KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) - Richard Root was remembered as a loving husband, father and public servant with a fondness for Chevrolet Corvettes.
Root, the former Kentwood mayor, was honored Wednesday by many at the Brookside Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. The crowded event began at 11 a.m. and ended almost 90 minutes later, as the audience listened to eulogies from both Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Root's son, Damon.
The crowd also sang some of the retired mayor's favorite hymns as they reflected on his greatest achievements, including getting a library built at a time when many said it couldn't be done.
After battling with cancer for over three years, Root died late Friday night. He recently stepped down from his active role as mayor to take time with the family. However it was evident the impact he made on the community will continue to be remembered for a long time.
He was described by Pastor Paul DeVries as, "A blessed man within the community," and stated, "If God has a sense of humor, I'm sure he is serving on a committee in heaven."
"He fought the good fight and ran the good race, as a family man, as a man of the city, and as a man of his faith," DeVries said. He was described as a man who loved music, cars, and had a passion for the greater good of the city.
Heartwell commented Root was "an uncommonly good man that his friends had the privilege to know."
His son knew him as someone who saw no need for a rearview mirror, as there was no need to ever "look back."
Richard Root leaves behind his wife Karleen, son Damon, daughter-in-law-Christy and granddaughter Rachel. He is buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Kentwood.
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