John Roundhouse ’54

John Roundhouse passed away on February 4th at the age of 88. Born April 12, 1930. Growing up in Kalamazoo, John was educated in the public schools. In his spare time, he earned a little money with a paper route and swam in the nearby lakes; he also enjoyed spending the summers at his grandfather’s farm near Lake City.

After graduating HS, John attended Hope College where he received a BA in Education and later a Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University. John then joined the military where he was stationed in Munich and after returning to the States he married his beloved wife Ruth Benes.

In 1957, he began his teaching career at Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw and in 1960, he brought his wife and newly born son Kirk, back to Munich. John would teach high school english at the Military Base in Perlacher Forst for the next five years and in 1962 his daughter Kim was born. While living in Munich, he and his wife began what would become a lifelong joy together, traveling.

In the summer of 1963, they took their two young children on an eleven week road trip down to Greece, over to Turkey, into Syria and the Holy Land then back to Munich. Although the children were left at home when John and Ruth went to Russia, they would travel with them to Scandinavia, Great Britain and throughout Europe. In 1965 John returned with his family to Michigan where he taught German and English at Midland HS and later became a Councilor then Head Councilor. On the side, he used his talents as a Probation Officer, Real Estate Agent and carpenter, spending an entire summer building the family’s new home. John had an incredible bass voice and sang his entire life, from the Hope College Glee Club to Men of Music in Midland, as well as countless solos in Midland Reformed Church and other community gatherings. While in Midland, John enjoyed bowling, volleyball and after teaching his children how to ski in Germany, he spent many winters with them on the Michigan slopes. With a heart of gold, John was always there supporting his wife and children in whatever they did.

After retiring, he and his wife moved back to Kalamazoo and near a lake, designed and built a house where they would spend the rest of their lives. Within a year John began singing in the Kalamazoo Male Chorus and at Lakeland Reformed Church and did so till the end. He and Ruth returned to Germany three times, traveled to Ireland, Alaska, several cruises and road trips too numerous to mention. A God fearing man, an incredible husband, a loving father and a best friend to everyone. John is survived by his son Kirk, his daughter Kim and his two beautiful granddaughters Paige and Chandler.

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