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Kim's Story

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Kim Jean O'Connell, 61, of Williamsburg passed away Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at Cherry Hill Haven surrounded by her loving family after a nearly decade long battle with Alzheimer's. Kim was born on Friday, April 13, 1956 to Eugene and Marva (Butzer) Schiller in Montague. After graduating from Montague High School, she attended Central Michigan University and graduated with degrees in English and Physical Education, and later with her masters. She moved to Northern Michigan to pursue her career as an educator; teaching and counseling the students of Forest Area schools for just under 30 years.
Kim was a beloved friend and colleague. She was actively involved in the Elk Rapids community spending her summer vacations working part-time at the Riverwalk, creating routines with her ladies for the Harbor Days parade, and spending time with friends and her dog, Megan, on the sandbar in Elk Lake. A kind soul, her door was always open to people in need.
However, the most important things in Kim's life were her two boys, Chris and Matt. She coached youth soccer, joined the Ski Patrol at Mt. Holiday, and attended every game and activity her boys were participants in. A single mother that put her boys' lives ahead of her own.
Her favorite quote came from her favorite baseball player, Robin Yount, at his Induction Ceremony to the Hall of Fame."The game of life can sometimes be too short, so play it with everything you've got."
Kim is survived by her sons, Chris (Liza) O'Connell and Matt O'Connell; granddaughter, Maya Rose O'Connell; and sister, Margene Hankwitz.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Marva (Butzer) Schiller.
All are invited to a celebration of Kim's life this Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elk Rapids Town Hall. A second celebration of life will be held Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Montague Township Hall.
The family would like to thank Cherry Hill Haven and Hospice of Michigan for all their amazing effort and support throughout Kim's journey with Alzheimer's.
Please share your thoughts and memories of Kim with her family by way of her online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on September 28, 2017
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