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20742 State St
Onaway, MI 49765
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Rick L. Velfing

1953 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Rick L. Velfing Obituary
Rick L. Velfling, age 64, of Cheboygan died at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 after a short illness. The son of Rudolph and Jeanette (Kendall) Velfling, Rick was born in Cadillac on Aug. 4, 1953. He married the love of his life, Rebecca A. Dore on May 24, 1974 in Saginaw and made their home in Auburn.
Rick worked for General Motors for 17 years before moving north to Cheboygan in 1989 to operate the Pine River Motel until 2002. Known to his co-workers as "Speedy", he was employed at Wal-Mart at the time of his death. Moving to Northern Michigan suited Rick well as he enjoyed many outdoor activities. His favorite place was in the woods where he enjoyed hunting deer, birds, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels and in the spring, morel mushrooms. He also loved boating and fishing on the lakes and rivers around Cheboygan. Using his woodworking and carpentry skills Rick built a beautiful home for his family. He enjoyed landscaping, doing yard work, as well as flower and vegetable gardening.
A good man with a vibrant personality Rick related well to people of all ages and walks of life. Some called him the "pied piper" because children were drawn to him. He always seemed to be surrounded by young ones. This may have been because he was a "big kid" himself, had a talent for telling a delightful story, and had the philosophy that everyone should enjoy their youth as much as he did. Growing up, Rick and his brothers shared in plenty of shenanigans and fun times; those memories were priceless to Rick.
With Rick there was never a dull moment! He tended to be accident prone and have plenty of mishaps. Several years ago after falling from a tree stand Rick lost the use of his legs. He never let this unfortunate accident limit his passion for living. Determined, Rick continued to venture into the woods in his wheelchair. There were plenty of times he was "stuck" in the woods or the snow. And yes- it is possible to bury a wheelchair in mud and get pulled out by a truck! Sometimes he involved his grandchildren in these adventures or his 92 year old mother-in-law. Always young at heart, Rick didn't take himself too seriously. He usually laughed at his own tomfoolery.
Family was a priority for Rick. He looked forward to family gatherings and valued spending time together. An awesome Grandpa, he was in his glory when his grandchildren were born and of course, he didn't mind helping them find a little mischief. He was a wonderful father, concerned, and always wanting the best for his family. As a husband, he was a loving partner to Becky; together they were a great team. They worked together in their business, raised a beautiful family, and were best friends. Through life's ups and downs their love for each other only grew stronger. Rick was a remarkable man who lived life to the fullest and without regret. His love for his family, his appreciation for nature, and his colorful individuality will be fondly remembered.
Surviving Rick is his wife of 44 years, Rebecca Velfling; daughter, Nicole (Dennis) Proctor of Cheboygan; son, Bill Wood of Traverse City; and the grandchildren he adored, Madi, Mia, Ethan, and Brody. Rick also leaves his mother and step-father, Jeanette and Clyde Hawkins of Cadillac; mother-in-law, Rhea Dore of McBain; brother, Rudy (Tamra) Velfling of Kalkaska; sister, Diane (Tom) Kisor of Ashton and step-sister, Cheryl Talsma; as well as many nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends.
Though he will be tremendously missed, it is comforting to know on Tuesday evening Rick was reunited in Heaven with his grandson and best buddy, Riley Proctor; as well as his brother, Greg; father, Rudolph; father-in-law, Bob Dore and the many others who have gone on before.
Rick's family will receive friends at the Black River Full Gospel Community Church on Sunday April 8, 2018 from 1 p.m. until the time of the memorial service beginning at 2 p.m. Pastor James Seaman will officiate. A luncheon and fellowship will follow. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Rick to Black River Full Gospel Community Church, 2732 Orchard Beach Road, Cheboygan, MI 49721. Condolences may be shared with Rick's family at www.chagnonfh.com.
Published in Cheboygan Daily Tribune on Apr. 9, 2018
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