Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Jean Katerberg

April 1, 1924 - December 19, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI



Sunday, December 22, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions


Monday, December 23, 2019
11:30 AM EST
West Leonard Christian Reformed Church
1053 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Friends may visit with the family at the church beginning at 10:30 AM



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.

West Leonard Christian Reformed Church
1053 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Edison Christian Foundation
1000 Edison Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a genuine smile and a generous heart, Jean Katerberg lived a life rich in faith and family. A woman who loved and lived wholeheartedly, Jean embraced each day and each person as a gift. Naturally giving, supportive, and thoughtful, Jean lived to nourish, encourage, and comfort others. Devoted to her family and community, Jean inspired all who were blessed to share time with her. Cherished by many, Jean’s bright legacy will continue to shine in the hearts of those she loved.

Adrian and Grace (Vander Laan) Scholten welcomed their daughter Jean into their family on April 1, 1924. Growing up on the northeast side of Grand Rapids during the 20s and 30s, Jean’s earliest years were filled with activity. The family often traveled together to visit relatives in Iowa. One year they took a memorable family trip to Niagara Falls. Jean recalls many childhood memories of trips to the beaches of Lake Michigan.

Jean’s parents raised their family upon the firm foundation of faith and were members at Creston Christian Reformed Church. Committed to her Christian education, Jean’s parents sacrificed so she could attend Creston Christian, West Side Christian, and Grand Rapids Christian High School. Jean went on to earn a degree from Davenport Business College. She worked as a secretary at Michigan Bell before having children.

At the age of 16, Jean met the love of her life, Everhardt “Ev” Katerberg. Ev also had no doubts that Jean was the girl for him. Unfortunately, the Army drafted Ev into the 96th Infantry, and he was soon off to fight in World War II. Despite the distance and strain of the war, Jean and Ev’s love continued to grow through correspondence. Jean wrote to Ev every day. Shortly after he safely returned home, the young couple was married May 10, 1946, at Creston Christian Reformed Church. As promised during their early years of dating, they honeymooned in the Black Hills of South Dakota and visited Mount Rushmore.

The newlyweds settled in Grand Rapids, where they joyfully welcomed five children over thirteen years. Sons, William, Kenneth, Steven, and Michael, and daughter, Marilyn, were the center of Jean and Ev’s worlds. As parents, they consciously built their family life on the same foundation they had both learned from their parents: faith, hard work, and service. While Ev provided for the family by working as a welder, a plumber, and eventually, started his own business, Katerberg Lawn Sprinkling, Jean took on the challenges of running the home. Jean was a loving and protective mother. She tried very hard to be fair to all the children. She worked sacrificially but joyfully in raising her boys to be godly men of discipline and moral principles. Marilyn, their only girl, had special needs and needed care outside the home for most of her life. Jean faithfully visited Marilyn every week, even when she lived a couple of hours away. Marilyn was included in family celebrations, and her brothers learned compassion and tenderness for those with special needs.

Over the years, the family made many trips to see relatives in Iowa. In 1979, Jean and Ev traveled as a couple to the West Coast to visit some of the former Army bases where Ev had been stationed during the war. They also enjoyed visiting Ohio and friends in Missouri.

Jean and Ev were often gracious in hospitality and involved in their church and community. Jean had a strong loyal streak and made a friend for life. Jean loved cooking, especially baking sweets and desserts. Jean loved people, listened with her heart, and offered friendship to all. As a personal ministry, Jean spent much of her time writing cards. She carefully wrote messages of congratulations, encouragement, celebration, and sympathy, celebrating and sorrowing with others. With diligent faithfulness over the years, even when her handwriting faded, every birthday, anniversary, graduation, illness, and loss was lovingly marked by Jean’s thoughtful remembrances; sometimes she sent over 100 cards a month! Her love language was giving.

For many years, Jean and Ev talked about living on a lake. Eventually, they made their dream a reality when they bought a home on Green Lake in Caledonia. It was an exciting adventure later in life: the first time Jean lived away from northeast Grand Rapids. For nearly 11 years, Jean and Ev enjoyed their home on the lake, and Jean also enjoyed teaching first grade Sunday School at Caledonia Christian Reformed Church.

Eventually, Jean and Ev moved back to the familiarity of the northeast side of Grand Rapids for 22 years. About ten years ago, they moved to the West Side, where they made their home at Edison Manor. When their medical needs changed, they went into nursing care at the Christian Rest Home. Here they enjoyed the peace and comforts of living in Christian companionship with their fellow residents and care providers. Nearly three years ago, Jean had to say goodbye to her beloved Ev when he went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 30, 2017. Jean was active in activities at the Christian Rest Home despite her physical limitations, and her resilience was inspiring. However, she was prepared for eternity and ready to be reunited with her husband.

Without a doubt, Jean’s family was her greatest joy. As her sons grew into adulthood, married, and became fathers, she claimed her daughters-in-law as her own with much delight, and she welcomed her grandchildren with much enthusiasm. She especially enjoyed holding the little babies, but she made each one of them feel special as they grew. It was her genuine joy to be with her growing family; nothing gave her more pleasure than to have everyone together in celebration.

Jean’s family and friends will miss her steadfast love and joy, but we can carry the best of her legacy in our hearts and lives. With each moment we listen from the heart, make a special dessert for a friend, enjoy a sunset with our beloved, or send a special card, we live the legacy Jean gave us. In doing so, her spirit will continue to be a source of inspiration for others.

Jean E. Katerberg, age 95, went to be with the Lord on December 19, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Everhardt, daughter Marilyn Joy, granddaughter Emily Joy, her parents, brother Harvey Scholten, sister Carolyn Compaan. She is survived by her children William (Jane), Kenneth (Arlis), Steven (Cindy), Michael (Laurie); grandchildren Aaron (Aubrey), Rachel (Aaron) Sanders, Craig (Cristina), Timothy (Holly), Kristina, Bethany (Ajeliti) Ekesa, Thomas (Katy), Mark (Neem Serra), Julie, Deborah, 15 great-grandchildren, and many special nieces, nephews, and friends. Her Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 AM on Monday, December 23 at West Leonard CRC, 1053 Leonard St. NW. Friends may visit with her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW on Sunday, December 22 from 7:00-9:00 pm and on Monday at the church beginning at 10:30 AM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either Edison Christian Foundation or West Leonard Christian Reformed Church. To read more about Jean’s life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com