Alton Kooyers ’58

Alton Dale Kooyers sailed off to meet his Lord early in the morning on July 29, 2021. He was 85, an experienced sailor who delighted in being outdoors and praising the beauty of God’s creation. Alton was born December 3, 1935 in Cabin John, Maryland and grew up in Holland, Michigan, where he graduated Holland High School (Class of ’53) and Hope College. He married his college sweetheart, Alice Brink, and they enjoyed 65 years of happy marriage. For most of his career, he served as a postal clerk known for his welcome smile and friendly service.
Alton is survived by his loving wife Alice, four children and their families: Duane and Karmen Kooyers, Karen and Bob Vandervaart, Warren and Lori Kooyers, and Mark and Michelle Kooyers; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews who brought him much joy; a brother Lloyd, and sisters, Mary Louise and Lorraine.

A lifelong member of Trinity Reformed Church, Alton shared his abiding faith serving as Deacon and elder, teaching Sunday School, and organizing services at Chippewa Chapel. He served on the board of Cornerstone Youth Ministry for over thirty years, as treasurer for the City Mission, volunteer for the Community Kitchen, and Cub Scout leader who earned leadership awards for outstanding service.

Alton found peace in sunsets and shorelines, the shelter of trees, and the beauty of flowers. He loved woodworking and photography, leading demonstrations at boat shows, and bringing inner city children out for sailboat rides. He took exceptional care of elderly relatives, helped anyone he could, and wrapped one and all in tender prayers at mealtimes. His family treasures their memories of sailing, camping, and traveling with him, watching his often humorous slideshows of family life, and operating toy trains on the giant track he created with tunnels, mountains, a lake with a sailboat, and bells and whistles. He will be dearly missed.

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