‘He lived life by his heart’: 22-year-old man killed in motorcycle accident


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 1:02 pm on Wednesday, July 09, 2014

GRANDVILLE — The DeBerg family shared a picture perfect day Fourth of July together.

Tim and Amy and their children, Tad and Tori, and Tad’s son Emmett went out for dinner to celebrate Tim’s birthday. They went to a park and played with Emmett. They went home and had cake and ice cream.

Tad DeBerg

Then Tad went out for an evening motorcycle ride.

“We were blessed because we had that last day together,” Amy DeBerg said.

According to the Grandville Police Department, DeBerg, 22, was riding his motorcycle south on Wilson Avenue in Grandville on Friday night when a pickup truck traveling east on Rivertown Parkway ran a red light and struck DeBerg, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

DeBerg grew up in Montcalm County with his family and attended Central Montcalm High School. He was currently living in Wyoming and working for Valley Truck Parts in Grand Rapids. Like his father, he had a talent and a passion for mechanical work.

More than anything, DeBerg loved his son, Emmett, age 3. The father and son enjoyed doing lots of activities together, from riding quads to reading books.

Tim and Amy DeBerg of Wyoming, formerly of Montcalm County, were faced with the difficult task of explaining to Emmett where his father had gone last weekend.

“Everybody was crying and he wasn’t,” Tim DeBerg said. “He asked where his daddy was because everybody was there and his dad wasn’t there. Amy and I sat down with him, I put him on my lap. I said, ‘Your daddy was called to go up and help Jesus. You will see your daddy again.’”

The little boy bravely accepted this explanation.

Tad was the first grandson for Arvin and Geraldine DeBerg of Belding, formerly of Greenville.

“There’s so much we’re going to miss,” said Geraldine DeBerg. “He was always just a mellow, sweet kid. You couldn’t ask for a better child. He stayed all the way into adulthood. I just can’t say enough about him.”

Tim and Amy DeBerg said their son was on a rough road as a teenager, but he had changed directions and was headed down a promising path. They were proud of the choices he was making and the priority he placed on being a father.

“Tad had a very big heart and he lived his life by his heart,” Amy DeBerg said. “The comments I keep hearing from people is that his smile would light up a room, and everybody’s going to miss it.”

“He impacted a lot of people’s lives,” Tim DeBerg agreed.

Memorial services for DeBerg will be 11 a.m. Friday at Greenville Community Church. Visitation will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the church and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Friday.

Marshall Funeral Home in Greenville is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Memorials may be made to “Emmett’s Hope Account” at Lake Michigan Credit Union for DeBerg’s son.

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