Friday, September 23, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
2929 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Visitation from 10 AM until start of the service.
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.
Volunteers in Service
PO Box 8215
Grand Rapids, MI 49518
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With unwavering faith in God's plan, Ronald James Overbeek lived a life rich in family and hope. He always found the good in every moment, embracing each day and person as a gift. Ron possessed a true servant's heart and went out of his way to be of service to others. Both obedient and steadfast, Ron believed everything happened for a reason; joys were enthusiastically celebrated, while hardships were met with confident faithfulness. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Ron modeled how to live a wholehearted life for all who were blessed to know him.
1945 was a year marked by much celebration and hope. With the victorious end of World War II, families tuned into the celebratory tunes of Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and the Andrews Sisters. At the same time, children delighted in the debut of the slinky. Nowhere was there greater promise for the future than in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of Marvin and Kathryn (VanWingen) Overbeek as they welcomed their son Ron on September 11.
Growing up on Widdicomb NW, Ron enjoyed the company of his older brother Robert and younger sister Marlene. His father owned Overbeek Sheet Metal, and his mother dedicated herself to managing the home and raising the children. Members of the Seventh Reformed church, faith was the cornerstone of the Overbeek family. Ron attended Harrison Park Elementary. He was a bit of a rebellious and mischievous kid who was never fond of school. As a teen, he worked at the sheet metal shop with his father and brother. After graduating from Union High in 1964, he began working at the shop full-time.
At the age of 22, upon seeing Judy Stowie walking down Leonard St., he declared, "I'm going to marry that girl." The pair began dating, and while cleaning windows of the home Ron purchased on Eagle St. NW, he suddenly disappeared. Little did Judy know that he had gone to her parents' home to ask for her hand. When he returned, he promptly proposed.
The couple married on February 6, 1970, at Westview Christian Reformed Church. After honeymooning at Niagara Falls, they returned to their new home and settled into married life. While Ron continued to work at the family business, Judy worked for Michigan National Bank. In 1973, they became parents when their daughter Jodi was born. Two years later, when son Chris arrived, their family was complete.
Though his children knew their dad needed to work a lot, they also came to know that when he was home, he was fully present. Ron delighted in fatherhood and worked hard with Judy to create a loving and supportive home for his kids. Fully engaged with them, he built ice rinks and forts and put a pool in the yard. The family often camped at Pioneer Park near Muskegon and later in Holland. Many family trips were made to Florida to visit with his parents, and an epic month-long trip to California was enjoyed with the Ludwick and Wolma families.
Ron modeled a strong work ethic firmly rooted in servanthood. Over time, his kids all worked at the shop, where they witnessed his leadership style. As he led by example, showing and teaching his kids to work hard. A perfectionist, Ron had a gift for details and eventually became the owner of the business his grandfather started.
He and Judy were members of Westview Christian Reformed Church, where Ron pioneered the Volunteers In Service (VIS) group. Ron preferred small groups over large crowds and started a bible club at AppleTree Estates. A man who mastered turning lemons into lemonade, he never complained. Regardless of the many trials he faced, professionally, medically, and financially, he always found the good. Even when he lost the business, he saw it as a way to spend more time with family, especially his grandkids. He was always available to help others with many different projects, Ron gave all he could.
Content with simple pleasures, Ron was not a fussy eater and never stepped foot in the kitchen. He loved ice cream, especially if it had hot fudge and a topping, and often stopped and picked up Sandy's Donuts to bring to the shop. When not at work, he liked working his yard, which was always immaculate. He loved being by the water and enjoyed the waves of Lake Michigan, watching TV and movies, and listening to WCSG. He liked to collect baseball cards with his son Chris and later with Judy, amassing over 300k cards! Without a doubt, Ron's grandkids were his heart's delight. He loved them with his whole heart and was exceptionally proud of them. Fondly called Papa or Grandpa, He liked playing LEGO with grandsons, joking around, and letting his granddaughters "take care" of him. He proudly attended the boys' soccer games and the girls' plays and sports. They made wonderful memories camping at Oakgrove Campground, sleeping overs, and his comic relief at the end of every prayer became a family legend.
Ron faced health struggles for over 20 years. Though debilitating, the challenges never broke his spirit. He never wavered in his faith that God had everything in control and everything happened for a reason; that was good enough for him. Ron was blessed to die in the comforts of his home with his family at his side. Though our time with Ron was too short, he left us with many treasured memories and the honor of carrying his legacy of faith, love, and hope forward.
Ronald James Overbeek, age 77, of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 14, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Kathryn Overbeek; brother, Robert Overbeek; In-laws, Conrad and Edna Stowie; brother-in-law, Asa Francis; and niece, Kristin Stowie. Ron is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judy Overbeek; children, Jodi (Brett) Kooistra and Chris (Heather) Overbeek; grandchildren, Jared and Andrew Kooistra, Leila, Livi and Lanie Overbeek. Also surviving are his sister, Marlene Overbeek; brother-in-law, Gary (Kathy) Stowie; sisters-in-law, Marcia Francis and Darlene Allen; many nieces and nephews; and numerous close friends. The funeral service will be held at Westview CRC, 2929 Leonard St NW, at 11 AM on Friday, September 23, 2022. The visitation will also take place at church on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM and one hour prior to the service on Friday. Contributions in his memory may be made to Volunteers In Service. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Ron's life story, submit a favorite memory or photo, or to sign the guestbook.