Thursday, August 1, 2019
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
The Rosary will be prayed at the funeral home Thursday evening at 7:30 pm.
Friday, August 2, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
1200 Alpine Church Rd.
Comstock Park, MI 49321
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.
625 Kenmore Ave. Suite
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
1200 Alpine Church Rd. NW
Comstock Park, MI 49321
1 (616) 453-8263
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Deeply committed to his family, Dick Alts’ life will be remembered as both loving and selfless. Born with an infectious personality, he was always one to tell the best stories and lighten the mood with his exceptional sense of humor. Equipped with a strong work ethic as well as an ability to work alongside a wide variety of people over the years, led to many successes throughout his life. Although he will be deeply missed, Dick leaves behind a rich collection of wonderful memories for all who knew and loved him.
Despite the Thirties being marked by tough economic times, the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies. By 1937 Amelia Earhart took off from Miami attempting to achieve a flight around the world and California’s Gold Gate Bridge was completed. Bringing great joy to their world, Otto and Jeanette (Cox) Alt welcomed home their newborn son, Richard Anthony on March 29th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born the oldest of three children, his birth brought them many promises in an ever-changing world.
Growing up in Alpine Township on a fruit and dairy farm, instilled in Dick the essential ways of living within one’s means as well as a strong work ethic. Along with his siblings, many of his childhood days were spent doing farm chores from sun up until sundown. Raised with a strong Catholic foundation of faith, he and his family attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church receiving all of the sacraments as well as education through their elementary years. When it came time for fun, he and his close friends found their fair share of mischief skiing behind cars in the winter or shooting their BB guns year-round. Dick also developed a passion for working on cars during his adolescence, an interest that stuck with him well into his later years.
Graduating with the Class of 1955 from Sparta High School, he went to work for his father making seventeen dollars a week on the farm. In order to help further support his financial needs at the time, he worked at the Apple Storage facility. His charming disposition, as well as his experience, led to later accepting a factory job at Extensile Furniture in Sparta, Michigan. However, when he landed at the General Motors Co, 36th St. plant and began an apprenticeship in tool and die, he felt most at home. With a strong interest in advancing his knowledge, he enrolled at Grand Rapids Junior College while continuing his work at GM. Little did he know at the time that he would remain there for thirty-five remarkable years until his retirement in 1996.
Charlene Ann Antor, his sweetheart from the first grade would eventually agree to date him when she turned sixteen! Their first date was to Our Theater on Leonard Street to see a western movie. With a lifelong history of one another as well as an affectionate fondness, they married on June 7, 1958, at their home church where they attended both mass and school from their early days. Charlene’s mother prepared a feast of chicken and all the trimmings for their early afternoon reception before guests headed over to the hall at Eastern Avenue to dance the night away! Both nature lovers, it was no surprise that they ventured to Yellowstone National Park for their romantic honeymoon. They reflected on this special time in their lives for more than sixty-one years of their married life. Charlene was Dick’s everything. He loved her with a deep sense of commitment and it seemed as if the two of them never stopped dating after all those years!
Together they raised five wonderful children with a span of ten years between them. Their very first home which they initially rented from his father at 6249 Alpine Avenue later became their forever home. As a family, they treasured vacationing. In addition to many day trips to Lake Michigan, they also visited Mackinac Island and Cedar Point where they made lasting memories. As the kids grew older they enjoyed snowmobiling in various favorite Michigan spots. In addition to snowmobiling on the family farm, most frequently they traveled to Paradise, Newaygo, Baldwin, and across the frozen straights to Mackinac Island. Each trip included a winter picnic of roasting hot dogs around a homemade fire.
In addition to his life’s work of raising beef cattle and growing a wide variety of crops, Dick held many special pastimes. Always one to tinker, he found great pleasure in restoring old John Deere Tractors. A proud member of the West Central 2 Cylinder Club, at one time he owned six John Deere’s, two Ford’s, and an International Cub. He and Charlene traveled to countless tractor shows over the years so Dick could make a swap or scour the turf for the best deal! When it came time for relaxing, Dick enjoyed reading novels about history or westerns as well as his favorite; antique tractor magazines! He also loved to watch old westerns and the latest popular talent shows on TV.
He and Charlene shared a lifetime of happiness as well as endured great hardship. Their son, Don was involved in a tragic car accident and their grandson, Jared died after battling Leukemia. Both of these events were surely difficult for the two of them in addition to their entire family, yet they leaned on their faith as well as special friends and church family to see them through. They were blessed with an abundant family and when grandchildren arrived, Dick found great pleasure in any time they were gathered together. Each and every holiday was shared with their extended family and Dick loved surprising his granddaughters with homemade gifts he had crafted into chests as well as a small barn. He was proud of each and every one of his grandchildren and treasured sharing so much of their lives over the years.
He was forever thankful that he and Charlene had planned a three-week tour out west celebrating his retirement as shortly after that time, his health began to decline. Just two years ago in May of 2017, Dick moved to St. Ann’s home. Later, he moved to Covenant Village where he received the best of care. Dick was an incredible fun-loving and joyful person. He modeled a life lived to the fullest. May his loved ones never doubt how much love he held in his heart for each of them and may they honor his memory through continuing to strengthen their faith as well as the bond they have for one another.
Richard Anthony “Dick” Alt, aged 82, of Comstock Park, MI, passed away on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Covenant Living of the Great Lakes. He was the oldest child of Otto and Jeanette Alt who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Charlene Alt (Antor); his children, Susan (Kenneth) May, Richard (Lisa) Alt, Cheryl (Kevin) Major, Karen (Paul) Flanery; 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; brother, Jim (Karen) Alt; sister, Marilyn (Alan) Korhorn; many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was also preceded in death by his son, Donald and his grandson, Jared. Dick retired from General Motors 36th St. plant, where he worked as a tool and die maker for 35 years. He was a hardworking, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, brother and neighbor. He loved his family. He was passionate about everything he did, especially restoring old John Deere tractors. He was a third-generation member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1200 Alpine Church Road, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday morning at 11:00 am. Burial in Holy Trinity Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet his family on Thursday, from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 pm, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, with the rosary prayed at 7:30 pm. Visitation also at the church on Friday from 10:00 am until the Mass begins at 11:00 am. Dick’s family would like to thank the staff of Covenant Village and Kindred Hospice for the love and care shown to Dick and his family. Contributions in his memory may be made to Kindred Hospice or Holy Trinity Church. To sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com