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The Journal Gazette

  • Eleveld In this undated photo, Michigan House candidate Bob Eleveld participated in a debate for the 86th state seat in Grand Rapids, Mich. Eleveld, 80, has published his own obituary and scheduled his own memorial service after stopping cancer treatment. He announced that he will host a “celebration of life” open house on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in lieu of a funeral. (Noel Webley II/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

Monday, March 20, 2017 10:19 pm

80-year-old celebrates life, dies the next day

Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan lawyer and Republican activist has died, a day after hundreds of people responded to his published invitation to attend an open house to celebrate his life.

Bob Eleveld died Sunday at age 80. He was too ill from cancer to attend the event Saturday at a Grand Rapids-area golf club. Guests ate roast beef and shrimp and wrote messages that were delivered to Eleveld by family members.

His partner, Michele McIsaac, says the reception fulfilled Eleveld’s wishes. She says, "He went out with a bang." A daughter, Kerry Eleveld, says there was an "outpouring of love" in the room.

On March 12, Eleveld published his obituary and announced the open-house celebration. His family called it a "no-bit" because he was still alive.