Serving West Michigan Since 1899

J. Colin Hamberg

February 6, 1928 - June 1, 2018
Port Sheldon Twp., MI


Life Story / Obituary


James Colin Hamberg passed away peacefully on June 1st, surrounded by his family, at his summer home in Port Sheldon, Michigan. Known as “Colin,” he will be greatly missed by those who had the privilege to share his life.

Born in Grand Rapids on February 6, 1928 to Catherine Ruth Morrissey Hamberg and Lawrence Roger Hamberg, Colin was raised in Ann Arbor with his two brothers Lawrence and David. He attended University High School, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Michigan. He summered with his extended family at Port Sheldon.

Colin married Harriet Ailsa Herrman of Nyssa, Oregon in 1952 while she was serving an internship for dietetics in Ann Arbor. He spent the majority of his professional career at Ford Motor Company as an engineer and was pleased to be there when the first Mustang was developed and through the Quality Movement that produced the Ford Taurus.

Colin and Harriet raised their five children in Milan, Michigan. They demonstrated their commitment to education as she helped the town start a preschool and he served on the School Board. The family continued to summer in Port Sheldon and to regularly travel to South Dakota and Oregon to visit Harriet’s family. Upon retirement, Harriet and Colin shared their time between Port Sheldon and Estero, Florida.

With an unfailing commitment to the highest ethics, Colin valued his entire extended family, education, nature, tennis, college sports (U of M football in particular), hard work, fishing, boating, and being a member of Harriet’s family’s “Outlaws” (in-laws). His family will deeply miss his easygoing and generous nature, dry sense of humor, propensity to assigning people ridiculous nicknames, and knowing that he would always have their back, no matter what.

Colin is survived by his children Jeanne & Gregory Slenk of Holland, Michigan; Terri & Richard Riemenschneider of Port Sheldon, Michigan; Ruth Hamberg & Lee Erickson of Orlando, Florida; John & Mary Hamberg of West Olive, Michigan; and Julie Hamberg of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Grandchildren Katherine Slenk-Pollice & Christopher Pollice (Kennedy & Coenrad) of Holland; Gregory Lee & Jamie Slenk (Autumn, Beau, Clint, & Deke) of Holland; Jacob Hamberg and Lauren Hamberg, both of West Olive, Michigan. In-laws Angela Flory of McMinneville, Oregon; Ellen Gregg of Missoula, Montana; Ruth & Duane Buchtel of Walla Walla, Washington; along with a host of beloved nieces, nephews, and all-but-family members.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Harriet Ailsa Herrman Hamberg. Brothers and in-laws Lawrence & Judith Hamberg; David Hamberg; Keith & Anna Herrman; Fred Flory; and Norman Gregg.

Colin’s family extends deep gratitude to his beloved companion, Patricia (Pat) Knotts of Sullivan, Indiana and Estero, Florida.

His family would especially like to thank the generous hearts of the people at Appledorn Living Center North and the truly remarkable people at Hospice of Holland. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be offered to Hospice of Holland.

A private family service is planned. The family is served by Dykstra Funeral Homes where memories and photos will be shared online.