Helen Griefer Semler

November 16, 1925 ~ January 29, 2018 (age 92)

Helen Semler, Age 92, died at home on Monday, January 29, 2018 after a brief illness. She was born November 16, 1925 in Lima, OH, the daughter of Harry and Pearlie Griefer. Helen grew up in Benton Harbor, MI and married her high school sweetheart, Robert Semler on September 3, 1946. They raised their family in Ypsilanti, MI. and provided a welcoming space for their girls, their friends, many foreign exchange students and countless cats.

After Robert's death, Helen started a new adventure by moving to Grand Rapids at age 80. She made many friends at Cook Valley Estates and Porter Hills. She enjoyed annual trips to Festival for elephant ears, loved ArtPrize, and enjoyed every season at Meijer Gardens.

She was a dedicated Girl Scout and school volunteer; she enjoyed beading and scrapbooking. Her family was her greatest joy.

Survivors include her three daughters, Susan (Todd) Dickinson of Grand Rapids, MI, Sarah (Richard) Tanner of Midland, MI, and Rebecca Markstein of Centennial, CO. six grandchildren, Annelise and Charley (Ashley) Dickinson, Claire (Matt) Perko, Jeff (Meghan) Tanner, Blake and Grant Markstein. Also survived by three great granddaughters, Julia and Natalie Perko and Mia Tanner; niece Ruth (Jerry) Harbaugh, and nephew William Griefer.

Since the first gathering in 1975, the Semler Family reunion at Mohican State Park in Loudonville, OH was an eagerly awaited annual highlight for Helen. She will be fondly remembered by her sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and by other beloved (and ever increasing) members of the extended Semler family.

She was predeceased by her parents, brothers Robert and William Griefer and her son Charles Semler II. 

The family wishes to express deep gratitude to the administrative and medical staff at Cook Valley and Porter Hills who were so supportive and caring.

A service celebrating her life will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018, 2:00pm at The Meeting House at Porter HIlls, 3600 Fulton St E. Grand Rapids, MI 49546 Rev Melody Johnson, officiating. Memorial contributions may be made in her honor to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Donations may be made to:

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids MI 49525
Tel: 1-616-957-1580

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