Life Story Visitation
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
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.
Centerpoint Church FBO CDA Pineal CarePoint Orphanage
2345 10th St N
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Humble, generous, and kind, John Shane lived a life rich in faith and family. John was dedicated to helping others. With careful thought, resourcefulness, and creativity, he provided encouragement and comfort to many. He possessed a quick wit that inspired much laughter. When he spoke, it was from his heart and full of meaning. His calm, soothing voice and unwavering faith inspired all who were blessed to know him. A devoted husband, father, brother, son, uncle, and friend, John was a role model and mentor, showing by example how to live a faith-filled and loving life.
The fourth of seven Shane children, John grew up in the Milwood neighborhood before moving to Portage after middle school. His father, Charles, was a pharmacist and his mother, Shirley, was a homemaker and secretary for St. Joseph Parish. John's parents raised him on the firm foundation of faith, teaching him how to forgive, be a good listener, and serve others through volunteerism. As a kid, he liked to wear a cowboy hat and boots and sing songs in the front yard. He also loved building forts with his brothers and neighborhood kids.
As teens, John and his brother, Michael, would sneak out their bedroom window onto the garage roof, and jump to the ground after dark. They enjoyed breaking the rules. It wasn’t until John and Michael were adults that the boys confessed to their parents the stories of their midnight adventures. John also confessed to hitting golf balls from the front yard, sometimes breaking the neighbor’s windows. After playing Little League baseball in the spring, summers were spent sailing, snorkeling, and building campfires at the family cottage on Eagle Lake in Decatur.
At the age of 14, John began working at Oakwood Plaza Pharmacy, which was founded by his dad, and where he learned customer service and compassionate care. During high school, John played on the Portage Northern High School golf team. After high school graduation, he took journalism classes at WMU, but soon discovered his love for graphic design which became the focus of his studies. In 1983, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in conjunction with Aquinas College.
While working as an artist for James River Company in Kalamazoo, John had the good fortune of meeting Brenda Visser, who was cleaning offices at the company to put herself through college. John loved the sound of her voice, but he was fairly shy and hesitant to initiate conversation. Putting his creativity to use, he placed a piece of masking tape on the floor where she was sweeping that said, "Hi Brenda." When he finally worked up the courage to ask her out, and she saw the twinkle in his eye, she said, "Yes."
As John and Brenda got to know one another, John was offered and accepted a new job opportunity with Seagull Productions that required moving to Lansing. After several years of long-distance dating, John and Brenda became engaged. Determined to settle in West Michigan, John quit his job and moved back to Kalamazoo, where he became a freelance graphic designer.
The happy couple married in 1987 and were thrilled to become parents when their son Jeremy was born in 1994. John was a devoted husband and father, consciously living each day with his faith as his foundation. He was a proud father who encouraged and supported his son in every way possible. Father-son walks and talks were a tradition that provided opportunities to share wisdom, experience, faith, and to discuss life issues.
The family was active in their church life, where John served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and youth group leader. He also nurtured close relationships with his nieces and nephews, investing time in their lives and cheering on their endeavors.
John and Brenda were blessed to spend many happy years enjoying camping adventures, cooking together, traveling, gardening, hiking, and watching Jeremy play soccer. They created a beautiful home together, where guests experienced their gorgeous garden or were treated to a tour of John's mancave, where he showcased many of his creative designs. The couple enjoyed hosting many holiday gatherings, and John loved preparing, roasting, and carving the turkey for Thanksgiving and creating special meals for Christmas Eve. He rarely needed to follow a recipe to create a delicious meal, and his homemade pizza was perfected after many years of practice. Their favorite trip was when they celebrated their 25th anniversary in Hawaii.
For thirty years, John worked for Padagis/Perrigo as a graphic designer, an art director, and, for the past 19 years, as a promotional analyst with the pharmacy division. His work included designing and managing pharmaceutical trade show booths and packaging for both over-the-counter and prescription products. He designed the current Perrigo and Goodsense logos and was greatly admired by his bosses and colleagues. John put his journalism background to use as he composed materials for work. He shared his sense of humor and creativity to make his job meaningful.
A lifelong golfer, John enjoyed golfing new courses with friends from Centerpoint Church. He participated in golf outings through work and liked golfing on challenging courses. Brenda often encouraged him to relax and hit the links. At home, he relaxed by watching nature shows or National Geographic or growing his encyclopedic knowledge of space. He loved anything and everything to do with NASA and Star Trek. In addition to gardening, John enjoyed designing and implementing home renovation projects, photography, and creating artistic projects/sculptures in his mancave.
John was a man who embodied the principles of his faith, showing us how to live fully and whole-heartedly. John courageously faced multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and a clinical trial while battling several cancer challenges. He was blessed with grace, fortitude, and hope in his efforts to overcome each cancer. Although our days with John were far too few, every moment was a gift we will always treasure. May we find comfort in our wonderful memories. Let us honor John’s beautiful legacy in each moment we listen from the heart, serve others, tend our garden, play Bingo with our elders, sink a putt, or confidently face life’s challenges with God as our guide.
John Patrick Shane, of Kalamazoo, passed away on March 30, 2023, in the comfort of his beloved family. He is survived by his wife, Brenda; son and daughter-in-law, Jeremy and Jeanette Shane; siblings: Mary Bellinger, Jean, Michael (Terrence), Charlie (Teri), Richard (Terri); aunt, Mary Neuman; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; mother-in-law, Grace Visser; sister-in-law, Patti Lisak (Tom Cretsinger); and brother-in-law, Richard Visser. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Kathleen. The family is grateful for the outpouring of support from extended family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and members of Centerpoint Church and Radiant Church as John courageously fought multiple cancers over the years.
Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Tuesday (APR 4) from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A funeral service will be held Wednesday (APR 5) at 11 AM at Centerpoint Church, 2345 10th Street North, Kalamazoo, with a reception to follow. Visit John's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Donations in John's memory may be made to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes or Centerpoint Church FBO CDA Pineal CarePoint Orphanage.