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Archived Flag Flying Tributes

Archived Flag Flying Tributes are organized alphabetically by recipient's last name. Month and year of the tribute can be found at the bottom of each page. Information was current at the time of the tribute.

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‘Baby Huey’

Mr. Verhage was born on May 15, 1945 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. On June 24, 1966, he was married to Cynthia A. Wells. Don served in the US Navy Reserve and Michigan National Guard for several years. His primary specialties in the service were as a satellite system operator and food service specialist. Mr. Verhage received several commendations among which are the Professional Development Ribbon (2), Armed Forces Reservist Medal, Army Reserved Component Achievement Medal, and the Broadsword 3GS (12 years). He was employed by General Motors in Kalamazoo for 35 years until his retirement. Don volunteered at American Red Cross and United Way of Kalamazoo. He was a proud member of the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) and enjoyed fishing and hunting. Don was active in the Oakwood Neighborhood Association helping to improve Kalamazoo’s Oakwood Neighborhood. He was also a member of Kalamazoo County R.A.C.E.S. (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and City of Kalamazoo C.D.A.A.C. (Community Development Act Advisory Committee). Surviving are his wife of 51 years, Cyndy Verhage; their two children: Jennifer Verhage and Jason (Janis) Verhage; three grandchildren: Jonah, Eliana and Maci Verhage; sister-in-law: Pam (Bill) Ingraham; and several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his mother: Leona (Miller) Verhage; brother: Alan Verhage (as a child); and two half-sisters: Barb Laurin and Evelyn Cole. 

Mr. Verhage was entombed with military honors at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park, Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, Michigan.


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Gordon E. "Gordy" Wallace

Gordon was born in Buchanan MI, and raised in Coldwater MI. As a recipient of All State football honors, Gordon followed his dream of playing football at the college level and enrolled at Western Michigan University, later graduating in 1956 with a BA degree. While attending college, he met the love of his life Carol Tassie. They became inseparable and soon married. In 1958, Gordon joined the National Guard where he rose to the level of Company Commander of the 156th Signal Corp of Kalamazoo. During that time, his unit was called into active duty during the Berlin Crisis. Gordon and Carol moved to Portage, MI. where they lived for 50 years. Gordy cherished those years. He developed many long-lasting friendships, was active in Boy Scouts, coached Rocket football, and showed his admiration and support for Michigan football every Saturday in the fall of each year. Gordon retired as Quality Control and Customer Service Manager from Lear Siegler in 1988. During his retirement he enjoyed his family and friends, his veggie garden, the casinos, his several vacations on Anna Maria Island in Florida and golf. In 2000, Gordon decided to enter back into the work force and worked for the City of Portage in the Parks Department. He truly enjoyed leading and mentoring young people. This dear man, who was a huge part of our lives will be sorely missed. The imprint that he left on all of us will be everlasting. He will be deeply missed by his wife of 65 years, Carol, his children Tim (Janine) Wallace, Cindy (Jeff) Smith; seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and his brother Eugene (Sharon) Wallace. Gordon was preceded in death by his mother, Frieda Petzke Wallace, his father, Merton Henry Wallace, and his son Scott who deceased less than a month after his father’s passing.

 Mr. Wallace was honored the month of     May 2022

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Theodore “Ted” Weaver

Ted was born August 30, 1943, in Lancaster, PA, the son of Warren and Ada (Bucher) Weaver. He has been a Kalamazoo area resident since he attended WMU. During the Vietnam Era, Ted served in the United States Marine Corps. Ted received the Schanning Award from the 4th Bridge Company for his work as the company’s training non-commissioned officer. On June 23, 1967, he was united in marriage to Dorothy L. (Wellington) Weaver. He had a servant’s heart and found great pleasure in helping others. Ted was one of the prayerful saints who helped forge the foundation of The Bridge Church. His legacy will be honored there for many years. He was employed for several years as a financial planner, first with John Hancock Financial from 1967 to 1999 and then with The Wiser Financial Group from 1999 until his retirement in 2016. Ted was an avid sports fan, especially for his “PA teams”, the Steelers, Phillies and Penn State. However, he was much more of a fan of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. Surviving are his wife of 50 years, Dorothy L. Weaver; daughter Kalee Weaver; son Jeff (Melissa) Weaver; five grandchildren Alexis, Levi, Lydia & Landon Warren and Jackson Weaver; a great-granddaughter Camryn; a brother William (Alice) Weaver; and many other special family and friends. Ted was preceded in death by his father Warren Weaver and by a brother Ronald Weaver, his mother, Ada Weaver passed soon after Ted.

On September 4, 2017, Ted entered into his heavenly home. It is with confidence the first words he heard were, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

Mr. Weaver was interred with full military honors in his beloved Pennsylvania.

Mr. Weaver was honored the month of August 2019.

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Basil R. Van Linder

Mr. Van Linder was born March 3, 1926, in Plainwell, MI the son of the late Clinton Van Linder and Pearl (Granger) Van Linder-Stevens. During World War II, Basil, who was only 17, joined the Marines, along with his older brother, Ronald, to proudly serve his country. With his Marine brothers, Mr. Van Linder found himself participating in the battle of Iwo Jima where he considered himself lucky to make it home when so many of his comrades did not. While on Iwo Jima, he fought as part of the 3rd Division, 2nd Battalion, 9th Regiment, Easy Company. He also served in Guam and China during his time in the Marine Corps. He loved America and was proud of his service; but like so many others, preferred not to talk about his wartime experiences.

After the war, he attended watch repair technical school and became a part-time watchmaker while his full-time job for several decades was working as a machinist for Winkle Machine Company/Kalamazoo Manufacturing. Basil enjoyed playing the banjo; was an avid golfer; and was a devoted and extraordinary husband and father. He studied Spanish and taught himself how to speak the language. On July 21, 1951, he was united in marriage to his loving wife of nearly 65 years, Dorothy R. Graham, who preceded him in death on February 1, 2016. He was also preceded in death by a grand-daughter, Jaime; brother, Ronald; and a baby sister, Charlotte. He is survived by his children, Howard (Janice) Holcomb, Sharon (Larry) Sincler, Karen (Peteris) Berzins, Marcia (Howard) Snyder; 6 grandchildren, Heather, Matt, Jesse, Miranda, Emilia and Jakob; and several great-grandchildren.

Basil had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a perpetual optimist who was always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it. Through his difficult final years he never gave up hope that he would get better. He took everything in stride. He never gave up on rehabilitation after his open-heart surgery or his broken hip, no matter how difficult it became. He was tough both physically and mentally and would always make the best of what life dished out. The event that gave him the most pause was the death of his beloved wife, Dorothy.

Mr. Van Linder was laid to rest beside his beloved wife Dorothy with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery on February 24th of 2017.

Mr. Van Linder was honored the month of April 2018.

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Calvin Vander Kooy

Mr. Vander Kooy was born on September 29, 1929 in Kalamazoo, MI, a son of Jacob and Gertrude (VanSomeren) and had been a lifelong area resident. Calvin entered the US Army in January of 1951. While in service to his country, Mr. Vander Kooy was stationed in Japan, where he drove a tank. He was honorably discharged in December of 1952.

Mr. Vander Kooy retired from Cadillac Uniform Company where he worked in sales and delivery. Calvin was a member of Third Christian Reformed Church, enjoyed traveling and sports. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Marjorie Scheffers and a brother, Vern Vander Kooy. On July 16, 1953 Calvin married the former Marilyn VanderKlok, who survives. Also surviving are two daughters and their husbands, Susan (Roger) Visker of Elwood, IL and Sally (Bruce) Triemstra of Portage, MI; seven grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; a brother and his wife, Donald (MaryJo) Vander Kooy of Kalamazoo, MI; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Vander Kooy was laid to rest in Fort Custer National Cemetery with full military honors.  

Mr. Vander Kooy was honored the month of March 2018.

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