Edmund Joseph Monette, of Reed City

July 10, 1924 — June 16, 2020

Edmund Joseph Monette, 95, of Reed City, passed away June 16, 2020, on the date of his 67th wedding anniversary and his late wife’s 91st birthday. He had been in declining health for the last year.

He was born July 10, 1924, in Detroit, and was the first of four children born to John and Emilia (Siemion) Monette. The family moved to a farm in Cassopolis when Ed was 8, and he graduated from Cassopolis High School in 1942. He attended Wayne State University and Michigan State University, earning his bachelor’s degree.

He married the love of his life, Evelyn Brown, on June 16, 1953, in the Lansing area where they resided for a number of years. During this time, he was employed with the Department of Natural Resources, and later as a respected senior counselor with the Michigan Department of Corrections at Jackson State Prison. In 1967, Edmund and Evelyn moved their family to a farm near Reed City, where they enjoyed renovating the large old house and outbuildings, planting gardens and fruit trees, picking mushrooms and leeks in the spring, and spending time with their seven children. Ed worked for the Department of Social Services in both Mecosta and Osceola Counties before retiring in 1980.

Ed enjoyed traveling, particularly in Canada where he had many adventures. He loved renovating old houses, walking the beaches of Ludington, reading his many books, and working on his gardens and yard. He knew the names of every tree and plant, and he had a very generous spirit. His children remember how much he and Evelyn enjoyed taking them on camping trips, vacations, and spontaneous road trips. His concern for his children was always evident. A repeated question on these trips was “Are you kids warm enough?” When the children were grown, the repeated reminder after a visit would be “Be careful pulling out of the drive. … They go fast down this road!”

Edmund was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, in 1999; and his two sisters, Ileane and Dolores.

He is survived by his brother, Melvin, of Cassopolis, who at the age of 10 accompanied Ed on his first Canadian adventure; his sister-in-law, Lois Brown, of Mason, who faithfully wrote weekly letters to Ed in his last years of life that always provided a bright spot to his day; and many nieces and nephews who he loved.

Until reunited, he will be missed by his seven children, Diane (Ken) Plas, of Byron Center, David (Rhonda) Monette, of Reed City, Lorie (Oliver) Lodholtz, of Reed City, Daniel (Carol) Monette, of Battle Creek, Sharon (Rock) Colley, of Reed City, Marie (Mick) Vallette, of Reed City, and Alan Monette, of Paris. He was a loving and proud grandfather and great-grandfather.

Ed’s last year was spent living with his youngest son, Alan, being cared for by his children and supported by hospice. While his activity was extremely limited and he wasn’t always comfortable, Ed never complained, always had a smile for his children and caregivers, and continued to find enjoyment in simple things such as watching a movie with his son or having a bowl of homemade soup. “A Lantern in her Hand” was a favorite book of Ed’s and was one his mother had read to the family by the light of an oil lamp when he was a child. It may be that his views were shaped in part by this book.

“Death,” Will repeated it.  “Death…”He looked beyond the poplars, stared for a moment up into the deepening prairie twilight.  “I wonder why we fear it?  The naturalness of it!  Wild geese flying over…cattle coming home…birds to their nests…leaves to the winter mold…the last sleep.  When my time comes I wish my family and friends could think of it that way.” (Bess Streeter Aldrich, 1928).

Ed was a long-time member of St. Philip-Neri Catholic Church and internment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Reed City. Arrangements are entrusted to Pruitt-Livingston Funeral Home and per Ed’s wishes a private family gathering will be hosted.

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