Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Ron Bursley

September 14, 1957 - March 6, 2024
Coopersville, MI


Memorial Gathering

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions


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.

In Lieu of Flowers: National Kidney Foundation
1169 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A man who loved a good time, Ron Bursley lived a life rich in family and friends. Ron loved being a part of something. Whether on the job, at the race track, shooting pool, or gathering with family, he relished being connected to others in meaningful ways. Though tough and stubborn, Ron was always smiling. He loved good conversation, and his grandchildren inspired an ease and softer side, which shared with them. A devoted father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, Ron will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A time of innovation, the year 1957 found the U.S. economy booming. The need for consumer goods grew as manufacturing attempted to keep up with demand. It was the peak of the "baby boomer" era, a time when families prayed, played, and sat at the dinner table together. American Bandstand made its debut while Elvis Presley recorded numerous hits, and the introduction of the Frisbee and Tonka Trucks became the delight of children everywhere. It was a time centered on family and hope. Nowhere was their greater hope than in the hearts and home of Ronald Sr. and Eugenia (Haven) Bursley as they welcomed their son, Ron, to their family on September 14, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Growing up on Kinney Ave., in Walker, Michigan, Ron was a great older brother to his brothers, Dan, Pat, and Scott. The boys shared close bonds and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing sports together. Ron's father worked in autobody repair, and his mother was a cashier at Meijer.

Ron attended Kenowa Hills Public Schools and played alto sax in the high school marching band. He also participated on the school's track team and held the school record for the mile run for several years. Graduating with the Kenowa Hills High School class of 1975, Ron's first car was a 1964 red Ford Galaxie 500.

Ron's first jobs included bagging at Meijer on Michigan and Fuller, working at Star gas station on Remembrance, and working at Alpine Automotive parts store. For over twenty years, Ron was a brick mason for Bramer Masonry, Inc., working on both residential and commercial projects. Recently, he worked for Blaines' Farm and Fleet, a job he loved.

While working for Alpine Automotive, Rob met Diane Wilcome. The pair began dating and married in 1989 at St. Adelbert's Church. Though the marriage ended in divorce a few years later, it gifted Ron with his two treasured sons, Mike and Rob. A proud father, Ron always set high expectations for his sons and lived through them. He attended and coached all their games and always made a big deal out of attending the extended Bursley family get-togethers.

A longtime Berlin Raceway fan, Ron loved circle racing. Over the years, he participated in many teams at Berlin Raceway, serving as a crew chief and team member. He was fondly called "Doc" by those in the racing community because he could fix anything. Ron's proudest moments as a father came when Mike won the championship at Berlin Raceway in Super Stocks and Rob won the Michigan Golden Gloves state middleweight boxing championship.

A man who enjoyed a good time, Ron golfed with friends and played pool competitively. He traveled for pool tournaments and was known to hang out at his favorite watering holes. He and his friends shared many good times at various local establishments, including German Village and Shots, two of his favorites.

Fondly known by many as "Burt" because of his signature 70's-era Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck mustache, Ron was a persevering man. Despite many health challenges, he remained strong, independent, and a trustworthy mentor to many. As a grandpa, Ron revealed a softer side, becoming much more affectionate and loving as the years passed. Grandpa Mustache loved his grandkids and was intentional about spending quality time with them. He proudly attended all their games and special activities and especially enjoyed the annual Coopersville Christmas Train rides.

Clearly, the world feels far less certain in the absence of Ron's steadfast companionship. As we share treasured memories of the man we were so lucky to know, may we find much comfort in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. In each moment we confidently face life's challenges, share our gifts and talents with others, cheer on our loved one's endeavors, and cherish being with those we love, we celebrate the many ways Ron made the world a better place. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.

Ronald Claude Bursley, Jr., age 66, passed away March 6, 2024, peacefully with his family by his side. Ron was born September 14, 1957, in Grand Rapids to the late Ronald Sr. and Eugenia (Haven) Bursley. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Scott Bursley. Ron is survived by his sons, Mike (Kathy) Bursley of Holland and Rob (Jennifer) Bursley of Sparta; grandchildren, Jessica (Tyler), Brooklyn (Noah), Logan, Brailee, Matthew, Lillian; great-grandchildren, Averie and Grayson; brothers, Daniel Bursley and Patrick (Tina) Bursley; nieces and nephews, Kaylee (Clinton) Kyle (Kristina) Kameron, Jessica (Corey); several cousins and many friends. According to his wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial gathering will be held Tuesday, March 12, 2024, from 4-7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation. To read more of Ron's life story, leave a memory or sign the guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.