Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Francis "Frank" Dobbertien

May 31, 1928 - January 31, 2024
Holland, MI



Friday, February 23, 2024
11:00 AM EST
St. Philip Roman Catholic Church
92 Capital Avenue NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017


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.

Gentiva Hospice
625 Kenmoor Avenue SE, Suite 115
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Life Story / Obituary


Francis Martin (Frank) Dobbertien of Holland, MI

Frank, age 95, died Wednesday afternoon, January 31, 2024, at Freedom Village following a brief illness.

Frank, the son of William F and Frances M (Lenzen) Dobbertien, was born on May 31, 1928, in Marshall, MI, and was a 1946 graduate of St. Philip Catholic High School.

Frank entered the Navy college training program at Western Michigan University and after two years he received orders to start Navy flight training in Pensacola, FL. He completed basic training and entered advanced flight training at Corpus Christi, TX. After completion, he returned to Pensacola and received his carrier landing certification. Frank received his wings in 1950 and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet flying from several aircraft carriers over a three-year period. He was released from active duty in 1953 and enrolled at the University of Colorado where he received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in June of 1956. Frank remained active in the Naval Air Reserve until 1973 and retired as a Commander.

Most of Frank’s working career was with Clark Equipment Co. where he retired after 27 years of service. After retirement, Frank lived for over 20 years in Arizona and just moved back to Michigan in recent years to be with family.

Frank was a man of God who loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren so very much. His Catholic faith was strong and a beautiful example for those around him to the very end. The earth lost a great man, but heaven gained a beautiful soul.

Frank is survived by his son, Dr Mark Dobbertien (Lisa) of Jacksonville, Fl, and daughter, Lisa DeBoer (Randall) of Holland, MI; five grandchildren, Ty DeBoer (Chelsea), Chelsea Gust (Shawn), Ryan Dobbertien, Matt Dobbertien (Megan), and Jeff Dobbertien; seven great grandchildren, Margot, Cecily, and Clark DeBoer, Theodore and Clara Gust, and Ruth and Emma Dobbertien.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Josephine, and four brothers, Henry, Joseph, Dale and William, his ex-wife Sara Dobbertien, who he always adored, and grandson, Christopher Dobbertien.

The family would like to thank all the wonderful caregivers at Freedom Village and the special support staff at Gentiva Hospice, especially Ashley. We are forever grateful for your love, prayers, and support.

A Catholic Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 23 at 11am at St Philip Catholic Church, 92 Capital Ave NE in Battle Creek. Interment will follow at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI with full military honors. A luncheon will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Franks honor may be directed to Gentiva Hospice, 625 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite 115, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements are by Dykstra Funeral Homes-Mulder Chapel.