Life Story / Obituary
All who knew David Voshel would agree that no one who met him left unchanged. He was generous and kindhearted with a life that exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. A loving husband and devoted father, David was filled with unspeakable joy to spend every moment he could with his family that grew to include the most amazing people. A longtime member of his community, he was the sort of person everyone seemed to know. Even when traveling he brought the world around him to life. Although life will never be the same without David here, he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
It seems only fitting that David’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1950s when televisions were becoming part of our homes, James Dean made young girls swoon on the silver screen, and Elvis Presley took the music world by storm. It was just as the warmth of summer was unfolding in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June of 1951, that Lloyd and Doris (Van Dam) Voshel were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby. Their wait was over on June 13th when the baby boy they named David Alan drew his first breath on June 13th. He was raised in the family home in East Grand Rapids alongside his younger sister, Anne. David’s days were often spent playing with neighborhood kids as they often rode bikes and just managed to find mischief of some kind.
In many ways David was a young boy of his generation. According to his sister, he was tall, handsome, and cool - a cross between being a wild child and kind. Because his mom was often working, she taught him how to drive when he was just 13 so that he could help with the family errands including driving his sister where she needed to go. Luckily, Dave was tall so he fit the part. It was always their little secret, but this early exposure to driving could have been behind his lifelong love for all things cars. He even “drove the circuit” with his friends in the car on Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Grand Rapids. It was something to remember the couple of times that David let his little sister come along! It has also been said that he took up drag racing at one point, but in order to keep him safe David’s mother insisted that he go to a track rather than take to the streets! As a young man he was very proud of his firebird. It was while growing up that David became a sports enthusiast for all the Detroit teams, especially the Tigers. He enjoyed playing tennis and attended East Grand Rapids Schools.
After graduating from high school, David attended Grand Valley State University for one year before entering the workforce. He made a career working in manufacturing at Hart & Cooley for 25 years before retiring in 1999.
Life was forever changed for David when he met the young woman of his dreams in the early 1970s. Her name was Mary Ellen, and they had actually been in the same Bible group but it wasn’t until they were set up on a blind date by a friend that the sparks flew. David and Mary Ellen began dating, and 11 months later they were married. For the rest of his life he considered his wedding day to be the best day of his life as Mary Ellen was both his best friend and the love of his life. Mary Ellen’s brother Mike and sister-in law Bonnie were in their wedding, and this marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship that included years of numerous travel adventures together. The newlyweds honeymooned at a family home on Lake Michigan. Together they welcomed two children, Scott and Heather, into their hearts and home.
Throughout his life, David loved being with his family and was very involved in his children's lives. He shared his love for sports with them, coaching Scott's little league teams and he loved watching the Tigers with them. David was so loyal to his teams no matter what kind of season they were having. Family movie nights were another time he looked forward to, and an annual favorite was Christmas Vacation. After retiring, David and Mary Ellen spent 12 years traveling with Mary Ellen’s brother and his wife. They officially become snowbirds as they spent winter months in Florida or Texas, staying in waterfront condos or travel trailers. So many precious memories were made during this time. Every year, the family spent a week at Thayer Lake in Northern Michigan when days were spent lounging near the water and nights were spent sharing funny stories around the campfire. Sundays often found David and Mary Ellen on scenic drives.
In addition to spending time with his family, David kept busy with other interests as well. He looked forward to his weekly breakfasts with his friend, Ron, which were often spent at the Windmill Restaurant in downtown Holland. David was involved with Faith Christian Center for over 25 years, serving as a deacon for a time. He was a supporter of Missionary Encouragers, and he also shared his faith with others through his love for Christian music. He created an incredible entertainment system in his home where he could share his love for music with others. For many years, he enjoyed attending Christian music concerts with his family. During his younger years he enjoyed riding dirt bikes with Mike, and who could forget when they ended up stuck in the mess someone created when emptying their septic truck illegally! Always wearing a smile, David was kindhearted and eager to see his family and friends. He had a quick wit at times, and he loved watching Property Brothers and Blue Bloods with his visitors. When the Tigers were on, it was time that was “strictly for the boys.”
David Voshel was passionate about cars, his beloved Detroit sports teams, and his precious family, but there was nothing that he was more passionate about than spreading the love he had for his Lord and Savior with others. He exemplified what it means to love without condition, and his smile was always there to brighten the day of those around him. Deeply loved, David will be forever missed.
David Alan Voshel, age 65 went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. David’s family includes his wife, Mary Ellen Voshel; son, Scott (Heather) Voshel of Holland, MI; daughter, Heather Voshel of Grand Rapids, MI; adopted son, Mike (Gerri) Woudstra of Grant, MI; sister, Anne Voshel of Chicago, IL; grandson, Carson Voshel; beloved sister-in-law, Bonnie (Woudstra) Rogers; brother-in-law, Tom (Nancee) Woudstra; best friend, Ron (Amy) Bliss; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends. David was preceded in death by father Lloyd Voshel, mother Doris VanDam, step-father Ernest VanDam, brother-in-law, Mike Woudstra Sr. and nephew, Rick Woudstra Sr. A celebration of David’s life and the faith he lived will be held at: Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel (295 Douglas Avenue, Holland, MI) on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 12:00 noon with an hour of visitation prior. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to: Missionary Encouragers, PO Box 1978, Holland, MI 49422.