FRANKFORT, Mich. - Rex Harris "Papa" Nevins, 76, formerly of Salem, passed away suddenly but peacefully on May 6, 2013, in Frankfort, Mich.
Rex was born July 24, 1936, in Lansing, Mich., the son of Robert H. and Illa M. (Frever) Nevins.
He married Sue A. Steinman on Aug. 20, 1954, in Charlotte, Mich. She preceded him in death on Aug. 9, 2004. Also preceding him in death were his parents; a son, David Lee Nevins in October 1965; and his brother, Ray Nevins in April 2013.
Rex is survived by his daughters, Wendy (Michael) Pratley of Frankfort, Mich., Pamela Hoaglin of Salem, Ohio; and his sons, Randy (Laurie) of Concord, Mich., Brian (Lori) of Marshall Mich., Rex (Jaye) of Three Rivers, Mich., and Mike (Kris) of Homer, Mich. Also surviving are 18 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren; his brothers, Robert Nevins, Roy Nevins and Gerald (Linda) Fetterman, all of Charlotte, Mich.; brother-in-law Francis (Frank) Steinman of Indiana; sister-in-law Dorothy Steinman of Illinois; several nieces and nephews; and his companion of eight years, Sue Stalder of Mesa, Ariz., and Stockton, Calif.
Rex spent most of his life in Michigan. He worked tirelessly to provide for his family. He worked at General Motors in Lansing, Mich., for a few years before becoming a bread truck delivery driver and working his way up through the company, being promoted to regional manager of the Northern Michigan Region. He then purchased an IGA store, and later owned the auto body shop Nevins and Sons, both in Homer, where he also served the community as police commissioner, was on the fire department, served on the village council and as an emergency medical technician.
He moved to Barton Lake, Ind., where he worked for many years as park manager at Jellystone Park before retiring to Arizona in 1990. There he was employed as maintenance supervisor at Tower Point Resort until his full retirement in 2005.
Rex enjoyed his life, working, watching sports, traveling, buying antiques and buying and selling cars. Later in his retirement, he enjoyed hiking his beloved Superstition Mountains near his home in Mesa, as well as walking the Arizona desert. Most of all, he enjoyed the company of his family, especially his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who will dearly miss him. He was a devoted, loving, generous and caring man who touched everyone that was blessed to know him.
Cremation has taken place, and his family will be holding a Celebration of Life open house at the Charlotte Senior Center in Charlotte, Mich., on June 15, 2013, from 1 to 3 p.m. Attendees are requested to use the west entrance.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Arrangements are handled by Jowett Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Frankfort.