Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Cornelius "Corny" Bussema

August 20, 1932 - November 21, 2023
Burr Ridge, IL


Life Story / Obituary


Cornelius "Corny" Bussema, age 91, was born on August 20, 1932 in Oak Park, Illinois to Jeanette and John Bussema. He passed away on November 21, 2023 at home in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

Cornelius and his wife Florence were long-time members of Western Springs Christian Reformed Church, before attending Christ Church of Oak Brook in later years. He had a long and successful career, first working with his father's excavation business, then as co-owner/operator for Garden City Disposal, and finally with Waste Management for many years. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and known for his ability to fix just about anything.

Corny knew when to be serious but had a wonderful sense of humor. He could spin a yarn of epic proportions and have everyone falling for the story hook, line, and sinker. Over time, the family caught on to his antics and loved to be there for the next tale with an unsuspecting listener. His caregivers, Elizalde, Therese, Arthur and Sharon all worked with him over the past 5 years, grew to appreciate his humor and charm, and developed true friendships - these special people will always be a part of the family.

He is survived by his children, Laura (Rich) Kuipers, Valerie DeBoer, John (Catherine) Bussema, David (Mary) Bussema, as well as, his grandchildren, John DeBoer, Stephanie Kuipers, Michael DeBoer, Thomas (Sheila) Kuipers, and Alexander Bussema. He is also survived by his sister in-law, Ruth Visser and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 64 years, Florence Bussema, his sister Marion, his son in-law, Gary DeBoer, his sisters in-law, Martha (Robert) Molenhouse, Bernice (William) Buiten, Connie (Duane) Rosendahl, and brother in-law, Richard Visser.

A private funeral ceremony was held on December 1, with interment in Lakewood Cemetery in Holland, MI.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at 4595 Broadmoor Ave SE Ste 230, Kentwood, MI 49512, Timothy Christian Schools at 188 West Butterfield Road, Elmhurst, IL 60126, or Holland Christian Schools at 956 Ottawa Ave. Holland, MI 49423.

Funeral arrangements are under the auspices of the Downtown Chapel.