Benjamin Henry Godfrey, 74, of Newaygo, passed away on Friday, October 5, 2007 at his home. Ben was born in Holland, Michigan the son of Andrew and Calla (Tibbetts) Godfrey, on September 9, 1933. He was a long time resident of Newaygo, graduating from Newaygo High School in 1953. Ben was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955, spending one year in Germany, playing football and singing in the choir for the 3rd Infantry Division. He worked at the American Seating Company in Grand Rapids for ten years and was a tenor soloist for the MSECO Male Chorus.
Ben married Linnea Johnson on March 25, 1961 and they lived on their farm in Newaygo for 44 years. He worked in construction and also farmed for many years. Ben was an avid bowler, achieving a 300 game at age 57. Another high point of his life was performing at Carnegie Hall with his son, Lowell, with the Grand Rapids Junior College Choir in 1990. He loved his family and friends, his church and God.
Ben is survived by his wife Linnea; a son , Lowell Godfrey of Newaygo and grandsons, Connor and Evan Godfrey of Grand Rapids; his sister Alice Hirsch of Fremont, his brothers, Robert (Dolly) Godfrey of Grand Rapids, Andrew (Rose) Godfrey of Alto; and numerous nieces and nephews. Ben held many people in his heart including Ann Godfrey of Grand Rapids, Darrold Carrier of New Era, Kira Dennis of California and Jan Auke and Marlene Steegstra of The Netherlands.
Ben was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Jan Marie and his sisters Norma and Floramerle Godfrey.
A funeral celebration of Benís life will be held at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 from the Newaygo Congregational United Church of Christ at 432 Quarterline. Visitation will be held on Sunday 4-6 PM, Monday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider Heifer International, Hospice of Michigan, or simply plant a tree in Benís memory. Arrangements by McKinley Funeral Home, Newaygo, 231-652-5613.
Mrs. Godfrey I will always be grateful that God put me into your classroom. I made life-long friends in that classroom and I consider Ben and you part of that. I pray that Ben is at peace and you will find comfort in your time of sorrow. Peace be with you and your family.
Dearest Linnea: Ben has been blessed with family and friends who love him deeply. Your tender love and care made it easy for him to create space within himself which God filled with peace. He passed on knowing he was loved by you, family, friends and God. No one can ask for more than this at the end of a life well lived. You have been a loving example for us all. Surely angels surround him now as he looks down upon us all from a place of beauty far higher than any church rooftop! Love, Kathy Streng
Dear Linnea, Linda and I are extremely saddened to hear of Ben's passing. We are currently in California and unable to personally share our condolences, love, and appreciation to you for your family's impact in our educational and family life. As students, colleagues, babysitter, and friends, you and Ben were always there for us - sharing in such a supportive way. Thank you and God bless you. Love, Jim and Linda
I first got to know Ben in October of 1990.When I bought a house he had rebuilt...Mrs Puff's old house.There are alot of memeories helping Ben put the old house back together..I remember his smile and his laid-back attitude.I still live there...17 years now...and the memeories are still fresh as a coat of paint.I regret not going to the service tonight but I've been too many funerals lately...Mom passed away October 2nd and my father just passed in April.Also my big brother Paul in Jan of 05. My prayers go out to Lowell and Linnea...Ben is definely at a better Heavenly Home...built by God.In God's Grip..daily Pam K
Linnea and Lowell, Thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort at this time of grieving of the loss of a husband and father. You have my deepest sympathy.
Godfrey family~ Thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort at this difficult time of loss. Ben was a very special person and he touched many lives. Our deepest condolences. Jim & Ila Morris Sr.
McKinley Funeral Homes, Inc.