2019-02-09 / Obituaries

Donald Libby


Donald Libby Donald Libby Donald Emery Libby passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at his home in Grand Rapids. He was 91.

He had spent the last 15 years at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, where he made many friends. Even though his illness with Parkinson’s disease limited his speech and movement, his positive attitude and zest for life were an inspiration, say family members.

He was born March 12, 1927, to Walter and Lucile (nee Tretheway) Libby in Centralia, Washington.

Mr. Libby grew up in China, the son of missionaries who founded Nanchang Hospital. His high school years were spent in Oregon, followed by three years in the United States Army as a translator and intelligence officer in Japan at the end of World War II.

Following this, he dedicated his life to God and spent the next 21 years as a volunteer in Moral Re- Armament (MRA) looking for ways to live out his faith and make the world a better place.

In 1967, he married Loretta Roots, who had also grown up in China and was an MRA volunteer, and they reared their family in Grand Rapids where Mr. Libby was a troubleshooter at the engineering firm FTC&H.

He was a youth group leader and soccer coach and loved pranks and jokes.

Following the death of his first wife, Loretta, in 1990, he married nurse and former fellow MRA volunteer Barbara Beal.

His wife, Barbara, survives, as does a son, Reverend Father Donald L. Libby; a daughter and her family, Lucile Hackett, and three grandchildren, Kyle, Amara, and Hannah Hackett. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, David Beal; a sister-in-law, Polly (nee Beal) Pattison; a sister, Alice Martin and her daughter, Trish Martin, of Mackinac Island, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Libby was preceded in death by his twin sister, Dorothy, and two brothers, James Libby and Paul Libby.

Services were held Saturday, January 26, at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes in Grand Rapids with Reverend Brian Kyle officiating, with the homily given by his son, Reverend Father Donald L. Libby.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund, 2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford assisted the family with arrangements.

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