Life Story / Obituary
Kenneth John Haan was the fourth of five children born to John and Sena (Hofstra) Haan in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Along with his siblings, Gilbert, Mona, Harold, and Geraldine, he was raised at 1139 Fremont on the west side of Grand Rapids. His brother Gilbert died as a young boy of five. His father worked as a cement mason while his mother was a homemaker who also worked as a seamstress. His father died when Ken was just 17. Ken loved fishing as a boy, and this continued into adulthood and was a true passion for him. He and his family were members of Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Ken attended West Side Christian Elementary School and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 1941. He worked in Ypsilanti at a Willow Run plant during the war until he was inducted in the United States Army in 1943. He served in the Philippines and South Pacific until he was discharged on January 28, 1946.
Life was forever changed for Ken when he met the love of his life. Her name was Ruth Vogel, and they met as teens while ice skating on Richmond Park pond. They were married on March 21,1946, at Seventh Reformed Church and then took a honeymoon to Niagara Falls. The newlyweds initially lived with his mother and then rented a home at 1447 Pine Street NW until their new home was built at 1540 Pine St. NW where they lived for 52 years. This is where they raised their four children, Linda, Kenneth, Terry, and Kim. As a family they were members of Alpine Avenue CRC. They enjoyed vacations up north and at a cottage on Wolf Lake and Hart Lake. His dear mother and brother Harold took vacations with the family. Ken deeply loved his family, including the grandchildren and great-grandchildren he was blessed with.
Throughout his life Ken was a good provider and hard worker. He worked at Kelvinator, then at an egg company, and then spent more than 40 years working at American Seating until retiring. Ken also worked several part-time jobs in order to enable his children to attend Christian school. He loved fishing whenever he could, mostly for trout, with Pere Marquette and the Grand River being among his favorites. He spent many happy weekends and vacations with his sons fly fishing. Ken also liked pheasant and grouse hunting. An avid Cubs fan all his life, Ken greatly enjoyed the 2016 World Series Championship when he was 93. He was also an avid Michigan fan.
After retirement, Ken and Ruth spent their Aprils on Anna Maria Island where he fished in the Gulf. During their later years they moved to a condo in Grandville. He lost his wife, Ruth, in late October of 2013. The remainder of his life was spent at Oakcrest/American House Assisted Living Center, supported by his faith and his family.
Ken was a quiet but smart, humorous, loving and loyal person to all who knew him. He lived a life of commitment and could always be depended on. His faith sustained him through all of his days. His life was a blessing to many, and he will be greatly missed.
Kenneth J. Haan, aged 95 of Georgetown Township, passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Haan, his sister, Mona (Charles) Olds, brothers, Gilbert Haan and Harold Haan, and brothers-in-law, Raymond Hoezee and Raymond Rinzema. He is survived by his children, Linda (Ron) Overbeek, Kenneth (Joan) Haan, Terry (Kathy) Haan, Kimberly (Mark) Bergsma; 17 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren; his sister, Geraldine Hoezee; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill (Donna) Vogel and Mary Jane Rinzema; many nieces, nephews and friends. Ken was a longtime member of Richmond Reformed Church. He honorably served his country in the US Army during World War II. He retired from American Seating Co. where he worked for over 40 years. The family would like to thank the staff of Oak Crest/American House and Spectrum Hospice for the love and care extended to Ken and his family these past years. A service to celebrate Ken’s life will be held on Monday November 12 at 11:00 am at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the funeral home on Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, and again on Monday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. Contributions in his memory may be made to Spectrum Hospice. To read more about Ken’s life, to sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com