Wednesday, February 3, 2016
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
Second Congregational Church
525 Cheshire Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
Second Congregational Church
525 Cheshire Dr.NE
Grand Rapids, MI
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.
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Life Story / Obituary
The foundation of his family life held many blessings for Milton Hein. A dedicated and hard working man, he was foremost a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. In many ways, Milton defined the meaning of great provider and a loving family man to those entrusted to his care. Although he will be dearly missed, Milton’s fine example and unending faith leaves much to be remembered.
Milton’s story began on a typical Michigan, March day in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids. By 1926, the heyday of the Roaring Twenties brought forth exciting times in the U.S. when big bands were king and prohibition was law of the land. Major U.S. manufacturers were implementing the beginning of the eight hour, five day work week, and factory towns were flourishing. Yet for Edward and Mary (Vander Berg) Hein, the days were filled with unparalleled joy when they celebrated the birth of their little boy, Milton Roger Hein on March 27.
Milton’s father was a general contractor who built homes in the area while his mother remained at home as a homemaker. In 1930, when Milton was three, his family moved to a farm in Ada, Michigan. There he grew up alongside his siblings, and although Milton would come to outlive them, they each remained close and enjoyed many great times together throughout the years.
The farm provided much adventure for a young boy like Milton, and working on family farm provided him with much enjoyment. From a young age he learned the value of hard work, and whenever they could they enjoyed memorable times at their family cottage on Miner Lake while holidays were spent creating meaningful memories. Even so, the Great Depression cast a shadow of economic hardship which was clearly felt by all during these tumultuous times.
Milton attended Chase School, a one room schoolhouse one mile from his home. By the age of nine, much of his time was spent on his studies and working the farm, until he met Berniece Clark, a pretty girl who recently moved to the area. Friends and classmates from the start, their youth was spent enjoying times with friends. As they grew older, an innocent and mutual attraction began to develop. When Milton asked Berniece if she was going skating at Bostwick Lake one winter’s day, she said she would if only she had a ride. Since Milton was driving by the age of 14, he didn’t waste any time asking if he could pick Berniece up to go ice skating. From that day on, Milton and Berniece were nearly inseparable.
While Creston High School provided Milton with his high school education, Berniece went on to attend St. Patrick’s High School. Throughout these days, the couple began dating and was the best of companions. With World War II well underway, Milton knew it was only a matter of time before he was called to duty. At the age of 19, Milton and Berniece were happily joined in marriage on August 25, 1945. Unfortunately, a honeymoon was not to be for the young newlyweds as Milton was shipped overseas to Germany to serve in the U.S. Army.
Milton proudly served his country and following his honorable discharge from the service at the age of 22 he contracted polio. After months of therapy, Milton was able to regain most of his physical abilities. Although he had lasting physical difficulties throughout his life, Milton was thankful he was able to go on and lead a productive life.
Milton and Berniece were exceedingly blessed with the births of two children, Gayle and Roy. Having lived in a trailer on his in-law's property in Ada, he later built their family home on his family’s farm property where Milton would continue to live for the remainder of his days. Since 1966, Milton was a member of Second Congregational Church where he and his family attended. With a servant’s heart, he served on several committees at church and he also served as a deacon. Later in life, Milton and Berniece were involved in the Colonial Couples Club and many other groups through church. With quiet faith, Milton led his family by example, and through his love and devotion to Berniece, they witnessed and experienced an unwavering and unconditional love in their home.
Milton was a hard working man. He made a good home and life for Berniece and the kids, and from 1959 to 1980 he worked as the postmaster in Ada. Although working the farm in his younger years rewarding, one of his favorite pastimes came to be working alongside Berniece. Later in life one of Milton’s hobbies included woodworking. He was very good at it and over the years he made many beautiful family clocks and other furniture pieces for their homes, as well as kitchen cabinets. These gorgeous displays of Milton’s handiwork will continue to be treasured for years to come. Along with getting into organic gardening, Milton also collected stamps and carpentry tools and delighted in feeding the birds and watching them.
As a family enjoyable vacations camping throughout northern Michigan and boating on Gun Lake with Milton’s boat provided his family with fun and exciting adventures. They also traveled to many of the U.S. national parks together. Milton’s favorite music was that of Lawrence Welk and country music. For Milton and Berniece’s 50th and 55th wedding anniversaries, they took their family to Nashville, Tennessee to the Grand Ole Opry. Through the years they enjoyed many family get-togethers dining out at Bill Knapp's Restaurant and Schnitzels Cafeteria. Milton particularly loved Zehnder’s Restaurant and Foodstore in Frankenmuth, Michigan. When it came to cooking, Milton was a pretty good cook in his own right and on the grill, but nothing compared to Berniece’s delicious cooking. More than anything, he especially loved her homemade apple pie.
Milton considered his life richly blessed in many ways. He had a dear wife he deeply loved, and in his children and grandchildren he found much pride and joy. His grandchildren lovingly called him Bumpa and Hunky. A man of faith, Milton lived by example and with ways all his own, he was a good father and a wonderful provider. Since the death of his beloved Berniece on January 15, 2014, life for Milton was never quite the same. Although he found comfort in the love of family, Milton was ready to go home. Even though he will be sorely missed, it is reassuring to know he is joined once again with his lifetime love and is now in the arms of his faithful Lord.
Mr. Milton R. Hein, age 89, of Ada, a much loved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend, passed away on Saturday, January 30, 2016, just two months shy of celebrating his 90th birthday on March 27, 2016. Milton was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Berniece; his parents; and each of his siblings, Lester, Dorothy, Helen, Evelyn, Edward Jr., and George. Milton is survived by his children, Gayle and Dana Platte, Roy and Ruth Hein; grandchildren, Michael Platte and special friend, Michele Vinik, Dr. James Platte and special friend, Hyunji Rim, Karen and Warren Walker, and Thomas Hein; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Lester and Barbara Clark, John and Patricia Mc Cabe; several nieces and nephews; and his special cat, Pokey.
A service to celebrate Milton's life will be held Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 1:00 PM at Second Congregational Church, 525 Cheshire Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Relatives and friends may meet with his family on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home-Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids, MI and for one hour prior to the service at church on February 3. Contributions to a charity of one’s choice are appreciated. To read more about Milton's life, to sign his online guest book and to leave a memory, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.