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Obituary for Steve Vander Ziel, 61

Steven Mark Vander Ziel, age 61 of Lowell, passed away Saturday, October 28, 2023. He was preceded in death by his father, Henry Vander Ziel. Steve is survived by his wife, Joan Vander Ziel; children, Amy (Foster) Hovey, Andy Vander Ziel, Melissa (Matt) Rozelle, Kelly (Alex) Repke, Kyle Vander Ziel; grandchildren, Noah Hovey, and Baby Rozelle; mother, Yvonne Vander Ziel; brother, Paul (Ann) Vander Ziel; and many nieces and nephews.

Our heavenly Father called Steve home unexpectedly on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Throughout his life, everything Steve did was from the ground up: the dairy farm, his house, pond, barn, tractors and businesses. Out of high school, he started a dairy farm with his parents and brother. Then, he worked on building a loving 35-year marriage and raising a family. He was proud of and cherished each of his unique 5 kids. In the family he had the mentality of "figure it out" - go drive that excavator or back up this trailer - because he knew we could do it; it came from a deep love of family and a desire for his kids to succeed in life. His engineering mind prompted many projects that brought the family together and which he used to teach many life lessons. In business, he believed in treating people how they would want to be treated - with integrity, honesty, and respect. He tried to be fair in business deals, one of his favorite sayings was, "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." Steve built a successful business from the ground up that has reached people all over the world. He served the Lowell community on the township board for many years. In his later years, he ventured first in John Deere tractors and then any brand as long as it was "pre-30". He lived by the mentality that if someone built it, he could fix it. That is exactly what he did; he brought home "tractors" in crates and after a while they would drive out of his barn under their own power. He created a tight knit community of tractor friends which he thoroughly enjoyed. Steve was always two feet in for all of life and his gas tank was always empty. He will be greatly missed by many.

For those who may not know, Steve was the namesake at Vander Ziel Machinery. He founded the company after buying a package of machinery for the farm. He kept a few items and sold the rest. He was a man who believed deeply in getting his hands dirty and leading by example, he built the business on the Christian values of honesty, integrity, and respect. Steve had a gift for planning not just to step two or three but usually to step ten or fifteen. Our family has surrounded his vision and have been involved in the business since the beginning. Still to this day the family is very involved in everyday operations.

As many may know, in his later years Steve used his engineering mind to restore old tractors, in his mind the older the better. He would reverse engineer parts even when he didn’t have the original. His ingenuity and ability to solve a problem brought Vander Ziel Machinery to where we are today.

Visitation will be held from 5-8pm on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at "The Barn" 12166 52nd St. Lowell, MI 49331. A portion of 52nd St will be closed for the visitation - proceed through the closure and park on the road. Funeral Services will be held at 11 am on Friday, November 3, 2023, at NorthPointe Christian Schools, 3101 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to NorthPointe Christian Schools (NPC Foundation in memory of Steve VanderZiel), 3101 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 or Lowell Township for the Parks (Steve VanderZiel Family Endowment Fund), 2910 Alden Nash SE, Lowell, MI 49331.

Obituary for Harlan Wilson, 63

Harlan B. Wilson, age 63 of Marengo passed away, surrounded by his family and friends, on Monday,

April 24, 2023, following a month-long illness.

Born on December 23, 1959, in Zanesville, he was the son of the late John M. Wilson and Gail (Hornbeck) Wilson who survives in Stockport, Ohio. Harlan graduated from Morgan High School in 1978.

He always considered Morgan County his home.

Harlan’s hard work ethic was instilled in him by his father. He was the proud owner of Wilson Tire of Marengo for over 36 years. He was one that always paid his own way, he often mentioned “when you get out of debt….life is easy”.

A tireless worker, he was a simple man, polite, and loyal. He possessed the largest of hearts, was very caring and a true gentle giant. One always knew where one stood with Harlan. He always followed through with his word and taught his family “your word is all that you have”.

An outdoorsman at heart, he was an avid hunter and hunted and fished all over North America. He treasured his time “goin’ down south” to his cabin, where there are walls full of trophy game, which attests to his love for the outdoors. He also enjoyed a passion for antique tractors and tractor shows often selling and trading tractors and parts. His love for John Deere tractors, especially the D models could not be rivaled and he was in the middle of restoring a favorite experimental D.

Harlan loved to mow and was meticulous about his yard. He took pride in keeping everything he owned looking nice. He was the first to lend a helping hand and generous to a fault. He was witty, was gifted in math, and also possessed a sharp memory. He was happiest when working and was proud of his work ethic, but prouder of his children and grandchildren. He met his love of his life, Pam, at The Junction restaurant in Johnsville, OH and married a year later. They enjoyed many travels together and had wonderful adventures.

In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his beloved wife of 36 years Pam (Harris); children: Rachel (Bart) Leist of Galena, OH, Shane (Maryfrances) Krauss of Pointe Vedra, FL, Brandi Engle of Lancaster, OH, Corey Krauss of Marengo, OH; grandchildren: Lauren, Evan, Samuel, Gracie, Annalyse, Harper; sister: Jean Goodnite of McConnelsville, OH, brothers: John (Kim) Wilson and Rusty (Amy) Wilson both of Stockport, OH; his beloved border collie, Chloe; as well as a host of friends who he considered family and “brothers”.

He was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law Max Goodnite.

Harlan is certainly one not to be forgotten, using his words “What it is ….is”.

Friends may call Saturday, April 29th from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 637 N. St. Rt. 61 at St. Rt. 3, Sunbury, Ohio 43074. On Sunday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m., Harlan’s celebration of life services will be held with Pastor Aaron Beacom officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions should be made to St. Jude Children Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Condolences may be expressed at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harlan, please visit our floral store.


Obituary for Neil West, 80

Neil L. West, 80, of Bettendorf (Iowa), passed away Monday, December 19, 2022 at his home.

 Funeral services will be 10am, Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at St John’s United Methodist Church, Davenport. Visitation will be 4-6pm Tuesday at Rafferty Funeral Home, 2111-1st St A, Moline. Burial will be at Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Memorials can be made to The Center (St John’s United Methodist Church), Davenport or Greeneview High School Engineering Lab, Jamestown, Ohio.

Neil was born September 13, 1942, in Springfield, Ohio. He was the only child of Paul H. and Cleo (Little) West. He married Alice Carpenter on August 30, 1964 in Athens, Ohio. She preceded him in death on September 25, 2005. He married Perrine Woller on May 12, 2007, in Moline.

 Neil received a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Ohio University. He was employed at John Deere Technical Center and Harvester Works for 35 years. During that time, he received 13 patents including a device for keeping the radiator clean when operating in very dusty conditions. He was active in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), including chairman of the National Grain Harvesting Committee.

 Neil was elected to the Greeneview High School Wall of Honor; the ASAE Quad City selection Member of the Year and received the Quad City Engineering & Science Council 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

 Neil was able to fix almost anything from a simple leaky faucet to rewiring a vintage pinball machine. He enjoyed restoring antique tractors and equipment and had a large collection of full size and toy tractors and Ag equipment as well as a 1917 Velie touring car. He was a founding member of the Deer Valley Collectors antique tractor club. He was very active in supporting youth activities in the tractor clubs, plus mentoring a high school robotics team. He established and supported the “West Engineering Lab” at his high school alma mater, in Jamestown, Ohio.

Neil was active in his church and he had been on two mission trips to Haiti. He loved traveling and had been to all seven continents and over 60 countries.

Neil was a Founding Member of Classic Green.

 Survivors include wife, Perrine; daughters, Susan (Nigel) Ray, Boone, Iowa, and Sonja West (Rob Fezekas), Athens, Georgia; step-son Fred (Jen) Woller, Rock Island and grandchildren, Mabel and Graham Fezekas.

Obituary for Mark Redding, 77

Mark Elmo Redding, 77, Burlington, passed away at 5:33 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at Ascension St. Vincent in Kokomo. He was born July 26, 1945, in Logansport, the son of the late Elmo Marion and Hilda Irene (Milburn) Redding. On June 24, 1989, he married Vickie (Allen) in Bringhurst, and she survives.

Mark was a 1963 graduate of Northwestern High School. He worked at Howard County Equipment facility in Kokomo before serving in the United States Army, obtaining the rank of Private First-Class E-7. Mark was a Desert Storm Veteran. In 2001, he retired from Chrysler Corporation after 30 years of service. If you knew Mark, you knew he was a John Deere fanatic. He enjoyed traveling over the country to various tractor shows. Mark was the founding member of the Carroll County Antique Tractor and Machinery Club. He enjoyed boating, as he and his family went on many houseboat trips. Mark loved being a grandpa to his grandchildren.

In addition to his wife Vickie, Mark is survived by his children, Darren Redding, Rocquel (Brian) Cigal, and Rick Flory; grandchildren, Allie Cigal, Riley Cigal, Sydney Flory, Jackson Flory, and Brady Flory; siblings, William (Cheri) Redding, and Rebecca (David) Crosby; and sister-in-law, Doneta Redding.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Benny Redding, and Marion Redding.

A funeral service will be held at 10 am Monday, December 5, 2022, at Stout & Son Funeral Home-Neptune Chapel, 44 Michigan Rd., Burlington, with Pastor Mike Williams officiating. Burial will follow in Burlington Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the United States Army and the Burlington American Legion Military Rites Team. Friends may visit with the family 2 pm to 5 pm Sunday, December 4, 2022, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Carroll County Antique Tractor & Machinery Club in Mark’s memory. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.stoutandson.com.

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