Cadillac, Michigan-Lynn Burch Mickam, Jr., of Cadillac and formerly of Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 3, 2020, at Samaritas Senior Living in Cadillac. He was 93 years old.
Lynn was born on February 28, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Lynn Burch and Ruth (Weiland) Mickam, Sr. As a child, he enjoyed summers at the family cottage on Middle Lake in Northern Michigan, experiencing and learning a love for the outdoors. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, where he met and fell in love with choir-mate, Bev “BJ” Schneider. Following his senior year, Lynn enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, and served in Bermuda as a Military Police and Certification Specialist. He recalled that time as “some of the best in his life.” After being Honorably Discharged in 1947, he returned to Michigan and his high school sweetheart. Lynn Mickam and Beverly Jean Schneider were married in Grand Rapids on September 3, 1949. As newlyweds, he attended Michigan State University while she worked at American State Bank in Lansing.
Eventually, they returned to Grand Rapids where he joined his best friend and began his lifelong career at Peter Somerdyke Plumbing. The “shop” at Somerdyke Plumbing was like family, and still is today. Over the years, Lynn would reminisce about his jobs and often remembered having worked “in that building; on that dishwasher; fixed that broken pipe; installed that water heater”…he loved his job and made many friends along the way.
Soon after returning to Grand Rapids, Lynn and Bev began their family, raising five children. Both were devoted, dedicated parents. Lynn built their family home in southeast Grand Rapids. He was active in his sons’ scouting lives, serving as Scout Master of Troop 333 for many years helping dozens of young men (including his son, Jerry) achieve their Eagle Scout rank. To celebrate his love of scouting, he participated in the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America Washington, DC, with his sons in 2010, at the age 83. He attended every dance recital, and school play or choir concert; every football game or sporting event in which his kids participated. He was a great dad and excellent example of parenthood!
Soon their family grew with sons-in-law and daughters-in-law…and grandchildren. In retirement, Lynn and Bev wintered in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, and spent the summer in Cadillac. Family campouts up north were legendary, between the ghost stories and sing-a-longs, Pictionary “victories” and bar-b-ques. Bev’s declining health would ultimately force them to return to Cadillac permanently. They were members of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, and Lynn worked with St. Vincent de Paul Society and volunteered with the American Red Cross. Sadly, Beverly preceded Lynn in death after 55 years of marriage on October 16, 2004.
Lynn is survived by his children and their spouses: Ruth Ann (Dr. Stephen) Smiley of Battle Creek, MI; Jim Mickam of Syracuse, NY; Gerald Mickam of St. Johns, FL; and Nancy (Brett) Simbe of Rochester, WA. Also surviving are grandchildren Susan (Simon) Lorenc, Rob Smiley, John (Lissa) Mickam, Brad (Nettie) Mickam, Heather (Nicholas)Gillette, Holly Mickam, Erin Mickam, Kyle (Emma) Mickam, Stacy (Simon) Guennoun, Nicole (Nick) Woolsey, Jamie (Joe)Ball, 18 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Barbara Mickam, many nieces and nephews, and very dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lynn and Ruth; his son, John; brother, Tom; step-mother, Margaret; daughters-in-law, Linda (Zydor) Mickam and Shelly (Ayars) Mickam; and sisters-in-law Shirley Fries and Marilyn Hoy.
Cremation has taken place with interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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