Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of John Heyboer, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others in ways both great and small. Nothing brought John greater joy than spending time with his loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. He was never afraid to stand up for what he thought was right, and he was well known for his big heart and his insatiable zest for life. Dearly loved, John will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
It seems only fitting that John’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1960s when we elected the young John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States, only to mourn his death a short time later. There were joyous milestones, too, including our huge leap forward by putting the first man on the moon as the decade drew to a close. There was much to celebrate in the lives of Ed Heyboer and Patricia (Steil) Heyboer as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named John Glen on April 2, 1962, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up, John was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised as the second youngest child alongside his three siblings, Catherine, Sue, and Ed. The Heyboer family lived in the countryside outside of Standale, so the children were able to enjoy riding motorcycles and playing in the nearby sand pit. Several aunts, uncles, and other family members lived nearby as well, instilling within John the incredible worth of relationships.
Throughout his childhood, John was a very active child with a strong, spirited personality. He attended local schools, including West Side Christian, Delaney Middle School, and Grandville High School, graduating in 1980. Following his high school graduation, John went on to begin working with his father in the family business, Heyboer Heating and Cooling.
All who knew John can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. He soon met a woman named Tanya Goeman, and the two married at Wallin Congregational Church in 2001. Together John and Tanya welcomed their beloved son, Johnny, into their hearts. He truly thrived in his role as a father and spent as much time with Johnny as he possibly could. John loved taking his son to his Little League games and rec football games.
There were so many people who were important to John. “Scruff” Jeff Roberts was his lifelong best friend after meeting at the age of 10. It has been said that the two were brothers from another mother. Throughout his life, John was very close to his brother, Ed. In 2008, John met Amanda Melton through mutual friends. After dating on and off for a few years, the couple decided to get serious in 2017 and committed to spending the rest of their lives together. John’s relationship with Amanda was his entire world. He was so honored to share his life with her. John always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
John was never afraid to work hard in order to provide for himself and his family. He spent many years working in the family business, first with his father and then with his cousins, Ed and Frank. Around 1997, John went to work for Riteway Plumbing and joined the Local #147. His solid work ethic was the foundation of all that he did.
Never one to sit still for long, John pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He loved repairing and riding motorcycles, and over the years, he had several Harleys of his own. John liked fishing and cooking chili, salsa, steak, and Polish food. He enjoyed listening to rock ‘n roll music and even some rap as well. John was always keeping up on current events, and he would spend hours watching the news on television. He was proud to be a democrat and was always willing to stand up for what he believed in. John enjoyed being on or near the water. He loved his German Shepherds, Apollo and Athena, and he would often take them to the park. John was an extrovert who loved spending time socializing, but he was also content in his own backyard with a fire, good music, and a beverage in his hand. Life drastically changed for John and those who loved him when he was diagnosed with metastatic high grade angiosarcoma, stage 4 shortly before Christmas.
As his family and friends can certainly attest, John Heyboer truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and he always had an encouraging word to say. John’s primary focus in life was fostering deep and personal relationships with those around him. He was adventurous and very protective of those who depended on him. Though he will be deeply missed, John leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.
John G. Heyboer age 60, of Grand Rapids, passed away on March 1, 2023. He was preceded in death by his father, Ed (Ann) Heyboer; mother, Patricia Heyboer;and sister, Catherine “Cat” Heyboer. John is survived by his fiancé, Amanda Melton; son, Johnny Heyboer; siblings, Susan (Greg) Graverson and Edward Heyboer; step brothers, Tim (Debbie) Dreyer and Steven (Erica) Dreyer; step sister, Lou Ann Dreyer; and many cherished Aunts, Uncles, nieces, nephews and friends. John worked in the family business, Heyboer Heating and Cooling, and after technical school, he worked as a steam fitter for Local #174. His favorite things in life were his son, fiancé, Harleys and his German Shepherds. The funeral service will be held at 3 PM on Tuesday March 7, 2023 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. The family will receive visitors from 1 PM until the start of the service. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park.