Life Story / Obituary
Ray Tromp passed into his eternal home following heart failure on Sunday January 20, 2024. He has been reunited with his parents Robert H.C. Tromp III and (Eleanor) June (Voshol) Tromp and niece Michelle Phillips who have preceded him.
He left his siblings: Diane (James) Phillips, LaVerne (William) Blickley, Donald (Sandra) Tromp, Thomas (Melonie) Tromp, Andrew (Jean) Tromp, Jane (Phillip) Moschenrose, Edward (Maxine) Tromp and Laurie (Russell) Hoek and 20 nieces and nephews.
Ray volunteered as a high school student teaching adults to read at the United Methodist Community Center, then with the Community Action Program, and the Highland Park Neighborhood Association. He was a volunteer at Baxter Community Center, Baxter Neighborhood Association, and was a member of the Council of Neighborhoods Association.
Ray was secretary for the neighborhood “Weed and Seed” Community Development and Crime Prevention program for his area neighborhoods. He was a frequent presence as a member of the KROC exercise Center. Ray was an integral part of the Eastern Avenue Food Program for many years both as a volunteer and as a participant. He put in a continuous effort to get nutritious food to people who needed it.
Ray graduated from Grand Rapids South High School, and attended Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College.
He was employed by Humistan-Keeling Drug Company, the Grand Center, and retired from Michigan Head Start, child education program.
Ray invested much effort working for many decades encouraging and mentoring people all around the globe, A person from Trinidad and Tobago emailed when he heard of Ray’s death: “I have known him over 15 yrs pen-palling then he start emailing me - so sad he will always be part of me.”
Some people who are imprisoned called regularly to be encouraged, to others Ray sent on-going financial support and he also helped over-seas orphans.
In his last years, he developed difficulty walking, he never had a car, but he always managed to travel, often using the City bus system. Whenever there was a family gathering, Ray made a special effort to attend, and when family gathered with a Somalian immigrant family, they always asked for Ray to be part of their event.
One of his international email friends wrote: “The last email I got from Ray were his feet pained him a lot due to nephropathy I used to tell him be careful and do not go into the cold!”
Ray was an avid reader and enjoyed using the Grand Rapids Public Library, and like his father he preferred classical music. He adopted his mother’s love of gardening. As a long-term active member of First United Methodist Church, he will be laid to rest in the church chapel Columbarium with a Memorial Service scheduled for April, 13, 2024 at 1:00 PM.