Life Story / Obituary
Life is full of unanswered questions, and perhaps the one that is the most difficult to answer is why so many are given decades in which to compose their life’s song while others are given a mere whisper in time. As the family and friends of Aubrey Staple still try to come to terms with her sudden death, it is easy to see that the world was a better place because Aubrey was here. Her grace, beauty, and poise at such a young age was an inspiration, and her smile brought such joy to those around her. Aubrey was a gift given to her family and friends, and the moments she shared with them were the moments that were most precious to her. At the young age of 16 so many of her talents were already emerging, yet it was her love for those around her that was her most precious gift to give. Life will never be the same without Aubrey here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
The world was abuzz as January of 2000 drew nearer as no one was quite certain of what would become of all the technology that had become part of our daily lives. Called Y2K, the new millennium was certainly greatly anticipated by people around the world, but it was also a time of great anticipation in the lives of Danika “Nikki” Howell Ramos and Mark Staple as they were awaiting the birth of their new baby. It was just after the new year arrived that the baby girl they named Aubrey Marie drew her first breath in Muskegon, Michigan. She was welcomed into the world by a loving family that included not only her parents, but also her older brothers, Aaron and Andrew, as well as two additional siblings, Jamie and Jennie.
Aubrey was raised primarily by her mom, Nikki, who was a single mom raising her three kids, Aaron, Andrew, and Aubrey. Aubrey’s earliest years were spent in the family home in Roosevelt Park where her mother ran a daycare out of their home. Her mother also worked as phlebotomist at Hackley Hospital and did some waitressing on the side to make ends meet during those early years. When Aubrey was two years old, the family moved to Marne so Aubrey’s mother could be closer to her work.
A fun-loving and adventurous girl, Aubrey had a great childhood growing up. She spent time with her grandparents, Carlos and Yvonne Ramos, and also regularly spent weekends with her dad in Whitehall. As she grew older Aubrey used to boss her older brothers around and was kind of like a mother hen to them. She had a really good home life, and there were kids of all ages at her house all the time including her friends and friends of her brothers and family, too. Aubrey looked forward to movies nights, bonfires, and playing board games with family.
Like so many young girls, Aubrey was always on the go. She attended Marne Elementary School through the fourth grade. She liked school and her teachers liked her as well. Aubrey was part of the Kenowa Hills schools system throughout her school career, which meant that she grew up with the same kids. She had a great group of friends, and she was known for her smile and kind heart. Aubrey had a core group of girlfriends who were all very close, and she loved spending time with them. During the summers she and some friends liked to go boating on Lake Michigan, and last summer she even drove a 32 foot Sea Ray from Spring Lake down to Saugatuck. In elementary school Aubrey tried soccer and basketball, but she wasn’t really good at either of them. She did learn to sew when she was young and even did a sewing display for a talent show at school. Aubrey loved to bake cookies and other things, which was a skill she learned from her stepmother, Chris with whom she had a special bond. She was an avid reader, especially of mysteries. She liked playing cards and board games like Parcheesi and Monopoly, doing various craft projects, and listening to all sorts of music.
What made everything she did so special for Aubrey was sharing these experiences with others. She and her mother were very close, and they were often together. There were trips to Cedar Point, camping trips, and weekends at a cabin on Bitely Lake where they did plenty of rafting and tubing. Last summer Aubrey and her mom went to a Bruce Springsteen concert in Cleveland together. At home they were also known to curl up on the couch together and watch movies wearing their “Onesie” pajamas. While in high school Aubrey spent regular weekends with her dad, and they also took a vacation to Mackinac Island together. Additionally, she had a close relationship with her niece, Ashley.
All who knew Aubrey Staple would agree that there was no one who met her and left unchanged. With an unending spirit of compassion, she was known for writing encouraging notes to her family members and friends at just the right time. Aubrey was outgoing and friendly with a smile that could brighten any room. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Aubrey Marie Staple passed away Saturday, October 8, 2016. Aubrey’s family includes her parents, Danika "Nikki" Dillon of Marne, Mark (Chris) Staple of Whitehall; siblings, Aaron Dillon, Andrew Staple, Jamie (Anita) Staple, Jennie (Zack) VanderSlute; grandparents, Carlos (Yvonne) Ramos, Roberta Staple; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews & cousins. Aubrey was preceded in death by her grandfather, Russell Staple, and cousin, Elijah. Services will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at Lifestream Free Methodist Church, 800 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids with Rev. Carlos Ramos officiating. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, 5:00- 8:00 p.m. at Lifestream Free Methodist Church.