Chapter Eternals

Bruce Bjorseth

Bruce B. Bjorseth, 83, of Cedar Rapids, died peace-fully at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids after a long illness on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Bruce was born Jan. 2, 1932, in Battle Creek, Mich., the son of Knute and Lillian (Lindquist) Bjorseth. He grew up in Battle Creek and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1954, with a degree in business administration. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, a first lieutenant, and served during the Korean War. He married Patricia Sincock on June 18, 1955, and they would have celebrated their 60th anniversary in June.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Pat; daughter, Karin Bjorseth of Des Moines; son, John (Holly) Bjorseth of Buffalo, Minn.; and daughters, Lisa (Greg) Thoreson of Prosper, Texas, and Ann (Jay) Murphy of Marion; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Bruce worked at Collins Radio/Rockwell International until his retirement in 1991.

He has been a member of First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids for 52 years. Bruce was a past member of the Evening Lions Club, Sons of Norway and the Collins Management Club.

A service will be held this summer in Eagle Harbor, Mich., a town where Bruce and Pat spent their summers at their family cottage for many years.

Memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 510 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 or the Keweenaw County Historical Society, 670 Lighthouse Rd., Eagle Harbor, MI 49950.


John F. Grayson

John F Grayson, 89, died very peacefully at home on October 31, 2017 in Durango CO.

John was born on March 23, 1928 in Bay City, MI to William and Marie Grzybowski. He graduated early from high school in order to serve in the US Army. He met and married the love of his life, Louise, in 1951 at the University of Michigan from where they both graduated. He received a bachelors, masters and PhD in geology, paleontology, and palynology, respectively, ending in 1954. This resulted in a long and rewarding career as a research scientist for both Mobil Oil in Dallas and Standard Oil of Indiana, or, as it is now known, Amoco, in Tulsa, OK. His retirement years were in Durango where he built his dream home in Durango Hills. He and Louise were active parents of four children for 66 years and Louise pre-deceased him by only two months.

His older brother, Ernest Grayson, and a younger sister, Rosie Holysko, preceded him in death and he is survived by a younger sister, Betty Swincicki, of Phoenix AZ. He is survived by his children: Kathleen Marie Brook and her husband, Peter Szydlowski, of Santa Cruz, CA; Susan Grayson Moore and her husband, Matt, of Durango CO; Nancy Ellen Grayson and her husband, Donnie Francis, of Kingfisher, OK; and David John Grayson and his wife, Mary, of La Grange Park, IL. He has three granddaughters and three grandsons.

He and his wife, Louise, will have a joint memorial service to be held May 26, 2018 at 2 PM in the Durango Arts Center Gallery.

Published by The Durango Herald on Nov. 15, 2017.


Dr. Lawrence Michael Kinstle

Dr. Lawrence Michael Kinstle, born March 14, 1931, died peacefully at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the age of 88.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence John Kinstle and Agnes (Desch) Kinstle, as well as his sister Joanne Kinstle Bain. He is survived by his wife of 62 years Alice Evelyn (Goan) Kinstle, his son Michael L. Kinstle (Janine), daughter Karen A. Slotman (Jack), and son Patrick J. Kinstle (Kim). He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Tom and Jake Kinstle, Patrick and Jaclyn Slotman, and Kelsey, Kacie, Ally and Lauren Kinstle.

Larry was born in Flint, Michigan. He attended Milford High School in Milford, Michigan where he excelled both academically and athletically, graduating in 1949. He enjoyed baseball, where cherished news clippings document he pitched a no-hit game his senior year. After high school, Larry enrolled at the University of Michigan where he obtained both his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in dentistry in 1956. During summer breaks Larry worked at General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford as a vehicle test driver. Larry served as a lieutenant in the US Navy providing dental services at the Marine Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. He then successfully managed his private dental practice in Highland, Michigan until his retirement in 1998.

 Larry was a loving, generous and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was an avid reader of novels, enjoyed the outdoors hunting, fishing, and traveling with Alice as well as playing his most beloved sport, golf. Larry was a member of Edgewood Country Club in Union Lake, MI for 38 years before retiring to Grand Rapids to be closer to his children. He remained a life-long Michigan Wolverine regularly attending games at the Big House. His mild manner and intelligent humor will be missed by all his family and friends. A memorial visitation is scheduled on Friday, November 22, 2019 from 10:00 to 12:00 am at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe St., Rockford MI 49341. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Spectrum Health Hospice of Grand Rapids.


Dr. Robert R. Scharp, Jr.

Longtime area dentist Dr. Robert R. Scharp, Jr., 76, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, at his residence.

He was born Nov. 11, 1942, in Ypsilanti, the son of Robert and Doris (Townsley) Scharp.

In 1950, his family moved to Belleville, where he attended grade school and high school. Bob was a member of the National Honor Society, a drum major in the marching band and played varsity basketball and baseball.

Attending the University of Michigan, he earned his undergraduate degree and, ultimately, his DDS degree, in 1969. He was an active member of the American Dental Association.

After graduating from U of M, Dr. Scharp practiced on Drummond Island for about a year. He then moved to Big Rapids, and opened a dental office with Dr. Richard Stern. For many years, he owned and operated Big Rapids Dental Health Care, and recently opened Reed City Dental Health Care. He loved new technology and was always looking for new ways to improve dental health care for his patients. He truly felt that his patients were friends, not patients.

Bob was a longtime member and former president of the Meceola Country Club and a member at Tullymore Golf Club. In his earlier years, he was an active outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, especially at the Scharp’s Deer Camp, and fishing. He particularly enjoyed taking pictures of family gatherings, sporting events and wildlife. Traveling to watch their grandkids play hockey was a favorite for Bob and Susie. Hockey gave them a chance to visit Powell River in British Columbia, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine and all around Michigan.

On Nov. 29, 1992, Robert married the love of his life, Susie, who survives. Also surviving are his two sons, Daniel Boone (Tam) and Thomas Scharp, both of Kingsley; his brother, Edgar (Deb) Scharp, of Brighton; step-children Wendy (Brett) Hawes, of Cedar Springs and Bryan (Dena) Marek, of Big Rapids; nine grandchildren, Haley (Zach) Troyer, Mitchell Hawes, Taylor Gibison, Bradley Marek, Taylor Cox Scharp, River Scharp, Eme Scharp, twins, Aiden and Addison Clarke; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jacquelyn Kay (Scharp) Scott.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Riley MacKenzie Fund, ARC of Mecosta County, BR Hospice or the charity of your choice.

Care and arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Share a memory or express condolences at

Published by Big Rapids Pioneer from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22, 2019.


Donald Joseph Skinner

Donald Joseph Skinner passed away at the age of 85 on December 7, 2016 at Our Lady of Fatima Villa Nursing Home in Saratoga, California.

Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Don was the only child of Joseph and Marge (née Astrid Margaretta Jensen) Skinner.   From them, he was of English and Danish ancestry.  He was raised in Hastings, MI.  Later he attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a B.A. in Architecture in 1956 and a M.A. in City Planning in 1959.  During his undergraduate years, he made lifelong friends among his Delta Chi Fraternity brothers, who included Bill Thewalt, Tom Michalski, Tom French, and Bill Cortright.  He was a charter member of the American Institute of City Planners and member of the American Planning Assoc.  For all of his adult life, he was a faithful and active Episcopalian, who served as a lay Eucharistic minister, lector, and Vestry member.  He also loved Taizé services, Cursillo music, and the interplay of spirituality and creativity.

He was married to Paula (née Curtin) Skinner for 25 years, and they had two children, Christen and Matthew.  Chris married David Agnello and they have two children, Xander and Serra.  Matt married Heidi and they have two children, Ryane and Nick.  In 1993, Don married The Rev. Debra Low-Skinner at St. Luke’s in Los Gatos.  During Debbie’s 20-year clerical career, they lived in Monterey, CA; New Bedford, MA; Long Island, NY; and Campbell, CA.

 During Don’s nearly 40 year career as an urban planner, he worked as plan-ning and management staff for the planning departments of Detroit MI, Oakland County MI, and Chicago, IL (where he became friends with Dean Macris and Tom Melone); the New England Regional Commission in Boston MA; and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in Berkeley, CA.  Then Don, with his ABAG friends, Don Woolfe, Leon Pirofalo, and Bob Harrison, founded the consulting group Planning Research Associates.  

Don enjoyed newspaper reading (especially op-eds); following politics, local planning issues, and sports (especially UofM football, tennis, and Boston Red Sox baseball); doing pen and ink drawings of churches and homes; taking photos; and taking car trips. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 or a charity of your choice.

Family and Friends are invited to attend the Memorial Service at 2:00 P.M. on Friday January 6, 2017 at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, 20 University Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95030