JEFFERSON - Gustave Andrew “Gus” Backelant, 81, Jefferson, passed away on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Mr. Backelant was born in Detroit, Michigan, a son to the late Andrew and Alice Von Rompaey Backelant. Mr. Backelant graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and earned certification from the F.B. I. Academy in Quantico, Va. His law enforcement career spanned 26 years beginning as a patrolman in Detroit, Detective Sergeant at Howell Police Department, Howell Mich., and was a deputy for Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, Reed City, Mich., where he retired. He then came out of retirement to work as a major in the Jefferson Police Department in Jefferson, and retired again.

Mr. Backelant was also an entrepreneur and business owner. He was a veteran of the U. S. Navy, serving in the Vietnam War, was a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, the American Legion Post 163, Statham, and the Blue Knights Ga. Chapter XI.

Mr. Backelant’s hobbies include hunting, woodworking, photography, cooking and stamp collecting. He is an avid reader who especially enjoyed detective novels and was learning to play the dulcimer. He had a voracious appetite for knowledge and the ability to retain and recall information. He could converse on any subject and support his viewpoint with facts, stories and the knowledge he obtained. He had an uncanny ability to recall stories and the gift to be able to relay them in an educational, entertaining and thought-provoking manner. His humility did not allow him to fully understand how many people in his lifetime that he helped. People from all walks of life; it didn’t matter to him. If there was someone with a need, he tried to fulfill it. He touched more lives than he could ever know.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Backelant was preceded in death by his sister, Julia McDonald.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Myers Backelant; children, Andrew (Cindy) Backelant, Lori Eckenrode, Yvonne (John) Gould, Joel (Samantha) Kolodsick and Jennifer Kolodsick; siblings, Mary Stephens Hermann, Andrea Wyzywany and Irma Backelant; grandchildren, Katie Allison, Crystall Backelant, Misty Backelant, Aliana Lee, Desiree Stookey, Summer Gould, Shawn Ayers, Chris Ayers, Amelia Kolodsick, Michaela Reed and Logan Kolodsick; 20 great-grandchildren; and 14 nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral service: Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11 a.m. in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens with Father Robert Salamone officiating.

Family to receive friends: Thursday, April 29, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. at Evans Funeral Home.

Those attending are asked to maintain the recommended social distancing of six feet and please wear protective masks in accordance with guidelines concerning the Coronavirus.

Graveside service: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. in the Lakeview Cemetery in Ludington, Michigan.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial gifts to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105 Source Code: IIQ040799001.

Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia. Online condolences at

Published by MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Week of May 2-8

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