss. George was a wonderful man and servant of God. I am going to miss the service but know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Bill and Judy Johnson

August 2, 2019

We send our love and good memories to your family, especially those we knew - Diane, Susan and Lou. We surround you all with our prayers and warmth. George was a truth-telling, compassionate pastor with a keen mind and giving heart. He influenced us more than he knew.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, always.

Janet Lee

August 1, 2019

My first contact with George was at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan in the Fall of 1949 when I entered UofM. He was always a very caring human, and I am proud to call him a Christian friend throughout the years. Janet Lee, Hillsdale.

Joan Irvine

August 1, 2019

George, Diane and family have been special friends of my husband and I and children for many years. We will miss George a lot. When he was a pastor at the United Methodist Church in Cadillac he helped us grow in faith. I am grateful for his influence on me and my family.
God bless his family at this difficult time.
Joan Irvine

Brad Bunn

August 1, 2019

It was such an honor to follow in George's footsteps as the Associate Pastor at Okemos Community Church. I appreciated the support and encouragement from both George and Diane when my family moved to Okemos. What a testament of a life full of compassion, love, and hope. We love you all! -Brad, Erika, Kaetlyn, Bryce, Ava, and Evan

Olin Mace

August 1, 2019

Our thoughts are with you as you reflect on George’s very full life.

Olie and George were neighbors and classmates through high school in Grand Rapids.

We lived in Okemos for 35 years and remember George’s uncle owned the drug store in Okemos in the 1950’s

Our home was in Hiawatha Park, a former Grettenberger farm.

Small world.

Olie and Jan Mace

Joyce Combellack-Lutz-Sempert

July 31, 2019

Dear Diane, I was saddened to see of George’s passing. Seeing his picture brought back many memories of Middleville and the support you and he gave me when David was in the army and when he answered the call to the ministry. I was very thankful to you for that support then and even now. You have been a blessing to me. May God’s blessings be with you and your family every day during these days of sorrow. I know God is with you and loves you. With love, Joyce (Leonard) Sempert, Homosassa, FL , daughter Kathryn Strouse (Michael) of North Star, Mi., Karen Hartman (William), Homosassa, FL and David, Jr. (Debra), Portage, MI

Mike and Dalene Wilkinson

July 31, 2019

Diane, John, Sue, Char, Louie, and families, We are so sad to hear of George's passing. We have so many dear memories of him and all of you. His legacy will live on in our church and our hearts. He married us almost 50 years ago here in Cadillac and we will never forget him or any of you. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Dalene and Mike Wilkinson

FROM THE FAMILY