Glen V Borre, age 86, passed away peacefully at his home in Grand Rapids on February 8, 2022.
On his 50th birthday, Glen had a fun business card printed which read “Fisherman – Lawyer – Pilot,” and for those that knew him well, that was just a part (add avid gardener, scuba diver, wine judge, boat captain) of his inspiring life story.
Glen was born in Highland Park, Illinois to Anthony and Laurine Borre. His parents encouraged him to participate in the Boy Scouts of America. Both Glen and his brother, Larry, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, with Glen going on to receive the Order of the Arrow. From their parents and the Scouts, Glen and Larry gained a lifelong appreciation for the values of hard work, dedication, and service to others. Glen attended New Trier High School, and in his junior year, he won the wrestling state championship.
Glen graduated with a degree in business and finance from Northwestern University. He then served for two years as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his service to country, he enrolled in Northwestern Law School, wrote for the Law Review, and graduated with a J.D.
Betsy Beaton first spotted Glen when he was working as a waiter at her dormitory dining hall. Soon after graduation, the couple was married and moved to Grand Rapids. They were blessed with three children.
Glen began work as a lawyer at the firm Vanderveen, Freihofer and Cook. In 1971, he started his own firm. In his mid-forties, he learned how to fly to better reach his clients living across the state. He was appointed by Governor William Milliken to the Michigan State Board of Law Examiners and served a term as President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. He taught business law and frequently lectured on estate planning. Glen practiced law for more than 50 years, and before retiring, he enjoyed finishing his legal career with Miller Johnson.
Glen and Betsy were interested in architecture. They built a family home in 1970, a cottage on Beaver Island in 1978, restored an abandoned Victorian-era house in Heritage Hill in 1983, and completed their current artful home in Grand Rapids Township in 1996. In addition, he served on the building committee for the construction of the Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids. He also led the building committee for the construction of the Frederick Meijer Gardens.
Glen served as an officer and on the board of numerous community organizations, including the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy Association of West Michigan.
Glen is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betsy, and their three children: Suzanne Bonadeo (Jon) of Beaver Island, MI; Bill Borre (Jill) of Lake Leelanau, MI; Lisa Borre (David Barker) of Belding, MI; as well as a granddaughter, Betsy Borre, currently living in Spain. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother. The family is planning a Celebration of Life at a later date, and he will be laid to rest on his beloved Beaver Island. Donations can be made to the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, 185 Oakes SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or Frederik Meijer Gardens, 1000 E. Beltline, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.
Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all during this time.
My wife Alice remembers Glen well from his early days as a lawyer. Civil servants, like Alice, always have their favorite lawyers who are up beat, friendly, and show appreciation for their services. Glen was clearly one of those lawyers the staff was glad to see (as opposed to some lawyers whom the staff dreaded) and felt that what they did was important and appreciated. Much later on in life, Alice and Joanna Grant along with many others catalogued and tabulated results of the Tasters Guild wine judging. When they had down time between wine flights, they worked on crossword puzzles. Whenever they got stuck, they could always count on Glen for the right words. We have so many fond memories of Glen and Betsy that made our lives so much more enjoyable. Betsy, we can’t even imagine the magnitude of your loss. With heartfelt sympathy, your friends, Brian and Alice
I served briefly on the Frederick Meijer Garden building committee as an employee of Consumers Energy. I was great experience for at the time a relatively new employee. It was a pleasure to serve with both of you. My condolences for you and your family.