Wittenbach, Annabelle Crystal of Lowell, passed away peacefully Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at Green Acres of Lowell at the age of 100 years. She was born in Grand Rapids on September 9, 1916, the daughter of Francis Clark of Whitneyville. She attended grade school at the little school in Whitneyville and at the Campau Lake School, then moved to Saranac for high school where she graduated with the class of 1934. Upon graduation she caught a ride to Lowell and went from business to business looking for work which she found with the Theron Richmond family, living with them while looking after their children and working at their restaurant on Main Street. Next she worked as a nanny for the Attwood Brass family in East Grand Rapids. While at the restaurant she became aquainted with the Wittenbach family, farmers from Vergennes Township. She fell in love with Wilbur (Bill) Wittenbach and they were married in 1938. Then they moved to the Detroit area where Bill worked as a machinist during WWII. Two of their children were born there and their third was born later in Grand Rapids. After the war was over, Bill and Annabelle moved back home to the family farm in Vergennes where they farmed and Bill and two of his brothers started a farm machinery, truck, and auto business in Lowell known as Wittenbach Sales and Service. Bill died in an accident in 1959 and so Annabelle went to work as a teller in the Lowell State Savings Bank to support her family. She worked at the bank for over thirty years, retiring when she was 75 years old. She never remarried and always missed her Bill. Annabelle was a devout Christian and an active member of the Lowell Methodist Church for sixty years where she taught Sunday school and participated in several ladies groups over the years. Many in the Lowell area will remember her graciousness and her sincere concern for everyone she met, asking after their families, their health, and their general wellbeing. She had close friendship with many of her Vergennes neighbors and her large extended family of relatives. She was a wonderful mother who sacrificed for her children, working hard all of her life without complaint. Annabelle is survived by her children: Larry (Pat) of Iron Mountain, Ron (Ann) of Murray Lake, Martha of San Diego; grandchildren Christine (Dan Soulier) Wittenbach, Bill Wittenbach, Kevin (Cher) Goggins, Christopher (Shannon) Goggins, Tom Mattson, John (Skyler) Mattson; great-grandchildren Margo Wittenbach, Caden, Lillie, and Jager Goggins, Ryan and Halle Goggins, Cashel, Beckett, and Ryder Mattson. A funeral service will be held Friday, January 20, 11a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Lowell, 621 E. Main St., Lowell. Rev. Brad Brillhart officiating. The family will meet friends and relatives one hour prior to service at the church. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 621 E. Main St., Lowell, MI 49331 or the Lowell Historical Museum, 325 W. Main St., Lowell, MI 49331.
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