Joseph Froats, 61
Joseph Daniel Froats entered this world March 21, 1960, full of energy and with a flair for fun. In school, he loved playing sports and was the proud winner of the Punt, Pass and Kick trophy, which his entire family enjoyed. Joseph was raised a Boyne City kid, the son of Jerome Froats and Janet Froats-Shepherd.
He began his travels as a teenager, graduating from Bellaire High School in 1978. He then joined the Marine Corps and completed basic training in San Diego, CA. While in the Corps, he married Anne Chubb. Their love produced their daughter, Michelle Froats, the mother of Joseph’s grandchildren Abigail and Ethan McCready of Travelers Rest, S.C.
After the military, Joseph entered the trades, working in southeast Michigan before becoming owner and operator of Integrity Custom Drywall.
In 1996, Joseph rededicated his life to Jesus Christ. The change was miraculous, and he never missed an opportunity to tell people about his new life and their opportunity to embrace Jesus as Savior. Because of that commitment, and after traveling four hours—one way—to attend church in East Jordan for a year, he moved home. Since then, he has been a faithful member of Harvest Barn Word of Life Church, where he became an ordained minister.
At the church, he met the love of his life, Deborah Ann Kraemer. They married in 1999. Their love and tenderness for each other earned them the nickname, the googlies. Their love inspired people. Joseph also gained two stepchildren, Kimberly (Mike) Gady and Pete Kraemer, and more grandchildren.
With Deb at his side, Joseph shared his faith with people everywhere and from all walks of life. He enjoyed a “biker ministry” and riding his motorcycle whenever possible. He was known as a strong Christian on the job, with his work ethic and fairness reflecting his faith.
Joseph is already greatly missed by his wife, daughter, stepdaughter, grandchildren, mother, stepmother Ruth Froats, step-siblings, nieces and nephews. His brothers and sisters—Jerome Froats, Jill Nickhah, Jeffrey (Colleen) Froats, Janenne (Herman) Pung and James (Joan) Shepherd—feel as though the best of them has gone onto heaven.
Joseph joins his father, stepfather James Shepherd, stepson and grandparents—namesake Joseph and Phyllis Tisron and the Rev. Edward and Etta, and second wife Rev. Edna Froats.
Though the family would love to keep Joseph, we celebrate his great reward and know that as of Tuesday, April 27, he is living his best life—eternally. We love you forever and look forward to seeing you again.
A service celebrating Joseph’s life will be held Sunday, May 2, at Harvest Barn Church, 210 S. Lake Street, East Jordan. Visitation begins at 2 p.m., the service at 3 p.m.
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