Howard Dewayne Aven

Howard Dewayne Aven

Thursday, March 7th, 1935 - Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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H. Dewayne Aven, age 85, of Cassopolis, died peacefully Tuesday March 31, 2020. He was born March 7, 1935 in Abingdon, Virginia to Howard and Margie Aven. He married Joyce Elaine Gilchrist October 7, 1957 in Cassopolis, Michigan. After more than sixty-one years of marriage, she preceded him in death November 12, 2018.

Dewayne moved to Cassopolis prior to seventh grade and met, Joyce Gilchrist, his bride to be at a church roller skating party. He participated in high school sports and learned his love of woodworking in shop class. Shortly after high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Germany as a welder. Dewayne and Joyce traveled extensively in Europe during his three year tour. After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, they returned to Cassopolis to raise a family. He started Aven’s Dairy Service and served the community for almost twenty years. He then transitioned back into welding at K&M Manufacturing from 1980 to 2000. Dewayne was a skilled welder having worked on many of the sculptures in the area including the pieces in front of the building.

Dewayne had a deep love for his Savior Jesus Christ and shared his faith even until his last days at Healthwin. He and Joyce were vital members of the Cassopolis Church of God, Volinia Baptist Church and Community Church of Edwardsburg. He was active with softball as a coach, player, and spectator. Dewayne was a Sunday school leader, participated with Awana and held various church leadership positions.

Dewayne and Joyce were active in Cassopolis schools sports for over fifty years. He played football and ran track in high school. They attended many games, mentored students and were Cassopolis’ number one fans. He was an assistant coach for Girl’s Junior Varsity Softball. He chaperoned many dances and Joyce was the bookkeeper for Cassopolis Public Schools for over 15 years. They led and participated in the Class Reunions for the Class of 1955 and 1956.

Dewayne and Joyce cherished family and were devoted parents and grandparents. They attended every concert, church dedication, pageant, play, sporting event, parade, and high school and college graduation. He shared his love of woodworking by creating gifts and assisting with various home projects that will last a lifetime.

Dewayne’s joyful spirit and humor will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by one daughter, Kerrie (Ronnie) Bass of Edwardsburg; two sons, Ken (Melinda) Aven of Edwardsburg, Kevin (Ann) Aven of Noblesville; two sisters, Martha Aven of Abingdon, Virginia, Eva Spears of Orlando, Florida; one brother, Johnny Aven of Abingdon, Virginia; seven grandchildren, Logan Aven, Jacob Aven, Griffin Aven, Beth (Leif) Werner, Chelsea (Nick) Yoder, Justina (Aloysius) Schmucker, Daniel Bass; eight great grandchildren, Tristan Werner, Ronan Werner, Charlotte Yoder, Ava Yoder, Avan Schmucker, Aloysius Schmucker, Camden Schmucker, Madelyne Schmucker; and a host of nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, JoAnn Minnick.

The family will observe a private funeral service. Mr. Aven will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Cassopolis.

Family and friends will gather on Saturday, July 25, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 Noon in Community Church, 28647 US Highway 12 West, Edwardsburg, Michigan 49112

The family prefers contributions in memory of Dewayne be made to either Cassopolis Athletic Fund c/o Cassopolis Public Schools, 725 Center Street, Cassopolis, Michigan 49031 or Community Church of Edwardsburg, 28647 US 12, Edwardsburg, Michigan 49112.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, July 25th, 2020 | 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Saturday, July 25th, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Community Church of Edwardsburg
    28647 US 12 West
    Edwardsburg, Michigan 49112
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, July 25th, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Saturday, July 25th, 2020 12:00pm
    at the church
    Address Not Available


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Private Condolence


Posted at 04:03pm
My deepest sympathy to your family....I always enjoyed DeWayne's annual Christmas letter about all of you.

Lorraine Bolley

Posted at 02:41pm
Lorna Hazard and Lorraine (Hazard) Bolley extend their deepest condolences to the Aven family for the loss of their father, grandfather and great grandfather. DeWayne and Joyce were dear friends of our family. We attended many events together and I remember the roller skating parties we had. May God bless each of you and bring you comfort during this time. Our prayers are with you.

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