Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Obituaries

Obituary: Donald J Carra

Donald J Carra, age 62 of Allegan passed away peacefully on September 6th, 2023, surrounded by family and friends at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. Heartfelt gratitude goes out to the amazing ICU medical and nursing staff, as well as those that were with him during his final days, both by his side, and through the precious messages he received. The outpouring of grace and love he was shown by so many was an incredible blessing to him and his family. After a lifetime of struggle, Don was able to make peace with God and himself and finally lay down his sword.

Over the course of his life, Don had many passions and hobbies. Bodybuilding, his first love, began at 16 when he got his first weight set for Christmas. Many hours of his life were spent at the gym and for some years in his basement, as he challenged himself to lift more pounds and do far more reps than anybody should.

Don loved being outdoors. He spent many years building roads and paths, cutting down trees and beautifying his 20 acres of property in Bloomingdale. For the last 20 years, his weekends were usually spent on Little Bear Lake in Grand Junction where he enjoyed riding on his tractor (especially with a grandkid on his lap), moving dirt, and manicuring his 2-acre slice of heaven.

Don was also obsessed with trees, and like everything else he did, pursued them with great intensity. He loved to hunt for the oldest, tallest, and largest trees. Once found, he measured, recorded and added them to the Michigan State and the National Tree Registry. Several trees in this area that are in the top 10 were his finds.

He was a latecomer to the sport of disc golf. He enjoyed playing with friends when his patience allowed, otherwise, he was first on the course in the morning competing with himself.

He had a talent for photography, and weekend afternoons were often spent driving through the countryside photographing trees, nature and old barns.

Don had a varied and accomplished work history. He thrived on new challenges and would learn everything he could about a whole new industry multiple times, from his first job as a carpet layer at age sixteen, 15 years at Vista Business Forms working in multiple positions, Fruitbelt Electric, Bloomingdale Telephone Company, Delano Services, EPI, to working his way up at Grandville Printing Company to the VP of Operations. He was most recently employed at Hutchinson Antivibration in Grand Rapids.

Don was a good provider and a diligent and dedicated employee who rarely missed a day.

He was part of several church families over the past 35 years including the Bloomingdale Christian Church, Bloomingdale United Methodist Church and most recently the First Baptist Church of Allegan.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Philip and Berniece (nee Schroeder) Carra.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jodi (nee Jennings), daughter Megan (Aaron) Cole of Kalamazoo, son Matthew (Jennifer) Carra of Mattawan, three wonderful grandchildren, Gage Westerman, Mikalynn “Mikey” Carra and Ivan Cole who affectionately called him “Buppa,” siblings Joan (Carl) Berlew-Saxton of Marcellus, Stanley (Veronica) Carra of Portage, Angela (Giles) Quick of Rollins, Montana, Theresa (Tom) Sehy of Sturgis, Paul Carra (fiancé Mary Anne) of Three Rivers, Greg Carra (fiancé Catherine) of Tuson, Arizona and many nieces and nephews that were very special to him.

In place of a traditional funeral service, Don wished for a celebration of life. If he was special to you, please join us in celebrating his life at FireKeepers Casino Hotel Event Center on Sunday, October 8th, 2023, at 5pm. Dinner will be provided and we look forward to sharing stories and reflecting on who he was and what we have learned from knowing him, and of course we will laugh! For planning purposes, please RSVP at by 3pm on 10/2/23.

In lieu of flowers, any contributions will go toward his uncovered medical expenses and be greatly appreciated by his family. Don will be dearly missed and remembered by those whose lives he touched.

Don now has answers to his lifelong questions and the riddles of the universe.

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