Friday, April 24, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and Drinks will be served
Saturday, April 25, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Victory Baptist Church
308 W Milham
Portage, MI 49024
The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the church.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM CDT
Emmanuel Baptist Church
701 Lions Street
Sandwich, IL 60548
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.
North American Mission Board
4200 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022-4176
Please direct your funds to "Disaster Relief"
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on his own life, Rev. George Bulson, Jr., revealed that his greatest aspiration was “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” It is clear to see by the choices he made, that when meeting his Lord and Savior, he would have been told, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” George loved deeply, lived richly, and everything he did, he did for the least of these. He was an adoring husband, a deeply devoted father, and a doting grandfather and great-grandfather who cherished his family. Rev. Bulson compassionately pastored those he was called to serve throughout his rewarding time in the ministry. He will be deeply missed while his spirit of compassion and selfless service lives on through all those who were blessed to feel his touch.
Although they were surrounded by the harsh realities of the Great Depression, George Leslie Bulson, Sr. and Mildred Leone (Rumsey), were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the July heat covered the city of Muskegon, Michigan, in 1931. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named George, Jr. drew his first breath on July 3rd. His father worked as a foreman at Brunswick Industry in Muskegon. A few years later, the family was joined by his sister, Arlene. Sadly, George’s father died while George and Arlene were still young. His mother remarried George’s brother, Glen, just a few months later. At one time he moved in with his Grandpa and Grandma Bulson, and while there he attended a one-room schoolhouse. Mildred and Glen added to their family by having two more sons, Norman and James. “Jimmy” was quite a bit younger and therefore was doted on by his parents and older siblings. Tragically, Jimmy was killed in an automobile accident as a young adult which broke George’s heart.
Because his family moved frequently during his formative years, George attended ten different schools throughout the West Michigan area before graduating from Hesperia High School in 1949. To say he was accident prone was an understatement as around the time he was in third grade, George cut off his ear to the point where it needed to be stapled back on, he had a nasty gash on his head from a nail at the same time, and he nearly cut off his finger, too, all within a short period of time! He loved playing sports including baseball, basketball, and football, and he also participated in field events. Even as a young man he was quite the charmer and could even have been called a ladies man as he wrote letters to a few girls in school.
One girl who caught George’s eye was the young Eloise Ellen Blohm as she received many of his letters. They knew one another from school, but their families were also very close. She and her family visited often on the weekends, and their parents took them places together. They shared the same deep faith, and over time their love grew, just as George’s faith continued to grow. He became a Christian as a young teen, and he learned vast amounts of Christian doctrine that provided an unshakable foundation for the rest of his life.
Eager to serve his country, George was in the military beginning in 1949. His early service was spent as a clerical, and he rose up the ranks, too. Beginning in 1954, George became an electronics technician, and he received countless hours of specialized training including 13 months aboard the USS Lexington and four months aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. George worked in electronics repair, maintenance, and calibration of special weapons electronic equipment. He earned the National Defense Medal and Good Conduct Medal during his service in the Navy.
Not to be forgotten during this time was George’s relationship with Eloise. Deeply in love, they were married on September 8, 1950, in the Territory of Hawaii as George was stationed there at the time. Theirs was an intimate ceremony with only two witnesses, the pastor, and a few additional friends. Together they were blessed with the births of six children, Janet, George, Wayne, Alan, Rebecca, and Timothy.
Toward the end of George's time in the Navy, he felt called by God to the ministry and Eloise returned home to Fremont with their three children. George joined them after his discharge in March of 1960. He worked in Muskegon at the Brunswick Bowling Products plant and led a Wednesday night Bible study at the Aetna Church. That August George stepped out in faith, moving his family to West Virginia, without securing housing, to attend Bluefield Junior College. In a short period of time and with God’s provision through several local caring families, they settled into their first home in Bluefield. While in college, George worked as a clerk and repairman at a jewelry store. In 1962 he earned his Associate of Arts Degree. George also spent six weeks preaching at Bramwell Baptist Church until the time he was called to serve Mt. Herman Baptist Church in Nemours, West Virginia, as pastor from 1961 through 1964. He was ordained into the ministry on April 2, 1962. He also continued his education at Bluefield State College, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree. George went on to pastor five additional churches in West Virginia: Central Baptist, Bluefield, 1964-66 (constituted from Duhring Street Mission of First Baptist), Ceres Baptist, Bluefield, 1966-70, Temple Baptist, Moundsville, 1970-71, Evangel Baptist, Bridgeport, 1971-73 and Immanuel Baptist, Princeton, 1973-78.
In 1978, George moved to Southeastern Michigan where he served as pastor of Dundee Baptist Church through 1985. After being commissioned by the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, he, Eloise and Tim moved to Paw Paw. Until retiring in 1996, he served as Director of Missions for South Central and South Western Associations of Michigan. George then took on the role of “Special Assigned Missionary” from 1997 until the time that his illness kept him homebound in 2014. During those years, he served as Interim Pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Portage, Associate Pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, Interim Pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in Jackson and Calvary Baptist Church in Morris, Illinois. During his pastorates, time as a missionary, and also following his retirement, George continued to be invited to preach in numerous other churches. Throughout his ministry he also acted in leadership roles within various associations and state conventions, including serving as the first president of the West Virginia Southern Baptist Convention.
As a family, the Bulsons traveled back to Western Michigan during the summers once they were living in West Virginia. They stayed with Eloise’s brother in the Blohm farmhouse in Fremont where they had loads of fun playing outside, eating fresh produce, and having picnics with extended family members at Silver Lake Sand Dunes or along the White River. George and his family also attended retreats and conferences at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina, and later George and Eloise did the same in Glorieta, New Mexico. As a couple, George and Eloise enjoyed Christmas gatherings in Frankenmuth with the Southern Baptist State Convention staff for their annual planning meetings. They also traveled to Holden Beach, North Carolina for family gatherings and took amazing trips to Hawaii with Eloise’s brother, Lewis and his wife, Sharon. After Eloise died, George joined Sharon's family on an Alaskan vacation. But in the end, George says the best trips were the ones with the whole family--even better than Hawaii and Alaska! (Even if he did make the family leave before dawn and place strict limitations on bathroom and food stops!)
Eloise died after a seven year battle with cancer on September 11, 2000, just three days after their 50th wedding anniversary. In honor of their landmark anniversary, they celebrated with the whole family the previous August with a pig roast and Hawaiian themed party. Soon after her death, George sold the home he and Eloise had shared for 15 years and bought a house in Fremont to be closer to family and the area where he grew up.
It was in Fremont that George met Marilyn Sohan Duy online through a dating service in February of 2003. After communicating through email for a month, they met in March. George and Marilyn then married on April 15, 2003, in Baldwin, MI in a small chapel that was only big enough for 12 people. George then moved to Marilyn’s home in Sandwich, Illinois. On July 26, 2003, they celebrated their marriage with family and friends in the service they called “doubling the knot” at Harmony Baptist Church in Jackson, Michigan. George continued to keep busy watching sports including all the Michigan teams, which made for lively debates with Marilyn’s boys who rooted for all of the Chicago teams. He also enjoyed playing golf with family and friends, reading, and watching television including game shows and The Gaither Homecoming with Marilyn. Together he and Marilyn also did some traveling to George’s favorite places.
A lively, spirited, and fun-loving man, Rev. George Bulson, Jr. was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was a meat and potatoes guy who wasn’t afraid to say, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,” yet he was also serious and compassionate. George was highly organized and paid attention to every last detail to the point of making notes on daily accountings in his life. He was a frugal man who also spent wisely and gave generously as his focus was on his relationship with God, his family, and the churches and missions he served first and foremost. A devoted family man, George will never be forgotten.
Rev. George Bulson, Jr. died on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. George’s family includes his wife, Marilyn; 6 children: Janet (Eugene) Patterson of Jackson, MI; George, III (Christine) of Christiansburg, VA; Wayne of Lynchburg, VA; Alan (Carla) of Bluefield, WV; Rebecca (Daryl) Brewis, of Manchester, MI and Timothy (Sherry) of Paw Paw, MI; and 4 step children: Brian Duy (Katie) of Oswego, IL; Janet Duy Lane, Fresno, CA; Kevin Duy (Linda) of Yorkville, IL; and Craig Duy (Gail), Newark, IL. Other members of his family include 14 grandchildren (6 who are married), 19 great grandchildren, a brother Norman, special in-laws and friends, Lewis and Sharon Blohm, Ruth Overly and numerous nieces and nephews.
George was preceded in death by his first wife, Eloise Blohm Bulson, parents Mildred (Rumsey) and George Bulson, Sr., step father Glen Bulson, sister Arlene Bulson Bell, brother James, daughter in law Sharon Roberts Bulson and granddaughter, Ellie Mae Brewis.
Learn more about George on Friday, April 24th, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (375-2900). Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 25th at the Victory Baptist Church, 308 W Milham, Portage, with 10 a.m. visitation prior and burial to follow at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park North.
In addition, there will be a memorial service held at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 701 Lions Rd, Sandwich, IL on Sunday, April 26th at 3pm.
Please visit George’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to ‘Disaster Relief’ of the North American Mission Board or the Wounded Warrior Project.