• Remembering Beth Walburn

    The Celebration of Life for Beth Walburn will be held at Frederick Meijer Garden’s, Sunday March 11th 2pm.

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dear friend Beth Walburn on March 1, 2018. Beth has worked with GRBS for 18 years and has been an invaluable member of our team. Beth worked tirelessly on ensuring a safe, fair and ethical workplace in her role as Director of Human Resources, but she also always had time for the phone call from an employee in need. It is through her great heart that she was able to reach out to so many to help them overcome a financial or emotional hurdle. Her program, “Christmas All Year Round,” funded so many of our team members through difficult times. We will keep her program alive as a tribute to her generous spirit and loyal devotion for our team members.

    We are awaiting information on the funeral arrangements. Feel free to post thoughts and memories below of our good friend, especially those including her fantastic sense of humor. Oh how I will miss her laughter, contagious and joyful, with tears running down our face at a shared memory or story. May we share those together now.

    I will start.

    Beth and I had the opportunity to share in a trip to Cancun many moons ago with our husbands, Mike and Dane. One lovely afternoon, Beth and I floated the hours away on rafts in a huge pool, drinking banana daiquiris at a swim up bar and enjoying the most beautiful sunshine. There are so many memories, tears, laughter, sadness, joy through our 15 years together, and I will ALWAYS be grateful we remembered to sometimes just enjoy life in this beautiful world. Love you my friend, Karin

    Beth Walburn

    24 Responses

    1. Colleen Ligtvoet says:

      wanted to share one of Beth’s favorite Youtube videos. One of the things she would regularly do to make people smile

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F0lBnsnkE&sns=em

      Highlight link and click to watch

    2. Shannon Kivinen says:

      Beth will be dearly missed by my entire family. She gave Olivia piano lessons & Bree was she was next, once she got thru Kindergarten Reading! Even spending time with the girls after the lessons when Mom & Dad had meetings to attend, she loved our girls like her own. Beth was always there to just listen or help and was never to busy for you.

    3. Colleen Ligtvoet says:

      Beth has truly been a friend to me for many years. We have daily shared our lives on a professional and personal level. I have truly lost a good friend and confidant. I am going to miss our annual clothes shopping trip. We were planning on getting her a new pair of jeans this spring!! We all know how much she hated shopping but we had such a great time when we did. I don’t know of anyone who would have an unkind thing to say about her. She has been loved and respected by all who have had the pleasure of meeting her. There are going to be big shoes to fill with the loss of Beth. My heart aches when thinking about the void I have. Beth I love you and all you have meant to me in my life and my family’s life. Brody is going to miss “hoovering” that office floor!!

    4. Jordan Nelson says:

      I am relatively new to the company, having only been here for the last 4 months. My first meeting with Beth came during my very first interview with the company. Beth was one of the only reasons that I continued to desire to hold a position with GRBS. She was honest about the different aspects of the job, but continued to reiterate the fact that GRBS employees were a family. I went on to have another follow up interview with Beth before moving on to interviews with Darla and Karen, and I can honestly say that it is because of Beth that I am with this company today. I hope that her honesty and sense of humor will continue to impact all of us who had a chance to know her. Rest in Peace, Beth.

    5. Joe and Arleen says:

      Joe and I will never forget our trip to Jamica with Beth and Michael. BEth found out about a casino down in a sleazy part of town and ask us to go with them. When we found a cab driver who said he would take us there and back we were off. When. We got there there were armed guards with rifles and metal detectors. Inside was just as sleazy as the out side. It was the first time I ever wished I would not win big. We got. A little worried when. We call the taxi driver and he wouldnt answer. Finally he show up and we all finished close.to even so all was well. Always eat your desert first in memory of Beth.

    6. JANE LANCE says:

      I remember the first day I met Beth, she came to the school on a very hot summer day to give our orientation, first thing she did was take her shoes off. I could always count on her to attend our group parties. She loved the parties. I will miss seeing her and talking to her. Great lady.

    7. Doug Kuhn says:

      Hello. I don’t have the privilege of being a GRBS employee. But I did have the privilege of growing up with Beth. Let me introduce myself. I am Doug Kuhn, I am Beth’s younger brother, also known to some at GRBS as the blueberry guy. Our family is Honored and grateful by all GRBS has done and is doing for Beth and our family. Beth loved all of you and especially her job. Someone asked me just the other day, did I think Beth liked her job.I said without a doubt, it was her life. Beth did not have children of her own, but had no problem of adopting many of yours or mine as her own in her own special way. Beth cared about people. She would do anything she could for just about anybody, and not expect anything in return. She had a big heart, and a loud voice. As most of you know, you never had to wonder if Beth was in the building or nearby. All you had to do was pause and listen. After I got the news of Beth, the first thought that came to mind, was heaven just got really loud today!!!! I know she will probably have the right Angels in place to look over all of us in no time. Thanks to all of you for sharing good memories of Beth, and being a part of her family as well. I am sure Beth considered all of you part of her family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
      P.s. I am sure Beth would not want any of you to go without your blueberrys. We will stay in touch and figure out a way to carry on that tradition!!!
      Thanks Doug Kuhn and family.

    8. I met Beth numerous times over the years; various trainings, start-ups, or the office. She always called me by name and was genuine. She was real. Her joy was infectious. From all these comments, you know she blessed the lives of many. Thoughts and prayers for her family, co-workers, and friends.

    9. Jason Hardy says:

      After 4 years, I still to this day remember the 1st time I met Beth. I worked just 3 months for GRBS cleaning at a high school. I was upstairs on the 3rd floor and this voice I have never heard came over the walkie talkie I was carrying. Unbeknownst to me at the time it was Beth. She said “Jason when you have a moment could you please come down to the teachers lounge.” About 10 minutes later I made my way to the teachers lounge on the 1st floor. Beth was in the room and asked me to take a seat. I thought I was in trouble or something. Beth introduced herself then said “Jason I am here, because I had to let your supervisor go.” “How do you feel about being the new high school supervisor?” I accepted the position and said there is a basketball game tonight I better go and get that set up. At this point, Beth threw the supervisor set of keys at me and said “sounds like you better get busy!”

      I will miss you Beth! We had a lot of tough conversations over the years, but I always walked away a better person from each and every one!

    10. Ray Andreotti says:

      Beth will be miss she was a,sweet lady I Enjoyed the time she come to Harrison and When out to eat and we would talk. I Remember the first time she call me and ask to meet her for lunch I thought I was in big trouble but I was not i will miss the lunch and the talk. Rip Beth.

    11. Catherine Gernand says:

      My heart s deeply saddened by the loss of earths greatest angel. Beth was the most selfless, loving and caring person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She was an instant friend to everyone she met and she put other and their needs and feeling before her own. Never asking for anything in return and often without anyone ever knowing. There is a void in all of our heats. I will miss you my dear friend. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better person.

    12. Darla Bloom says:

      As I have been reading all of these amazing memories of Beth, I can’t seem to find all of the words that can truly express my appreciation, genuine respect and love for her. Our 18 years together came with SO MUCH good and laughter. Beth was our anchor, she reminded me of my role here with employees and often complimented my leadership style, which I so often needed to hear. She helped me look at situations and employees to make the best decisions for everyone, most of all she was always available to just listen.
      To say I’m heart broken or she will be missed is an understatement.
      There are just too many amazing fun stories to re-count them all, from her banging up her car and almost running over her husband trying to drive from the passengers seat (brings me laughter to tears EVERY time) or the time she tried to hand out Tylenol PM to everyone at Retreat while I was teaching, her weird songs, ring watches (seriously). I loved it most when she would crack herself up.. She just couldn’t text without it coming out in some hilarious offensive typo.
      I will miss my friend dearly, she always had an open door and available phone when I needed one.

      As a christian, I KNOW Beth is in a better place, I grieve for us but not for her, if life is measured in how you affect others…she gets the trophy.

      I know she is in heaven sitting at a slot machine, singing her songs and smiling.

    13. Kim Crampton says:

      Beth was amazing in every way. She was stern when she had to be, but was always very gracious about it. She was wonderful at listening and actually hearing what you were saying. There were smiles at the end of EVERY conversation, no matter how tough the conversation was. Every time she’d come down to the Portage area to interview candidates, she’d leave inspirational notes and treats in my drawer. She was such a pleasure to be around and her ability and desire to care so much for all of those around her will always be remembered.

    14. Donna Elmore says:

      I am deeply saddened b this news. She was a wonderful woman and the loss of her presence will be missed for a long time

    15. Christie Crystal says:

      Beth you sure will be missed! Any time I reached out to her she always answered and had great advice, she helped me many times. She was also always concerned and caring. So hard to believe we lost an amazing friend, RIP Beth. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

    16. Shannon Shutich says:

      My most recent memory with Beth is from our lunch date this past February. While looking over the menu, Bruno Mars-Uptown Funk came on and she said how she loved the song. I told her its one of my faves and we had a dance in our chairs, sing along, right in the restaurant. Over the years I have learned a lot from Beth. The most important thing she gave me is confidence in myself and as a leader, I’ll never forget our tough love relationship. RIP

    17. Christina roper says:

      She was such a sweet lady. Love coming to our end of the year parties. She always remember our names. Prayers and hugs to all

    18. Diane VanHyfte says:

      I sit here and think how hard it will be on Mondays when I walk past Beths office. It will be empty, how is that going to work. No morning chat, how was the weekend. Who is going to help answer my questions, give me the push I might need. Beth was the anchor for all of us. She can never be replaced in my heart or mind. I see her somewhere sitting at a slot machine having the time of her life. Win big Beth

    19. Rebecca Thornburg says:

      Beth you will be so very missed. I loved are conversations about one day you and i would open a restaurant together making pies. We would talk about what the name would be we never could decide on a name. You were there for me when i found out that my mom had cancer and when my brother got extremely sick. You and i would talk for so long . I will remember the banquet when we sat together and you told me that the cheese cake would be amazing oh my it was so good. Beth i will remember all the advice you have given me and all the love you showed when i needed you the most. I will miss you everyday..

    20. Lynn says:

      I have only known Beth for such a short time, but in that time I was able to see how kind, special, and what a wonderful person she was. Her love for life and people really showed. I feel so privilege to be able to know her for a small while. She will be greatly missed.

    21. stacey drayer says:

      Beth and I often shared trivia and silly jokes back and forth sometimes she would even share in our company newsletter.. Beth had a special place in her heart for all children and it showed when they would come around. She was hard working dedicated often could be found working late hours and weekends at the office.. along with her silly and quirky side it takes me back to a time when my son believed dinosaurs still existed and lived in our GRBS warehouse … of course Beth would encouage this behavior. laughing to tears when she has a few guys scratching and making banging noise from the warehouse and watching Tyler prepare for battle.

      Today we lost a family member..It was difficult pushing through my day, finding myself lost in what happen, I just talked with her. Beth will be deeply missed , my thoughts and prayers are with her family.

    22. Katlyn Katona says:

      Beth was genuinely one of the most kind-hearted and honest people you will ever meet. She loved all the kids around the office and even those ones across state. She was always one to answer her phone and be there if you just needed to talk. She helped me grow at GRBS by just being herself.

      One of my Fondest Memories of her (that we always joked about) was during my interview process and her trying to use Skype because we kept missing each other and we were halfway across the state from each other. She always went above and beyond and for that I will be truly grateful to have known her for these past few years.

    23. Deaira Dunklin says:

      Beth was a loving and caring person I remember when I was pregnant with my middle child and Beth would call and say are you ready to go on leave and I would laugh and say no not yet and her response would be Dee are you trying to go into labor at work and we both laughed about it and that next day I was calling to tell her I’m ready to go on leave. She would text me everyday to see if I had the baby and once I did she put him in the employee newsletter. She will be truly missed.