Grace Freel, a lifelong resident of Millersburg, died Friday, December 8, 2017 at Cambridge Manor in Grandville. Born July 26, 1921 in Millersburg, Grace was the daughter of Dennis and Elizabeth (Walker) Dempsey. She married William J. Freel (“Billy”) December 31, 1945 at the Onaway Methodist parsonage. They were blessed with 64 years of marriage at the time of Billy’s passing in 2009.
Many of us have fond memories of Grace working as a cook at both Millersburg and Onaway Schools. She was skilled in the kitchen, baked the best bread and rolls, and was a favorite with the school kids. She was happy as she did her work, always smiling and enjoying the company of all the girls she worked with. Devoted to her Christian faith, she was a longtime member of Ocqueoc Baptist Church.
Grace enjoyed hosting family get-togethers and everyone looked forward to the big picnic in her front yard every Fourth of July. It always brought Grace much joy and happiness to be surrounded by her family. She loved sitting on the front porch with her sister/best friend, Gertrude, welcoming anyone who stopped by for a visit. She was a loving wife, a caring mother and a proud grandma. For Grace, family always came first. A real sweetheart, Grace was kindhearted, gentle, and sometimes a bit feisty. Her beautiful smile, lovely laughter and warm heart will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Surviving Grace is her daughter, Coleen “Cozy” (Dan) Rook of Hudsonville; a son, Paul (Rebecca) Freel of Dillon, South Carolina; eight grandchildren, Stacy (Jim) Vereeke of Allendale, Carmen (Dwight) Nemcek of Taylor, Texas, Ben Freel of Taft, Texas, Brad (Lori) Prince of Orlando, Florida, Mindy (Matt) Tucker of Columbia, South Carolina, Katie (Grayson) Smith of Florence, South Carolina, Garrett and Holden Freel, both of Dillon, South Carolina; seven great-grandchildren; several in-laws; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Billy; sisters, Eva and Gertrude; and brothers, Leo, Earl, Lyle, Irvine, Lawrence and Morris Dempsey.
Cremation arrangements were in care of the Chagnon Funeral Home. Grace’s family is planning a memorial service to be held in Millersburg in July. Her final resting place will be with Billy at Riverside Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Grace to Ocqueoc Baptist Church or Spectrum Health Hospice. Condolences may by shared online with Grace’s family at www.chagnonfh.com.