Sunday, April 19, 2015
1:00 PM EDT
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
VFW - Otsego Post 3030
124 North Farmer Street
Otsego, MI 49078
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Cecil F. Lamorandier was a devoted family man who valued his ancestry. He instilled pride in his roots and inspired his loved ones to respect their heritage. He was sincere and generous, patient and warm. Being laid-back, he took life easy, yet being sociable, he made life fun for those around him. His children and grandchildren carry on his legacy of love, honor and dignity.
Cecil Frances was born to Robert and Anita (Empey) Lamorandier in Newaygo, Michigan on October 21, 1924. At the time, the United States was experiencing growth in industry and employment following World War I. Cecil came of age during the Great Depression and met the challenge of a second world war, numbering him among those who have been called “The Greatest Generation.”
Cecil was one of 14 children born and raised on the family farm in Newaygo. The original cabin was documented from 1867 and remains in the family to this day. The farmhouse burned down when Cecil was 7 years old, and while the house was being rebuilt, the family actually lived in the chicken coop for part of the time. Those were the kinds of sacrifices families made to stay on the land of their birth. In adulthood, Cecil was instrumental in keeping the property in the family and developing somewhat of a campground on site. Over the years, thousands of family and friends camped on the property at no charge, and many tubed and climbed the hill in the back forty. Over the years many enjoyed snowmobiling on the trails Cecil and Betty made around the property. The only requirement was that they clean up after themselves, and in that way, everyone could enjoy the acreage that Cecil cherished.
In addition to the land, Cecil’s family history was very important to him. The Lamorandiers are Ottawa Indian, and Cecil’s interest in his heritage only grew as he researched his background. He worked diligently to ensure all of his siblings and children were made part of the Little River Band of Ottawa. Having their culture recognized further enhanced Cecil’s pride.
In his youth, Cecil had attended school through the 9th grade and then helped work the farm with his family. At age 19, he joined the U.S. Army and proudly served as a paratrooper in the Pacific Tour. Stationed primarily in the Philippines, he completed his military duty in 1946 and was honorably discharged with the thanks of a grateful nation.
As a veteran, Cecil was a charter member of the VFW post in Comstock and a life member of the Otsego VFW Post 3030. His first job after the war became his lifelong employment. Cecil worked for Consumer’s Energy as a boiler operator until his retirement in 1983.
Love and marriage came to Cecil in an unusual way. He and his brother Ken had been set up on blind dates by their sister-in-law Helen. One evening, she arranged for Ken and Cecil to meet two of her nursing friends, Betty for Ken and Lil for Cecil. Somewhere along the way, the brothers decided to shift the arrangement and fate proved them right. Ken eventually married Lil and Cecil married Betty on April 30, 1949.
Four children were born to Cecil and Betty—Sue, Larry, Gary, and Gail—and any time the family was together, Cecil was happy. They often went camping on the family property or took cross country trips to relatives in California. Near or far, they hauled their Apache pop-up camper wherever they went. Also, Cecil satisfied another favorite pastime. He frequently fished at “Walleye Alley” on Hardy Pond near the property.
As a parent, Cecil was a very involved dad. Nothing pleased him more than having his kids hang out at home, especially if their friends came over. That way, he always knew where his children were. When he became a grandfather, Cecil was thrilled to spend time with his grandkids, who kept him young.
At one stage of life, Cecil and Betty had bought a house on James Street with the intention of fixing it up and moving the family to a bigger place. He often said he was still working at it; there were too many other activities to occupy his time. He played cards, especially penny ante poker, and he dabbled in woodcraft, making walking sticks and canes. The family dogs, Lady and later Chunky, added to his quality of life. Cecil lived well and happy. He was snug in his chair at home when he passed away at age 90.
Cecil F. Lamorandier of Plainwell, Michigan, died Monday, April 6, 2015. A graveside memorial service with military honors will be held on Sunday April 19th at 1:00 p.m. at Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell. Cecil was preceded in death by his wife Betty in 2009, grandson Doug Ingram in 2014, great grandson Jackson Kahler in 2006 as well as 9 brothers and 3 sisters. He is survived by his children Sue (Bob) Ingram, Larry (Ursula) Lamorandier, Gary (Sandy) Lamorandier and Gail (Russ) Morris, 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, his brother Ray Lamorandier, his sister-in-law Lil Lamorandier and Marge Lamorandier as well as many other relatives. Visit Cecil’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his complete life story, archive a memory and sign the guestbook. Memorial donations may be made to VFW Post 3030 in Otsego.