Serving West Michigan Since 1899

David VanGinhoven

July 26, 1952 - June 9, 2020
West Olive, MI



Saturday, June 20, 2020
4:00 PM EDT
Connor Bayou
12945 North Cedar Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417

A Reception Will Follow the Service

Saturday, June 20, 2020
5:00 PM EDT
Connor Bayou
12945 North Cedar Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417


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.

Ottawa County Parks Foundation
PO Box 314
West Olive, MI 49460
(616) 215-6544
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


David VanGinhoven, age 67, of West Olive, passed away on June 9, 2020 after a brief battle with cancer. He closed his eyes, grateful for a remarkable life. He was blessed to have been born into a family with wonderful parents and two wonderful siblings. Growing up on a nursery/blueberry farm in Berrien County, he was allowed to roam the countryside, to hike, ride bike and swim in Lake Michigan with one provision: be home by dinner at 6:00 PM.

He was privileged to have helped raise and watch two children grow, finish high school, graduate from college and become responsible adults and caring parents of their own children.

David worked for nearly twenty-five years as Assistant Superintendent of Business for the Zeeland Public Schools. These years formed the highlight of his career as he assisted in the development of a rapidly growing school district. While it was a job, he considered it a “labor of love.” In these years, he met and worked with so many colleagues, many who became friends.

Along the way, he served as Treasurer of the Zeeland Chamber of Commerce, President of Zeeland United Way, Trustee for Zeeland Township, Planning Commissioner for Port Sheldon Township, President of the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council and President of the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission. His love of nature, born from a childhood in the country, gave him great pleasure. On many nights, he walked trails in the parks, enjoying solitude and the sounds of nature. He never lost his love for the waters of Lake Michigan; many evenings in July and August he could be found swimming and reading a book in the dunes as he watched the sun slip below the horizon.

In 2007, he married his wife Barbara. They spent hundreds of hours in conversations over dinner each evening. Barbara was an inspired chef, loved to entertain, to raise a toast to life, and welcomed each day with a smile and laughter. For their many happy years in West Olive, David was again . . . grateful.

David leaves behind his loving wife, Barbara, son, Matthew (Jessica) VanGinhoven, daughter, Laurelin (Travis) Barkel, step-son, Tate (Michelle) Jesky, and step-daughter, Allison Jesky. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, whom he loved deeply, but closed his eyes knowing they were surrounded by loving parents and family members.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Adrian and Estella VanGinhoven. They never told David how to live, they simply lived and let him watch them do it.

A memorial service will be held at 4pm, Saturday, June 20, 2020, at Connor Bayou (12945 North Cedar Drive; Grand Haven, MI). A reception will follow immediately following the service. Burial will be in Port Sheldon Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ottawa County Parks Foundation: PO Box 314; West Olive, MI 49460.

Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Downtown Chapel.