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Kenneth Etterbeek

February 23, 1929 - November 8, 2016
Holland, MI

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Visitations


Friday, November 11, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
Christ Memorial Church Chapel
595 Graafschap Road
Holland, MI 49423

Services


Friday, November 11, 2016
12:00 PM EST
Christ Memorial Church Chapel
595 Graafschap Road
Holland, MI 49423

Contributions


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 Community
9 East Eighth Street
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


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Kenneth Etterbeek was a loving Christian, husband, father and grandfather. His incredible integrity and high level of competition was woven throughout a lifetime of hard work and dedication given to any task or challenge set before him. He was always one to strive for excellence in every aspect of his life. His courage, his honesty and his compassion for others will be his legacy. Kenneth leaves behind a rich collection of memories for his special friends and family to cherish for years to come.

Reflecting on the 1920’s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge, aptly giving the decade the name of the Roaring Twenties. With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie figures, by 1929 the industry was booming until the market crashed that fateful October. Born the same year as the comic character Popeye debuted, John and Alice (Groters) Etterbeek welcomed home their newborn son, Kenneth on February 23, 1929 in Zeeland, Michigan.

Growing up in Holland, Kenneth passionately pursued various sports. He marveled at the talent of his childhood friends, Joe Moran and Malcolm McKay who helped to influence his love of both tennis and basketball over the years. He especially looked up to Simon DenUyl, a family friend who he admired and trusted during their growing years. A favorite moment from his adolescence may have been when his high school basketball team took the 1946 state championship while he was attending Holland High. Not to be forgotten during these important years, was the meeting of the love of his life, Dawn, his high school sweetheart and wife of sixty five years. Their first date together was a memorable fishing trip off the Holland pier. Shortly after graduation, Kenneth attended Hope College before transferring to the prestigious Michigan State College where he received a degree in business. He and Dawn had developed an earnest and sincere care for one another and couldn’t wait to join their lives forever. That same year of his college graduation, they celebrated their ceremony of marriage at the Beechwood Reformed Church on June 23, 1951. Together they raised four wonderful children; Susan, Sally, Jeffrey, and Jonathan.

Kenneth took his role of father seriously by providing for his growing family. He worked steadfast at his sales job with Sentry Insurance earning him numerous paid vacations for being a recurring member of the High Performance Club. Such vacations included trips to the beautiful Bahamas, the shores of Puerto Rico and Acapulco, as well as the stunning city of London. For relaxation during his career years, he savored the television shows of Dick VanDyke, Gunsmoke, Father Knows Best, and M*A*S*H. He also found solace in his favorite tunes from Mac Davis and Tony Bennett. A lifelong Michigan resident, he proudly cheered for his alma mater, MSU as well as the Detroit Lions and Pistons. An avid sports fan, he enjoyed attending many of the Spartan football games and tailgating over the years.

Kenneth was never one to remain idle and enjoyed many years of playing tennis, boating and skiing. Favorite ski trips were often to Michigan’s Boyne Highlands Resort as well as the majestic rockies in Colorado. In his later adult years he continued his passion and love for tennis on the courts at Sea Oaks in Vero Beach, Florida. He and Dawn both enjoyed many Florida winters together instead of the cold winter months back home in Michigan before her death in 2006. Kenneth was a lover of all people yet had a special companion, his black poodle, Gidget who seemed to never leave his side. Being naturally drawn to dogs, he cherished visits from dogs over the years. Nothing brought him greater joy than sharing in the spirit of family holidays with those he held closest to his heart. Described as a man of true principle, wit, and determination, Kenneth will be deeply missed.

Kenneth Jay Etterbeek, age 87, died Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at Appledorn North in Holland. Ken was a member of Christ Memorial Church for many years where he served on the consistory as a deacon and elder. He was a life member of the Rotary Club of Holland. Ken served our country in the United States Naval Reserve and was an active member of the Holland Tennis Patrons. He was preceded in death by his wife Dawn (Diepenhorst) Etterbeek. He is survived by his children: Susan and Henry DeJong of Holland, Sally and William Swets of Holland, Jeffrey and Leslie Etterbeek of Bloomfield Hills, MI and Jonathan and Laurilee Etterbeek of Grand Haven; grandchildren: Christian and Jessica DeJong, Adam DeJong, Borys and Alina Swets, Lindsey, Kristen, Elizabeth, and J.J. Etterbeek, Tatiana, Anastasia, Alexei Etterbeek; great grandchildren: Yager and Tristan; sister-in-law: Jacqueline Zych of Holland. A funeral service will be 12:00 pm on Friday, November 11, 2016 at the Christ Memorial Church Chapel, 595 Graafschap Road in Holland, please use entrance D. Chaplain Jonathan Etterbeek and Reverend Bill Boersma will be officiating. Burial will be in Graafschap Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be given to Resthaven Care Community. Arrangements are by Dykstra Funeral Home – Mulder Chapel.

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