Lenabelle (Lenny) VanBrakel, age 97, passed on to her Lord and Savior peacefully at Green Acres of Ionia on May 21, 2020.
Lenny was born February 24, 1923 in Lansing, Michigan, the oldest of four daughters to Oscar J Motcheck and Lena B (Packard) Motcheck.
Her early schooling was at Trinity Lutheran, Lansing, before moving to Holt and finally the family farm in Eaton Rapids. She came to Ionia in 1938 when her father opened Motcheck Meats at 340 W Main St, Ionia. She worked there and continued working there until after her marriage to Kenneth W Ransom on July 17, 1942. He soon after entered the army in August 1942. She followed him to Riverside, California where he was stationed at Camp Hann. She worked at a shoe store until he shipped out to Europe in 1944. She returned to Ionia, living at Ken’s parents’ house until his separation from the army in1946. They started their family and dream home at 11 Third St in Ionia soon afterwards. She loved to camp with family at Pioneer Park in Muskegon and still did later in life. She started to work for Meijer on July 2, 1954 and worked there for 25 years to the day. Ken became ill and finally passed away after many years of hospitalization at Grand Rapids V.A. There were many tough years but she remained strong in her faith and waited for God’s plan.
Lenny married Philip W VanBrakel on January 4, 1974. They were blessed with many years of family and good friends before and after retirement. After retirement they were happy traveling and living in Florida. They returned to Grand Rapids and were members of Messiah Lutheran before moving to Lytle Street in Ionia where they were members of St. John Lutheran. After Phil’s death in December 1999 Lenny busied herself with quilt making at St. John Lutheran, gardening at her Lytle Street home, having good neighbors to whom she was know as Grandma V, her beloved dog, Sophia, side trips in her PT Cruiser and trips to see Michelle in Alaska.
Surviving Lenny are her son, Larry (Sheila) Ransom of Ionia, daughters, Dawne (Ken) Metzger of Hutchinson, Minnesota, Lynette (Denny) Seiler of Portland, Michigan and Michelle (Russell) Posey of Copper Center, Alaska, Step-daughters Margarita (Gary) Townsend of Kentucky and Sonja VanDuine of Sparta, Michigan. She is also survived by many grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, along with many nephews and nieces.
Lenny was proceeded in death by her parents, her sisters Ruth, Delores and Joyce, husbands Ken and Phil, several nephews and nieces, grandson Anthony Angelo Ramos and step-great-grandson Taggart Sines.
Cremation has taken place with a Celebration of Life to be announced at a later date. Arrangements cared for by Lake Funeral Home in Ionia
Memorial contributions can be made to St. John Lutheran Church, Ionia. Online condolences may be made at www.lakefuneralhomes.com