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John Douglas Archbold, Jr.
September 27, 1944 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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John Douglas Archbold Jr. passed on January 7, 2024. He was born on September 27, 1944, in Muskegon, Michigan to John and June Archbold. He joined the Newaygo Fire Department in the 1960s and became the Chief in 1977 until his retirement in 1999. He liked to tell people that when he became chief, he was the youngest chief in the county and when he retired, he was the oldest! John was a builder whose quality homes earned him a waiting list of clients. He owned Newaygo Electric and worked for many years as Electrical Inspector for Newaygo County. After retirement, he became bored, and then worked for the City of Norton Shores as Electrical Inspector until 2012.
John loved and collected all things related to Newaygo County history including the dairy bottles of all Newaygo County dairies. He found great enjoyment in metal detecting with his buddies Dean and Erik.
He was a decisive, take-charge man. His physical therapist told him that he looked like a “man of authority”, and he was! His total honesty got him into some sticky situations – you didn’t want to ask him a question if you weren’t prepared for the answer! He had a dry humor which left you wondering if you had been pranked or not (and most often you had been).
He was his family’s provider, but also a fun-loving father and grandfather. He loved making faces, telling silly jokes, and playing outdoors in all weather first with his children, and then with his many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be missed.
John was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Dawn, and stepson Jeremy. He is survived by Pat, his wife of 20 years, and five children: John Archbold III, Jeanette (Rick) Birdsell, Jim Archbold, Bethanie Thomas, and Jake (Amanda) Fowler; his first wife and friend Marcia Fowler; his sister Linda Dodd; and 35 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A gathering to celebrate John’s life will be held at Grace Bible Church from 11:30 - 1:30 on Saturday, January 27, 2024.
Instead of flowers, please consider a donation in John’s honor to the Newaygo Fire Fighters Association, PO Box 24, Newaygo, MI 49337. His daughter, Bethanie Archbold Thomas, will collect donations for the Association for those who prefer to donate via Venmo: @Bethanie-Thomas.