Rev. George William Fleming, beloved cultivator of churches and blueberries known for his encouraging words and gentle spirit, died of cancer on Thursday April 16, 2020 at his home in Casco Township surrounded by his family’s love.
George Fleming was born September 14, 1939, in South Haven, the oldest child of Jesse and Mary Fleming. As a young child he often rode with his father delivering fuel oil. George was active with his family in the Casco United Methodist Church. During the summer of 1954, he began propagating blueberries and continued growing blueberries until recent years. George attended Buys School and South Haven High School graduating as salutatorian in the class of 1958. George attended North Central College in Naperville and American University in Washington, D.C. where he majored in Political Science. He graduated from seminary in 1965 from Evangelical Theological Seminary (now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary). On November 28, 1970, George married Edna Abel of Cedar Springs. George’s marriage to Edna was the highlight of his life. George and Edna became parents to Alice Mary on October 20, 1972 and Christina Joy on August 10, 1977.
George was assigned as pastor of the Turk Lake (EUB) United Methodist Church and Assistant Pastor at the Greenville United Methodist Church in 1965. He led the building of the new Turk Lake Church in 1967, and the building of a parsonage in 1972. George served as pastor of the Sodus Chapel Hill United Methodist Church from 1975-1987. During his pastorate, the present church was constructed. George and Edna went on to serve as co-pastors of the Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church in Charlotte from 1987-2002 where they led a church renovation. In 2002, George retired from the active ministry and returned to full time blueberry farming. He was an active member of the Casco United Methodist Church where he occasionally officiated at various services.
George is survived by his wife Edna; daughter Alice Mary (Michael) Fleming Townley of East Lansing; Christina Joy Fleming (Neil Harvey) of New York City; grandson Jonathan Townley and granddaughter Grace Townley. Siblings Ann Vermillion of Fullerton, CA; Dorothy Shonkwiler of Grand Ledge; Tom (Dorann) Fleming of South Haven; Floyd Fleming of Douglas, and many extended family members.
A memorial service will be held at Casco United Methodist Church at a later date. At the website georgewilliamfleming.com, friends and family can share memories, schedule a time to participate in online visitations, leave an email to get a notification of the memorial date, or donate online to the memorial. George requested memorial gifts be made to Casco United Methodist Church, 880 66th Street, South Haven, Michigan, 49090.
Condolences may sent to wife Ednat at:
793 68th Street
South Haven, MI 49090