Life Story / Obituary
The birth of Jacob George Kievit was one to remember. Not only did he bring added joy to the lives of his parents, Leonard Sr. and Cora (Fisher) Kievit on December 7, 1941, but it was a day that continues to go down in history with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jacob’s father worked for Waddell Manufacturing, a local furniture factory while his mother remained at home as a homemaker.
The youngest of three children, Jacob grew up alongside his brother, Leonard Jr. and sister, Pearl. A young boy of his generation, Jacob experienced numerous adventures growing up, especially fishing. Jacob absolutely loved fishing his whole life through and also did some small game hunting as a teen. Having attended the local schools, Jacob went on to graduate from Creston High School with the Class of 1959.
Following high school, Jacob took a job at Waddell Manufacturing where he father worked. While working at Waddell, Jacob came to meet the woman who would forever hold his heart, Mary Black who was one of his co-workers. Love at first sight, the two dated for three months before exchanging marriage vows by the Justice of the Peace on January 21, 1966. The newlyweds made their first home together on Lexington Avenue NW for a year where they lovingly welcomed the birth of their daughter, Katherine.
With the Vietnam War well underway, Jacob was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. Mary and their daughter went to live with Mary’s mother while Jacob was sent off to boot camp at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where he also trained to be a tank commander. In harm’s way, Jacob served in Vietnam for three years before receiving his honorable discharge. After a year he decided to make the military his career and reenlisted. Jacob proudly served in the U. S. Army for 22 years. During this time, Jacob was stationed in Colorado, Texas, Kentucky, and Stuttgart, Germany. He received his final discharge when he retired on July 2, 1989 as a Sergeant 1st Class. One of the many things Jacob loved about the service were the many opportunities he had to fish. Wherever in the world life brought him, he took in the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans, fishing to his heart’s content!
Jacob delivered car parts for Advanced Automotive for a year before finally retiring for good. As an avid fisherman, he especially enjoyed fishing at the Sixth Street Bridge near the fish ladder with his wife and daughter which made for great times. Other than his enjoyment of fishing, Jacob was an avid reader of western novels, especially by Louis L’Amour, and he loved all the game shows on TV. He loved a great steak and was most certainly a meat and potato’s kind of guy. Jacob always had room for his favorite, custard eclairs. Jacob found joy feeding and watching the backyard birds, too.
In 2010, Jacob suffered a stroke and he recently had a heart attack, although he failed to tell anyone. Eventually, it took its’ toll and he unexpectedly passed away in the comfort of home. Jacob will be remembered for his work ethic and being a good provider for the family entrusted to his care. He was ever dedicated to his country and flag, and a proud Veteran. Jacob loved his family and in them he found his greatest joy. His grandchildren and great-children created a sparkle in his eye and he truly loved being with them. A loving husband and the best dad ever, Jacob will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.
Jacob George Kievit, aged 76 of Grand Rapids, passed away at home on Wednesday, August 2, 2018, with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Black (Kievit); his daughter, Katherine (Christopher) Graves; grandchildren, Mary Kievit and Cameron Kievit; great-grandchildren, Jerimiah Jones and Kahli Mayberry; sister-in-law, Donna Kievit; nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his sister, Pearl (John) TerMolen and his brother, Leonard Kievit Jr. No funeral services are planned. Please visit his web page to sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him at www.lifestorynet.com.