Tuesday, January 5, 2021
11:00 AM EST
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.
Third Reformed Church
111 W 13th St
Holland, MI 49423
Life Story / Obituary
El Slenk died on Monday, December 28, 2020. Born in 1927 and raised in Laketown and in Holland, El finished Holland High School a year early so he could join the Navy. He served in the South Pacific as a transfer boat captain ferrying supplies and men from Navy ships to shore and back. He returned to Holland after the war and attended Hope College, subsequently moving to Kalamazoo for work. He finished his accounting degree at Western Michigan University.
He married Jill VanderKolk, settled in Holland and, in partnership with Gord Zuverink, purchased Overisel Lumber on the same day his oldest son Greg was born in 1953. The lumberyard was moved to Holland in 1965. El and Jill went on to have two more children, Tim and Julie.
An outdoorsman, El particularly enjoying boating, hunting and golf. Jill and El belonged to the same golf group for over 50 years. The family enjoyed building and selling cottages on Lake Michigan, Big Star Lake, and Long Lake over many summers. Members of Third Reformed Church for more than 60 years, El and Jill served in many roles and El was always deeply involved in any building project the church undertook.
Professionally, El became sole owner of Overisel Lumber, growing the organization from a single location to three (Holland, Douglas, South Haven) with a fourth on the drawing board (Stevensville/St. Joseph). Now a third-generation family business, he trained both of his sons and two grandsons to be trusted members of the building community. A founding member of the Holland Homebuilders Association (HBA), El invited new members to meetings held in the Overisel Lumber basement meeting room. He served on the HBA board and was proud that his son Greg and grandson Jason have also served as officers.
El is survived by sister-in-law Charlotte Slenk, son/wife Greg & Jeannie Slenk, daughter/husband Julie & Tom Lefler, grandchildren Jason & Lindsey Slenk (Brinley, Braydon, Carson), Katherine Slenk-Pollice & Chris Pollice (Kennedy, Coenrad), Lee & Jamie Slenk (Autumn, Beau, Clint, Deke), Kelsy Lefler, and Zack Lefler. All are living in the Holland area, except Kelsy, who resides in South Haven, MI.
He is predeceased by his parents, Lyda & Elmer Slenk, his wife Jill (who died earlier this year), his son Tim Slenk, Tim’s daughter Amy Slenk-Handley, brother Vern Slenk, and sister and brother-in-law Annis & Tony Klingenberg.
A brief graveside service will be on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Graafschaap Cemetery on the SE corner of 32nd Street and Graafschap Road in Holland. The family is being served by Dykstra Funeral Home.
El’s family is grateful for the heart-felt care offered by the dedicated staff at Third Reformed Church, Holland Hospital, Vista Springs Assisted Living, and Hospice of Holland. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Third Reformed Church or Hospice of Holland.