Alice Jeanne Atwood

Alice Jeanne Atwood

Alice Jeanne Atwood

Alice Jeanne Atwood, 94, passed away on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at Woodland Terrace in Bridgman.

From her birth on Sept. 30, 1925, to her death, she quietly enriched the lives of those around her with her great heart, soul and wicked sense of humor. Born to Albert and Alice (Malpass) Nesman in Cassopolis, Jeanne was the oldest of four sisters. She attended Michigan State University, was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, and graduated in 1946 with a bachelor of science degree from the School of Home Economics. On July 6, 1946, she married Edward D. Atwood in East Jordan, Mich. They had three children during their 70 years together.

During her lifetime, Jeanne held many jobs – such as college summers in retail sales, food service and as "Rosie the Riveter"; later as a teacher, test kitchen chef, 4H judge, artist, dental office manager, and most importantly, a mom. The school of home ec and her majors – textiles and clothing, served her well in life, as she made most of her own and her daughter's clothes and was often a judge of food and fashion at 4H club youth fairs in Southwestern Michigan. In her spare time, she volunteered at Krasl Art Center, the Soup Kitchen and as a member of the Exchange Club of Southwestern Michigan.

She loved her family, friends, books, animals, jazz, "The Rolling Stones," Motown and chocolate. She is lovingly remembered as the mom who could sketch and sew all the latest fashions, bake delicious treats – and had no problem with gold fish, endless guppies and hamsters, two guinea pigs and a dog. She enjoyed blasting "The Rolling Stones" on the hifi until our dad came home, and thought serving cold tomato soup was adequate punishment for any childhood crime. She was the grandma that ate dessert for dinner, always had chocolate bars in her purse and would sponsor walks in the woods looking for ferns, wild raspberry bushes and Lady Slippers. She was quietly first in line if you needed help, a friend or a bright spot in your day.

Jeanne is survived by her son, Bill (Jan) Atwood; her daughter, Sally (Mark) Rappleye; and four grandchildren: Kelly (Matt Wade) Atwood, Erin Rappleye, Emily Rappleye and Michael Rappleye. She is also survived by her three sisters: Carol Sligh, Sally (Van) Burmeister and Janet Goodwin; as well as many cousins and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward Atwood; and a son, James Stephen Atwood.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, with Pastor Jeffrey Hubers officiating. Burial will follow in Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor. Friends may visit with the family at the church beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday until the time of service. Those wishing to share a memory of Alice online may do so at

Our heartfelt gratitude to the tireless, attentive, compassionate caregivers and administrative staff at Woodland Terrace, as well as the Caring Circle Hospice at Home staff. The friendship you offered us, as well as the comfort and respect you gave to our mom and our family has been outstanding. Many thanks to the ongoing friendship and support received from the First Congregational Church of St. Joseph nurse, pastor and the church "Called to Care" member who provided regular visits and cheer. To Barb D., who became a local member of our family, we love you. And, to mom's wonderful friends who stood by her side through many years of friendship, joy and sadness, thank you.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jeanne's name may be made to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan and The First Congregational Church of St. Joseph Michigan.