Cletis Burmingham, 58, died late Monday morning when an SUV pulled in front of his motorcycle at the intersection of Barry Street and 48th Avenue in Blendon Township.
To read the story about the crash, click here.
Sandra Cook lives just south of Burmingham's home in the 13000 block of 144th Avenue. She said the man who she knew as “Ed" used to come over and visit with her late husband, Al.
“He used to call my husband ‘Pa,’” Cook said. “My husband did metal recycling in the pole barn. Cletis would come over and talk with him all the time.”
Cook said Burmingham was helping her keep her driveway clear over the past winter.
“It’s a shame,” she said.
To the north of the Burmingham house is the home of Shannon and Gary Johnson.
“My kids went to school with his girls,” Shannon said. “We used to have a path they wore down going back and forth through the woods.”
Shannon said Burmingham had two sons and two daughters. She said he was always nice and fairly quiet, except in the summer when they would hear his music.
“They’d have cookouts and family gatherings a lot,” Johnson said. “He’d play '70s ghetto rock'n'roll stuff.”
Burmingham was also known for his cooking skills, neighbors said. Shannon said her son, Clint, would come home and say, “Cletis is cooking. Can I go over for supper?”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.