Alvin James DeGrow

Birth: June 1st, 1926
Death: June 2nd, 2016
Age: 90 years
Residence:Lansing, Michigan
Previous Residence(s):Pigeon

Senator Alvin James DeGrow, 90, was called back home to be with the Lord on June 2, 2016. He was born June 1, 1926 in Pigeon, Michigan to Russell DeGrow and Vera (Harneck) DeGrow. Alvin graduated from Pigeon High School in May of 1944 and joined the U.S. Navy immediately after graduation. He was sent to Alma College briefly and then assigned to an LST in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Immediately after the war ended, Alvin, along with his ship and crew, was directed to assist President Chiang Kai-shek's troops in the Yangtze River during the Chinese Civil War. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, he married his high school sweetheart, Judith Haist, who predeceased him on January 7, 1995.

Early in his career, Mr. DeGrow owned and operated the Ben Franklin Store in Pigeon from 1951 to 1980. During that time, he was a member of Rotary International and served as the local president and District Governor.

His first venture into politics was his election to the Tri-County Community College Board and continued his political career in 1968 by winning a special election to the Michigan State Senate. Senator DeGrow was re-elected in 1970, 1974 and 1978, retiring at the end of 1982. After leaving office, Senator DeGrow joined two of his former colleagues, Senator Huffman and Senator Kammer in a Lansing lobbying firm. After seven years as a lobbyist, Alvin retired in 1989.

Alvin is remembered as a steadfast and caring father, grandfather and husband with a clever wit and a highly respected colleague of those who worked with him in the Senate. He will be greatly missed by those who love him.

Alvin is survived by his wife, Kay (Floria) DeGrow, three children; David (Debbi) of Freeland, Michael (Katherine) of Eaton Rapids and Jane (Edward Shotwell) of Eaton Rapids, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by two brothers, Douglas of Richardson, Texas and Terry of Mukilteo, Washington.

His sister, Marjorie Adams, of Dunedin, Florida, predeceased him on April 22, 2013.

Funeral services will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016 at Mt. Hope United Methodist Church in Lansing. Family will receive friends for visitation on Monday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the church. On Wednesday June 8, 2016 funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Pigeon with visitation from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the church. Interment will follow to Grandlawn Cemetery in Pigeon, Michigan. To share memories and condolences please visit


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