Friday, August 3, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
North Park Reformed Church
1316 Barney Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49004
Lunch will follow in the church hall. Burial following lunch at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park, North.
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Louie Breeding would agree that there was no one quite like him. He was fun loving and kind with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Louie was fully devoted to his family, and there wasn’t any place he loved being more than being surrounded by their love. Although he worked hard, he took the time to play hard, too. He accomplished great things, but Louie was a humble man of faith whose greatest source of pride and joy was found in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He leaves behind a brilliantly colored mosaic of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were serving during WWII. Those who remained stateside became all too familiar with rationing on common goods like paper, coffee, sugar, and tin. It was also during this eventful time that Clifford and Vida (Graham) Breeding were so proud to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Louie C. on May 31, 1942, in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas. He was the fifth of seven children as he was joined in his family by his older siblings, Helen, Connie, Bonnie, and Katy, and his younger siblings, Marilyn and Sue. His father worked as a cotton farmer, and life was anything but easy for the Breeding family. Their family was very poor, and when he was just a young boy of six Louie was driving a tractor to school. On one occasion, he even drove into the ditch! This instilled within him a strong work ethic that would follow him for the rest of his life. When he was 13, Louie and his family moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan. He attended local schools and graduated from high school in Benton Harbor in 1959.
New and exciting changes were in store for Louie when he met the young woman of his dreams. They actually met when he was only 14 and working as a stock boy at a local dress shop in Benton Harbor. Her name was Betty, and she was good friends with Louie’s sister, Katy. Sadly, Katy became sick and later died, but there was something beautiful that came as a result as Louie and Betty reconnected a few months later. Betty couldn’t help but be attracted to how tall he had become as he was over six feet. The couple had their first date at a drive-in movie. Their love grew, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Louie and Betty were married on September 16, 1960, in Benton Harbor. Betty was a young widow, and to their marriage she brought her two-year-old son named Harold. Louie loved and raised Harold as his own. Their family later grew to include another son, Brian Gene, and two daughters, Ronda and Jennette.
One of the things Louie was most known for was his strong work ethic. He was the breadwinner in the family, and he took the job of providing for his family very seriously. Although Louie was trained as a machinist, he was an entrepreneur at heart. He owned several businesses over the years, but his primary business was his machine shop in Portage, LeVannes Inc. He owned and operated this business from 1967 to 2004, and he grew the business to employ more than 15 employees. Louie was fair to his employees, and his philosophy was that if he was successful he should be taking his employees there right along with him. He was not only the owner of the business, but he was also the salesman and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on the floor when needed. Louie was very modest, and he also made it his mission to get to know and also to relate to his employees. In addition to his strong work ethic, he was known for being honest, kind, and generous, both in business and in life.
Although his work was important, there was never anything that was of greater importance to Louie than his family. Together they always had fun with toys, which was basically anything with a motor. Whether it was bikes, race cars, snowmobiles, or an airplane, their family made memories having fun. Louie loved speed and going fast. He even raced his car at the Martin Speedway. Although he had some nice Corvettes, he always considered himself a Dodge man. He liked working on his cars when he had the time. He liked to fly and even had his own plane, a Bonanza. A true free spirit, Louie wasn’t afraid to do stunts in the plane, and he once took the family on a trip to Colorado to visit Harold.
Throughout his life Louie was one to keep busy. In addition to working on his car, he was a fan of NASCAR. For years he was a Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fan. Louie enjoyed spending time fishing out in his boat, and he especially liked catching trout from Lake Michigan. He liked visiting Las Vegas and took an annual trip there. Louie was a man of faith, and his church, North Park Reformed Church, was an important part of his life. When it came to television shows, he enjoyed the classics like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Louie wasn't much of a music lover, but he did like classic 50s rock ’n roll. He liked a variety of foods, but his favorites were steak and fries, biscuits and gravy, and pies of any kind.
It was easy to see that family was so important to Louie. He was thrilled when grandchildren came along, and he loved spoiling his grandchildren whenever he could. Christmas was his favorite time to spoil them, and when great-grandchildren came along, Louie couldn’t have been more proud.
Life was forever changed for Louie and his loved ones when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. Even though he didn’t want to admit it, this disease began to diminish his ability to do so many of the things he loved. One thing that didn’t change was his love for driving fast. He recently bought a 2014 Dodge Viper and a 2014 Dodge Challenger Scatpac.
With a journey that spanned times of great change around him, Louie lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. He was never one to let life get the best of him, rather, he believed in being honest, fair, and working hard in everything he did. Louie was a family man through and through, and he was filled with unspeakable joy when his daughter, Rhonda, was born on Father’s Day. Dearly loved, he will be forever missed.
Louie C. Breeding, of Kalamazoo, died on Monday, July 30, 2018, at home in Kalamazoo. Surviving members of his family include his wife, Betty; children: Harold (Nicole) of Baldwin, Brian Gene, Ronda and Brian White and Jennette Weimer; 7 grandchildren: Amanda Outlaw, Brandon White, April Bolser, Autumn Weimer, Tyler White, Ashlee Weimer and Sara White; 5 great-grandchildren; and sisters, Helen Lausman, Marilyn Wertz and Sue Tinsley. Louie was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Vida (Graham) Breeding, and sisters, Katy Matthews, Bonnie Volpe and Connie Breeding. Visit with his family and friends on Thursday (August 2) from 5-8 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Services will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at North Park Reformed Church, 1316 Barney Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49004. Burial will follow the service at Mt. Ever Rest Cemetery North. Please visit Louie’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to North Park Reformed Church.