Vance Chester Swope passed away January 28, 2020 in Plainwell.Vance was born September 13, 1935, the son of Earl and Thelma (Decker) Swope, in Needmore, PA into a hard-working rural farming family and was a 1953 graduate of Green Hill High School. Many of the family, including Vance, went on to become educators. Vance headed west from Fulton County in the late summer of 1953 to attend Fort Wayne Bible College in Fort Wayne, IN. That fall, he met the love of his life, Marian Joan Haffner of Plainwell, MI and they were married on June 7, 1958 in Fort Wayne. Vance also attended Shippensburg University and received a master's degree from Western Michigan University before settling in Plainwell in 1962, where he lived ever since. Vance loved kids and was a fixture as a teacher in the Otsego Public Schools for 32 years, retiring in 1995. Vance and Marian have also been active members of the First Baptist Church of Plainwell for nearly 60 years, where Vance helped construct the church's current sanctuary in the 1960's and was a deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years. Vance was proud of his Pennsylvania farming roots and employed them by planting a large garden each year, canning and sharing the harvest with family and friends. He was also a regular entrant in the Plainwell Memorial Day Parade, driving his Farmall and Ford tractors in the parade before hosting a large annual barbecue at their home. The most beloved thing on this Earth to Vance was his family. He was much loved by his sons and daughters-in-law, Steve (Becky) of Elkhart, IN; Eric (Roshan) of Harrisville, NH; and Mike (Dani) of Portland, OR. Vance absolutely adored his nine grandchildren and their spouses, recently enjoying a reunion of the whole gang for a summer week on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The grandkids will miss his love and warmth greatly: Tim (Chelsey), Kyle (Brenna), Carson, Katrina, Stephanie (Matt) Ciesielski, Trevor, Maya, Molly, and Natalie. Vance also remained close to his siblings, Richard (JoAnn), Watson, and Nellie (Pieter) Vels. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Marvin and Foster. Over the years, Vance was also a mentor, and father-like figure to many others. Vance went to be with his Lord on January 28, 2020 after spending the previous week surrounded by his loving wife Marian, his three sons and their wives, and many other family members. His faith was solidly in Jesus Christ and we take comfort in knowing he is in the presence of the God he served. His kindness, generosity and warmth will be missed by all who knew him. Friends may visit with Vance's family from 3-5 PM, Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego. A funeral service will take place at 11:00 A.M., Monday, February 3, 2020 at the First Baptist Church in Plainwell with Pastor George Osborn officiating. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell. Contributions in memory of Vance may be made to the First Baptist Church of Plainwell or to Ethnos360 for Steven and Becky Swope.Messages of condolence may be posted at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com.