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Richard Glenn Gremel

Richard Glenn Gremel, age 81, of Grand Rapids passed away peacefully on his birthday, January 27, 2016 with his best friend and son Andrew Richard Gremel and daughter in law Meredith (Murphy) Gremel at his side. Richard was born in Sebewaing, MI on January 27, 1935 to Arthur and Virginia (Amerman) Gremel. On August 24, 1957 Richard (Dick) married his high school sweetheart and lifelong love, Onalee Belle Klemach.  His beloved wife, parents and grandson Alex Richard Gremel, preceded him in passing. Dick is survived by his daughter Amy (Steve) Henley and son Andrew (Meredith) Gremel, grandchildren Tina Baker, Tara Smith, Liza and Adam Henley, Emily and Ashley Gremel, great grandson Jackson Baker, brother Thomas (Theresa) Gremel, sisters Marna (Donald) Himsel, Karen (Phillip) Bertsch, Cheryl Diamond. Dick graduated in 1953 from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Michigan where he participated in many activities including the Track and Field team. Dick was an avid student of life, studying formally at Albion College, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), The University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Dick graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1964. In 1967, Dick and his family moved to East Grand Rapids from East Lansing where he had been teaching Dermatology at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  In 1968, Doc Gremel established Forest Hills Veterinary Clinic and it was there that he conducted his professional life along with a staff that was second to none. Dick was the consummate outdoorsman with a love of music, nature, hunting and fishing and growing things.  He was a member of the Ruffed Grouse Society, The Kent County Conservation League, the Watershed Club as well as several other outdoor organizations. Dick also volunteered his time and services to Paws with a Cause, was a co-founder of the first Animal Emergency Clinic in Western Michigan and a past President of the West Michigan Veterinary Academy. The family cottage in Bear Lake, Michigan was home to many wonderful summer memories before Dick and Onalee retired to the Western Upper Peninsula. Dick had a wonderful life with many friends made along the way and he earned the admiration of countless others as he cared for their family pets with gentle expertise and reverence for the role in each family’s life their pets played. Adjusting to life’s challenges with Alzheimer’s and life without his wife Onalee was also met with grace and dignity.  He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, the caring staff at Clark Retirement Community, and Faith Hospice but his legacy and love of life, nature, his family, long walks, and animals will carry on. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Paws with a Cause or Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods.  A private family gathering will celebrate Richard’s life at a later date.

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