Jack DeWitt, passed away from glioblastoma at the age of 75. He was peaceful as he entered into Jesus’ presence, surrounded by family and his wife, Mary, of 54 years. Living and remaining positive to the end, Jack never complained about having cancer.
He was born in Zeeland, Michigan, on December 17, 1942, to Marvin and Jerene De Witt. Jack is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, Mary; 5 children and 18 grandchildren; Jackie and Kyle Curtiss (Colton, Casie, and Coby); Laurie and Chris Wierda (Max, Sam, and Sadie); Jim and Lynae De Witt (Blake, Blaire, Brody, Brock, and Braelyn); Steve and Melissa De Witt (Zach, Jace, Logan, and Luke); and Linda and Ryan Berghorst (Ashley, Jenna, and Brooke). Jack is also survived by his 6 siblings; Gary (Joyce) De Witt; Marilyn (Tom) Norman; Don (Minnie) De Witt; Nancy (Bob) Haveman; Merle (Sheri) De Witt; Keith (Mary) De Witt.
Jack grew up in Zeeland, Michigan, and had a passion for loving God, attending church and Bible Study, and spending time with his family. He was a devoted family man who loved to have fun with his family; he called his kids, “the Jackson 5.” As a family, they would spend time together farming, hunting, attending Tigers games, downhill skiing, bike riding, as well as enjoying vacations and adventures together. Jack was also a devoted Christian, a very dear friend to many, an active member of the community who served on several boards, and a respected business owner. As a food service industry entrepreneur, Jack served in a variety of roles, including as executive vice president at one of the largest turkey processors in the country, Bil-Mar Foods of Zeeland, Michigan, whom his Dad, Marvin De Witt, co-founded. When Bil-Mar was sold to Sara Lee in 1987, a group of investors, led by Jack, purchased the prepared-entrees division of Bil-Mar and launched a brand new company, Request Foods, in Holland, Michigan. Request has been offering world-class prepared entrees, soups, and skillet meals since 1990. Faith, family, and the family business were the most important things to Jack De Witt. His Christian faith was the cornerstone of his life, which was evidenced in the way he led Request Foods. From Request Foods’ mission statement to the company culture and to every corner of the facility, Jack worked to integrate faith into the workplace. Jack had stated that the most important decision he made in his life was when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at the age of 21. He had taken this decision to heart and was an exceptional steward of the gifts, talents, and skills God had given to him and used them to bless others and glorify God.
Jack was also one of the co-founders of Grace Chapel, an interdenominational church in Zeeland. Throughout his life, he served in a variety of church leadership roles.
He will also be remembered for his generous philanthropic support of families, the greater Holland-Zeeland community, and institutions of higher learning such as Hope College, Western Seminary, Cornerstone University, and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He and his wife, Mary, have also supported several ministries and organizations who are dedicated to developing fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. His love for baseball and kids led him to the vision of developing the Jim Kaat Baseball Park and the SportsQuest Family Center. He poured his heart and soul into these projects to make a difference in the lives of the children who use them. Jack was respected and well-known for making a positive impact on everyone who was blessed to know him.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 30 at Central Wesleyan Church, 446 W. 40th St, Holland, MI 49423. Visiting hours will be Thursday, June 28 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm and from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and on Friday, June 29 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm, also at Central Wesleyan Church (Please use Worship Center Entrance A). Burial will be in Zeeland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Hospice of Holland. The family is being served by Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home. www.langelandsterenberg.com.