George Dreitzler, of Niles

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Feb. 20, 1954 — May 7, 2016

George Dreitzler, 62, of Niles, Michigan, passed away Saturday, May 7, 2016, at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife and children by his side after battling H1N1 influenza.

George Dreitzler

George Dreitzler

George was born on Feb. 20, 1954, in Niles, Michigan, the son of Melvin “Pete” and Joyce (Canfield) Dreitzler. His brother, Ron, joined the family two years later. George graduated from Buchanan High School in 1972, where he excelled in all sports. He graduated from Ferris State University with a bachelor’s degree. As talented as he was on the field, his modest and gracious nature was just as magnetic off the field. He genuinely enjoyed his conversations with friends and teammates he would happen upon at the grocery store or around town.

On June 9, 1979, George married the love of his life, Michele (Reiter). Thus began what was to become his greatest joy as their children, Derek and Emily, were born. George dedicated his life to making sure that not a day went by that his family didn’t know they were loved and cherished. From coaching Derek’s ball teams and becoming Derek’s best friend, to introducing Emily to her fiancee, Josh, George’s love is felt in every corner of their hearts. His fulfillment came from being a husband, father, and “Papa” to grandchildren Cy and Izabelle. In his eyes, they are his greatest achievement.

George was a proud member of the VanEerden Food Service family where his thoughtful, kind nature turned his customers into friends, whom he valued dearly.

George is survived by his wife Michele (Reiter), son Derek (Sandy) Dreitzler, daughter Emily (future son-in-law Josh Champion) Dreitzler, grandchildren Cy Dreitzler and Izbelle Champion, mother Joyce (Canfield) Dreitzler, and brother Ron (Liz) Dreitzler and many loving family members.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 13, 2016, from 1-5pm, with a celebration of life ceremony beginning at 5pm at Hoven’s in Buchanan, MI. The family encourages friends to share a story or special memory about George at the ceremony. Online condolences may be made at