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Obituary for Michelle Marie (Mercier) Lumbert

Michelle Marie Lumbert, age 85, passed away on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at SKLD (formerly Heartland) in Ionia. Michelle was born on July 2, 1937 in Orbigny, Indre-et-Loire, France to Andre and Andrée (Genileau) Mercier. She was preceded in death by both her parents and one brother, Bernard Mercier. She was also preceded in death by her longtime companion, husband, Pierre Blanquet.

Michelle lived on Eaton Highway in Mulliken for the majority of her life. Her neighbors became the family she left behind in France. She was meticulous about her yard. Keeping it mowed and maintained with beautiful flowers was a passion for her. Over the years she worked as a waitress at Big D Restaurant in Portland, at the canning factory in Lake Odessa and finally landed at General Motors in Lansing. She was very proud to work there and loved her job.

She loved to travel everywhere and made many trips back to France to see her family. They were always an important part of her life and she never lost her French roots.

Michelle was an amazing mix of personality, emotions and had an infectious sense of humor. She loved her grandkids and was their Mémé. She was so excited when they would visit and couldn’t wait to catch up on the “gossip” in their lives. While at SKLD, her walls were adorned with pictures of them along with her daughters, their families and many friends. In the last couple of years, she was very proud to become a Mémé to two great-grandsons.

Michelle loved music and dancing. During her 16-year stay at SKLD, though she was wheel-chair bound, she always had her radio playing and at times her “girls” would come in and have little dance parties for her. The people who cared for her there were her second family. She built lasting relationships with them over the years. She tacked on a sense of ownership to her favorites by referring to them as “My Holly” or “My Robin”. She loved them and their families as her own. We cannot begin to express how much we appreciate the love she received there.

She is survived by her three daughters, Valerie “Barbara” (Joe Pline) Hodges, Natalie (Scott) Spitzley, Caroline (Rick) VanHouten; grandchildren Corey Hodges, Shane Hodges, Victoria (Zach) Smith, Jill (Tim) Fischer, Zach Spitzley, Bailey VanHouten, Rachel VanHouten; and great-grandsons, Abel Smith and Tripp Fischer; sister-in-law, Rolande Mercier of Orleans, France; and several nieces and nephews both in France and locally.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. Mike Alber at 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland. Rite of Committal will follow at Danby Township Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. Online condolences may be made at


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