Saturday, November 24, 2018
11:00 AM EST
Grace Episcopal Church
555 Michigan Street
Holland, MI 49423
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.
Grand Valley University
Life Story / Obituary
William Rowe (Bill) Van Ark of Wyoming, age 72, passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at Grace of Douglas. His wife, Judy, and daughter, Emily, were with him.
Bill was born on November 11, 1945 in Chicago to William Jurry and Esther (Van Houten) Van Ark. He was raised in Holland and graduated from Holland High School in 1963. He graduated from Grand Valley University in 1968 and obtained a Masters in Actuarial Science from the University of Michigan is 1975. He served in the Coast Guard from 1968-1973. He became a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and practiced for over 40 years. His career spanned Sentry Insurance in Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Argonaut Insurance in Palo Alto, CA; National Council on Compensation Insurance in New York, NY and Saint Louis, MO; Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin in Southfield, MI; the Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange in Grand Rapids, MI; and he founded Casualty Actuaries of Michigan in Wyoming, MI.
Bill married Judy Palmer on June 22, 1968 and was a loving father to Emily and Billy Van Ark, a loving father-in-law to Todd Stefanik and Nikki Ebright, and a loving grandfather to Katrina and Liam Stefanik. He is survived by his mother Esther, wife Judy, two children, two grandchildren, and a large family including brothers Charles (Suzanne), Robert (Nancy), and James Van Ark; sisters Dawn and Laurie Van Ark, Velma Neau, and Sally Gunn; mother-in-law Lorraine (Jaarda) Palmer; brother-in-law John Palmer; sisters-in-law Jerri (Doug) MacPherson, Julie (Robert) Gagnon, and Jean Palmer.
Bill loved reading, games, and travel, and his greatest joys were family and music. He sang with church choirs everywhere he lived, and most recently with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grace Episcopal Grand Rapids choir, and the Kentwood Seniors Chorale. He was featured in the Van Arks and Friends family concerts at Grace Episcopal Church Holland. He sang in Carnegie Hall and cathedrals across Europe with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus.
Visitation is at Dykstra Mulder Chapel in Holland (188 West 32nd Street, Holland, MI 49423) from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Friday, November 23. Funeral is at Grace Episcopal Holland (555 Michigan Ave, Holland, MI 49423) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 24. Interment and lunch to follow.
Due to family allergies, no flowers please. Memorial donations may be directed to scholarships at Grand Valley University (https://www.gvsu.edu/giving/majorpriorities.htm) or the charity of your choice.