Christian “Chris” Den Herder ’48

Christian Jacob DenHerder was born on June 26, 1925, to Harmon Matthew and Della Cornelia (Hospers) DenHerder of Zeeland, Michigan, and passed away January 22, 2020, in Zephyrhills, Florida. 

Growing up near the shores of Lake Michigan, Chris enjoyed boating and outdoor sports of all kinds. Chris enlisted in the U. S. Navy in May 1943, graduated from Zeeland High School in June 1943, and reported to active duty on Jun 13, 1943. He served on a Patrol Craft Sweeper until the end of WWII and was honorably discharged on May 19, 1946. 

Chris studied business administration, earning a BA from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, in June 1948, and an MBA from Babson Institute, Massachusetts, in June 1949. 

Chris spent the next phase of life raising his family, bringing 5 children into the world through marriage to Jane Vanderbeck in 1950, and working as President/General Manager of Colonial Mfg. Co. in Zeeland, Michigan. In the late 1970s, Colonial was sold to Thomas Industries. 

On September 10, 1981, Chris married Judy Goldsmith in Douglas, Michigan. Judy was a furniture designer by trade, and the couple formed what is now Timeframe, Inc., covering woodworking and picture framing, clock sales and repair, and a mini-storage facility in Buchanan, Michigan. Chris and Judy purchased a winter home in Zephyrhills in 1990 and moved south permanently in 2006. In 2007, they opened a Framing and Clock Repair shop in Zephyrhills. Chris’ great joy was taking his grandson, Andrew, in as a clock repair apprentice. Chris enjoyed making clock repair “house calls” and always enjoyed leaving a home with the clock telling time once again. 

Chris was raised in the Reformed Church of America, and married Judy in the Congregational United Church of Christ, always serving where needed. Both joined the First United Methodist Church, Zephyrhills, in 2011. 

Chris is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Judy; sister, Marcia (Roger) Kempers of Rochester, MN; daughter, Christine (Mike) Calyore of Naples, FL; daughter, Martha (Brad) Piersma of Stevensville, MT; son-in-law, David Dirkse of Holland, MI; daughter-in-law, Jean (Andy) Kurrasch of Saugatuck, MI; beloved grandchildren, Andrew Dirkse of Saugatuck, MI; Emilie (Kent) Hansen of Winona, MN; Liz (Emery) Gyr of Empire, MI; Christian (Katie) Calyore of Wethersfield, CT; Catherine (Christopher) Ryan of Buffalo, MN; Megan (Chet Fehrmann) Piersma of Anchorage, AK; Joe Piersma of Missoula, MT; Martha DenHerder of Detroit, MI; and precious great-granddaughters, Adeline, Ingrid, and Anne. 

Chris will be missed by his constant companions Bandit and Ruffy, who brought him much joy and comfort. 

Chris was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Christian Jacob III; infant granddaughter, Kaitlin Kim Piersma; son, Jon Christian; and daughter, Anne Elizabeth Dirkse.

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