HAFNER JOHN GERARD age 61, of Northville, MI passed away on January 12, 2017. Born to James Peter and Regina Anne Hafner in Detroit, Michigan on March 19th 1955, John was one of six children in the beloved Hafner family. John spent his youth in Detroit, developing a love of basketball. After graduating in 1973 from University of Detroit Jesuit High School, John studied English at Michigan State University. Upon graduation, John began a career at Berrien Springs High School. During a chance visit with a friend in Kalamazoo, he met the love of his life, soul mate, and future wife - Terri Ray. Settling down in Kalamazoo, John would build his life with Terri. He fathered two beautiful, loving children, Sean and Caitlin, whom he would frequently state were "the greatest thing I ever did". The man was a pioneer. At a time when being a stay at home dad was virtually unheard of, he took the task to heart and put the full force of his life into raising them. Every day, from their first breath to his last, he was the best father he could be and was utterly unconditional in providing them love and care. John was a teacher at heart and used this as a guiding principle in his life. Whether you knew it or not, if your paths crossed in life he had a lesson for you. His lessons, though not always profound or earth shattering, left you changed for the better. Those closest to him knew this best. The eternal entertainer John was the life of every gathering. "We're gonna bust this place wide open!" was the phrase he would shout before any engagement, from the smallest dinner to the largest wedding. Never the one to leave someone out, he helped everyone to find happiness in their own way. More than that, John was always a friend to those in need. In his work through Stephens Ministries he assisted many people through difficult situations when they felt they had nowhere to turn to. John was a force of nature, "The man, the myth, the legend." People who knew him well knew he was not judgmental, a great listener, and always put you in his prayers. He loved gardening, history, and theology. Ever the philosopher and observer, one of his favorite activities was to sit on his porch on a sunny day, admiring his hard work in the garden and wax poetic with his friends and family. Both a student of Catholicism and Hinduism, he deeply understood the importance of faith in one's life. Incredibly spiritual he recognized and would frequently tell his loved ones, "We are immortal spirits. The body is merely a vessel". John is survived by his wife and best friend - Terri, his two children - Sean (Kelly) and Caitlin (Jason), Brothers - Pete (Justine), Joe (Linda), Dan (Virginia) and Tom (Susan), and three nieces, seven nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Funeral Mass at St. Kenneth's Catholic Church in Plymouth is tentatively planned for Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Angela's House ( www.angelashouse.org ) P.O. Box 5052; Hauppauge, NY 11788.
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