Amy Jo KinyonSONY DSC

In each of our communities are pillars — those quiet sources of strength that can be depended upon at any time. These individuals are what make our towns unique. They truly care about those around them and work, often behind the scenes, to ensure success.
Recently, our area lost one of those pillars with the passing of Karen Haigh. She exuded kindness and joy every time I encountered her and I will always remember her with fondness. For more than 40 years her family has produced tasty Maple Syrup and syrup products at their farm in Bellevue. They sold their creations at the annual Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival and were an integral part of the annual sugaring off party each year. As members in the Michigan Maple Syrup Association and even the North American and International syrup groups, the Haigh family knows syrup like few others.
Each festival, I looked forward to visiting their booth along East Main and tasting her most recent creations. One year at the festival I tasted a maple syrup waffle cone, and I can almost taste its goodness when thinking back. It was just like Karen, unique, sweet and not soon to be forgotten.
As a former pre-school teacher for 35 years in Bellevue, Karen touched the lives of so many students and their families. I cannot imagine the wonderful memories and stories others who spent more time with Karen possess. She was one of those rare souls who could make anyone comfortable and at ease.
A poem by Roy Lessin reminds me of Karen and the lives she has made a positive impact upon.
“When a stone is dropped into a lake, it quickly disappears from sight but its impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden and reach across the water. In the same way, the impact of one life lived for Christ will leave behind an influence for good that will reach the lives of many others.”
The ripples created by Karen Haigh will continue to be felt for lifetimes to come.