Memorial contributions may be made to Milan’s Miracle Fund at https://www.milansmiraclefund.org/donate to support ending childhood cancer.
Charlene Dawn Gerard, age 80 of Lowell, went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior Wednesday, April 11, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald Vernon Gerard (2012); parents Ben and Glenna Rillema; and great-granddaughter Alia Michelle Davis. She will be greatly missed by her children Janice Gerard, Jonathan (Sandra) Gerard, Nicole (David) Jankowski, Geoffrey Gerard; brother Robert Rillema; sisters Ruth Warner, Melanie (Doug) Grooters; grandchildren Amanda (Lance) Davis, Samantha Snyder, Christopher Hunt, Amber Gerard, Cory Gerard, Peyton Jankowski, Dawson Jankowski; great-grandchildren Austin and Blake Snyder, as well as cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. She went by many names: Charlene, Char, or Dawn. She was always a gentle and giving lady with a big heart and held a life-long love for God, family, heritage music, gardening and crafting. Early in their marriage, she and Vern spent time building Princess Bake Shops, a church, a family, and were able to celebrate 56 years of marriage before Vern passed. During their marriage, they loved visiting Pentwater, taking at least one day to visit every year. She touched many lives whether it was through her long career in Tupperware sales or any of her other ventures. A keen talent of hers was knitting; many new babies were recipients of her hand-made blankets. She spent her retirement knitting then donating hats and scarves, meeting friends at McDonalds or “Timmy Hortons”, and developed a special love for card-making. She would spend many hours with fellow crafters at weekend-long stamping sessions. Early in 2017, she was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. She didn’t let that hold her back, still managing to make it to stamping weekends, occasional Tuesdays at Gilda’s Club of Lowell, even holding mini-card making sessions at her room in Heather Hills. She was an inspiration to many. Visitation for Charlene will be Saturday, April 14, 6-8:00 p.m. at Roth-Gerst Chapel, 305 N. Hudson, Lowell, MI 49331. A celebration of her life will be held Sunday, April 15, 3:00 p.m. during a memorial service at the funeral home chapel, with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Rev. James Bowen officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Milan’s Miracle Fund at https://www.milansmiraclefund.org/donate to support ending childhood cancer.