Bernard “Bunk” Van Ark ’56

Bernard “Bunk” Van Ark, 83, passed peacefully into the everlasting arms of Jesus on Friday, October 6, 2017 with his family by his side. Bunk is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Norma; sisters Gloria Slagter and Sandy (Bob) Katsma; daughters Cindy (Jim) Kessel, Jill (Kelly) Paffhausen; grandchildren Josh (Brandy) Zoet, Shannon (Mike) Zoet-Murray, Andrea (Blake) Wilson, Emily (Drew) Zoet-Sprague, Kelli Zoet, James (Tina) Kessel, Joseph Kessel, and Jayne Kessel; nine great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Bunk was preceded in death by parents John and Alyda Van Ark and grandson John Albert Kessel. Bunk was born and spent his life in West Michigan. As a proud Lee High School graduate and Hope College alumnus, he was a beloved teacher, a respected coach, and a true family man who had a profound impact on the lives of many. He taught math at Forest Hills Public Schools for 32 years and coached football for 25 years. Bunk was a devoted man of faith who was involved at Fifth Reformed Church and Woodland Drive-In Church as an elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, and lay pastor. He spent many summers at his cottage on Drummond Island and always had a love for the “big lake” (Lake Michigan). The best way to describe Bunk is to say he was a people person. Everywhere he went he found someone he knew, or he made fast friends of strangers. This came from a genuine love for all people. Bunk loved children and dogs, and he could make a game out of any activity. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 11 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Zaagman Memorial Chapel. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, October 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Fifth Reformed Church, officiated by Pastor Jon Sherrill. The family would like to extend special thanks to their team at Faith Hospice Jennifer, Sara, and Rita. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Bunk’s name to the Holland Home Patient Assistance Fund or Faith Hospice.

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