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Big Rapids Daily News

Jess Clarence Vliet, 89, of Big Rapids, Michigan passed away March 10, 2017, in Leesburg, Florida. Jess was born in Detroit, Michigan to Leda and Jess Vliet. At the age of three, Jess and his family moved to the outskirts of Big Rapids where he went to school and worked the family farm. He graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1945 and then moved to Grand Rapids where he worked in the meat industry. In 1964, Jess proudly joined the Big Rapids Police Department and worked as a patrol officer until 1971 when he was promoted to detective. One of his many achievements as detective was being asked to join Region 8, a multi county investigative unit. He retired in 1989 after 24 years of distinguished service.


In 1974, Jess married Ruth Rood. They spent many happy years traveling the continental United States. Their last trip to Alaska was a particularly happy and enjoyable one. Jess was an avid hunter, bowler, and fisherman. He was also a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles 2535.


Jess is survived by: wife Ruth Vliet of Leesburg, Florida; daughter Shelly (Jim) Robinson of Mulliken, Michigan; sisters Alice Jane Anderson and Nancy Horan of Big Rapids, Michigan; grandson Kyle Robinson of Owosso, Michigan; step children Lynn Kruger, Alto, Georgia; Bobbie Melton, Orlando, Florida; David (Cathy) Melton, Orlando, Florida; Carla Wheeler (Randy), Big Rapids, Michigan; and three step grandsons: Brad (Jessica) Melton, Ormond Beach, Florida; Greg Melton, Severn, Maryland; and Juston (Stacy) Jones, Winter Garden, Florida and many nieces and nephews.


A private visitation at 1:00 p.m., March 16, 2017 at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

A graveside service will be held. Jess will be laid to rest by his parents in Pine Plains Cemetery per his wishes.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., on April 15, 2017 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2535 in Big Rapids, Michigan, 18631 16 Mile Rd, Big Rapids, MI 49307.

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