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.
Friends of Michigan Veterans Homes Inc.
P.O. Box 805
Grandville, MI 49468
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, John Timmer was an extraordinary man to know and love. A man of honor and integrity, he gave everything he was doing his all. Guided by an unwavering faith, John’s life exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. He was deeply devoted to his family, and it was easy to see that he was married to the love of his life. John will be dearly missed, but his family finds comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with his beloved wife in their eternal home.
It was great to be an American during the Roarings Twenties. Cars were more affordable as they were mass produced on assembly lines, and with the adventurous spirits of Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh the world of flight was never the same. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Peter and Wilhelmina (Borgman) Timmer as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named John Peter on June 11, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The youngest of four, he was raised in the family home on Crosby Street near Alpine Avenue alongside his siblings, Henry, Ethel, and Gertrude. John’s father ran a meat market and also built homes while his mother was a busy homemaker.
A lifelong WestSider, John was a typical young boy of his generation. His father raised ferrets and dogs for hunting, and John enjoyed doing some light hunting with his friends. John attended Harrison Park Elementary and went on to Union High School. While in high school he helped his father at the meat market and also peddled the Grand Rapids Shopping Newspaper. John loved riding horses and also did some weightlifting as a teen. After graduating from high school in 1940, he took a position as an apprentice as a tool and die maker at Grand Rapids Metalcraft.
As a young man of 20, John was drafted into the United States Army during WWII. He was soon sent to Europe and Normandy. While being bombed in a foxhole in France, John promised God that if He allowed him to live through the war, he would spread the Good News and also be a faithful follower of Christ. While serving, John was a small arms repairman for three years. With his military duties fulfilled, he returned to Grand Rapids and worked with his brother Henry, at Tim Claire Tool & Die, until her retired at age 62. He made many prototypes for many manufacturing companies while working. His work was his life as he took his role as provider to heart.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was John’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Gerri Potter, and they were set up on a blind date shortly after he retuned from the military. That date led to more dates, and the couple soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together John and Gerri were married on June 22, 1949, at Lee Street Christian Reformed Church. The newlyweds settled into an apartment above his parent’s home where they remained until their new home was built at 1307 Hillcrest Avenue, NW. This was the place John called home for the rest of his life. Together they welcomed their daughter, Luanne, into their hearts and home on March 26, 1955. As a family they enjoyed vacationing to places like Kentucky, Florida, Wisconsin, New York, Washington, D.C. and many summer day trips on Lake Michigan beaches.
Throughout his life John’s faith was a cornerstone. They were members of Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church where he served as an elder for three terms. Later, they joined Westend Christian Reformed Church.
Over the years John was one who preferred to be busy. At home he enjoyed caring for the yard and planting both flowers and vegetables. John loved working with his hands and was a perfectionist in everything he did. John was a firm believer in the notion that everything had its place and there was a place for everything. He loved playing the board game “Aggravation,” and he enjoyed watching football, Judge Judy, Cops, and various police shows on television. On the weekends John and Gerri went with friends to concerts. He loved music. He sang around the family piano growing up as a boy. They also attended Sunday Bible studies together. They did nearly everything together as a couple whether they were visiting friends, shopping, going to church, or traveling. After retiring they visited their daughter and her husband in Denver, Colorado, stopping at various sights along the way. They enjoyed going to Gaither and Sandi Patti concerts. John’s favorite candy was Dutch Babbelaars. John always loved when his grandchildren came for visits,and he would take them out on day trips and dinners. Later in life, he also loved visits with his great-grandchildren.
John was given a tough pill to swallow when his beloved wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. John lovingly cared for her till she died on June 7, 2004. His family and strong faith sustained him, but he deeply missed Gerri as he loved her so deeply. John took a fall a month ago and was hospitalized. His health began to diminish, but since he just wanted to go home his son-in-law, Tim, moved in with him to care for him until he passed away.
Faithful, grateful, and honest, John Timmer was a blessing in the lives of so many. He worked hard, but he took the time to enjoy life along the way. John faced whatever came his way head on, and his faith carried him through whatever storms he faced. He will be deeply missed, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
John P. Timmer, aged 96 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior, on Saturday evening, December 1, 2018. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Gerri Timmer, and his siblings, Henry (Clair) Timmer, Ethel (Bob) Wynsma, Gertrude Timmer. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Luanne and Tim Armstrong; grandchildren, Mark Armstrong, Jonathan (fiancée Brooke Needler), Matthew (Kelsey) Armstrong; great grandchildren, Zachary, Jaxon, Liam and Kirra. John honorably served his country in the US Army during World War II. He was a longtime member of Alpine Ave. Christian Reformed Church and later, Westend Christian Reformed Church. He retired from Rockford Tool & Die. A service to celebrate John’s life will be held on Thursday at 11:00 am at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Burial in Rosedale Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the funeral home on Thursday from 10:00 an until the service begins at 11:00 am. Contributions in his memory may be made to Friends of Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. To read more about John’s life, to sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com