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Life Story / Obituary
On the morning of November 18, 2022, Jim left his earthly home to join his father in heaven. He passed peacefully in his residence surrounded by his loving family. He lived a happy, healthy, and joy-filled life of 95 years.
Jim was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 4, 1927. His mother, Goldie Larink (Hoadley) was a devoted parent and wife and an avid gardener and cook. His father, Edward Larink, was a businessman and barbershop quartet singer with a strong tenor voice that he passed on to Jim. Jim was twin brother to Jack E., and younger brother to Gordon. The boys grew up in a home filled with love and song. They enjoyed summertime in Holland, Michigan at the beach and on Lake Macatawa, where the family eventually had a cottage. It became a gathering spot for extended family over time and the inspiration for Jim’s life in Holland.
Jim bought his first car in 1949, which solidified a lifelong passion for driving and exploration. In 1950, he and brother Gordon took an epic cross-country journey that concluded in San Francisco, California. He would return to spend winters there later in life.
He attended Grand Rapids Junior College, then transferred to Michigan State University where he graduated in 1949 with a degree in business administration. In 1950, he was drafted to support the Korean War effort and was given a stateside post at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
On a two-week leave from the military, he attended a dance in Grand Haven, MI where he met Ardith Ellen Mensink. They danced all night, married in March of 1952, and purchased their first home in Grand Rapids that same year. After expanding the family to include children Phil, Pam, and Paula, they moved to Holland in 1973, inspired by his family’s summer cottage and a love of nature, the lake, boating and water sports. The family established a strong Christian faith and friendship community at Beechwood Church, where Jim and Ardith were lifelong members.
Jim worked in sales for Carpenter Paper Company in Grand Rapids for 46 years beside twin brother Jack. In his free time he sang in the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Choir and church choirs, played competitive racquetball, and enjoyed family time on the lake, biking, playing music and taking annual adventures in the family motorhome. He loved sharing joy and encouragement with people wherever he found himself.
Jim retired in 1995 and continued to travel nationally and internationally with Ardith. He drove his motorhome across the country to spend cold winters in San Francisco, from 1996 to 2015. There he and Ardith were able to enjoy time with daughter Paula and two of their five grandchildren. They regularly attended St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of Pacifica, CA where they sang in the choir and treasured great friendships and laughter.
Jim furthered his love of the road and developed a community of friends driving cars for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in both Pacifica, CA and Holland, MI for more than a decade. He finally retired for good at age 90. His hobbies included bible study, wood carving, small-pot gardening and collecting. He said that searching for beauty and truth inspired him to write poetry. He published one piece. He loved fashion, color, art, and time in nature. An avid cyclist, he rode his bike until two months before his passing. In his later decades, he joyfully gifted family, friends, and strangers with tiny angel tokens wherever he went to offer people hope and love.
Jim was preceded in death in 2016 by his wife of 63 years, Ardith, in 2018 by his older brother Gordon, and in 2006 by his sister-in-law Henrietta.
Jim is survived by twin brother Jack Larink and his wife Carole Larink of Holland, son Philip Larink, daughter Pamela Flamboe and son-in-law Douglas Flamboe, all of Holland, daughter Paula Larink of San Francisco, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be 1 pm Wednesday (November 30), at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue. Burial will be in Lakewood Cemetery. Visitation will be 6-8 pm Tuesday (November 29), also at the funeral home.
Donations in Jim’s memory may be sent to the Mel Trotter Ministries of Grand Rapids, 225 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503 or Hemlock Crossing County Park, PO Box 314, West Olive, MI 49460