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George's Story

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As Amazing Grace was quietly playing, with his family, staff and clergy by his side, George A. Sarns passed away peacefully at Munson Hospice House in Traverse City on Jan. 29, 2018.
He was born on Oct. 28, 1932, the youngest of seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Vernon and Emma Sarns of Morley. His friends and immediate family of his youth were very important to George, His best friend, Leonard Cramer and family maintained a close friendship that lasted over 70 years.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954, then married his childhood sweetheart, Joan Durand; shortly after they moved to Traverse City. With the help of Joan's parents they purchased a large piece of property on the Boardman River where they lived for more than 30 years while raising their two children, Sam and Donna. Moving to Traverse City also allowed them to build many treasured memories with members of Joan's family, the Corning's, who remained close his entire life.
George spent over 20 years in public education as a teacher and administrator for Traverse City Public Schools. He taught at Kingsley Schools, and was the principal of; Long Lake, Interlochen, Silver Lake Elementary and the Lochman Outdoor Center. His passion for education is carried on by his grandson, Justin who teaches music for Mona Shores Public Schools.
Shortly after Joan's death in 1991, he married Paulette Moris and relocated to Bendon. Together they created "Pine Ridge Ranch" with his treasured collection of everything cowboy related and provided riding lessons to area youth.
George's knowledge and passion for the western culture impacted many people from his "other son" Ben Wolfgram, who treasured George's knowledge since he was a young boy and followed in his boots, to the many people George gave riding lessons to. His knowledge about horses and his collection was exceptional.
Our deepest appreciation to Mike Swogger and everyone at Swogger, Bruce and Millar for their tireless work in ensuring that George's wishes were kept and that he remained safe during these last difficult years.
We would also like to thank the entire staff at Bay Ridge Assisted Living and Munson Hospice House as he prepared for his final ride into the sunset.
In true cowboy style, he left us wearing his blue jeans and a flannel shirt, with cowboy boots on his feet, his saddlebags and lariat close at hand. We wish him happy trails and peace on his journey.
Following George's very specific request there will be no memorial or public gathering. He asked that everyone simply remember happier times and better days.
At his request interment will occur quietly at a later date.
Published on January 30, 2018
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