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John Alfred Little died of natural causes on March 4th, 2018 in his home in Grand Rapids, MI at the age of 73.
John A. Little was born on July 31, 1944 in Florence, South Carolina to Katherine (Sullivan) and John Mitchell Little. He is survived by his brother, David (Cheryl) Little. After his parents divorced, his father later remarried. John is survived by his stepmother Alida, his stepsisters Karen Oliver and Victoria VanderJagt, and stepbrother Randall Little.
John graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1963 and went on to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He continued his service to his country in the U.S. Coast Guard until 1978. John received his education from various institutions including Grand Rapids Community College, Aquinas College, and Grand Valley State University. He is credited with starting the Office of Veteran’s Affairs at GVSU in the 1970s.
John was married for 35 years to Susan Schrumpf. Together they welcomed two children, Sonya (Marc) Legere and Jeremiah (Heather) Little. John leaves behind six grandchildren: Owen, Kennedy, Lucille, John (Jack), Emerson, and Benton. John is also survived by his first son, John Wesley (Kim) Little.
Professionally, John worked for several companies including Herman Miller, Tesa Tape, and BLD of Holland. After a successful career in production control, he became a materials management and technology consultant for BRAIN International until his final retirement in 2005.
John was a prolific reader and could converse with just about anybody about anything. He enjoyed many things in life including playing guitar, watching old movies, travel, cooking, baking, brewing as well as drinking good beers, pyrotechnics and impressive firework displays, music, and shooting the breeze around a campfire. While he was sometimes known for overstepping boundaries, he was just as well known for his wit, kind spirit, and willingness to help others. He was an active Democrat, environmental advocate, and had volunteered at the local level to promote the causes that he supported.
Later in life, John was hindered by health issues and was unable to fulfil his dreams of traveling the U.S. He remained active in online communities and enjoyed bantering with friends and others about politics and current events. He always looked forward to his weekly discussions with one of his lifelong friends, Jerry Newsome.
All are welcome to attend an informal gathering honoring the life of John Alfred Little and his time here on Earth. Please join us to share memories and laughter, reacquaint with old friends, and celebrate at The Moose Lodge of Wyoming, MI from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 31st.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of West Michigan. John was an advocate for the LLS and had a personal connection with the fight against blood cancers.