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.
Richard J. Visser Scholarship Fund at Calvin University
3201 Burton St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Life Story / Obituary
Richard John Visser was born in Grand Rapids to Richard W. and Ruth Visser on October 19, 1960. Shortly afterwards, the family moved to Chicago where the family was blessed with the birth of his sister Julia. In Chicago, both children attended Timothy Christian School. When Richard (Dick) was 13, the family moved back to Michigan, settling in Holland, to their house on the lake. Dick attended and graduated from Holland Christian High School and went on to attend Calvin College studying a pre-dental curriculum. Following graduation in 1982, he applied to the University of Detroit Dental School. During his four years of dental school he was part of the Psi Omega Fraternity and made many lifelong friends. In the summer of 1984, Dick met his future wife, Renee Krolik. Dick received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in June of 1986. Then on July 26, 1986, Dick married Renee and moved back to Holland to start their lives together.
In December of 1986 Dick purchased Dr. Michael DeVriesdental practice in Holland and began his career. Dentistry became his passion and his opportunity to give back and improve his community. From an early age, Dick felt that God called him to become a dentist, so that he could be a part of God’s plan to do good work, to build smiles and improve the quality of life for his patients. With the help of a great staff, Dick practiced dentistry for almost 36 years.
During his long career, God continued to offer multiple chances for Dick to travel to Africa to use his dental skills to serve our brothers and sisters in Uganda. Through multiple mission trips (six) Dick helped many Ugandans who had no access to dental care. Dick along with his partner and classmate, Kevin Fairfield established a dental clinic modernizing dentistry in Uganda. They left their mark as they made life-long friendships which continue today.
Dick and Renee’s marriage was blessed with the birth of their children, Richard and Kathryn. The Visser family was close, making trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s pool, doing campouts and sleepovers at their cousins, participating in soccer tournaments and other family-fun trips. Their children grew up and found their partners for life. Kathryn married Ryan Ruiz in 2016 and Rich married Kelsey Snider in 2018. Grandchildren soon followed. Alida Marie Ruiz came in January of 2020 and Nora Nicole Visser entered the world in June 2022. Sadly, two days after their Grandpa’s passing, Kathryn gave birth to twin boys, Malone Florentino and Jones Richard.
Dr. Richard John Visser went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 11, 2002 after battling an aggressive esophageal cancer.Dick left behind many who love him dearly. Especially family, friends, staff, patients and of course his fur babies Skye Blue and Dahli Lana. Dick was a man of many interests. He loved watching college sports, a good movie, cartoons (especially Scooby-Doo). He enjoyed reading a great book and working in the yard. But in his final days, Dick’s mind still focused on others. He wanted to make sure his staff and patients were in good hands. Dick was a good and faithful servant of the Lord. We will miss him dearly.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God predated in advance for us to do."
Visitation for Dick will take place on Friday, July 29 from 9-11am at Harderwyk Ministries with a service will follow at 11am. A private graveside service will take place at Lakewood Cemetery. For those who are unable to attend the service in person, a live stream will be available here.