Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Patricia Van't Hof-Hooper

February 3, 1928 - August 25, 2020
Grand Rapids, MI



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.

Tri-Cities Garden Club
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


Vibrant and full of love for all people, Pat Van’t Hof-Hooper lived her life to the fullest. Her colorful personality was reflected in her favorite place; her Grand Haven cottage adorned with bright pinks and blues, custom ordered yellow toilets, and pastel carpeting in every bedroom! Pat modeled a lifetime of service and dedication to the community she loved. She will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Born on February 3, 1928, in New York, New York the only child to Paul and Ellen (Heaney) Cappel, her birth brought great hope and promise during an exciting time in our nation’s history. The 1920s saw large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. Pat arrived at the height of the Roaring Twenties, yet never forgot the impact of the Great Depression during her growing up years.

Growing up, Pat was raised by her grandparents in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She shared many happy memories with them vacationing at their family cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan at 3 Grandview Avenue in Grand Haven. From an early age, Pat fell in love with the beach and enjoyed spending countless hours swimming and sunbathing. She met the love of her life, Ken Van’t Hof when she was a sophomore at Grand Rapids Central High School. They were high school sweethearts and continued dating and writing letters including poetry while Ken was sent off to serve in the Navy during World War II. Pat’s love of poetry started during these years and continued on well into adulthood. She graduated with the Class of 1945 and pursued higher education from Western Michigan University with a degree in teaching in 1949. She later received her Master’s in Education from the University of Michigan in 1953. Education was an important part of her life.

She and Ken joined in marriage in August 1951 at the First Methodist Church in Grand Rapids and honeymooned at Niagara Falls before settling into their home at 1809 Alten Street. An avid painter herself, Pat loved that the street was named after Mathius Alten, a famous painter. They eventually moved to their second home on Chelsea Rd. in Grand Rapids and shared many happy years together in this home. Together they raised two wonderful children; William and Christie. As a mother, Pat was very loving and raised her children to be independent. A hard working teacher as well as professor, she instilled in them the value of education during their growing years. Ken was a public school administrator so Bill and Christie were accustomed to the dedication of their parents who created a lasting impression on countless lives over the years. As a family, they continued their vacations to Lake Michigan as well as multiple trips back to New York City to visit Pat’s mother. After the children were grown and on their own, she and Ken loved to socialize with a large group of their close friends known as, The Happy 10. Not only did they enjoy entertaining and dining out, they also traveled extensively together over the years. Pat and Ken enjoyed visiting Hawaii and California and she also traveled to Turkey, Greece, and Italy with her church groups. Pat also savored a memorable trip to Lake Como, Italy with her painting group.

Sadly, she and Ken endured an incredible loss in 1990 when their daughter, Christie was killed in a tragic boating accident. They leaned on one another during this difficult time. Just three years later, Ken passed away. Pat leaned on her strong faith community and family to see her through her grief. She also continued her active involvement with the many area organizations she belonged to as well as spent time healing at her cottage in Grand Haven over the years. Eventually, Pat became close to a widower, Jim Hooper, who lived near her cottage in Grand Haven. Sharing many commonalities, they joined in marriage in September of 1998. Pat embraced his three sons; James, David, and Phil. The happy couple honeymooned in England and settled together in her Grand Haven home. They enjoyed sharing many special memories with their children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends.

As her health declined, Pat found a wonderful community of caring helpers and new friends at the Grand Pines Assisted Living Center and was simply adored by the staff! They tenderly cared for her as she peacefully transitioned and passed away. Her dedication to the countless lives she touched as a professional educator were an inspiration as well as her ability to accept life’s deepest hardships and never waver in her joyful and optimistic outlook on life. May her loved ones find comfort in knowing that she loved them unconditionally and may her warm memories be eternal.

Patricia “Pat” Anne Van’t Hof-Hooper, age 92, of Grand Haven, MI went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, August 25, 2020. She was born in New York, New York in 1928 to the late Paul and Jean Cappel. Along with her parents, Pat is preceded in death by her first husband Kenneth W. Van’t Hof, their daughter, Christie Jean Van’t Hof and her second husband, James Hooper. She is survived by her son, William “Bill” (Michele) Van’t Hof and grandchildren; Kenneth L. and Laurel Van’t Hof all of Park City, Utah. Also surviving are stepsons; James (Sylvia), David and Phil (Judy) Hooper; three step grandchildren; Jamie, Hiedi, and Gretchen Hooper, as well as many cherished nieces, nephews and dear friends. Pat was a Western Michigan University graduate and had continued her education receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan. She was a dedicated and committed teacher for the Grand Rapids Public Schools as well as as a professor at Central Michigan University. Pat had been a member of both Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, MI and the United Methodist Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven, MI. A talented gardener, she received praise and acknowledgment for her beautiful roses and had been a long time member and President of the Tri-Cities Garden Club. Pat was also very artistic and was a gifted painter. She was an active member of the Charles A. Conklin American Legion Auxiliary, Post 28 Grand Haven, Michigan. Due to current COVID -19 restrictions in place, Pat will be laid to rest next to Kenneth and their daughter Christie at a private graveside service in Lake Forest Cemetery, Grand Haven, MI. Please consider making a memorial contribution in Pat’s memory to the: Tri-Cities Garden Club, https://tricitiesgardenclub.org/ Visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.