Life Story / Obituary
Byrn Wayne Douma passed away in the early morning hours of October 3, 2020. Born February 1,1932, in Stockton, California, Byrn moved with his family to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. He married Joyce Talsma on October 14, 1955, together raised two daughters, and were lifelong members of Pillar (Christian Reformed) Church.
Byrn served in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed aboard the USS Northwind, where he was deployed throughout the Arctic.
Byrn was employed by General Motors for several years, and then worked most of his adult life at Holland Awning Company. Here he became proficient in designing, measuring, and installing canvas products such as awnings, tent trailers, and boat tops. He became well known for this specialized work, working closely with companies such as Chris Craft, Slickcraft and Three Winds. After retirement, he worked part time for Holland Supply Company.
Byrn very much enjoyed traveling. In the early 1960’s, he designed and built a tent trailer. His young family then enjoyed many years of camping and extensive travel throughout the United States and Canada. Byrn was also an avid historian and had excellent recall of past events and current applications.
Those who knew him were gifted with fifteen additional years of his presence when he valiantly fought, and won, his sobriety battle. He served in leadership roles at AA, and his personal mission became that of helping others in their own fight. He often took these friends under his wing, offering transportation, advice, and encouragement.
In his senior years, he much enjoyed the fellowship of his retired buddies, and met daily for breakfast at local restaurants.
Byrn was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, in 1998, and his brother, Jerald Douma in early 2020. He is survived by his children Kim DeVries (Ken Mannisto) and Lynn (Bruce) Kruithoff, his grandchildren, Joshua (Miranda) DeVries, Andrew (Emily) DeVries, Alicia (Padriac) O'Connor and Jason Kruithoff, and six great grandchildren. He will also be missed by his long time special friend, Wilma Halstead.
Due to Covid restrictions, the family plans a private graveside memorial. Arrangements are being entrusted to Dykstra Funeral Home - Mulder Chapel.