WMLM-AM (Alma) founder and former owner Gregory William Siefker passed away at age 76 on November 10. Siefker, a resident of nearby St. Louis, moved to Gratiot County in 1977 and fullfilled his dream to start his own radio. On December 15, 1977, he signed on WMLM-AM 1520 AM, “The Big M,” and operated the station for 30 years. He sold the station in 2008 to Rod Krol’s Krol Communications.
Siefker was on the board of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and an active member of several Committees.
He coached Little League, was Ithaca Boy Scout Troop 431 Scoutmaster and was a member and president of both the St. Louis Area Chamber of Commerce and St. Louis Lions Club. In 1986, he received the “Spirit of St. Louis Award” in honor of his tremendous service to the community. Siefker was also a member and president of the Ithaca Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Award. He was inducted into the Alma College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. Siefker thoroughly enjoyed country music and playing his favorite tunes on “The Big M.” A big part of his radio career was play-by-play announcing for St. Louis and Ithaca High Schools’ football and basketball and Alma College football, basketball and softball. In 1992, he announced every game of Alma College’s NCAA Div. III Women’s Basketball Championship season.
Siefker is survived by his wife of 53 years Carol Siefker, son Neil (Teresa) Siefker of Alma, MI, and their children: Jeffrey (Hannah) Ackley, Alecia Ackley and Cody Siefker; daughter Jennifer (Paul) VanderHart of Plainwell, MI and their children: Emily (Andy) Bos, Lucas VanderHart, Ethan VanderHart, Ana VanderHart and Minte VanderHart; son Tony (Jody) Siefker of Richland, MI, and their children: Allison Siefker and Jessica Siefker; and 3 great-grandchildren: Micah, Oscar, and Aliyah, and 2 more on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother Gerald (Pat) Siefker.
Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, MI, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Louis, MI. Visitation will be held 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2 – 4:00 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, November 12, 2021 at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Gratiot County Commission on Aging – 515 S. Pine River St., Ithaca, MI 48847 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – 32121 Woodward Ave., Suite 350, Royal Oak, MI 48073. Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com.