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Clarice E. Cummings

1935 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Clarice E. Cummings Obituary
Clarice E. Cummings, 78, of Ionia, Michigan, passed away on Saturday, April 26, 2014. She was born on July 16, 1935, in Belding, Michigan.

Soon after graduating from Michigan State University Clarice was employed by the Ionia County Intermediate School District to teach at the Friendbrook School for special children.

After two years the enrollment outgrew the one-room schoolhouse. Clarice, along with the Special Children, were moved to a three-room schoolhouse on Hwy. M91 and another teacher and aide were added.

This was the first Forest Grove. After four years, Ionia and Montcalm counties merged and built a new, larger Forest Grove on Hwy M66. Here the children had ample accommodations and four additional teachers.

Clarice functioned as the administrator. Under her guidance the program flourished, but within five years Ionia County built its own school on Harwood Road. This school was named Freedom Acres. Once again Clarice, her students and several more teachers moved back to Ionia County.

In this new building Clarice was able to return to her first love as a teacher. At age 45, Clarice was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and she continued to teach another 10 years, until her lack of physical strength caused her to retire.

She was a member of Business and Professional Women, and Delta Kappa Gamma, a teacher's group.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Bill Cummings; sister, JoAnn Wheeler; daughter, Cathie (Harry) Stuart; son, Roger Spaans; nephew, Jeff Wheeler; and parents, Gladys and Clarence Fay.

Surviving are her daughters, Joy (Lester) Shepard and Jackie (Jim) Baron; son, Rick (Cindy) Spaans; nine grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; a niece and nephew.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 10, 2014, at the First Christian Church, Ionia, Michigan.

Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes, Ionia. Online condolences may be made at www.lehmanfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Ionia Sentinel-Standard on May 6, 2014
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