Stephen Petty Claflin, age 70, of Caledonia passed away peacefully into heaven on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 after a lengthy battle with liver disease and diabetes. He was at home surrounded in love by his wife, Suellen; daughters, Amanda and Courtney and son-in-law, Derick.
Stephen was born in Charlotte, MI and grew up in Southern California, fixing cars and dirt bikes, and racing in the desert. Learning percussion, he excelled on the high school drum line there and in Eaton Rapids when his family returned to Michigan. Stephen worked at the airfield in Charlotte, earning his private pilots license while also working at Eaton Stamping Company earning his Journeyman Machine Repairman status. Later, moving to Grand Ledge, he met Suellen Hillock. They married in 1986 and welcomed two baby girls in 1989 and 1990. Jeeping with friends up north and raising horses on the family farm were favorite activities for all. Years later, after installing and fixing large stamping presses in many states east of the Rockies, Stephen was offered a job in Grand Rapids and the family moved to Caledonia. A favorite hobby was playing drums for Caledonia United Methodist Church…so much fun for many years with a very special church family. As industrial technology changed, Stephen became a robotics technician, keeping many automated production lines running clean, safe and fast. He loved family vacations, jeep rides and sharing a good meal on the deck with family and friends.
Stephen is survived by his wife, Suellen; daughters, Amanda and Courtney (Derick) Carini; beloved grandsons, Micalan and Rowan; sister, Susan; many nieces, nephews and some very dear friends. He will also be lovingly remembered by the McConnell, Hillock and McLaren families. Gratitude is extended to Stephen’s Elera Caring Home Care team and his Elera Caring Hospice team for the tremendous care given to Stephen and his family.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 5 pm on Friday, September 22, 2023 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4301 Ambrose Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, with Rev. Jim Hodge officiating. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to a charity of one’s choice.
Celebration of Life
Friday, September 22
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
4301 Ambrose Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
- Ray scheulin