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Obituaries » Morris "Moe", "Bill" Giddings

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August 12, 1953 - May 19, 2023

A celebration of life will take place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1527 at 1920 E. Kilgore Service Rd. in Kalamazoo on Saturday, June 10th from 2pm - 6pm. Memorial donations can be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1527 at the same address. No one, including Moe himself, was ready for him to leave this world. But, he leaves us with the song lyric he coined and had tattooed on his arm: “If the music stops tomorrow, it’s been one helluva ride.”

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Morris (“Moe”, “Bill”) William Giddings, 69, of Vicksburg, MI passed away May 19, 2023 in Kalamazoo, MI from pancreatic cancer. His passing was unexpected and has left a big hole in many people’s lives.

Many described Moe as kind, witty, talented, and generous but “legendary” was the most descriptive word that captured who he was. Always first to offer words of encouragement or condolences, he would have given the shirt off his back to anyone in need. And then he would have offered his hat to go along with it, just in case. (Just maybe not his Rusty Wallace hat; he put his truck in reverse on US-131 just to retrieve it when it blew out of the window one summer.)

Moe was born August 12, 1953 in Vicksburg, MI to parents Morris and Helen (Pease) Giddings. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1971, where he met the love of his life, Deborah Harris. Moe and Deb married on August 17, 1974 and later became the proud parents of three daughters. Family was everything to him and he was everything to them.

For 26 years, he was an accomplished pipefitter for the James River Paper Corporation in Parchment, MI where he also served as Union President of the UA Local 357 Plumbers/Pipefitter Union. The paper mill closed in 2000 and, wanting to try something exciting and new, he and Deb became the owners of a Vicksburg sports bar aptly named The Sports Page. Moe was an exceptional bartender and an even better cook.

His culinary prowess lead him to creating a recipe that became famous among anyone who knew him: his Kansas City-style, sneaky heat barbecue sauce he called ZydecoMo’s Rajun Cajun Bayou-B-Q Sauce. This sauce was highly requested by friends and family, a major hit at his restaurant, and award-winning in the community. Moe and his sauce took 1st place in Kalamazoo’s RibFest in August of 2000.

Moe’s talent and sharp-witted sense of humor wasn’t the only impact made on people’s lives. His compassion and selflessness lead him to serve as a CPR and First Aid instructor for several years and, in May of 2016, resulted in him receiving a Life Saving Award from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The award was presented to him for his exceptional and professional efforts which resulted in the preservation of life, when he administered CPR to a friend who collapsed at the VFW.

Moe’s legacy, and the thing (other than his family) that he was most proud of, was founding the Red Arrow Riders in 2012, a group that honors veterans and current service-people through the sport of motorcycling. He served as President for the better part of a decade until he had to step down due to health reasons. The Red Arrow Riders have raised over $15,000 for charitable causes such as Wheeled Warrior, Talons Out Honor Flight, Section Collection, and Veteran Service Dog Org. They have also donated to several local veteran families in times of need (such as funeral costs, groceries, Christmas gifts, cancer treatment costs, etc.)

Hobbies that he enjoyed throughout his life included camping at Miles Cove Campground, singing and playing accordion in several bluegrass bands, hunting, riding his Harley Davidson, dominating anyone in Trivial Pursuit, playing blackjack in Las Vegas, riding the fastest and tallest rollercoasters, watching Nascar, and taking a leisurely lap or twelve around Muskrat Lake on his pontoon.

Moe is survived by his adoring wife, Deborah; daughters Amy (Larry) Dahl, Amanda (Tim) Krohn, and Misti (David) Mahon; and 4 grandchildren, Kristian, Abbi, LJ, and Miles.