William Van Eck ’68

William “Bill” Van Eck, age 74 of Rockford, passed peacefully from this life into the waiting arms of his Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

Bill was born to parents Marian (Vander Jagt) and William C. Van Eck. He is survived by his wife Jan, his children W. Todd (Jennifer) Van Eck, Kim (Erik) Holt, Tenille (Josh) Schlachter and Jennifer (Mike) Chojnowski and grandchildren Madeline, Chloe and Will Van Eck, Reygan, Taylor, Owen and Hailey Holt, Sam, Zachary and Sophia Schlachter and Jillian, Chase and Max Chojnowski, as well as his brother David Van Eck. Preceding him in death were his parents William C. and Marian Van Eck and his brother John Van Eck.

Bill was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Grand Rapids Christian High School, and Hope College. It was at this time that he met the love of his life, Jan, and they were soon married. Bill was then drafted into the U.S. Army and they were stationed as newlyweds in Sussen, Germany. After he proudly served his country, they returned from Germany and he was admitted to Akron Law School in Akron, Ohio to pursue his law degree.

After graduation, the couple settled in Belding, Michigan where he worked as an attorney for several years before opening his own practice. Bill practiced law for nearly 50 years, was a member of the Ionia county and Montcalm county Bar Associations, he also served as a court mediator, was the Belding city attorney for a number of years, sat on dozens of corporate boards, served on the Lake Bella Vista Association board, and has served Cannon Township in several capacities. Bill was also a co-owner of Westdale North Realty Company in Greenville and Belding, which is now Appleland Realty Group, for over 40 years. Bill attended Oakwood Christian Reformed church in Belding, where he served as an elder. When he and Jan moved to Rockford, they attended Calvary Church in Grand Rapids.

At Calvary, Bill volunteered in several capacities from teaching Sunday School and working in the nursery, to putting up Christmas lights for Festival of Lights and working the parking lot. As of recent, Bill and Jan attended Ada Bible Church, where he was part of many Bible studies, he taught Bible studies, and was a Christian mentor to many. Bill was always willing to give freely of his time and talents with no expectation of acknowledgment. He was often the quiet “brains” behind a thoughtful idea to help someone in need. Bill often sought out ways to show the love of Jesus to people who may not know Him. These are the things that gave him great joy. What mattered most to Bill, was his faith In Jesus, his loving wife Jan, whom he adored, his children and his grandchildren. Bill’s best days were having his entire family around him. This included family trips to Florida each year, snow skiing trips up north, fishing trips, scuba diving trips, sailing trips, camping, hunting, boating trips in Traverse City, family cruises to the Caribbean, endlessly pulling kids water skiing and tubing on Lake Bella Vista, weekly family dinners and travelling with Jan. Bill will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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