Gretchen Slack Mae Slack Appelt

March 17, 1916December 5, 2011

Gretchen Mae [Slack] Appelt born in Richland Center, Wisconsin March17, 1916 passed away peacefully December 5, 2011. Her family moved to Grand Rapids during her childhood when her father became the display manager for the Wurzburg department store. She was preceded in death by the love of her life Joseph, her parents Leslie and Cathern Slack, her sister Mary and brothers Leslie [Bud] and Robert. She is survived by her sister Doris Ann [Sanny] and brother Nathan. She will be missed by her children Joseph [Melissa], Mary, and Leslie and grandson Nikolas. She also is survived by many nieces and nephews. Education was very important to her. When asked she would tell one that she had attended Palmer school, Creston High School, Junior College and graduated from the University of Michigan. Gretchen was able to attend Michigan during the depression by living and working at the Michigan League. After returning home she worked in the Camp Fire Girls office until she met Joe at a Creston class reunion planning meeting. She left the meeting with Joe and was with him for the next 66 years. The high school year book description of an excellent athlete with ability and cleverness combined could describe her life. She and Joe shared a love of sports attending the U of M football games until they no longer were able and Detroit Tiger ball games. This love she passed on to all her children. They enjoyed playing golf at which she excelled shooting a hole in one in her 80’s. She volunteered with her churches Trinity and Faith Lutheran, the Butterworth Junior Guild, and served as President of the Comstock Park PTA and PTSA. As an alumna of Michigan she was active in the Grand Rapids Federation of U of M Alumnae Clubs, the Alumnae Council, and chair of the local Regents Alumni Scholarship program. Her many other talents include gardening, sewing and multiple needlework techniques. Her children will always remember her as a devoted mother who was there for them encouraging us to succeed in school, letting us have our dogs and cats and caring for them while we were away at school, and as a wonderful cook. The family would like to thank the home health care aides who gave her wonderful care, the staff at Rest Haven Homes for all their loving care and support, and Spectrum Hospice who gave her comfort for her last days. Funeral Services will be held 3:00 PM on Thursday December 8, 2011 at Faith Lutheran Church 2740 Fuller Ave NE. The family will greet friends and relative on Wednesday at Reyers North Valley Chapel 2815 Fuller Ave NE from 2-4PM and 6-8PM and one hour prior to the service at church. Donations may be made to Faith Lutheran Church, The Grand Rapids Community Foundation for U of M Alumnae scholarships, The Spectrum Foundation for the Appelt Healing Garden at the Renucci House, or a charity of your choice.


  • Visitation Wednesday, December 7, 2011
  • Visitation Wednesday, December 7, 2011
  • Visitation Thursday, December 8, 2011
  • Funeral Service Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gretchen Slack Mae Slack Appelt

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Beth Cooper

December 10, 2011

I am so appreciative that I had the privilege to care for Ms. Gretchen.

I look back on the fun times we had together…watching the golf channel, listening to the “oldies” from her era, dancing together as we went from room to room…just a lot of fond memories.

Gretchen, you are truly missed by me…I love you and your family, Mary and her brothers (whom I met briefly).

Keep your chins up…think of the happiness your Mother brought to you all!

Your friend,


December 9, 2011

I would like to extrend my prayers to you all in the family Appelt. I remember so many times at the reunions we have had over the years the thoughts and family background of Gretchen and Joe. I will miss the times I spent with her and the family. Her and Joe's memory will live on with all the relatives.

Comstock Park, MI

Jill and Terry Irvine

December 7, 2011

Terry and I have been neighbors for over 15 years and certainly have many memories of Gretchen. She was such a gracious and vibrant lady with such a love of life. As we talked over the years, we discovered we had many things in common. Her laughter can still be heard, and her memory will live on our hearts.
Jill and Terry Irvine

George Gay

December 6, 2011

Sympathy&prayers to family.Were very classy people & a pleasure to have as clients.Dr.George & Sue Gay veterinarians