Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Anthony "Tony" Alksnis

March 25, 1916 - March 27, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, April 3, 2018
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263

The rosary will be prayed at the funeral home on Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm.

Driving Directions


Wednesday, April 4, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
2510 Richmond St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue
14444 Okeechobee Blvd.
Loxahatchee, FL 33472
(561) 791-6465
Web Site

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Anthony John Alksnis, patriarch of the Alksnis clan, gloriously entered into the kingdom of heaven on March 27, 2018 after a long and wonderful life. While his family and friends mourn his passing, they also joyously celebrate a life well-lived.

Tony was born on March 25, 1916 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Lithuanian immigrants Michael and Edna (Bacenas) Alksnis. He was the eldest son in a family of four girls and two boys. Life centered around their strong ethnic family and the catholic church. Tony graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1934. Being part of the greatest generation he proudly served in World War II in Patton’s Third Army where he earned a bronze star.

He married his beloved wife, Gerry (Werra) in the fall of 1947. They worked equally side by side to build a home and raise their children. Those 59 years living on Acacia Dr. were the happiest years of his life. He took his daily walks around the plot…..rain or shine. He always took the time to stop and talk and share a laugh with every neighbor he saw and to pet every dog that came his way.

His love of the game of golf began when he became a caddy at the Highlands Country Club in 1928. In 1961 he became a member of that same golf club (Elks Country Club) and earned the title of Senior Club Champion in 1966. His last round of golf was played on Father’s Day with his son, daughter and son-in-law at Blythefield C. C. when he was 96 years old.

After retiring from the U.S. Post Office and Old Kent Bank the Y.M.C.A became an important part of his daily life. He always enjoyed his 5:30 A.M. swimming routine and his “Y Family.” Known as the “professor” because of the spelling words he would endlessly ask people to spell while swimming in the pool.

These past 6 years he has resided at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes. His family is forever grateful for the kind and respectful care he has received from their wonderful staff.

Left to cherish his memories are son and daughter-in-law Greg and Sally Alksnis, daughter and son-in-law Debbie and Bob Rice, special sister-in- law Sister Karen Werra R.S.M., brother-in-law Lloyd Hale; loving nieces and nephews: Ken Alksnis, Paul Alksnis, Karen DeChant, Laura Grubbs, Scott Hale, Paul Jarmol, Sharilyn Plite, Mark Werra, Mary Beth Werra, Michael Werra; many great nieces and nephews and faithful friend Lucio Moreno.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years Gerry, parents Michael and Edna Alksnis, his father and mother-in-law Peter and Stephanie Werra, his sisters Sally (Ed) Jarmol, Betty (Bob) Jacobitz, Adele (Ed) Baura, Marylyn Hale, brother Norbert (Fran) Alksnis, brother and sister-in-law Herbert and Esther Dengler, brother-in-law Russell Werra and sister-in-law Margaret Werra Towner , niece Janine Jacobitz, and nephews Michael Alksnis and Mark Alksnis.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday April 4, 2018 at 11:00 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 2510 Richmond St. NW, with The Most Reverend Bishop David J. Walkowiak as celebrant and Rev. Luis Garcia as concelebrant. Burial in Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet Tony’s family at the funeral home on Tuesday, April 3 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Contriibutions in his memory may be made to Faith Hospice or Big Dog Ranch Rescue, www.bdrr.org. To leave your own memory of Tony and to sign his guest book, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com.

May Tony be remembered as the friendly man who was always whistling or singing a happy tune.