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George Allan Vanstone

December 7, 1930 January 1, 2017
George Allan Vanstone
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Obituary for George Allan Vanstone

George Vanstone, age 86, died peacefully on January 1, 2017. Beloved husband of the late Marie. Loving father of Ernest Vanstone, Deborah (Richard) Baron, Sharon (Paul) Saputo and David Vanstone. Survived by seven adored grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

George was born in Redford to William and Marie Vanstone on December 7, 1930. Their fourth child. His father was a Detroit bus driver and his mother a homemaker. Tragically, his younger sister died when he was around 11 years old. His mother never recovered from the loss of his sister and his youth was forever changed. He was forced to grow up very quickly. He became self-sufficient at a young age. He also realized, “school was not for him”. He lost his own father when he was just 20 years old.

His life was forever changed when he went to Clark’s Dance Hall and met Marie when they were both 16. It was love at first sight and they were inseparable. They wed on February 13, 1954 and made their first home at Lake Chemung.

George had worked in a “bump” shop but discovered his true calling as a craftsman was carpentry. He worked for a succession of builders, installing the best hardwood floors anybody has ever seen. He was an artisan and very proud of his work. He would eventually co-own and operate his own hardwood floor business, a construction roughing crew and finally a carpet installation company. He then decided, it was just easier to go back to work for somebody, which he did for the last 10 years he worked.

George and Marie started their family in Redford in 1957 and eventually moved to Milford in 1971 to raise their four children.

George was not book smart, but boy was he street-smart. He figured out how to retire at just 53 years old and he and Marie realized their dream of moving to Florida, where they spent over 11 years together until she passed away on April 6, 1994. He decided he wanted to be back in Michigan with his family (which, in hindsight, he always said he should have stayed in Florida – he loved warm weather).

He bought his house in Highland in 1995 and immediately installed hardwood floors (no surprise). He loved yard work and his grass was the envy of the neighborhood. Pride in home-ownership abounded.

He totally immersed himself in the lives of his grandchildren – chauffeur, cheerleader, financier or confidant. He loved it all. He really embraced being their “Pepe”. He worked so much and so hard providing for the family he raised, he was now able to completely give himself to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For that, we are all so grateful.

George was affectionately referred to as a Timex. Because, no matter what, “he took a licking and kept on ticking”. He was not without his health challenges. This never deterred him. He just got it fixed and moved on.

We celebrate this truly amazing person. Complex, funny, tough, caring, affectionate, generous, and frugal guy that we called Dad, Pepe, but most importantly, friend.

Visitation will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty St., Milford, on Thursday, January 5, from 9-11:30AM, in procession to St. Mary Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, 1955 E. Commerce Rd., Milford, for Mass at 12 Noon. Burial will follow at Milford Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity of your choice are suggested.

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