Monday, October 26, 2020
2:00 PM EDT
Walker United Reformed Church
1941 Randall Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
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.
Forgotten Man Ministries
3940 Fruit Ridge Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Life Story / Obituary
Jack Vander Sloot was born with a heart of gold. Nothing brought him greater happiness than to share so much of his time and resources with others. He was always looking for ways to support his family as well as his many friends in Christ. Gone too soon, may his memories be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
The 1970s were characterized by many marginalized people still fighting for equality and with the increase of political conservatism and traditional family roles. By 1973, the Watergate hearings were underway and inflation was having a large impact on people’s lives. Popular television shows of this decade included, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Price Is Right. During these tumultuous times, Jacob and Janet (Hoek) Vander Sloot welcomed home their newborn baby boy, Jack Adrian on March 21st in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joining his older two sisters, June and Julianne, his birth brought much joy to the family home.
Jack lived a typical childhood of the times with the exception of moving frequently due to his father’s real estate business. His mother was a local teacher and involved with the children's choir as well as leading Bible study at their home church. Jack and his siblings were raised with a strong Christian foundation and attended local Christian schools. As a child, Jack loved his fair share of sports and mischief. He played Little League baseball and his team won the championship one year due to his ability to steal bases! He also enjoyed playing Rocket football as a quarterback for several years, recreational basketball, and by the time he was in high school, he was a member of the Unity Wrestling team during his sophomore year. Not to be forgotten, however, were the years before that when he was still actively riding his dirt bike, making tree forts, and climbing into the doghouse with Duchess, the family dog! Jack was born with a love of water and the outdoors and enjoyed countless hours of boating, water skiing, and fishing. Once on the Muskegon River, he was collecting pop cans and lures, when he fell into the water and got caught up in the current. He had to be rescued by a stranger who jumped in to save him, yet he never dropped a single can or lure!
Jack’s childhood was loaded with special memories of spending time with his close-knit family. He was lucky at the tender age of eight years old to join his Grandpa and Grandma Hoek on a three week tour of the west in their motor home. They visited many states on their way to Oregon and Washington then went up to British Columbia and came home through Canada. Some of Jack’s favorite stops were the Black Hills, Yellowstone National Park, the Pacific Ocean, and the infamous Corn Palace! As a family, they also enjoyed many vacations to the Two Hearted River Campground by Lake Superior in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Rock collecting and hiking as well as playing hide and seek in the dunes were highlights of these memorable trips.
Holidays were also a very important tradition in the Vander Sloot family. Each and every season brought it’s own special rituals and decorations as well as plenty of food and time with family. From New Year’s Eve through the following Christmas season their lives were sprinkled with celebrations. They kicked off the summer spending time at the family cottage on the Muskegon River for Memorial Day enjoying fishing, cooking smores, and playing card games. Each 4th of July they signed up to join the parade and even dressed up in old fashioned clothes to throw candy from a float with a covered wagon. Jack loved to help design the floats each year even creating a Mayflower and Spirit of Saint Louis float one year. Labor Day was always a favorite spot at Crockery Lake Park playing softball, tubing, swimming, and eating endless Cracker Jack! A favorite pastime of Thanksgiving was spending the day at Dave and Marlene Vander Sloot’s home playing football in the 70 degree weather. The most special season was always Christmas where the family would sing carols before opening gifts on Christmas Eve. Jack was always fond of the song, Away in the Manger. Christmas Day was spent at Grandpa and Grandma Hoek’s where Jack could never get enough of his grandmother’s fat balls and fudge! As an uncle, Jack loved picking our gifts for his niece and nephews who were very special to him. When the family grew larger, they celebrated at the Lamont School gym and always saved time for a game of cards! Jack loved to play Canasta, Rummy, and Samba. Jack was quite often the winner!
After his high school graduation, Jack started his own successful duct cleaning business with his good friend, Tim Mulder. After 10 years of working together he took over the business and ran it with his dad. He took great pleasure in being his dad's boss. He was dedicated to his clients for more than twenty years before he later decided to change his career path. The last several years he worked in various manufacturing companies before landing at Imperial Metal Products in Grand Rapids as a machine operator. He loved working with machines and learned as many different ones as he could. He was well respected for his work ethic and flexibility to work in any capacity. However, his greatest love was helping others, especially troubled youth. He helped lead classes at Life on the Rock Ministries in Coopersville and assisted the minister when visiting the Honor Camp in Gowen. As an adult, Jack enjoyed worshiping at the Family Worship Center in Coopersville and Lifestream Ministries in Allendale. For a short time he was married to Tresa Chambers who he met through Life on the Rock Ministries. He was proud to be a father figure to her two children as family was always important to him.
Jack was a loving person who spent his life supporting others. His generosity, his commitment to his faith, and his wonderful sense of humor will be dearly missed. May his loved ones always remember the joy he brought to any family gathering and may they continue to feel his love whenever they are together. Jack left a legacy of treating everyone with kindness and modeled the work of his Lord and Savior. May he eternally rest in peace.
Jack Adrian Vander Sloot, age 47, of Coopersville, died Thursday morning, October 22, 2020, following a courageous battle with liver disease. He is survived by his parents, Jack and Jan (Hoek) Vander Sloot; his sisters, June (Brian) Timmer and Julianne (Dakota) Jones; his grandmother, Janet Hoek; several aunts, uncles, nephews and niece. Jack enjoyed fishing, boating and gardening, yet most important to Jack was thinking of others before himself. He was a graduate of Unity Christian High School. A service to celebrate Jack’s life will be held Monday, October 26, 2020, 2:00 PM at Walker United Reformed Church, 1941 Randall Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534. Friends may visit with Jack’s family Sunday, October 25, 2020, 5-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home-Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 and again Monday, one hour prior to the service at church. Social distancing and masks are required. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Faith Hospice and/or to Forgotten Man Ministries. Please visit Jack’s personal web page at heritagelifestory.com to share a favorite memory with his family and to sign his online guest book.