Jun 10, 2015
Obituary: Gene Veliquette

Gene Alan Veliquette, 67, died Sunday, June 7, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan. He was a well-known cherry grower in northwest Michigan.

Gene was the son of the late Beverly C. (Bev) and Marie Veliquette, the third of 12 children, born Aug. 19, 1947. He graduated from Elk Rapids High School in 1965 and Michigan State University in 1970 with honors. Upon graduation, he and his brothers bought their first farms, and a cherry farming legacy was born.

On Nov. 25, 1977, he married Linda Carol Godfrey. They made Williamsburg, Michigan, their home for the next 37 years, where they raised three children: Rachel (Chance) Bunner of Traverse City, Charlotte (Kevin) Ball of Elk Rapids and Tyler Veliquette of Williamsburg. They had nine grandchildren.

Gene served on many cherry industry boards over the years and was a founding member of Christ the King Church. Along with his twin brother, Dean, he helped create the Cherryland Youth Association, helping to support area youth sporting activities.

Gene provided the vision and inspiration for growth at Cherry Ke, Cherries R Us, Great Lakes Packing, Shoreline Fruit and Triple D Orchards.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bev and Marie Veliquette, brother Rodney Veliquette, mother-in-law Clara Abercrombie and sister-in-law Marjorie Veliquette. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and siblings Norman Veliquette, Dean (Sharon) Veliquette, Shirley Cisneros, Trudy (Mike) Cullimore, Jan (Linda Rose) Veliquette, Neva Veliquette, Jim (Christy) Veliquette, Colleen Fryer, Jon Veliquette, and Toni (Duncan) Morrison.

A funeral mass will take place Thursday, June 11, at 3 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Acme, Michigan. Interment will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery, Elk Rapids. Memorial contributions may be directed to Cherryland Youth Association, P.O. BOX 32, Elk Rapids, MI 49629.

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