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.
Resthaven Care Center
948 Washington Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Keystone Palliative Care
270 Hoover Blvd
Holland, MI 49423
Senior Resources of West Michigan
560 Seminole Rd
Norton Shores, MI 49444
Life Story / Obituary
Charles Edward “Chuck” Rich of Holland, Michigan passed away December 28, 2023 at the age of 89.
Born February 15, 1934, to Charles Loase Rich and the former Gertrude Eloise Veeder, Chuck attended Holland Public Schools where he played cornet in the band. As a teen, he was a pioneer in amateur or “ham” radio, even rigging a ham radio and antenna on his bicycle at the age of 17.
In 1952, at age 18, he organized the Holland area’s civilian plane spotting program under the U.S. Air Force volunteer Ground Observation Corps program during the Korean War.
In 1953, he married Grace Virginia Lehigh. They had five children: Craig, David, Debra, Lisa, and Sandra.
He reorganized the Holland Amateur Radio Club at his home on West 22nd street in 1954. He served as president of that group numerous times over the next 60 years while often publishing their newsletter and teaching Morse Code.
By 1960, he owned Rich Television and Radio at 10th & Maple in Holland, followed by stints as a disc jockey and newsman at several radio stations in West Michigan and Pennsylvania. In the mid-1960s, he owned Rich TV & Electronics at Washington Square after which he started RAMCO (Rich Assembly & Manufacturing Company) in Zeeland.
In 1971, the Federal Communications Commission granted Chuck a commercial FM Radio Station license and he founded WZND Radio, a station that served Zeeland and Holland until the end of 1986. His son Craig and daughter Debbie also were radio personalities at “Super-ZND”. In the early 1980s, Chuck resurrected the Rollarena Skating Rink on South Washington Avenue in Holland, where he had worked and skated as a teen.
At the end of 1986, he and his partners sold the radio station, and he eventually went into real estate with Westdale Better Homes and Gardens. After retirement, Chuck operated a videography service. He retired from video work in 2016 at age 82 as the early effects of Alzheimer’s made it difficult to work.
Chuck is survived by his wife Marie (Meeuwsen) (Bradford) Rich, as well as his first wife and mother of his children, Grace (Lehigh) (Rich) Chase of Holland. Also surviving are his sons Craig Robert Rich (Vickie) of Holland, David Brian Rich of Holland, daughters Lisa Jo Schley (Kendall) of Warren, MI, and Sandra Kaye Fuder (Brian) of Holland, as well as ten grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and sister, Mary Kathryn Rich . He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Debra Lynn (Rich) Serna.
Chuck was a long-time member of Rose Park Baptist Church in Holland, Michigan.
Gifts in memory of Chuck may be given to the following nonprofits: Hospice of Holland, Resthaven Care Center, Keystone Palliative, or Senior Resources of West Michigan -- all of which provided exemplary services in Chuck’s final year.
Services will be held on January 2nd at 12:00 Noon at the Mulder Chapel of Dykstra Funeral Home preceded by at one-hour visitation beginning at 11:00 AM also at the chapel. A light luncheon will follow. Burial at Restlawn Memorial Gardens.