Friday, September 23, 2022
1:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
There will be an extended time of gathering immediately following 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.
The Michael J Fox Foundation - Grand Central Station
PO Box 4777
New York, NY 10163
Donation form available on the website.
Life Story / Obituary
Determined as well as hard-working, Bill Brouwers was a genuine person through and through. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many, he savored the time he spent with his growing family over the years. Bill lived his life to the fullest by working hard to provide for the family he loved. He loved all people and had a special way of making others feel loved in his presence. Social and outgoing, his sense of humor was contagious. Along with the many pranks!!!
Willem Albert Peter was born to Peter and Jean (Baas) Brouwers on April 23rd in Neder-Hardinxveld, Netherlands. The firstborn in a family of five, his childhood was filled with many memorable moments.
Bill lived a childhood filled with many new experiences. He immigrated to the United States in his early elementary years and changed his name to William. His family settled in Grand Rapids where his cousins had already been established. He and his siblings all attended local Christian schools. Bill was social by nature and made friends easily. During his high school years at Grand Rapids Christian, he supplemented the family income by working at a local grocery store.
After school, he set off for Calvin College. Bill always put forth his best in whatever he put his mind to do and ended up working for Richardson Business Machines for several years. Later, he landed a real estate job and fell in love with the profession. He started out at Coldwell Banker, then Re/Max-Sunquest, before working with Five Star Real Estate. Passionate about people, he enjoyed supporting a wide variety of clients and helping to meet their needs.
Bill was a wonderful dad to his daughters, Kelly and Jenny. He enjoyed hosting their friends over and was fortunate to transport them around town to their special functions and engagements over the years. Bill was easy-going and always supportive. He encouraged their education and enjoyed taking them to the Blanford Nature Center and canoeing down the Rogue River. An avid photographer, he captured many of their memories in film. Being a dad was one of his greatest joys.
One day at the East Town Deli, he was introduced to Leslie Ranney who would change the course of his life forever! She agreed to accompany him to a local Blues concert and the rest was history! The happy couple married on July 23, 1994, and took a romantic honeymoon to Barbados. Bill, Leslie, Kelly , Jenny settled down in Forest Hills. After the girls moved off to college and moved out to live on their own, Bill and Leslie later moved to Rockford. Bill and Leslie adopted their daughter, Ellie, from China. Later, their daughter, Sophie, who completed their family.
As a family, they enjoyed many special memories. They enjoyed vacationing in many popular destinations in Michigan including Sleeping Bear Dunes and Glen Arbor. A strong provider, he was motivated to give his family the best. He instilled in his children the same strong work ethic. When he wasn’t busy he enjoyed being outside. They had a trail around their house as well as a pond that Bill had built. He played an active role in his kids’ lives and any time he was surrounded by them cheering him on he was happy!
Bill held a vast array of special interests over the years. He was a music fan and enjoyed a broad mix, from Meat Loaf to classical. He never grew tired of attending the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas Concerts each year. A highlight of his adventures was the many trips he took to scuba dive around the world. He even kept a journal of his dives and the wildlife he saw on trips. An avid reader, he loved to read books on history or biographies. When it came to sports, he was a diehard University of Michigan Wolverines fan and attended their football games each season. Bill was delighted to become a grandpa and absolutely loved his grand kids. He was always there to guide his family and share words of wisdom and affirmation.
Sadly, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease many years ago. Bill approached the news with great determination to live his life to the fullest. Never one to complain, he always looked on the bright side of life. Over recent years, he built a wonderful bond with his caregiver, Dawn Robinson, as well as his special friends, Steve Lane and Craig Reinke, who faithfully showed up for him. Despite his many successes, his family was most important to him. Blessed to touch the lives of many, there is no doubt that Bill left a lasting impression on all who knew and loved him. May his generosity live on in the lives of his loved ones and may they always feel his presence whenever they are gathered together.
William Brouwers, “Bill”, age 74, of Rockford, MI, passed away at his home on August 12, 2022, after dealing with Parkinson’s for many years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Jean Brouwers. Bill is survived by his wife, Leslie; children Kelly (Chris) Klavins, Jenny (Paul) VanTubbergen, Ellie and Sophie Brouwers; grandchildren, Colette and Charlotte Klavins; step-sons; David and Jonathan Howitt; siblings Ann Kloostra, Sue VanHeest, Gerald (Joyce) Brouwers, and Gina (Andy Lustey) Brouwers; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Lee (Georgiann) Ranney, Joe (Debbie) Ranney, Michael (Janet) Ranney; as well as nieces, nephews, and many friends. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, September 23 at 1 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. A time to visit with Bill's family will follow the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Michael J. Fox Foundation are appreciated. To share a memory or photo, sign the guestbook, and to find service information, visit www.heritagelifestory.com