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George Melvin VanCise, 77, of Midland, Michigan, passed away at his home on April 16, 2020, surrounded by his family.  He was a loving spouse, father, grandfather, and brother, as well as a mentor to many around him.


He was born October 16, 1942, in Durand, Michigan, to the late Albert and Virginia (Kirby) VanCise.  He is survived by his spouse, Fay Ann (Terwillegar) VanCise; his son, Patrick VanCise; his daughters Rebecca (Brian) Stoll and Kathryn VanCise Drake; and grandchildren, Timothy, Grace, Jonathan, and Elizabeth. He is also survived by sisters, Rosemary VanCise Kirchofer, Marcia (Dean) Bigelow, and Janet (Steve) Morris; as well as many loved brothers and sisters-in-law and many nephews and nieces; along with special friends John Holmes and Crosscut Larson.


George grew up around Durand, Michigan, which fostered his life-long love of trains and train songs.  George graduated from Durand High School in 1960 and attended Central Michigan University where he earned a Master’s degree in education with a specialist degree in Art.  He taught Art and Math for 32 years at Webber Middle School in Saginaw. George was a member of the National Guard of the State of Michigan from 1964-1970 and was honorably discharged as an SP4.  On October 21, 1972, George married the love of his life, Fay Ann Terwillegar.


 George was a man of many hats.  He was an artist, woodworker, fisherman, and had a passion for playing his guitar at New Hope Community Church (NHCC), at Bickford Cottage, Pinecrest Farms, and with the Midland Folk Music Society.  He was an active member of the NHCC worship teams and loved singing with the children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. He always looked forward to the annual trips to the family fishing trip and the Northern Michigan Relief Sale.  His love language was “acts of service” and he was always there to help when a need arose. 


Special thanks go to the doctors and nurses of Mid-Michigan Regional Health Center, Mid-Michigan Home Health Care, and Mid-Michigan Hospice Care.  Those considering an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the New Hope Community Church Missions or Relay for Life of Midland County.


A private family burial will take place on Monday, April 20, 2020 with a memorial service being held at a later date.


Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the VanCise family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.




Condolence Messages

  1. Julia A Kessler (Schreiber)

    21 April 2020 2 years ago

    This message sends heartfelt condolences to Fay and the kids. George had incredible kindness, patience, smiles and love for music. Playing our guitars and singing with him will always be treasured times. He may be gone but his spirit will forever be with you.

  2. Gary and Carol Shetler

    20 April 2020 2 years ago

    Fay, know that being with you and George over the years (though the times together were few) brings only positive and uplifting feelings to me. I miss George already. May you and your family experience God’s nearness and light this day and always. In love, Cousin Gary and Carol

  3. Janet S Morris

    20 April 2020 2 years ago

    I will miss my brother deeply…You were my mentor through life and I strove to make you proud…Even though there was a 14 year gap in our ages you made an effort to put up me as a teen…I will miss our sibling get togethers, fishing on the backwaters of the Martiny Chain, and just our love for you and your sisters…You were an influence on so many people…Until we meet again…Much love, hugs and prayers to Fay, Pat, Becky and Kathy.

  4. Janet S Morris

    20 April 2020 2 years ago

    I truly loved my mentor in life and will miss my brother deeply..You guided me through life and for me to strive to make you proud.Even though there was a 14 year gap between us, I never felt the age difference…I will miss our sibling parties, fishing on the backwaters of the Martniy Chain, and just all of the reminisces of when we children and silly adults! Much love and we will meet again…

  5. Patti Kloha

    19 April 2020 2 years ago

    Mr.VanCise was a very nice man and was a jokester!! I remember many times checking them out at the grocery store and Day rolling her eyes as he would make a joke with a big smile on his face!! RIPIH you will always be remembered.

  6. Sharon Duford

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    So sorry for your loss. Such a kind and funny guy. Enjoyed getting to know him at the church helping with funeral dinners , I am sure he will be missed. Fay, take care.

  7. Tricia Eidsmoe

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Pat & family – We are so sorry for your loss. Thoughts & prayers with you during this very difficult time.

    The Eidsmoes

  8. cindy r snyder

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    I will miss George so much. He had a special love for his family that he shared with everyone. He was always willing to do anything to help other people. God has a very special Angel now. Blessings to his family and if you need anything, please let me know. hugs

  9. John & Kathy Smith

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Dear Faye and family,
    Just read the Midland paper and was shocked to read the obituary for George. Sending our sympathy to you during this difficult time. May the angels welcome him to paradise.
    John & Kathy Smith

  10. Tammy Watz-Otey

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Patrick and family, please accept our condolences for the loss of your beloved father, fishing buddy, teacher, mentor, and hero. Our hearts and thoughts go out to you. Peace be with you during this difficult time. Tammy and Gordie

  11. Milea Anne King

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Fay and all your family,
    Bruce, Michael and I want you to know that no matter where we are we will always be with you in our thoughts and prayers. We always loved hearing all the music on Sundays and whatever he was involved in. Loved going to the nursing homes with all of you too. He will certainly be missed by so many and was so glad to see all of you in our get together in Sept. He is watching down on all of us now. Til we meet again… Love, Bruce, Milea and Michael

  12. Gary Smith MD

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Fay and family: I was saddened to read of George’s death in today’s paper. It was truly a pleasure and honor to participate in his health care for some 30 years. What a pleasant, caring, and always putting others first person he was! I know you will have tremendous support within your very loving family in your time of grieving. You are blessed to have so many positive memories of George. Thinking of you.

  13. Todd, Lindsay, Ethan, Luke, Gracie T.

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Fay, Becky, Kathy, Pat – so sorry to hear of George passing. Blessings to you all during this time. Such a good man. Prayers coming your way.

  14. Tammy Watz-Otey

    18 April 2020 2 years ago

    Gordie and I would like to express our condolences to Patrick and his family. We are very sorry for the loss of your beloved father, fishing buddy, teacher, and hero. Our hearts hurt for you, but know he is now at peace. He will surely be missed. Love and hugs, Tammy and Gordie

  15. Tiffanee Wazny-Kohl

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Becky and family, so sorry for your loss. May your wonderful memories bring you joy and peace in the days to come.

  16. Ryan Terwillegar

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    To my loving Aunt Fay and family, my heart goes out to you. Uncle George was always there for me. A role model of what it is to be a good man. He left a legacy of honesty and kindness that will always shine bright on our family.

  17. Kendra (Byler) Swartzentruber

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Condolences. He loved well.

  18. Eva

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    I just want to send my heartfelt sympathies to Aunt Fay, Patrick, Becky and her family, Kathy and her family. Uncle George’s sisters as well. It’s hard to find the words because Uncle George was such a giving man. I have so many memories, but the ones I will remember the most are of him being a loving husband who liked to tease Aunt Fay and a proud, loving and present father. His love for all of you will forever live in your hearts. I wish we could be there in person, but please know we are there in spirit. We love all of you very much and will miss Uncle George very much. He touched our hearts and left us precious memories

  19. Owen's family

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers to the family’s.

  20. Luke Hansen

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    We are sad to hear of George’s passing, but will celebrate his going to his heavenly home. A lovely man with a great big heart. We will see you again buddy. Luke, Kari, and the Hansen’s

  21. Diane K Hawley

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Faye Rose Marcie Jan I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and brother My thoughts and prayers are with u at this difficult time
    Diane Hawley

  22. Heather Grubaugh Holt

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    To the VanCise family~
    My childhood memories include these trips up North with you. Your dad scared me many times with his antics. I always felt love and happiness radiate from him. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I look forward to celebrating his life with you in the future.

  23. Connie & Harry Swartzentruber

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    To my sister and family, my heart is broken by not being able to be there in person to hug you all and be apart of this loss of a loved one due to the Coronaviris orders in Michigan. I know God is with all of you and respects your sadness and knows your loved one has united with his maker.

  24. Meredith Harvey

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    I did not know him well, but I know he was loved by his family and will truly be missed. Love to Mrs. VanCise, Pat, Becky, Brian, Kathy, and all the grandkids.

  25. Nikki Anderson

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    George was one of my very favorite dads. He demonstrated the epitome of true love and respect to his wife, kids, grandkids and other family members. Whenever I visited their house he would come in from his shop and have a few funny words with me, have a twinkle in his eyes while he grabbed a few cookies, tease me a little bit more, then go back to his shop. His teasing let me know that he really liked me. I will miss his deep laugh, his knowing head shakes, and just watching his love radiate over his family.

  26. Don and Gail Duford

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    The VanCise family is one great family … led by dad George. Gail and I will forever remember George as God’s faithful servant. George was so talented in so many ways but will be mostly known for his love of God and his love for his family. Precious memories. It won’t be long and we will be all together again.

  27. Frank & Kay Particka

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Firstly, we send our love to aunt Fay, Pat, Becky & family, and Kathy’s family! Prayers for peace in your hearts with memories flooding your minds of this amazing man we all had the privilege to love! His presence is gone, but will never be forgotten! We will cherish the many memories we have….rest in peace Uncle George!

  28. Carmen Lang

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    Oh Fay! I know he will be truly missed.

  29. Ruth Flowers

    17 April 2020 2 years ago

    We will miss George. May he
    Rest In Peace. Love and hugs to the whole family.

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