Friday, September 8, 2023
2:30 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
West Leonard Christian Reformed Church
1053 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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.
Home Repair Services
1100 S. Division Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Geoff Rogers was a kind friend, wonderful companion, loving dad, and treasured grandpa. There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for others. He lived his life fully by spending any amount of time with his loved ones. Geoff’s selfless generosity and his compassion for others will be his greatest legacy. Gone too soon, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
It seems only fitting that his story began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the mid-1950s when James Dean was all the rage, Elvis Presley introduced the world to his rock ’n roll music and shows like I Love Lucy changed the way we looked at the American family. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1955, when Geoffrey Raynolds was welcomed home by his loving parents and older siblings, Toby and Lark. His father, Hamilton, worked in insurance and served as a state representative while his mother, Kate, was a bookkeeper. Geoff lived a wonderful childhood.
As a young adolescent, Geoff enjoyed a sense of adventure. He loved to spend time in the mountains hiking, biking, and skiing. A real treat was visiting his grandfather’s cabin in Georgetown, Colorado. Geoff was a proud graduate of the Class of 1972 and enlisted in the Coast Guard. After completing radar training in Staten Island, New York, he was stationed in Honolulu. Later he was relocated to Almeda, California. During his four years in active duty and two years in the reserves, he spent his time patrolling the Pacific from Hawaii to Alaska.
Geoff put his Coast Guard earnings to good use during his years studying at Calvin College and later took classes at Grand Valley State University. One fateful day, he met the love of his life, Beth VanLopik while attending a Bible Study in her parent’s basement. They built a relationship over several months before he worked up the courage to ask her to dinner. Sharing many commonalities, they hit it off from the start and joined in marriage just two years later at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church. The newlyweds were thrilled to share a two-week honeymoon touring the southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia before settling back home on Burton Street. They later moved to Lane Avenue and finally to their family home on Myrtle Street where they remained for twenty-eight years. Together, they raised three wonderful children; Sarah, Anna, and Leah.
As a father, Geoff was easygoing. A gentle giant, he loved to joke and tease and never raised his voice to his kids. He enjoyed being active in their lives and was always there when they needed a helping hand or some fatherly advice. As a family, they enjoyed camping in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula as well as took special trips to the Rockies, Smokies, and Vermont in their pop-up camper. Each and every Sunday, he made pizza and shared it with family and friends. He instilled in his children the values of being independent and managing life’s problems with a positive outlook.
A strong provider for his family, Geoff worked as a school custodian and could fix anything. At home, nothing brought him more joy than tinkering in his garage and organizing his vast array of treasured items. He finished his career in environmental service with Holland Hospital, then Spectrum Hospital, and finally, St. Mary’s Hospital. A man of faith, he enjoyed his time away from work at his church home, West Leonard Christian Reformed. For many years, he served as a Deacon and taught Sunday School. When it came to relaxing, Geoff enjoyed the family pets, Apollo and Bella, as well as biking.
A family man through and through, Geoff leaves behind many wonderful memories to be cherished. May his close family and many special friends be comforted in knowing that he cared deeply for each and every one of them and may his memories be eternal.
Geoffrey “Geoff” Raynolds Rogers, age 68, passed away on Saturday, September 2, 2023. He was born the youngest of three children to Kate and Hamilton Rogers on January 10, 1955, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and joined the Coast Guard which was an important part of his life. He found his faith in the Coast Guard and served for several years, eventually honorably discharged. But all his experiences, lessons and faith stayed with him until this day.
Geoff eventually traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan where at a bible study hosted by Beth’s parents he met her and later married her on May 30, 1980. There was a tornado watch during that night, something that could not be forgotten but nonetheless, it did not affect the celebration.
He became a custodian for various schools, a job he was passionate about, always surrounded by children. He always gave time to both them and his crew, the students of the school even creating a special day for him and an assembly which they called ‘Mr. Rogers Day’. He was a friend to everyone he met, those around him remember him fondly, from his family and friends to the students and coworkers. He made friends in every walk of life.
He was a hard worker and loved to tinker with anything he could, believing he could fix anything that was broken, even if he couldn’t. Often times such items would be left in pieces and random parts saved. Geoff was also a lover of music and an avid reader, a love he passed on to his children through the years. A humorous man, he loved comedy and joking with others.
Outside was truly a joy for him. It was common to hear music playing throughout the house at nearly any time of the day. And another love was bicycling. He did so regularly, taking long bicycling trips and eventually even got the bike he had always wanted, a Bianchi Aeros. He loved camping, despite his frequent issues with the trailer, as well as spending hours in his garage (Man shack) tinkering and working outside.
Family was everything to Geoff, spending much time with them as well as treasuring his three grandchildren. Geoff found his faith while in the Coast Guard. He is survived by his wife, Beth (VanLopik); his children; Sarah (Josh) Rich, Anna, and Leah (Thomas) Behrens; his brother, Toby; and his grandchildren; Sicily, Claira, and Miriam.
The Visitation will be at 12 p.m. at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home on Lake Michigan Drive on Friday, September 8, 2023, with the Memorial service to follow at 1 p.m. and refreshments with the Family following the service at 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at West Leonard CRC Activity Center on Leonard. All are welcome. The family has requested that any donations in memorial be sent to Home Repair Services.