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Laurence Lee Bratschie

January 16, 1928 ~ April 2, 2018 (age 90)

Laurence Lee Bratschie, 90, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, April 2, 2018 and passed into the arms of his friend and savior Jesus Christ.  He was preceded in death by his grandson Max Bratschie and is survived by his wife of 67 years, Genevieve (Genny), and five children, Cynthia Moll (Peter), Carol Lubs (Roger), David Bratschie (Mindy), Steve Bratschie (Kate), and Jeanie Bratschie, 17 grandchildren, Krista Kremer (David), Ashley Meek (Steve), Mieke Moll, Philip Lubs, Ben Lubs (Shannon), Katye Lubs, Daniel Lubs, Michael Lubs, Jenna Lubs, Fritz Bratschie (Kristie), Amy Bratschie Goddard (Grant), Alexandra Bratschie (Chad), Stevi Bratschie (Troy), Ian Bratschie (Julie), Greer Bratschie Stancil (Phil), Joey Bonansinga, Bill Bonansinga and seven great grandchildren, Jacob, Max, Aria, Sahala, Addi, Emmi, and Elyza.  Larry is also survived by his brother Fred Bratschie (Mickey), and numerous nieces and nephews.

Larry was born on January 16, 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri to Fred and Helen Bratschie.  Larry married the love of his life, Genny Bublitz, on December 9, 1950 after dating her since she was 16.  They enjoyed a total of 73 years together in a beautiful, loving relationship traveling the world together.  Larry served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.  Larry started his career in office furniture sales and marketing in 1956 in Kansas City, Missouri.  He joined Herman Miller Furniture Company in Zeeland, Michigan in 1960 before Steelcase hired him in Grand Rapids in 1965.  He worked as Director of Marketing and International Sales from the early 1970’s to 1995 traveling the world to establish Steelcase’s international sales/marketing department.  He concluded his working career as President of Right Associates outplacement from 1996 to 2002.  He is remembered as a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He was a mentor and caring friend to many young and old.  Larry was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 47 years.  He was an elder, Sunday School teacher, and raised money for several projects in the church.  For the last 5 years, he worked as a volunteer with “EARN”, an employment and resource network for the unemployed in several churches.  He was one of the initial board members of the Dwelling Place.

Larry was instrumental in raising vast sums of money and promoting projects such as Vern Berry Place, Herkimer Apartments, Ferguson Apartments, and Cherry Street Health Clinic, which provide housing and medical care for low income residents of Grand Rapids.  He spent 35 years working tirelessly for the less fortunate in our community. In 2013 Larry was awarded a Dwelling Place Award for “Building Community Together”, with an annual award/scholarship established in his name to be given each year to a resident of Dwelling Place exemplifying extraordinary community building. He was president of Downtown Rotary Club, Board member of GVSU Grand Forum and was active in other civic, non-profit and downtown development groups. In 2002, Larry was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award from The Michigan Non-Profit Association and Council of Michigan Foundations in recognition of his community service, the first given to a West Michigan resident.  He was a member of Kent Country Club for 50 years where he and Genny were usually the last ones on the dance floor.

Larry will be deeply missed in the hearts and lives of his family and friends in the community.  A private family burial will occur on Friday morning with visitation being held Friday, April 6 at 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at Metcalf and Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Road, SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  A funeral service will be held Saturday, April 7 at 11:00 AM with visitation with the family at 10:00 AM at Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 47 Jefferson Street, SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In Lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Cherry Street Health Clinic, Westminster Presbyterian Church, or Faith Hospice.  You may watch the Saturday memorial service on Westminster Church’s webpage:

Donations may be made to:

Westminster Presbyterian Church
47 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods
8214 Pfeiffer Farms Drive SW, Byron Center MI 49315
Tel: 1-616-356-4820

Cherry Street Health Clinic
550 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapdis MI 49503
Tel: 1-616-235-7272

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