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Mar 20, 8:06 PM EDT

Michigan man dies, day after event to celebrate his life


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan lawyer and Republican activist has died, a day after hundreds of people responded to his published invitation to attend an open house to celebrate his life.

Bob Eleveld died Sunday at age 80. He was too ill from cancer to attend the event Saturday at a Grand Rapids-area golf club. Guests ate roast beef and shrimp and wrote messages that were delivered to Eleveld by family members.

His partner, Michele McIsaac, says the reception fulfilled Eleveld's wishes. She says, "He went out with a bang." A daughter, Kerry Eleveld, says there was an "outpouring of love" in the room.

On March 12, Eleveld published his obituary and announced the open-house celebration in The Grand Rapids Press. His family called it a "no-bit" because he was still alive.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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