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April 2014 Obituaries
Marie Folkert (Prep 1935) Grit (12/9/13)
Jean Rottschaefer '36 VanderVelde-UpJohn (11/19/13)
Robert Bruggink '38 (11/7/13)
Robert Curtis '41 (1/8/14)
Walter Macak '41 (1/10/14)
Charles Landon '43 (12/3/13)
H. James Wierenga '47 (5/23/13)
Gwendolyn Lemmen '48 Kraay (2/25/14)
Walter Boerman '49 (11/27/13)
Charles Zoet '49 (2/23/14)
Paul Muyskens '50 (1/10/14)
Norman Piersma '50 (2/9/14)
Beatrice Folkert '50 VanderPloeg (2/9/14)
Lloyd VanRaalte '50 (1/17/14)
Roy Walchenbach '50 (11/13/13)
Kenneth Johnson '51 (1/4/14)
David Muyskens '51 (12/21/13)
William Van't Hof '51 (1/13/14)
Harrison Visscher '51 (12/19/13)
Glenn Blocker '52 (3/3/14)
Louise Loula '52 Ondra (6/7/13)
Marbara Moessner '53 (3/4/14)
Norma Menning '54 (1/30/14)
Bruce van Voorst '54 (12/9/13)
John Billett '56 (11/3/13)
Dwight Cooper '56 (11/9/13)
Andrew Behrmann '58 (11/20/13)
Garrett "Ed" DeJong '58 (11/23/13)
Russ Yonkers '59 (12/10/13)
Mary Ann Cumerford '60 Van't Hof (11/27/13)
Allen Buurma '61 (11/11/13)
Alice Stoel '64 Kragt (9/15/13)
Arlene Deitz '65 Clark (1/10/14)
John Fisher Jr. '65 (11/19/13)
Charles Marschke '66 (10/27/13)
Ernest Willcocks II '68 (6/2/13)
Russell Bonnema '69 (5/27/13)
Mark Roberts '72 (1/2/14)
Mary Fenton '75 (1/8/14)
She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry, in 1972; and her son, John, in 2005.
She is survived by her daughter, Alma and Paul Summers of Zeeland; grandchildren, Laurie Summers and Timothy summers; great-grandchildren, Isabella, Alexis and Braden; sister, Agnes Darbee of Holland, sister-in-law, Nellie Ter Haar of Hudsonville.
Jean Rottschaefer ’36 VanderVelde-Upjohn was born July 12, 1915 in Madanapalle, South India and died on November 19, 2013. She was the daughter of Dr. Bernard and Bernice Rottschaefer, Dutch Reformed missionaries.
She attended Kodaikanal International School in South India, graduated from Hope College, and obtained her Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. She taught Latin in Trenton, Michigan. In 1940 she married Kenneth M. Vander Velde, M.D., and after his service in the Navy in World War II, they moved to Kalamazoo in 1947.
Dr. Vander Velde preceded her in death in 1984. Subsequently, in 1988 she married E. Gifford Upjohn, M.D. who preceded her in death in 1993.
Surviving are her four children, Mary Bardeen of Ann Arbor, Dr. Kenneth M. Vander Velde, Jr. (Margie) of Kalamazoo, Connie Vander Velde ’70 of Holland, Joan VanderVelde ’73 Kullgren (Robert ’68) of Lowell. She will be missed by 13 grandchildren, Chris, Jenny, Sarah, Kathy, Annie, Betsy, Jessica Thomas ’99 Novak, Jeter, Mia, Marko, David, Kate, and Jen and 13 great grand- children, Owen, Clara, Reece, Keziah, Liam, Hannah, Graham, Addie, Issie, Grayson, Quincy, Jackson, and Eleanor. Jean is also survived by many very beloved members of the Rottschaefer family, the Vander Velde family, and the Upjohn family. She was preceded in death by her two sisters, Margaret Rottschaefer ’35 . Norton, and Helen R. Fleming, and two brothers, Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer ’34, and Dr. Robert Rottschaefer. Jean found joy in her family first, her friends, the love of nature, life long learning, Lake Michigan, and travel. Her cherished beliefs were for peace on earth and good will toward all men. Jean was a member of the "Every Friday Club," the "Club of Little Gardens," and the "Service Club of Kalamazoo."
Born February 15, 1917 in Gibbsville, Wisconsin, he was the son of the late George and Anna Heinen Bruggink. He was married to Ruth L. Vande Wall on February 23, 1940 in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. He was a 1938 graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, with a B.A. in Chemistry.
He finished his career at Clark Oil & Refining Company, from which he retired in 1982. He was a long-time member of Living Springs Community Church of Glenwood, where he served several terms as an elder in the consistory. He was a member of the Blue Island Rotary Club, serving as president in 1968-69. He volunteered with Hospice Suburban South, St. James Hospital, and the Park Forest Library. His hobbies included reading, photography, traveling to over 70 foreign countries, and giving presentations of travelogues to community groups. He was also a member of the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club.
He is survived his children, Paul Bruggink ’64 of Clarington, PA., Marijane Johnson of Steger, and Thomas Bruggink ’69 of Easton, PA.; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, Robert was also preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Ruth, and by two brothers, Miles and Allen Bruggink.
Robert was born in New London, CT, on May 17, 1919, to the late Stanley and Lena (Tiesinga) Curtis. In 1922, the Curtis family moved back to Holland. Bob graduated from Holland High School in 1937, from Hope College in 1941 with an A.B., and in 1946 from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, specializing in aeronautics.
He moved to Santa Monica, CA, where he became a stress analyst for Northrop Aircraft and then an aeronautical engineer for McDonnell Douglas. Robert moved back to Holland in the 1970s and worked for a company in Wyoming that made gas tanks for trucks. During his retirement years, he was a seasonal employee for Eldean Shipyards in Holland. Robert was a member of First Reformed Church in Holland, the Holland Experimental Aircraft (Dutch Pilots) Club, the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, Tulip City Gem and Mineral Club (life-time honoree) and Holland Area Historical Society. He was a donor to the Joint Archives of Holland and a weekly visitor to Herrick District Library.
Robert “Bob” Stanley Curtis was a loving son, brother, uncle, aeronautical engineer, pilot, sailor, model builder (boats and airplanes), wood carver, double cancer survivor, rockhound, world traveler, “running board rider” and airplane theme movie watcher.
Robert Stanley Curtis was preceded in death by his parents, Lena (Tiesinga) and Stanley Curtis; sister, Caryl ( Curtis ’52 Van Houten; brothers-in-law, Harold Dykema, Jack Ewart, Art Van Houten; and friend, Betty Cook.
Surviving are a sister, Dorothy Curtis ’42 Dykema of St. Charles; nieces and nephews, Nancy (Dykema) Danburg (Rik) of Avon, OH, Brian Dykema of Grandville, Mark Dykema of St. Charles, Claire Ewart (Tom Herr) of Ft. Wayne, IN, Gwen (Ewart) Thomas (Bob) of Los Angeles, CA, Jules Ewart (Cindy) of Marion, IN.
Born in Garfield, July 4, 1919, he was the son of the late Matthew and Adela Macak, and formerly resided in Metuchen, and had resided in Delaware Township for most of his life. Walter attended Hope College, Holland, Mich., and graduated from Trenton State College in 1948 where he was a "State Scholar" and was president of his graduating class.
He received his Masters from Montclair State College and was a professor at Trenton State College for several years. He later was employed by the NJ State Dept. of Education as vocational facilities planner and then had a position as federal property coordinator for New Jersey's public schools, colleges, civil defense activities and hospitals. An Army veteran of World War II, he served 1940-1946 in Washington, D.C., the Philippines and Japan.
He retired from the Army after 24 years of active service and the Army Reserves. For several years, Walter was active in the Covered Bridge Association, Delaware Township, and the Thanksgiving In The Country activities of Delaware Township. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, Sergeantsville.
His wife of fifty-four years, Carolyn Fisher Macak, died in 1997. Surviving are a daughter, Barbara Macak of Lambertville; and a brother, Rudy Macak of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
He was born on June 28, 1921, in Hart, son of the late Jairus and Anna (Riebe) Landon. He attended Hart High School and graduated with the class of 1939. He attended Hope College and then went on to attend Loyola School of Dental Surgery, and he received his DDS in 1945.
Charles enlisted in the United States Army on May 17, 1943. He served his country during World War II and was honorably discharged on Sept. 15, 1944. Charles married Dorothy J. Pugsley on Nov. 4, 1945, in Hart.
Dorothy preceded Charles in death on March 9, 2013. Charles was a practicing dentist in Scottville for over 40 years. He was also the past President of the Scottville Rotary Club, served on the Mason County Library Board, and he and his wife Dorothy volunteered for Hospice and White Pine Village. While living in Scottville he was an active member in the Scottville United Methodist Church and was currently a member of the Community Church in Ludington. Music was a very important part of Charles life. He played baritone saxophone while in high school and college and also sang in numerous community choir groups throughout his life.
Charles is survived by his two daughters, Alice (Alan) Ringquist of Pentwater and Jane (David) Gimbutis of Shelby Township five grandchildren, Rebecca Ringquist (Katy Mess) of Brooklyn, New York, Heather Turner of Royal Oak, Dawn (Benjamin) Dandurand of Berkley, Paul (Michelle) Gimbutis of Berkley and Brad Gimbutis of Fairfield, Connecticut two great-grandsons, Byron Wesley Dandurand and Landon Gimbutis brother-in-law, Milton Pugsley of Pentwater six nieces and nephews and their families. He is preceded in death by his parents his wife, Dorothy three sisters-in-law, Marian Alborell, Mildred Greene and Barbara Pugsley.
He was born February 28, 1922, in Grand Rapids to Henry and Cornelia (VanWestenbrugge) Wierenga. On September 10, 1947, he married Ruth Georgie B. Jorgensen ’49; she preceded him in death on December 30, 2000.
He is survived by four sons: Kenneth (Sharon) Wierenga of Grand Rapids, Dirk (Anne) Wierenga, Mark (Jan) Wierenga and Jeff (Cyndy) Wierenga, all of Grand Haven; six grandchildren; Jay, Matthew, Jillian, Kristopher, Jonathan and Hannah; and sister, Claire Wierenga ’49 Monsma of Grand Rapids.
Jim served his country as a member of the U.S. Army in World War II from 1942-45. He served in Alaska and stateside promoting with the “This is the Army Mrs. Jones” USO tour. He was a very active member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder, clerk of session and a commissioner to Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly. He also served as Moderator of Presbytery and Moderator of Committee on Ministry of Lake Michigan Presbytery. His later service to his church was as resource coordinator and assisting with visitations. Near and dear to Jim’s heart were the people of Ghana, Africa, that he and his wife, Ruth supported through their church and missions.
Jim and Ruth spent several weeks in Africa, where they established the Ruth Wierenga Day Care Center for the people and children of Ghana. Jim owned the Appliance center in downtown Grand Haven for many years. He was a past-president of Grand Haven Rotary Club, chairman of the Retail Division of chamber of Commerce and served on the Grand Haven Planning commission for two terms. In 1950, he was name Young Man of the Year in Grand Haven. Jim was very active in the community, and especially enjoyed his daily walks and spending time with his family.
Gwen was born September 13, 1926, in Holland, to Benjamin and Lucile Lemmen. She graduated from Hope College in 1948, and married Russell J. Kraay in 1951. They lived in Indianapolis for 28 years and moved to Punta Gorda, Florida when Russ retired in 1983. During the first 20 years of retirement in Punta Gorda, Gwen was a member of Burnt Store Presbyterian Church where she was active in the women’s circles. After moving to Shell Point Village in 2003, she became a member of the Village Church and was active in the Stamp Ministry.
Gwen always showed the love of Christ in very practical ways, such as inviting a blind girl to stay with them for a year. She welcomed visiting ministers, missionaries and family. Gwen also volunteered in an Indianapolis church’s thrift store.
Gwen’s immediate family includes her husband, Russell Kraay ’49; daughter, Marta A. Kraay ’75 Highsmith (Mark); son, David R. Kraay ’85 (Donna); two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Other close family includes Gwen’s brothers, Robert M. Lemmen, Charles J. Lemmen ’60 (Barbara); sisters-in law, Jewel Kraay and Marjorie Kraay; and brother-in-law, Louis Kraay ’50 (Ruth).
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Boelkins ’49 Boerman, and by his son, James.
Walter is survived by his children, Barbara Boerman ’77 and Kurt Avery ’74, Richard and Michelle Boerman; his daughter-in-law, Lisa Boerman; grandchildren, Brian Avery, Travis Avery, Gwen (Nick) Loftin, Bethany (Kevin) Lambeth, Jennifer Boerman, Jacob (Chrissy) Boerman, Kirk Boerman, Erika Westcott, Michael (Elizabeth) Boerman; great-grandchildren, Hailey, Braedon and Addison Boerman; brother and sisters, Gerald (Joyce) Boerman ’50, Emily Jacqueline Boerman ’49 Stark, Gerita Boerman ’55 (Ted) Haensel; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Walter was a long-time member of Aberdeen Reformed Church.
Charles Zoet '49
of Huntsville, AL passed away on Sunday, February 23, 2014. He was 92.
He was born on April 13, 1926, on a farm south of Alton, the son of Henry and Dena Johanna (Rexwinkle) Muyskens. When he was a year old, his family moved to their farm southeast of Orange City, where he was raised. Following high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Philippines and Korea from 1944 to 1946. Upon his return, he attended Northwestern College in Orange City and earned his bachelor’s degree at Hope College in Holland, Mich.
Later, he received a master’s degree in counseling from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. On Aug. 2, 1950, Paul married Patricia Carol Oelrich in Sioux Falls, S.D. They made their home in Sioux Center, Iowa, where he was a teacher and basketball coach at the high school. In 1959, his team won the Iowa State Basketball Championship, and he received many honors. Northwestern College then recruited him to coach basketball. He remained at the college for 29 years, wearing many different hats. Because of this, his dedication to Northwestern, and his work there, he was often referred to as "Mr. Northwestern." Mr. Muyskens was also active in the Orange City community, serving two terms on the City Council, participating in the Tulip Festival, serving as past president of the Lions Club, belonging to the Pressman-Kosters American Legion Post, and as a member of the Gideons. For many years, he refereed both football and basketball games. During summers and after retirement, he worked as a crop adjuster. He was also instrumental in marketing the Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community during its construction. His faith was most important to him throughout his life. He served as a deacon at the Central Reformed Church in Sioux Center and as an elder and Sunday school superintendent at the Trinity Reformed Church.
Survivors include his wife of more than 63 years, "Pat"; two daughters, Paula Gagne of Austin, Texas, and Debra and her husband, Bob Adams of Lake Forest, Ill.; five granddaughters, Jessica and her husband, Matthias Mathaes of Austin, Texas, Britt Gagne of Des Moines, Iowa, Courtney Adams of Milwaukee, Wis., and Kelsey and Mackenzie Adams, both of Lake Forest; two great-grandchildren, Caitlin and Nickolas Paul Mathaes; a brother and his wife, the Rev. Joe and Jean Harmelink ’53 Muyskens ’53 of Homewood, Ill.; a sister-in-law, Linda Oelrich; and many nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters and their husbands, Harriet Muyskens ’47 and the Rev. John Maassen and Lois Muyskens ’49 and the Rev. Robert Hector; a brother-in-law, George Oelrich; and a sister-in-law, Lorraine Oelrich.
He was born in Holland to descendants of Dutch immigrants, Deward and Johanna Piersma. In 1945, he graduated from Holland High School and went into the U.S. Army Air Corps. While in college, shortly after the war, he met Donna Mae Naber. They married August 25, 1950.
After receiving a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University, and a Doctorate of Divinity from Moody Bible Institute, Norm and Donna joined the Latin American Mission, boarded a ship and went to language school in Costa Rica. Two and a half years later, the mission sent them to Colombia, South America. They started new Evangelical churches there for the next 30 years.
Norm and Donna moved to Florida in 1990 to enjoy their retirement years. Norman is survived by his wife, Donna Mae Piersma; their three daughters, Alicia Evans, Anne and Dennis Benedict, and Patricia and Norm Spafard; six grandchildren; siblings, Joyce Johnson of Colorado, Bob and Melba Piersma of Maryland, Sandra Piersma ’63 and Floyd Jousma, and Craig and Mary Piersma, both of Holland; his aunt, Elsie Piersma ’43 Weeber of Holland; sisters- in- law, Ruthann and Virgil Grover, Karen and Bruce Bell, Marla, Mary and Sally Naber; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Donald (Zeke) Piersma ’53. Much can be said about the 'dash' between Norm's birth and death. His crown in Heaven will reflect that.
Beatrice was born on Oct. 3, 1928, to Miles and Betsie Folkert and lived in the Holland area her entire life.She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother and sister-inlaw, Melvin ’46 and Annette Folkert.Bea graduated from Holland High School in 1945 at age 16, worked for a year, and then entered Hope College, graduating in 1950.
She married Alvin Vander Ploeg on Dec. 16, 1949. Bea was employed by the Holland Township Treasurer’s office for several years; then many years of driving bus for Ottawa Area Center followed. She treasured the children she drove and strove to serve them and their families.She was first and foremost a wife, mother and grandmother who enjoyed camping, crossword puzzles, and shelling on the beach in Florida. Bea was a member of Grace Community Church/The Intersection. Her life-long faith defined her and she was involved in the life of the church, serving in several capacities through the years.
She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Alvin Vander Ploeg; and four children, Chuck and Sue Freriks of Zeeland, Dr. Doug and Betsy Vander Ploeg of Falmouth, ME, Kelly and Christi Vander Ploeg, and Randy and Connie Vander Ploeg, both of Holland; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Vern and Rosie Vander Ploeg and Mike and Carrie Vander Ploeg; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Van Raalte, who most recently lived in Newaygo, died Friday in Grand Rapids. He led the consolidation of several rural districts in Park, Holland, Port Sheldon and Olive townships and served as West Ottawa’s first superintendent from 1958 to 1975. Before the consolidation, Van Raalte was the principal of the former Beechwood School, where he also ran an after-school woodshop program in the school’s basement.
He also oversaw the building of the original high school, now Harbor Lights Middle School. “He was the driving force putting the school district together,” said Karl Von Ins, a friend of Van Raalte and one of the district’s first teachers. “ He was a young man who just happened to be for West Ottawa, in the right place at the right time.” Von Ins was hired by Van Raalte for his fi rst teaching job in 1960. He remembered Van Raalte as a man who always trusted his teaching and administrative staff. “In those days, if you had questions or problems, it was nothing to just go over the superintendent’s house and talk,” Von Ins said. “He basically left the teachers and principals to do things the best way they felt he could do it, opposed to mandating everything like it’s done now by the state of Michigan.”
Van Raalte was honored by the district in 2004 during a screening of a documentary based on his life presented by the Macatawa Area Community Media Center. He also attended the district’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2008, which included a tailgate party, car show and football game. “ You give the superintendents a lot of credit, but really it’s the people,” he told The Sentinel during the event. “ They did it. They wanted a school district.” After leaving West Ottawa, Van Raalte worked for the Michigan Department of Education until his retirement in 1980.
He was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on April 28, 1926, a son of Paul Walchenbach and Ann Van Olst Walchenbach. A Pittsfield High School graduate, he was a cadet at the Merchant Marine Academy in New York State before attending Hope College in Holland Michigan and then Syracuse Medical School in Syracuse, New York.
In 1953, he completed George Washington University Hospital training in surgery and subsequently earned his Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons. A Korean War veteran, he served our country as a ship's surgeon in the Mediterranean Sea aboard the USS Randolph. Dr. Walchenbach was a surgeon in Berkshire County for 36 years. During that time he served as both the Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Hillcrest Hospital. He also practiced at Berkshire Medical Center and Plunkett Hospital in Adams, Mass.
Roy was a member of the Country Club of Pittsfield where he spent endless hours devoted to improving his golf game and enjoying the beauty of The Berkshires. An avid outdoorsman, Roy loved hiking the Long Trail, a trek he completed from Berkshire County to the Canadian border with his best buddies. Winters were typically busy skiing the slopes and trails of the Northeast and later as a snow-bird enjoying the sun and the waves in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Being on water was a lifelong passion of Roy's.
During his retirement, he and his wife, Dot, enjoyed sailing their sloop, The Compass Rose, along the New England coast with his friends from The Berkshire Power Squadron. He was also lucky to have sailed around the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest with his family. Roy had been active with the Rotary Club of Pittsfield and was a member of South Congregational Church in Pittsfield.
He leaves his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Milne ’50 Walchenbach, and their four children, Paul Jay Walchenbach ’81 and his wife Trisha, of Seattle, Wash., Peter Roy Walchenbach and his wife Melinda, of Sequim, Wash., Tod Roy Walchenbach of Pittsfield, Amy Ann Walchenbach Emery and her husband Rob, of Hamilton, Va.; and nine grandchildren, Shauna, Peter, Trevor, Thomas, Andrew, Flora and Oscar Walchenbach and Elizabeth and Natalie Emery, all of whom he cherished. He also leaves his younger brother, Dr. Jack R. Walchenbach ’57 and his wife Patricia of Lake Stevens, Wash. and numerous nieces and nephews across the country. Roy was pre-deceased by his brother, Donald E. Walchenbach ’49 of Grand Rapids, Mich.
His mother died when he was just 11 years old. After graduation from Morgan Park Academy in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He served on the USS Potter until the war in the Pacific ended in August 1945. Upon returning home from the service, he worked for a tree surgeon and developed an interest in forestry. He enrolled at Hope College (Holland, Mich.) on a football scholarship in 1946. To support himself and his education, he worked as a miner and then as a lumberjack in Idaho. He completed his undergraduate degree at Hope College in 1952, majoring in mathematics and physics, and returned to Chicago as an engineer at Western Electric (AT&T), the manufacturing component of the Bell Telephone system.
In 1953, he married Elna Bostrom, and together they raised five children in Oak Lawn. He was always there for each of his children as a mentor, counselor, spiritual leader and coach. He served as an elder at his church and had always modeled his faith in Christ. He shared his passion for the outdoors, athletics, invention and lifelong learning. He also had a weakness for fast cars. During his time at Western Electric, he received numerous promotions and was awarded nine patents covering many different aspects of engineering methods.
After retiring from Western Electric in 1982 as a senior manager, he took a position as plant manager for a company in Vincennes, Ind. In 1985, he accepted a position as director of procurement evaluation for the Department of Contract Services for the city of New York. During his time in New York, he also completed a certification program in chemical dependency and substance abuse counseling at the South Oaks Hospital, Long Island, N.Y. He himself overcame alcohol addiction in 1970 and sought to help others. He lived his faith through words and actions through the service to others. His compassion was large and served in ministry in many ways. He volunteered as a crisis-intervention counselor for the help line at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan on a weekly basis for several years. In 1992, he retired finally and returned to the Chicago area to be near his family. There he expanded his passion for carpentry, woodworking and helping with building projects with his children.
Since 2006, he had lived with his youngest son's family (Jeff, Elizabeth and Emma) in Mahomet. There, he expanded his passions for weaving, drawing, painting, photography, cooking and computer repair. He was a student at Parkland College up until the age of 82. His ministry work included serving at SafeHouse, a church-based addiction recovery program in Urbana; and the co-founding of Biblical Entrepreneurship, a group bringing business and ministry together around core need in the community. He died peacefully on Saturday (Jan. 4, 2014).
He is survived by his children, Mark Johnson (Christine), Clifford Johnson (Kelli), Dorothy Pomykala (Steve), Karin Stiegler and Jeffrey Johnson (Elizabeth); 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and ex-wife, Elna Dotson.
David was born in India in 1930 to missionary parents. He came to the United States at age 17 to attend Hope College in Holland, Mich. He attended Princeton Seminary and earned M.Div and D.Min degrees. During 40 years of ministry he served Presbyterian churches in New Jersey (South Amboy, Hightstown, and Shrewsbury) and United Church in Fayetteville, NY.
Growing up in India during the struggle for independence under Gandhi’s leadership contributed to a lifelong passion for peace and justice. David was a natural athlete who loved tennis, cycling and skiing, and represented New Jersey in the National Senior Olympics.
He is survived by his wife, Ann; their children, Noel (Armanda), Kirsten Schanck (Bill), Kevin (Cynthia); grandchildren, Andrew Schanck, Meredith Lindner (Peter), Evan Muyskens, Ethan Muyskens; great-grandchild, Alexandra; and his sister Bernice Lettenmaier (Patrick).
He was preceded in death by Barbara Rogers Van't Hof, his wife of 49 years. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Rev. William and Nell de Valois Van't Hof, and his brother in law, Mike Rogers.
Bill is survived by his children, Sarah Dodgson of East Grand Rapids and David Van't Hof and his wife Susan Mabry Van't Hof of Portland, Oregon, his five grandchildren Emily, Sam and Lauren Dodgson and Anya and Zeke Van't Hof. He is survived by his sister, Lynn Van’t Hof ’58 Rutter, her husband Rev. Thad Rutter, and his nephews, Thad Jr., and Sean and their families. He is survived by his sister in law Beth Rogers and his nephew Joe Rogers, and nieces Christy Bowerman Self and Erin Duyst and their families. Bill is also survived by his foster daughter, Cathy Lee-Elwartowski, her husband Stan, and their children, Theresa, Sarah and Cassie.
Bill graduated from Denby High School in Detroit, Hope College and the University of Michigan Law School. Bill was a Navy pilot, stationed in the Caribbean. He practiced law for more than 50 years, working with the law firm of Schmidt, Howlett, Van't Hof, Snell and Vana and specializing in condominium development, later merging and then retiring from Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett.
After serving as a volunteer and board member with the American Heart Association. Bill became the first non-physician president of the National American Heart Association. Bill was a long time volunteer with United Way of West Michigan. Bill had a wry sense of humor and adventurous spirit. He traveled widely, including hitchhiking around the United Stated as a teenager. His travels as an adult included much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and three trips to Africa. At age 60 he climbed to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Bill's other passion was stamp collecting which he did all his life, including the day he died.
He was an inspiration to all for his dedication to his faith, family, work and community. Born in Grand Rapids to Sue and Cornelius Visscher, his family soon moved to Hudsonville to establish Visscher’s Pharmacy and raise Harry and his identical twin brother, Bob.
Ever diligent, Harry attended Hope College and later University of Michigan medical school. After medical school he interned at St. Mary’s Hospital and then became an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Germany. He did his residency at Northwestern University and then he and his brother founded Grand Valley Gynecologist at Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids. While in Grand Rapids, Harrison and his late wife, Mary, raised their four children.
After practicing for 20 years, he served as the Director of Education of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington DC until his retirement. Harry was active in the areas of women’s health, sports, Hope College and the church. He received distinguished alumni awards from Hope College and Northwestern University; and many other awards for his outstanding leadership in medical education. He was respected for his noteworthy academic and national achievements in improving women’s health care, and enjoyed giving lectures on the merging of science and religion in his retirement. He was a disciplined athlete and an avid tennis player.
Harry was recently inducted into Hudsonville High School Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife Bette were the first co-chairpersons of the Hope College Dimnent Heritage Society. Harry was involved in Holland Professional Club and HASP, as well as a loyal fan of Hope College athletics and science departments. He generously funded the Harrison C. and Mary L. Visscher Endowed Professorship in Genetics. Recently he established the Dr. Harrison C. Visscher and Dr. Robert D. Visscher Lectureship in Genetics at Hope College. The lectures will provide outstanding speakers in the field of Biology. As a member of Garfield Park Reformed Church he was an elder. He also produced movies to financially support the Reformed Church in America’s overseas missions. Later he became a consistory member of Christ Memorial Church where he married Bette Visscher. They enjoyed over a decade of marriage, filled with good times, long walks and great friends. They lived at Freedom Village in Holland and wintered in Florida.
Harrison is preceded in death by his late wife, Mary Zweizig ’52 -Visscher.
He is survived by his wife, Bette Brewer ’51 Visscher; brother, Robert ’51 and Marjorie Dykema ’53 Visscher; brother-in-law, Clifford LaBelle, and his children, Sherry Visscher ’78 and William Reus, Ronald ’82 and Carolina Visscher, Lori Visscher ’83 and Karl Droppers ’82, and Karen Visscher ’87; as well as 10 grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; and 10 nephews and nieces.
Glenn A. Blocker ’52, aged 85, passed away peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Monday March 3, 2014. He taught chemistry in the Caledonia School District for 30 years. He leaves behind his loving wife of 41 years, Ethel, and many dear cousins and friends.
Louise Loula ’52 Ondra of Palmyra, N.Y., died on Friday, June 7, 2013. She was 88. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Ondra ’53; and son, James Ondra. Survivors include her children, Thomas (Nancy) Ondra, Emily (Patrick) Claudio, Carol (Michael) Barros, Donna Ondra-Hares, David Ondra, and Lisa (Petr) Premyslovsky; daughter-in-law, Donna Lati; 20 grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.
She was born in Muskegon, MI on June 13, 1931 to Walter and Irma (Crampton) Moessner. Miss Moessner received her Bachelors Degree from Hope College and Masters Degree from Western Michigan University. She had been employed as a teacher at Marquette School for 39 years until retiring in 1993. Barb was a life long member of Central United Methodist Church and was involved in Ruth's Circle, the church book club and P.E.O. She loved her family, gardening, the birds, reading and traveling. Barb was a faithful Big Reds fan and could always be found in the stands.
Survivors include Sisters, JoAnn Moessner ’49 Koeppe of Ann Arbor, Karthryn Moessner of Grand Haven; nieces and nephews, John (Mary) Koeppe ’75 of WI, Robert (Karen) Koeppe of Ann Arbor, Barbara Koeppe ’80 (James) Higdon of Ann Arbor; great nieces and nephews, Erica and Andrew Koeppe, Katy and Sarah Higdon. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, Owen Koeppe ’49.
Norman was born on March 23, 1926, in Sioux County, two-and-one-half miles north of Newkirk, Iowa, the son of Simon and Dena (TeGrotenhuis) Menning. He lived on that farm 23 years, attending the Newkirk Consolidated School and graduated high school in 1948. He attended and was a communicant member of Reformed Church in Newkirk. After graduation, he worked with his father on the home place until he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He served for two years as an MP in Japan and the Philippines. Upon his discharge, he rented the home place and farmed for three years until 1950, when he entered Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. In 1952, he transferred to Hope College in Holland, Mich., graduating in 1954. He entered Western Theological Seminary in Holland and graduated in 1957.
On Aug. 25, 1952, Norman married Fannie Lammers of Sheldon, Iowa. Unto this union were born three children, Debbie, Colin, and Lainn. He was ordained to the Gospel ministry in his first charge at Trinity Reformed Church in Allison, Iowa, on May 31, 1957. In the fall of 1961, he accepted a call to serve the Reformed Church in Firth, Neb., and in mid-summer of 1970 accepted a call from the multiple congregation parish of First Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa, and Bethel Reformed Church in Lester, Iowa. Rev. Menning retired from the parish ministry on June 1, 1991, and moved to Rock Valley. While retired, he loved to spend his time doing pulpit supply, joined Senior Saints Chorus in August 1986, and began refurbishing wheelchairs for Hope Haven in March 1995.
Those left to celebrate his life are his wife, Fannie; daughter, Debbie (Vincent) Kooiker of Orange City, Iowa; sons, Colin (Jean) Menning of Algona, Iowa, and Lainn (Rhonda) Menning of Rock Rapids, Iowa; six grandchildren, Amy (Jeremy) Rohwer, Alan Kooiker, Corey (Kelly) Menning, Stacy (Bob) Murphy, Jessa (Lance) Hansen, and Josie (Paul) Moser; six great-grandchildren, Bensen and Morgan Rohwer, Rachel and Arica Riedemann, Landon and Aubrey Menning; two sisters, Eunice (Ed) Scholten of Sioux Center, Iowa, and Arlene (Carroll) Brown of Marion, Iowa; brother, Marion (Marge) Menning of Sheldon; and sisters-in-law, Christine Menning of Orange City, Viola Menning of Sheldon; Elizabeth (Jim) Dykstra of Orange City, and Karen Lammers of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Rev. Norman was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Harold and Virgil Menning; three sisters, Esther (Ed) Boone, Evelyn (Sam) Brink, and Sylvia Hornsby; sister-in-law, Hermina (Max) McGinnis; brothers-in-law, Dennis Raak, William (Lucille) Lammers, and Gerrit Lammers; and grandson, Aric Kooiker.
During his 35-year journalism career he covered a wide spectrum of international issues, spending some 22 years overseas on assignments from Bonn to Beirut, Brussels to Buenos Aires. He reported on the Gulf War, various Mideast wars, the Cyprus fighting, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Polish revolution, among many others. In 1979, he was aboard the aircraft returning Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran from Paris, and reported on-scene the violent revolution and later hostage-taking. A week after interviewing Khomeini for Time’s Man of the Year cover he was expelled from Iran on charges of being with the CIA.
He served as both Diplomatic Correspondent for Newsweek (which included traveling full time for three years with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) and Senior Correspondent for National Security at Time, the latter assignment including the Pentagon and State Departments as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.
He met or interviewed many of the leading world figures of our time, from Germany’s Willy Brandt to China’s Chou En Lai.In the early 1990’s, he made frequent appearances on PBS’ MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.
In his retirement he became an accomplished watercolorist, selling a number of his paintings. He also undertook intense and diverse intellectual pursuits ranging from an in depth study of the Book of Job to current scientific developments in nanotechonology and robotics.
He and his wife, Barbara, traveled extensively.Born in Holland, he graduated from Hope College and earned a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. In 1991, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Hope College.
His first marriage to the late Marilyn van Voorst ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara van Voorst of Arlington, VA; son, Mark van Voorst ’75 of NY; and daughters, Amb. Carol van Voorst ’73 of Arlington, VA, Kathryn Marchmont-Robinson of LaGrange Highlands, IL, and Susan Prins of Holland; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sister, Mary Bloemers.
He was employed at the Hamilton Farm Bureau for 35 years and served many years as the treasurer of Heath Township. John was a member of Haven Reformed Church of Hamiton, where he served as an elder and deacon.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandra Tien 58 Billett; children, Warren and Mary Billett (Abigail and Lucas), Andrea Lueer (Erick and Ian), Gregory Billett (Hayley and Jacob); brother, Robert and Ju¬dy Billett of Ojai, CA; and brother in-law, John 52 and Yvonne DeLoof 52 Tien of Holland.
Dwight was the principal of Evart Elementary School for 25 years. He graduated from Hope College and Cornerstone University, and received his masters degree from the University of Michigan. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He had a passion for music and played the organ for Alaska Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church in Evart. His sister, Frances Cook, preceded him in death.
Surviving are his wife of 45 years, Barbara; children, Michael (Evelyn) Malcomnson, David Malcomnson, James (Dawn) Malcomnson, Patricia (John) Reece, Barbara (Russell) Chilson, William (Sandra) Cooper, Paul (Shelly) Cooper, Mark (Kim) Cooper; 19 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; sisters, Lois (Steven) Gerakinis, Marge (Mick) Gondick, Helen (Rev. Wayne) Squires; and several nieces and nephews.
Andrew Behrmann ’58 of Holland, entered into his Heavenly home, Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at Hospice House of Holland. He was 79. Andy was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved from Rochester, NY to Holland in 1954.
He attended Hope College. Andy had worked at Lear Siegler as a purchasing agent for 22 years and retired from Herman Miller in 2000. He was a member of Trinity Reformed Church where he served on the Greater Consistory. He was also a former member of the Holland Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids Purchasing Association.
Andy is survived by his wife of 57 years, Audrey (Newhouse); children, Scott and Debra Behrmann (Michelle and Nna) of Holland, and Daniel and Teresa Behrmann (Andrew and Andrea) of Kalamazoo; brother, Kenneth and Bonnie Behrmann of Monrovia, CA; brother-in-law, Curtis and Debra Newhouse of Lawton; cousin, Ruth Collins of Ontario, Canada; two nephews; one niece; aunts and cousins.
Ed is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary (Lindquist) De Jong; his three daughters, Marjorie (Mark) DeBoer, Kimberly (Martin) Zapata and Rebecca (Jeffrey) Wilkinson. He is also survived by his six grandchildren, his brother, Dr. David (Dorothea Essebaggers ’55) De Jong ’55; his brothers-in-law, George (Mary) Lindquist and David (Sharon) Lindquist and many nieces and nephews.
Ed was born in Sheboygan, WI, on February 1, 1935. He spent his childhood in southern India and Kuwait as his parents were missionaries. Ed attended Hope College and the University of Michigan and taught math for many years at Belleville High School in Michigan. He married Mary Eileen Lindquist on June 20, 1970, and they moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1976. Ed was an avid pilot and loved flying around Arizona. He was very active in his church and had a deep and abiding love of the Lord.
He was preceded in death by his parents Clifford and Inez (Berry) Yonkers.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Carol (Brandt ’59) Yonkers son, Russell (Karen Dunsmore ’83 Yonkers daughter, Lynn Yonkers ’85 (John) Boyer 13 grandchildren seven great-grandchildren his sister, Carol Yonkers ’61 Johnson two nephews and one niece. Russell graduated from Hope College in 1959. He worked for seven years as an executive with the Boy Scouts and 26 years for Deere and Co. He was very active with the Presbyterian Church by serving as lay pastor for seven years and by holding the offices of Elder, Treasurer, and Moderator. Russell was also an Exalted Ruler of the Elks in Bedford, IN.
Mary Ann was born April 26, 1938, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and moved to Holland at six years of age. She started playing the organ at the age of 11 in her parents' restaurant ( Cumerfords). She graduated from Holland High in 1956.
Mary Ann attended Hope College where she met and married Don Van’t Hof. She taught organ and piano for over 20 years. She retired from Ottawa Savings Bank after 20 years. Mary Ann is a member of Second Reformed Church of Zeeland where she taught Sunday School, attended Bible Study and was in the church knitting groups. She loved her family and enjoyed camping and taking trips in the motor home. She enjoyed having coffee and sitting on the deck of her home overlooking Lake Mac.
Allen was born on Aug. 7, 1939 in Holland, Mich. He graduated from Hope College, Holland, Mich., in 1961 and from Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich., in 1964. He was ordained to the ministry in the Reformed Church of America. He served in Williamson, N.Y. Staten Island, N.Y. and Millstone, N.J.
Upon retirement, he continued to serve in the denomination. He was predeceased by his mother Margaret (Nyboer) and his father Carl Buurma. He was also predeceased by his brother Clarence Buurma 65.
He is survived by his sister Gladys (Buurma 56) Lupkes of South Dakota and his brother Roger of Michigan. He is survived by his wife Linda S. (Brower) whom he married on May 24, 1962. He is also survived by his son Nathan 85 of Medford, N.J. and his wife Peggy and their daughters Emily and Valerie; his daughter Elizabeth 87 (Betsy) of Fenton, N.J. and her husband Brian 84 Berkey and their children, Carl, Lydia, Marcus and Eva; and his son, Brian 94 of Hillsborough, N.J.
Alice Stoel ’64 Kragt of Holland, Mich., died on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. She was 87. She was a teacher at West Ottawa Public Schools for over 20 years. Her body has been donated to the University of Michigan Anatomical program.
Born in Albany, NY on October 3, 1943 to the Rev. Franklin and Gertrude Deitz, Arlene attended schools in Rotterdam, NY and graduated from Schalmont High School, class of 1961. She studied piano throughout her school years and organ for four of those years. She graduated magna cum laude from Hope College, Holland, MI in 1965 with a major in English and minor in music. Arlene fulfilled her dream of teaching at Shenendehowa Junior-Senior High School in Clifton Park, NY.
On July 16, 1966, she made a marriage covenant with James D. Clark of Charleston, WVA in Schenectady, NY. In May 1967 the couple moved to Essex, VT, when her husband became pastor of the Essex Center United Methodist Church. Arlene was an active member of the church and made special friends there. Music was a mainstay of Arlene's life. She taught piano lessons for several years. She loved teaching and encouraging young people to fulfill their potential.
After relocating to Essex Junction, she volunteered at Brownell Library. Later she became assistant children's librarian, got her certification through the State of Vermont, and became children's librarian. Along the way she served as church organist and was a frequent pianist at events where needed. Arlene found great joy in little things. She embraced life fully. She was an avid reader and had a special love of poetry. She made every effort to stay up on current affairs. She loved gardening and attending concerts. She loved people of all ages and found great satisfaction in being helpful. Arlene was a very spiritual person who relied on the providence of God.
In her last days, as every day before then, she commended herself to His care and keeping. Arlene wishes to express sincere thanks to Dr. Peter G. S. Gunther for seeing her through so many years with the best medical care and friendship. He inspired her trust, and she felt very fortunate to be in his care. Arlene also wishes to thank the countless well-wishers who sent cards and beautiful notes and letters. They touched her heart and filled her last weeks with immeasurable gratitude and joy.
Arlene is survived by her husband, James, and her son, David (Holly) of Berne, NY. She leaves a brother, Jerry (Janice), in Clifton Park, NY, and a sister-in-law, Betty Hesselink 64 Deitz, in Guilderland, NY, as well as nieces and their families and cousins and extended family. She was predeceased by her parents, Franklin (Gertrude) Deitz 34 and by her brother, Allan Deitz 62 last year. It is comforting for her to know she will be laid to rest alongside them in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne, NY, at which time the family will hold a prayer service which will include Arlene's favorite prayers, scriptures, and readings. Quoting John O'Donohue, Absence is alive with hidden presence, it is filled with eternal echo. Nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
John was a member of Christ Memorial Church. He was a graduate of Hope College and worked as a letter carrier for the Holland Post Office for over 20 years. John loved boating and grilling. But his greatest love was his family — his wife, his children and his precious grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Eunice Fisher; and father-in-law, John VanZanten. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Marti; children, Steve and Nichole Fisher of Holland, Ryan and Tracey Fisher of TN, John and Ginger Fisher of TN, Josh and Sarah Fisher of Grand Rapids; 11 grandchildren, Courtnie, Caleb, Cameron, Bree, Sydnie, Macy, Colbey, Dawson, Darion, Ellise and Morgan; motherin-law, Irene VanZanten of Holland; stepmother, Francis Fisher of FL; sister, Judy and Dave Tanis of Holland; brothers and sisters-in-law, Mark and Sue VanZanten of Grand Rapids, Mary and George Brander of Grandville. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins
Charles was born in Somerville, New Jersey on August 31, 1939. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI the same day he wed his best friend & love of his life Judith Marschke on June 6, 1966. The beginning of Charles’ career was at the University of Iowa City where he advanced the development of Dosimetry with his experience that he received as an X-Ray technician in the U.S. Army.
This experience let him to Vermont where Charles and Judith created a home and life in So. Burlington and later in Hinesburg. Charles loved his career at the University of Vermont where he was at the forefront of the education in the development of the radiation therapy field. With his knowledge and experience, he was an integral part of what is now an accredited program for all radiation therapy education. He was well loved in the classroom by his students for he was able to get them to truly understand and helped them create their own love for such a complicated and important field. He was with the University from 1974-1997.
Charles attained the level of fifth degree Dan in the study of Taekwondo. He opened his own school where he was again able to use his passion of teaching. He shared his love for the sport and encouraged his students to do the very best they could be. Charles enjoyed his later years in Florida with Judith. He enjoyed traveling, listening to music, a good book and his NYT crossword puzzles.
Charles is survived by his wife Judith Fisher ’66 Marschke of Naples, FL; his two children Laura Marschke Bashara of Montpelier, VT and her husband Frederick Bashara III and Timothy C. Marschke and his wife Cheryl Potter Marschke of Barton, VT; his three grandchildren Frederick IV & Lyvia Bashara & Charlie Marschke. He is also survived by his brother James & his wife Rosemary Marschke of Tavares, FL.
Ernie was born in Cleveland, OH., on July 10, 1946. He was the son of Ernest G. Willcocks I and Eleanor (Depner).
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Ann (Benson); daughter Michelle (Adam) Freeman; son Mark (Hilary) Willcocks; stepsons Chris (Juli) Westgate and Nick (Marci) Westgate; granddaughters Hannah and Aubrey Freeman and Elliana and Charlotte Willcocks; stepgranddaughters Ashli (Bill) Vogler and Kayla (Nick) Zelenock; stepgrandson Logan Westgate; stepgreat-grandson Sammy Westgate; his sister, Larraine Stranca; brother-in-law Dave (Janice) Girton; sisters-in-law, Midge (Jim) Hostetler and Lori (Curt) Meek; his uncle Hank (Carol) Depner; and nieces, nephews and cousins. Ernie's first wife was Mary Jo Girton ’69 who passed away on March 31, 2000.
Ernie and Mary Jo settled, worked and raised their children in Strongsville, OH. After the death of Mary Jo, Ernie met his second wife, Ruthie. Ernie and Ruth lived an active retirement lifestyle right up until Ernie's death. Despite the diagnosis of cancer they went on and experienced many adventures. Ernie touched so many lives as a teacher in North Royalton, as a Real Estate Agent and as a pursuer of God's teachings. Foremost he loved his wives, children (step), grandchildren (step) and extended family. He loved being out on the pontoon boat on Aldrich Lake in MI., and spending his winters in Green Valley, AZ. He always kept busy and always had some projects in the works.
Loving father of Brian (Alicia), Jeffrey (Lisa) and Alexis. Cherished grandfather of Olivia, Jackson, Emma, Evan, Kendall, Ava, Brooklyn and Nolan. Devoted son of Robert and Marion Bonnema. Dearest brother of Kathi (the late Dennis) Barker. Dear brother-in-law of Robert (Marge) VanderWagen, Janet (Butch) Greendyke and the late Corinne (Ray) Iwema. Loved uncle of many nieces and nephews. Russ was a willing servant of the church and his family. He will leave a void that can only be filled through Christ and the knowledge that we will see him again.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles ’39 and Edna. Surviving are his wife of 22 years, Mary (Sypniewski); three children, Alexis (Richard) Sather of VA, Morgan (Erica) Roberts of Berkley, MI, Jennifer (Jim) Wehler of Grand Rapids; two grandchildren, Matthew and Elizabeth Roberts; his sister, Cheryl Roberts ’68 (Jerry ’66) Saggers of VA; mother-in-law, Jeanne Sypniewski; in- laws, Jim and Sue Sypniewski, Tom and Char Sypniewski, Joe and Karen Sypniewski, Karen and Randy Blattner, Janet and Steve Klap; many nieces, nephews and their families and friends.
Mark was a retired director of motor equipment for the City of Grand Rapids and a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Knights of Columbus. Mark was born and raised in New York, he was a lifelong New York Yankee's fan and an avid reader.
She was born June 21, 1952 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Loyal and Estina (Sherrod) Fenton. Mary was a 1970 graduate of Paw Paw High School and worked as a nurse's aide at Lakeview Hospital before completing her Bachelor's degree at Hope College.
She was employed at the Paw Paw Shopping Center for 27 years and was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
She is survived by a sister, Ann Fenton of Paw Paw; a brother, Loyal (Cecilia Rankin) Fenton of Kalamazoo; aunt, Sylvia Sherrod and family; niece, Brenda (Michael) Zielinski of Paw Paw; nephews, Michael (Amy) Fenton of Gobles and David Fenton of Kihei, Maui, HI; cousins, Janet Simmons, Barbara Jo Gipson, Kathleen Van Maanen, David Richardson, Jim Hood, Tom Hood, Ann Bailey, Mary Ketchum and Eloise Paris; great-nieces, Jessica, Jamie, Victoria and Samantha; great-nephews, Nicholas, Jacob and James; great-great-nephews, Carter and Evan; and her dear cat, Tulsey.