Monday, August 10, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
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.
Animal Rescue Project
219 Peekstock Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With unending love for his family, Stanley Earl was a gift in the lives of everyone he met. He honorably faced whatever came his way with both strength and courage. Stan accomplished so much of which to be proud, yet he was a hardworking and humble man whose greatest source of pride and joy was found in his family. He was a man of great insight who didn’t speak all that often, but when he did, his words were laced with great wisdom and a calming demeanor. Never one to worry about the things of this world, Stan’s primary focus was on living a life rich with the experiences and people he loved. Life will never be the same without him here, but his timeless gifts will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.
It only seems fitting that Stan’s story began during a time that was as exciting as he was. It was the 1950s when Elvis was king, James Dean lit up the silver screen, and Rosa Parks set the civil right movement ablaze. It was just as this eventful time was getting started that Stanley Sr. and Clarissa (Vanderveen) Earl were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Stanley G. on July 6, 1951, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was the youngest of three children, joined in his family by his brother, Larry, and his sister, Nancy.
In many ways, Stan was a young boy of his generation. His father worked at Upjohn while his mother worked for a local insurance agent. Stan was raised in the family home in the Millwood neighborhood of Kalamazoo and attended local schools. His high school years found him at Loy Norrix High School where he was an enthusiastic athlete in both football and basketball. Stan’s family was always there to cheer him on at every game.
While in high school he was also a member of the choir and participated in the school musical. Stan and his family especially enjoyed traveling to the lakes of northern Michigan where they spent many summers camping and boating. Stan also enjoyed his time at the family cottage on Crooked Lake in Delton.
After high school he went on to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College and earned his associate’s degree. It was also at this time that he married Nancy (Barnes). Although their marriage later ended in divorce, Stan was forever grateful to Nancy for their daughter, Monica, who was born in 1969. Stan and Monica spent time together fishing and boating at the cottage at Crooked Lake Delton. Stan was playing competitive softball at the time so Monica enjoyed playing catch with her dad along with many weekends hanging out at the ball fields with other friends and families. Cedar Point and adopting the family’s first dog were also highlights of Monica’s childhood. As Monica got older, Stan welcomed her friends to the lake for skiing and tubing and always grilled the perfect burger.
New and exciting changes were in store for Stan when he met a woman named Janet Torian while working a summer job at a printing company. They spent six years dating, and with a desire to establish a life together, Stan and Janet were married on April 21, 1984, in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College. The newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in Las Vegas and then returned to the area where they spent some time living in Greenspire Apartments. They later moved into their first home in Schoolcraft where they established their life together. They continued to enjoy the family cottage, boating, fishing, camping, and travels to Northern Michigan. Stan also enjoyed playing slow pitch softball for Evan Ford, Sackett Brick, and Bunca Car Wash, which led him to develop life long friendships through years of travels to various tournaments. In was also at this time that Monica started to develop her father’s competitive nature. He enjoyed faithfully attending her tennis matches and softball games.
It was after the summer of 1991 that Stan and Janet welcomed their son, Taylor, into their hearts and home. After Taylor was born all their time and devotion was directed towards him. Stan and Janet built their dream house in 1997 at the same location of the family cottage. They were both very involved in the building of the house, and together they enjoyed the process. Stan spent 27 years working in facilities management at Kalamazoo College before leg and back problems forced him to retire in 2004.
Throughout his life, Stan was a man of many interests. He was very athletic and a fantastic bowler who even threw a couple of 300 games. Once he gave up playing softball, Stan took up golf, often at the Elks along with Janet. He kept busy around the house, too, as he took care of everything that needed fixing, tended to the yard, put in a seawall and built his own dock. Stan was the one to man the grill, and the boat was always a source of family fun. He loved teaching the grandkids to tube and waterski and was very patient with them as well. There was nothing he loved more than sharing the lake with family and friends. He held a special place in his heart for animals, especially for dogs. In addition to grilling, Stan made the campfire, and there was usually a competition to see who could roast the best marshmallow. Not only was he a successful athlete, he was also an effective coach who was always patient and calm with those he was mentoring. He especially enjoyed the time that he spent coaching his son, Taylor, in Basketball and Baseball. As a sports fan, Stan was loyal to all the Detroit teams and loved watching the Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Stanley G. Earl, Jr. made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was articulate and thoughtful when it came to sharing his thoughts, and he was forever a man of his word. Stan was organized, hardworking, dependable, and a devoted father, husband, and friend. Stan was slow to anger, and never one to fight over the insignificant things in life. The sort of person who was willing to help those around him in any way he could. A more dedicated family man would be hard to find as his wife, children, and grandchildren were the light of his life. Deeply loved, Stan will never be forgotten.
Stanley G. Earl, Jr., of Delton, passed away on August 6, 2015, at Borgess Medical Center surrounded by family. Stan’s family includes his wife, Janet Earl; 2 children: Monica (Greg) Koning and Taylor (Megan) Earl; 4 grandchildren: Paige, Kayla, Logan and Lucas Koning; mother-in-law, Gerry Torian; 3 sisters-in-law: Carol Gruizenga, Ann and Steve Pacic and Terry Torian; first wife, Nancy DeKoning and many nieces and nephews. Stan was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Larry Gruizenga; sister, Nancy Popke; 3 brothers-in-law: Emil Popke, Michael Torian and Keith Smith; father-in-law, James Torian; nephew, Kevin Smith and Uncle Wilbur; and Aunt Blodwin Remynse. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Monday from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900) where services will be held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Please visit Stan’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Rescue Project.