Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Kerry Bloom

April 1, 1949 - June 29, 2024
Gobles, MI



Thursday, July 18, 2024
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Main Street Pub
52879 N Main St
Mattawan, MI 49071
(269) 668-3700


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kalamazoo Humane Society
2272 River St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 345-1181
Driving Directions
Web Site

Kalamazoo County Democratic Party
3254 S Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 342-4217
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Humble, kind, and generous, Kerry Bloom lived a life rich in family and friends. Kerry was a man who embodied the principles he believed in, welcoming each day as a gift and treating people with respect and kindness. He never hesitated to use his gifts and talents to help others and led with his heart in all things. Kerry found joy in life's simple pleasures, especially spending time with those he loved. A devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend, Kerry will long be remembered and so dearly missed.

After years of misery brought on by the Great Depression and World War II, 1949 marked significant postwar prosperity as sales of cars, televisions, and other goods were in high demand. The establishment of NATO, the first sale of a Volkswagon Beetle in the US, the first successful television sitcom, and the first Polaroid camera marked 1949 as a year of hope, growth, and consumerism. The nation's focus was on family and building a brighter future. Nowhere was there more hope than in the home of Walter and Dorothy (McWilliam) Bloom as they welcomed their son Kerry to their family on April 1, 1949, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Growing up in West Michigan, Kerry enjoyed the good company of his three siblings, Tim, Linda, and Bradley. The second oldest child in the family, Kerry walked about a mile to elementary school with his sister. As only an older brother can do, he convinced her to carry his instrument, along with her own. His father worked for Upjohn Company as the Lead Scale Mechanic and his mother worked at Western Michigan University's bookstore. Kerry lived next door to his aunt and uncle and spent a lot of time at their home as well. He made particularly fond memories with his uncle Charles doing simple things like washing the car together every week in their driveway.

Kerry played football and tennis during his years at Loy Norrix High School. He continued his education at Kalamazoo Valley Community College while working as a Resident Care Aide at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. Kerry later graduated from KVCC and was drafted into the U.S. Army. Since he had experience and training working in the medical field, the Army stationed him at Walter Reed Hospital.

After completing his service in the Army, Kerry returned home and resumed working at the psych hospital, eventually moving into the Information Technology department. He learned computers by reading books and helped install them throughout the hospital as their use became mainstream. In 2013, Kerry retired as Director of Human Resources after 47 years with KPH.

While at KPH, Kerry had the good fortune of meeting Deborah O'Dell, who was a Registered Nurse working in the children's unit. Debbie was moved by the way Kerry took care of the patients' needs with kindness and intention. The couple had much in common, including a shared musical taste. The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues, and other rock bands like Hot Tuna and Little Feet were some of their favorites. When he announced their engagement, he excitedly told his brother, "I met this girl with fiery red hair!"

Kerry and Debbie married on June 1, 1975, and made their home in Gobles. In time, they were blessed to welcome their daughter Elsa to their family. Though Kerry had a very stoic personality, he showed his love through actions, like waking Elsa up in the morning by playing the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up." When she was older, he gave his truck to Elsa and paid for the insurance and registration for several years as a way to show his love.

Kerry was a grill master who enjoyed hosting holiday gatherings. Elsa helped him prepare the food and he always made something amazing. Kerry loved black licorice, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and the family-favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream. At Christmas, Kerry bought thoughtful presents for Debbie and had Elsa help with the bows.

Contented by the simple things in life, Kerry enjoyed woodworking in his large woodshop. He made most of the family's furniture. He also enjoyed golfing and took several vacations with friends to Arcadia, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head. Annual trips to Apalachicola, Florida, were Kerry and Debbie's favorite times. It wasn’t too touristy so they could enjoy each other’s company walking around town or lounging on the beach. Closer to home, Kerry enjoyed attending football games in the fall, many of which including tailgating. A true fan of the game in every sense, even when it was drenching rain or freezing cold he'd have a smile on his face.

Sharing the gift of wonderful companionship, Kerry and Debbie did everything together. Noting how often they were together, a friend once quipped, "Do you two ever go anyplace without each other?" Whether tending to their home, making day trips around the Michigan lakeshores, or traveling south, Kerry and Debbie enjoyed it all.

Kerry's steadfast companionship and acts of love are the foundation that will long live in the hearts and lives of those he so dearly loved. In each moment we gather together and share the gifts of family and friendship, cheer on our favorite teams, use our talents to serve others, enjoy a sweet treat, and explore the lakeshore with our beloved, we celebrate the countless ways Kerry made life better for who were so blessed to know him. In this way, we keep his memory alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.

Kerry Bloom, of Gobles, age 75, died on June 29, 2024. Kerry was born April 1, 1949, in Kalamazoo to Walter and Dorothy (McWilliam) Bloom who precede him in death along with his brother, Tim. Surviving are his wife, Debbie; daughter, Elsa Bloom; siblings: Linda (Leonard) Duevel and Bradley (Cynthia) Bloom; and nieces and nephews.

Please join us for a celebration on Thursday, July 18, from 2-6 PM at Main Street Pub, 52879 N Main St, Mattawan. Celebrate Kerry's life online by sharing your favorite stories and photos on his dedicated webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Donations may be made to the Democratic Party of Kalamazoo or the Kalamazoo Humane Society. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.