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Life Story / Obituary
An outdoorsman with an adventurous spirit, Don Potts was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. A hard worker who followed in his father’s footsteps in carpentry from early on in life, there wasn’t anything that Don couldn’t repair or fix around a home! He loved the outdoors and treasured many years of camping, hunting, and fishing. Don leaves behind a rich collection of wonderful memories that will remain special to his close family and many special friends.
Reflecting back on the year 1954, the nation’s economy continued to grow. Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley were household names. Car engines continued to get bigger and more powerful and a gallon of gasoline was a lean 29 cents. During these optimistic times, Don was born to James and Genevieve (Smith) Potts in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 17th. The youngest of three children, Don brought much joy to the family home.
Growing up primarily in Kalamazoo, Don lived a typical childhood of the times. His father was busy with carpentry and his mother was a homemaker and a fabulous cook. He played many sports as a teenager including baseball, basketball, and football and still squeezed in enough time to help his father with his trade from a young age. Graduating with the Class of 1972 from Parchment High School, Don joined his father before venturing out on his own in the carpentry business. Not long after high school, Don married his first wife, Lou and they had four wonderful children; Jamie, Jessica, Casey, and Joe. As a family, they loved to camp and had many memorable trips to Michigan’s beautiful northern getaways such as Mackinac Island and many of the waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula as well as Canada, where Don later purchased a cabin. As a father, he treasured his years of coaching their teams and made it a point to support each and every one of them any way he could. He and Lou’s marriage ended in divorce, yet they continued to raise their children and share in their many successes over the years.
When a fellow classmate passed away in 2011, Don reached out to his former classmate, Kathy with the news. She was living in Arizona at the time and Don made it a point to visit her when he later made his way there to tour the Grand Canyon. After that trip, they talked for countless hours on the phone before Kathy finally decided to return to Michigan so they could be together. Just two years after that very first email, they were married and joined with Kathy’s two children, Ross and Amy, completing the family.
Don had developed many special interests over the years. Active in his faith life, he served as a Deacon of his church and taught Sunday school. Social by nature, he also loved to bowl to keep himself busy. He had a way with people. Don was never one to try to impress anyone and his natural way of being was what attracted so many people to him. No one was ever made to feel a stranger in his presence and his laughter could fill up any room! For his enjoyment and personal pleasure, he kept an impeccable yard and was the envy of the neighborhood! He and Kathy enjoyed several memorable trips during their years together such as traveling to Mexico, Texas, and California. Don savored his daughter’s delicious cookies and homemade apple crisp and was especially fond of Kathy’s cooking which was the best he’d ever had! Don had hunting dogs and pet dogs over the years. He also had two horses that captured his heart. He loved cruising through the countryside with his wife on his Harley. He also enjoyed listening to his favorite oldies including both Country and Gospel music.
Although he loved his years of being a father, his heart was overjoyed when he was blessed with grandchildren! Don loved to attend their many special events including sports as well as wrestling with them and riding horses. There simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family. Don’s wonderful personality, his quick-wit, and everlasting charm will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by his many special loved ones.
Donald Potts, age 63, of Plainwell passed away on January 1, 2018. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Thursday, January 4 from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Martin Reformed Church; 1073 W. Allegan St. in Martin. A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 5 at 11:00 at the same location. Don’s family includes his wife of five years, Kathy; children: Jamie (Derrick) Ricca, Jessica Potts, Casey Potts, Joseph (Tressa) Potts, Ross Crosslin and Amy (Al) Gonzales; his sister Karen (Don) Chickering and his brother David Potts; twelve grandchildren as well as one niece and one nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents. Please visit Don’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the Martin Reformed Church or the West Michigan Cancer Center.