Many people know of the man who built eccentric DIY contraptions and the countless projects and adventures that we all contributed to. Some of the most memorable are the runaway away Fun Island, the "Trump" sea wall, the power tower Hunting Stand, the Ludington Rocket Stove, the Endless Watermelon and Pickle Production, the TLC ski boat... that only started when it really counted, the Swamp Garden, the Annual Anchoring... aka the near sinking of the S.S. PaddleBoat, snow golf on the lake, don't get us started on the lake stairsssssss, The "Eiffel Tower" of garages, the bumpy truck, the boat hoist that "actually worked", the Inception of 100,000 trees, the Double Banana Split boating tube, the Fat Wheel dirt bike, the Pig Roast(piggy 1 and piggy 2), the "charcoal, gas or inferno" Grill, the infamous Dock..."what happens on the Dock stays on the Dock", and the cabin up north..."come on innnnn". He will be known as the King of Tie-Dye, the master of Jet Skies, the tube-pulling captain, and the winter warrior.
To honor his life and all the people he touched, we would like to create two memorials in his name.
First, a memorial placement stone or plaque in Stoney Lake Township Park. "The lake house", this is where it all started. John's first house, the wedding ceremony, raising the kids, birthdays, friendly cookouts, and lake days with friends and family. Our family has so many happy days and memories spent at Stoney Lake. It's only right that this will be the place where we can continue to remember him forever as he rests looking out over the lake.
Secondly, we would like to create a Snowmobile Trail Head (sign) or a Trail Marker in honor of him. We would really like this to become a reality to commemorate the trails he rode with his friends, family, and his kids. John was an avid snowmobiler and loved being apart of the snowmobile community in St. Helens, Roscommon, and the surrounding area. Some of his happiest moments were spent at the cabin and on the trials with family and friends in upper Michigan.
Finally, any remaining contributions will go to NAMI. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. NAMI has become the nation's voice on mental illness, a nationwide organization with affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country. https://www.nami.org/
He is lived on by his two children whom he loved more than anything in the world. Most importantly he is remembered as the "greatest dad ever".
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- John and Janet Vermeesch Colleen Buckhanon
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