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.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
6520 North Andrews Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309-2130
Charity of Your Choice
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Garnet Nesbitt was a salt-of-the-earth person who worked closely with the land and even more closely with her family. She was invested in the lives of her children and grandchildren and was extremely proud of them. She was independent, honest and forthright in speaking her mind. Never wanting to owe anything to anyone, she was still generous in her expenditure of kindness to everyone. Garnet lived her life fully as the great blessing that she was to all who loved her.
Garnet came into the world during difficult times and, like many others of her generation who survived economic depression and a brutal world war, she was shaped by the values of hard work, sacrifice and self sufficiently. Born prematurely, Garnet was small enough to sleep in a shoe box placed next to the fire for warmth.
Garnet was the fourth of five children growing up and helping work the family farm on East “TU” Avenue in Schoolcraft, Michigan. She attended the country schools at the Clark School House through 8th grade and then went 6 miles away to Schoolcraft for three years of high school working for room & board. During her senior year, bus service was available for the 25 mile daily round trip commute to Mattawan Schools, from which she graduated in 1938. She then took a job as house keeper and during her term of service cooked dinner for Eleanor Roosevelt (the President’s Wife) who visited her house of employment.
She met her future husband, Floyd Nesbitt, at a Grange dance. The two struck up a friendship that grew into love and commitment. They married on March 5, 1939 at the Porter Church and settled in Porter Township in the recently vacated home of Floyd’s grandmother. They began their family in 1941 with the birth of their first child. In 1945 they moved a couple miles to their own family farm where Floyd raised dairy, grapes and field crops.
As a loving wife and mother of six children, Garnet presided over her home as a “Domestic Goddess” (a title coined by her family). In addition to the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, Garnet helped with farm duties, grew vegetables, canned the likes of tomatoes and bread-and-butter pickles, kept a garden, sewed most of the family’s clothes and sang her way through dish washing. Among her tasty food dishes, she made potato salad, goulash, beef and noodles, liver and onions as well as molasses cookies. To the delight of her children especially, Garnet always had fresh baked cookies in the house. A special family treat was homemade ice cream turned on a hand crank freezer often times done when school was cancelled because of a snow day.
For leisure, Garnet read print material from cover to cover, whether it was a book or the daily Kalamazoo Gazette. Showing similar thoroughness, she could work jigsaw puzzles for months at a time, determined to complete them no matter how long they took. With Floyd, she played cards (pinochle and canasta) and dominos. She always wanted to watch the local news ‘to find out what was going on’.
Together they wintered in Texas, Arizona and several years in Florida. They also vacationed once in Hawaii. Garnet joined Floyd in his eagerness to travel, but always insisted she belonged back home with the family, especially when she became a grandparent.
When it came to grandchildren, Garnet was never too busy to cradle a baby, take part in what the children wanted to play (right up to the end) or sew clothes for their dolls. She enjoyed teaching and sharing her baking and sewing skills with her grandchildren and having them for “stay overs.” A special rite was teaching each Grandchild how to play pinochle. She made herself available to them at all times and amused them with her dry sense of humor: “Take care, Grandma,” they might say as they would leave, and she would jokingly respond, “I’ll take anything I can get."
Garnet stayed connected with her family through letters. She couldn’t imagine any one talking on the phone for longer than 5 minutes. If you did you were wasting money. She was a great letter writer, crafting words onto paper that sounded like she spoke and showing genuine concern for everyone by remembering their special days with a card. Her care for her family was also expressed in her dedication to planting red geraniums at the graves of her loved ones. In this and so many other ways, Garnet showed her spiritual heart and the love of God.
Garnet Nesbitt passed peacefully in her sleep, January 24, 2015. Born December 12, 1920 in Prairie Ronde Township, the daughter of Earl and Blanche (Hamlin) Decker. She was a resident of Porter Township for 75 years, a member of the Vineyard Grange #1670, Prairie Ronde Ladies Aid and a member of the National Grape Cooperative for 59 years.
Garnet was united in marriage to Floyd on March 5, 1939 and they shared 56 years together. She was predeceased by her husband, her parents and three brothers Kenneth, Donald, Lyle, one sister Genevieve Decker and a great granddaughter Mackenzie Mohney.
She is survived by her six children and spouses: Kenneth, Keith (Elayne), Gordon (Ann), Brenda, Nancy (Eugene) Mohney and Sue (Steven) Rigoni. She is also survived by twelve grandchildren: Ayn (Brian Barney), Lance (Lisa Braz), Andrew (Abbey Dorr), Aaron (Jennifer), Aric, April, Angel (Tom Wold), Jason (Wendy), Laura Mohney, Keith (Beth), Theresa, and Dean Rigoni; four great grandchildren: Alexandra and Jonathan Nesbitt, Richard and Malachi Wold.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday 2:30 pm at the Life story Funeral Homes, Betzler & Thompson – Paw Paw; 60900 M-40 Highway (657-3870). The family will be present to receive friends preceding the services from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Interment Oak Grove Cemetery. Following the burial, food and fellowship will be shared at the Porter Township Hall. Memorials may be made to the MS Foundation or the charity of your choice. Please visit Garnet’s personal web page www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook.