Visitation from 10 AM until the start of the service.
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Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Andy was born to Neal and Jacoba Mast in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in September of 1946. He emigrated with his family two years later, settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended West Side Christian School and Grand Rapids Christian High, graduating in 1964. He furthered his education at Michigan State completing their horticultural program.
Andy met the love of his life, Coby, in 1967 on a blind date. (He stood her up for the first one!) They were married a year later. Shortly after marrying, he was called up to active duty in the Navy reserves. He served his country for 2 years stationed on the USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam. When the ship needed required maintenance, he was stationed in Bremerton, WA for dry-dock, where Coby was able to join him. Once his active duty was complete, they returned to Grand Rapids, where Andy began work in the family business.
Andy worked in partnership with his father, Neal, until branching out on his own in 1975 to become the owner of Andy Mast Greenhouses. He grew the business from the original site in Walker to include 2 additional sites over the years in Muskegon and Holland. His contributions to the greenhouse industry run deep. Andy loved Easter lilies. In efforts to improve the quality of crops, Andy pioneered with Michigan State University using practical growing techniques to control the height of crops. So successful in implementation, DIF technique is currently utilized around the world! Never shy to try out new techniques and experiments, he partnered with MSU to continue research and advancement in floriculture for other groundbreaking successes. Andy was also active in the Floriculture community, becoming one of the original members of the Michigan Greenhouse Grower Council (MGGC). He stepped up at the state level to speak on behalf of the local greenhouse growers, advocating for improvements and understanding of challenges faced by fellow growers.
A man of deep faith, Andy was active in his church, 7th Reformed. He was a deacon and elder at varying times over the years. His booming voice carried through the congregation during worship, or when singing in the choir. His strong voice often blessed others whether lifted in song, or in a hearty laugh! Andy was quick to remind us that the many blessings that he had were from the Lord. His life was not without sorrow. His son Matthew nearly drowned at age 2. He went against common wisdom of the time, insisting that Matthew would be cared for in the home. By God’s grace, Matthew was able to stay at home for many years. When it became obvious that it was time to transition Matthew to a new home, Andy searched for a loving Christian environment for Matthew. He found David’s House Ministries. At the time, they were unable to take on adults with Matt’s level of disability. Andy helped turn a hope and dream into a reality by helping raise funds and labor that opened “House 3” at David’s House Ministries. Matthew was one of the first residents in this new home. Andy and Coby served as board members at David’s House for 12 years.
Andy was also a board member at West Side Christian School. He was the first of now 3 generations of children in the family to attend WSCS. He valued Christian education, serving on the Christian Education Committee at church to ensure others also had the opportunity to benefit.
Family. So much can be said about family. Andy was dedicated to his family. Andy and Coby had 6 children. They taught each child how to “hustle” and work hard. Matthew’s accident could have shattered the family. Instead, through Andy’s leadership and faith it drew them together. Andy was dedicated to Matthew achieving his fullest potential after the accident. He took him to Philadelphia to the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. The institute believed that re-conditioning and patterning would improve potential and outcomes for the brain injured. Many volunteers from the church and community helped to make Matt’s program happen. Andy was often building the latest contraption to help with the program or jumped in to help with the patterning, reading or flexibility training for Matt.
Andy's extensive hobbies usually involved animals. His earliest ventures included breeding, raising, and racing homing pigeons. He spent many Friday evenings at the pigeon club prepping his birds for a race. Saturdays he could be found sitting outside, waiting for the first bird to appear over the horizon. He collected many trophies and awards along the way. As a young man, he added coon dogs and coon hunting into the mix. As he closed in on retirement, bees, peacocks, chickens, swans, and Texas longhorn cattle rounded out the menagerie of creatures around the homestead.
Another hobby did not include animals, but it did include flying! After obtaining his pilot’s license and purchasing a small plane, Andy and Coby flew all over the US, sometimes taking a short trip just for lunch! He was not afraid of a challenge and equipped his airplane to fly at heights requiring oxygen. He even flew through a massive thunderstorm to get home for a family reunion!
Andy’s booming voice and laughter marked many family gatherings. He pulled many a joke on friends and family but also got blamed for jokes that he had nothing to do with! In his later years, he would often tease his nurses or caregivers, saying “OUCH!” just before they were about to take his blood sugar, check his vital signs, or a check a dressing. His sense of humor and teasing has been passed down at least 2 further generations, surely with many more to follow.
Although humor was an important part of who Andy was, it was a mere shadow compared to the importance of his faith. Andy knew his need for the Savior, Jesus. He trusted and depended on the Lord during good times as well as the challenging ones. A favorite verse that encompassed his life included: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Andy C. Mast age 76, of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 8, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Neal and Jacoba Mast; son, Matthew Mast; daughter, Liz Mast; and two brothers, Arie and Jim Mast. Andy is survived by his wife of 55 years, Coby; children, Dave & Gina Mast, Emily and Jeffrey Karel, Amanda Mast, Katie Mast and Gerrit Mast; Deb and Alan Waters, Samuel Waters, Rachel Waters and Natalie Waters; Pete & Beth Mast, Joshua Mast, Hannah Mast and Abby Mast; Dan & Lisa Mast, Gabe Mast, Audrey Mast, Eli Mast and Breann Mast. Also surviving are his siblings, Rose & Bill Leese, Joyce & Marty Lutrey, Betty Mast, Marsha Martin, Rick & Joyce Mast and Terry Mast; and many nieces and nephews. The Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, July 14, 2023 at Seventh Reformed Church, 950 Leonard St NW. The family will receive visitors from 5-8 PM on Thursday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW and for one hour prior to the service at church. Interment in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. Contributions in his memory may be made to David’s House Ministries or Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Andy’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook.