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May 18, 2017

A memorial service will be held at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM with Pastor Ray Brandon officiating.

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Ansel Presley Doolittle, 86, died Thursday, May 18, 2017 at New Friends Memory Care in Kalamazoo, Michigan after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He leaves behind his daughters, Deborah Blackmer and Kimberly Doolittle; sister, Sue Scott; son-in-law, Gary Blackmer; grandsons, Brad and Brian Blackmer; granddaughters-in-law, Joan and Melissa Blackmer; great-grandsons, Connor, Austin, Kyle, and Ryan Blackmer; several nieces and nephews and many friends. Ansel was born in Texico, New Mexico in 1931 to parents Thomas Truman and Ruth Doolittle. His father was a dairy farmer in Clovis, New Mexico, and his mother was a homemaker. He lived in Lubbock, Texas most of his life. Growing up, he played basketball, softball and ran track, where he excelled in pole-vaulting. Always quick with a smile and a handful of jokes, he was voted the boy with the best personality, best looking and most popular in high school. Throughout his life, he enjoyed bowling, softball, golf and competed in several track events in the Senior Olympics, including pole-vaulting. He married his high school sweetheart, Coeta Roth, in 1950 and worked as a machinist for the Santa Fe Railroad. His daughter, Deborah Blackmer, was born in 1951, and his daughter, Kimberly Doolittle, was born in 1961. He also had eight brothers and sisters growing up, including twin brother Mansel; brothers, Darwin, Marvin, Kenneth, Gayle, Jerial, and Leon; and sisters, Doris and Sue. Ansel loved to interact with people whether he knew them a long time or just met them. Just going to dinner with him was an event as he would oftentimes strike up conversations with the waiters and waitresses by telling jokes or stories and leaving them with a smile and a memory. He had a larger than life personality and an incredibly quick wit, which he loved to share. He also enjoyed country music and dancing. He developed his own style of dancing, which included high leg kicks and occasional shouts and chants. It was a lot of fun to be in his company, and he will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace with the Lord.