James Den Herder ’49
After a long struggle with declining health, James M. Den Herder has found eternal peace. He died March 7, 2022, at the age of 97, in Naples, FL. Jim was born on December 22, 1924. He was raised by parents Jay and Ruth Den Herder in Holland, Michigan, where he graduated from Holland High School and Hope College. During World War II, Jim served in the Army Air Corps, flying B-24s for over two years.
After the war, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Fris, and they raised two children, Lesley Joy and James Fris Den Herder. For most of his working career, Jim was a sales executive for Menasha Corporation, where he was given a lifetime achievement award. During those years in sales, Jim spent hours developing his golf game along with many trusted business relationships. He also served First Michigan Bank as a board member for 17 years. For most of their retirement years, Jim and Joyce divided their time between Holland and Naples, FL. After Joyce died in 2000, Jim spent extra effort connecting with grandchildren, David and Emily Den Herder. He attended football games at the University of Michigan where David played in the marching band. He also traveled to California to spend time with Emily at the University of California Santa Barbara. He was proud of their many accomplishments.
In the later decades of his life, Jim continued to spend time in Naples at The Glenview, while traveling back to Holland for the summer months, living with the family in their five-generation home along Lake Michigan. He walked every day and enjoyed watching the activity on the lake from his Adirondack chair. He appreciated connecting with lifelong friends and family in both Holland and Naples.
Jim is survived by his son James F. Den Herder (Jim) ’71 and daughter-in-law Jill of Holland and Naples, FL. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren now live on opposite coasts: David, Megan and Jack in New York, NY; and Emily, Jayson and Sailor in Moss Beach, CA.