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Covenant Living of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund
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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Marvin Koets, 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 those around him. Nothing brought Marvin greater joy than spending time with his loved ones. His faith formed the foundation of his life, and he faced challenges head-on with a sense of determination. Deeply loved, Marvin will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
The 1930s are remembered as a time of great struggle for the United States as the Great Depression gripped the nation in a chokehold. Many families across the country demonstrated their resilience as they worked to overcome adversity. It was during this trying time that Marinus and Annette VandenBerg of Grand Rapids, Michigan, were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first child. On October 19, 1933, their wait was over, and they welcomed their son, who they named Marvin John, into the world.
Growing up, Marvin was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home on Powers Street on the NW side of Grand Rapids alongside his three younger brothers, Ronald, Larry, and David. Throughout Marvin’s childhood, the Koets family attended Twelfth Street Christian Reformed Church, where he built the foundation of the faith that would go on to serve him well for his entire life. He attended local schools, including West Side Christian and Grand Rapids Christian. After graduating from high school, Marvin began attending Calvin College, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Marvin as he met the woman who would soon become the love of his life. Her name was Joyce Veltman, and the two first met while they were working at Waalkes Grocery Store on Leonard Street, Marvin as a bag boy and Joyce as a cashier. There was an instant spark between them, and their relationship soon blossomed into something truly special.
Marvin spent one year pursuing further education at Calvin College before leaving home to serve his country in the United States Army. He was stationed in Panama for a time, where he trained as a radio man. Marvin expected that he would be deployed to Korea, which had a high mortality rate. Thankfully, he was discharged and was able to return home. He and Joyce married in 1956. Marv continued furthering his education at Calvin College and earned a degree in education.
All who knew Marvin can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. Together, he and Joyce were overjoyed to welcome their three children, Judy, Joy, and Mark, into their hearts and home. Marvin thrived in his role as a father. His children were his first priority, and he would usually commute to work far from his home in order to spend more time with his family. Later in life, Marvin was overjoyed to become a grandfather and even a great-grandfather. He always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Marvin was never afraid to work hard in order to provide for himself and his family. He started his career teaching at Walker Station, a one-room schoolhouse. After earning his master’s degree from Michigan State University, Marvin went on to become superintendent for the Kenowa Hills School District, a position he held with pride. He also served in the Lincoln Consolidated District near Milan, Michigan, before spending the rest of his career in Okemos, Michigan. Even after retiring, Marvin remained involved in his community. He was a member of the Kent County Board of Mental Health, and he served as liaison at Calvin College while the bridge over the East Beltline was being developed. No matter where he was working, Marvin was a confident leader and a devoted member of his community.
Never one to sit still for long, Marvin pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He and his family were longtime members of Westview Christian Reformed Church. Marvin had a lifelong love of traveling, and in his retirement, he and Joyce were able to travel the world. Over the years, they visited locations like Israel, Alaska, and various European countries. During the summer, Marvin enjoyed boating and spending time on the water. Many family memories were formed on Summer’s Dream, which was stored in Spring Lake.
As family and friends can certainly attest, Marvin Koets truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Marvin was a friend to many and beloved by all. His primary focus in life was forming deep and personal relationships with those around him, and he was dedicated to serving his community in any way possible. Though he will be dearly missed, Marvin leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones were proud to carry on in his footsteps.
Marvin John Koets, age 90, went to his heavenly home January 10, 2024. Marvin was born on October 19, 1933 in Grand Rapids. He was preceded in death by his parents Marinus and Annette (VandenBerg) Koets; daughter, Judy; his brother, Ronald; brother-in-law and sisters-in-laws Ruthann Koets, Mary Koets, Donna Westra, and Jay (Alberta) Veltman. Marv is survived by his wife, Joyce; children Joy (Carl) Oosterhouse of Grand Rapids, and Mark (Sara) Koets of Grandville; grandchildren: Andrew (Andrea) Oosterhouse, Emily Oosterhouse, Melissa (Kip) Drewry, Michael (Vani) Koets, Jenna (Derek) VanSpronsen, Kelly Koets, Whitney (Christian) Faber; 11 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law Larry & Barb Koets, David Koets and Kathy Koets; brother-in-law Tom Westra; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Marv’s funeral service will be held at 1 PM on Monday, January 15, 2024 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with his family on Sunday from 2-4 PM. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Covenant Living of the Great Lakes Benevolent Care Fund are appreciated. To read more about Marv, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com