Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Vern Gort

September 11, 1941 - January 5, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, January 14, 2022
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613
Driving Directions


Saturday, January 15, 2022
11:00 AM EST
Live Stream
Riverside Christian Reformed Church
602 Comstock Blvd NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505


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


Vernon Leroy Gort was born September 11, 1941 to Robert and Angie Gort (Hoogeveen). He was the oldest of 4 children. He had 3 sisters, Janice, Erna and Arlys. He lived in Prinsburg, MN where he attended Central Minnesota Christian Elementary, Middle and High School where he graduated in 1959.

While growing up in his middle and high school years Vern helped his parents in The Prinsburg Creamery and worked at several of his Uncles’ farms doing laborer work. Vern worked for Berghuis Road Construction after high school graduation and all the summers through going through college as a general laborer.

After graduating from high school, he went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan to further his education. He graduated from Calvin College in 1963 with a Bachelor Degree in Education. A few years later he graduated with his masters in Education and Counseling from Western Michigan University. After graduating he stayed in Grand Rapids and started his teaching career at Stocking Elementary. That is where Vern met his love of his life, Elaine Tishler. He taught at Forest Hills Public Schools for 40 years. He was a tough teacher who expected the best out of every student he had.

On December 21, 1963 Vern and Elaine were married at Riverside Christian Reformed Church. They were blessed with three daughters, Lisa Beth, Amy Lynne, and Sheri Renee.

Vern was a quiet and selfless man. His faith and family meant the most to him. Vern and Elaine were married for 58 years. He always put Elaine and his girls first. He would do anything for his girls. Whenever the daughters would visit, Vern would make sure he had all of his girls' favorites.

In December of 1998, he became a grandpa to his grandson, Justin. He was not sure what to do when he had a grandson. His whole life he was always surrounded by women since he had 3 sisters and 3 daughters. Four years later, Kirstin Rose was born and five years later Ella Rose came into the world. He loved his grandchildren so very much. He supported them in whatever they did. His face would light up anytime the grandchildren were around.

Vern was a man of faith. “Well done, good and faithful servant!” is the best verse that would describe Vern. Every morning he would read the Bible, praying for his family and always making time for His Heavenly Father. Vern and Elaine were members of Riverside Christian Reformed church since 1963. He was very involved at church. He was a deacon for many years. After retiring, he would stop at church every day to do anything from changing the sign at church to starting the recycling program. Every Sunday, Vern would always have lifesavers in his pockets to pass out to the little ones at church. That brought him so much joy.

Vern loved sports. Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Viking were his favorite. The annual Lions vs.Vikings game was always a family favorite. The friendly family rivalry would be constant all year long. He loved to collect coins, stamps and beanie babies. His favorite thing was collecting basketball cards and sharing the joy of that with his grandson, Justin.

Vern Gort passed away on January 5, 2022.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine; their children Amy (Frederick) Schwietzer, Sheri (Mark) Larva; grandchildren Justin and Kirstin Schweitzer, Ella Larva; sisters Janice Smith, Erna (Gary) Fedders, Arlys (Kenneth) Westra; sister-in-law Emily (John) Kerekes; several nieces and nephews as well as Lisa's dear family: Kim Johns and her children Sebastion and Maddison. Vern was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Angie (Hoogeveen) Gort; daughter, Lisa Gort; parents-in-law Elmer and Ruth (Landa) Tishler and brother-in-law Roger Smith. His funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 11 AM at Riverside Christian Reformed Church, 602 Comstock Blvd NE. Friends are invited to visit with Vern's family on Friday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery.