Life Story / Obituary
Adventurous, athletic, and intelligent, Timothy Alan Refior lived a life rich in family and friends. Tim was a natural athlete and nature lover well-known for his spontaneity and risk-taking. He loved the outdoors and never turned down the opportunity to go skiing, camping, mountain biking, or hiking. He had a terrific sense of humor and loved playing practical jokes on people and spending holidays with family. A man who embraced each day as a gift and every person as a friend, Tim will long be remembered and so very missed.
1968 was a year of high emotion. While the peace movement continued to gain momentum in the wake of the war in Vietnam, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy rocked the nation, the Beatles sang of "Revolution" and Cream of the "Sunshine of Your Love." People around the country sunk their teeth into the first Big Macs, and the first Boeing 747 made its maiden flight. Nowhere was there more excitement than in the hearts and home of Ronald and Rosanna (Schneider) Refior as they welcomed their son Tim on March 10, 1968, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Growing up with four siblings, Tim enjoyed an active childhood. Along with his brother, Larry, and three sisters, Michelle, Christy, and Cindy, Tim was raised with strong family values and an excellent work ethic. The family always ate supper together and fully understood the very important principle of being willing to strive for one's goals diligently, keeping The 7 P's, Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, in mind at all times.
The family made many wonderful memories while traveling. Annual camping trips to Ludington, Camp Merrie Wood on Labor Day, and adventures to Cedar Point Amusement Park were always fun times. Memorial Day was celebrated with friends, and summer days often included swimming with neighbors at Shannondale Pool. Always on the move and a swift runner, Tim earned special management tools after an epic family trip to Washington, DC. While the family descended the Lincoln Memorial steps, a very young Tim took off running down the stairs toward a busy road. His parents chased after him but could not catch him before he ran between two cars parked at the roadside. Upon hearing his mother scream, "STOP!" everyone came to an immediate halt – cars, people, and Tim. After that, he had to wear a harness with a leash when out and about.
Tim attended Portage Public Schools, where he played soccer and basketball and ran track. After graduating from Portage Northern High School with the class of 1986, he went on to attend Calvin College, where he played soccer and earned his engineering degree in 1990.
As an electrical engineer, Tim helped design laser surgical equipment and managed many other special projects. Over his 32-year career, he worked in Colorado, Michigan, and California. With a passion for the outdoors, it is no wonder Tim chose to live most of his adult life in Colorado. Soccer continued to be a mainstay for Tim. He'd be out on a field three to four days a week playing in various adult leagues and pick-up or drop-in games. When not playing soccer, he enjoyed mountain biking, skiing, camping, and exploring mountains near his home and out west.
Tim loved music of all kinds and often shared his emotions and special messages through songs. Tim loved all dogs, and especially his German Shepherd, Buffet. Named after the legendary Jimmy Buffet, Tim trained Buffet to locate many things in the house, bring him his slippers, and play hide and go seek. Mountain hikes were always better with Buffet at his side. Having grown up with ice cream every night, Tim carried on the tradition through adulthood with his favorite, Blue Bunny Ice Cream. Whether indulging in a Biggby coffee, trying International foods, cooking prime rib, or dedicating 24 hours to making the best roast, Tim relished each and every moment.
Though our days with Tim were far too few, every moment we shared is a gift we will long treasure. Tim showed us how to live life to the fullest, say "yes" to adventure, and cherish one another. This is the beautiful legacy we will so proudly carry forward in celebration of the wonderful man we were so blessed to know.
Tim, 55, passed away on July 26, 2023 in California. His parents preceded him in death. He is survived by his siblings: Michelle (Joe) Perk, Larry (Deb) Refior, Christy (Mel) DeYoung, and Cindy (Jeff) Mudget; and 7 nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place, and services will be announced at a later date. Please visit Tim's web page at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign his guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.