Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

William "Bill" Sturrus

November 21, 1930 - February 11, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI



Sunday, February 27, 2022
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Monday, February 28, 2022
10:00 AM EST
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Friends may visit at church beginning at 9 AM.



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.

West Side Christian School Educational Foundation
955 Westend NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Grandville Calvin Christian Foundation
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


Bill Sturrus was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. A strong believer in Jesus Christ from a young age, he lived his life as a wonderful example of accepting all people with compassion. A wise soul and gifted listener, Bill would guide others without giving advice or passing judgment. There is no doubt that he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

The year 1930 was significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. There was a promise of a new election year awaiting. On the 21st of November, Peter and Dena (Koch) Sturrus welcomed home the arrival of their newborn son, William Franklin, in Chicago Illinois. Born the youngest of three children, his birth brought great joy to his loving parents.

The first seven years of his life were spent in Chicago where his father was struggling as a local florist. Provided with an opportunity to work in the burial vault company business, his father moved to Michigan in 1935. Two years later, his young family joined him in a house near Ann and Coit Streets near downtown Grand Rapids. Bill spent a large majority of his adolescence along the Grand River. Bill learned the value of work from an early age, earning money carrying coal ashes for people to the local landfill. During those years, many were living on little, so spending time outdoors and enjoying the local parks were a favorite pastime. Bill was known to ride his bicycle everywhere including as far away as Townsend Park! He as well as each of his siblings worked at the vault company. His family were members of the 4th Reformed Church and taught them to value the beliefs of their faith. Bill attended Palmer Elementary and went on to Creston High School. In high school, Bill loved to sing as well as play the tuba. After graduation, he started at Calvin College before going to Davenport on Fulton Street.

Not to be forgotten was the meeting of Joan VandenBrink. The two of them were at a hymn sing when she caught his attention. They dated over the course of nine months before Bill romantically proposed. With a strong desire to serve his country, Bill left for basic training for the United States Army at the age of twenty. He was proud to serve on the west coast during the Korean era. When he was discharged, he and Joan married that summer in June of 1953. Bill returned to the family business and worked alongside his siblings. He loved the public relations side of the business, working with funeral directors and other professionals while at Grand Valley Concrete Products and Wilbert Burial Vault. His natural charm and attention to detail provided him with many strong relationships over the years. During his career, Bill never needed a Rolodex, as he had built so many connections throughout the community. Even as he moved up to become an owner of the family business, he never lost sight of the importance of being generous with his staff and often supported them in times of need.

As a family, they created many fond memories on Rosalie NW. Their family grew to include four wonderful children that were the apple of his eye! Although he worked many long hours, the children never missed the opportunity to meet him at the end of the street on their bikes on his way home from work. Bill would put the bikes in the back of his truck and bring everyone back home for supper! He made them sandboxes in the backyard and did his best to squeeze in quality time by picnicking at the local county parks. He had a natural way with his kids and was rarely stern with them. Bill believed that any sign of disappointment was punishment enough. He and Joan instilled in their children Christian values and were charter members of Remembrance Church before becoming longtime members of Westview Christian Reformed Church. Dedicated to Christian education, Bill gave much of his time and resources to help West Side Christian, making good use of his contacts to get projects completed. A true testament of his faith, Bill carried a stone in his pocket as a daily reminder to never throw stones or cast judgment on others. As a result, he lived his life as a quiet helper and supporter for many.

Always active and on the go, Bill never really settled down. He found that he was not good at retirement and continued to work. He filled his days with visits with his grandkids and enjoyed taking them to the Choo Choo Restaurant. He and Joan enjoyed a few winter weeks in Florida and for many years spent a couple of weeks in Aruba as well. When Joan passed away in January of 2018, Bill felt lost. Leaning on the support of his many special friends and family, he kept involved at work and enjoyed going out to eat and attending his grandkid’s special events. Bill lived an abundant life and selflessly gave to others in need. May his loved ones never doubt the immense love he had for them and may his rich collection of memories live on eternally in their hearts forever.

William “Bill” F. Sturrus, age 91 of Grand Rapids, MI went home to be with his Lord and Savior on February 11, 2022. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; brother, Peter; and sister, Margaret Zaboukos.

Bill is survived by his children, Janice & Paul Braman, Julie & Bob Gingrich, Dave & Nancy Sturrus, Todd & Jane Sturrus; grandchildren Derek (Melissa) Braman, Joel (Becky) Braman, Kristen (Keyur Parikh) Braman, Bob (Amber) Gingrich, Jessalyn Gingrich, Mandy (Mike) Hollebeek, Amy Sturrus, Luke (Abby) Sturrus, Eric (Kristin) Sturrus, Kelly (Josh) George, Brad (Lauren) Sturrus; 20 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Barb Sturrus, Carol Heuvelman and Shirley VandenBrink and many nieces and nephews.

The service to remember and celebrate Bill’s life will be held on Monday, February 28 at 10 AM at Westview Christian Reformed Church where friends are invited to visit with his family on Sunday, February 27 from 4-7 PM and on Monday, February 28 from 9 AM until 9:45 AM.

For those who wish, memorial contributions to either West Side Christian School Foundation or Calvin Christian School Foundation are appreciated. To share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com