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Bob Koetsier

May 13, 1935 - May 28, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Monday, June 3, 2019
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Visitation

Monday, June 3, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Visitation

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
10:00 AM EDT
Calvary Church
707 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Web Site

Service

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Calvary Church
707 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Calvary Church
707 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Web Site

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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There is no greater man than one who lives by his convictions and cherishes those entrusted to his care, and Bob Koetsier was such a man. The foundation of his family, Bob worked hard to provide for those he loved, and as their foundation, he led by way of example with faith, integrity and love. Bob possessed a servant’s heart and used his time and talents to help others. With faith, his personable and kind manner was to be admired. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.

By 1935, life was greatly defined by the trials of the Great Depression, yet Americans forged on with lasting hope. President Teddy Roosevelt was re-elected to a second term while Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire danced their way into the hearts of many. Born on May 13, 1935 in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Robert Jay Koetsier was the eldest child of Harry and Gertrude (Flik) Koetsier. Bob was soon followed by siblings, Don and Jeanne, and later, about the time Bob was ready to leave home, he welcomed younger sisters, Sharon and Shirley. The Koetsier family made their home on a farm on Peach Ridge Avenue NW. Bob’s father managed several properties in the area for various owners and (earlier) also took part in the Conservation and Forestry Program initiated to plant trees throughout Michigan. His mother remained at home looking after their household.

Bob attended several country schools during his youth and enjoyed boyhood adventures. When he was 13 he often drove his mother into town as she, like many women of the times, never learned to drive. Bob was always gifted mechanically and loved working on cars or anything else mechanical or electrical. As a family they enjoyed big family picnics held in the Cascade area each summer which eventually turned into their family’s annual Christmas party.

By his mid teens, Bob and his family moved to a home on 9th Street NW. Bob grew in his faith as they were longtime members of Calvary Church, then located on the corner of Michigan and College Streets. Bob graduated from Union High School and his first significant job was with Coca-Cola. In addition, Bob completed several mechanical and electrical apprenticeships programs from which he excelled, and with WB8MRC as his handle, Ham Radio was always a big part of Bob’s life.

It was while attending a Coca-Cola company gathering when Bob met Patricia Ann Vanden Bosch, the young woman who would forever hold his heart. Sparks flew and they soon began dating. On May 20, 1955, Bob and Pat were happily married at the Calvin College Chapel before a congregation of family and friends. After returning from a wonderful honeymoon to Niagara Falls, the newlyweds settled into their new home together at 1115 Powers NW before moving to a home they built at 952 Charlotte NW. They would later build again - directly right across the street!

Their first home on Charlotte NW was the place where Bob and Pat’s love grew to include all four children. They raised their family in faith, having made Calvary Church their church home for the rest of their lives. To support his growing family, Bob went to work for General Electric as a repairman in 1960 until retiring in 1987. Pat was a great wife, mother and all-around homemaker who made a wonderful home for Bob and the kids.

A true family man, Bob was with his children for morning breakfast until leaving for work each day at 8 am sharp and was ready to be seated at the dinner table promptly each night at 5:00 pm. He also made it home many days for lunch when he was working in the area. Fun-filled family vacations were spent two weeks every summer at Glen Lake near Sleeping Bear Dunes. They first began camping with a borrowed truck camper and soon purchased a small pop-up camper which worked great for the family.

Bob was present in the lives of his children. He took a keen interest in their well-being and activities in addition to somehow finding time for his side projects and helping many others along the way. Bob wasn't particularly demonstrative when it came to expressing his feelings, but his heart was always seen in his willingness to serve others, including his family. As a father, Bob was a mentor to his children and taught his sons how to fix things. Although strict, he practiced tough love yet he never ceased in being there for his kids and concerned for their needs. He may not have been very expressive yet he was consistently involved, and they knew of his love.

Bob could fix anything. He was self taught and with ways all his own, he had a way of figuring things out and understood how things worked. He wasn't afraid to dig into a project with self-confidence to complete the job at hand. Bob kept himself busy with many side jobs which allowed him to pay off his mortgage before age 30 and save for his families needs. A major part of Bob's self-esteem came from his ability to help people with their projects and needs, especially their appreciation. He was truly gifted and talented, and never hesitated to use his gifts to serve others.

Eventually, Bob and Pat purchased a travel trailer. Into their retirement years, they traveled to destinations north along the Michigan coast to Grand Haven and Ludington. The Upper Peninsula and Traverse City was always two of their favorite spots, along with Grand Marais. For many years they left just after Christmas each year to spend the winter months in sunny Palmetto, Florida.

Faith, family, his church and country was always important to Bob. Through the years he was heavily involved at Calvary having served as a deacon and when younger, he was a member of the Michigan National Guard. Becoming grandparents was the delight of Bob and Pat’s lives. Bob bonded well with each of the grandkids and was always a big tease, hence the given name "Teasey Grandpa". They often went on bike rides together, and the grand-girls loved “doing” grandpa’s hair. Memorable camping trips were shared and enjoyed, as well as Bob always watching out for his granddaughters at the campsites they visited.

Bob was known for many things, but his love of Twizzlers, Mr. Burger Restaurant, Dairy Queen ice cream and sweets in general were his mainstay. When it came to TV, he had always been fond of Hogan’s Heroes and The Andy Griffith Show.

In the heart of Bob Koetsier there was no greater joy than the love of family. With quiet strength, he gave his best and then some. He was truly invested in the lives of others and didn't worry from afar. He took his responsibilities as a husband, father, grandfather, and most importantly, a man of God very seriously. A friend of many, he could strike up a conversation with anyone and was welcoming. Ever capable, he was a helper and servant, sure of his steps which were laid before him with confidence by his almighty Creator, his Lord.

Robert J. Koetsier, age 84, of Grand Rapids, Michigan went home to be with his Lord and Savior on May 28, 2019. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia. He is survived by his children, Karen Evans, Mary Ellen (Rich) Farr, Bob (Mary) Koetsier, Dan (Sarah) Koetsier; grandchildren, Gary and Geoff Evans, Heather Golliver, Taylor and Alex Farr, Jennifer DeYoung, Kelsey Koetsier, Megan Campbell, Holly Clay, Madelyn Koetsier; many great-grandchildren; brother and sisters, Donald (Carol) Koetsier, Jeanne (Jerry) Daverman, Sharon (Earl) Jenkins, Shirley Koetsier; in-laws, Ron (Dorothy) Vanden Bosch, Marcia De Graaf, Roger and Pokey De Graaf; as well as many nieces and nephews. A service to remember and celebrate Bob’s life will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 11:00 AM at Calvary Church, 707 East Beltline NE. Friends are invited to visit with Bob’s family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW Monday, 2-4 and 7-9 PM and at church beginning at 10 AM on Tuesday. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Calvary Church or Faith Hospice are appreciated. To read more about Bob’s life, to share a favorite memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.

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