Wednesday, February 24, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
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.
West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
For Volunteer Services
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With his family by his side, Rick Pape found no greater joy. He was a hard working man, and he was also protective of those entrusted to his care. Rick was loved abundantly, and in return, he loved those closest to him unconditionally. Although Rick possessed a big personality, he had a serious nature about him, too, yet in all ways, his sense of humor brought smiles to those who shared his company. For those who knew Rick best, he will be deeply missed.
Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed, and the American dream was surely being realized. Indeed a time of change, this was especially true for Henry and Maxine (Selbee) Pape who made their home in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Henry Pape was a hard working machinist for the Brown Corporation before landing a position with General Motors. His wife, Maxine remained at home as a homemaker and looked after their two young daughters, Sandy and Pam until later when she began working as a switchboard operator for the Kalamazoo Police Department. Yet on May 6, 1951, the Pape family was overjoyed to welcome the birth of their son, Rick who added much to their family. The third of eventually five children, Rick was later joined by his younger brother, Jan, and sister, Stacy.
Having been raised in Kalamazoo, Rick enjoyed a childhood typical of the times. He even found his share of mischievous, boyhood adventures a time or two. While growing up, Rick especially loved visiting his Aunt Beulah and Uncle Andy at their cabin up north where his love of fishing was formed. He was quite close to his aunt and uncle, and remained so throughout his life. Rick attended the local schools and during his senior year at Kalamazoo Central High School, he left his schooling behind to join the U.S. Army.
With the Vietnam War well underway, Rick was sent overseas to Vietnam where he proudly served for four years. Rick never spoke much about his time in the service. He left just merely a young man of his youth, and came home a grown man. Following his honorable discharge, Rick was eager to return home and begin a new life for himself.
Shortly after returning to Michigan, Rick met the young woman who came to hold his heart for the remainder of his days. When Rick met Deb, he knew she was someone special. And for Deb, she knew she loved Rick from the moment they met. After dating for around six months, Rick and Deb sealed their love in marriage on March 29, 1975 at Doster Reformed Church. They began their new lives together as husband and wife, and made their home in Otsego for a time before moving to the Plainwell/Doster area. Before long they began a family of their own with the births of twins, Heather and Link, and their third child, Clint completed their happy family.
Like his father before him, Rick worked at General Motors and remained there for the next 30 years. He made a good home for his family, and he worked hard to provide a good life for them. Along with his work at GM, Rick also worked a side job for many years grinding tree stumps.
When he was not working, being together with his family was the place Rick wanted to be. Through the years they enjoyed many memorable holidays together, and numerous family cookouts were held at their home throughout the summers. Even still, Rick’s all-time favorite was a BK Whopper with cheese! Each summer in June the entire family enjoyed a weekly vacation up north which brought fun times for all. Rick’s love for fishing always found him at the water’s edge whenever he had the opportunity. Later in life he came to really like the companionship of dogs, particularly Jack Russell Terriers. Blu Blu, his current dog, was never far from Rick’s side.
More than anything, Rick loved sharing any time he could with his grandchildren. When it came to Gage, Dakota, Brock, Logan, Cole, Maddie, Macie, and Clayton, Rick was truly in his element. He loved having them over and in them he found so much joy. Rick was very protective of his family and there wasn’t anything he would not have done for them. He was a wonderful, loving example who could always be counted on.
Rick found enjoyment playing chess and he was pretty good at it, too. Along with casual fishing, he also fished competitively having taken part in many bass tournaments. He enjoyed watching television, but his favorite show was COPS. A fun-loving man with an uncanny sense of humor, Rick had a larger than life spirit, but for those who knew him well, Rick had a serious side just the same. Although he will be dearly missed, Rick’s memory lives on in the family he loved and the many friendships he shared along life’s way.
Rick Pape, age 64 of Plainwell passed away on Monday, February 22, 2016 at his home. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Wednesday, February 24 from 4-7 PM at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881) where his funeral service will be held on Thursday, February 25 at 11:00 AM.
Rick’s family includes his wife of 41 years, Deb; his children: Heather (Brian) Elkins, Link (Kate) Pape, Clint (Malinda) Pape; eight grandchildren; two sisters: Pam Harness, Stacey (Dominic) Cotugno; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jan; his sister, Sandra. Please visit Rick’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to West Michigan Cancer Center- Attention: Volunteer Services.