CENTRAL LAKE — Maris Spaulding wouldn’t want to see tears.
Maris, a 2012 Central Lake graduate, lost her months-long battle with leukemia on Thursday evening. The community rallied to support her since her March diagnosis, and those who know her said she wouldn’t want people to focus on sad sentiments in the wake of her death.
“Love one another, that would be something she’d want people to do,” said her grandmother, Jan Johnson. “And keep smiling.”
Maris died at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Doctors initially thought she’d have a chance at beating the cancer, but it became too aggressive in the end.
“None of us really gave up until Wednesday,” Johnson said. “It was devastating, of course, but we had to deal with it. We just tried to be there with her and tell her that we love her.”
Maris was a girl of strong faith who always brought smiles and laughs to her friends, family and the doctors who cared for her, Johnson said.
“She was a very upbeat kid,” she said. “She always, always had a smile on her face.”
Maris served as president of the student council and was a three-sport athlete. She also was a member of the National Honor Society, an active participant in her church youth group, and editor of the school yearbook, among other activities.
She was inspirational in more ways than one, said her grandfather, Gary Johnson.
“She had a subtle way of getting into your heart,” he said. “She’d affect you without you even knowing it.”
Maris was accomplished in volleyball, basketball and softball, and her competitive spirit would likely dictate what she’d want to tell others in the wake of her death, Gary Johnson said.
“Things are going to get better, they’re going to be OK,” he said. “Keep moving forward. Nothing is going to drag us down.”
Her pastor, Gary Bekkering of First Congregational Church in Central Lake, frequently visited her at DeVos, which became her second home.
He was there when she died, surrounded by friends and family.
“We shared memories, laughter, tears. Bible passage readings. We sang songs. It was an incredible time, and it was a true honor to be there,” said Bekkering. “It was incredibly spiritual, a very moving moment.”
As a pastor, Bekkering said he is supposed to be the one to inspire and strengthen those in need.
“But whenever I walked away, it was she who was inspiring and strengthening me. She is a very, very special young lady. Deep spiritual faith,” he said. “She has this infectious, beautiful smile. She touched many, many hearts: the little kids at Devos, the nurses and doctors. In her short time on this Earth, God blessed us.”
Bekkering said he’ll go to Central Lake High School next week to meet with her peers to prepare a celebration for Maris’ funeral.
The funeral will be held at the high school gym on Dec. 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. A luncheon will follow at The Pelican Room. A visitation is planned for Dec. 7 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes and again on Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
CENTRAL LAKE — Maris Spaulding wouldn’t want to see tears.
Division Street will be reduced to two lanes
Motorists can expect significant traffic delays on Division Street as sewer repairs will reduce one of the city’s busiest roadways from four lanes to two over a two-day period.Continued ...
Seventh Street access to Munson to close for three days
Utility work will close a block of Seventh Street that provides one access route to Munson Medical Center for up to three days.Continued ...
Crews to close Supply Road
Road crews will close Supply Road to traffic between Brown Bridge and Williamsburg roads this week as they replace a failed culvert.Continued ...
Chelsea Lajko named National Cherry Queen
Chelsea Lajko has been named the 2014-2015 National Cherry Queen.Continued ...
Mixed margins for festival vendors
Stephani Beauchamp is having her slowest year yet selling gluten-free granola and cookies at the National Cherry Festival farm market, but on the other side of her booths Julie Millen’s cherry goods practically leap into customers’ hands.Continued ...
Winners announced from R-E drawings
Petersburg resident Keith Labadie claimed the grand prize in a drawing among visitors to the Record-Eagle's tent at the National Cherry Festival. Labadie won a gift certificate for $100 from Cherry Republic.Continued ...
Family fun at the festival
Family-friendly activities are at the forefront of National Cherry Festival fun.Continued ...
Cherry Festival Schedule: 07/12/2014
Saturday's festival schedule — 7:30 a.m. Meijer Festival of Races: Line up with thousands of runners of all ages to race the 5K walk/run, 10K, 15K, and half marathon courses. Eastern Elementary, 1600 Eastern AvenueContinued ...
Commissioners' slip may have violated open meetings law
Two city commissioners' lack of preparation in a city manager evaluation may have caused a violation of the state's Open Meetings Act, an expert said.Continued ...
Police step up patrols before festival's close
The bad behavior escalated quickly after Jerek Gutierrez and Katie Willis left West End Beach.Continued ...
One dead in Benzie crash
Authorities are investigating a two-vehicle crash north of Beulah that left one man dead and closed U.S. 31.Continued ...
Judge sentences woman in Garfield Township drug case
Connie Lynn Hamilton-Lowe wept as her attorney Philip Settles recounted her struggles with addiction and asked a judge to consider them before crafting a sentence on drug dealing charges.Continued ...
Cherry Fest Volunteers: Dennis Brown
It takes a community to bring the festival to life. Dennis Brown from Grawn started working for the National Cherry Festival two years ago when he accepted an internship while a student at Michigan Tech.Continued ...
Munson embezzler receives 6-month sentence
A Traverse City man who embezzled thousands from Munson Medical Center presented "an unusual case," a judge said before he imposed a six-month jail sentence.Continued ...
Post-fireworks show clean-up planned
The beaches surrounding the Open Space looked more like landfills than sandy retreats the morning after the Fourth of July, and local volunteers are working to make sure it doesn't happen again after Saturday's fireworks display.Continued ...
Life As I Know It: Life just keeps parading along
I love a parade. More to the point, I love being part of a parade.Continued ...
Paving on Fife Lake Road starts today
Paving starts today on Fife Lake Road between U.S. 131 and Supply Road.Continued ...
- Thursday, July 10, 2014
UPDATE: Police unsure about CMH gun report
City police called off a search for a man said to have waved a gun inside Northern Lakes Community Mental Health after questions arose about the original report.Continued ...
At least one NMC trustee won't run again
At least one Northwestern Michigan College trustee won't seek reelection this fall, and no one officially has filed to run for the board's three open seats with only twelve days until the July 22 filing deadline.Continued ...
New magazine gives homeless a voice
There's a new publication hot off the press, and it's filled with stories from the streets.Continued ...
Cherry Festival Schedule: 07/11/2014
Friday's Schedule — 9 a.m. Kids' Sand Sculpture Contest Ages: Ages 3 to 5 - 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Ages 6 to 8 - 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Ages 9 to 12 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Groups with ages 3 to 12 - 10:30 a.m. to noon. Registration will be 15 minutes before the start of each category. Senior Center Beach, 801 E. Front Street.Continued ...
A farm and festival connection
National Cherry Festival frenzy is at its peak — rides at the Midway, high-stepping parades, music at the main stage, food and tournaments — everything's in full swing.Continued ...
Cherry Fest Volunteers: Diane Dennis
It takes a community to bring the festival to life. Diane Dennis has volunteered for the National Cherry Festival for more than 35 years. She even served as the festival president in 1994.Continued ...
City officials on street performers' tickets: play it again
Two unlicensed Traverse City street performers may find a reason to sing the blues after all.Continued ...
Showers, thunderstorms possible this weekend
Cherry Royale Parade participants and spectators likely will contend with warm and muggy weather, but those heading downtown for the National Cherry Festival's fireworks finale should pack an umbrella, just in case.Continued ...
- Division Street will be reduced to two lanes