John Van Dam ’59

John Van Dam, 81, passed away Monday, October 15, 2018.

John was born in Zeeland on July 18, 1937, to John and Janet (Van Gelderen) Van Dam. He graduated from Zeeland High School in 1955. He went on to Hope College, where he was an OKE “fratter” and graduated in 1959. John became a teacher for few years, until his father’s untimely death, when John entered the family business, Modern Beverage Co.

Modern Beverage was sold in 2015 after they celebrated their 75th anniversary in business.

John was a past president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

John loved and enjoyed life, working hard and playing hard. John was a part time resident of Florida, staying in the Villages of Lady Lakes.

He was a longtime golfing member of the Holland Country Club and Wuskowhan Players Club, and a member of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club.

Over the years, John went on several golf trips with golf buddies, including trips to the great courses of Scotland.

John’s social network and restaurant connections as a beer-wine distributor made him a regular on a busy restaurant circuit. He made frequent visits to his favorites: Perredies, Goog’s, The Butler, Hawk’s Head, Fricano’s, and Tosi’s.

John loved his family and spending time with his children and grandchildren. For over twenty years he planned cottage vacations for his family on Lake Michigan.

The John Van Dam family is grateful for the superb care and kindness of John’s caregivers: Stephanie “ Seth,” Tanya, Elizabeth, Sydney, Ashley; and his nurses: Angela, Amber, and Sherri.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Janet Van Dam, and his beloved cats Dodger and Squeeker.

John is survived by his wife of 46 years, Jackie, his cat Oreo, his children: Sandy Van Dam and William J. Clinton, Susan VanDam and Kinney Clark, Steven and Lisa Van Dam; all of Cranford, New Jersey, step-son Mark and Jennifer Weaver of Grand Rapids, grandchildren: Samuel Clark, William T. Clinton, Jake Van Dam, Nellie Clark, Shane Van Dam; his brother James and Nancy Van Dam of Grand Haven, and nephews Tom and Mike.

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