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Life Story / Obituary
Beverly Sleeman was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and a loyal friend to all who knew her. Her warm personality and sweet hospitality made her a special favorite at any family gathering. Bev lived her life without regret and never settled for less than the very best for her children over the years. Her family was her greatest treasure and she loved to entertain them especially at Christmas time, her favorite time of the year. Each and every person was made to feel special with a thoughtful gift from the heart as Bev wouldn’t have it any other way. Although she is gone, she leaves behind a rich collection of happy memories to be cherished by all who knew and loved her.
Despite the 1930s being marked by tough economic times, the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies. By 1933, five year old Shirley Temple signed a contract with Fox and the original King Kong movie was released. Bringing great joy to their world, Melvin and Gertrude (Rantz) Allen welcomed home their daughter, Beverly on October 15th, in Martin, Michigan. Born the third of five children, her parents were overjoyed with her birth and raised her with a strong foundation. Usually known as Bev, she learned the value of hard work from her father who worked at Valley Metal. Her mother was a homemaker who had more than enough to keep her busy at home.
Growing up in Martin, she lived a typical childhood of the times. The family moved around the area a few times before settling in Plainwell where she graduated with the Class of 1951 from Plainwell High School. Eager to make her way in the work, Bev took a position at Fuller Transmission right out of school. At the tender age of twenty two, she married Charles Sleeman in 1955 and settled down in Kalamazoo. Together they raised two wonderful children, Alan and Sheryle. They enjoyed many years of vacationing with the kids to Florida and maintaining their home. During those years, Bev enjoyed dancing as well as bowling and grew fond of the game of golf. With their children grown, twenty years later, their marriage ended in divorce and Bev relocated to the Portage area. Never remarrying, Bev continued her love of perfecting her game of golf and socializing at the local bowling alleys.
Bev was never one to remain idle. She enjoyed the company of others and lived her life surrounded by many special friends. Her home was always open for visitors or family that needed a place to come and stay. She loved to entertain them with her delicious dish of Chop Suey. For special get- togethers she liked to whip up her famous broccoli and cheese casserole or a generous serving of fruit salad. Never was her heart more full than the day she was blessed with grandchildren. She loved each and every one of them. She loved to take special trips and once traveled to Texas making special memories with her daughter and granddaughter. There was never a dull moment when she was around. Bev often appeared quiet at first, yet once someone brought up a topic of interest, she was sure to share her opinion on just about anything! When it came to cars her opinion was clear; drive a Pontiac! She owned several throughout her lifetime and argued they were the very best.
In addition to her enjoyment of physical activity over the years, Bev also enjoyed many quiet moments reading, listening to country music, or watching old westerns on television. All who knew her would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She enjoyed so many of the best things that life has to offer, yet above all else, she enjoyed the time she spent with her family. Any visit with her grandchildren and great grandchildren was special. She hung on their every word, often listening to their troubles and sharing in their successes. They appreciated the wisdom that came from someone of her time and loved her dearly. Bev had a special place in her heart for children, and she treasured every moment spent with loved ones. When reflecting on the life of Beverly “Bev” Sleeman it is easy to see the love and dedication she had for her family. She was easily contented by the humble and abundant blessings in her life. Generous beyond measure and cherished by so many, she will surely be missed by her special friends and family for generations to come.
Beverly Sleeman, age 85, of Plainwell, Michigan passed away on April 29, 2019. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Friday, May 3rd from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home Marshall & Gren Chapel; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell, MI 49080. A funeral service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at the same location. Bev’s family includes her children; Alan Sleeman and Sheryle (Michael) Mooney; her sister, Zoan Allen; three grandchildren; Andrea, Charlie and Elizabeth; three great grandchildren: Virginia, Nathan and Riley as well as several special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her siblings; Loren Allen, Orville Allen, and Janice Miller. Memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association.