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.
Rest Haven Homes
1424 Union Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
2965 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Life Story / Obituary
As his family and friends can surely attest, John Vander Boon truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength and encouragement for all those around him, even in the most difficult of times. A loving husband and father, John was so proud to watch his family tree grow to include so many members who filled his heart with joy. He poured his heart and soul into all that he did, an inspiration to so many. Deeply loved, John will be forever missed.
The year of 1927 found John and Mary (Vander Waal) Vander Boon excitedly awaiting the arrival of their third child. Their dreams finally came true on September 20, 1927, when they named their new son John. He was born in the family home on Prospect NE, and John’s family would later grow to include his 11 siblings. As there were a lot of children living in the home, there was never an abundance of space, yet John always looked back on his childhood with fondness. He discovered his love for horses at a young age and dreamed of one day becoming a cowboy. Like many other members in his family, John was also very musically talented. He learned how to play the guitar, and he also enjoyed playing the harmonica and singing.
For several years, John attended Hastings Street Christian School while his father ran a store on the street near their home. Before long, however, the struggles that came along with the Great Depression caused the Vander Boon family to move to Ada. John then continued pursuing his education at Carl School until the eight grade, when he began working on the family farm. His father founded Ada Beef, a meat packing business, and John began helping out there as well.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for John as he met the woman who would quickly become the love of his life. Her name was Margaret Van Ree, and the two first met while attending the same church and singing in the choir together. John was instantly smitten. He and Margaret began dating as teenagers, but they had to endure the pain of separation when John enlisted into the Army in 1946. He went on to serve as a meat cutter for about 15 months, remaining in the United States. Once John returned home, his father decided to move the family to Iowa. John and his two older siblings chose to remain in the Grand Rapids area, and he and his brother, Orie, took over the responsibilities of running Ada Beef. Over time, his relationship with Margaret continued to blossom into something truly special. It didn’t take them long to realize that they never wanted to be apart again. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, John and Margaret were married on April 6, 1949. The newlyweds then enjoyed a honeymoon to Gatlinberg, Tennessee, before settling into a home on Grand River Drive. This house would become the place where they would live happily for many years.
All who knew John can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. Together, he and Margaret were overjoyed to welcome their three beloved children, Sandy, Sharon, and Randy, into their hearts and home. John was their biggest fan and supporter. He especially loved to play catch and hit softballs in the yard with them. John encouraged his children to participate in 4-H and helped them whenever he could. Over the years, the Vander Boon family was able to enjoy annual trips to Traverse City, where they could rent a cottage that would be the backdrop for many priceless memories. They enjoyed raising dogs of their own, and they often had several larger animals as well including sheep, goats, and horses. Later in life, John was thrilled to become a grandfather to Erik, Heather, Darci, Darren, and Kara. He adored his children and doted on them whenever he could. John always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
In order to provide for himself and his family, John built a very fulfilling career at Ada Beef. He worked as often as he needed to, even if it meant working in the early morning or late at night. John also attended livestock sales in the evening twice a week. Since he was close to the business, he was usually the first to be called if something needed to be taken care of at work. After Ada Beef closed, John began delivering auto parts for Roderdink Warehouse. He continued to work for RoWerdink for several years before retiring.
Never one to sit still for long, John pursued many hobbies to keep himself busy in his free time. He enjoyed chopping wood, both because it was a useful task and because it kept him in shape. John liked to hunt whenever he could, primarily locally at first but later took many trips out West with friends at his side. John also loved to fish and would recruit anyone and everyone to join him on Lake Michigan. He maintained a garden in the yard to grow vegetables. John remained an active member of his church. He volunteered there in many ways including picking up children for Sunday school and singing in the choir. John enjoyed interacting with people and liked to socialize with extended family, church members, and those he met through his work over the years. His love of music followed him throughout his entire life, and he often enjoyed going along with his brother-in-law to play music at various senior homes. John liked to golf for many years as well. Once his grandchildren came along, he began including them in all of his activities. John was always happiest when in the presence of those he loved.
When reflecting on the life of John Vander Boon, it is easy to see his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He was known to be generous and compassionate to all those he met, and he lived according to the faith that he held near and dear to his heart. Nothing brought John greater joy than spending time with children and grandchildren. He was a shining example of kindness and charity. Though he will be dearly missed, John leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.
John Vander Boon, age 94 of Ada, passed away August 25, 2022. John was preceded in death by his sisters and brothers Sarah Key, Lena Van Ravenswaay, Sybil VanVeldhuizen, Adriana Rozeboom, Johanna Vander Boon and Orie Vander Boon.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret; children Sandy Langerak, Sharon VanderBoon, Randy (Nancy) VanderBoon; grandchildren Erik (Abigail) Langerak, Heather (Russell) Dykema; Darci, Darren, Kara Vander Boon; great-grandchildren Lilliann, Annelise, North, and Wyatt Dykema; brothers and sisters, Pauline Groen, Ann Vlastuin, Connie (Ed) Brown, Marie (Gerritt) Rozeboom, Abe (Sandi) Vander Boon; sisters-in-law Jane Boluyt and Carol Averill; as well as many nieces and nephews
Friends are invited to visit with the family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van Strien Creston Chapel on Sunday from 2-4 & 7-9 PM. His funeral service will be on Monday, August 29 at 1:30 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Interment in Ada Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial contributions are suggested to either Rest Haven Homes or Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. To read more about his life, to share a memory or photo or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.