W. Mich. native, Cardinal Edmund Szoka passes away

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The City of Grand Rapids is remembering Cardinal Edmund Szoka Thursday night, who died of natural causes Wednesday in Novi.

Cardinal Szoka was born in Grand Rapids, and raised in Muskegon, and we're told it's a place he returned to about once a year.

He first served the church in Marquette, and was later appointed the first Bishop of the Diocese in Gaylord.

Ten years later, he became Archbishop in Detroit.

In 1988, Pope John Paul II made Szoka a Cardinal, and in 1998, he became the Governor of Vatican City.

"Really fascinating; I mean, when you look at that career, you're really talking about a man who did about as much as you can as a leader in the catholic Church--really had just an amazing career of service. He was a dedicated servant of Christ and really seemed by all account to enjoy his career," said Carl Apple, Communications Director of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. "He'll certainly be missed."

We're told Cardinal Szoka was just in Grand Rapids last year for the ordination of a Bishop.

The Diocese says it is a loss for the entire community.