Life Story Visitation
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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Joe Good would agree he was a no-nonsense, straight shooter who lived life on his own terms. He was a hardworking man who believed in earning what you have and giving everything your very best. With a life that spanned nearly a century, Joe Good fully embraced the days he was given. Through the example he set, he inspired others to learn to be independent and to work hard.
Joe was a dedicated father and although he could be strict, becoming a grandfather softened him just a bit. Deeply devoted to his family, Joe was so proud to witness his family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made him so very proud. In fact, he believed that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, not to mention his great-great granddaughter, were meant to be spoiled.
1929 is often recalled as the year of the historic stock market crash that sent our nation and much of the world spiraling into the Great Depression. It was also time of fun advancements in our nations culture. PEZ candy and bubble gum began finding their way into children’s pockets. The tunes of Louis Armstrong and Eddie Cantor filled the radio waves and the very first Academy Awards were held. Closer to home in Lawton, Michigan, Lawrence and Irene (Silvernail) Good were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby. Their wait was finally over on January 14, 1929 when the baby boy they named Joe made his arrival. He was one of six children as he was joined in his family by his siblings, Lawrence, Al, Betty, Beatrice, and Inez.
In many ways Joe was a typical young boy of his generation. His father supported their family through his work with the railroad while his mother owned a bakery in Lawton. Joe attended local schools and, later in life, made sure his own kids knew he walked uphill both ways every day. As a young man, Joe worked on the railroad with his father, performing maintenance along the local tracks. He let his mother drive the very first truck he owned into town once, but she was never allowed to drive it again since she ran it into a pole!
In time, Joe purchased his own home where he could farm his own land while also working at Welch’s in Lawton. He earned respect through a determined work ethic and even served as president of the workers union for a time. Joe sold his own grapes to Welch’s and he also raised hogs, farmed corn, sweet potatoes, and many other things. If it was raining, Joe went to work at Welch’s but if it was sunny, he stayed home to work his land. Although he retired early from Welch’s, farming was his true passion and he continued working his land for several years.
Not to be forgotten during Joe’s years as a young man was his introduction to the woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Ann Sirrine, and they met through a mutual friend. It didn’t take them long to fall in love, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Joe and Ann married on June 25, 1948, beginning a 73 year love story. Together they welcomed five children including Joseph, Jimmie, Michael, Patrick, and Debra into their hearts and home. As the kids grew older, they each had their daily chores on the farm and were also taught, by Joe, the mechanics such as how to work on a tractor. In their teenage years, Joe insisted they learned how to change a tire before he would let them drive a car. Family was always of great significance to Joe. He enjoyed playing Bingo together with his wife and became the first Bingo jackpot winner at the Lions Club when they first opened it to the public. Joe was undeniably proud to witness all five of his children graduate from Lawton schools. The news was even worthy of mention in the local newspaper.
Throughout his life there were so many things Joe enjoyed. A lifelong farmer, in 1968 he was able to purchase a 60-acre farm including all the trucks and tractors for just $14,000! A true outdoorsman, he enjoyed both deer and turkey hunting, and over the years he regularly went hunting with his sons and friends. As the story goes, it sometimes took Joe a few shots to take down his prize. In the winter months he enjoyed ice fishing, and for several years he was on a bowling league with Welch’s. An avid Tiger’s fan, he would always have the game on and shared a memorable day with friends attending a Tigers game in Chicago.
Later on, he was thrilled to become a grandfather and showed a softer side not seen much before. Joe would light up anytime his grandkids were around, often taking them for rides on the big tractors or just telling stories. When great-grandchildren began arriving, Joe couldn’t have been more proud as they brought him the greatest joy he had ever known. Having such a large family, there was much love to go around and, needless to say, a huge celebration with family and friends to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Joe and Ann.
A lifelong resident of the Lawton Community he always called home, Joe will be deeply missed by all who were blessed to know and love him. He will never be forgotten.
Joe Good, of Lawton, age 92, died on October 17, 2021. Joe was preceded in death by his brothers: Lawrence Good and Al Good; and his sister, Betty Ross. Surviving are his wife, Ann; children: Joseph Good, Jimmie (Mary) Good, Michael (Linda R.) Good, Patrick (Loretta) Good, and Debra (Bobby) Durden; 16 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-granddaughter; siblings: Beatrice Good and Inez Bitely; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation 3-5 PM Monday (OCT 25) at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw, (269) 657-3870. Visit Joe’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.