Wednesday, August 17, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
Heritage Reformed Congregation
540 Crescent Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 40503
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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.
Grace Christian Academy
1000 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a steady, even-keeled nature Peter Pols lived a life rich in faith and family. He never shied from hard work or sharing his gifts and talents and was a proud provider for those he loved. Peter was most content when sharing the good company of his loved ones. Whether working on a home project, riding his bike, or taking a walk with his children or grandchildren, he embraced each moment as a gift. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, Peter will long be remembered and so very missed.
Peter was boorn on August 10, 1944, in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, to Pieter and Marie (Helmich) Pols. The ninth of their ten children, Peter grew up with plenty of supervisors. Despite growing up during World War II, Peter attended school and had a good childhood. He enjoyed ice skating in the canals and the importance of valuing the resources that were available, including food. Though the family had very little and made sure they ate everything on their plate, their home was rich in care for one another.
In time, a couple of Peter's siblings emigrated to the United States. Having heard about the available opportunities and life in the States, at the age of 17 and with some trade training as an electrician, Peter boarded a ship to the U.S. After safely arriving in his new country, he made his way to Grand Rapids, Michigan. He didn't speak English at the time and first lived downtown with someone from church before moving to Zeeland with his brother for a while.
While working one of his first jobs at a local Kewpee restaurant, Peter had the good fortune of being introduced to Joyce Marsman by mutual friends. The pair began dating and married on February 19, 1965. After honeymooning in Chicago, the newlyweds settled into a home on his brother's farm for a few years.
Soon, the family grew with the birth of children, and they moved to a house on Roger Street, where they would live for over 30 years and raise their six children. To provide for the family, Peter began working as an electrician with the railroad. For many years, his work required he be gone throughout the week, often to Chicago or Detroit. He was a hard worker whose commitment to his family was evident over his 37 years of working with the railroad.
Since his time was limited when he was home, and he wasn't one to sit still for long, he could often be found tending to ongoing projects that needed completing. A perfectionist, Peter took on every task with meticulous precision and organization. He created lots of lists and instructions around the house. He thrived in routine and was a strict father who impressed the importance of a Christian education and never wasting anything. Peter and Joyce were members of Heritage Reformed Congregation; this is the community that nurtured his faith. He also worked in the tape room, picked up kids for Sunday School, and in retirement, spent lots of time volunteering his handyman skills, always making sure things were fully used before throwing them away.
Much of Peter and Joyce's social time was spent with his family, siblings, and close friends. He enjoyed sailing and had a few boats through the years. He also loved his John Deere tractor and quickly volunteered for any project where he could use it. A man of few words, Peter was content in listening. When he did speak, he was mindful of his words, and the conversations were always good. As his family grew to include 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, Peter loved to share time taking them on walks as he had done with his own kids. Rides on his gator tractor and quickly slipping on his wooden shoes were fond traditions too.
In the last years, Peter and Joyce enjoyed spending several months each year in Florida. He immersed himself in the fun and relationships there, playing shuffleboard, bocce ball, billiards, and biking on his electric bike with friends. In the past week, Peter enjoyed sharing time with his brother and gathering to celebrate his 78th birthday with many of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His loved ones will especially treasure this time together, as he passed away unexpectedly while working on his home projects Saturday morning. Without a doubt, our days with Peter were far too few, and the legacy of his steadfast companionship will inspire those who knew him best.
Peter Pols, age 78, of Grand Rapids, passed away August 13, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; their children Robert (Leslie) Pols, Peter (Kristi) Pols, Mark (Judy) Pols, Diane (Rick) Stevens, and David (Heather) Pols; daughter-in-law Jane Pols; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, John (Margaret) Pols as well as several brothers and sisters in the Netherlands. Peter was preceded in death by his son, Paul Pols; sister, Nellie Silvis and brother, Bill Pols. His funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at 11 AM at Heritage Reformed Congregation, 540 Crescent Street NE. Friends are invited to visit with his family on Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-9 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Interment Rosedale Memorial Park. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Grace Christian Academy are appreciated. To read more about Peter, to share a memory, or sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.