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Memorial Gathering

Avink McCowen Secord Funeral Home Plainwell
Friday May 6th, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm

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Memorial Service

Avink McCowen Secord Funeral Home Plainwell
Friday May 6th, 2022

View Details

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Helen Jean Smith

Helen Jean Smith (Bommer) July 17, 1958 - April 28, 2022


Jeanne, as she was known to friends and family, who didn’t dare call her Helen, was deeply loved and admired for her absolute dedication to family. Jeanne defined family in the broadest terms, making sure everyone felt loved, seen, and like they belonged. Her home was the center of the family, hosting countless holidays, baby and bridal showers, grad parties and other celebrations. She adored kids and kids adored her; she was always ready to babysit or open her home to any loved one needing a place to stay. Jeanne will always be remembered for her generosity, strength of character, boundless energy, and incurable sweet tooth.


Born July 17, 1958, in Allegan, Michigan, Jeanne was the oldest daughter of Frances Stineback (Wiggins) and Russell Bommer. She grew up in Plainwell, Michigan, where she returned to raise her three children. She was preceded in death by her father Russell Bommer, her stepfather Earl Stineback, and her beloved big brother Russel R. Bommer. She is survived by her mother Frances Stineback (Wiggins); siblings Dennis Bommer, Franny (Jerry) Laster, Sally (Tony) Bommer Hicks; half-siblings Bambi Langon and Robin Hoyt; step-siblings Tresa Hinton and Ronnie Simmons; son David James Smith II; daughters Jennifer Lee (Silvano) Vanegas and Sarah Jean Bommer; granddaughters Launa and Calista; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Stunningly beautiful, always fashionable, exceptionally smart and resourceful, Jeanne could do anything she put her mind to. She was renowned as a consummate hostess, and never met a home project she couldn’t conquer. She loved garage sale-ing with her sisters and traveling with her children, especially to warmer climes. She was kind, strong, fiercely independent, an extraordinarily hard worker, and a friend and mentor to so many. She will be remembered for her kindness, compassion, indomitable spirit, and chronic overpacking.


 Jeanne passed away at Bronson Hospital on April 28th from complications related to throat cancer. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 at Avink McCowen Secord Funeral Home; 120 S. Woodhams St. in Plainwell, with visitation beginning at 11:00 am and the service at 12:00 pm. Refreshments will follow at Jeanne’s house. All who knew and loved Jeanne are welcome.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Smith, please visit our flower store.


Sorry to be so late in sending this message. Jeanne rented from us a number of years ago, and we were very fond of her. We so admired her family values and dedication to her children. What a hard worker! We enjoyed running into her as the years passed, and are saddened that she lost her life so young. Her loved ones were fortunate to have her in their lives. Please accept our belated sympathies.

Patsy Nyberg Jun 27 2022 9:21 PM

I was so saddened when I learned of Jeanne’s passing! I learned 3 hours after the time of here service, and I definitely would have been there had I known!
Jeane worked at Ot-well-Egan Golf Course during the 1980’s for my Husband and I. She was the best waitress, bartender and hostess we had ever encountered and was a real asset to our business. ( we entered her in a contest at the Allegan County Fair once for the title of “fastest waiter in the county ,” and she won!). She was a polished employee—-professional, efficient and fast. She also was always eager to help other employees and never wavered in a crisis situation. Everyone loved her! She was worth every penny she earned at our establishment!
She was so special to my husband and I—-a true friend! She will be missed by many, especially her children who were everything to her. They were always on her mind and she was so proud of them! So, David, Jenny and Sarah I pray that God’s peace will surround you .
Lynn Gardiner

Lynn Gardiner May 7 2022 5:56 AM

I met Jeanne as we hosted together. She was kind-hearted, driven, confident, and so much more. One of my first shifts with her I complimented her outfit and she immediately broke it down for me, informing me of every store each item came from. From then on I always asked about her clothes and was eager to hear her response. She was my favorite person to share the desk with, always telling me about her children/grandkids and the renovations going on in her home, along with asking questions about myself and listening to each answer whole-heartedly. She was one of a kind and everyone adored her work ethic and kindness. My heart is with her family and friends.

Audrey Lepper May 6 2022 7:26 PM

Jeanne is a gift given to this world. She took a chance on me years 15 years ago when no one else would. Jeanne was kind and caring and straight forward. She has and will always have a big place in my heart. I hope she knew how much I appreciated her. My heart goes out to her family. You are in my thoughts.

Melinda Hayes May 6 2022 1:28 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Helen Smith

Lucas Holland May 6 2022 11:10 AM

She was such a kind soul. Always smiling and positive. I am happy that I was able to chat with her a couple of times while I was working at the store in the past few months. I remember many fun times we shared in the past. She was a blessing to all. Rest peacefully Jeanne.

Mary Steele May 5 2022 10:28 PM

Jeanne was/is and always be an amazing soul. Her sacrifice in her own life helped me throughout my childhood and into adulthood. Her home always immaculate, children raised primarily by herself, and a work ethic that few could challenge. Because she helped so many I kindly ask that you pray for her children, my grandmother, and all who were blessed to be a part of her life. I'm so thankful that her and I were able to have a personal moment and forgive one another for any pain that was caused. With that being said, I'll always be with you in spirit, drink Pepsi out of a bottle, Reese's Pieces, and remember the wonderful moments that we have shared throughout my entire life. At every turn, she was there as a faithful family member. I cannot describe the emptiness and pain I feel for my grandmother, my cousin David and both her daughters. May God be with all of you.

RIP Helen Smith

Lee Bommer May 5 2022 7:22 PM

She was a beautiful soul inside and out . I met her at timber ridge where we both worked and she also lived down the street from my mom . My heart goes out to her family and friends RIPJeanne

Lisa rasnake May 4 2022 10:49 PM

Sorry to hear of Helen's passing.I knew Helen from school.
Lori Snyder-Steele
The class of 1976

Lori Snyder-Steele May 4 2022 7:10 PM

I loved her boundless energy and passion for her family. She had a laugh straight from her belly that you couldn’t help joining in on.

Alice Brown May 4 2022 10:22 AM

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