TRAVERSE CITY — John Nathaniel Ashmore, age 82, was born Dec. 16, 1930, in Burdickville, to Robert and Lenore (Holden) Ashmore.
He joined the United States Coast Guard at 17 and served 20 years, traveling to a variety of locations. He returned to Grand Rapids and worked at Meijer for 20 years, retiring in 1990.
He was married for 53 years to his wife, Gertrude, who preceded him in death in 2008. He then returned to Burdickville to be near family. He was in assisted living at Hawthorne Cottage at the Pavilions in Traverse City prior to his illness. John greatly enjoyed helping others at the home and calling bingo. He also enjoyed spending time with his special friend, Joyce Edge. John had a special place in his heart for children and he loved to laugh and sing songs.
He is survived by his two children, John (Laura) Ashmore and Janet Thorne (Sam) Chan; four grandchildren, Amy (Clive) Pereira, Robert (Kelly) Ashmore, Andrew (Fatima) Ashmore, and Jaelyn Chan; five step-grandchildren, Taunya, Cassie, Angel, and David Chan and Jamal Thorne Jr; two great-grandchildren, Caleb and Nevin Pereira; two step-great-grandchildren, Alyssa and Justin Chan; his siblings, Dorothy Lanham, Susan (Tom) McManus, Richard (Allison) Ashmore, and Alice Cheek; his brothers-in-law, Gerald (Shirley) Steimel, Charles (Judy) Steimel, sisters-in-law, Marie (Roger) Tanis, Margaret Weaver, and Joan Gwaltney.
His parents; sister, Ione Lanham; brother, Robert Ashmore; brothers-in-law, Don Cheek, Fred and Carl Lanham, Claude Polmanteer, Bill Weaver, John and Walter Steimel; and sister-in-law, Anna Steimel, preceded him in death.
John is remembered by a host of extended family and friends at Hearthstone and Hawthorne Cottage. The family greatly appreciates the care he received from Munson Hospice House and Medical Center.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 11411 S. LaCore Rd, Empire, with Fr. Michael Janowski as celebrant. Visitation will be held prior to the service from noon to 1 p.m. at the church. Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Grand Rapids.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Munson Hospice, 450 Brook St., Traverse City, MI 49684-2386.
Arrangements by Stroo Funeral Home, Grand Rapids; www.stroofuneralhome.com.