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  • James Townsend

Obituary for Charles Louis Willems

Charles Louis Willems, age 88, of East Lansing and long-time resident of Burcham Hills Retirement Center, passed away Sunday, June 28, 2020. He was born on October 9, 1931 in Portland, the son of Anthony and Katherine (Spitzley) Willems. Charles was well loved by the AARP and his St. Martha’s Catholic Church family. He was a devout Catholic and a member of the the Knights of Columbus. As a young man he was selected to attend the United States Naval Academy and he proudly served in the Korean War. Charles was a lifelong learner, earning many college degrees. He practiced law in the Portland and the surrounding areas for many years. Charles had a love and devotion to his dogs and made many friends over the years. He enjoyed his 88th birthday party, where he was able to share memories with all of them. He loved his wife, Bert “Mary” who preceded him in death in 2011. He is also preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Donald Willems, Mary Etta Mercer and Ethelene Lillie. Surviving are his sister, Margery Willems and several nieces and nephews.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Mike Alber at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 2, 2020 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland. Rite of Committal will follow at Portland Cemetery. Military graveside honors will be provided by the Portland V.F.W. Post #4090. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes Online condolences may be made at

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