Richard Haynor

September 24, 1936 - February 12, 2015
Lawton, MI



Thursday, February 19, 2015
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870

A Masonic and OES Service will be held at 3 pm.

Driving Directions


Friday, February 20, 2015
11:00 AM EST
St. Paul's United Methodist Church
63885 North M-40
Lawton, MI 49065

Following the service, food and fellowship will be shared in the church hall.

Web Site


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.

Paws with a Cause
13464 Preston Drive, #250
Marshall, MI 49068-9684
(269) 789-8890

checks made payable to Grand Chapter OES of Michigan

Web Site

Van Buren Youth Camp
12370 45th St.
Bloomingdale, MI 49026
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Although he lived a rich and rewarding life filled with many things of which to be proud, Richard Haynor was a humble, gentle, and gracious man whose family was his greatest source of pride and joy. He was outgoing and social with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Richard took his roles as a husband and father to heart, but he just may have argued that becoming a grandfather and great-grandfather was his greatest gift. A hardworking man, he was always busy doing something, usually for someone else. A vital part of the community he called home throughout his life, Richard was a stranger to none and a friend to all who will be deeply missed.

The 1930s were defined by widespread hardship throughout America as the Great Depression held our nation and much of the world firmly in its grip. Despite the challenges around them, Albert C. and Bessie (McCarty) Haynor were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child as fall began to settle in on the city of Hart, Michigan, in 1936. The big day finally arrived on September 24th when the baby boy they named Richard Allen drew his first breath. Born and raised in the family home alongside his younger siblings, Dale, Gloria, and Terry, he was a boy of his generation. Richard’s father was a farmer who also worked in a factory while his mother was a homemaker and an accomplished seamstress in the area.

Even at a young age Richard was one to keep busy. He enjoyed hunting for small game, mushroom hunting, and sledding in the winter. Richard was also a bit mischievous as a youngster as he was about four when he and a neighbor went to the local dairy to get ice cream, which was located quite a distance from home and required that they cross a major street. Needless to say, his mother was less than pleased. He attended a local country school and graduated from Hart High School in 1954.

From there Richard continued his education at Michigan State Univeristy where he earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture. With his education behind him, he worked for Heinz Pickle Company until they closed. From there he went to work for National Grape Co-Operative (Welch’s) beginning in 1965. Richard loved his job and meeting all the people along the way. Much of his work was spent coming alongside farmers to help them troubleshoot problems and become more successful. He spent 32 years there until retiring as an area manager in 1997. During his retirement years he worked in maintenance at the Van Buren Youth Camp, which was a great fit as he was a genuine handyman who could fix anything. Richard also did some work for the co-op extension in the green houses as well as for the YMCA. He kept busy all the time as he never liked being still.

Not to be forgotten during Richard’s years as a young man was his introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Phyllis Van Vleck, and they met at snow camp while in college despite the fact that he was three years her senior. Phyllis was drawn to his kind demeanor, and they discovered that they had common interests. After dating for a time, Richard and Phyllis were married on July 18, 1959, at Potterville Methodist Church. Together they welcomed five children including Donald, Eric, and twins, Lane and Larry, in addition to Kevin into their hearts and home.

From the moment he became a husband, Richard’s family was first and foremost in his life. He was an active part of his children’s lives, and together they made so many priceless memories. Richard regularly took the boys hunting, and they often went camping as a family. At times they camped nearby so Richard could still go into work. The Haynors also vacationed in places like South Dakota, Canada, and St. Louis to meet with cousins and family, which was something their children will always remember. It was important to Richard to spend time with family at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they rotated years between his family and his wife’s family. For years they also had a St. Bernard as an additional family member. Richard was an amazing role model for his children and taught his boys to work hard with their hands, equipping them with numerous practical skills to use throughout their lives. He also instilled within his children the confidence that they could accomplish anything they set their minds to.

It was easy to see that Richard was deeply devoted to his community. He volunteered with the Lawton Fire Department for 14 years and even owned a Model T fire truck as well as 450 model fire trucks. In addition, Richard was a Cub Scout leader for 11 years, a member of the school board, and a member of the Paw Paw-Lawton Masonic Lodge # 25, F&AM for over 50 years. He was a member of the Paw Paw- Lawton OES #257 where he held various offices at both the local and state level over a period of more than 50 years. During his time with the organization, Richard was the Worthy Patron 17 times. Richard’s service to the Grand Chapter started in 2003, and from there he became Worthy Grand Patron from 2005-2006. Additionally, Richard was part of the General Grand Chapter Service Dog Committee earning funds for Paws With A Cause in 2009-2012. Richard was serving as State Rainbow Dad for the International Order of Rainbow and also served on the local advisory board as treasurer for Kalamazoo Assembly #27.

Throughout his life, Richard’s greatest joy was found in being surrounded by his loved ones. He was thrilled to become a grandfather, and he was very playful with his grandchildren. Richard loved getting down and playing with them on their level, and when they were getting ready to leave a game of “got you last” was usually part of the goodbye routine. As a very handy person, Richard built several projects over the years including small barns for all of his grandsons, which are still treasured to this day. In 2012, Richard and the boys along with a few grandsons took a fishing trip to Northern Saskatchewan where priceless memories were made.

Loyal, welcoming, and warm, there was no one who met Richard Haynor and left unchanged. He was always willing to try anything at least once and had an infectious laugh and a quiet and dry sense of humor, Richard will never be forgotten.

Richard Haynor died on February 12, 2015. Richard’s family includes his wife, Phyllis; 5 children: Donald (Carol) , Eric (Jane) , Lane (Pam), Larry (Alisa), Kevin (Laura), 13 grandchildren: Kirtis, Kara, Tyler (Melanie), Harrison, Tobias, Dillon, Mikayla, Erika, Katherine, Leah, Patrick, Layla, and Larissa; one great grandchild, Oliver; 2 brothers, Dale (Coleen) and Terry (Debbie) Haynor, sister, Gloria (Gene) Billingsley; brothers-in law and sisters-in-law, James (Maureen) Van Vleck, Barbara Gillmor, Robert (Jeanette) Van Vleck; and adopted daughter, Rhonda Emmons. Learn more about Richard, view his Life Story film, and visit with family and friends at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (657-3870) on Thursday from 1-3 p.m. with an OES and Masonic Services at 3 p.m. Funeral Services will be held on Friday at 11 am, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 63855 M-40, Lawton. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Paws with a Cause (checks made payable to Grand Chapter OES of Michigan) or Van Buren Youth Camp.