Stanley E. DeDoes, formerly of Kalamazoo, Michigan, age 86, died unexpectedly Wednesday night at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and entered the kingdom of his Lord and Savior surrounded by his loving family.
Born January 26, 1936 in Kalamazoo, Stan was one of five sons and one daughter born to the late John and Jennie (Greendyke) DeDoes. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in in 1954 and married Betty (Canard) DeDoes in 1957, who survives.
He began a career in construction as a teenager working for his father’s home building business. At 26 years old on a solo venture he secured a bank loan with a handshake and built three apartment buildings totaling 24-units on Gull Road in Kalamazoo. For many years he was a construction superintendent on large commercial projects including apartment complexes and churches in Michigan and Arizona; he and Betty resided in Tempe, Arizona from 1984 to 1991, returning to Michigan after retiring. In addition, he built six residential homes where his family lived, including two following his retirement. After wintering in Lakeland for 26 years, he and Betty made Florida their year-round residence in 2021.
He was a devoted and loving husband to his wife of 65 years, and together they built a legacy that includes three children, seven grandchildren and (currently) six great grandchildren.
As was his father, Stan was a man of faith and led his family to know and follow Jesus. He attended Calvary Bible in Kalamazoo and Lakes Church in Lakeland, where he appreciated the traditional service. He greatly enjoyed listening to gospel music, especially performances by the Gaithers.
Multi-talented, Stan enjoyed providing expertise and helping-hand assistance for home improvement tasks for family, friends, neighbors and people he met in store check out lines. He was most recently excited that his daughter had purchased a home in his neighborhood and got busy helping spruce up their home by painting, hanging curtains and controlling weeds. He also enjoyed fixing broken items in cost-saving ways, being creative artistically and making drawings and paintings that are displayed in each of his children’s homes and enjoyed by several grandkids.
Stan liked spending time and volunteering at the Southern Michigan Gun Club, where he would sight in and practice marksmanship with mostly .22 rifles and pistols that he would buy used and refurbish. It was a priority to pass along one of his guns to each grandson and ensuring they had firearm handling and firmly ingrained safety skills. For the hours and years of service mowing and maintaining equipment at the club, he was granted a complementary lifetime membership, a reward for which he was proud.
His quick wit and willingness to make conversations and joke with family, friends, neighbors, strangers as well as restaurant and store employees endeared him to many. He would be greeted by name regularly at businesses he frequented. He dearly appreciated his neighbors, frequently holding group conversations in his driveway and sharing potluck dinners with them. Golf was an activity he had given up years ago, but he still enjoyed watching the players on the course that bordered his backyard and bantering with those who would start a conversation. He reported that many of the golfers have a sense of humor and would ask him, especially after a particularly bad swing: “Have you learned any new words today?”
He was preceded in death by his sister Nellie DeDoes and brothers Nathan DeDoes, Adrian “Ted” DeDoes, and Robert DeDoes; sister-in-law Lois (Nathan) DeDoes. Surviving Stan are his wife Betty (Canard) DeDoes, his children Joni (Scott) Bradley, Patti (David) Benson and Terry (Jill) DeDoes; his brother Nelson “Jake” (Sue) DeDoes; sisters-in-law Mary (Robert) DeDoes and Ardie (Ted) DeDoes; grandchildren Bryan (Lisa) Gilpin, Staci (Matthew) Trapp, Brent (Anni) Bradley, Nicole (Josh) Sparks, Andy (Clara) Benson, Nash (fiancé Matley) DeDoes, and Cade DeDoes; great grandchildren Kaidyn Gilpin, Eli Gilpin, Ellie Trapp, Ethan Trapp, Lillian Bradley and Case Bradley.
No formal memorial service is planned at this time. Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.