Harold Kooyers ’51
Harold Clinton Kooyers peacefully passed away at the age of 90 on October 19, 2020. Harold was born November 16, 1929 in Grand Rapids, MI, the only child of Henry and Dagmar Kooyers. Harold was raised on the NE side of Grand Rapids, attended Bethel Reformed Church, graduated from Creston High School and went on to complete his degree in Economics at Hope College, class of 1951. Harold met his future wife, Mary while working together at Globe Knitting Works. They were married on June 23,1950.
In 1957 they purchased their first home in Wyoming, MI. In 1966 a job opportunity in manufacturing led them to Ann Arbor, they proudly lived in the Georgetown subdivision for 54 years.
Over his career; Harold worked for Lear Siegler, Conductron Corporation, University Microfilms, NSK Corporation and Aeroquip.
In 1971 Hal & Mary purchased a cottage on Strawberry Lake, they spent the next 41 summers fishing, boating and entertaining family. A great place to hone his handyman skills.
Hal enjoyed Michigan sports, especially hockey.
As a young man, Hal was a leader in Christian Endeavor. In his early 30’s, he and a team of men, established the first Civil Defense program in Wyoming, MI. Hal was passionately involved in the Ann Arbor Exchange Club beginning in 1974, serving in various roles, Secretary, Treasurer and Club President 1978. He served as the Michigan District director, District Treasurer and District President for 1985-1986. He was the Bulletin editor for the MDEC Exchangite magazine, winning the National Exchange Club’s best bulletin twice. In 1994 he was honored as the MDEC Exchangite of the year. Hal’s crowning moment was his induction into the Court of Honor, the highest and most lasting recognition as an Exchangite. In 2014 he became the first life member of the MDEC. A friend shared that, “Hal WAS the Ann Arbor Exchange and the Michigan District Clubs.”
Hal faithfully served Newhall Reformed Church (founding family), Westminster Presbyterian & Westside United Methodist in many roles. Sunday School Superintendent, Finance committee, and the church Consistory. Hal was often found organizing and cooking Easter sunrise breakfast for 200. He will be remembered as a man that was of service to others.
Hal was a caring and supportive husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Our family is especially grateful for his continual encouragement of our Mother’s artistic endeavors. He helped her build a replica 1800’s miniature Dutch Canal House, now on permanent display at Windmill Village in Holland, MI, a proud nod to his Dutch heritage and tribute to his wife’s talents.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mary Lou Kooyers in 2012. Hal is survived by his four children: Linda Ressler (Bill), Randall Kooyers, Nancy Jenner (Rob), Glen Kooyers (Laura). He is also survived by Seven grandchildren: Eric Ressler, (Christina) Emily Ressler, Karen Kooyers, Kevin Kooyers, Lauren Hughes (Andy), Erin Jenner (Todd Wilson) and Dustin Kooyers. Five Great grandchildren, Alexander Castleberry, Brody Hancock, Devyn Jenner, Owen Hughes and Ella Ressler, Sister-in-law, Katherine Mekkes, Brother-in-law Earl (Les) Irwin (Mary) and many nieces and nephews.