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  • James Townsend

Obituary for Jerry Lavern Spangler

Born in Hillsdale, MI on October 4, 1947 to Eben "Bud" and Jean Spangler of Frontier, MI. He graduated from Camden-Frontier High School in 1965. He briefly attended Ferris State College (now University) before enlisting in the United States Air Force, being stationed in Guam, Thailand, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. He served until 1972, attaining the rank of Senior Airman. On August 8, 1970 he married Diana Mocerin (of Elk Rapids, MI) in Birmingham, MI. They welcomed a son, Glen, in 1977, and daughter, Heidi in 1981. Jerry received a Bachelor's degree from Siena Heights University in 1977 and a Master of Science in Career and Technical Education from Ferris State University in 2005. He is survived by wife, Diana of 49 years; son, Glen (Alice) Spangler; daughter, Heidi J. Spangler; brother, Jim (Joyce) Spangler; sister, Janet (Mike) Crites; uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Son, nephew, brother, cousin, husband, uncle, father. Teacher, fisherman, race fan, and car enthusiast. Jerry had a varied career path, but was mostly an educator of Aviation Maintenance Technology. In 1981, he began nearly two decades of service at Lansing Community College and in 2000 he started a new High School vocational program with Kent Career Technical Center (KCTC). In 2011, he retired from KCTC and partnered in starting Aviation Educational Consultants, LLC for several years creating FAA Aviation Technology approved schools in several states including Alaska, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Jerry enjoyed spending time with his wife Diana, going on many adventures all over the United States including their favorites of St. Ignace, MI, Flagler Beach, Florida, and Yellowstone National Park. Jerry enjoyed Sunday Brunch, driving his 1976 black Corvette, sunshine and 80 degree weather, fishing, Lake Michigan, the Atlantic Ocean, sprint car racing, Irish music, airplanes, and most importantly, spending time with his family and close friends. He is and will always be greatly missed, especially his ear to ear smile and contagious laughter.

Funeral Services for Jerry will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the Portland United Methodist Church with Pastor Letisha Bowman officiating. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge St., Portland and also on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Internment will follow after a luncheon at the church at the Frontier Cemetery, Woodbridge Township, MI. For those wishing, contributions may be made to the Mother Teresa House in Lansing, MI in memory of Jerry. Online condolences may be made at

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