Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

John L. Gelderloos Jr

December 28, 1982 - March 11, 2024
Grand Rapids, MI


Life Story / Obituary


John Lee Gelderloos, Jr., found peace on Monday, March 11, 2024. John was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Patricia (Voss) Gelderloos and John Gelderloos on December 28, 1982. As a toddler, John loved stories and game shows. He practiced being a host with his Mr. Microphone for hours. He graduated to nightly board games, and then video games whenever allowed. He loved to swim, enjoying time in grandma’s pool from the time he was just a few months old, and eventually the backyard pool. Most summer holidays were spent at his aunt and uncle’s house on Mona Lake. He and his cousins went swimming, tubing, and, once they were old enough to drive, took the jet skis to the “big lake.” He was an excellent downhill skier in part from the annual ski trips to Crystal Mountain and Colorado.

John attended West Side Christian School through fifth grade. He spent his 6th grade year in the BEEP (Blandford Environmental Education Program) school attached to Blandford Nature Center. The independence and time outdoors sparked his life-long love of nature and of Blandford. He attended Grand Rapids City Middle School and then Grand Rapids Christian High School. He was a lifeguard at Richmond Park Pool during high school summers. When he came home with red beads after several shifts, he was coaxed into explaining a guard earned a red bead for every “save” they made. Although he did not play, he loved music, so he enjoyed his school-year job at Rainbow Music, working with his dad, Pete, and the other guys.

John graduated from Calvin University—President Bush was the somewhat controversial speaker at his commencement. He worked in customer service, banking, and accounting. He married Brianne (Jackson) on October 7, 2017. John’s love for games and cards continued into adulthood. For years he attended a weekly poker game. He continued to spend time outdoors, hiking, skiing, and playing disc golf. He volunteered at Blandford when time and opportunity allowed.

John was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Frances (VanLaten) and John Voss, his paternal grandfather Paul Gelderloos, grandpa Herm (Herman Buurma), his Aunt Nancy (Wrobleski) Gelderloos, and his aunt and uncle, Sharon (Sianta) and Paul Gelderloos. He is survived by his parents, his paternal grandmother, Marjorie (DeJong) Gelderloos, his uncle Clyde Gelderloos and aunts and uncles Joanne (Manring) and John Voss, Doreen (Schipma) and Frank Voss, and Jean (Voss) and Scott Wilbur along with many cousins.

John was amazingly intelligent, kind, generous, and loyal to a fault. He loved dogs, especially Tucker, political discussions, WWE, the Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago Bears. Our hearts are breaking at his sudden loss. No services will be held. A celebration of his life will occur this summer.