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Jarvis Lowell Spreng, aged 96, of Grand Rapids Township, went to be with the Lord on May 29th. He was born September 16, 1926, in Kuling, Kiangsi, China, the son of Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Spreng and Martha Hake Spreng, who were missionaries in China at the time of his birth. Jarvis attended high school in Alexis, Carbondale, and Dwight, Illinois. After service in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 in Submarine Division 28 and then aboard Auxiliary Submarine Tender (AS-25), he attended North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, graduating in 1950. It was at North Central that he met Mary Katherine Lutz, whom he would marry on October 14, 1950.
After graduating with a business degree, Jarvis joined the staff of Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago, rising during his 38-year career to vice president and administrator of the Indenture Trust Division. While at the bank, he served as a board member of the Midwest Securities Transfer Association, a member of the national corporate trustee committee of the American Bankers Association, and member of The Metropolitan Club in Chicago.
Jarvis and Mary lived in only two places – Naperville IL, from 1946 to 2000, and Grand Rapids, MI, where they became residents of Cook Valley Estates retirement community in 2000. In 2017, he became a resident at Porter Hills Village, also in Grand Rapids.
In Naperville, Jarv and Mary raised four children and participated in many civic and church-related activities, including serving on the school board, the Economic Development Commission, and the Electric Advisory Board in Naperville.
Jarvis and Mary were members of Community United Methodist Church in Naperville for 50 years, which his grandfather had attended back in 1862 while a student at North Central. He served his church locally and nationally in several capacities, including the boards of the United Methodist Northern Illinois Conference Foundation, Naper Valley Retirement Community, and the investment committees of the United Methodist World Division and General Board on Finance and Administration.
In Grand Rapids, he served on the resident council of Cook Valley Estates, represented Cook Valley on the governing board of Porter Hills, and was active in senior activities at his church, Thornapple Covenant. For many years, he and his wife enjoyed extensive travel opportunities in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.
Jarvis was preceded in death by his wife, Mary in 2018, his daughter Marilyn Spreng Szejda (James) in 2010, his parents Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Spreng and Martha Hake Spreng, and his sister, Margaret Ann Spreng. He is survived by his son Dr. Richard Alan Spreng of Okemos, MI, and daughters Anne Elizabeth Spreng and Judith Kay Spreng, both of Bellingham, WA. He has seven grandchildren: Daniel Hamilton (Mallory), Maggie Hamilton Ramirez (Martín), Drew Prelgauskas, Michael Spreng, Evan Spreng (Jennifer), Rachel Spreng, and Kara Spreng; and six great-grandchildren: Aedan, Lilli, Leilani, Luna, Alex, and Riley.
A memorial service will be held at 1pm on Monday June 5th at Thornapple Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Visitation will be from 10-11am Monday at The Meeting House at Porter Hills and again from 12-12:45pm at Thornapple Covenant Church before the service.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Grand Rapids Community Foundation or Porter Hills Foundation.