Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

John "Jack" Teggelaar

June 19, 1943 - March 22, 2023
Grand Rapids, MI



Sunday, May 7, 2023
10:30 AM EDT
Live Stream
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613

A Celebration of Life luncheon will be held following the service at a location to be determined.

Driving Directions


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.

East Grand Rapids Library
746 Lakeside Drive SE
East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
(616) 784-2007
Web Site


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 handsome face, a good sense of humor, and a kind heart, John "Jack" Teggelaar lived a life rich in family and friends. Jack gave more than he received and was a steady support in the lives of family and friends. He was introspective, thoughtful, and, most of all, kind. A devoted father, grandfather, companion, and friend, Jack was loved by many and will be missed like crazy.

Jack was born on June 19 to Claude and Grace (Beukema) Teggelaar in Chicago, Illinois. Jack's earliest years were spent living on the Teggelaar family farm, where he enjoyed the good company of his older sister, Ruth. When his father, who had been a Bible salesman, secured work at Keeler Brass, the family moved to East Grand Rapids, Michigan. A good kid, Jack He was a good kid was always geared toward sports. As a student at East Grand Rapids High School, he competed in tennis, basketball, and his first love, swimming. He earned all-state honors as a swimmer and established several lifelong friendships during these years.

After graduating high school, Jack continued his education as a student at Calvin College and Michigan State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta and earned his undergraduate degree. He then pursued graduate studies at the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University.

While at WMU, Jack met Margery Guest. The couple dated, married, and settled in Forest Hills, where Jack worked at a bank. A devoted father, Jack eventually became a mortgage broker before moving into the commercial real estate business. Two children were born to Jack and Margery, Lauren and Andrew. Jack and Margery were into bird watching, and the two of them enjoyed gardening together, becoming master gardeners. As a family, trips to Lake Huron were very much enjoyed. A memorable family trip to Spain proved especially wonderful.

Known for his athleticism and charm, Jack loved to participate in, talk about, and watch sports. He was an incredible tennis player, a ready racquetball player, and a frustrated golfer. An avid fan of Michigan State and University of Michigan football and basketball, he was always ready to share a good game.

After being single for a time, sixteen years ago, Jack had the good fortune of meeting Martha Edwards. He and Martha shared a special bond and companionship that led to much happiness. Together, they enjoyed golf, book club, and rescuing stray cats. Jack also enjoyed visiting Fountain Street Church and, in later years, Marble Collegiate Church in New York when he would visit his daughter and her family. He was a lover of literature and a prolific reader his entire life.

Without a doubt, Jack's greatest joy was his family. His pride in his children was always evident, as was his delight in being a grandfather. He enjoyed every moment spent with his grandkids. Whether picking the kids up from school in Grand Rapids or visiting his grandchildren in New York, their time together was always treasured. Always a source of comfort, support, and encouragement for his family, Jack was a great sounding board for Lauren as she navigated the complexities of working life.

Our days with Jack were far too few, and they were filled with love, laughter, and hope. Though life feels less certain in the absence of Jack's steadfast love and support, we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. In each moment we confidently face life's challenges, remain positive and calm, defuse conflict, and choose kindness and compassion, we celebrate all the ways Jack gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.

John Fred (Jack) Teggelaar, age 79, of Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids passed away on March 22, 2023. He is survived by his partner Martha Edwards, his son and daughter from former wife Margery Guest, Andrew Teggelaar and Lauren Sambrotto (née Teggelaar), his daughter in law Maria Carolina Silva, son in law Colby Sambrotto, his grandchildren, Sophie and Eleanore Sambrotto and Clara and Margaret Guest, his extended family and many friends. He will be missed like crazy. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to the East Grand Rapids Public Library. Memorial services are scheduled for 10:30am on Sunday, May 7th at Heritage Life Story, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE with a Celebration of Life luncheon following, location to be determined.