Commercial-News, Penny Saver, & Sturgis Sentinel Obituaries

Obituary: Olen A. “Jr.” Rifenberg

Olen A. “Jr.” Rifenberg, 88, of Jones, a lifetime Newberg Township resident, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born November 23, 1935, the son of Olin A. and Mary (Cunningham) Rifenberg. While a freshman at Cassopolis High School he was struck with polio but fought through a six-month hospital stay and survived.

A lifelong livestock and grain farmer, Olen was a member of the Jones Farmers Co-Op (as well as a board member for several years) and of the Michigan Milk Producers Association. In 1955 he married Charlotte Bristol and established their family farm. Their home “The Farm” was known to the Jones community as a great place for conversation and a good cup of coffee.

He enjoyed both watching and participating in car racing, and with memories of traveling to church as a child in his grandfather’s Model A, he was a member of the Antique Model A Club.

Remaining to cherish Olen’s memory are his daughters, Pandy (Paul) Chiddister and Connie Rifenberg; sons, Charlie Rifenberg and Bryan Rifenberg; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brother, James (Dona) Rifenberg; sister-in-law, Janet (Bill) Hartman; brother-in-law, Verlin Bristol; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte Rifenberg; parents, Olin A. Sr. and Mary Rifenberg; and sisters, Vivian (Norman) Christopherson and Violet Rifenberg.

Visitation will be held Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Newberg, 13021 Born St., Jones. A funeral service will follow at the church at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Mike Owen officiating. He will be laid to rest in Poe’s Cemetery.

Donations in Olen’s memory may be directed to Newberg Township Fire & EMS. Envelopes will be available at the church and at Hohner Funeral Home.

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