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.
Ruby Creek Disabled Veterans Hunt Club
7980 E. Washington
Branch, MI 49402
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Rodney Rosema, it is easy to see that he touched the lives of so many others. He was an amazing listener and so supportive, and there was nothing like one of his stories. Rod was deeply devoted to his loved ones, and he was so thrilled to become a grandfather later in life. As his family and friends can attest, he was the eternal optimist no matter what came his way. Life will never be the same without Rod here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused on WWII overseas, but with the end of the war in 1945 a new page had been turned. The days that followed were days of great excitement as manufacturing was no longer needed to support the war effort and the baby boom was underway. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great excitement in the lives of Henry and Francis (Yonkman) Rosema as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Rodney Lee on September 3, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan. The oldest of six children, he was joined in his family by his siblings, Doreen, Tim, Randy, Danny, and Teddy. Rod’s father was a builder/carpenter, while his mother was a busy homemaker. While living on Jackson Hill in Muskegon they attended 5th Reformed Church, and later moved to Twin Lake where they lived in a log home and created many a memory.
Rod’s childhood has been described as a Huck Finn adventure. He loved motorcycles, hunting, and fishing, and they also raised rabbits. All the boys were taught a different skill in which they could contribute to their dad’s business, and once they were old enough they joined together to build houses, each contributing their specific talent. They didn’t have money for family vacations, but they did do some camping, hunting, fishing, and the holidays were always a special time. When he was 12, Rod ran away from home with his fishing pole and bike, but when his father found out, he lovingly encouraged Rod to come home. He attended Christian grade school and went on to graduate from Reeths-Puffer High School where he played baseball and ran track.
After graduating in 1965, Rod enlisted in the Army before he could be drafted. He served from 1967 through 1968, and he attended non-commissioned officer (NCO) academy in Texas before arriving in Vietnam, which was on the first day of the TET Offensive . When his platoon was asked if anyone there knew how to build stuff, Rod stepped forward. He was then immediately put in charge of a building crew and built landing strips etc. during his time there.
Throughout his life Rod was known for his commitment to hard work. He started out at the age of 12 catching and selling turtles to Woolworths Dime Store. He was fired from that job because during a delivery he sold a little girl a turtle for 25 cents less than Woolworth’s price as she only had 50 cents. He began his adult working life as a Journeyman carpenter, was grandfathered in as a Licensed Social Worker and worked for many years as a drug abuse and alcoholism counselor for county mental health. The remainder of Rod’s career was spent working for the United States Post Service. Before retiring as a Postmaster at the Kent City Post Office in 2005, Rod spent many years counseling in the Employee assistance Program. He also served as president of the Post Masters Association and ran security checks for the FFA. After retiring, Rod continued by sharing his carpenter skills with family and friends.
There was never anything of greater significance in Rod’s life than his loved ones. He was blessed to become a father to Michael and Matthew. New and exciting days were in store for Rod when he met Sue, the woman of his dreams. It was a set up by one of her heart patients. He skipped and whistled back to his car. She knew he liked her. Three months later he proposed while she was climbing down from a tree stand while hunting in the U.P. They were married on February 14, 1991, at Faith United Methodist Church. After a honeymoon in Charlevoix, the newlyweds made their home on 6th Street in Grand Rapids. Later in life Rod was filled with great joy to become a grandfather, and he was an active part of his grandchildren’s lives. He was a great teacher and loved spending quality time “camping” (in a beautiful 5th Wheel) and fishing at the “Ponderosema.” The goal for every kid he took fishing was to catch the “monster bass” (MOSSYBACK)! Every time a fish would break the line and get away, he would say, “oh, there goes Mossyback!!!”
A man of many interests, Rod was someone who always kept busy. He loved to cook, smoke meat, and was a sushi chef extraordinaire. Rod hosted his own sushi parties at home, at the homes of friends, and family, as well as at the firehouse for his son and coworkers. He loved to make it, teach others to make it, and tell stories to go along with it. An outdoor lover through and through, Rod loved camping, hunting, and fishing. He also taught many how to fish or shoot a bow and gun over the years as he was an expert marksman. Rod volunteered/participated in the Ruby Creek Disabled Veterans Hunt, providing opportunities for disabled veterans to deer hunt. He was very a talented guy and could build anything. In fact, he even had the ability to see something before it was made as he could envision the finished product. Rod frequently took on projects for family and friends, including remodeling, building decks, and even home additions, some of which he did free of charge. He would travel to wherever the project was to happen, NYC, HJ, IL, JC, and TX. Rod’s most prized possessions were his ’72 Corvette, Airstream campers that he had restored himself, his pontoon boat, 5th wheel, and of course, his hunting and fishing equipment. Oh, and his many, many tools!!!!
All who knew Rod Rosema would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He gave sound advice and could always figure out how to solve any problem. Rod was the eternal optimist who always lived life to the fullest. His motto was, “LIFE IS GOOD!” He was an amazing family man and was so much fun to be around. Dearly loved, Rod will be forever missed.
ROSEMA, Rodney Lee
Grand Rapids, MI
Loving husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away November 13, 2018. Rod was born September 3, 1947 to the late Henry & Francis (Yonkman) Rosema in Muskegon, MI. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Danny & Teddy Rosema; and son Matthew Rosema, sister-in-law Cindy Kowroski, in-laws Bruce & Maria Mac Kellar. . Rod served in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He was a gifted journeyman carpenter, licensed social worker, drug abuse & alcoholism counselor, and post master for the U.S. Post Office. Rod will be remembered for his passion for everything outdoors, hunting, fishing and, above all, his optimistic outlook, “LIFE IS GOOD”. Surviving are his wife of 28 years, Susan; son Michael (Megan) Rosema of Hesperia; step children, Travis (Missy) Porter of Grandville, Leah (Josh) Kurlenda of Grand Rapids; grandchildren, Michaela Rosema, Eric Rosema, Hunter Rosema, Andrew Rosema, Henry Rosema, Drake Porter, Julianna Porter, Chloe Kurlenda. Also surviving are siblings, Timothy (Gayle) Rosema of Muskegon, Doreen (Vern Rake) Ringleberg of Fruitport, Randy Rosema of Walhalla; brothers in law, Max (Nancy) Mac Kellar of Grand Rapids, David (Kerry Briske) Mac Kellar of Caledonia; brother-in-law Bob (Lillian) Kowroski, many nieces and nephews; close friend, Harold & Fran Dulin of Hesperia; unofficial adoptive children and grandchildren, Abbey, Purush, Sushruth & Taarini; and faithful dog, Lucy. A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 17 at 11 AM at Faith United Methodist Church, 2600 7th Street NW. Friends may visit with family on Friday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and beginning at 10 AM at church. Memorials may be made to Ruby Creek Disabled Veterans Hunt Club. Please visit Rod's personal web page to read more of his life story, leave a memory or condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.