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Richard D. Archer

July 28, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Richard D. Archer passed away in Grand Rapids on July 21, 2012, from complications following a stroke.

Rick was born January 28, 1951, in Morgantown, W.Va., to Richard D. Archer and Ruth Ebeling Archer while his father was attending West Virginia University

During his life, he lived in W.Va., Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, California and Missouri. He spent most of his life in Michigan near W. Bloomfield, Trenton, Detroit, Holland and his favorite place, Eagle Harbor.

Rick earned a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Science Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1974. He worked in the chemical industry for Monsanto and later for Flexsys America in Michigan, Missouri and W.Va., working in maintenance and planning. Following his retirement, he consulted for Flexsys as a project manager.

Rick is survived by his wife of 37 years, Lynn Sheehan of Holland; two daughters and sons-in-law, Elizabeth Archer (Brian) Hess of Calumet and Emily Archer (Curtis) Sproul of Morgantown, W. Va; his father, Dick of Holland, Mich.; brother, Ross Archer of San Jose, Calif.; brother-in-law, Pat (Judy) Sheehan of Belleville, Mich.; sister-in-law, Carol Kolpacke of Plymouth, Mich.; aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother in May 2010.

Beginning with Tom Swift, Rick never lost his boyhood interest in science and technology and was an avid reader in both areas. He grew up in the age of the Space Race and was an amateur astronomer and enjoyed astrophotography, capturing images of everything from galaxies to globular clusters.

Formerly, he was an active member of the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society (KVAS) in Charleston and recently joined the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Society in Holland.

While he made a career as an engineer, he was a life-long learner and teacher at heart and assisted a number of students as they navigated the challenges of physics, algebra and other classes he thought of as just fun.

He was devoted to his family and will be greatly missed by all. "To infinity and beyond," a quote from one of his favorite movie characters, Buzz Lightyear, seems appropriate as we mark the end of his life here on earth.

Rick will be cremated with a private interment at a future date. Family and friends will gather on Friday afternoon, July 27, at Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant in Holland between 1 and 4 p.m. to share stories and mark his passing.

Donations in his honor may be made to the John Glenn Center for Science Education, National Science Teachers' Association (

Arrangements are by Northwood Chapel - Dykstra Funeral Homes.

To sign an online registry or leave a memory, please visit



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